Guest post by church member, Paul Sidmore
Taking time to study God’s Word a has become a significant part of my every day. I am challenged to get beyond head knowledge to have it sink in and become part of me. I guess that’s what “saturate” really means.
When I daily ‘get into’ Scripture, wide margin Bibles are my favorite, allowing me to make notes and interact with the text. I use colored pens to highlight the content of each passage and capture themes that ‘come alive’ to me. Commentaries help me to go deeper. They give me another person’s perspective on a word, a verse or more.
In the hymn, “More About Jesus,” we sing: “More about Jesus in His Word, Holding communion with my Lord, Hearing His voice in ev’ry line, Making each faithful saying mine.”
Since I wanted more of Jesus, when ‘Saturate’ began last October, centered in the Gospels, I knew my opportunity had come.
The question for reflection, “What does this passage show about Jesus and the way he relates to people?” was the perfect starter. Markers in hand, I began to journey through the Gospels, taking note of Jesus comings and goings (has anyone ever tried to calculate the miles He walked!?) I printed a simple map of Israel in the time of Jesus. It made things more real. I highlighted time of day, places & people’s names, titles, references to the OT, Jewish holidays and more. Much was already familiar to me, but I was beginning to get “saturated” (a very Baptist thing to do)!
Saturate’ gave me much better exposure to the Gospel story vs. a piecemeal devotional approach.
While I study in the living room my wife, my wife, Marcia, is at the kitchen table with her Study Bible and commentaries. We discuss and share what we’re learning. Marcia says, “It opened my eyes to the clarity of the mission of Christ. Jesus totally stuck with His mission. ‘Saturate’ gave me much better exposure to the Gospel story vs. a piecemeal devotional approach. In it I became very aware of the presence of evil that Jesus faced; especially that of the spiritual leaders. I also enjoyed Romans where I saw the role of the Law—still relevant but so much more freeing when the Holy Spirit applies the truths of the Gospel to our lives.”
Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes he will guide you into all truth” – He will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:13,15)
Jesus Becomes Real
While reading the Gospels, Jesus becomes more real. My appreciation for Him grows. I saw Him tirelessly teaching and demonstrating the message of God’s kingdom, often being misunderstood, fielding challenges of religious leaders, enduring ignorance and unbelief of His ‘slow to learn’ followers, encountering crowds of needy people seeking a miracle, and dealing with demons.
I feel that I have been with Jesus and been touched by His heart more than ever before.
My confession: On January 11th, when we began the next Saturate, I decided to go through the Gospels again, while trying to be faithful to reading Acts and the Epistles. I feel that I have been with Jesus and been touched by His heart more than ever before. I plan to repeatedly go through the Gospels to keep learning ‘more about Jesus.’
Our next Saturate series begins today! Join us as we immerse ourselves deeply in the Scriptures and read Genesis—the story of God’s flourishing creation, humanity’s withering, and the seed of God’s promise to rescue his people. In reading one chapter a day, six days a week, we’ll read through Genesis in just over 8 weeks! Download the reading checklist →