My Jesus Journey

We celebrated my birthday at our favorite local restaurant today!

We celebrated my birthday at our favorite local restaurant today!

Today is my birthday!

I’ve been looking forward to this birthday, when I turn 33. My husband turned this age last year, and I teased him that Jesus finished His ministry on the cross at age 33, so he’d better make the year count, too.

This morning when I woke up, my first thought was, Jesus was the exact age I am now as He powerfully preached that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, always had time to heal people’s bodies and hearts, knelt as a servant to wash His friends’ feet and willingly gave up His life so that I could truly live.

To think Jesus was only 33 when all that came to be is overwhelming. I can just imagine the priests and religious elders of that day thinking – who does this young pup think he is, acting like he owns the place? – when in fact, HE DOES. The depth of his love and compassion for each person, the way He stayed available to those who needed Him, the tears He wept over Jerusalem as He entered, the life-saving words He spoke to the criminal next to him as He suffered – Jesus’s testimony convicts my sinful heart.

As I anticipated my birthday yesterday, I thought about what God would want of me during my 33rd year of life. Though I joked that Matt better make his 33rd year a good one, I realized those words were now directed at me. Time is too easy to waste, and I am a pro at letting moments and opportunities slip by.  So, I asked God, how can I best spend this year?

God drew me straight to His Word.

Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

Luke 1:1-4

I am going to spend this year walking with Jesus. I want to personally see and experience again Jesus’s journey from heaven to the cross and back again. To do this, I am going to try to place myself in Theophilus’ shoes, and receive the letter of Luke as my own. Jesus’ story is my story. My life has no meaning or purpose apart from the Gospel.

I will try to record my Jesus Journey, verse-by-verse through Luke’s account, on the blog each week, in addition to our family’s everyday God experiences. I need accountability, because I am great at starting but not always at finishing. I would like to personally invite you to join me on my 33rd year adventure and see Jesus through fresh eyes, reading for the first time as Theophilus might have, so that we can be certain of the truth. Sign up to receive blog posts in your email, and come back often!

Making disciples

When my son Jackson was dedicated to God on my husband’s first Father’s Day, we were given a soft, cloth Bible especially for babies. And every day for more than a year, I would read that book to Jackson in the morning for his devotion time.

Jackson’s baby Bible has endured every kind of mess on its pages, been washed and dried countless times, and been read again and again.

Just recently I started watching a newborn a few days a week, and suddenly that well-loved baby Bible appeared again, after both my children had moved onto new copies of Scripture.

Jackson picked it up and looked over the pages his once tiny hands used to grasp. He brought it over to the new baby in the house, leaned in close, and began to read its timeless truth to her. She couldn’t get enough of the bright colors and my son’s sweet voice as he read to her.

Jackson reads his baby Bible to Maci

Jackson reads his baby Bible to Maci

A child is never too young to hear God’s Word and to feel His love. Just as I used to read this book to Jackson, impressing on his young heart God’s story, he now is reading and sharing God’s message.

But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.

– Acts 20:24

Discipleship begins in the home. God has given me an amazing mission field, and charged me with the responsibility to tend to the harvest. Right now, “going into all the world” is in my kitchen and my living room and the back yard on the swing set. I am to be actively making disciples, teaching my children, and others entrusted to me, to observe God’s commands. (See Matthew 20:18-20)

As as our lives intertwine and center around the Gospel, God’s presence is made known.

Even as my son reads his baby Bible to another child, God’s story is being shared. And Jesus, who is the Word of God, draws us close.