Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

Dec
21

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

June

  • June 1: Mark 12:28-37
  • June 2: Mark 12:38-13:2
  • June 3: Mark 13:3-13
  • June 4: Mark 13:14-23
  • June 5: Mark 13:24-37
  • June 6: Mark 14:1-9
  • June 7: Mark 14:10-21
  • June 8: Mark 14:22-31
  • June 9: Mark 14:32-42
  • June 10: Mark 14:43-50
  • June 11: Mark 14:51-65
  • June 12: Mark 14:66-72
  • June 13: Mark 15:1-5
  • June 14: Mark 15:6-15
  • June 15: Mark 15:16-20
  • June 16: Mark 15:21-32
  • June 17: Mark 15:33-41
  • June 18: Mark 15:42-16:8
  • June 19: Luke 1:1-4
  • June 20: Luke 1:5-25
  • June 21: Luke 1:26-38
  • June 22: Luke 1:39-45
  • June 23: Luke 1:46-56
  • June 24: Luke 1:57-66
  • June 25: Luke 1:67-80
  • June 26: Luke 2:1-7
  • June 27: Luke 2:8-21
  • June 28: Luke 2:22-38
  • June 29: Luke 2:39-40
  • June 30: Luke 2:41-52
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Dec
21

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

July

  • July 1: Luke 3:1-10
  • July 2: Luke 3:10-22
  • July 3: Luke 3:23-38
  • July 4: Luke 4:1-13
  • July 5: Luke 4:14-21
  • July 6: Luke 4:22-30
  • July 7: Luke 4:31-37
  • July 8: Luke 4:38-44
  • July 9: Luke 5:1-11
  • July 10: Luke 5:12-16
  • July 11: Luke 5:17-32
  • July 12: Luke 5:33-39
  • July 13: Luke 6:1-11
  • July 14: Luke 6:12-19
  • July 15: Luke 6:20-26
  • July 16: Luke 6:27-36
  • July 17: Luke 6:37-45
  • July 18: Luke 6:46-7:10
  • July 19: Luke 7:11-17
  • July 20: Luke 7:18-35
  • July 21: Luke 7:36-50
  • July 22: Luke 8:1-8
  • July 23: Luke 8:9-15
  • July 24: Luke 8:16-25
  • July 25: Luke 8:26-39
  • July 26: Luke 8:40-48
  • July 27: Luke 8:49-56
  • July 28: Luke 9:1-9
  • July 29: Luke 9:10-17
  • July 30: Luke 9:18-27
  • July 31: Luke 9:28-36
Dec
21

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

August

  • August 1: Luke 9:37-48
  • August 2: Luke 9:49-62
  • August 3: Luke 10:1-12
  • August 4: Luke 10:13-24
  • August 5: Luke 10:25-37
  • August 6: Luke 10:38-42
  • August 7: Luke 11:1-13
  • August 8: Luke 11:14-23
  • August 9: Luke 11:24-32
  • August 10: Luke 11:33-36
  • August 11: Luke 11:37-54
  • August 12: Luke 12:1-12
  • August 13: Luke 12:13-21
  • August 14: Luke 12:22-34
  • August 15: Luke 12:35-48
  • August 16: Luke 12:49-53
  • August 17: Luke 12:54-59
  • August 18: Luke 13:1-9
  • August 19: Luke 13:10-21
  • August 20: Luke 13:22-30
  • August 21: Luke 13:31-35
  • August 22: Luke 14:1-11
  • August 23: Luke 14:12-24
  • August 24: Luke 14:25-35
  • August 25: Luke 15:1-10
  • August 26: Luke 15:11-20
  • August 27: Luke 15: 25-32
  • August 28: Luke 16:1-13
  • August 29: Luke 16:14-18
  • August 30: Luke 16:19-31
  • August 31: Luke 17:1-10
Dec
21

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

September

  • September 1: Luke 17:11-19
  • September 2: Luke 17:20-37
  • September 3: Luke 18:1-8
  • September 4: Luke 18:9-17
  • September 5: Luke 18:18-30
  • September 6: Luke 18:31-43
  • September 7: Luke 19:1-10
  • September 8: Luke 19:11-27
  • September 9: Luke 19:28-40
  • September 10: Luke 19:41-44
  • September 11: Luke 19:45-48
  • September 12: Luke 20:1-8
  • September 13: Luke 20:9-18
  • September 14: Luke 20:19-26
  • September 15: Luke 20:27-40
  • September 16: Luke 20:41-47
  • September 17: Luke 21:1-9
  • September 18: Luke 21:10-19
  • September 19: Luke 21:20-28
  • September 20: Luke 21:29-38
  • September 21: Luke 22:1-13
  • September 22: Luke 22:14-23
  • September 23: Luke 22:24-34
  • September 24: Luke 22:35-46
  • September 25: Luke 22:47-53
  • September 26: Luke 22:54-65
  • September 27: Luke 22:66-23:5
  • September 28: Luke 23:6-16
  • September 29: Luke 23:18-25
  • September 30: Luke 23:26-31
Dec
21

