For those who have been visiting this blog regularly already know I have been working my way through the devotional book titled "The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story". This book was written by Whitney T. Kuniholm who is the president of Scripture Union USA. He is also the author of "The Essential Bible Guide". As the title suggests this book is a collection of 100 readings from Old & New Testament scripture, selected to answer a simple question. Who is Jesus?
I highly recommend this book for giving some structure to your devotional time. It is a well organized with short very clear 2 to 3 paragraph reflections on each passage. The 100 passage readings are organized into 4 parts:
Part 1: Who is Jesus?
Part 2: Old Testament
Part 3: New Testament
Part 4: Who is Jesus ... to You?
The readings are also grouped into sets of five. An introduction to each set points out a few themes that will be developed in the individual scriptural passages and the sets end with a few questions about the 5 passages. Here are some of the titles to these sets:
The Need for a Savior
Previews of a Savior
Psalms About a Savior
Prophecies About a Savior
The Birth of Jesus
The Beginning Ministry of Jesus
The Sermons of Jesus
The Parables of Jesus
The Miracles of Jesus
The Prayers of Jesus
The Hard Sayings of Jesus
The Crucifixion of Jesus
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Early Church of Jesus
The Second Coming of Jesus
I will be writing out my thoughts for a post next week on the 30th devotion from the book titled "Mission Statement". The passage reading is Chapter 61 of Isaiah in the Old Testament. It is the last reading from Part 2 of the book and the last one from the Old Testament.
Essential to God's Master PlanAfter spending several months on these 30 passages it is striking to me, in a new way, that God gave his people such a glimpse of the future, the Messiah, Jesus, in scripture so long before he would actually live here on this earth. Hundreds of years before. The detail which is reveled in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah is simply stunning. Perhaps this has had less of an impact on me in the past since most of my life I have been familiar with the overall account of Jesus' life. In one sense knowing about Jesus from the New Testament gives you fresh eyes in reading the Old Testament, but it can also allow you to read too easily through the detail about the Messiah without connecting it to the time line of history and absorbing it as you would new information. So much detail was well known about the Messiah hundreds of years before Jesus lived on this earth.
In many ways the future can be fearful. The future is a big unknown in our life. We humans like to know things before they happen, even though, through life experience we realize we can not really know things before they actually happen. We can plan, but we have all had those well thought out plans that go amiss on just one simple small detail about the future that we did not know.
All through history God has given us detailed glimpses of his master plan. Depending on where we are at, our life experiences, our focus, we may not understand the things written about in scripture concerning the future, but God gives us glimpses. Our view of scripture is clouded by our human nature, our sin, and prevents us from reading it clearly and understanding it more clearly, but it is there in black and white, none the less. God has laid out his plans. To me this is the Grace of God. In his loving mercy God has given his people all through history the master plan. His master plan is perfect because God is not limited by time. God can see everything, the past, the present, and the future all at once. God is eternal. His planning is perfect. No detail is unknown to our creator. Everything has been taken into consideration by God. There is comfort in this fact. There is a peace in that for me today.
As I continue to work through these 100 passages in the coming year the one thing that I know, the one thing that is very clear to me, is that Jesus is the essential key to understanding God's master plan. I do not know how all the details come together, especially concerning the future, but I do know that at the center of everything that matters to my Creator, my God, is Jesus. My strong desire today is to know Him more.
I encourage you to join me on this journey in learning more about Jesus. A journey through 100 Bible passages focusing on him. To learn more about the 100 passages including a list of the journal entries or posts I have written so far on each of the passages visit my Essential Jesus page.
| More on the Essential Jesus journey. |
Photo Credit: Trippin' again! by pHil____, on Flickr.
Here are the posts corresponding to each of the 100 passage readings I have completed to date.