At HOPE Missions, we strive to love others like Christ and we also strive to point each other to Christ and to experience His Power, Love, and Healing. Back in early August as HOPE Missions was first beginning, we began walking through the Gospel of John, verse by verse, every Tuesday and Thursday morning for an hour.
We did our study sitting in a circle with 13 chairs. This was such a powerful word picture each morning that we met – a chair for Jesus and His 12 disciples. As we walked through the book, Dave Phillips led in a way to get us to put ourselves in the story. Just like the disciples with Jesus, all of us sitting around the circle in the 13 chairs come from different backgrounds, different situations presently, and different skin colors. But like the disciples, we all gathered to hear from Jesus through His Word and we shared a common ground that was powerful – a desire to learn more about life through the eyes of Jesus.
The lessons were eternal and the conversations were inspiring. We completed the book on John the last week of February. We discussed big picture lessons as we thought back over the entire book of John. Some of the discussions included: Christ brings newness to those who seek Him, the contrast between light and dark and how Jesus is light and He exposes the darkness in us but how His light consumes the darkness, the spiritual water and food that Jesus is to our soul, not getting caught up in legalism and religious things and concentrating on following Jesus, Jesus healing physical blindness and spiritual blindness, and all of the simple illustrations Jesus uses to teach us about Himself: a door, the shepherd to His sheep, and the vine and branches.
Jesus does not make following Him hard – it is simple – Follow Me. But living this out is not so simple because of all the other things that compete for our time and our energy. I know for me, these two mornings a week have helped me stay grounded throughout the week and my mind focused more on Christ. I pray that this has also been true for the other “disciples” that gathered to hear Jesus talk through His Word!