Jesus the Better Way

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January 13, 2019

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    DAY 1: THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE

    John 14:1-14

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” That is an amazing verse. It is set in a larger conversation. Jesus tells his disciples that he will soon no longer be with them in person. He is going back to the Father in heaven. The disciples wonder, what will they do? How will they get by without Jesus? Will they see Jesus again? Will they get to the place where Jesus is going? Will they also get to see the Heavenly Father?

    Jesus gives them a great deal of comfort. He upgrades their understanding on these things. And Jesus promises a very dynamic future for them.

    At the center of all this is John 14:6 and the theme of Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

    A WAY is a path, a road, a journey, a process, a pattern, a model, a mindset of how you get from one place to another. Jesus does not simply point to a way, Jesus IS the WAY.

    TRUTH is a collection of beliefs, values, knowledge, insight, convictions, understandings, and wisdom. It is a package. It is a comprehensive way of seeing the world and everything in it. Jesus claims to be everything that is included in TRUTH.

    LIFE … more and better, real and eternal, abundant, beautiful, overflowing, and satisfying. Life … thriving and flourishing. In Jesus was LIFE. Take a few minutes and skim read John 1:4; 10:9-10; 11:25-26; and 15:1-8.

    Here are three reflection-application-prayer questions:

    ONE: What ways of the world have you been following that have brought hurt and pain into your life? Are you ready to leave those ways and walk in a better way?

    TWO: What untruths of the world have you been listening to, believing, and trusting? How has that worked for you? How ready are you to know the Real Truth, Beautiful Truth, Transforming Truth that is in Jesus?

    THREE: Are you flourishing in family, marriage, friendship, work, career, health, and finances? Are you becoming more emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded? How ready are you for Real Life … Real Flourishing?

    DAY 2: WHY THE WAY OF JESUS EXPLODED, THEN AND NOW

    John 8:12, 3:16-21; 6:35

    Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” and “I am the bread of life.” These images fit nicely together with John 14:6.

    The way of Jesus is light, life, love. The way of Jesus is joy, peace, hope. The way of Jesus is good, true, beautiful. The way of Jesus is enjoying the generous presence of God who is with you. It is a radical message. It changed the world then. It is changing the world now. It can change your world.

    It’s time for some self-awareness. It’s time for a little personal reflection to use as a stepping stone for some discernment and a conversation with God. Here are the questions. Don’t rush past them. Get a pen and paper (or use your phone or computer) and jot down some first impressions for each one. This will really help you get perspective.

    What do you most desire? How far away are you from getting what you are looking for?

    What do you really need? This may be quite different from what you desire and want. What are your real needs, deep needs, true needs? What will need to happen for those needs to be met?

    How are you doing right now? How are you feeling? How much life are you experiencing? How good is life? How good are you?

    What kind of impact are you having? Are you truly helping others? Are others blessed because of your presence? Are you leaving your corner of the world a little better than it was?

    Why are you here? What’s your mission? What’s your reason for being? What worthwhile purpose is set before you?

    Many things have been stealing life from you. Thieves are everywhere (see John 10:10). The way of Jesus is the way of life. You need a new way. You need a better way. You need to walk farther along on the good way of Jesus.

    Jesus says over and over, “Come, follow me.” He is saying that to you every single morning. What do you say to Jesus right now? Will you follow? Will you commit? Will you pursue first and always, the way of Jesus?

    DAY 3: THE WAY IS A JOURNEY THAT TRANSFORMS (OVER TIME)

    Matthew 5

    The Way changes you. Not immediately. Not all at once. But the longer you walk on the Way, the more you change. The longer the process, the more the progress. The more you are with Jesus, the more his generous presence transforms you.

    To heal what hurts. To repair what is broken. To restore what has been lost. To supply what is lacking. To empower what is weak. To disrupt what is complacent. To ignite what is dormant.

    But, again, it is a process. It is a journey. Good things will happen, increasingly, but you must keep walking in the Way of Jesus.

    The more broken you are from walking other Ways, the longer the restoration, recovery, renewal process. But be assured, it will happen.

    Your relationship with God will grow deep and strong. Your beliefs will morph and mature. You will find emotional health. You will become virtuous (what a GREAT word). You will find your place and your people. And you will make a difference.

    Matthew 5 is the first chapter in the Sermon on the Mount, some of the most famous teaching of Jesus. What do you learn about the Way of Jesus? Warning: This is radical stuff. What is speaking to you?

    Pray for the needed grace to be patient, to persevere on the long journey, to trust God, to live by faith, and to live in hope.

    DAY 4: FARTHER ALONG ON THE WAY (NOT EASY, BUT GOOD)

    Matthew 6

    This is the second chapter in the Sermon on the Mount. More powerful, disruptive, life-altering Truth of Jesus. More clarity about the Way of Jesus. More guidance on how you will find Life. It includes the Lord’s prayer, treasures in heaven, and good words about worry.

    I know this is challenging stuff! Jesus never said his Way would be easy. He said it would be good. He said it would get you to where you truly want to be, where you need to be, and above all, where you are meant to be. You are meant to be so much more. You are meant to have so much more. You are meant to do so much more.

    On the Way of Jesus, there is always more. On the Way of Jesus, the best is always yet to come. The good news is that Jesus will bring to completion what he has started. Trust him. Follow him. See just how far he will take you on his Way.

    What has been speaking to you in Matthew 6 and in the brief thoughts I provided? What are the next steps Jesus has for you TODAY? Spend some time in prayer, asking for grace, strength, wisdom, and joy.

    DAY 5: THE ROAD WAY LESS TRAVELED

    Matthew 7

    This is the final chapter in the Sermon on the Mount. Again, none of what Jesus says is easy, but it is good. The Way of Jesus is a long obedience in the same direction. Jesus calls it the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). Unfortunately, many people don’t find it. Or if they do, they decide not to walk it. But you have found it and you are walking it. You are walking the less-traveled road. And it will make all the difference.

    You are on the way. You are a follower of the Way. That is what the first Christians were known as: The Way (see Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14,22).

    Remember, it is a Way. It is not a moment. It is not an event. It is not once and done. It is a Way.

    Like yesterday, what has been speaking to you in Matthew 7? What are the next steps Jesus has for you TODAY? May you encounter the Real Jesus. May Jesus be very real for you this day.

    Who do the people say I am?

    Who do you say I am?

    WHO DOES JESUS SAY HE IS?

    I AM …

    The Bread of Life (John 6:35) The Light of the World (John 8:12) The Gate (John 10:9) The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) The Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25) The True Vine (John 15:1) The Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)

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