The Walk: Week 4 – Day 4, “Excuses, Part 2”.

•February 12, 2012 • 1 Comment

In Luke 9 Jesus encounters three people, three examples of people who seem to have some issue or even excuse when it comes to following Christ. We looked at the first example yesterday. Let’s look at the second and third today.

The second example is in verse 59. In this case Jesus comes and says, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” In verse 60 Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Jesus’ reply seems harsh but it is obvious he is trying to make a point because the dead cannot literally bury anyone. So what is he saying and what is his point? There has been a lot of speculation about this verse, some have said the father wasn’t dead yet and the man wanted to wait until his death and receive the inheritance. Maybe that was the case but we don’t know. In many passages the Bible encourages us to take care of family obligations. But what Jesus is stressing here is that you have to clearly commit to put following him, obedience to him and your part in his mission to the world above every other human relationship and social obligation. He has to come first.

How can we honor our legitimate family relationships and responsibilities to friends without allowing them to take priority over Christ as Lord?

What kind of circumstances in life might requires us to put Christ above other relationship and responsibilities? Can you think of a specific example?

How might we best handle those situations with wisdom?

The third example is in verse 61. It says, Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” In verse 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” To plow a straight row you have to be completely focused on that priority. If you start looking around or look back you drift off course. When he says unless you maintain your focused commitment you aren’t fit for the kingdom, the word fit doesn’t mean worthy. It means appropriate. No one is worthy of the kingdom or ever could be. It’s all the grace of God that you can come to Christ and experience new life and receive forgiveness. What Jesus is saying is unless following Christ is the highest priority, more than your standard of living, or family commitments, you may not really be believing in him and you certainly won’t be able to follow Him. Your inadequate commitment to the king doesn’t fit the supremacy of his kingdom and his claims on your life and your claim to know him.

What Jesus does in these stories is teach us that it doesn’t matter what our excuses are, we have to lay them all at his feet and follow him.

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.

The Walk: Week 4 – Day 3, “Excuses”

•February 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Week 4 – Day 3, “Excuses”

Jesus called us to absolute obedience. Throughout his life Jesus gave many clear commands. He said: Love your neighbor. Live as children of God. Practice contentment and compassion. Live in sexual purity, pray faithfully, obey God’s commandments, and make disciples of all nations. There’s a place in Luke 6 where he is giving these kinds of teachings and he stops and asks: “Why do you call me Lord, and do not do the things that I say?”

It is interesting that he asks that question. Why do we fail to obey? Let me put it this way, “What is your best excuse for not giving Christ your complete commitment and obedience?” What makes that especially interesting is the fact that later in this same chapter in Luke Jesus encounters three people, three examples of people who seem to have some issue or even excuse when it comes to following Christ. We’ll look at the first example today and the second and third tomorrow.

The first example is in Luke 9:57. It says: As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” At first it seems that the man’s offer is open ended but I think we have to read between the lines. Scripture often speaks of Jesus knowing what is in men’s hearts. Look at what Jesus says, verse 58, Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” It is as if Jesus senses that this man has a deep commitment to a certain standard of living that is so much an assumption of his life that he hasn’t truly considered all the issues involved in true commitment to Jesus.

From your experience and observations what are some of the things people today might have a huge struggle with in regards to following Jesus. What are some of the things people might have the hardest time “giving up”?

Have you ever had to give up something that was especially difficult ? If so what was it and why did you choose to let it go?

Sometimes people come to church and say they are following Christ but then as they learn more they encounter something they didn’t know they were going to be asked to give up. Maybe it’s the issue of money and tithing or sexual purity or serving others… but when it surfaces clearly they stop. They say, “I didn’t know that following Christ meant that.” You see that’s the problem. Sometimes we don’t even know how many things we hold as our own, as our rights or “basics”. We don’t realize that Christ has to have our obedience even in those areas. What Jesus is doing is surfacing the most basic of needs, shelter, and saying you have to obey him even if it costs you that. He is destroying all our excuses.

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.

The Walk: Week 4 – Day 2, “take up your cross daily.”

•February 10, 2012 • 1 Comment

Week 4 – Day 2, “take up your cross daily.”

