Nicodemus [ John 3:1-15 ]

This highly esteemed pharisee who was the “teacher of Israel” had questions for Jesus. Quite possibly the foremost theologian and quite possibly one of the strictest law keepers of the Sanhedrin was going to hear something that would completely cause his world to shift from underneath him. In the quiet of the night, Jesus tells Nicodemus the only way he can enter the kingdom of God.

-- 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)

[John 3:1-15]
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?”5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

+ 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)

_ What does it mean to be “born again” (v. 3)
_ What does it mean to be born of “water and the Spirit”. See: Ezekiel 36:25-27 (v. 5-8)
_ What timeless truth does verse 12 highlight about the nature of mankind?
_ How does Moses lifting up the bronze snake on a poll foreshadow what Jesus was to do on the cross? See Numbers: 21:4-9  (v. 14-15)

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 was it like for you to be reborn? Was it a sudden or long process in your life? Stories are powerful. Are you ready to give an accounting of your rebirth and for the subsequent “hope that is in you?”
+ 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 Knows the Heart [ John 2:23-25 ]

Today is Wednesday, February 20th, 2019. “O Lord, you have searched me and know me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar….Where shall I go from your Spirit” These are David’s words in Psalm 139 and they come to mind when reading John 2:23-25. Jesus knows our hearts, he is not fooled by insincere belief. This passage highlights the wonderful promise that Jesus entrust himself to those who truly believe but it also gives warning to those who would profess belief with their lips while living with faithless hearts. - 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)

[John 2:23-25]
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

+ 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)

_ Read Psalm 139
_ Is it wrong to believe in the Lord because we’ve seen signs and wonders? (v 23)
_ Why did Jesus not entrust himself to the people? (v 24)
_ How does v. 24 serve as both a glorious promise and a terrifying warning?(v 24)
_ What guidance does v. 25 give us about the need to care for our souls?  How does this drive us to prayer and repentance? (v 25)

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)

Misplaced Worshippers [John 2:13-22]

Hello there. Today is Tuesday, February 19th, 2019. In today’s passage we will discover the offence of misplaced worship. We learn how Jesus responds to hypocrisy and greed. Praise is inherent to the way we were made, but our hearts are easily lead astray (levi the poet). I pray this passage would convict us of our idols, but encourage us to abandon them and seek after God relentlessly. You are loved. You are cherished. You are precious. You are beloved. You are no longer a slave to sin. 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)

[John 2:13-22]
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.”17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.


+ 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)

_ On surface level, the vendors are offering a convenient and seemingly loving service, it likely doesn’t appear as wrong to many. Why is it exactly that Jesus does not approve of this? (v16, 1Tim6:5)
_ What makes the Jews question in verse 18 so despicable?
_.What makes the disciples remembrance of “Zeal for my father’s house will consume me” significant to the passage?
_ What is our modern day equivalent of “selling oxen and sheep and pigeons”? How is our consumerism outweighing out true worship?

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 does verse 19 both reveal us of our total depravity, but also encourage us towards ?
_ How does the Gospel of Christ liberate you from idolatry and misguided passions?


+ 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 First Glimpse of His Glory - [ John 2:1-12 ]

Throughout John’s gospel, he gives us glimpses of the glory of Jesus Christ, the Rescuer, so that those who read his eye witness account will believe.  Today, Monday, February 18, 2019, we see the first of many miraculous signs which reveal the truth of who Jesus is, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the prophesied Messiah, and the Savior of the World who came to rescue His people.  John highlights in this account how Jesus has control over water. As the Lord through Moses transformed the waters at Marah from bitter to sweet in Exodus 15:23-25, John shows that Jesus, Mary’s son, has similar power at a wedding in Cana.  Jesus rescues the host from the embarrassment of running out of wine at the wedding, but he has a much larger rescue in mind for his disciples in attendance and those He will call to Himself. 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)

[John 2:1-12]
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

+ 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)

_ What is the location in verse 1?  Who is in attendance in verse 2?
_ What problem develops in verse 3?  
_ Why might Jesus’s mother have told Him about it?
_ What did she infer as she told him?
_ How does Jesus respond to the problem in verse 4?
_ What words tell us in verse 5 that His mother wasn’t going to take no for an answer?
_ Why might Jesus have acted even though “His time had not yet come?”
_ How many jars do we find in verse 6?  What were they originally used for?
_ Why might it be significant that Jesus uses these jars to bless the host with an abundance of wine?  
_ Imagine that you were one of the servants.  Describe how they might have told this story to another. Verses 7-9
_ What surprises you about the master of the banquet’s words in verse 10?
_ John calls this the first of Jesus’s miraculous _________, in verse 11.  
_ What is this word used for today?  
_What is each one pointing to in John’s gospel?
_ What are two specific results of what happened at the wedding in Cana? See verse 11b
_ 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)

