The Son of Man Will Be Lifted Up [John 12.27-36a]

Today is Monday April 22nd. Christ was very much aware of His impending death. He knew the burden that he had to take for the sins of man. Jesus knew that the wrath of God would be poured out upon Him. Ultimately Christ knew His purpose and even though He may ask for the Father to save Him he will abide in God’s will. Christ came for the purpose of glorifying God’s name. Christ came so that others may see the light. Christ died so that Satan “the ruler of this world” would be cast out. Christ rose from the dead so that all would be drawn to Him. The people were confused. Why would the one who is lifted up as ruler over all have to die? Jesus urges them as well as us today to walk in light instead of stumbling in the dark trying to answer our own questions.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 12.27-36a ]
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

_ What questions does Jesus ask?
_ What purpose has Jesus come for?
_ What does God respond with?
_ What is the crowds response?
_ Who did the voice come for?
_ What will happen when Christ is lifted high?
_ What do the people ask?
_ What does Jesus say?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

_ In the face of uncertainty and/or pain do you first turn to questions or do you seek the father's will?
_ Is there an area of your life that is currently in darkness causing you to stumble when Christ is drawing you towards the light of truth?   


+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions [Isaiah 52:13-53:12]

It is Friday, April 19, 2019.  Whenever I read this section of Scripture, it always takes my breath away.  It is so beautifully written, yet is so graphic in its detail.  Who is this Suffering Servant, this Man of Sorrows that gives, borrowing from Abraham Lincoln, " the last full measure of devotion"?  Why did he do it and for whom?  Let's dig in and find out.  Chris Adomanis  

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ]
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15 so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

_ Compare Isaiah 52:13 with John 3:14, 8:28, 12:32 and 12:34.  What does “high and lifted up” and “exalted” mean to you and why does Isaiah start this section with these words? 
_ Compare Isaiah 52:15 with Hebrews 9:11-22.  What is the significance of the phrase “many nations”?

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

_ What is the significance of the words “our”, “we” and “us” in verses 53:4-6?  

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

_ What do you make of the phrase “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him” in verse 53:10?  

11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.  This section of Isaiah, plus the gospel accounts of the crucifixion of Christ, show the devasting effects of sin and the punishment that Jesus endured on our behalf. Revel in His love and repent from sin that hinders your fellowship with the Lord.

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

In Remembrance of Me [ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ]

Our Lord Jesus left us a beautiful way to remember Him. Partaking in the Lord’s supper centers our heart on the gratitude owed Jesus for what He has done for us. It was because of our sin that His body was broken. We read much about our Saviour’s resurrection throughout the Word and rightly so. But as this passage makes clear, we are never to detach ourselves from remembering His gruesome murder, fit for the worst of history’s criminals. As often as we take and eat, we are proclaiming His death to a watching world, and waiting for His triumphant return. -- Amy

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ]
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
_ What is significant about mentioning the night of the betrayal? (v. 23)
_ Look back at Jeremiah 31:31-34. What is the “new covenant in [His] blood? (v. 25)
_ What are we proclaiming when we eat the bread and take the cup? (v. 26)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

_ How often have you counted the cost of Christ’s death? Does centering on this passage open your eyes to that more, or were you already in a posture of right remembrance as you take and eat?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Jesus is Worth It [ Hebrews 12:1-3 ]

Today is Wednesday, April 17, 2019.  Jesus is worth it. As we journey through our Christian walk we are called to throw off sin, to put aside everything that does not bring glory to God.  We are also called to run the race well, to endure and persevere through the hardships of life. Are we just to do these things out of legalism or fear?  Absolutely not! The author of Hebrews tells us to do these things by “looking to Jesus.” Jesus is why we throw off sin. Jesus is why we run the race. We do these things because Jesus is worth it.  Paul says in Philippians that he “counts everything as rubbish compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus.” As you war against sin and the devil, as you persevere through the painful and challenging moments of life, do so by looking to Jesus because he is worth it. - Jon

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ Hebrews 12:1-3 ]
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
_ Who are the great cloud of witnesses (v. 1)
_ Why are we to throw aside every weight and sin? (v 1)
_ Why does sin cling so closely to us?(v 1)
_ How did Jesus “perfect our faith”? (v 2)
_ What was the joy set before Jesus? (v 2)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Rescuer [ Psalm 71:1-14 ]

Greetings! Throughout John’s Gospel we have seen Jesus as the Rescuer. Psalm 71 is a wonderful prayer that shows the confidence we can have in God as we call on Him to rescue. May we always look to the Lord in times of difficulty. David


The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ Psalm 71:1-14 ]
In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! 2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! 3 Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 
_
Who does the Psalmist take refuge in?
_ What does it mean that the Lord is a rock of refuge?
_ How is this cry for help similar to the plea in John 12?

