We are made one with God [ John 17:20-26 ]

Today is Wednesday, May 15, 2019.  John chapter 17 is an incredible passage because we are given a window into Jesus’ intercessory role between us and the Father.  In verses 20-26 we see Jesus crying out to the Lord to welcome us, all who believe in Jesus, to be co heirs with Christ. Jesus prays that the love, glory, oneness that he experiences with the Father may also be shared with us.  This is our great joy brothers and sisters, that everything God has given to Jesus he has also given to us. May we glory in the knowledge of this truth today. - 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 17:20-26 ]
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
_ What does Jesus’ intercessory role look like?(v. 20-26)
_ Do we deserve or have we earned the right to share in the glory of Jesus? (v 22)
_ Pause and reflect on this verse.  That God has “loved them(us) even as you have loved me(Jesus)” (v 23)
_ What elements of Jesus’ character do we see revealed in this passage? (v 20-26)
_ What does it mean to have the love of God and Jesus in us? (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

+ 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)

High Priestly Prayer [ John 17:6-19 ]

Today is Tuesday, May 14th. Good Morning. If you’re reading this, I’m glad you are here. What a joy it is to be alive. Today we will be reading part of Jesus high priestly prayer from John chapter 17. This passage is dense, and requires much attention. I pray that this time of study would be fruitful, and that the lord would daily refresh and renew you with unspeakable joy. 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 17:6-19 ]
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

_ What does Jesus mean when he says he has “manifested your name to the people” in verse 6? How does Jesus fulfill that manifestation?  
_In verse 9, who are the ones given to Jesus?

10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth
_Who is the son of destruction? (v12)
_What seems to be the overarching theme of these 14 verses?

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 Hour Has Come [ John 17:1-5 ]

It is Monday, May 13, 2019.  It may seem like just an ordinary Monday in a crazy life.  Yet today could be an extraordinary day as you invite Jesus into it and accomplish His purposes.  In the Scripture today we are privileged to see one of the grandest, most miraculous, and intimate prayers within the Trinity.  Jesus, through his disciple John, is calling you to believe, and be part of this intimate fellowship. 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 17:1-5 ]
17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
_ What words in verse 17 tell the reader to review what happened before it?
_ What does Jesus promised the disciples in Chapter 16?   What does he tell them again will happen to Him?
_ What “hour” is Jesus referring to in verse 17?
_ What will be the result of this “hour?”
_ Why is Jesus reviewing/remembering “His authority over all flesh” during this hour? Why might this encourage Jesus in this “hour?”  Verse 2
_ How does Jesus define eternal life in verse 3?  Is this how you would have defined it previously?
How did your definitions differ?  Why?
_ How does Jesus say He glorified His Father on earth in verse 4?  How might that apply to our own lives today?
_ What glory do we anticipate will be restored to Jesus after he prays to the Father? Verse 5
_ What beautiful pictures of fellowship, honor, and love within the Trinity do we see in verse 5?

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
_ When Jesus makes things clear to us, it often includes seeing our own shortcomings and weaknesses, but those are exactly where we can see God working in our own lives. Where have you seen God at work in your life recently? Where is God showing you He wants to work in your life now?


+ 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 passage gives both honest and very good news. With whom can you share this message of hope?

Clarity and Hope [John 16:25-33]

Happy Friday, brothers and sisters! Before we continue through John, first think back to John 1:1 and the beginning of John 1:14, "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." We know that Jesus is the Word, fully God translated into a fully human form--this places a whole new spin on the phrase "figure of speech"!

Jesus frequently used figures of speech to pique the curiosity of His intended audience and draw them in. However, Jesus indicated there is a time for figures of speech, and a time for speaking plainly. As Jesus began to speak more plainly, though, not all of His clear prophecies were happy revelations, at least for this time. But He didn't leave us there--He pointed toward the rest of the story, where joy is made full.  Let God’s word today challenge you to have the courage to see the plain truth for what it is, and to be comforted through faith in Christ Jesus and what He has done.

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 16:25-33 ]
25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

_ Think again about what Jesus was saying about not longer using figures of speech. Why will we be able to ask the Father directly in Jesus name? (v25-27)
_ What was Jesus' clear message in v28?

