By Tommy Retton, Trinity Christian School
It is a wonderful gift to open our Bibles on a daily basis. Some rise early while the sun remains asleep, making their way towards dimly lit porches with a leather Bible in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
Others are self-proclaimed night owls, preferring the backdrop of the moon to study a chapter of Romans or devour large quantities of scripture as the quiet of night sets in.
Still others read throughout the day, meditating on a verse or piece of scripture read off of their phones, seeing the goodness of God as they work, drive and spend time with their families.
Regardless of how you read your Bible, let us never forget what a gift it is to read the very words of God. Just as special is having the opportunity to daily read about the life of Jesus - the prophesied Savior, the One who came as fully human and sympathizes with us in every way, God in flesh.
I am astounded when I read about the life of Jesus. Through the viewpoints of four uniquely different Gospel writers, we get a front-row view to the daily life of this man who “taught as one with authority”. The words of Jesus are life-changing on the surface, while simultaneously piercing the soul on a much deeper level. Every word of Jesus is part of a series of the most important words ever spoken; each word shows us how the world truly operates, how our lives are best lived, and how he is the only One who grants eternal life. The words of Jesus should be accepted with reverence and seriousness, applied to live a life with any type of genuine meaning.
What is often just as astounding is the way he lived His life. It is an incredible joy reading about the continual ways Jesus defied nature and proved His Godship, performing miracles and actions that revealed the glory of God. He rose the dead, healed those marked as unclean by simply walking through town, and fed thousands with croutons and a can of sardines.
But if we are willing to read between the lines, we see a third viewpoint of Jesus’ life that can be beneficial to us in numerous ways.
Jesus - I am sure purposefully - lived a daily life that can be modeled by every believer. It is a completely counter-cultural lifestyle to the climate we currently find ourselves in, one that features an eternal mindset instead of a temporary one. By simply reading the Gospel accounts, think of all of the simple things Jesus does that can be mimicked by us today: He walked with an intentionally slow pace; He rose early and prayed often; He humbled Himself and served, in simple ways like listening and washing his friends’ feet; He took time to get away and be alone; He treated all people groups with the same amount of respect and love (understanding the eternal significance of each person, including the Pharisees, who he often publicly rebuked); He made time for people, through constant travel and growing fatigue; He combatted the devil’s words with the truths of scripture, realizing satan is not a goofy red devil wielding a pitchfork but a strong, manipulative adversary.
As we read through the Gospels, every account of Jesus is overwhelmed with seemingly small daily actions that can be modeled and help us grow in our walk with God. If we were to list everything that can be garnered from Jesus’ lifestyle by just reading the four Gospels, this would no longer be a blog but a quite lengthy book.
It is truly a wonderful gift to read the Bible. Let us continue to read the active Word of God on a daily basis, in both exciting seasons and in drier times where we are crawling through the desert. Let us find a personal system where we best interact with Scripture, whether it be meditating on scripture throughout the day or reading whole books at a time. Let us read the Gospels with anticipation, reveling in the fact that God came in human form to speak, act, and live in a way that can be modeled. Let us never stop reading to simply grow nearer to our God, as the old hymn reminds us, “for He is so precious to me.”
By Thea Colebank
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Matthew 28:19-20
The Great Commission given at the end of Matthew is the final instruction Christ gives to His
disciples. In these final words, Christ emphasized to His followers their responsibility to take the
Gospel throughout the world and empower believers in their Christian identity. In the same way
that Christ commissioned the disciples to teach and spread the Good News, the mission for the
Body of Christ today continues to be one focused on empowering a generation with the
knowledge of who they are and who their God is!
Last summer, God began to move on our hearts here at MGO to apply the objectives embedded
in the Great Commission in a new way. After much prayer and preparation throughout the spring
and summer of 2020, MGO launched a two-day-a-week educational program known as
R.E.A.C.H. In the launching and operation of R.E.A.C.H, More Grace Outreach has expanded
our application of the Great Commission to reach the youth in our community through education
and spiritual discipleship.
Although both teaching and discipleship have their challenges, God has continued to prove
Himself faithful in the lives of our students. In the month of May, we hosted graduation for six of
our seventeen students. To commemorate this monumental achievement in their lives, MGO
hosted a graduation event where we recognized their educational accomplishments throughout
the year. This event highlighted the achievements of students through presentations, an address
from their class speaker, and concluded with a banquet for the students and their families.
While the graduation of our students marks an educational milestone, it also serves as the
launching point for them to pursue the will of God for their lives. More Grace Outreach is
honored to have contributed to the educational and spiritual development of six amazing
graduates. As we close out the 2020/21 school year and prepare for the fall, we stand firm in our
commitment to propel the Great Commission forward in the lives of the youth in our community.
God is not done with this generation!
By Stephen Luffy
"Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord." - Psalm 4:5 ESV
The grace of God is dynamic, and often takes shape in several different ways. In the obvious sense, his grace covers our sin and permits us relationship with him, but it can also manifest in his patience with our everyday dealings that may not be so sinful. Among his many graces offered to us is an absolute clarity on his will for our lives, should we only seek to understand it. I have heard from many with more experience and found in my own life that God is very clear about what he wants from us, where he would like us to go, what he would like us to do, and so on.
However, with the understanding of his will, we often find ourselves facing a newfound internal conflict. Are we willing to do what the Lord asks?
The very word "sacrifice" brings with it a sense of loss, and never in scripture will we see the Lord guide a Christian without some level of sacrifice required. Sacrifice can be incredibly difficult, but it is not enough to simply offer just any sacrifice; we must offer the right sacrifice. This is where things get tough.
We see this challenge demonstrated in the life of Cain (Genesis 4), the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10), and many more. When we diligently seek the Lord, we will inevitably reach a time where he requires something of us that hurts. It was not enough for Abraham to offer another animal sacrifice. God asked for his only son, the promise of Abraham's life and future. We can offer God anything, but what action will we take when he asks of us something truly difficult?
When looking at the sacrifice, we must remember that God is good all the time. Often we will find that the the pain of sacrifice does not last long in the light of the grace God gives us as a result. He always has our best interest at heart.