4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. 5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you. 7 I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day. 

_ Who does the Psalmist want to be delivered from
_ Why is the Psalmist filled with praise

9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. 10 For my enemies speak concerning me; those who watch for my life consult together 11 and say, “God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him.” 12 O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt. 14 But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. 
_
What are the enemies saying about God
_ What does the Psalmist say he will do continually

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ What areas of life are you feeling discouraged and in need of a rescuer?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Isaiah’s Prophecy - Fulfilled in Christ - [ Isaiah 42:1-9 ]

Throughout John’s gospel, he gives us glimpses of the glory of Jesus Christ, the Rescuer, the Redeemer, the Savior that was promised in the Old Testament.  Today as we walk into Passion Week, we see that Isaiah gave similar glimpses of Jesus’s glory 600 years before the Incarnation. Isaiah reminds God’s people in 66 chapters of a number of things.  First that man is sinful and deserves judgement. But he also shares that God promises to REDEEM His people from this judgement, both Jews and Gentiles. How? Isaiah prophesies that God would do the work Himself, through the Messiah, a mighty King and a Suffering Servant.  Today, Monday, April 15, 2019, in this passage we see some of the prophesied miraculous signs which would reveal this Redeemer when He came. Jesus Himself reads the words of Isaiah’s prophecy on the Sabbath in Nazareth and says it is fulfilled in Him in Luke 4 (attached below).  He also encouraged John the Baptist and his disciples in Matthew 11 (also attached below) that He was fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy by Word and by action. Jesus is the long awaited one, the LORD’s Chosen Servant. Kim

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ Isaiah 42:1-9 ]
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:

_ What are some of the characteristics of the “servant” described in verse 1?
_ Who is working with the servant?  What is His role?
_ What kind of “splash” would this servant make when He entered on the scene in verse 2?  
_ How does that line up with the text from Luke 4?
_ What recurring theme/role of the servant do you see in verse 1, 3, and 4?
_ Who or what is waiting for the law or justice?
_ How do you see God’s power to accomplish this justice in verse 5?

6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. 9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

_ What is God’s plan to accomplish the justice mission?  Who is the “you” referring to in verse 6?
_ How is this “you” equipped once called?
_ What are some physical signs that would point to the servant from verse 7?
_ How do those signs relate to the Matthew and Luke passage above?
_ Summarize verse 8 - what is the goal?
_ What “new thing” might Isaiah be referring to in verse 9?
_ How does this passage show a glimpse of Jesus’s glory?
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Spread the Word [John 12:20-26]

Happy Friday, brothers and sisters! Today's story shows the draw that Jesus' ministry had. Jesus ministry had largely been to the Jews at this point, but His numerous miracles, especially the recent miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, caused a such stir in the surrounding area that even the Greeks were beginning to take notice. Let God’s word call you in, and enlighten you with the beauty of the service- and sacrifice-centered life of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 12.20-26 ]
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

_ Why were Greeks among the throngs of Jews headed to Jerusalem for the Passover? (v21)
_ When the Greeks expressed an interest to see Jesus, what did Andrew and Philip do? (v22)
_ What did say that it was time for? (v23)

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
_ What does Jesus' analogy of a grain of wheat mean? (v24)
_ What does v25 tell us about eternal life? 
_ What must servants of Jesus do? (v26)
_ What promise does Jesus make in v26?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Where are you clinging too closely to this life instead of focusing on eternal life?
_ What aspects of your life are you afraid to let go of, to let die, that are keeping you from bearing fruit
_ How is Jesus calling you to follow and serve Him?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Hosanna [ John 12.12-19 ]

