Monday, August 16, 2010 John 4:1-42
Many Jews avoided passing through Samaria because they considered it inhabited by people of spiritual and ethnic impurity. Jesus not only passes through Samaria, but stops to talk to a woman with a very questionable reputation. Jesus asks her for something to drink (1-26). How does Jesus explain Living Water, and how does the woman respond (10-14; see also Psalm 42, Isaiah 55:1 and Jeremiah 2:13)? Jesus tells us he brings Living Water that can forever quench a person’s thirst for God. The woman believes if she receives this water she will never have to return to the well again (15). That would make her life easier! But she appears to miss the real message: Christ does not come to make our lives easier, but to change us from the inside out, and to empower us to deal with our lives from a God perspective. Have you come for the Living Water to make your life easier, or to walk with the risen Savior as your strength and hope?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 John 4:43-54
Jesus has returned home again. Why the contrast between the crowd’s welcome (45) and the comments from Jesus (44 and 48)? The royal official has traveled a long way to get to Jesus. How would you have responded to Jesus’ instructions (50)? The official not only believes that Jesus can heal his son, but he obeys Jesus and returns home. Do you believe Jesus can work miracles, and obey, even if distance or outcome make it seem impossible? Do you believe that nothing can separate you from the love and care of Jesus? Read Romans 8:38-39. Spend time in prayer.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 John 5:1-18
Not even the fact that it is the Sabbath gets in the way of Jesus reaching out and healing the broken people around him. What does Jesus mean by his question in verse 6? What does the invalid hope Jesus will do? How do you think he feels about being healed instantly (8-9) and being challenged by the Jews (10-12)? Think about a situation you’re in that seems hopeless. This scripture reminds us that God can and does minister to us in all kinds of situations. Sometimes that means healing, and sometimes that means helping us have meaningful lives by triumphing over our hardships and tribulations. Jesus tells the man to stop sinning so that nothing worse will happen to him (14). What does this tell you about the importance of spiritual healing? What kind of healing are you seeking? Lift it up to God in prayer.
Thursday, August 19, 2010 John 5:19-47
Read Jesus’ description of the Father. Jesus lives as God wants him to live because of his unity with God. If we identify with Jesus, we must honor him and live as he wants us to live. Does your unity with Jesus affect your lifestyle and your priorities? Why or why not? What happens to those who hear and believe? To those who do not (24-30)? Has the love of God filled your heart? Think about how scripture helps to grow the love of God in you. In verse 33, John testifies to the truth. Can that also be said of you?
Friday, August 20, 2010 John 6:1-21
Why does the crowd seek to follow Jesus (2)? Jesus asks Philip where they will get enough food to feed the people. How would you have reacted (5-7)? Does Jesus ask for an impossible solution so he can set the stage for the powerful and miraculous act that he is about to perform? When has God stretched your limited resources (physical, emotional, financial) far beyond what you ever imagined? In what way do you need to trust the Savior right now? Don’t let your estimate of what can’t be done get in the way of letting the Savior work his miracles.
Saturday, August 21, 2010 John 6:22-59
The people are still looking for Jesus and, when they find him, Jesus’ answers to their questions show the difference between their interests and his. What is that difference? How are the people to work for the food that leads to eternal life (29)? The people ask for another miracle so that they may believe. Jesus explains that whoever comes to him will never be hungry, and whoever believes in him will never be thirsty (35; see also Exodus 16). Study Jesus’ proclamation in 35-40. What is the main reason you follow Jesus? What is your daily spiritual diet: junk food, baby food, frozen food, or meat and potatoes? How do you hunger and thirst for Jesus? Spend some time in prayer with the Bread of Life.
Sunday, August 22, 2010 Psalm 144
This psalm has us rejoicing in God’s care. Whether we are in the midst of plenty or in the midst of adversity, God is the One who watches over us and provides everything necessary for us to live a life that is worthwhile and has great purpose and meaning. Read this psalm slowly, and make it your prayer for this day.