Knowing Jesus to Make Jesus Known
An encouraging note from BSF’s Hollie Roberts
By Hollie Roberts, Executive Director
I love studying John’s Gospel. It was BSF’s John study that helped me see both truth and grace on display. I find it incredible how Jesus never shrinks back from truth for the sake of grace. Nor does He offer grace at the expense of truth.
As one who grew up with an inclination toward truth, I can honestly say, for years I didn’t understand the compatibility and beauty of both grace and truth. I believed I was saved by grace, no doubt. But a careful examination of my life, as well as my harsh assessment of the behavior of people around me, revealed a legalistic streak full of my idea of truth but lacking grace.
When God exposed the hardness in my heart and the depths of my pride, I surprisingly never felt more loved. Through life-changing truth and life-giving grace, Jesus transformed me from the inside out. Only God has the power to do that. I began to view life differently—and others noticed.
Many of you probably share my story. You have been confronted with the truth of God’s Word, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, you have been changed. As Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you hold to my teaching, you really are my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
When we experience the freedom of holy truth and lavish grace, our joy is contagious. And that is my prayer for every BSF member who studies God’s Word. I pray we will be a people known for the unchanging truth and unending grace of Jesus. But we cannot get there on our own. Only the work of the Holy Spirit can truly change our hearts. So, as you study John’s Gospel, consider beginning with the following prayers.
“Jesus, help me know You.”
Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught men, women, and children from diverse cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. They heard His words and marveled at His miracles. They called Him teacher, healer, prophet, and miracle worker. They stood amazed, but many walked away unchanged. Though these men and women knew about Jesus, they failed to see Him as Messiah, Deliverer, Savior, and God in the flesh.
Like the crowds who followed Jesus, we can easily read the Gospel of John again and again, storing up more Bible knowledge. But Jesus invites us to experience something deeper. He doesn’t ask us to know about Him; He invites us to personally know Him. He does not simply tell us the truth; He is the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus clarified, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
To know Jesus is to be changed by Jesus. We don’t simply read His words; we know Him to be “the Word” (John 1). Will you prayerfully and intentionally approach your BSF study with a teachable heart?
“Jesus, help me make You known.”
For those early Christ followers, being dramatically changed by knowing Jesus automatically made Jesus known to others.
The men and women who believed that Jesus was Messiah, the Son of God, allowed the gospel to transform their thoughts and direct their actions. Every aspect of their lives—from family to finances—looked different. God used a few faithful followers to impact the world for eternity, and He continues to work through people like you and me today.
As you allow God’s Word to mold your thoughts, affections, and actions, the people around you will notice. I can’t help but wonder, what if every BSF member committed to make Jesus known? Imagine the global impact! And the beauty is we don’t have to look far for opportunities. God calls and equips His followers to love, serve, and share wherever we are with the people already in our lives.
Changed lives change lives
Working at BSF grants me the privilege of hearing stories of how God is using His Word to dramatically change lives. During our John study, we anticipate even more stories like these from real BSF members who witnessed life transformation and longed to know Jesus as a result.
“I first came to BSF because I saw what a change it had made in my neighbor’s attitude and behavior. BSF has been the greatest catalyst in my spiritual growth and walk with God. I know the Holy Spirit will teach me new truths through God’s Word. God has definitely used BSF to change me into the person that I want to be and I just keep on growing and learning!”
“My wife had attended BSF long before I did, and because she was taking time to study God’s Word each night, I was curious. I saw a changed woman, a happier, more contented woman. So, I joined a men’s group. It was then that I discovered my personal relationship with Christ Jesus! Before then, I had known a lot about Christ but didn’t know Him personally! Thank you, BSF. My time spent studying God’s Word, illuminated by God’s Holy Spirit, has literally saved my life!”
As we seek to know Jesus and make Jesus known, may we be a people who reflect grace and truth. Will you join me in praying for others as Jesus prayed for us? “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their [the apostles’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21).
BSF Executive Director
Hollie Roberts stepped into the Executive Director role in September 2021 after serving as BSF’s Chief Field Development officer. Hollie and her husband Kevin have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.
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