It is Thursday April 11, 2019. I hope you have had a productive week, walking in step with our Savior. As we continue in John’s narrative we discover Jesus entering into the city of Jerusalem, being received as a king. May we receive Christ in this way each new day of our lives. - Joey

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 12.12-19 ]
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 
14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

_ In v.12 what crowd came to meet him? (Look at v.17)
_ In v.13-14 what is the significance of the palm branches combined with the crowd “crying out” Hosanna (Lord save)?
_ In v.13b What are some of the things the crowd ascribes to Jesus?
_ In v. 14-15 What connection is John making between Jesus riding in on a donkey and Zechariah 9.9?
_ In v.16 Why did the crowd go to meet him
_ in v.17b and 18 what witness were they bearing about him and why?
_ In v.19 what is the Pharisee’s response?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Do you receive Jesus as the crowd received Jesus that day? In a posture of worship, celebration and proclamation?
_ What would it look like for you to receive Jesus as he enters into the gates of your life tomorrow?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

’You Can’t Handle the Truth’ [John 12:9-11]

Good morning Christ’s beloved. Today is Wednesday, April 10th, 2019. The passage we are about to dig into, reveals a type of blindness we would rather not contemplate. A blindness where one can see, but is so stone hearted they are not moved, and make the choice to stay in darkness. It’s one thing to miss the sign of Christ; it is another to see it, yet remain in the evil day. I pray this passage would be a warning to our hearts, as well as an encouragement by the truth of the Gospel. All persons who hear the Gospel are faced with two roads. I pray you are encouraged by the road you have taken in Christ. -Max

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
_What was the best thing that happened to you this last week?  What was the most difficult?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 12.9-11 ]
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

_ What causes the crowd to gather in vs. 9?
Use as reference: John 11:45-54, John 12:16-19
_Why do the chief priests want to kill Lazarus as well? Vs. 11
_Why might the chief priests so willfully disregard such a sign and true testimony of Lazarus, to the effect of having a desire to put him to death?
Use as reference: John 11: 38-45, John 12:37-43, John 9:35-41

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_Now seeing that the Gospel reveals blindness, how might this move you to repentance in regards to hardness of heart?
_What is a simple step of obedience Christ is calling you to take?


+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Extravagant Anointing [John 12:1-8]

Today is Tuesday, April 9, 2019. I love this passage. Jesus returns to Bethany and Mary shows her  extravagant love for Christ in anointing him with costly perfume, though not everyone in the scene understands how Christ is worth more than all the world and worthy of all our hearts. Matthew Henry says it well, “Those who love Christ truly love him so much better than this world as to be willing to lay out the best they have for him.”  --Monica

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 12.1-8 ]
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

_ (v.1)  Yesterday we learned the Pharisees placed a warrant for Jesus’ arrest and he left Bethany and traveled in Ephraim. Where does he go now? This is the Passover that Jesus would die. Why would he return into danger?
_ (v. 2-3) We know this family. Jesus is eating with the man he raised from the dead! At dinner, how does Mary honor Jesus?
_ (v. 3) A pound is about 11 ounces, or about a soda can of costly perfume. Why might Mary pour such an extravagant gift on Jesus? What does this indicate about her view of Jesus?

4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
_ (v. 4-6) How does Judas respond to this gesture? Notice his concern with the monetary value of the gift. A denarius is a day’s wage, so this is an incredibly expensive gesture. What is his motive for criticizing her gift?
_ (v. 7-8) Look at Jesus’ response. He affirms Mary, while calling out Judas’ messed up motives. What does Judas miss in the moment?  What is the symbolic significance of her gesture?
_What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Do I have the same extravagant, generous, abandoned love of Jesus that Mary did? If not, why?
_ Are there places in my life that I value more than Christ that I need to turn away from?  Do I need to confess?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

One Man Will Die for The People [John 11.45-55]

