Day 1: Understanding God’s Word
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45 NLT).
Sometimes in our lives as Christians, we feel overwhelmed or confused. How often do we say things such as “If I could just understand what I’m going through” or “I don’t know what God is trying to teach me right now, but I know He’s trying to teach me something”?
When the disciples couldn’t grasp Jesus’ resurrection, He “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). Not only has God given us His Word, but He also wants to give us an understanding of it. The Word of God is the only way we can make sense of what’s happening in our lives. The more we read it, the more we will understand what’s going on in our circumstances.
- In Luke 24:44–47, what does Jesus want His followers to understand? How does He help them?
- How can you become a more regular student of the Scriptures?
Day 2: What difference does the Resurrection make?
Some people think Jesus is the Messiah, but because of the Resurrection, we know He is the Messiah. This knowing makes a difference in our behavior. The apostle Peter thought Jesus was the Messiah, so he left everything to follow Him (Matthew 4:18). However, it took three years and three significant events in Peter’s life before he knew Jesus was the Messiah.
Before His arrest, Jesus warned the disciples, “All of you will desert me” (Matthew 26:31 NLT). He even detailed how Peter would deny Him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me” (v. 34 NLT). However, Peter emphatically declared that even if he faced death, he would never deny Jesus.
Well, Peter not only denied Jesus, but he also cursed and swore to prove he wasn’t one of Jesus’ disciples. Can you imagine how Peter felt when he heard the rooster crow and realized Jesus’ words had come true? Even worse, Jesus turned and looked at Peter the moment it happened (Luke 22:60–61). You may think, Well, I’ve never denied Jesus with my words, but have you ever denied Him by the way you live (Titus 1:16)? We’ve all done it.
Peter knew the cross meant death, but until the Resurrection, he didn’t know it also meant life after death. He started following Jesus three years earlier, but there by the Sea of Galilee, Peter made a commitment to follow Jesus again. Peter was a man who went from denying Jesus to preaching about Him in a matter of weeks. What could make such a drastic difference? Only one thing: the Resurrection.
- In what ways should the reality of Jesus’ resurrection shape your life?
- Where and how can you acknowledge Christ more consistently?
Day 3. Preparing to be sent.
“Again he said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you’” (John 20:21).
What has God called you to do? Whatever it is, He wants to put His anointing and authority on you before He sends you. Even Jesus had to go through a process between the call and the send He didn’t begin His ministry until He was 30 years old. Many great people of the Bible, such as Abraham, Moses, Joseph, and David, also waited years and years between being called and being sent.
So what do you do while you are waiting? You work on developing a commitment to:
—Relationships: Find people who will help you go further in your walk with Christ.
—Friendships: Friendships are deeper than relationships; friendships are for life.
—Stewardship: Be a good steward with your finances, time, energy, and resources.
—Fellowship: Commit yourself to the local church by serving and tithing.
—Spiritual leadership: Submit to the leadership of the elders and spiritual authority of the church.
- How can you continue the mission of Jesus in your daily life?
- Whom do you need to tell about the empty tomb of Christ?
Fresh Start Bible includes the New Living Translation.
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