Gospels in 40 Days – April 8-9
Welcome to our study of the gospels during the Lenten season. Lent is the Christian tradition of preparing for the resurrection of Jesus by taking intentional steps to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter. The tradition mirrors Jesus going into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan but was able to resist, strengthen, and grow his ministry for the days ahead (Matthew 4). Typical Lenten observances include fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.
To join the study, pick a reading plan to follow, journal on the day’s reading using the SOAP method of Bible study (see “What’s SOAP?” on our website for details), and check in for daily posts from our study leaders. We hope you will join us this season, intentionally stepping toward God!
John was one of Jesus’ closest apostles. He often referred to himself in his gospel as the disciple Jesus loved. He was also pretty young when he walked with Jesus and watched him die on the cross, and he later played a large role in the expansion of Christianity, penning 1, 2, and 3 John and Revelation as well as his gospel and pastoring a church in Ephesus. His gospel is the most relational of the four gospels as it best describes who Jesus is and helps us to know him better.
Clicking on the following links will take you to the Bible Gateway website where you can read the NIV version of today’s reading:
ALL OF IT: John 11-12
MOST OF IT: John 13:21-38
HIGHLIGHT REEL: John 13:21-30
Have you hardened your heart to the purpose God has for your life?
Never Say Never | Jess Howell
John 12:40 – “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts— so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.”
Jesus has by now performed most all of the miracles he would do in public. And yet there were still people that didn’t believe after witnessing them firsthand. John uses this scripture from Isaiah when the people had gotten so used to their sin that they were calloused beyond repentance. Their hearts had hardened. And here too, the hearts of people witnessing the Messiah in action were hardened to Jesus’ preaching. They had locked out any chance of believing who he was or what he came to achieve.
It’s like watching a movie when you know the ending, but you still yell at the screen to warn the characters of what’s coming. These nonbelievers were totally missing the boat. Did they ever realize what they missed out on? Did they wonder if they made a mistake after Jesus was resurrected? I guess that’s a question at Heaven’s gate. Anyways, a big part of my life story comes from what was a calloused heart toward the stay-at-home mom. I told myself I would NEVER be (nor could be) one of “those” people. It didn’t fit “my” idea of a good or successful life. In fact, for a short time in my life, I didn’t even WANT kids! And yet, God can and DID change my heart. There are times when I feel guilty that I was so condemning, but I know now that it happened that way for a reason and to build my obedience. Plus… complete 180s make for a better story! Today I can’t even begin to fathom my life anywhere but where I am right now, as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom.
Father, there are many days when I reflect on how You changed my heart to be at home with my kids. NO ONE else could have done that but YOU! But I also feel that there are hidden places of my heart that have been hardened and need revealed and replaced. I know You can reach them, Father. Help me discover and obey whatever level You would bring me to next. AMEN.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.