Week 7: April 16

The Gospel in Us

by Diane Hakes

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DAY 1 - More Precious than Gold

Anything of value takes time to become more valuable. My husband loves old cars. We have had a few, but this one he has now is super special and more valuable than the others. This sharp bright red sports car was produced in 1965. At that time it was valued at the price of most cars of the day. It was nothing special and had competition like the ‘65 Mustang, for instance. But now, due to time and scarcity, the ‘65 Nova is much more valuable than it was 58 years ago, especially to my husband. It became more valuable over time.

And you see, that is how God works too. He cares more about who you are becoming. Time isn’t an issue for HIM. He also knows that it takes things like time, fire, and pressure to produce the most beautiful things on planet earth! These three elements, while seemingly harmful and destructive, are actually used to bring about the most beautiful results in our lives as well.

In Hebrews 10, we are called to persevere in our faith.

‘And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.’ 

- Hebrews 10:19-23

Fire is an element that is absolutely necessary in producing the fine gold jewelry that we love to wear! But Gold in its pure form is not beautiful. In order for it to become the gold we use for rings, chains and beautiful pieces of art, it needs to be refined by undergoing a process that requires intense heat. It is soft and malleable, able to be made into a thin wire that stretches for miles. It is rare and scarce. All of the gold on the planet can fit into a cubed space the size of a tennis court. (Mining for Gold by Tom Comacho)

But gold in its pure form is hard to see and to draw out. It must be mined out. Then it must go through the refining and a forming process to make it what the designer wants it to become. So must we. You and I are as rare and precious as this natural metal. But refining and forming are necessary for our beauty to come to its full reality.

Similarly, diamonds are not beautiful in their natural state and must be mined out. They too have often been missed and thought invaluable; just a regular rock in its natural state.

Diamonds must also undergo a process to become the precious gemstones we use for wedding rings and many other types of jewels and products. Diamonds must have three things present to produce a diamond: time, extreme pressure, and intense heat! To become useful and valuable to those that possess them. They have had to endure a lot to get to this state. Becoming a diamond for our purposes doesn't happen overnight.


  1. What elements can you relate to in your life that you are currently undergoing? Is it Time (waiting),
  2. Is it pressure? Is it extreme conditions like fire or frost?
  3. What do you think God is trying to develop in you? What part of your character He is trying to grow and strengthen?
  4. Find someone who will speak the truth in love and point out scriptures that show the truth in God’s Word.

Ephesians 6:13-17 gives us a great visual in the Armor of God. The weapons against the spiritual battle are real. The Word is our weapon against the lies, the sword. The belt of truth is for our protection, so we can live fully the life God intended us to live. Read through the entire passage and visualize each piece of the armor and use it to fight against the devil and how he may be working against you. Walk in the truth of who you are in Christ Jesus and be strong in the power given to you by the Holy Spirit.

Day 2 - Better Together

Hebrews 10:24 states, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

How are you motivated to love and do good for others? Have you tried stepping into new places with new people? Have you tried sharing your story with someone? Stretch beyond your comfort zone. Comfort kills progress. If we don’t move where God is showing us, we may miss opportunities to share his love with people who need to know about it. Find the people and the places that will receive what you have to say. You’ll know it when you do!

Jesus gave us a great example of how to do our ministry assignments…with others. Jesus knows that we need one another. We are better together! In Luke 9 and 10, Jesus sends out the 12 and the 72 two by two! He doesn’t say go alone! There are people with whom you are to live out your calling because you are better and more effective together than apart. Sharing stories, sharing life experiences, and keeping Jesus in the center will spur you on to continue to share the Good News of who Jesus is and what he is doing in your life.

I also believe that calling is cultivated in community. We need each other to strengthen the calling within us. The Church was birthed with people living out the gospel together. They formed a community; a community of believers. Acts 2:42 illustrates this, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”

It is in our design to be together. As we live out the gospel together we see Jesus at work in real and tangible ways. We see the power of Jesus being activated through us and can encourage each other as it comes alive in us.


  1. Who are the people I am called to live out the gospel with in my life?
  2. Where do I have a sense of peace; who are the people who have open hearts and a readiness to hear the truth?
  3. Write about these people and what happens when you are together. What can you do more to spur one another on to love and good deeds for the community around you?

Day 3 - They Ate Together

Some of my fondest childhood memories are my family mealtimes. I come from a large Catholic family, so there were 9 of us at the table every night. When relatives or friends came, it was even louder and crazier. I remember laughter and lingering long after dinner was over just to be together. Today I still love when my family gets together for meals, not just my immediate family, but the “framily” which includes non-blood “relatives”. We’ve been doing this since our kids were little. We would regularly get together to have meals and to do life together. I moved away from my family when I got married and so did my friends, so we became each other’s families. This has lasted for over 35 years! Our kids continue to stay connected as a “framily” even without the parents prompting them! Sometimes I even get jealous, LOL. But seriously, we are so glad they do! They are continuing to live out what we instilled in them, which is to stay connected and to do life together.

The early Christians were together for pretty much all of life! A big part of that lifestyle included eating meals together. In our fast paced, “drive through” culture we can easily miss out on the best part of living in community. Eating together! This should be a regular experience. Research has shown that this is actually a healthier way to live both physically and emotionally.

How intentional are we about doing this and following the example of the first disciples?

We are not meant to live this life as believers out alone. We must stick together and immerse ourselves with others who we can be real with and share our highs and lows with on a regular basis. We grow as we share with one another, celebrate and sometimes cry together. You know that you can count on one another.

The body of Christ is a family. We are to be connected like a real family, sometimes even more so! We should make mealtimes special events outside of holidays to just celebrate the love of Jesus, give him praise and glory, and make memories that will last a lifetime.


Acts 2:42, states that “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship and sharing in meals, and to prayer.”

  1. What is one intentional change you can make in your week to make mealtimes more intentional?
  2. Who might you include beyond your own family?
  3. How could you use this time to instill long lasting values and habits?
  4. How could you focus on the love of Jesus each time and use it as a time to worship Him?

Day 4 - Jesus is the Better

Jeff Vanderstelt states in his Gospel Fluency Handbook that ”Part of our job as a gospel-fluent community is to continue to remind one another that Jesus is “the Better”. He is the better boss. He is also the better worker, who did a far better job than us. He is the better friend. He is the better Son, who perfectly obeyed the Father on our behalf-and on our children’s behalf as well.”

This is how we are to walk out our lives with one another, pointing to Jesus and showing how he is the “Better everything”.


  1. How does your community help you to be better in your life?
  2. Try this exercise out and share it with your community.

List 3-4 major roles you play in your life:

  • Spouse
  • Father/Mother
  • Daughter/Son
  • Sibling
  • Friend
  • Boss
  • Worker
  • Provider

Then next to each role write about your human experience in that role. Then next to that how Jesus would fulfill that role and relationship in an objectively greater way.

Talk this over and name a role that could be worked on to be more like Jesus. Encourage and support one another as you move ahead in the power of the Spirit to make those adjustments.