To Know and Be Known [John 1:47-51]

Happy Friday, brothers and sisters! Today's passage continues John's recounting of disciples being called to Jesus. We continue the story started yesterday of a relational calling as Philip, whom Jesus called, also called Nathanael. We get to see what one whose interest was piqued experienced as he comes to know Christ Jesus, and comes to understand that Jesus knows him better than he expected. Let God’s word guide you to see yourself in light of this passage, to better understand who you are to God, and what He would have you do.

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)

[John 1:47-51]
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

+ 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)

_ What demonstrates that Jesus already knew who Nathanael was, even before they "met"? (v47)
_ Jesus already saw and knew Nathanael, and wanted him to be one of His disciples, prior to Philip calling him. What, then was Philip's role? (v48)
_ What caused Nathanael to know that Jesus was more than just a man from Nazareth and fellow Israelite? (v48-49)
_ What promises did Jesus make to Nathanael in v50 and 51?

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

_ Before anyone ever shared the gospel message with you, God already knew you, who you really are, knew your future, loved you, and desired you to be one of His own. How does it feel to be so known? How will you respond to being so known?

+ 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)
_ As we learned in today's passage, Philip calling Nathanael to come and see and follow Jesus was just echoing the calling Jesus already made. To whom in your life should you echo God's calling?

Come and See [ John 1:43-46 ]

It is Thursday, February 14, 2019. This morning we pick up the dual accounts of Jesus calling his first disciples. In this account we discover a simple model for inviting friends and family to follow Jesus with us. May the Lord grow us in courage and faithfulness to introduce others to Jesus.
- 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)

[John 1:43-46]
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

+ 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)

_ In v.43 who does Jesus find in Galilee and what does he say to him?
_ In v.44, where was Philip from? Why do you think John included this detail?
_ In v.45 what does Philip do after Jesus invites him to follow him? How does he describe Jesus?
_ In v.46 what is Nathanael’s response and how does Philip respond?

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

_ Philip begins to follow Jesus and invites his friend Nathanael to join him. If you are Philip, who is your Nathanael? What is your next step? We have some simple resources to help you on the journey to become a disciplemaking disciple. You can reach out to Jesse Taylor if you would like to be trained in any of these resources.

+ 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)

Come and You Will See [John 1:35-42]

Hey there loved ones! Today is Wednesday, February 13th, 2019. In today’s passage we will discover that following the lamb of God, means coming to know God personally. I pray this passage would stir up our affections for Christ Jesus and the amazing news he invites us to hear and partake in. -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)

[John 1:35:42]
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

+ 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)

_ What is John inferring when he calls Jesus the “Lamb of God”? Use John 1:29 and Hebrews 9:12 as reference.
_ How do verses 35-38 reflect what John says in John 3:25-30 that “I must decrease so that He may increase”?
_ Why do you think Jesus is so interested in the reason these two men are pursuing him? How do the disciples respond to the question. V.38
_ How does Jesus respond to the disciples question? What might this reflect of Christ’s desire? Use 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 as reference.
_ What is Andrew’s motivation for retrieving his brother Simon? V.41
_ What is the significance in Jesus changing the name that Simon is to go by? What is symbolic of it? Please use John 3: 1-8 as reference

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 does this passage showing the invitation of Christ, as well as the supremacy of Christ, encourage us to lay aside all ways of life we once walked in, all objects of society’s teaching, and pursue after Christ and his way of life alone?
_ How does the Gospel of Christ liberate you from hiding and living in sin?

+ 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)

“This is the Son of God” [John 1:29-34]

Today is Tuesday, February 12, 2019.  We pick up with John the Baptist’s ministry, preparing the way for Jesus and how he knows that Jesus is the Son of God.  --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)

[John 1:29-34]
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

+ 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)

_How does John describe Jesus? Why does he use the language of a lamb taking sins away?
_How does baptizing with water help reveal the Lamb of God to the people?
_Who is “he who sent” John? What does he tell John?
_What does John see when he baptizes Jesus? What is the difference between baptism by John  and baptism by Jesus?
_What does all this leave John to conclude about Jesus’ identity?
_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

_ Have I taken Jesus seriously and considered eye-witness testimony about his divinity, being the Son of God?
_ Have I taken baptism seriously?

