Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 66:6-12.
Read: John 14:1-14 (NIV). As you read the New International Version, note 1-3 insights.
Reflect: The apostle Luke wrote both the Gospel and the Book of Acts as a 2-part single volume. He is the one that shares in Acts 9:2, that the early followers of Jesus were simply called people who followed the Way.
"and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem."
They belonged to the Way. They chose their affiliation and committed to that at all cost. You can’t crush this vision. You can’t remove this hope. It is in Jesus. Even if you do not believe in Jesus and were to feel most comfortable that he was a wise man, there has never been anyone like him in history that has transformed the world we know today. His ideas, his message captured the heart and imagination of civilizations around the world. But if you do accept Jesus as the Son of God, as the pre-existing deity from eternity past to eternity future, than his message is not one of change but of total transformation. His message supersedes all visions. It calls us to a higher place every time. It calls us to a life of mercy, justice and grace in the face of oppression. It calls us to be the living, breathing, body of Jesus to move beyond the discussion of faith and into the action to which we are called by Jesus.
This is the difference. The Gospel is not another set of values that you should consider to opt in. They are the only set of values that God can help you start to live by. The Gospel is just another a great story of kindness and care, but a love that is born from God and sustained by God in us for others.
What if we transformed those words into expressions we use today? Would these work?
Way = belong.
Truth = believe.
Life = behave.
Respond: Pray for Courage
Research: What are the best five Biblical texts defining prayer for you?