Luke 9:23 He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. There is something interesting that comes through in the Greek. When he says, “take up your cross” he uses a form of the Greek that describes an event not a process. It’s a decision, a commitment that you make. But when he adds the word, “daily”, he tells you that you are going to have to make this same decision every day you live your life. You don’t have to go looking for a cross to bear. If you follow Christ truly you will find every day that you will have to choose to die to your comforts, die to your pleasures, die to your preferences, die to your security, die to your self.

I heard recently about some thieves who broke into the Church of the Holy Cross in New York City and unbolted a 4-foot-long, 200 pound plaster Jesus, taking the statue of Jesus but leaving his wooden cross on the wall. The caretaker said they just decided, “We’re just going to take Jesus and leave the cross behind.” That pretty much sums up what a lot of us are inclined to do doesn’t it? We want Jesus, his grace, but we might prefer to leave the cross, the cost, the suffering behind. If we want to follow Jesus we have to take up our cross daily.

In his book “WHAT JESUS DEMANDS FROM THE WORLD” John Piper talks about taking up our cross and gives the following outline

A. What does taking up the cross involve?

1. Walking by faith — it involves following Jesus when he is not here. Until Jesus comes again, he expects his disciples on earth to “follow” him. So following Jesus is not limited to physically walking around Palestine behind him. Jesus demands it of every person in every country in every age.

2. Fulfilling the great commission — it involves joining him in what he was sent to do. Gathering a people in allegiance to him for the glory of his Father

3. Embracing the cross before the glory — it involves following Jesus into suffering. Jesus put the emphasis on self-denial and cross-bearing

B. Why is it worth it to follow Jesus?

1. Suffering for Jesus with joy shows his supreme value. He did not die to make this life easy for us or prosperous. He died to remove every obstacle to our everlasting joy in making much of him – Jesus is more valuable than all the earthly rewards that the world lives for

2. Suffering for Jesus is temporary; pleasure in Jesus is eternal. Following Jesus does indeed lead through suffering and death. But the path is luminous with life and truth.

C. What can be the consequences of following Jesus?
Ruptures in various areas of our life… but these ruptures are not devastating

1. Ruptures in relationships with people. Might have to make some touch decisions when it comes to putting Jesus first; calls for behaviors that are sometimes going to look like hate to the world

2. Ruptures in relationships with possessions. If something gets in the way of following Jesus we must get rid of it

3. Ruptures in relationships with vocation. Won’t be required of most people. But will be very risky for others; look at how the initial disciples responded: immediate and complete commitment

Following Jesus is costly and worth it. Jesus is not out to trick us; calls on us to count the cost; but assures us that it is more than worth it. Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

What response does Piper’s outline raise in you? What questions might does it surface? What, if anything would you want to add to it?

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.

The Walk – Week 4 Day 1, Living Life For Christ

•February 10, 2012 • 1 Comment

Week 4 – Day 1, “Denying self”

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:18-27

I read recently about a father who learned something from his son. The son was nineteen years old, committed to becoming a missionary and hoping to spend his next semester of school in Nairobi, Kenya. The father heard that that was a dangerous place so he told his son in a phone call he would have to reconsider. He said his son answered very nonchalantly and said; “Dad, you better get used to me facing danger. God has called me to the mission field, so you can say ‘no’ to Nairobi now, but you can’t protect me forever.” The Father hung up the phone so impressed with his son’s commitment to follow Christ he prayed, “Father, change my heart. Let my faith cost me something. Make it a daring and dangerous adventure of following you.” He wanted the kind of commitment he saw in his son.

The passage that we are looking at today is all about true commitment to Christ. Jesus never spoke of that kind of commitment as something that was optional or only for some very special Christians. In fact, it is interesting to notice that in this passage what Jesus is saying is that this path of commitment to him is the path you have to take if you value saving your life and your self. The meaning of discipleship is to follow Christ with total commitment. Listen again to Luke 9:23. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Listen to the specifics of this. Listen personally. First, Jesus says, “To come after me you must deny yourself.” Sometimes people talk about self-denial and what they mean is the idea of denying yourself certain things like pleasures or luxuries; like giving up candy and cigarettes. But what Jesus requires is that you deny self itself. He wants you to deny self-centeredness and self-pity and even the idea of self-will. He calls you to surrender your sense of independent self-life to Him as Lord. So that you no longer live your life for your self but you live your life for Him. That’s the paradox of the promise Jesus makes here. He says it is in losing your life that you find it. He means it is in giving up your independence and living for him that you find your freedom and greatest fulfillment.