Today is Monday April 8th. After Jesus Raised Lazarus from the dead the Pharisees responded in fear. They saw Jesus as a threat to their nation. The High Priest Caiaphas says to them “it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” They feared that Jesus would bring an end to their Jewish nation. Unbeknownst to him Caiaphas was right that it was better for this one man, Jesus, to perish. Not just for the Jewish nation but for all of God's people that we might be drawn together as Children of God. Fear is an easy response in the face of turmoil, but the truth of who God is and how He has always worked for His good should bring us peace and comfort. Do not let fear motivate you, but look to God and His desire to reconcile us all as comfort.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 11.45-55 ]
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. 55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.
_ Who believed Jesus?
_ What did the Pharisees say?
_ What did Caiaphas say?
_ What did Caiaphas prophesy?
_ What did the council decide?
_ What did Jesus do?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Often times we can take a short view and respond in fear? What areas of your life do you find yourself prone to respond to in fear? (Finances, success, relationships, jobs, security?)
_ What can you do today to trust that God is working all things towards good even in the face of hardships? (Community, reading, confession, scripture, accountability?)

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Raising Lazarus. I AM the Resurrection and Life 2.0 [John 11:28-44]

It is Friday, April 5, 2019.  Today, we complete the very dramatic story of Jesus raising His dear friend Lazarus from the dead.  With this act, Jesus proves to all that He truly is THE Resurrection and THE Life!!!  Chris Adomanis  

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 11:28-44 ]
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved[
a]in his spirit and greatly troubled.34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?”They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Jesus wept.36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

_ Based on Mary's statement in verse 32 (and Martha's earlier in verse 21), how would you describe how the sister's were feeling about Jesus at this given time?  Have you ever felt that way toward Jesus
_ What do you glean from the fact that Jesus was "deeply moved", "greatly troubled" and "wept" in verses 33-35?  Why do you think John mentions Jesus was "deeply moved again" in verse 38?  Hint: Jesus may have been "moved" by two different things!!! 
_ Based on verses 36-37, how did the crowd feel about Jesus?  What do these two differing reactions tell you about these people?  About people today?
_ Why do you think Jesus performed this miracle, or, for that matter, any of His miracles?  The answer can somewhat be found within verse 42!!!

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
I sense that both Martha and Mary had some animosity toward Jesus at first; that He "wasn't there" for them when they really needed Him.  I must confess I let myself fall into that trap at times, and for facts and circumstances not as difficult as facing the death of a loved one.  Confess of the times when you have treated God like a genie in a bottle or have gotten angry if prayers weren't answered in the way you wanted.  Don't doubt, but believe that "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) 
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

I Am the Resurrection [ John 11:17-28 ]

“Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead for four days” (John 11:39)...sometimes the King James version adds the right spice level. Lazarus was clearly dead. Like, dead, dead.  Nearing His own crucifixion, Jesus displays His own authority over death and the grave. Here we see our Savior declare Himself the resurrection and the life both in this world and throughout eternity. -- Amy

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 11:17-28 ]
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.

_ Meditate on verse 19. What is the significance of this verse and how does it tie into the Gospel spreading?
_ Why do you think John records Martha meeting Jesus but Mary remaining in the house? (v. 20)

21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

_ At first glance, it may look like Martha is going to blame the the Living God in verse 21 but clearly we find she is not doing this by verse 22. How does the first and second part of Martha’s comment to Jesus reveal her heart?

24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
_ In verses 25 - 26, we find Jesus asking the most important question a man can ever hear and find the answer to. What absolute and exclusive claim is Jesus making?
_ Who does Martha proclaim that Jesus is? (v. 27)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Search your heart. Is there any way you can more boldly spread the Good News found in this passage?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Wake Up [ John 11:1-16 ]

Today is Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.  In today’s text we encounter the beginning of one of the most famous stories in all of scripture.  Lazarus, a beloved friend of Jesus, has fallen ill and word has reached Jesus that he will soon die.  However, Jesus responds by telling his disciples that Lazarus’s death will be used to glorify the Son.  His response clearly confused the disciples but Jesus’ intentions are clear. When Jesus goes to “wake up” Lazarus, he is demonstrating that he is an omnipotent God, who has power and authority over death.  Just as Jesus has the power to raise Lazarus from the dead, he also has power to rise from the grave as he has foretold to his disciples.