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
_ What was the disciples' response to such clear words from Jesus? (v29-30)
_ How did Jesus turn the disciples' words into plain-spoken prophecy about them? (v31-32)
_ While Jesus' prophecy seemed to paint a bleak picture, how did He suggest we should perceive it? (v33)

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
_ When Jesus makes things clear to us, it often includes seeing our own shortcomings and weaknesses, but those are exactly where we can see God working in our own lives. Where have you seen God at work in your life recently? Where is God showing you He wants to work in your life now?


+ 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 passage gives both honest and very good news. With whom can you share this message of hope?

Asking The Father In Jesus Name [ John 16.23-28]

Good morning, today is Thursday, May 9th, 2019. In todays passage we find a very simple and practical teaching from Jesus on how we are to approach and ask for things from the Father. As we learn to dialogue with the Father may we be enamored with His incredible love for us! - 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?
_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 16.23-28 ]
23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

_ In v. 23/24a what is the point of distinction Jesus is making? How are we to ask?
_ In v.24b what is the result of us asking and receiving?
_ In v.25 why does Jesus choose to speak figuratively?
_ In v.27 why does Jesus not need to ask the Father on our behalf?
_ In v.28 what is Jesus summarizing point?

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 might this passage change how you pray this week?


+ 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)

Sorrow to Joy [John 16:16-24]

Good morning Christ’s beloved. Today is Wednesday, May 8th, 2019. The following passage reveals the great promise of the Gospel; that God would come to His disciples in deeper and more personal fashion than just a man alongside of them. Yet it would come at the cost of great sorrow. But a sorrow that would not last! Read! Be encouraged by the following promise given by 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 16.16-24 ]
16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

_ What future event might Jesus be referring to when he says “A little while and you will see me no longer”? V.16
Use as reference: John 7:33-36,
_How is grace and love showed by Christ in V. 18-19
_Why does Jesus say the world will rejoice while the disciples are weeping and sorrowful in V.20?
Use as reference: Mark 10:34, Luke 18:32, Matthew 27:29, Luke 23:35, Psalm 2:3, Luke 24:17-21
_Why wll the disciples eventually be joyful after sorrow?
Use as reference: Jeremiah 31:13-14, Matthew 5:4, John 14:20, John 20:11-23, Acts 2:1-4

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 the encouragement of Christ’ victory over death, and promise of him coming to you, propel you to chase after him and confess sin before him that you may better walk in newness of life?
_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)

The Spirit of Truth [John 15:26-16:15]

Today is Tuesday, May 7, 2019. After a heavy passage about how the world hates Jesus’ followers, Jesus makes an incredible promise about sending the Holy Spirit to help the disciples navigate life once Jesus ascends. He lays out the way that the persons of the Trinity work and relate to one another too. --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 15.26-16.15 ]
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
_ (v.26-27) How do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit interact? How is the Spirit described?

“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
_ (v.1-2) What does Jesus foretell will happen to his disciples?
_ (v. 3-4) Why does Jesus tell them this will happen? What is the key misunderstanding for those who think they are pleasing God?

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
_ (v.4-6 ) Why does Jesus tell them about the Spirit now?
_ (v.7 ) Why is it to our advantage that Jesus goes away? Think of what he would accomplish before he ascends to heaven.
_ (v. 8-9) What is the role of the Spirit on earth?

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
_ (v. 12-13)  With whose authority does the Spirit speak?
_ (v. 13 ) What an amazing promise--what will the Spirit do for us?
_ (v. 14-15 ) How does the Spirit glorify the Son? How is the Father related to this interaction?
_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
_ Am I open for the Spirit to guide me into all truth? When he prompts me, do I obey?
_ Is there a way I should be relying more on the Helper?


+ 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 World will Hate You [John 15:18-25]

Today is Monday May 6th. Often times Churches and Christians rest on the laurel’s of “Well the world is going to hate us because the world hated Christ.” but the important thing to think about it why did the world hate Christ and why does the world often hate Christians? Just before this Christ called us to love. The love that Jesus calls His followers to is radical. To love selflessly those around you. This includes our enemies and those we are at odds with. This is radical even today. Christ showed compassion and love in the midst of his greatest suffering. Christians are hated because we are contrary to what the world wants. An eye for an eye. In a world and culture when many people dismiss those they disagree with, Christians are called to love. Even when someone hates us we are called to love. We are put at odds with a world that says cast out those who they believe are wrong. Many want to strike back when attacked. To pursue our own sense of justice instead of the Father’s. When someone stands with Christ they may be hated by people, but Christ encourages us to abide in love. Others may say “Fight back!” Do not be discouraged. Our response to hate is love not anger. Following the way of Christ will often be hard, but the way of Christ is love.