The biggest issues of life require more than will power. They require total surrender. Many of you know that over 35 years ago I went through a 12-step program for drug addiction. The twelve steps as used today have lost a lot of their original Christian content but they are still the most effective program today for helping people escape the most powerful addictions in the world. Do you know in which of the twelve steps you determine by an act of the will that you will no longer abuse alcohol or drugs? In what step do you say: “I am going to mobilize all my will power and determine to overcome this addiction by never touching drugs or alcohol again.” That’s a trick question. In the most powerful program for recovery from addiction in the world you never say that. That isn’t one of the steps. They have learned that you can’t do it by self-will. They’ve tried that. What it takes is a special kind of surrender to something bigger than yourself. So in step one (1.) you realize you are powerless and your life unmanageable. In step two (2.) you believe in a power greater than yourself. In step three (3.) you make a decision to turn your will and your life over to God. It is interesting isn’t it that even when they are not sure who God is there is this idea, an idea that I believe the original founders of AA took from the Scriptures, that you have to surrender your will. Those twelve step programs are imperfect without Christ. But they have proven powerful because they reflect certain core principles of Christian discipleship. This is one of them. To experience true transformation you have to fully surrender your will to the will of another, to Christ.

Denying yourself in this sense is not becoming passive. It is actively choosing God’s will as your will. The paradox of the promise Jesus makes here is that he says it is in that kind of surrender that you find a freedom and fulfillment you cannot find any other way.

What, if any questions does that raise for you? If you were trying to explain the above statement and persuade a friend that it was right and true how would you do it? In your own words, what might you say?

Our memory verse this week is; Luke 9:23-24 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.

The Walk, Week 3 Day 5: Two things that we can do that will help us as we follow Jesus.

•February 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Two things that we can do that will help us as we follow Jesus.

1. Ask Jesus to reveal what’s truly in your heart. That’s what Jesus did for the people in this story. They were going along following him in some sense, part of the crowd, but he stopped them and told them what was really going on in their hearts when he said: “You are following me because you ate the bread and had your fill.” They probably hadn’t thought if it that way. They were just going along. He told them what was really going on in their hearts. This is one of the things about Jesus that is so unique. He isn’t just after your outward behavior. You can be in the crowd and looking passionate about Jesus. Your outward behavior can trick everyone else. But you can’t trick Jesus. He wants your heart. So why don’t you go to Christ and ask him to show you what’s going on in your heart.

Some people never do this. Some people rarely do this. Some people resist and avoid or just never get around to doing this. So they listen to sermons and even make commitments and come along with the crowd for a while but don’t really understand what is going on in their hearts. The result is they end up being constantly dragged down and tempted by hungers that go unnamed and unchallenged and therefore live in the shadows under the surface of their lives. Those things need to be brought up into the light so you can see what you are dealing with, confess your sins and surrender to Christ.

Ask Christ to reveal your heart. Make time, to set aside time to pray, to be still, or maybe to walk and reflect and listen. What are the things that you say to your self? What are the messages that play in your mind? What does all that reveal about your relationship to Christ and where you are trying to fill the hungers of your heart?

2. Tell Jesus you are choosing him and believing in him as the bread of life. I love the way the story ends. Jesus, as he does with Peter several times, pushes his followers to choose and to actually speak and declare their love for and faith in him. Look at verse 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” Over and over in life Jesus has to ask us this question. It’s a question that doesn’t allow us to just drift along. It requires a decision, a choice of faith. And it requires a definite answer from us.

For each of us this should be a constant part of our conversation with Christ as we practice his presence. For all of us this should be a daily part of our Bible reading and prayer. For many of you it could be very powerful to set aside an extended time for prayer and reflection in which you ask Jesus to reveal what’s truly in your heart and then tell Him you are choosing him and believing in him as the bread of life.

