"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
The Way of Grace will delight small-group participants who find within its pages a fresh approach to the Gospel of John. This fourth release in the Companions in Christ series invites us to travel with 8 Biblical characters (or groups of characters) who discover God’s grace through their encounters with Jesus. The eight characters include: Andrew, Simon, Philip, and Nathaniel; Nicodemus; the Samaritan woman; the lame man; the woman caught in adultery; the blind man; Mary and Martha; and Simon Peter.
The resource is more than a survey of the Biblical stories. It is a transforming interaction with the events and the characters. And it is an invitation for us to open our hearts to a deeper knowing of God’s grace.
John Indermark holds true to the popular Companions in Christ weekly pattern. Each of the nine weeks begins with an article that introduces the week’s theme. Five questions based on a scripture text follow the article. Throughout the week we reflect on one question each day and note our thoughts in a notebook or journal. On the last day of each week, we attend a 2-hour meeting and share our insights and a deeper exploration of that week’s theme. Woven throughout the resource are spiritual practices (classic and contemporary), rich stories from the tradition, and varied worship settings.
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