Week 2: The Essential Jesus Challenge has taken off!

Week 2

The Bible calls Jesus the ‘Saviour’ of the world.  But that raises an obvious question:  Why do we need to be saved?  What problem could be so great that God Himself had to come to earth to solve it?

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The need for a Saviour is the theme of the five Bible readings this week.

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The readings are:

Genesis 3:1-24
Exodus 32:1 – 33:6
Psalm 14:1-7
Isaiah 59:1-21
Amos 5:1-27

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Share what strikes you this week through this blog.  Just click on the Comments link to ‘reply’ to any post.

Week 1: What are God’s plans for you for 2015?

Are you ready to jump into the Bible but you don’t know where to begin?  We’ve got the perfect start for you!  Join us for 100 days as this New Year we accept the Essential Jesus Challenge. This Bible plan will take you through twenty five Old Testament and seventy five New Testament passages about Jesus.  You can pick up your fold-out planner from Colin.

This week Lynn introduces us to the series with a week entitled Who is Jesus?

The five readings for the week beginning Sunday 4 January 2015 are:

Truth Beyond Facts: John 1:1-18

Living Like Jesus: Philippians 2:1-11

It’s All about Jesus: Colossians 1:15-23

What is God Like?: Hebrews 1:1-4

The Big Church: 1 Peter 1:4-10

Leave your thoughts on one or more of the passages by clicking the Comment link on this post!

Staying healthy

Over the Christmas period, we’ve been unwell as a family, one or two at a time bedridden, colds, coughs, temperatures, weak, even hallucinations.  When we’d gone through the whole family, it felt like the cycle started again!  Talking to you, many of you have suffered the same or similar.

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Jesus came as ‘Saviour’ and talked about ‘salvation’ as including healthy minds, bodies and healing from sicknesses.

How have you tackled it when you, or one of your family, have appeared to be going down with illness?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all!

It strikes me that what we do in Explore is worth sharing with a larger group of people.  The word’s going to spread!  Who do you know that you could bring along with you on a Sunday?  They could be any age.  If they might be nervous coming on a Sunday, would they enjoy interacting with some of the discussions here on this blog?

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We have an Explore ‘business card’.  Who could you give one to with a warm invitation?  Where could you leave one or pin one to a board?  Sometimes when someone sees something several times it encourages them to act!

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This coming Sunday we are beginning our new series Exploring Jesus, it’s an ideal time for some new friends to join in! 

Marginal incremental gains

I read about a Church that worked on improving some small things by just 1%, a little bit.  The idea is that lots of ‘little bits’ add up to make a big difference.  They challenged themselves to do 1% more praying on a Saturday night to commit Sunday to God, 1% of 24 hours was just under 15 minutes, so they tried to pray for 15 minutes.  They tried to make 1% more smiles – it’s amazing what a smiling face does to someone’s sense of being welcomed!  They encouraged one another to eat 1% more food, provided it was with someone else during the week somewhere.  Meals eaten with others make a difference.

What little difference could we each make as a Church family that would individually feel like a small sacrifice, but together would make a big difference?

Critical non-essentials

One writer talks about the importance of critical non-essentials.  For example, if the Church building is too cold, the sound system is poor, the pews are uncomfortable, there’s no welcome for visitors or no refreshments, it is hard to concentrate and engage.  These things aren’t essential to what we do but they can be a source of putting people off.

What do you think might be barriers in the way for people who come to our meetings?

The Essential Jesus Challenge

 

Essential Jesus

From January we are starting a new series called Essential Jesus. 

This is a follow on course from E100 which we followed January to May 2011, so four years ago.  This time we’re challenging each other to read one hundred essential Bible readings about who Jesus is, from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  We will do it over twenty weeks and introduce the topic of the next five Bible readings on each Sunday.  There is a book by the guy who wrote the E100 book, which was excellent.  Our aim will be to know Jesus better, to be better equipped to live like him and make him better known in our own life places to the people we mix with.

Essential Jesus
The 20 sections (5 readings per section) are:

1. Who is Jesus?

Old Testament
2. The Need for a Saviour
3. Previews of a Saviour
4. Psalms About a Saviour
5. Prophecies About a Saviour
6. More prophecies About a Saviour

New Testament
7. The Birth of Jesus
8. The Beginning Ministry of Jesus
9. The Sermons of Jesus
10. The Parables of Jesus
11. More Parables of Jesus
12. The Miracles of Jesus
13. More Miracles of Jesus
14. The Prayers of Jesus
15. The Hard Sayings of Jesus
16. The Crucifixion of Jesus
17. The Resurrection of Jesus
18. The Early Church of Jesus
19. The Second Coming of Jesus
20. Who is Jesus…To You?

There is an accompanying book, Essential Jesus by Whitney T Kuniholm, published by Scripture Union.  This is not necessary to enjoy and benefit from the course, but is nonetheless recommended.

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