Grow Deep - The Gospel in Seven Words Edition Week 1

Week 1: March 6 – 12

The Gospel in Seven Words Edition

God Always Gets the Very Last Word!

 

Hymn Verse: Come to Calvary’s holy mountain,
LW #96 v.1 Sinners, ruined by the fall;
Here a pure and healing fountain
Flows for you, for me, for all,
In a full, perpetual tide,
Opened when our Savior died.

In Matthew 10, Jesus speaks impactful words for us to consider this Ash Wednesday. “Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven.” Jesus clearly expects His disciples to be able to articulate what they believe about Jesus and why they believe in Him. When His followers are asked why they follow Jesus, He expects them to be able to give an answer.

How would you answer if someone asked you to briefly, and I emphasize briefly, explain why you believe in and follow Jesus? We have confessions of faith like the Apostles’ Creed, but can you imagine sharing that when someone asks why you believe in Jesus? As we engage our families and neighbors with our faith, a great resource for us to have is a simple explanation of why we follow Jesus and a description of who He is.

As a season, Lent helps us focus on Jesus by cutting out the distractions and disciplining ourselves. A good discipline to develop this year could be the crafting of a brief explanation of why you follow Jesus and an explanation of who Jesus is. The less wordy it is, the better. Challenge yourself to come up with an explanation that takes less than 30 seconds to share. Ask others if your explanation makes sense and if it is understandable. Practice it in conversations with friends and neighbors. Ask others here at church how they would explain their faith in Jesus. Above all, do it. Try out a few phrases and see how they go.
May God bless your explanations that others may come to know Jesus as their redeeming God and Savior. Don’t wait! Take an action step this week. Ask someone why they follow Jesus; ask them to explain who Jesus is.


Wednesday, March 6
Read: Psalm 51:10
David had been caught in sin. In repentance, he asked God to give him a clean heart and to renew his spirit.

Reflect:
Bring to God one place in your life where you need forgiveness and ask Him to give you a clean heart and a renewed spirit.


Thursday, March 7

Read: Hebrews 1:1-2
God brings His Word to people as that Word is spoken. That Word points to Jesus, God’s Word made flesh.

Reflect:
Take time to reflect on how that Word has been spoken to you and by whom it was spoken. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for those who speak that Word to you.


Friday, March 8

Read: Matthew 6:1
If we are motivated to do God-pleasing actions so they will be seen by others, we have already received the reward for what we have done.

Reflect:
Reflect on the ways that your actions are done for an “Audience of One.” That One is God. How do your words and actions point to God and not to yourself?


Saturday, March 9

Read: Revelation 1:17
Through Jesus, the creation began and will reach its conclusion. This is why He is the first and the last. Yet, Jesus tenderly reaches out to touch our lives.

Reflect: Today, text or email, someone, one way in which Jesus has touched your life.


Sunday, March 10

Read: Matthew 4:4
When tempted by Satan, Jesus points to the source of our life in God’s Word. We live by God’s provision for our needs here AND the gift of His Word of forgiveness.

Reflect:
What last word of forgiveness can you share today with someone who needs that life-giving gift? When will you share that forgiving word with them?


Monday, March 11

Read: Joel 2:13
God is always seeking us out and looks for us to return to Him. He wants to share His grace, mercy and steadfast love with us.

Reflect:
Name one area of your life where you need His grace and steadfast love and ask Him to pour it lavishly into you.


Tuesday, March 12

Read: Romans 10:4
When Jesus died and rose, God’s law was perfectly fulfilled. When we believe in Jesus, He becomes the end of the law for us.

Reflect:
Reflect on an area in your life where you struggle to keep God’s law. What relief do you find in Jesus, who fulfilled the law perfectly for you?