No matter what your story is, what sin you have committed, or what burden you carry, Jesus has defeated sin and death and he offers to “wake you” up and give you new life.  Turn and repent today for new life in Christ awaits you. - Jon

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 11:1-16 ]
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

_ What does Jesus mean when he says “the illness does not lead to death” (v. 4)
_ How will Lazarus’s death be used for the Son’s glory? (v 4)
_ Why did Jesus wait two days before going to see Mary and Martha? (v 6)

7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
_ Why does Jesus give the illustration about walking in the light and the darK?(v 9)
_ Why does Jesus need to use Lazarus’s death to help the disciples believe? (v 16)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Harsh Men [ John 10:31-42 ]

Today is Tuesday, April 2nd. What a blessing and Joy it is that you woke up today and are able to be reading this. May we never lose wonder and awe in the great mercies, grace, and love of our Heavenly Father to us. Today, we see a picture of how Jesus shows perfect mercy and love, even to those that want to kill him. Praise King Jesus - Evan

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 10:31-42 ]
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

_What is the main purpose of Jesus response to those wanting to stone him? (v 34-36)

37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

_What can be understood of Jesus mercy by verse 37-39?

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.
_ Take a moment to read from verse 22 through 42, how do you think the Jewish leaders hearts were when they reacted to Jesus statement “I and the Father are one”? (V 31-33, Deut. 17:2-7)
_Why do you think the story ends with Jesus returning across the Jordan to where John had been baptising, and many profess faith?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Who Will You Follow? [ John 10: 1-21 ]

It is Monday, April 1, 2019.  In our journey through John together, we continue to see Jesus patiently pour His wisdom and His truth into those who surround Him.  Through each parable, Jesus points his listeners to belief in God the Father through Him, the Son. In this passage, Jesus asks each of us, “In whom (or in what) do you trust?”  Ultimately who you trust, you will follow. In whom are you placing your trust in today? Is it yourself? Your spouse? Your bank account? Your youth? Your wisdom? Or is it in your Jesus, the Good Shepherd?  Whose voice are you listening to each day? Who is guiding your steps? Today, Jesus is calling you and I to listen to His voice and follow Him exclusively. Kim

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 10:1-21 ]
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

_ What two words begin this section of Scripture?  Who is speaking? Why might he begin this way? Vs 1
_ What extended metaphor is used in this passage?  Where has this metaphor been used before? List and discuss some Old Testament examples.
_ To whom is Jesus referring to in verse 1?
_ Who is the shepherd in verse 2?  How does He enter the sheepfold?
_ Who opens the gate? For whom? Who else is allowed through the now open gate? Verse 3
_ Who leads the way?  Verse 4
_ How do the sheep discern who to follow?  Who not to follow? Verse 4-5

6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

_ What does Scripture say about how the people responded to Jesus’s teaching? Verse 6
_ What does Jesus say he “is” in verses 7-9?
_ Why might he use this metaphor? Think about everyday uses of this everyday object.
_ What happens when one “enters by me” in verse 9?  
_ Jesus describes two options for the sheep in the sheepfold in verses 7-10.  Describe each one.

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.

_ What kind of leadership do we see from Jesus, The Good Shepherd?  Verse 11, 14-16
_ What kind of “leadership” do we see from the thief?  Verses 10-13
_ What are some of the roles of the shepherd? Verses 14-17

18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” 19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
_ From whom does the shepherd receive his guidance? Verse 18
_ What encouragement do you find from Jesus in this passage?  Warninings? Direction?
_ How will these truths change how you live your life this week?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

Faithful Testimony [John 9:24-41]

Happy Friday, brothers and sisters! Today we continue the story begun yesterday of the blind man Jesus healed. The Pharisees continue to push the man for answers, some for clarity of understanding, and some for more reason to accuse Jesus. Observe how this baby Christian stands firm in his faith, and how Jesus clarifies His purpose in the world. Let God’s word encourage you through the example of the healed blind man to be ready to share the reason for your faith.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 9:24:41 ]
24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

_ Who were the Pharisees calling a sinner in verse 24?
_ How did the formerly blind man respond to this accusation of his healer? (v25)
_ What did the Pharisees ask the man in verse 26? Including yesterday's passage, this was the third time the man was asked this question. Why do you think they asked this? (see v24)

27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

_ Of whom did the Pharisees say they were disciples, and why? (v28-29)
_ What was the formerly blind man's logical counter to the Pharisees accusation of Jesus being a sinner? (v31-33) 

34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”

_ What was the Pharisees' response to being logically countered? (v34) 
_ Whom did Jesus say was the Son of Man? (v37) 

38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
_ Why did Jesus come into the world? (v39)
_ Why did Jesus say the Pharisees remained guilty? (v41)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ What work has Jesus done in your life? How can you follow the formerly blind man's example when he responded to the work Jesus did in his life (v38)?
_ Look with new eyes at your own life. Is there any guilt that remains in your life that you have not yet confessed? Confess, so that you can be forgiven and be made whole!


