40 DAYS READING THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Welcome to our Lenten Devotional Series of reading through the gospel of John. The gospel of John is different from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke in that John shares stories about Jesus that are unique to the gospel of John. Only John tells us about the wedding miracle, a woman at a well and the brother of two sisters raised from the dead.
The gospel of John is written to help us see the humanity of Jesus and how Jesus is touched by the things that impact us. However, John also reminds us that Jesus is divine as well and in his divinity, will use his power to aid us.
Each day we will read an assigned passage from John and will have Sunday as a rest day or to catch up on missed readings. At the end of each week, I will post a reflection of the readings for the week with key takeaways.
In addition to reading the gospel of John, I am requesting that persons give one dollar each day during Lent. The dollar a day gift will be used at the end of Lent to support a mission project that will show our ongoing witness to the gospel. You may give your gift online, by cash app, by mail or drop off at the church. Please indicate your gift is for Lent.
Finally, for those who so desire, join us in a Daniel Fast during these 40 days. (Click Here for More Info)
I pray that our Lenten journey together through Bible reading, giving, prayer and fasting will further unite us as a congregation toward a common cause and a common goal--to be drawn near to Christ.
Let’s begin the journey with a prayer of commitment:
Lord, my desire is to be drawn closer to thee. I know my tendencies to do the things that please me and require less of me in terms of sacrifice, surrender, suffering and service. So, grant me the strength I need to honor my commitment to you. May I learn what you have waiting for those who will offer themselves to you and trust you to lead in paths of higher potential. Make me ready for the journey because of the promise of your presence. Amen
DR. RICKY A. WOODS
FBC-W SENIOR MINISTER
John in 40 Days (Ash Wednesday- Easter)
Tips for Bible Reading Success
- Set a time and place where you will do your reading
- Place your Bible someplace visible as a reminder.
- Print out the Bible chart and track your progress by marking off readings as you complete them.
- Make no exceptions! Vow to do it no matter what!
- If you blow the last tip, then just start over where you left off. Pick up on a light day or on Sunday.
- Think of this as a gift to God. Have fun giving it and share your story with others. Your accomplishment may inspire them.
This week’s reading showed us a variety of aspects to Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is a healer, teacher, miracle worker and a simple guest in the home of friends.
In the healing of the man born blind, the Gospel of John helps us to see that the spiritual blindness of the disciples was a larger issue than the man’s physical blindness. We always do ourselves and others a disservice when we seek to blame victims for their difficulties--an experience that people of color know all too well.
Then there is the lesson about Jesus being the Good Shepherd. Shepherds were not always held in high regard in Middle Eastern culture and one of the reasons was because of how they would place profit over the welfare of the sheep. The shepherds did not always own the sheep they tended and got to the market for trade.
Jesus declared that he was not a shepherd driven by profits as the hireling. Jesus is the shepherd who places the welfare of the flock over every other consideration even if it means to sacrifice his life. The good shepherd is committed to the sheep and they know his voice.
The rising of Lazarus from the grave proves Jesus’ power over death. Not even the grave is a barrier to power of Christ. The miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection cannot be disputed because Lazarus had been in the grave for four days. Within four days of death the body would normally begin to decompose but Lazarus comes out of the grave at the call of Jesus without any sign of physical infirmities.
Finally, Jesus goes to the home of friends where he is an invited guest to rest and fellowship. In the midst of his time there, spontaneous worship erupts through the actions of Mary as she pours a precious ointment over the feet of Jesus and wipes them with her hair. Mary’s act of worship had a lingering effect for the aroma of the ointment remained with Jesus all the way to the cross.
Jesus is a healer, teacher, miracle worker and guest today as much as he was when John wrote these words. This is the Jesus we have with us on our Lenten journey.