Gospel Readers

June 26, 2016
by John Stuart

2 Corinthians 9:13 – Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. (NIV 2011)

Sharing the gospel these days is very different from how it was done during the apostle Paul's time. Some people try to encapsulate the whole gospel into a couple of phrases like "love one another" or "do not judge", making it easy to remember and simple to apply. However, Christ's gospel comes to us mainly in four New Testament books, comprising eighty-nine separate chapters. Condensing the good news into a couple of words can unintentionally diminish Christ's life, ministry, and teaching. It may be convenient for us to carry a couple of verses in our hearts and minds, but we could end up with a very superficial understanding of what the gospel can actually teach us.

In the first couple of centuries of our faith, people laid their lives on the line for the sake of the gospel. They wouldn't have done that for just a couple of moralistic mottoes. Christ's life, death, and resurrection meant everything to them, even if it cost them their livelihood or existence. Those first Christians understood that the gospel was greater than anything that they had encountered or experienced; to them, it was infinitely more important than life or death itself.

Currently, our church's confirmation students are reading and studying the Gospel of Mark. By the time their classes are concluded, they will have read all of it, as well as completing homework assignments about each chapter. The young people also have their own questions, ideas, and opinions about Christ's life, ministry, and death. They are learning that the gospel has much more depth to it, as well as how it can radically influence their daily decisions and challenge their personal lives.

Perhaps, if more church members were to consistently read and re-read the Gospels, they would also embrace and understand the real message of the New Testament narratives. Having only a couple of biblical verses in our hearts and minds is not enough to sustain our spirits or grow our faith. If we truly want to become committed Christians, then surely we need to know what the entire gospel is about, so that we can positively apply and generously share Christ's teachings.

Questions for personal reflection: What was the last Gospel that I fully read? How can I organize reading the Gospels on a regular basis?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, all that we know about You comes mainly from the Gospels. Without them, we would not know what You said or did. Help us to read and re-read the Gospels on a regular basis, so that we can learn to understand and know what You want us to do with the remainder of our lives. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


Send your feedback to the author

Forward This Devotional to your friends without subscribing them.

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Enjoy the Gospel.


    You are on target with this one John.


    Amen, John, our Lord is a whole lot more than a couple of catchy slogans. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Thank you, John. I agree with you. We should not dumb-down the salvific message.
    Encouraged by your insights.
    God bless you.


    Hi John
    Someone asked me today after church to start an evening bible study.
    What could be simpler, or more profound, than a gospel reading?
    Normally, I would have chosen John …but maybe Mark is a better choice.


    HI John:
    This sounds like great reading material for those going on vacations this summer and…..for those who stay home too.
    Thanks for reminding all of us how important are the words of Jesus.


    Thank you for taking the time to remind us or people like me the true meaning of re-reading the scriptures over and over again… there’s always some thing new, some thing fresh, something that gives me a better understanding, in my humble opinion.


    Dear brother John.
    I’ve come to where I can usually tell it is you by the second paragraph of the devotionals. Thanks so much for another excellent one (“Gospel Readers”)
    I just filed this one for my “sermon ideas” on the “reductionism” to which we have come, not just as a sociely, but even the church, sadly.
    Again, thanks, and blessings in your ministry.
    (MI)


    Thank you, John Stuart, for the devotional.
    Currently, our church’s confirmation students are reading and studying the Gospel of Mark. By the time their classes are concluded, they will have read all of it, as well as completing homework assignments about each chapter. The young people also have their own questions, ideas, and opinions about Christ’s life, ministry, and death. They are learning that the gospel has much more depth to it, as well as how it can radically influence their daily decisions and challenge their personal lives.
    Keep writing.


    Thanks for this reminder! In the church I go to, the young ones are well established, but it is the older ones who have treasured family Bibles gathering dust and only a vague idea of Jesus’ life and work. The denomination we are part of has been more slanted towards social justice – but this is changing. We have special plans for Reformation Sunday Oct 16th, with activities including family Bibles, available Bible studies, and favourite verses/characters.
    It’s exciting to know that this amazing book is still absorbing interest and bringing the life of Jesus into the 21st century all around the world! We hope that this day will generate further interest in personal study and lead to more small groups who study/learn and grow together – it’s never too late! With gratitude for your encouragement,
    (BC Canada)
    PS What about “Brexit”? My Scots family will be isolated from Europe by those in the South!


    Thanks so much John. Precious words. Blessings.


    Very good devotional reminder to read the Gospels. Each tells the story of Jesus in its own unique way… similar, but with slight differences‎. One of my profs based a Religious Studies course on the four gospels. It was such an interesting course as each Gospel was to be read in one sitting (first assignment) and they were studied in parallel…which gave one a clearer view of their similarities and differences. It’s wonderful that at your church, students are studying the Gospels! Thank you for the reminder to all church members to take the time to read the Gospels, to know Jesus – his life, his teachings, his death, his resurrection.
    Do continue to write!


    Hi John,
    You are right we need to read. learn and believe the whole gospel.
    Thank you for telling us.


    Good points in you devotional John.
    I find that unsaved people will always emphasize the love part but refuse any judgement in theirs or others lives. They fail to realize that that are already under judgement.
    Yes we need to know the whole scripture!
    God bless.

Previous Post
«
Next Post
»

Switch to our mobile site