What is the purpose of studying the bible? Do we portray the truth of the Gospel as god intends it? How can we tell others of Christ’s love?
39 Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42 Many believed in Him there.
As this particular story closes out, we read over a few verses that seem inconsequential. Jesus got away from the Jews He angered and encountered some people that actually believed in Him for a change. What can we learn from this? I feel as though I have talked a lot about how much it isn’t up to us to convince someone to believe in Christ, but haven’t really touched on what it is we are to do. I’ve mentioned that we are to point the way to the cross, to show others where to go when they ask us, but what does that really mean? We learn it in this passage.
Know the Truth
John the Baptist knew with all his heart about the coming of Jesus. It doesn’t seem to say a whole lot about how he knew about Jesus (well, they were cousins, afterall), but the point is he did his homework. He was able to proclaim to many of the coming of the Messiah and to prepare a way for Him. This is only possible by knowing what you are talking about, right? As Christians, it is our duty to know the Gospel. This is why it is so important for daily bible reading and study. It is the exact purpose of this devotional I write today. This is why we have Sunday School sermons, bible study meetings, and everything else. We need to know what we are talking about.
Tell the Truth
Once we begin to learn through our constant study, we need to start sharing. Please don’t take this to mean that you have to have everything perfected and have memorized a sales pitch. No, what I am referring to is our daily communication with others. As we live out the Truth of the Gospel, others will take note. As we talk amongst our friends, family, and coworkers, the Gospel will be evident to everyone around us. We must take heart that this does not to mean to fervently argue our point to convince everyone we are right. In fact, I appreciate even more when I am asked questions I cannot answer, because that gives me purposeful topics to research in the bible. In my own journey, this has been a refining process for me, one I am grateful for, since it has given be reason to pause and think before I speak.
What I’m talking about here is not speaking with convincing words, but rather engaging in meaningful discussion that will increase our own faith and benefit the faith of others. The Apostle Paul details this in 1 Corinthians 2. Too often we get caught up in right vs. wrong and miss the point entirely. Jesus didn’t call us to argue His gospel, but rather to share it. This means in our actions and our words. If we are arguing with someone to prove they are wrong, we are actually going against His Will, which isn’t the gospel, it’s selfishness and pride. Quit Arguing!
See the Truth
We have heard it said, “the truth will set you free.” I actually comes from the bible, John 8:32. By knowing and speaking the Truth we will begin to see His Truth at work in our lives and the lives of others. For one, we will know what to look for but we will also experience this freedom that John mentioned a couple chapters ago. In grasping The Truth of Christ, our freedom in Him becomes more and more evident. Our faith grows and we become more and more sure of His love, mercy, and grace. This, my friends, is how we grow in Christ.
What aspect of this equation are you missing out on? Maybe you haven’t set aside daily time to study God’s Word in order to know it. Maybe you hesitate in discussing with others what you know for fear of being wrong. Maybe you haven’t taken the time to stop and look around at God’s Power at work around you. We have an opportunity, friends, to bask in His truth and freedom on a daily basis. Let’s focus on what is truly important.