Grow Deep: Reformation 500 Edition, Week 4
Week 4: October 22—28
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Timothy 3:16
The snow was falling wet and heavy, but inside my father’s brand new truck I could have cared less. It was rare that I got to spend time alone with my dad. So when he asked me to help him choose Christmas gifts for my Mom, it made the day feel incredible despite the dismal weather. After doing our shopping, we began the trek home, gifts in tow. My dad heaved the haul into the bed of his truck and asked me to dispose of our shopping cart. Then we hustled for the warmth of the inside of the vehicle. Smiling, my dad placed the truck into reverse, and almost immediately we slammed into something. Hard.
“You put that cart away, right?” my father asked, looking directly at me. “Of course I did,” I plainly stated, even though I knew I had merely shoved the cart away from the truck as I ran from the cold. I lied; my heart hurt. After inspecting the damage, it was obvious that the cart we hit had been our own.
As I sat next to my Dad in that truck, I personally heard his voice and saw his face as we spoke. The place where I meet God in such a personal way is in the written words of Scripture. It’s where I “see” His face and “hear” His voice teaching, forgiving, sharing His truths. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the words convict, comfort and call me with authority. Scripture is not just for theologians; it is for each one of us. While our age and experience may influence how God uses His words to direct our thoughts and actions, Scripture never changes. It is always true! It is always relevant!
As a child, I couldn’t understand why my father forgave me for damaging his truck, sabotaging our special day and lying to him. But the simple truth is my father loved me. That’s why. My heavenly Father loves me more! That’s a truth that is affirmed repeatedly in the words of Scripture. I am grateful for God’s truth in His written Word!
Sunday, October 22
Read: John 5:37-47
The Scriptures testify of Jesus and the truth of the Gospel. In these verses, Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leaders who refused to believe He was the promised Messiah. They searched the Scripture (Old Testament) for salvation. They knew the words written in the Old Testament well, but they failed to see Jesus in the written words. All of Scripture points to Jesus; He is the promised Messiah; the One who gives eternal life.
Reflect: The Jewish leaders did not believe Jesus when He spoke to them. Think about a time that you shared a truth with someone who would not believe it. Was there some way you could have convinced them? Pray for an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, who is the Way and the Truth and the Life.
For the Family: The Bible is God’s Word, and it is true. About whom is the Bible written? How can you use your Bible to get to know Jesus?
Monday, October 23
Read: Colossians 1:15-23
In this letter to the Colossians, Paul describes Jesus as the “image of the invisible God,” supreme authority over all creation as the Creator and supreme authority as head of the Body, the church. He is Savior and Redeemer. Our response for what He has done for us is to continue in faith and hold on to the hope of the Gospel. That hope is the assurance of forgiveness found only in Jesus!
Reflect: Paul uses vivid examples to illustrate Jesus' supremacy as Creator over all of creation and Redeemer and head of the body, the church (v.15-20). He reigns supreme over everything and every moment, from the start to the end of time! How does that make you feel? Thank Jesus for being with you in all the moments of your life … including right now!
For the Family: Have you ever hoped for anything? What? Paul tells us to hold on to the “hope” of the Gospel. What do you think that means? Is it like the hope that you have had or is it different?
Tuesday, October 24
Read: John 1:1-4
John begins his Gospel by identifying Jesus. Jesus is God, Creator, the source of all life and light. Through Him we have a relationship with God and have hope in eternity.
Reflect: John describes Jesus as life and light. How is He both life and life-giver? Light and light-giver? Compare and contrast the light of Creation and the “Light” that enters our hearts when we are saved. How can you be light today in the midst of your everyday activities?
For the Family: Do you remember what was happening when God said, “Let there be light?” Jesus is called light. Can you think of how He is light?
Wednesday, October 25
Read: 2 Timothy 3:14-17
All Scripture is the divinely-inspired Word of God. Paul is instructing a young Timothy to continue in what he has learned. He was reminding him to be a student of God’s Word. It is in God’s Word where he would find truth to teach, correct, and equip him to do the good works God planned for him to do. As Paul instructs Timothy, he is instructing us to be diligent in our study of Scripture as well.
Reflect: What does the term “good work” mean to you in our culture? How did Scripture prepare and equip Timothy to do good works? How does it prepare you? Pray with thanksgiving to God for the gift of His Word.
For the Family: Why is it important to read the Bible every day? Share something that you learned from reading the Bible today.
Thursday, October 26
Read: 2 Peter 1:12-21
Peter is writing this message as he anticipates his own death. He reminds his Christian brothers and sisters to cling to Christ and live for Him. He does not want their zeal for the Scripture to grow dim but encourages them to clutch the Scriptures in the same way they would clutch a light in a dark place. Peter acknowledges the absolute truth and reliability of Scripture. As he writes these words, he understands and acknowledges that he is God’s instrument, but the words are God’s. He says in verse 21, “Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Reflect: Take note of verse 19, when Peter urges us to pay attention to the words of the prophets as we would a light shining into darkness. John 1:5 also speaks of light shining into the darkness. How do Peter’s words and the words of prophets ultimately point us to Jesus?
For the Family: Peter tells his friends the Bible is like a light in a dark place. Have you ever been in a really dark place? How did you feel when someone turned on a light? Why do you think Peter told his friends that?
Friday, October 27
Read: Revelation 21:1-5
In his vision, John sees a new heaven and a new earth. God instructs John to write down the words He is speaking because they are trustworthy and true! In so doing, He testifies to the authorship, validity and absolute truth of Scripture.
Reflect: The words of Revelation are described as trustworthy and true. Where do you see Jesus in these words in Revelation? Pray that you speak truth and that the Holy Spirit guides you to trustworthy sources.
For the Family: What does trustworthy mean? Why did God tell John to write His words down?
Saturday, October 28
Read: John 10:22-39
This encounter between Jesus and the Jewish leaders takes place during a festival. That festival is known today as Hanukkah, or the Feast of Lights. Jesus Himself testifies to the inerrant nature of Scripture. As He faces Jewish leaders who reject His identity as the Messiah, the Son of God, He uses references from the Old Testament to prove who He is. Still, they do not believe.
Reflect: Jesus uses the Old Testament to prove who He is. What Scripture verses could you use to prove who Jesus is to an unbeliever? Memorize one or more of those verses. Jesus says your identity in Christ is secure when He says no one can snatch you from His hands. Reflect on the comfort this truth brings.
For the Family: How does Jesus describe Himself in these verses? Go around your family and share other words from the Bible or names that describe Jesus.