The Gospels: A Rich Journey
It’s hard to believe how time marches on. It is even harder to comprehend how great our God is and how He orchestrates all for our good and for His glory.
It was over a year ago that we began to pray and began to study the gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It started like this:
“Amy, I’ve been praying and thinking and I really believe that God is leading us to study all four of the gospels next year.”
I said this kind of tentatively because taking on all four gospels in one year is crazy! How would we ever be able to study it well enough to teach it? Surely, Amy would think I was off my rocker.
Amy paused before replying, “That’s interesting to hear, because God put all four gospels on my heart for next year too.”
Shock and awe... stunned silence… and then laughter.
That moment of hearing each other being lead to the same place, by our same Good Shepherd, is something that stuck with us and we never forgot. I think it was God’s kindness to give each of us this moment of irrefutable clarity. In that moment we knew what God had asked us to do.
We would need that mountaintop memory because life in the valleys can be dark and confusing. The Devil, the fallen world, and our flesh, never desire our victory. And there were many times of difficulty as we began our endeavor to search out the four gospels for the Truth that God was waiting to reveal to us.
When things got the hardest, Amy and I would encourage each other and then stop and remember that God told each of us, separately, to do this. We would remember:
IF He had orchestrated this path for us and
IF He had made it painstakingly clear that each of us was called to this,
(which we knew without a shadow of doubt that He had)
THEN He would be faithful to see us through.
And He has been beyond faithful!
You see, I never imagined, even in a proverbial million years, that when I set out on this journey to spend time in the gospels that God would lead me down a path so rich that I would find myself changed and grown; more mature then when I began.
Like an oak seed, that thrives in black, loamy soil, I can see the difference that has been made by this time in the gospels. I find myself with a sturdy trunk, that bends with the wind, leaves that cloak in regal majesty and also cast shade, branches bearing fruitful acorns for food and for planting.
My time and effort has not been in vain, and I thank God for such an abundant return on the path that He laid out for us.
Now, over a year later, together we are about to embark on a journey that is deep, rich, refreshing, and delightful! I know, because I have traversed it.
This week we begin THE GOSPELS: BECOMING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS.
In this portion of the gospels, we will set our sights to learn how we go about becoming a disciple of Jesus.
The concept of being a disciple and discipleship is used frequently, casually, and with many different assumed definitions. In fact, it is quite the buzz word. It’s a popular idea, but it’s true meaning has gotten lost amidst all its acclaim.
What does it really mean? What does it look like? Is it just being in a Bible study, or is it going to church? Does it mean you talk to other people who claim to love Jesus, or that you do some intensive meeting program?
Instead of living with questions, let’s go to the Word of God and learn from Jesus Himself about what He had in mind when He asks us to become His disciples.
We will do this by looking at three things:
- Jesus: We will learn to know Jesus intimately and personally.
- The Gospel: We will learn what the Gospel message that Jesus spoke and lived is.
- Discipleship: We will learn what it is and how to do it.
So, let me encourage you as we begin, together, this first of seven weeks of study. Time goes fast - this past year has flown by quicker than I would have believed. So, be willing to invest your time in the journey that God has called you to; because if you do, the rewards can be beyond what little we think to ask for.
If He has called you to study with us then know that we have walked before you. We have experienced the same triumph and defeat that comes with embarking on a spiritual journey. Know that we will be praying for you as you begin this journey,and that we will be your cheerleaders who will encourage you as you go.
Hannah Michael Wolfkill Snyder has always loved all of her names (yes, each one is on her passport!). However, the name she loves the most is Jesus. Jesus taught her how to play in the throne room of Heaven and sit in the lap of God the Father. This is her identity, where her heart loves to abide (even if her hands and feet are busy on earth running a household or meeting up with people). Because of her joy in the Father, her heart’s desire is to show women their God given identity in the kingdom of Heaven. You can find her on Instagram.