"While devotionally reading through the Gospels some time back, I was captured by the number of questions Jesus asked," Hawkins said. "Think about it -- the Gospels record some 150 questions that escaped the lips of our omniscient Lord. I pondered why He, of all people, needed to ask questions. As we study, we see Scripture is replete with hard questions asked by those in that great cloud of witnesses, and the God-honoring answers we can discover."
"The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer," was written with three audiences in mind, Hawkins said: for individuals who could use it as a weekly devotional guide, for those who could use it as a means to introduce family and friends to the Bible and for pastors who want a simple guide to lead their people through a year's study on the questions found in Scripture. Each chapter focuses on one question and provides an outline of the passage and the answers in Scripture.
The book hits store shelves today (July 29).
The format is similar to the one in Hawkins' previous book, "The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know." In that volume, Hawkins presents verses believers should memorize and provides outlines on each verse. All author's royalties and proceeds for both The Jesus Code and The Joshua Code benefit Mission:Dignity, the GuideStone ministry that provides financial assistance to retired pastors and their widows struggling with financial need. Both books are published by Thomas Nelson.
With some 250,000 copies in print, many pastors have led their church through The Joshua Code, and some plan to do the same with The Jesus Code in the coming year.
Scott Sullivan, a pastor in Gautier, Miss., is among those who used The Joshua Code in his church.
"I am a bi-vocational pastor, have a full-time job, am attending seminary and have a 6-year-old and newborn at home," Sullivan said. "I've been leading my church through The Joshua Code on Sunday nights this year. It's a great resource for the busy pastor."
The men's ministry of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church also used The Joshua Code as part of its weekly men's breakfast.
"It is a beautiful sight to see multiplied hundreds of Prestonwood men memorizing a verse of Scripture a week this year with The Joshua Code," Prestonwood pastor Jack Graham said. "They are not just getting into the Word, but the Word is now getting into them -- and it is making a difference in their lives, their homes and our church."
Hawkins said his prayer is that The Jesus Code will have a similar impact.
"One thing Scripture teaches in its recording of these questions is that it's OK to ask questions," Hawkins said. "Those who continue to grow in spirit and in wisdom ask a lot of questions. We have reached a dangerous point in our spiritual journey when we feel that we have all the answers and we stop asking questions."
Roy Hayhurst is department head of denominational and public relations services at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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