+ 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)

John Makes Way for The Lord [ John 1.19-28 ]

Happy Monday, February 11th. Have you ever felt like your faith made you weird? Or has someone ask “Why do you do that?” John the Baptist might have been as weird as they come. He ate locusts dipped in honey and wore camel's hair and kind of lived off on his own. So when he started talking about God it only got weirder. John wasn’t concerned with this. John only wanted to make way for the coming of Christ and His ministry.

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)

[John 1:19-28]
19
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

+ 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)

_Who did John say he was?
_Who did some think John was?
_What was John doing?
_What was John's explanation?
_What was John unworthy of?

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

_Have you ever been asked about your faith and felt the need to shy away from it? Don’t be afraid to honestly share your belief when the Holy Spirit prompts curiosity in another. You don’t have to be “crying out in the wilderness” as John did but how can you live today to “make straight the way of the Lord”? Live honestly and share honestly when asks as John was.

+ 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 Has Made Him Known [John 1:16-18]

It is Friday, February 8, 2019.  For many reasons, I believe the first Chapter of the Gospel of John to be one of the most important sections in all of Scripture.  In these final three verses of the prologue, John focuses on the abundance of divine grace found in the Word, the only God, Jesus Christ.  We MUST understand this grace to know and communicate the gospel of Jesus, first to ourselves, then to others!!!  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)

[John 1:16-18]
16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

+ 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)

_ How would you define these three words found in verse 16:  fullness, received, grace.  What does this tell you about us?  What does it tell you about God? 
_ Some scholars believe a better translation of "grace upon grace" is "grace instead of grace", especially in light of verse 17. Was their "grace" offered in the giving of the Law by God to Moses?  Why or why not?  
_ Why does John add the word "truth" to grace in what has been given to us through Jesus in verse 17?  What is truth?  Read John 18:37-38.
_ Who is the "only God" mentioned in verse 18; the Father, Jesus or both?What do you think it means that "he has made him known"? How? To whom?

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?

The Grace of God is at the heart of the Gospel message.  It reminds us that we are WHOLLY depended upon God for our salvation.  We bring ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to this Divine initiated transaction.  Repent of ever taking this TOTALLY unmerited favor of God for granted and revel in His grace and mercy to us, His rebellious and unworthy subjects!!!     


+ 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 Word Became Flesh [ John 1:14-15 ]

Blink and you may miss it. These two verses reference two Johns from our faith, and they are some of the most powerful verses in the scriptures. The first addresses John’s eyewitness account of God coming in the flesh, and the other is a recounting of John the Baptist affirming that Jesus -- while younger in the flesh -- is our Messiah who has existed always. -- 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)

[John 1:14-15]
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)

+ 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)

_ Who was the Word? How did we “behold His glory”? (v. 14)
_ Why did John (the Baptist) say “he who who comes after me ranks before me”?  (v. 15)
_ What is the significance of “because he was before me”? (v. 15)
_ How do these two verses impact you, or how do they speak to you?

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 are you bearing witness to the Word today?    

+ 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 True Light [ John 1:9-13 ]

Today is Wednesday, February 6th, 2019. John’s audience in writing this gospel is the Jew’s.  The Jew’s, as students of the Old Testament writings, would have known that the law and wisdom give “light”.  Therefore, when John says that the “true light” has come into the world he is communicating that the full revelation of God’s truth has arrived in the world.  But let us not look past the fact that the “true light” had to come into the world, which is characterized by darkness. This shows us that there is nothing good in the world, that this world is in desperate need of a savior.  Many will reject the savior and not receive Him, but John doesn't leave us without hope. In verse 12 John pens one of the most glorious verses in all of scripture. “But to all who did receive him, who believe in his name, HE GAVE THE RIGHT TO BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD.”  What a glorious truth! We are not merely acquaintances, friends, distant cousins, etc. but rather we have been adopted as children of the most high God. I pray that you will worship the Lord today in response to this glorious truth. -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)

[John 1:9-13]
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

+ 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)

_ Why does John use “light” to describe Jesus in this passage (v 9)
_ What do we learn about Jesus in verse 10? (v 10)
_ What do we learn about the state of man in verse 10-11? (v 10-11)
_ What does John mean when he says “not born of the will of the flesh”? (v 13)
_ 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)

A great Necessity, a great Not [John 1:6-8]

Good morning. Today is February 5th, 2019. In today’s passage we will be taught how we ought to view our roles and responsibilities as Christians. I hope and pray that this passage will be equally convicting and encouraging. 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?
_What was the most peaceful experience you had last week, and what made that experience peaceful? Fun question: Have you ever wanted to be a fish, and if so, why?