+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
_ The man who was healed used his personal experience to witness to others. What is your experience of how Jesus worked in your life, and whom can you tell?

Born Again to See [ John 9:1-23 ]

Good Morning, it’s Thursday, March 28th, 2019. We hope your week has gone well! This morning we begin reading the first part of the account of Jesus healing the man born blind. May the Lord open our eyes through the power of His Holy Spirit, to see Him, as we read, process and take steps of obedience to Christ!

- Joey

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 9:1-23 ]
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

_ Vs. 1-3 give us insight into the common question many of us ask when something bad happens? What is Jesus response?
_ Vs.4-5 Jesus lays a foundation for the miracle he is about to perform. What is his basis?

6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.
_ How would you describe what happens in vs. 6-12 in your own words?

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath.15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

_ In vs. 13-17 the man is brought to the Pharisees. What are the Pharisee’s struggling with related to the miracle?
_ What is the result in vs.16 and what is the man’s conclusion in vs. 17?

18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
_ In vs.18-23 the man is brought to his parents to prove for the Pharisee’s that he was blind from birth. _ Why did his parents answer the Pharisee’s the way they did in vs. 21-22?
_ What is the one thing you learn from our reading today?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Is there an area of your life where you are not seeing clearly or completely blind?
_ Is there any area of your life where you are taking the posture of the Pharisee’s?
_ What is the next step of obedience Christ is calling you to?


+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

I Am [John 8:48-59]

Good morning Christ’s beloved. My prayer is this: that the passage at hand would convict the heart, and encourage the soul; and the Spirit would stir up our affections for Christ Jesus. Today’s passage is demanding of every believer and non-believer’s attention. Christ speaks a word that is not accepted by most. What could he say that is so divisive, so unbelievable? -Max

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
_What was the best thing that happened to you this last week?  What was the most difficult?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 8:48:59 ]
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

_ What causes Jesus to say that the Jews and Pharisees are dishonoring him in v.49? Use as reference: John 8:39-41 and John 8:43-44
_What does Christ mean in ‘keeping his word’ in verse 51? What is the result of keeping it? Use as reference: John 6:63-64, John 6:68, John 8:31-32, John 15:5-10

52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’[a] 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

_How do verses 52 and 53 reveal what Christ is speaking of himself?
_What relationship does Jesus establish in verses 54 and 55?
_What relationship does Jesus claim he has with Abraham in verses 56?

57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”[b] 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
_What is Jesus saying of himself when he says he is “I am”? Use as reference Exodus 3:14, Deuteronomy 32:39 and Isaiah 41:4 and 43:10.
_What is the reaction from the Jews in verse 59? Why does Jesus’ claim produce such a hostility and hatred from the Jews?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_Understanding better Christ’s holiness and divinity, how might this passage convict you and motivate you to ‘keep his word’?
_What is a simple step of obedience Christ is calling you to take?


+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)

For or Against Jesus: [John 8:39-47]

Today is Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The danger of believing lies is that it is often hard to hear and accept the truth. That is the crux of Jesus’ rebuke to the religious leaders. Jesus says you are for him and believe him, or you are against him and with the devil. Jesus does not hide his identity or his relationship with the Father, but continues to insist on the truth of his testimony. --Monica

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 8:39-47 ]
39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

_ (v. 39-40)  What does Jesus accuse the teachers of the law of?
_ (v. 41-43) While the teachers of the law claim even God as their Father, how does Jesus respond?

44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

_ (v. 44) Why does Jesus say their father is the devil?
_ (v. 44) What  is the devil like? What are his characteristics?

47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
_ (v. 47) How does Jesus conclude?
_What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Do I truly believe that Jesus is who He says He is? Am I for him or against him?
_ Are there places in my life that I let the devil take control of, where I listen to lies or even spread them to others? Do I need to confess?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)