Elevate 28 - A 28 Day Challenge to Intentionally Engage with God's Word
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"
By Missy Fuller from She Reads Truth
I’m notorious for going the wrong way on one-way streets—usually when I’m trying to find free parking. It’s as if finding a close, free place to park trumps all other rules of the road. I do whatever I can to find that perfect spot, fully ignoring the large “One Way” and “Wrong Way” street signs meant to caution me. It seems that when free parking is at stake, the rules fly out my car window. I intend to get there my way, regardless of the consequences.
I hate to admit it, but far too often I have the same attitude in my spiritual life, believing my way is best. But Scripture tells us Jesus is the only way to the Father. Chasing after our salvation in any way apart from Christ, is the wrong way.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
The Bible couldn’t say it any plainer, but I’m still prone to try and negotiate my own salvation. I put my hope in all kinds of things to save me, believing they’ll somehow grant me abundant life. And when the Lord graciously steps in to remind me that He is the only way to salvation, I can become fearful. How can it really be so simple? Surely there’s something more.
Yes, I believe Christ is the only way, but then I turn around and start doing all these things to help ‘seal the deal’ of eternity for me. I want to fully surrender to Jesus, because deep down I know that only He can save. But far too often I live like I believe otherwise—as if I could add to His perfect sacrifice!
Like trying to find the ultimate parking spot, I try to find my own way to salvation. I’m afraid that if I follow Jesus with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind (Matthew 22:37)—instead of following myself—I might miss something.
I think Peter and Thomas had similar fears. At the Last Supper, both disciples had questions as Jesus explained He is the only way to the Father. Peter didn’t understand why he couldn’t go with Jesus right then and there (John 13:36). He thought he’d miss salvation if it didn’t happen on his timeline. Thomas didn’t have all the information he thought he needed to follow Jesus (John 14:5). He wanted to walk by sight instead of faith.
In Acts 17, we read about the “extremely religious” people of Athens, who worshiped no shortage of idols and false gods. They worshiped countless things, yet were ignorant of what they were actually worshiping. They even had an altar for an “unknown god”—just in case they missed paying homage to something that could save. (Acts 17:22-31).
I have more in common with the people of Athens than I’d like to believe.
I’m ignorant of the of all the idols I worship.
The list goes on and on, but the result is still the same: none of these idols can save.
Only Jesus. What a sweet relief!
Jesus is the only way. He’s our only hope! When we try to navigate our own way to salvation, we become confused. Like Peter and Thomas, we worry we’ve missed something. Like the people of Athens, we become distracted by the countless gods we worship.
But the truth is this: when we have Jesus, we have all we’ll ever need.
Thanks be to God that Jesus is the only way to Him, to truth, and to life. May we learn to stand firm in this Truth, clinging only to Him for life (Psalm 1:1-6).
Missy Fuller was born in New York state but now gladly claims the South as home. She works as the Women’s Bible and Reference editor for LifeWay Christian Resources, where she gets to read and write about God’s Word all day. When she’s not working on her Master’s in theology, you may find her playing volleyball, waterskiing, or buying anything red, white, and blue. Missy loves cheering on the Tennessee Vols, wearing cowboy boots to SEC football games, and drinking a smoothie after a long run.
REFLECT & RESPOND
1. Adults can lead a discussion about what is meant by, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
2. Discuss what “access” means as it refers to “the Father”.
3. Discuss what "coming through me" means in the scripture.
4. As a group or individually create a respresentation of this scripture - by drawing a picture or write a few sentences of reflection.
5. As a group or family compose a prayer that represents your family or group.
Begin your prayer with praising God for all that He provides everyday - the sunrise, another opportunity to be better, His love, His faithfulness, etc...
Include all that you are thankful for – health, happiness, safety, etc...
Include asking for forgiveness for the things you, as a group, struggle with or don't have quite right - lack of patience, lack of honor, lack of self-control, etc...
Ask God to help with things you are needing His help with, as a group or family - patience, honor, self-control, etc...
Finally, thank God for sending Jesus to save us all
This activity was provided by the Teacher Love Project - a Why Not Charleston community education initiative. The Teacher Love Project aims to provide love and encouragement to teachers that will elevate their wellness and care and therefore, enhance student achievement. We must care for those who care for our children - we must love each other because God loved us first.
"We love because he first loved us."
1 John 4:19
"I am a Declaration of God's Beloved"
by Taraea L. Griffith
I am the righteousness of God by Christ Jesus. I am an ambassador in chains, made to clear boldly and courageously as I am called to say I am a servant of Jesus Christ to those who are called.