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)

[John 1:6-8]
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

+ 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)

_ The passage would flow very coherently if verses 6-8 were skipped over: why is it crucial that it is included exactly where it is?
_ What is the heavy significance of the word “witness”? (v7)
_ What is the very significant and encouraging word in verse 8, and why does this dramatically shift our responsibility and worth? (v8)
_ What example does John set in verse 8 that is admirable, but also convicting? (v8. see John 3:28-30)

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?

_Through divine accountability, what is the Lord calling you to confess of, share with your community, and ask for help and correction in?
_ How does the Gospel of Christ liberate you from hiding and living in sin?
_ How are you convicted to decrease so that He may increase?


+ 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 Word - Light and Life [ John 1:1-5 ]

It is Monday, February 4, 2019.  Today, as a church, we begin our journey through the book of John.  As we read John’s eyewitness account of the miraculous and radical life of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, may the Spirit lead each of us to believe.  The prophet Isaiah, over 600 years before Christ in 53:1, asked the pivotal question, “Who has believed what he has heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?  John’s own words in 20:31 tell us that his purpose in writing is to point us to the one in whom we should believe. He says, “But these (signs) are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” 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)

[John 1:1-5]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  ESV

+ 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)

_ Who was with God…who was God...? Verse 1  Who does the Word refer to?
_ What is so significant about these opening words of John’s gospel?
_ What does Scripture say about the timing of the Word?  Where else might we find this beginning? Verse 1-2
_ What was made through the Word? Verse 3
_ In Him was _________?  How extensive is this word?
_ Think about presence of light and the absence of light in men, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
_ What action or purpose does light take or have in the world?  What is the result of this action? Verse 5
_ 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)

The Nature of Praise [Isaiah 55:12-13]

Happy Friday and welcome to February! Isaiah continues to share God's words to us that encourages us to look at the world around us to see His truths encoded in nature--hints and reminders for us of God's promises and faithfulness--that encourages us to join the unbroken throngs of praise that have been resounding since creation and continue to this day. Let God’s word guide you to see His creation with new eyes, give you renewed hope of the future He is creating for us, and encourage you in your praise of our faithful Father.

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)

[Isaiah 55.12-13]
12 "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

+ 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)

_ From the beginning of v12, what promise does God make will be in our future as we are going out?
_ How can we look with new eyes to mountains and hills bursting into bloom, with the lively songs of birds other animals? (v12)
_ How can we see anew trees with their upward stretched branches, especially as their branches knock together in the wind? (v12)
_ What quality of God could the cypress and myrtle, both evergreens, remind us of? (v13)
_ What are the thorns and briers that the cypress and myrtle are replacing? (v13)

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 thorns and briers has God already removed from your own life and replaced with His own everlasting life and goodness? Praise God for His faithfulness! 
_What thorns and briers are now in your life, that are pricking and tearing you up, that you need to surrender to God? What is He calling you to do to surrender this area of your life to 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)

Word Like Rain [ Isaiah 55.10-11 ]

It is Thursday, January 31.  It has been a joy to journey through Isaiah 55 this week. Today we come to a much quoted, familiar section of the passage. Isaiah gives us some profound imagery to describe the effect of God’s word. May the word of God and the Word of Life permeate our hearts this day!   - 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)

[ Isaiah 55.10-11 ]

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

+ 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)

_ What imagery does Isaiah use in v.10? What are some words that describe what is happening?
_ What does God promise about his word in v.11a?
_ What else does God’s word do in v.11b?
_ Who else does this passage in Isaiah point to? (think John 1)

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 is your trust level in the word of God these days? Do you believe that it does what God promises 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)
_ How is your trust level that when the word of God is proclaimed it will not return empty? Who is the Lord calling you to proclaim the word to today?