It’s the question he is asking you: Understanding the hungers of your heart and knowing that Jesus claims to be the bread of life, will you choose to believe in him and follow him.

Tim Keller gives the following examples that can help us think about what it means to deal with the issues of discipleship in light of believing in Jesus as the bread of life.

If you struggle with temptation, Rejoice in the gospel until you see its beauty. How are these temptations being caused by an inordinate hope for some-one or some-thing to give me the comfort and consolation that only Jesus can really give me? How does Christ give me so much more fully and graciously and suitably the very things I am looking for elsewhere? Rejoice and think of what he has done and what he has given you. Pray and say: “Lord, only in your presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11) yet here am I trying to find comfort in something else. Why rake in a mud puddle when you have set a table for me (Psalm 23:5) filled with your love, peace, joy? This thing I am tempted by is just a pleasure that will wear off so soon–it is a sham and cheat, while your pleasure, though it may start small will grow on and on forever (Prov.4:18). Remove my idols of pleasure, which never can give me the pleasure I need.”

If you struggle with anxiety, Rejoice in the gospel until you are humbled enough (to see you don’t know best) or valued enough (to see that he could not forget you. Ask yourself: How are these anxieties being caused by an inordinate hope for some-one or some-thing to give me the control over my life and environment only Jesus can really give me? How does Christ give me so much more fully and graciously and suitably the very things I am looking for elsewhere? Rejoice and think of what he has done and what he has given you. Pray and say: “Lord, I live by your sheer grace. That means though I don’t deserve to have things go right, yet I know you are working them all out for good (Rom.8:28) because you love me in Christ. All my punishment fell into Jesus’ heart–so you only allow bad things for my growth, and for loving wise purposes. I can relax, because my security in life is based neither on luck, nor hard work, but on your gracious love for me. You have counted every hair on my head (Matt.10:30-31) and every tear down my cheeks (Ps.56:8)–you love me far more and better than anyone else loves me or than I love myself. And remove my idols of security–which never can give me the security I need.”

Take a moment to write out your own prayer of repenting and rejoicing. Ask Christ to show you what is going on in your heart and then tell him how you are believing in him as the bread of life.

Take some time to reflect on the two charts we have looked at in previous sections of “The Walk”. Reflect on how the principles pictured in these charts related to the issue in this section of “The Walk”. How do they help us to believe in Jesus as the bread of life and to find our heart’s hungers filled by Him?

Jot down a few of your thoughts under each graphic

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verses.

The Walk, Week 3 Day 4, The only way to fill our hungry hearts is through believing in Jesus.

•February 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment


The only way to fill our hungry hearts is through believing in Jesus.

Most of the people in John 6 choose not to believe in him when he said this. They quit following him and started grumblingVerse 61 says, Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! Notice the exclamation point. Jesus is saying you find it surprising that I would say I’m the bread of life because you don’t understand who I am. If you think this is a lot to believe wait until you see me ascend to heaven which, by the way is where I was before I came here! Then he adds this, verse 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

Notice God has to enable us to come to Christ. The reality of who Christ is has to be spiritual revealed by a sovereign God. That doesn’t remove our responsibility to respond. In the mystery of God’s Sovereignty and human responsibility he enables us to believe but we have to choose to believe.

It is always believing that is at the heart of our relationship with Christ.

It’s through believing in Christ that we receive the gift of eternal life.

Verse 47 says: I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. The reason faith in Christ is so powerful is because Christ gave himself to die for us on the cross. Look at verse 51 Jesus said, “This bread is my flesh that I give for the life of the world.”

This is what makes the Lord’s Supper such a powerful symbol of Christ and salvation. We take the bread and break it and we give it. It’s a symbol of Jesus’ body being broken on the cross as He died to pay for our sins. Our eating of the bread is symbolic of our believing in Him and receiving eternal life from Him. It’s through believing that we receive the gift of eternal life.

And it is through continually believing in Christ that we feed on and are fueled by Christ, the bread of life.

