Lord help us to see your love for us as we see this picture of you as our good Shepherd.
READ John 10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” John 10:14
- Make a list of how Jesus describes himself as shepherd.
- How does this contrast with the hired hand?
- What is the result of Jesus’s shepherding (v. 16)?
- Jesus says repeatedly in this short passage that He will lay down His life for His sheep. Count how many times he says it.
- After He lays down His life what does He do?
- Verse 18 brings a profound statement and a little revelation into the relationship between the Father and the Son. What does Jesus say?
- Jesus says, I have been given the “charge” to lay down my life, I have been given authority to do this and I do this because I choose to do it. Jesus loves you so much that He chose to lay down His life for you… His sheep. You are His. You are part of His flock. He cares for you as He cares for all of His sheep, with love, completely and sacrificially. What is your response?
- “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20
Father God, help us to see Jesus as the one who does your will. The one who offers us a life transforming gift when we choose to look on Him and believe.
READ John 6:35-40
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’” John 6:35-40
- What does Jesus claim to be and what does that satisfy?
- What does verse 38 tell us about Jesus?
- Using verses 39 & 40 write down what God’s will for His Son is.
- When we choose to look on the Son and believe we are given eternal life – Alleluia! Looking at verses 37 and 40 what does Jesus tell us about that promise?
- Jesus came to the will of the Father – to save those who look to Him in faith and trust Him for their salvation. Have you put your full faith and trust in Christ and His saving work on the cross?
Lord God you sent your Son to do your will. You sent your Son to be the propitiation for our sins. You have ordained that He would raise up His followers on the last day! Lord, help us to live according to this truth. Lord help us to have “the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Lord God help us to grow to understand more of who you are by what we study in your word. Who we see of Jesus and the lessons He taught as those around Him struggled to fully understand just as we do. Lord transform our minds to be like yours.
READ Luke 22:24-27
“A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” Luke 22:24-27
- What were Jesus’s disciples arguing about?
- Seems a little crazy that they are seated with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and they are arguing about which one of them is the greatest. Jesus instead tells them what the greatest looks like in His kingdom – write it down.
- Jesus then contrasts what the picture of greatness looks like from a worldly perspective. Write it down.
- How do these two world views differ?
- Even as Lord of all Jesus instead gives himself which title (read also Mark 10:42-45).
- How is God calling you to serve Him today?
Lord serving you can look like many things. Help us to hear your call, see the need in our families and neighborhoods and offices. May we serve as Christ came to serve, may we love with the love that comes from you. In Jesus Name…
Father God, you have created us with a spiritual thirst. One that will not be satisfied by anything but you. You have put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), may we open our eyes to the truth of your love. May we open our hearts to your living water.
Read all of John 4:1-26
“The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:11-14
- Why was the woman surprised that Jesus asked her for a drink?
- What is Jesus’s response to her?
- This paints a beautiful picture of our spiritual thirst. We can all relate to the idea of having physical thirst, but what Jesus is seeking to satiate is so much more. What does this tell you about your need for Christ?
- As the passage concludes, Jesus shares some powerful truths about God the Father and God the Son. What does verse 24 tell you about God? What does Jesus reveal about himself in verses 25 & 26.
- Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah to a struggling woman from a people with whom Jews never associated & what does that tell you about who he came to seek and save?
- What is Jesus invitation to you?
- God put eternity in our hearts for a reason – he has put us here at this time in these circumstances in this place that we would seek him (Acts 17:26-27). He reveals himself in His creation, in His word, and through the gift of His Son. How does that help you look at your life in a different way?
Lord God may our attitude be as the psalmist writes…”As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2) Lord may we look to Jesus to quench that thirst and may the springs of eternal life well up inside us so that we can pour out your love and life to others.
Dear God, you have revealed yourself through your Son and through the scriptures. Open our eyes to Christ this advent. May we know You more and more as we study the life of Christ and look toward His return. Soften our hearts to your truth that we may rest in the cover of your love.
“At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” H
- Here little children is used to describe people who seek Jesus with simple faith. How does this picture contrast to the image of those who do not approach Jesus this way?
- What authority does Jesus reveal in verse 27.
- What details about the intimate relationship between the Father and Son is revealed in this passage?
- What invitation does Jesus make to all who hear (read) of Him?
- Two yoked oxen also share a very intimate relationship. One takes the heavy burden and leads – but unless both work together the cart will struggle to move easily or straight. What does Jesus demonstrate about the kind of relationship He desires to have with you?
- Jesus proclaims that “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (vs. 30) What burden are you carrying around on your shoulders today? Give Jesus the heavy weight upon you and take His yoke upon you.
- Jesus reveals who His Father is and who He is by what he shared throughout His life. What did you learn about the God today?
Lord God you desire to be in relationship with us. Lord you desire to be our rest, and yet we carry around our burdens and struggle to accept your beautiful peace. Help us today to come. To come to you, lay down our burden at your feet and take up your yoke. Help us to experience your gentleness & love as you lead us. Knowing that when we come to you with faith like children we are bound together for eternity by your work on the cross. In Jesus name – Amen.
Father God, help us to see Jesus as the one you have appointed. That we would know with certainty that He is your Son and that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-4) Lord may we bear witness to this reality and each day walk according to this truth.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
- What changed when Jesus came – who did God speak through?
- How does this help us see who God is?
- How is Jesus described in this passages – make a list.
- God has revealed Himself through His Son. Alleluia! How did God speak to you about Himself and His Son through this passage?
Lord God you are glorious, powerful and full of love. Even still in our fallen state, you chose to reveal yourself – to redeem us – through the gift of your Son – Jesus. Lord when we choose Jesus, help us know in our hearts that we have been raised with Christ and help us to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Clossians 3:1) help us to seek you and your will as we focus on the things that are above and not the things of this world. May our focus this Christmas be Christ. In Jesus Name – Amen
Lord as we begin the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, help us to look to him with rejoicing for what He has done for us. Help us understand who He is more each day and help us watch with anticipation for His return.
“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
Anticipating Jesus. From the foundation of time people waited. Waited for the coming Messiah. And now… we wait for his return. As we begin the season of Advent – we celebrate the one who has come. The one has saved us from our sin. The one who makes us whole and new and sealed. The one who brings light and hope and love to a dark and desolate place. We celebrate the one who is to come who will usher in the new heavens and the new earth. The one who reigns!
- What does it mean to you that the light of Christ has shown into this “land of deep darkness”?
- What picture of Christ’s ability to conquer do you see in this passage – write the verses down.
- Using verse 6, take each title and write down the traits they carry. What does this tell you about Jesus?
- What does verse 7 reveal about the fulfillment of this scripture?
- How can you shine the light of Christ today?
Lord may we trust in the truth of your word. May we each shine your light before men that they will see our good works and give glory to you. May you transform our hearts and minds so that we can be effective stewards of the gifts you have given us and may we bring you glory in all we do and say. In Jesus Name…