Penitence and Compassion [Isaiah 55:6-9]

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, January 30th, 2019. In today’s passage we will see a declaration of the Lord’s ability and desire to pardon as well as an attribute of God’s being that requires all to seek his pardon. I pray this passage would stir up our affections for Christ Jesus and his Gospel. -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)

[Isaiah 55.6-9]
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

+ 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)

_ Who is commanding that the Israelites, as well as other people groups, seek the Lord?(V.6)
_What will the Lord have toward the unrighteous person who seeks the Lord’s forgiveness? (V.7)
_ What is promised to the unrighteous man or woman if they return to the Lord with a heart of penitence? (V.7) Use Isaiah 1:18 as reference
_ Why do all men and women need to to return to the Lord through repentance? What is stated of the Lord’s ways and what is stated of man’s ways in this passage? (V.8-9)

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 does this passage of the Lord’s compassion, and desire for you to seek his forgiveness, motivate you to return to His throne with a heart of repentance? What is promised to you if you do?
_How does the Gospel of Christ liberate you from hiding and living in sin?


+ 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)

“That Your Soul May Live” [Isaiah 55:3-5]

Today is Tuesday, January 29, 2019.  Isaiah highlights the power of God’s invitation and His covenant relationship with us, foreshadowing the fulfilment of this promise in Christ. On reading verse 3 Spurgeon writes, “Will God enter into covenant with sinful men — with thirsty men — with hungry men — with needy men — with guilty men? Ah! that he will.”  --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)

[Isaiah 55.3-5]
Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

+ 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)

_(v. 3) What are we commanded in order “that our souls may live”? Thank God that it is not about what we do for God, but simply that we come.
_Consider what it means that God offers to be with us in “an everlasting covenant”. Notice how his covenant is also described as love.
_David is a type of Christ in the Old Testament. In what way is Jesus the fulfilment of the way that David is described in verse 4?
_(v.5 )What is the result of this offer of covenant with God?
_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?

_Is there a way that God wants to remind you of his everlasting covenant with you?
_Is there a way that your life would change if you lived fully in this 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)

The Compassion of the Lord [ Isaiah 55.1-2 ]

Today is Monday, January 28th. Today we are looking at the book of Isaiah. In The Bible Knowledge Commentary J.A. Martin says  “God invites people in need to come to Him. By coming they indicate that they are trusting in and relying on Him for salvation and are agreeing to obey His commandments. The blessings God gives them are available without cost. Salvation is a free gift of God, whether it refers to spiritual redemption or physical deliverance.”

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)

[Isaiah 55.1-2]
1 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.


+ 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)

_Who should come to the waters?
_Who should by and eat?
_What is ironic about vs. 1?
_What questions are asked in vs. 2?
_What does vs. 2 say we should eat and delight in?

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?

_Christ referred to himself as the bread of life. Christ came to bring light to true life to a world stumbling in darkness trying to feed ourselves with things that never satisfy. Isaiah calls our attention back to God who provides for us when we have nothing to offer. We don’t need to bring anything because there is no price for us to pay. What in your life are you trying to satisfy yourself with? What are you “eating” that isn’t the bread of life? How can you delight in the rich food God has provided?


+ 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)

David Prays for Help in a Time of Trouble [Psalm 86:16-17]

It is Friday, January 25.  David concludes this beautiful psalm as he started it; asking the Lord to "save" him "from his day of trouble".  Is David's request just a selfish cry for help, or is there more here that we can apply to our Christian walk today?    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)

[ Psalm 86:16-17]

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

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

_ What does it tell you that David asks the Lord to" be gracious" in verse 17?  How about him asking for "your strength" or calling himself "your servant"?  What's his posture before God? 

_ What do you think about asking God for a "sign of his favor'?  Is David putting the Lord "to the test" (see Matthew 4:5-7)?   Why or why not?  (Also, read the story of Gideon in Judges 6, especially verses 17 and 36-40 and discuss).  

_ What do you think about David  asking for his enemies to "be put to shame"?  Was this OK for David in this particular situation because he was King of Israel and faced "real" enemies of Jehovah God or is this applicable to us today?  If so, where would it apply?  Be VERY careful here!!!  

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 struggle at times in my "view" of  the Lord. I tend to resonate with "what a friend I have in Jesus" and "casting my cares upon Him, because He cares for me (I Peter 5: 7), but I need to read and understand other passages of Scripture, like Colossians 1:15-23 to get a fuller picture of Jesus. David was good at this balancing act. Read Psalm 8 and compare it to Psalm 86 that we examined this week.  Repent of times when you  treat the Lord more like a genie in a bottle, praying just to get wishes granted, than the Creator and Sustainer of all there is!!!

+ 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)