A couple of years ago I told you about a conference I went to once. Indulge me as I remind you. I went to a conference once in which we were assigned to small groups for a prayer workshop. The focus in the small group that I was in was on receiving God’s grace and love. One person was placed in the middle and the other people prayed. Some of the people might place a hand on your back or shoulder as they prayed for you and they prayed that way for quite a while. The focus of the prayer was to more deeply believe in and receive God’s grace. And the person in the middle was supposed to relax and open their heart and mind to the unconditional love of God through Christ. Well, I was in the middle and I didn’t do too well. I was tense. I didn’t know these people and besides I came to the conference to learn certain things that were on my agenda and this wasn’t what I had planned. Here I was in the center of a circle of strangers praying for me to receive the love of God. But I was stiff as a board and wound up with my plans and anxious for the lovely little exercise to be over so I could learn something that I could use. I remember one of the men praying for me was a big man, a real cowboy with boots and a big buckle. He was from Montana or Utah. And he said something like this. He said: “You don’t know how to just receive God’s grace very well do you? Do you ever just let God love you?” He said: “It’s kinda like just lying out in the sun. You just relax and soak it up.” It was funny. Here I was with multiple graduate degrees in Bible, on a folding chair being told to relax while Pecos Bill taught me how to let God love me. But I didn’t resent it because he was right. I wasn’t good at resting in and soaking up the love of God and of Christ. I’m better at that these days but far from where I’d like to be.

And I’m more convinced than ever that this is what we need to be continually learning to do on the inside so that we can truly follow Christ in the world. If we do not learn how to feed our hearts by faith in Christ as the bread of life we will not follow well. We will be anxious, frustrated, conflicted and stressed out people who are so hungry that we can not follow with the commitment and strength that is needed.

We need to feed our hearts on the love of Christ so that we can fuel a life of committed discipleship. We do not feed our heart on the love of God in Christ just so that we can grow fat and lazy. We don’t feed our hearts on the love of God in Christ or so that we can feel good about ourselves while we live in sin or selfishness. We feed our hearts on Christ the bread of life so that we can live our lives with him, find our life in him, live our lives for him and live our lives like him. We feed our hearts on his love because we know that if we do not, whatever is our source of life will rise up as a traitor from within when real temptation or testing comes.

Take a minute to prayerful reflect on what you could do to better receive and rest in the love of God that is given to you in Christ?
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verses. __________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________

The Walk: Week 3 Day 3, Two ways of looking at life in relationship to following Jesus.

•February 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Two ways of looking at life in relationship to following Jesus.

1. The first, is that you follow Jesus so that He will help you have the things that make for a good and happy life. That’s what was going on with the crowd in this story. That way of looking at your relationship to God, while common, is unbiblical. It is wrong.

2. The second way to look at life is that you follow Jesus because He himself is the source of life. It’s your relationship with God through Christ that does for your soul what food does for your body. When your faith feeds your heart with his life, love and goodness, He fuels your life. His love and presence gives strength and energy as you feed on Him. So Jesus is saying don’t just think of me as the one who can help you get what you need. I am what you need. Jesus doesn’t say: “I’m a caramel macchiato venti with an extra shot of espresso”. He says, “I’m the bread of life.” That means is that he is not a luxury he is essential. It also means that to follow him we have to make him the very source of our life.

I’ve had people tell me,“I thought that if I believed in Jesus and went to church and said my prayers and tried to follow God’s word then I would find love, succeed in business, build a close-knit family and enjoy a happy marriage. But I’ve tried to do things right and working out very well so I’m over it. I’m walking out.” The same thing that happened in Jesus’ day happens all over again. People come to Jesus wanting him to enrich their lives with the things they want. When they find out he wants to enrich them with himself they turn away. The truth is we all want good families, loving relationships, rewarding jobs, secure futures, good health, we want to see our causes prosper and our passions fulfilled. We get anxious or upset when there are things that mean a lot to us and we are afraid we aren’t going to get them or if we have them they are going to slip away. “Believing that Jesus is the bread of life doesn’t mean that nothing matters except for him but it does mean that nothing matters as much as Him and nothing matters so much that the presence of that thing overshadows Him or the absence of that thing robs us of the peace, and joy, of his love and presence.”

Do you believe what Jesus is saying here? The ultimate question of life and discipleship is “What will fill your hungry heart?” Jesus says he is the answer to that question. Do you believe Him?

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verses.