Monday, August 30, 2010 John 10
In this chapter Jesus describes how he cares for his sheep (those who follow him) like the shepherd cares for his sheep (see Ezekiel 34:23). The shepherd lets his sheep into the sheepfold and protects them from harm. Jesus protects us, and is the gate to God’s salvation for us. Who are the thieves and robbers in 8? How does Jesus identify himself with the good shepherd in 11-15? Who are the other sheep he must bring also (16)? Jesus’ claim to be one with God is interpreted by some as blasphemy. What might be the real intent of the pharisees in 24? When was the turning point for you in terms of hearing God’s voice, and responding? How do you discern God’s voice from all the other voices that call out for your attention? What has convinced you that Jesus is the Messiah?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 John 11
What kind of relationship does Jesus have with Lazarus and his sisters? Why do you think Jesus waited until then to go to them (6)? Why does Jesus return to Lazarus at this time (11-15)? What are the disciples fearing (8,16)? Does the way Jesus responds to the sisters’ request to come immediately help you in understanding your own prayer life? Imagine how you would have felt if you were Mary or Martha. Since Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus (11), why does he weep (33-35)? Think about your trust in Jesus, and your confidence in eternal life. What evidence do you have for this? Maybe God’s timing has your life in a delay. You may even feel that he is not answering, or at least not answering in the way you want him to. Read Philippians 4:19 as a prayer of assurance. To those of us who believe, blessed assurance is ours (see John 14:19).
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 John 12
What previous stories stand in direct contrast to the triumphant entry of 12-15? Why does Jesus ride on a lowly donkey (14; see also Zechariah 9:9)? What kind of king are they expecting? What do you think they are the feeling at this moment: faith or fear, belief or anger? What kind of king do you want Jesus to be? Rich and powerful, or a servant of all? What is wonderful and hopeful about Jesus as your King? Spend some time thinking and praying about being a disciple and following Jesus. Perhaps now is the time to give control of your life over to Christ, your Shepherd and your King, so that you might experience eternal life and genuine joy!
Thursday, September 2, 2010 John 13
What does Jesus know that escapes the attention of the disciples (1, 3, 11)? After reading these verses, what amazes you about Jesus washing their feet? Would you have reacted like Peter? Why or why not? Verse 8 tells us that Peter took the washing literally, but what you think Jesus meant by his statement in verse 8? Imagine what it would it mean in your life if you practiced foot washing in your daily relationships. More forgiveness, patience and affection? More appreciation? In verses 12-17, Jesus instructs the disicples to go out and serve others. How will you put Jesus’ teaching into practice this week at home, and at work, and at church?
Friday, September 3, 2010 John 14
Read John 13:36, 14:6, 14:8 and 14:23 to find the comforts that Jesus offers his disciples. What tone of voice do you hear in verses 9-14? Look for the evidence that Jesus gives for his claims. Do verses 12-14 give us blank-check promises about prayer? What is Jesus saying about the power of believers in 12? What does “asking in His name” say to you (14)? Think about what happens to the prayers of our hearts when we seek to sincerely follow Jesus. Do you believe that the closer we come to Christ, the more our requests are in line with what he wants? Spend time in prayer.
Saturday, September 4, 2010 John 15
In the Old Testament, grapes symbolized Israel’s fruitfulness in doing God’s work on earth (Psalm 80:8, Isaiah 5:1-7, Ezekiel 19:10-14). In the Passover meal, the fruit of the vine symbolized God’s goodness to his people. If vine branches were compared to human lives, what pruning do we need? What tools might be used for the pruning? Jesus says to remain in him and bear fruit. What might the fruit be (5; see also Galatians 5:22-24 and 2 Peter 1: 5-8)? Look at the parallels between verse 9 and verse 12. What is the link between obedience and prayer (7, 16, and 14:13-14)? What kind of a branch are you on Christ’s vine: juicy, wormy, green or dead? Why? Think about what you can do this week to produce fruit.
Sunday, September 5, 2010 Psalm 1
This is a psalm of blessedness for the people who walk with a consciousness of God flowing through all of their lives. They are like healthy fruit-bearing trees with strong roots. They delight in God’s Word and meditate on it day and night. This day, let us spend time in God’s Word and delight in God’s grace, forgiveness and love for each of us.