Listen to Bill read this devotional:
A Kogi tribe in Columbia had no Bible. It was a lost book. They didn’t know the name of Jesus.
Sadly, we who know the Gospel of Jesus may lack it’s enthusiasm. We who have a number of Bibles in our homes may treat it like a lost book.
A few years ago I rediscovered the Gospels of Jesus as the adventure of my life! I started with listening to Mark as if I was sitting in a first century Jewish home and listening to Peter tell the story. Because that’s what Mark is — it’s Peter’s sermon. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to listen to it straight through. I like to do this while taking a walk.
I realized, I often watch movies. Why not watch a Gospel? It’s the Greatest Story Ever Told!
So Kristi and I have the Gospels on video and we watch them for movie night. (At the end of this devotional I share with you where you can get the Gospels on audio and video.)
We’re feeling like the migrant farmer working in a field who stumbled on buried treasure! Like him we want to “sell everything” — re-arranage our whole lives — for the “great joy” of buying the field and having the treasure! The treasure of life is knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior, sharing him with others, and learning how to live each day with him in the Kingdom of the Heavens. (Matthew 13:44)
Linda Became a Kogi For Jesus
Imagine your life without the Gospel. Imagine living without the forgiveness of sin and the hope of heaven. There are so many people who don’t have a life-giving relationship with Christ. And so many who know about him, but are not in love with him and thrilled to serve him with their lives.
Recently as part of our TLC (“To Love Christ!”) two-year training for pastors and leaders Kristi and I were blessed to care for Linda Gawthorne, a Wycliffe missionary who has given her life since 1978 to share the Gospel of Jesus with an ancient Kogi tribe in Columbia. She and two colleagues have provided free medical care, offered friendship, learned their language, and taught them how to read and write.
It’s been wonderful — and hard! You can’t do this kind of work without engaging in spiritual warfare. She’s been surrounded by disease and death. She’s been in danger from terrorists. She’s had health problems.
She had to overcome huge opposition to the Gospel. The Kogi’s traditional culture is animistic; they worship mother earth, the sun, and all of creation and believe this is the source of life and peace.
The Kogi Found Their Lost Book!
But Linda and her friends found an opening when they heard an ancient Kogi legend that they had once possessed a book of true wisdom telling them how to live well. It was a black book that was priceless but they had lost it when they fell asleep. The hope in their legend was that one day some younger brothers from another culture would bring their lost book back to them.
The three Wycliffe missionaries became these “younger brothers.” They started a school for a group of Kogi boys and taught them through high school. Reading. Math. Science. Also the creator God and his Son Jesus Christ! Many became dedicated disciples. Two went onto become pastors! These two helped them to translate the New Testament into Kogi, faithful to the original Greek and understandable in Kogi.
Then, 38 years after making a home in a Kogi hut, Linda presented to the tribe their rediscovered lost book!
Today Kogi’s read their precious book. They listen to it on solar powered audio players. Many have “taken hold of Jesus!” They memorize Bible verses to help them pray. Their children sing Bible songs and act them out in church services and community gatherings. They’re sharing the Gospel with other Kogi tribes down the river. They’ve found the Gospel of Jesus and it’s become the glorious adventure of their lives!
Thank you God for Linda! Bless her and her ministry. Inspire us to take more delight in Christ and to be more devoted to living and sharing the Gospel. Amen.
Delighting In the Four Gospels of Jesus
You can rediscover the Gospel of Jesus as a great adventure! “Matthew (The Visual Bible)”, “Mark’s Gospel: On Stage With Max MacLean”, and “The Gospel of John” are word-for-word Gospels presented dramatically. The “Jesus Film” has been shared by CRU to many millions of people around the world and it is based on the Gospel of Luke. You can order all four of these movies on VisionVideo.com.
Also, there’s another version of “The Gospel of John” in which the actors speak in Aramaic, but what the listener hears is a narrator speaking the Gospel in English, word for word from the New International Version. You can watch this on Netflix.
There are many audio versions of the Gospels to listen to them (or any book of the Bible) being read to you out loud. For instance, you can download onto your phone free Mp3 audios (narrated or dramatized) of each of the Gospels from free Bible Apps like Bible.is or YouVersion.
Sharing Jesus with others is as simple as being friendly, silently shooting up a little prayer, and looking to God to help guide the conversation to matters of the heart and our need for Christ.
After a TLC retreat Linda said,
“I couldn’t keep going in ministry.
The teaching and vulnerable sharing helped me
to press in closer to Jesus. I am renewed!”
Maybe you or a ministry leader you know needs TLC?
Learn more here.