Pastor Chris DeGreen
Today is: Friday, November 17, 2017
Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'
Ya know those puzzles where you have two different words? The puzzle challenge is to find the way for the two different words to become the same word. The way to do it is by changing one letter at a time in one of the words to make it a new word. Ooooooh, let me just show you the way.
Here's the puzzle. What's the way for the word "rear" to become the word "Lord"? Here's the way. You start with "rear". Then change "rear" to "read". Then change "read" to "lead". Then change "lead" to "load". Then change "load" to "lord." Those are the steps along the way for making "rear" to become "Lord."
Jesus also shows us that knowing the way and steps along the way is important. He actually tells us in today's Bible verse that he himself is the Way. He also spends time with his followers, who are called his disciples, so that he can teach them the steps for leaving behind being a new disciple and becoming a mature disciple.
For example, I can look at my own life and see that I once thought that being a Christian was "knowing the Bible and being nice."
Then, God, through the Bible, showed me that being a Christian certainly includes knowing God's word, like the Bible, but it's more important to know the God of the Bible. And Jesus says that the Way to know the God of the Bible is by getting to know Jesus. So "knowing the Bible and being nice" became "knowing Jesus and being nice."
Then Jesus showed me that being a Christian certainly includes being nice. However, Jesus showed me it's more important to help other people take steps toward knowing Jesus. And many times helping people know Jesus feels, to them, like we're not being nice because coming to know Jesus always changes our lives and sometimes those changes hurt. The way to knowing Jesus doesn't always feel nice because it includes a cross and various forms of suffering and rejection. So "knowing Jesus and being nice" became "knowing Jesus and helping others to know Jesus."
And now, Jesus has shown me that “helping others to know Jesus” is fabulous, but there’s even more joy waiting for those who would know the Lord if we not only help them to know Jesus but also help them to help others to know Jesus.
After all, in Luke 15, Jesus tells three straight parables where each parable’s ending celebrates the rejoicing in heaven and with the angels and with Father God when someone comes nearer the God of heaven than they were before. So "knowing Jesus and helping others to know Jesus" became "knowing Jesus and helping others to know Jesus so that they could then have the heavenly joy of helping others to know Jesus.”
So just like "rear" became "Lord" by changing one letter at a time, God shows us that he'd change us one "letter" at a time so he can shape us into being a follower of the Way, who is Jesus. "Knowing the Bible and being nice" becomes "knowing Jesus and being nice" which becomes "knowing Jesus and helping others to know Jesus" which becomes “knowing Jesus and helping others to know Jesus so that they could then have the heavenly joy of helping others to know Jesus.”
And we thank God for every step along the way.
I encourage you to think about and thank God for how he's blessing you by shaping and changing you one step, one "letter," at a time so that you can both know God and His Son, Jesus, and also know how to help others know him too!
(For an archive of "Day of Praise", please visit my daughter Calley's website at http://dayofpraisepc.blogspot.com/?m=1)
Link to "The Daily Bible" on Amazon (may be purchased elsewhere)