When you read the New Testament, do you intentionally try to think like a first-century Jesus follower to capture the visceral excitement of the early Christians? What was the first-century understanding of the kingdom of God? What is the real meaning of the resurrection in its original context? As 21st-century people, how do we recover the adventure of what it was like to live as Christians in the first or second centuries in the world of Second Temple Judaism amidst Greco-Roman politics?
What do you know about the growth and impact of Christianity from the apostles to the present day, not only in the Western world but also globally, including the development of Eastern Orthodox and Armenian Christianity, as well as considering Christianity in Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Baltic and Slavic states, and India? And why is it important to have this knowledge?
Did you know that in over two dozen encounters recorded in the Gospels, Jesus allowed people to walk away from following him? He didn’t chase after them once they made their decision to not believe his teachings. The Bible offers insights on ways to properly deal with difficult people in your life. Whether a sibling, parent, spouse, coworker, or friend, toxic people seek to frustrate our life’s calling. While you’re seeking first God’s kingdom, they’re seeking first to distract your focus and delay your work.
Do you explore individual passages of Scripture but neglect to examine where they fit in to the whole of the Bible? Do you find a verse to be inspiring and easy to grasp, but its sweeping context difficult, requiring persistence in studying the full tapestry of Scripture?