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Showing posts from 2012

Upcoming Study: Job

Hi everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Just wanted to post a quick announcement that starting in January, we will start a new study on the book of Job. Hope you will join us!

 One thing I always recommend after Christmas and before the new year is to process where you have been spiritually with God. Try reading your journal and notes and review the signfigant truths you have learned. How has your faith and life changed with God this year?

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25 ESV

-Rayna

John part 21-Not in Vain

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 says Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But take heart because He has been raised and our faith is not in vain.It is true and Jesus says in verse 29 that those who believe in Him are blessed.

Read chapters 20-21, the remainder of the gospel of John.
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Devotional: Cultivating a Quiet Heart

God I’m not trying to rule the roost

I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
Or fantasized grandiose plans.
I’ve kept my feet on the ground,
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,
My soul is a baby content.
Wait, Israel, for God.Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!
Psalm 131

It’s probably no accident that God gave me this Psalm today.Like many of you, I’m anticipating a busy and full week next week.One of the tasks on my to-do list today is to make a list!That’s pretty pathetic…

I’ve been longing for some quiet time to fill myself up with peace to last me through my future of shopping, cleaning, and cooking, with a few birthday parties thrown in the next few days.

I set aside time with the Lord but sometimes my heart isn’t fully quiet.I was fascinated today by the idea of cultivating quietness.Timely, also, that my pastor is speaking on technology and the fast pace to life it brings.On our date night last night, my hu…

John part 20-The God-Man of Suffering

Key Verse:“…For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”John 18:37 (ESV)

God, in the form of man, came to earth to speak truth and to make himself known to you.He also came so that believers would not bear the consequences of our sin and instead would one day live with Him in righteousness.But in order for that to happen, God – as man – first had to die for us.John, Jesus’ beloved disciple witnessed Jesus’ death and describes what Jesus endured in chapters 18 and 19.These are hard chapters to read, but remember that Jesus bore what He did out of love for you.“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Read John 18 and 19

·How does each character or group listed below interact with Jesus?What is Jesus’ response to each?

oJudas
oPeter
oHigh Priest and his officers
oPilate
oThe Jews
oThe Chief Priests
oSo…

John part 19-He Prays for You

Key Verse: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 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.
(John 17:20-21 ESV)

This is one of my favorite prayers in the Bible, because I get to read what Jesus prays for me!As you read this chapter, consider the following questions:

·How does this prayer show He is God?
·What does He pray for the disciples?Other believers?Do you think that is the same thing?
·Unity is a big theme in this prayer as Jesus constantly mentions His unity with the Father.What does He teach about unity through His prayer?
·Reread verse 3.What is eternal life?It may be different than you expect?Does that mean you live eternally now?
·How many times in this prayer does Jesus say that the Father has given us His word?If you findit a lot it is a key concept and thus important.What happens in our lives as a result of receivi…

John part 18-Sorrow to Joy

Key Verse: 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.”
(John 16:33 ESV)

Jesus is continuing his final instructions before His betrayal.This chapter falls into three parts, the benefits of the Holy Spirit, the promise of joy from sorrow, and His promise to speak so they can understand.Throughout His encouragements to them is the hope in the Spirit and His desire to see that things won’t always be so hard.No matter where you are at today, may the peace that Jesus gives help you consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).

Read John 16:1-15
·This part of the chapter has many facts about the Holy Spirit.Read and list what you learn about the convictions He brings when he comes.Notice what He (the Holy Spirit) will speak, what He will declare, and who He will glorify.
·Why is advantageous to the believer …

John part 17 – You are the Branch

Key Verse:“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”John 15:16

Imagine a gardener tending to his garden.He looks at the various branches, and lovingly chooses which branches to prune.The gardener removes the dead, useless branches and tosses them in the burn pile.He then prunes the remaining branches so that eventually they will bear more fruit than they ever did before.Now imagine God as the gardener, Jesus as the vine, and you as the branch.What type of branch are you?If you abide in Jesus, you are the pruned branch that will bear fruit.If you don’t, you will be thrown away and burned.

Read John 15

·What are the different relationships that Jesus’ describes in this chapter?How do the disciples, including Judas, fit into the story?
·What is the meaning of Jesus’ allegory? (For those of you who don’t know what an allegory is, it is a …

John part 16-God's Plan

Key Verse: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 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.

(John 14:15-17 ESV)

In John 12:32-33, Jesus explained He knew His hour, for He knew when and how He would die.In John 2:4, 7:30, and 8:20 among others, we see that though Jesus was asked to do miracles and people were conspiring to control His ministry, His hour had not yet come so they were powerless; this same hour is recorded in 13:31 as the hour that has finally come for God to be glorified.

How is God glorified? God has a plan for Jesus, a mission for Him on earth.Just as He came into Jerusalem on a donkey, signifying peace, God’s plan in this hour is that Jesus will usher in ultimate peace.Not a peace on earth, though that is to come when Jesus returns for us (1Thess 4:14-18), but sp…

John part 15-Love for God & Man

Key Verses:

·“So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I gave you an example that you also should do I as I did to you.” John 13:12-15

·“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35

God calls us to love.But He didn’t just command love; he demonstrated it.He wept when he saw sorrow in others.He washed the feet of his disciples and the feet of his enemy.And He carried out the ultimate sacrifice – exchanging His life for ours.In turn, He asks us to love one another.This week ask God to show you true love and then emulate Him.

Read John 13.

·What is this chapter a…

John part 14-The Response to Jesus

Key Verse: And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
(John 12:32-36 ESV)



What would you do if you only had one week to live?What things would you say?Who would you spend time with?In this chapter we get insight into what Jesus does His last week before His crucifixion.This section contains the highs of His triumphal entry and the sorrow that follows and many still with hardened hearts do not believe who He is.Do spiritual ups and downs sound like …

John part 13-Life and Death

John Part 13:Life and Death

Key Verse:“Jesus said to [Martha], ‘I am the resurrection and the life.The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26


In John Chapter 11, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and demonstrates His power over death.He also portends His true purpose for coming to earth, which is to save us from death.Not earthly death, but true death, which leads to permanent separation from God.This week reflect on your understanding of death and whether you can answer “Yes” to Jesus’ question “Do you believe this?”


Read John 11:

·How did Jesus respond to the news of Lazarus’ death?How did He respond when He met Mary outside the village?What did He do when He arrived at the tomb?What do your answers to these three questions show about the character of Jesus (God)?

·How did each of the characters in this chapter react to Jesus’ actions?Which one do you most relate to?Why?

Look bac…

John part 12-The Good Shepherd

Key Verse: So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”John 10:24-30 ESV

Jesus loves to speak in analogies, giving us examples of things in this world we do understand to teach us about our faith.In chapter 10 he uses the example of how sheep behave to show us we are like that in our relationship to God.In his book A Shepard Looks at Psalm 23, Phillip Keller gives us helpful things about sheep behavior to open this pass…