This week I’ve chosen to spotlight a blog that is new to me, and one which I think offers a wonderful and effective method of studying the Bible. This format is designed for the New Testament, but certainly can be used for the entire Bible, or just for books or passages of the Bible.
Introducing . . .
Please take this opportunity to visit Ryan Mathis who, by the way, recently tied the knot! I’ve included his Purpose page, as well one of his posts that I find especially inspirational. There is a link to the BlogSite above that is clickable, as are all titles in blue for sake of ease in accessing his site. Enjoy!
The purpose of this blog is to keep me accountable. I set out with some members of my church to read through the entire New Testament this year. Not to just read through it but to learn more about God and to grow closer to him through the process. To me it doesn’t matter if this is read by anyone, as long as it helps me to stay in God’s word I will count it as a win.
I will be following Foundations by Robby and Kandi Gallaty. It is perfectly laid out to help someone follow through the New Testament in one year. In this blog I will be using the H.E.A.R format, which stands for highlight, explain, apply, and respond. This will ensure that I do not just skim over scripture but that I will meditate on it.
Now to introduce myself.
God has done profound things in my life. I have grown up in an amazing and loving family that always help me grow towards God. I have been blessed beyond all measures. Last year I left a job that was draining me emotionally and spiritually for a job that I love. The people I work with are amazing and they truly love God. Being in an environment where people express their love for God is truly a blessing and it helps my walk with Christ everyday.
On top of the new job, I got married to the woman of my dreams. She’s an amazing Godly woman that helps me stay accountable and is wise beyond her years. Did I mention she’s gorgeous? Loves Jesus and is beautiful, total package.
Anyways, 2018 was an amazing year for me and God did things for me that I couldn’t be more happy about. That is why I am doing this, because God has done so much for me that I want to delve deeper and understand him better.
It had been 3 days since the death of Jesus and a few followers went to his tomb to put spices on his body. I’m sure this was a very hard time for them. The man they believed was the Son of God had died. I’m sure they were very confused and started to doubt. To their surprise, the stone had been rolled away and Jesus’s body was gone. It says that two men in dazzling clothes appeared and it frightened the women who we know were angels of God.
They had spoken some of the most beautiful and important words ever to us as Christians.
“He is not here, but he has risen!” LUKE 24:6
These words mean that Jesus was not defeated by death but that Jesus had did the impossible and beat death. They remind His followers of what Jesus had said to them in Galilee.
“It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day?” LUKE 24:7
The women immediately remembered this and ran off to tell the apostles. The apostles thought that this was nonsense and they didn’t believe this. I mean, think about it: they had just watched Jesus go through a horrible and painful death. Now these women are saying He’s alive? Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb and when he saw it was true, he was amazed.
Later that day, two of the men were travelling to Emmaus and discussing what had happened. Jesus then appeared next to them but they were prevented from recognizing Him. He asked them what was going on and they told Him. They had lost hope because of what happened to Jesus. Jesus quickly reminds them that the Messiah had to suffer as per Old Testament prophecies. He then taught them what the scripture said about Him. It wasn’t until they were sharing a meal did they recognize Jesus. He broke bread . As soon as they recognized Him, he vanished.
Sometimes, Jesus is right in front of us and we don’t realize it. Our eyes are restrained from seeing Him. That’s why we need to pray to God to open our eyes to see Jesus. He is always with us.
The two then went to Jerusalem to spread the news to the other 11. While they were talking, Jesus appeared to them. They were clearly troubled, as I would be as well.
“Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” LUKE 24:38-39
The people were so joyful that they didn’t believe. How could this be true? They watched him die and suffer. This was not possible, yet Jesus did it. They believed it was too good to be true essentially.
Jesus basically said “I told you so” to the disciples. While He was with them, he had mentioned his sufferings, death, and resurrection multiple times. Jesus affirmed that the cross was not an obstacle but it was necessary in God’s redemptive plan. Without the cross, we have nothing. We owe it all to Jesus and His sacrifice. He then commissions His followers to spread the word through the nations and that’s still our calling today.
Jesus then blessed His people and ascended into heaven. By ascending Jesus, gave people confidence in the Holy Spirit, instead of His physical presence. The people rejoiced and began to spread His message.
By defeating death, Jesus didn’t only defeat it for Himself but also for us. Without the resurrection, we would still be dead in our sins and transgressions.Christ’s resurrection ensures our own.