Face to Face - Part 1 [Devo]

Read, Reflect and Respond to John

Face to Face, Part 1
2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” Today, Christians believe and trust in God, who we cannot see. But for one blessed generation 2000 years ago, they had the privilege of being face to face with Jesus, who said in John 14:9, “the one who has seen me has seen the Father.” Those men and women, boys and girls, who came face to face with Jesus, encountered the living God in the flesh, and it changed their lives.

On Sunday, Pastor Tim kicked off our summer series, which journeys through the Gospel of John, called “Face to Face.” Each week, we will look at a different face to face encounter that Jesus had with someone and the impact it had on their life. First up was John the Baptist, a relative of Jesus who was used by God to prepare the hearts of the people to receive Jesus as the Lamb of God and Lord of all.

Even though we are not able to meet with Jesus face to face physically like those in the first century, we are able to meet with Jesus through his Word, the Bible. So this summer, in conjunction with hearing the weekly messages, Pastor Tim encouraged us to personally read through the Gospel of John, paying special attention to the many face to face encounters that Jesus had with people.

For me personally, I plan to take up this challenge and read through John. I invite you to join me and perhaps these three tips will help you make the most of your Bible reading each day.

The first step, of course, is to read the passage. Whether you are reading from a physical Bible or from a free app like YouVersion, God’s Word is God’s Word, no matter the format. I encourage you to read at least one full chapter at a time to gain more of the context, and if you have time, re-read the chapter once more to catch anything you may have missed. At The Ridge, we most often use the HCSB translation, but there are many other solid translations available, as well.

Second, take a few minutes to reflect on what you read. In our modern world, we consume information and media at warp speed. While we still gain something from a quick reading of Scripture, we will gain so much more by slowing down to reflect and meditate on God’s Word. Personally, I find the “5 W’s” from grade school helpful for reflecting. Who are the people mentioned? What is going on before, during, and after? Where did this take place? Why is this word, phrase, or detail included or repeated? When did this happen?

In addition to these kinds of questions, a study Bible with commentary notes can also help you reflect and gain a deeper understanding of what you read.

Finally, after reading and reflecting on a chapter, consider how you might respond to God’s Word and apply it to your life. Ask yourself these questions, and ones like it, then respond accordingly. In this passage, is there a truth about God, people, or life? Believe it. Is there a command to obey? Do it. Is there a sin to turn from? Confess it.

So this summer, as we hear the weekly messages and also read, reflect, and respond to the Gospel of John, may each of us grow with God and others as we come face to face with Jesus through His Word.
Josh Rhodes, Pastor of Ministries
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