Create Your Own
Photo Album of the Heart
For the past three months of Sundays, I’ve taken a 700-member congregation on a journey through the New Testament book of Hebrews. From chapter to chapter, we were on the hunt for insights into who our living, reigning Jesus IS and who he is FOR US as the ultimate fulfillment of our lives.
Did the experience ever blow me away! After decades of writing and speaking about the glories of God’s Son—including writing widely respected books on the Savior totaling over one thousand pages—I expected that by the end of the 13-week series in Hebrew’s 13 chapters, we might be lucky to find 25 or 30 of what I called “snapshots of Christ.” I was wrong!
Instead, we uncovered 97 snapshots! Yes, 97! After I preached on one of the chapters—digging into as many as eight on a single Sunday—we added these latest snapshots to the growing album graphic. It looked like this. (Now the album has grown to 12 pages!
Then, during the intervening weeks, people would download the latest pages and meditate on the greatness and glory of Jesus during their prayer times.
Truly, it became a photo album OF the heart because it was now residing IN the hearts of hundreds of Jesus followers.
All of this was gleaned from the book of Hebrews alone, and there are 65 additional books of the Bible to go!
As the great preacher Charles Spurgeon put it: “In every text of Scripture, there is a road to lead us to Christ. And it is your job to find that road and take it!”
Or as the late Tim Keller would say: “When you come to a passage, the first question you need to ask is this: Is this passage about me, or is it about Christ? Because always, fundamentally, all of the Bible is about Christ.”
Therefore, I challenge you to try this experiment as part of your own time in the Bible and prayer:
- Download the entire Photo Album of the Heart from my summer series HERE.
- Go through the album page by page—with the book of Hebrews opened before you at the same time—and see if you can locate which verse in a chapter is behind which snapshot. The album entries follow the sequence of the chapters.
- Now, take another book—let’s say 1 Thessalonians. Go through it, chapter by chapter, and locate as many insights as you can find about who the Lord Jesus Christ is today as the fulfillment of our lives—either stated directly or obviously implied. Then, give each insight a creative title (as I did with the 97 snapshots from Hebrews). Create your own “Photo Album of the Heart” from the book you chose from the New Testament.
- Next, try this experiment using an Old Testament book—for example, Isaiah 40-54. How is Jesus foreshadowed by what is said about the character and ways of Jehovah, or by the promises for God’s people, or by prophecies about the future?
- Finally, share what you are discovering. Share your own Photo Albums of Heart with at least one other believer. Demonstrate for them how true Jesus’ words in John 5 are when he said, speaking of the scriptures, “It is these that speak of me.”
But remember, he added: “And yet, you refuse to come to ME that you might have life.” These pictures of Jesus are meant not just for the head but primarily for the HEART. Day by day, the more insights you gain into the wonders of our Redeemer King, the more you should be growing in how you trust, love, and obey him—as well as in your desire to share your discoveries with others.
Of course, most of us will not be able to duplicate the graphic approach our church’s in-house creative director developed for my messages. But what you can do is simply keep a running list of the unique “titles” you’ve created for the discoveries you’ve made about who Jesus is today, along with the reference verses. And after you have finished doing so with a specific book of the Bible, show or email that list to a friend and discuss it.
You might say, “Look, Bob (or whomever!), at all the ways Jesus is revealed, referred to, and described—either directly, indirectly, or implied—in just the five chapters of 1 Thessalonians! I’m learning that these discoveries are waiting for us throughout the rest of the Bible. As Jesus followers, don’t you think this should start to change the way we read and think and talk about Jesus and Scripture?” (Then, discuss!)
Write to me in the comment box below and let me know how your experiment is going! Share with me at least some of the “snapshots” you gained from just one book of the Bible. I would enjoy hearing from you!
About the Author
Over the past 50 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ Awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular Daily CHRIST TODAY Podcast.