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 15.18-25 ]
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also.24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
_ Who did the world hate before you?
_ Why does the world hate you?
_ What does Jesus want them to remember in vs. 20?
_ Who do they not know in vs. 21?
_ If Jesus is hated who is also hated in vs. 23?
_ Why are they guilty in vs. 24?
_ What word in written in their Law in vs. 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
_Are you hated? In what ways are you afraid of being hated? (Afraid of being disagreeable)
_How can you abide in love in the midst of hate? (Patience, grace, forgiveness, slow to speak)


+ 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 True Vine [ John 15:1-17 ]

It is Friday, May 3, 2019.  Jesus continues His Farewell Discourse (John 14-17) with the final "I AM" statement found in the Gospel of John; I AM the True Vine.  Jesus is speaking to the eleven remaining Apostles here, but these words hold true to followers of Jesus throughout the centuries, even until today. So, what does it mean to "abide in Christ"?  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?
_ Do you have people in your life that you love the way Jesus asks you to love?  How often do you interact with these people to foster the relationship? What kind of fruit comes from time spent with one another?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?

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).
_ Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to highlight truth as you read.


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 15.1-17 ]
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

_ What did Jesus mean by calling Himself “the TRUE vine”?  See Jeremiah 2, culminating in verse 21; and Hosea 10:1-2.  What does that mean about His Father being the vinedresser?  About His followers being the branches?
_ It certainly appears that bearing much fruit is REALLY important. What is “fruit”?  How do we “bear much of it”?  Come back to this question after contemplating question 6 below!!!
_ Does verse 6 teach that a Christian can “lose” their salvation if they are not bearing enough fruit?  Why or why not?  Hint: read John 6:35-40 and 1 John 2:19

7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
_ Do verses 7 and 16 teach that God will give a Christian anything they want if they are really abiding in Christ?  Why or why not?  What does it mean to abide in Christ?  What are the outcomes of Christians abiding in Christ?
_ How can we practically love one another as Jesus loved us?  Who is the "one another" to which Jesus refers?
_ How do you feel about the fact that Jesus "chose" and "appointed" you to bear fruit?Hint; you should be relieved!!!Read Philippians 1:6

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
A Branch WILL receive sustenance from the Vine.  Our only job is to keep out impediments that could possibly gunk up the flow of  the Vine's life giving nutrients.  How do we do this?  Follow this simple plan:
1)  Confess and repent from known sin 
2)  Spend time in prayer and in the reading of the Word
3)  Act upon commands you receive in step 2 above
4)  Repeat steps 1-3 daily!!! 


+ 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 Promise of the Spirit [ John 14:15-31 ]

As the Passover meal -- the Last Supper -- was drawing to a close, the Lord Jesus was foretelling of His departure. He was also foretelling of His coming. How can this be? There is a lot to unpack in today’s reading and this passage has vital implications for how we live our daily lives...let’s dive in. -- 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?
_ Do you have people in your life that you love the way Jesus asks you to love?  How often do you interact with these people to foster the relationship? What kind of fruit comes from time spent with one another?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?

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).
_ Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to highlight truth as you read.


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 14.15-31 ]
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

_ Verse 15 says that those who love Jesus will keep his commandments. What help (and hope) do we have to enable us to do this? (v. 15-17)
_ Verse 17 says that the world cannot see or know the Spirit of Truth. What implications does this have for how we see the world and how we empathize for those in darkness?

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

_ Verse 21 is actually a series of “If/Then” statements. It’s one thing to have Jesus’ commandments...what else must we do?
_ Read Verse 21 again. Now read Verse 23. What strikes you?
_ How does Verse 24 tie back to Verses 15-16?

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
_ Verse 28 promises a reunification. What is reuniting and what is the implications for us?
_ Verses 30-31 has a certain “calm urgency” to it. The ruler of this world was coming...what plan did God have in place to take away any claim this defeated ruler had on Christ (and on us).
_ Bonus: If you struggled with the tension of Jesus’ claim about the Father in verse 28, read Philippians 2:5-8. What does this passage say about Jesus’ temporary, earthly nature and about His eternal nature?

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
_ Are you keeping His commandments?
+ 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)