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Your Story Matters

Start with prayer.
Praise God for being in control and for providing even though life can get hard.
Confess your sins and ask God to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 12:9-10.
Where does this short encounter take place? 12:1
Why did the large crowd come?
Why did the chief priests want to put Lazarus to death?
Imagine someone wanting to kill you because Jesus brought you back from the dead. 
There are always two responses to Jesus miracles. 
Response #1 – Pride
Response #2 – Belief
Which response leads to life?
Which response leads to death?
These stories and your story are meant to lead people to belief. Sadly someone will reject God and your story and possibly even you because of what God has done in your life. You need to share it anyways because lives are on the line. Do not presume to know who will and will not receive your story. Your job is to just share and leave the results to God. 
 
End with prayer.
Ask God to help you share your story with the person you have been praying for.
Pray that they would believe in Jesus.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.
Pray for the Coronavirus to end.

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Worship is Greater than Work

Start with prayer.
Praise God for loving you even though you are sinful.
Confess your sins to God and ask him to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 12:1-8
What is the setting of this story?
What did we learn passover is really about?
Who in this story understood passover the most after Jesus?
What is the better choice made in this story?
What is your purpose in life according to what Jesus says here?
There are a lot of “good” things to be done in this world but they must not replace our worship of God.
Beware of doing so much “ministry” or “good things” that you neglect time to just be still and worship God.
 
End with prayer.
Confess to God that he is your top priority.
Spend more time praising and worshiping God.
Pray for the person you know that does not worship God.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.
 

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The Suffering King

Start with prayer.
Praise Jesus for his sacrifice and suffering that he went through for you.
Confess your sins to God and ask him to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 11:45-57.
How sad is this story? Jesus brought someone back from the dead and these religious zealots only cared about power and so their response to a life-giving miracle was to kill Jesus. 
Was this God’s will for these men to respond this way?
Look up Isaiah 53:10 to help you answer that question.
Compare this to the story of Saul and David. Saul was a terrible king and while he was king God anointed David to replace him as king. Saul found out and tried to kill David and David went into hiding. But wasn’t it God’s will?
David suffered for God’s will. Jesus suffered for God’s will. What makes you think that you are not supposed to suffer?
Read John 15:18 and Matthew 16:24. Why is this a picture of suffering for all Jesus disciples?
Have you really contemplated what God’s will is for you? Do you really believe that the “American Dream” is God’s will?
Its time to let go of “The American Dream” and embrace God’s calling on your life which is complete surrender to his will.
True freedom is found in following Jesus not economic security or political control.
 
End with prayer.
Ask God to help you understand what it means to completely surrender to his will.
Ask God to help you follow Jesus no matter what the cost.
Pray for the salvation of the person you know that does not believe.
Pray for the next person or family on the church directory.

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Believe and See The Glory of God

Start with prayer.
Praise God for a new week with a fresh start. Ask him to help you use it well. Ask him to help you be a good steward of your time, money and energy. Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 11:38-44
Remember the famous verse 35 “Jesus wept”? Hopefully you memorized that one. What does verse 38 tell us that his compassion led him to do? What did Jesus say the result of belief would be in v. 40? Now Jesus knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead so why did he weep? Why was he deeply moved as it says in v.38? It could have been a number of things that stirred up Jesus compassion and made him weep. In my humble but accurate opinion Jesus saw death, felt the sting of death and saw how it affected others and he hated it. Jesus hates death. Death was not a part of his original creation. Death only came into the world after sin entered the world. But it would be through his death that the world would be saved. Jesus fought with death and won. He won for all of us. Our job is to simply believe. If we can believe in Jesus we will see the glory of God. In stead of death we get God’s glory. That is quite a trade. That is not price gouging that is called grace.
 
End with prayer.
Praise Jesus for the life he has bough and paid for. Praise God for the privilege of experiencing his glory. Pray for the person you know that has not believed and seen God’s glory. Pray for the next person or family in the church directory. 

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Jesus Wept And So Should We

Start with prayer.
Praise God for your physical health and well being. Pray for those infected with the Coronavirus and pray that God would find a cure and that it would stop spreading.
Confess your sins to God and ask him to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 11:28-37
Why was Jesus deeply moved and troubled in his spirit?
Why did Jesus weep?
Could it be that he was weeping for his friend Lazarus?
Could it be that he was angry at the reality of death in the world and the affects it has on the living?
Could it be that he was filled with compassion for everyone else weeping?
No one really knows so this is a matter of opinion but I think it was a mix of all of it combined with the knowledge of his own death and suffering that was to come. We should be deeply moved by Jesus compassion here. This should lead us to sympathize and have compassion on others suffering. We are often separated and cold hearted when we hear of the suffering of others. What troubles have you become numb to in the world? Homelessness? Orphans? Addicts? Lost souls?
If we claim to be Christ followers, we should weep over these things. When was the last time you thought about someone you know weeping in Hell for eternity? Does that not stir your soul at all? If not, perhaps you are not as in tune to Jesus as you thought.
 
End with prayer.
Pray for God to move in your spirit and break your numbness to the suffering of others.
Pray for the person you know that does not know God and is spiritually suffering because of it.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.