I am a worthy steward and a good minister of Christ Jesus ever nourishing myself on the truth of the faith and good instruction which I closely follow. I am chosen as God's own, purified and holy, beloved, tender hearted, and patient.
For I am a chosen race. I wrote a royal priesthood to a dedicated nation; Gods own purchased special treasure, that I may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Christ Jesus who called me.
I am a believer in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. I am an eyewitness of the majesty of Jesus Christ. As He is the Vine, I am the branch. I bear much fruit and stay connected to the source of life. Without Him I can do nothing.
I am a friend of Jesus Christ my Saviour. I am a sower of the word of hope. I am a recipient of the Holy Spirit who witnessed in the Earth that Gods word is true.
I am hospitable; a friend to believers and strangers, and a lover of goodness. I am sober minded, upright, devout, temperate; keeping myself in hand.
I am an imitator of God; walking in love as Christ Jesus loves. I am a keeper of the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). I am the temple where God's spirit dwells.
When I was young and even when I am old, all as the righteousness of God, I will not see the righteous. The righteous forsake you; His seed begging for bread.
I am favored by the Lord as I seek and find wisdom drawing from it and obtaining life. I am an intercessor as in 2 Corinthians 1:11, Philippians 1:19, Psalms 122:6, Ephesians 6:18, and many more.
I am God's anointed and I am a prophet of the most high God. I am plainly molded by the potters hands which make me, in every way, a child of God.
His quality of love is given to me because even when the world does not recognize me, God does, and he chose me to reign on the earth.
In Jesus Name Amen
Sources: 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 6:20, Jude 1, 1 Timothy 4:6, Colossians 3:12, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Peter 1:16, John 15:5,14, Mark 4:14, Acts 1:8, Titus 1:8, Ephesians 5:1,2, 1Corinthians 3:16, Psalms 37:25, Proverbs 8:35, 1 Chronicles 16:22, 1 John 3:1
Taraea L. Griffith lives in Charleston with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She is a poet and writer, and making an offering of her special gifts and talents as a Why Not Charleston 2020 contributor.
THRU THE LENS - FINDING YOURSELF IN GOD'S WORD
A blog by regular men and women about finding themselves in God's word.
"Through the Car Door"
By Melanie Jager, Why Not Charleston 2017
Every morning on the way to school – my youngest son and I pray together – out loud – in the car. It’s something I started doing with both my boys a few years ago when they went to the same school. My older son is in high school now – and my husband takes him to school in the mornings.
However, I still have my time with my Gabriel in the car each morning. Sometimes he says the prayer and sometimes – I say it. On occasion, he’ll accuse me of saying prayers that are too long - that take up way too much time on the morning ride to school. When this comes up – I always ask Gabriel – we’ll what would you like for me to leave out of the prayer, so it is shorter? He always looks at me with his little smile and says, nothing mama – I need all that you ask for.
The time in the car, with my boy in the morning is very sweet – it is a time just for me and him. We get to have that time every day of the week for the whole school year. What’s especially sweet about it is the time we spend together with the Father – our Heavenly Father.
Gabriel has asked me funny questions about prayer – like – is it wrong to pray for toys – and – does God have magic dust that he sprinkles on us - is that how a blessing works – and is a hedge of protection made of leaves? LOL!!! The mind of a child!
The access that we have to our Heavenly Father is such a blessing – it is by that access that Gabriel and I share our daily prayers together. God’s Word states in Ephesians 2:18 that, “Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”
So we have access through Christ to the Father. Access – a word that means, entry or contact or admission. We have access to God – we have admission; like a special ticket to get to him – we have entry; like into a room where He is – we have contact; like in His presence sitting next to Him. It’s a very pure, simple, and intimate access we are promised – very much like the access that our children have to us as their parents. The kind of access that we always know we can count on.
Access to the Father is a promise from God. My blessing is that I can see, every morning Gabriel and I enter into that promise with our Heavenly Father - though the car door.
Melanie Jager lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Sean. The couple have two teenaged sons, Michael and Gabriel. Melanie has been a career educator for nearly 25 years. She has also worked on numerous community development projects since 2010 - from education to business to non-profit. She has served as a project/concept developer and systems implementer for Why Not Charleston since 2015 and currently oversees and manages operations for the organization. Melanie enjoys blogging about her family life and the Gospel-Rich experience that she and Sean are seeking to create in their home for themselves and their boys.