Online Daily Devotionals
For the past several years, Ginghamsburg Church has produced the Transformational Journal (The TJ) as a tool to grow our church family in God's word. In 2013, Ginghamsburg will sharpen its discipleship focus and better equip individuals exactly where they are on their spiritual journey. Although, Ginghamsburg will no longer produce a weekly TJ, these new devotionals offer a range of reading plans tailored to where you are in your faith walk.
For the week starting April 20, 2014
Easter: Forever Changed
As followers of Jesus our faith is based on nothing less than the resurrection of Jesus Christ—a historical event that we can look back to, a present reality that we are invited to experience and a lens through which we are called to see the world. If we have identified with Christ then the Resurrection is not just a holiday that we celebrate, but it is a way of life—the center from which we live and move and have our being.
Day 1: Read Luke 24:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
The fact that women were the first to report the Resurrection is evidence that Jesus really rose from the dead. A woman’s testimony was not seen as valid, and so if you were making this up you wouldn’t have a group of women be the first to encounter the resurrected Christ. What other reasons do we have to believe the resurrection happened? What are some of the things that have happened in your life to convince you that Jesus is who he says he is?
Day 2: Read Luke 24:13-35 and Matthew 7:7-8
Verse 16 suggests that Jesus kept the disciples from recognizing who he was. Why would Jesus do that? What does this tell us about how God uses ambiguity in our lives? What is the significance of when their eyes were opened so they could recognize Jesus?
Day 3: Read Luke 24:36-49 and 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
This passage seems to focus on the fact that Jesus didn’t come back as a ghost but with a real body. What is the significance of faith in a bodily resurrection? How should that faith influence how we live right now?
Day 4: Read John 20:1-18, John 1:1-5 and 2 Corinthians 5:17
What from the two passages in John reminds you of the creation account found in the beginning of Genesis? How does all of this inform what the resurrection of Jesus has brought about? How does this influence your understanding of what Jesus is doing in you and with the world?
Day 5: Read John 20:19-31
In what ways do you relate with Thomas? What are some of your own doubts? Note that Thomas’ doubt actually led him to a clearer understanding of who Jesus is—Thomas actually calls Jesus God—how can you respond to your own doubts so that it leads you in that same direction?
Day 6: Read John 21:1-14
After everything they saw and experienced, why do you think the disciples went back to fishing again? In what ways do you find yourself going back to “fishing”? How does Jesus respond to them? How does their lack of faith and struggle to really trust that Jesus was back from the dead encourage you?
Day 7: Read John 21:15-25 and Ephesians 1:7-10
Why do you think Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me?” three different times? What does this teach us about God’s forgiveness? (Notice the word redemption in Ephesians 1.) Based on what we know about Peter’s life (the leader of the early church), did this encounter with Jesus leave him feeling shameful or empowered? What does this teach us about God’s grace? What does a life that is truly centered on the Resurrection look like in practice?