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

October

  • October 1: Luke 23:32-43
  • October 2: Luke 23:44-49
  • October 3: Luke 23:50-56
  • October 4: Luke 24:1-12
  • October 5: Luke 24:13-24
  • October 6: Luke 24:25-35
  • October 7: Luke 24:36-53
  • October 8: John 1:1-8
  • October 9: John 1:9-18
  • October 10: John 1:19-28
  • October 11: John 1:29-42
  • October 12: John 1:43-51
  • October 13: John 2:1-12
  • October 14: John 2:13-22
  • October 15: John 2:23-25
  • October 16: John 3:1-15
  • October 17: John 3:16-21
  • October 18: John 3:22-36
  • October 19: John 4:1-11
  • October 20: John 4:12-26
  • October 21: John 4:27-36
  • October 22: John 4:39-45
  • October 23: John 4:46-54
  • October 24: John 5:1-18
  • October 25: John 5:19-29
  • October 26: John 5:30-38
  • October 27: John 5:39-47
  • October 28: John 6:1-15
  • October 29: John 6:16-21
  • October 30: John 6:22-27
  • October 31: John 6:28-34
Dec
21

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

 

November

  • November 1: John 6:35-44
  • November 2: John 6:45-59
  • November 3: John 6:60-71
  • November 4: John 7:1-11
  • November 5: John 7:14-24
  • November 6: John 7:25-31
  • November 7: John 7:32-39
  • November 8: John 7:40-52
  • November 9: John 7:53-8:11
  • November 10: John 8:12-20
  • November 11: John 8:21-30
  • November 12: John 8:31-38
  • November 13: John 8:39-47
  • November 14: John 8:48-59
  • November 15: John 9:1-12
  • November 16: John 9:13-23
  • November 17: John 9:24-34
  • November 18: John 9:35-41
  • November 19: John 10:1-6
  • November 20: John 10:7-21
  • November 21: John 10:22-30
  • November 22: John 10:31-42
  • November 23: John 11:1-10
  • November 24: John 11:11-22
  • November 25: John 11:23-27
  • November 26: John 11:28-37
  • November 27: John 11:38-44
  • November 28: John 11:45-57
  • November 29: John 12:1-11
  • November 30: John 12:12-26
Dec
21

 

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

–Jesus (John 10:27)

Each day read the assigned portion from one of the New Testament Gospels.

Then based on what you read in the passage ask yourself these three questions:

1) What does Jesus want me to know in this passage?

2) What does Jesus want me to believe in this passage?

3) What does Jesus want me to do in this passage?

 

Think through each day’s reading by focusing on asking yourself about the reading:

What does it say?

What does it mean?

What does it mean to me?

The best way to get the most out of the daily reading is to jot down your insights in a notebook or journal.

 

  • December 1: John 12:27-36
  • December 2: John 12:37-50
  • December 3: John 13:1-11
  • December 4: John 13:12-20
  • December 5: John 13:21-30
  • December 6: John 13:31-38
  • December 7: John 14:1-14
  • December 8: John 14:15-24
  • December 9: John 14:25-31
  • December 10: John 15:1-11
  • December 11: John 15:12-17
  • December 12: John 15:18-27
  • December 13: John 16:1-4
  • December 14: John 16:5-15
  • December 15: John 16:16-24
  • December 16: John 16:25-33
  • December 17: John 17:1-11
  • December 18: John 17:12-26
  • December 19: John 18:1-11
  • December 20: John 18:12-18
  • December 21: John 18:19-27
  • December 22: John 18:28-40
  • December 23: John 19:1-16a
  • December 24: John 19:16b-27
  • December 25: John 19:28-42
  • December 26: John 20:1-10
  • December 27: John 20:11-18
  • December 28: John 20:19-31
  • December 29: John 21:1-14
  • December 30: John 21:15-19
  • December 31: John 21:20-25
Nov
13

I think it was Max de Pree who is credited as stating, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.”

Perhaps reality needs not only to be defined but also redefined regularly. Life has a way of distracting and diverting us away from our top priorities and purposes.

When I think of the top priority of the local church, I know that Jesus has clearly defined reality for the Body of Christ.

Jesus communicated His plan for His followers in the 28th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

{Matthew 28:18-20}

Jesus clearly instructed His disciples that our primary mission is to make disciples.

