Rediscovering Jesus Amidst Christianity

Where is the Church of Christ?

DAILY DEVOTIONS

11/27/2023

Rediscovering Jesus Amidst Christianity

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

Here, the writer (the Apostle Paul) is saying that compared to the incredible value of knowing Jesus as a friend, leader and most importantly Savior, everything else seems unimportant. It's like saying meeting and being close to Jesus is worth more than anything else in the world. Paul is explaining that he willingly gave up many things, like personal ambitions or worldly possessions, for the sake of having a strong relationship with Jesus.

It’s a choice he made because he believes being close to Jesus is more valuable than anything else he could possess. The word “garbage” here is strong. Paul is emphasizing that compared to having a close connection with Jesus, all the other things he gave up are like rubbish or worthless trash. His goal is to “gain Christ,” meaning he wants to have a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus, which he sees as the ultimate treasure. In summary, Philippians 3:8 is about recognizing the incredible worth of knowing Jesus personally. It’s a reminder that in life, amidst various pursuits and possessions, the most valuable thing is a close and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. The language used, like calling everything else “garbage,” underscores the idea that nothing compares to the joy and fulfillment found in a deep connection with Jesus.

Have we forgotten about Jesus in the good news?

The good news, or the Gospel, is the heart of Christianity. But sometimes, with all the busy religious things going on, we might not pay enough attention to Jesus. To understand this better, look at 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Here, Paul, who wrote a lot of the Bible, talks about what’s really important in the Gospel – how Jesus died, was buried, and came back to life. Think about what you know about the Gospel. Are traditions and rituals making it hard to see how simple and important Jesus’ sacrifice is?

Have we lost Jesus in the Bible?

God talks to us through His Word, which is the Bible. In John 5:39, We can see that Jesus is saying “You read the Bible a lot because you think it gives you eternal life. But actually, it tells you about Me!” The Bible is a map that leads us to Jesus. Check how you read the Bible. Are you looking for Jesus in every part of it? Let the Bible help you see Jesus better.

Have we lost Jesus while trying to be good?

In Hebrews 12:14, it says, “Try your best to get along with everyone, and be good. If you aren’t trying to be good, you won’t see the Lord.” Being good isn’t just following rules; it’s being like Jesus. Ask yourself, is trying to be good making you feel closer to Jesus? Let being good show how much you love and follow Him.

The final and most crucial question is, have we forgotten about Jesus in our church?

In Revelation 2:4, Jesus talks to the church in Ephesus, saying, "You don't love me the way you did at the start." A church should be a place where Jesus' love is everywhere. Check how you are involved in your church. Is it making it easier for you to feel close to Jesus? Let the way you live in your church show how much you love Jesus. Jesus is giving a message to the church in Ephesus. He is expressing concern because they have lost the intensity of their love for Him compared to when they first started following Him. This suggests that the warmth and passion they initially had for Jesus had faded over time. The idea conveyed is that a church is meant to be a community filled with the love of Jesus. It's not just a place for religious activities but a space where people genuinely love and follow Jesus. The question posed encourages self-reflection on one's involvement within the church community. The emphasis is on assessing whether being a part of the church is helping individuals strengthen their connection with Jesus. It encourages believers to evaluate if their church experience is contributing to their spiritual growth and deepening their love for Jesus. It underscores the importance of letting one's actions and attitudes within the church reflect the love they have for Jesus. It implies that the way we live our church life should be a visible expression of our love and devotion to Him.

Let's look at the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. This story is like a beautiful picture that shows how happy it is to find Jesus again after going away from Him. It teaches us that even if we have gone really far from Jesus, He is super excited for us to come back. The story of the prodigal son is a parable that Jesus told in Luke 15:11-32. It's about a son who asked for his share of the inheritance, went away, and wasted it all. Later, realizing his mistakes, he decides to return home. When his father sees him from a distance, he runs to him with joy and throws a big celebration. This story beautifully illustrates the joy and warmth of rediscovering a relationship with Christ after having gone astray. The emphasis is on the idea that, no matter how far we may have wandered from Jesus or made mistakes, He is always ready and eager for us to come back to Him. It conveys the message of God's unconditional love, forgiveness, and the joy that comes with reconnecting with Him. The story encourages us to turn back to Jesus, confident that He eagerly awaits our return with open arms.

In John 1:1-14, the Bible tells us that Jesus is often described as the "Word made flesh." This means that Jesus is the living expression of God's message to us, and He came to be with us. The passage emphasizes the significance of understanding the Bible to truly grasp who Jesus is and why He came. The Bible is a guidebook that helps us know more about Jesus – His character, His purpose, and the important things He taught. So, to understand Jesus better, it is reading and learning from the Bible, which is a special book that tells us about Him. It is having a key to unlock the secrets of who Jesus is and why He came into the world.

The book of Revelation 3:20, Jesus knocking on the door of our hearts, which means He wants to be close to us in a personal way. It's saying that Jesus is waiting for an invitation into our lives, just like a friend waiting at the door. Reflecting on this verse involves considering whether we are aware of Jesus wanting to be a part of our lives. The imagery of a door emphasizes the choice we have in allowing Jesus into our hearts. So, the encouragement is to not just know about Jesus but to actively invite Him in and spend regular time connecting with Him, forming a personal relationship. The idea is to make Jesus a welcomed and integral part of our daily lives.

Sometimes, we get distracted in doing good things and forget about Jesus. Whether it's cooking, praying, or helping, we might lose focus. A real Christian community (Church of Christ) needs to be based on Jesus' work, filled with His Spirit, and exist for His glory. Our life in the Christian group is like living in Jesus' body. He's the head, and everything should be about Him (Colossians 1:18). We are not just another social club with a bit of Jesus. We belong to Him—His possession, His sheep, His bride. When the King is not the focus, our connection to Him weakens, like a lampstand without light.

In John 16:13, Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth. This means that the Holy Spirit is a helper who shows us the right way to understand things, especially about God and Jesus. The idea here is to rely on the Holy Spirit, thinking of it as a friendly guide who helps us draw near to Jesus by giving us insights, understanding, and wisdom. It is trusting a friend who knows the way well to lead us on a journey, in this case, a journey towards a deeper connection with Christ. So, the encouragement is to depend on the Holy Spirit to help us understand more about Jesus and grow in our relationship with Him. Proverbs 22:6 advises parents to teach kids about God from a young age. By instilling godly values early, children are more likely to follow the right path throughout their lives, countering worldly teachings. It's a reminder to prioritize God's ways in raising children.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, forgive us if we've lost sight of you in the midst of our Christian journey. May the Holy Spirit guide us back to the simplicity of the Gospel, help us find you in the Scriptures, empower us to pursue holiness, and strengthen our connection with you in the fellowship of believers. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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