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From Death To Life

Start with Prayer.
Praise God for showing you grace and giving you new life.
Confess your sins to him and ask him to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus.
 
Read John 11:1-27
How long had Lazarus been in the tomb when Jesus found him?
What did Martha tell Jesus when she saw him coming in v.21-22?
What does Jesus call himself in v.25
How does he explain that claim in v.25-26?
What does Martha profess to believe in v.27?
What is the main point of this passage?
If Jesus is the resurrection and the life, how does that impact your daily life?
 
Close with prayer.
Praise Jesus for saving you and giving you new life and eternal life.
Pray for the person you know that does not believe in Jesus.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.
 
 

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Jesus Is God

Start with prayer.
Praise the Lord for loving you even though you disobey him and choose other things over him.
Confess your sins to God and ask him to forgive you and help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read Joh 10:31-42
Why did the Jews want to stone him?
If they rejected his own testimony of who he was were they his sheep?
Jesus is quoting Psalm 82:6 in v.34. Some believe God is calling humans gods here or that this refers to Israel. Others believe this is referring to heavenly beings not humans and Jesus would be included in that since he has claimed to be from above or from heaven. 
Its a little confusing here but Jesus’ point is that he is God in the flesh and he is not blaspheming but speaking the truth.
Again Jesus claims to be one with the Father in v. 38
What did they try to do to him this time?
What happens at the end of this story in v.42?
What is the purpose of this book? 20:31
What are the benefits of believing in Jesus as God? How might that belief impact your daily life?
 
End with Prayer.
Profess your belief in Jesus as God The Son and in the Trinity.
Praise God for his word and praise him for allowing you to hear his voice and believe.
Pray for the person you know that does not believe.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.

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Trinitarian Security

Start with prayer.
Praise God for your weekend and the time with the saints on Sunday.
Confess your sins to God and ask him to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 10:22-29
The Feast of Dedication is also known as Hanukkah. It is a celebration of the rededication of the temple. 
A group of Jews asked Jesus to tell them if he was the Messiah or not. How did Jesus respond to them?
How does Jesus describe his sheep in this passage?
Who is holding on to who in v.28?
Who is holding on to who in v.29?
If God and Jesus are one that supports the idea of the trinity. 3 Persons in 1 God. The Holy Spirit isn’t mentioned here but will be mentioned later on.
If the Trinity is holding on to you will they let go of you?
Who does the Trinity NOT hold on to?
This passage supports the teaching of eternal security which means that once you believe and you belong to God, He holds on to you and you will be his for eternity. 
Nothing or No one will be able to take us aways from him. Romans 8:31-39
How does this teaching help you live out your life as a follower of Jesus?
 
End with prayer.
Praise God for holding on to you and for your eternal security as his child.
Ask God to help you to follow Jesus as his sheep.
Pray for the person you know that does not believe in Jesus and is therefore without the protection of the trinity.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.

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The Good Shepherd

Start with prayer.
Praise God for your new life in Christ and what has changed in you since you have been with him.
Confess your sins and ask God to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 10:11-21
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus calls himself the door and the shepherd?
Have you ever heard the expression “If you want the job done right do it yourself.” Jesus has more right to say that than anyone and he most certainly did take action. He knows that no one can shepherd his people like he can. No “hired hand”  would care enough or be powerful enough to save and shepherd the flock of God. 
What does the good shepherd do for his sheep in v.11 and v.15?
What does v.18 tell us about the crucifixion? 
Jesus The Good Shepherd went willingly and with joy to the cross. Even though it may not look like he was in control, he was. It was all part of the greater plan to save his sheep. Jesus could have chosen not to die on the cross but he did it anyway. Why? He loves his sheep and he knew it was the only way to save them.
 
End with prayer.
Thank Jesus for being the shepherd of your soul; for saving you and for guiding you.
Pray for the person you know that does not know the shepherds voice yet.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.
 

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The Good Door

Start with prayer.
Praise God for your friends and family.
Confess your sin and ask him to help you change.
Ask him to help you focus during this time.
 
Read John 10:1-10
Over and over in scripture people are referred to as sheep and that is not always a compliment. Sheep are dumb animals and they make for easy victims. If you don’t believe me watch a few youtube videos. It paints an accurate picture of people and how easily they are led astray by things that can harm them. But there is also a very beautiful picture of sheep and their loving protecting shepherd. 
How does Jesus identify the robber of the sheep?
How does Jesus identify the shepherd of the sheep?
What do the sheep recognize about their shepherd?
Who is the door?
What does the door lead to? v.9
Where else does the door lead to? v.10
Typically, a good shepherd will lead his sheep to greener pastures for them to enjoy. That is the picture here. 
What do the sheep have to do to go to the greener pastures to feast on the good stuff?
Are you listening for the shepherds voice or do you follow the thief who came to steal and destroy?
 
End with prayer.
Tell God that you are listening for his voice and want to follow him to his green pastures.
Pray for your friend that does not recognize their shepherds voice yet.
Pray for the next person or family in the church directory.

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