Each week in our church staff meeting we begin our time together by reading the church mission statement which states: “We believe that God’s primary purpose for Mount Pleasant UMC is to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to represent His good and perfect will in our community and beyond, through our efforts to nurture, to reach out, and to witness to others.”

According to the church mission statement, our primary purpose is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ…”

What does it mean to make disciples of Jesus Christ?

First of all,

Making disciples is about bringing people into a personal relationship with God.

Matthew 28:19

19 …baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is not about obeying rules or fulfilling rituals. It is about knowing in a personal way, the God of the Universe, the God who created you. It is about knowing the Person, the purpose and the plan of God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

Being a disciple of Jesus is about a living, personal, relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord.

A disciple of Jesus is someone who is devoted to developing that relationship with Jesus on a daily basis: time spent with Jesus, time listening to His teachings, time spent talking to Him in prayer, time spent growing in relationship with Him, time spent following His leading through:

daily devotions,

regular worship,

service, and

inviting others to become a disciple of Jesus along with you.

We are most clearly aligned with our purpose as disciples, and as a church, when we are bringing people into right relationship with Jesus.

Secondly,

Making disciples is about teaching people to follow the teachings of Jesus.

Matthew 28:20a

20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…

Jesus said a disciple is not just someone who believes in God, or knows God; but someone who knows and follows God.

The combination of hearing the word of Jesus and doing it is vital to being a devoted disciple of Jesus.

The goal of disciple-making is not merely information or inspiration; it is transformation.

We preach and teach the message and commands of Jesus so that people will not only know Jesus better, but so that they will follow and obey Jesus with full devotion.

Jesus said,

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

{Luke 6:46}

Finally,

Making disciples is about living daily as a follower of Jesus.

Matthew 28:20b

20 … And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

A disciple is not a disciple once in a while. The very nature of being a disciple is to follow the master teacher continually.

The only way to become like the teacher is to follow the teacher and mold our lives after the teacher every single moment of every single day. Jesus said, 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40).

In the Great Commission, Jesus promised to always be with His disciple-making disciples.

Disciple making is a 24/7/365 days a year, way of life.

We are called by Jesus to be disciples…who make disciples…people who realign our faith, our lives, and our church in sync with the Great Commission of Jesus.

 

 

Jesus clearly defines reality for us by His Great Commission, and He still calls us to make disciples by

  1. a) connecting people into right relationship with Jesus,
  2. b) teaching for life transformation (them to follow His teachings), and
  3. c) guiding them to live daily, as a Jesus follower.

Now more than ever, the world needs the church—our church—to focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ—people who will be transformed by the life-giving gospel of grace.

Now is not the time for the church to fall back—now is the time for the church to move ahead, in confidence that Jesus still has more disciple-making for us to do.

Oct
13

An important teaching in the Bible is the Hebrew concept of “shalom.” A truly rich word, “shalom” comprehensibly means:

totality, completeness, fulfillment, maturity, soundness, wholeness, community, harmony, security, well-being, friendship, success, satisfaction, and prosperity.

When translated into the English “shalom” is most often rendered as “peace.” Theologically, “shalom” means so much more than just the absence of conflict. I like to define “shalom” as “God’s Best For God’s People.”

With that in mind, here is what the Bible has to say about how to experience “shalom”—God’s best for God’s people:

1) Pursue it.

Psalm 34:14

14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

2) Experience it by faith.

Psalm 37:8-11

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret—it leads only to evil.

For those who are evil will be destroyed,

but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;

though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land

and enjoy peace and prosperity.

3) Love God’s Word

Psalm 119:165

165 Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

4) Resist envy

Proverbs 14:30

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

5) Live for God’s pleasure

Proverbs 16:7

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

6) Do the right thing

Isaiah 32:17

17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

7) Believe God’s promises

Isaiah 54:10

10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

8) Find it in Jesus Christ

John 16:33

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Ephesians 2:14

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.

9) Let peace rule within

Colossians 3:15

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

10) Be a peacemaker

Hebrews 12:14

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

11) Sow peace daily

James 3:17-18

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Nov
18

One of the most influential leaders in my life and ministry has been John Wesley. His desire to speak “plain truth for plain people” caught my attention in my college years and has inspired and encouraged me ever since.

Here are five of my favorite examples of Wesley’s “plain truth for plain people.”

1) “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America: but I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit and discipline with which they first set out.”

2) “I look upon all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that in whatever part of it I am I judge it meet, right and my bounden duty to declare unto all that are wiling to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.”

3) “You have nothing to do but to save souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work.”

4) “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven on earth.”

5) “By salvation I mean…a present deliverance from sin; a restoration of the soul to its primitive health, its original purity; a recovery of the divine nature; the renewal of our souls after the image of God.”