Ultimate Victory

Posted on March 19, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Look over last week’s study. Praise God for all that He’s done for you and thank Him for teaching you about His love for you.

First century believers were often persecuted for their faith in Christ, so there was little earthly gain for their choice to follow Jesus.

“For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.” —1 Corinthians 15:16-19

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Ask yourself:
• What was being preached that didn’t line up with the gospel? Why didn’t this teaching make sense in light of God’s plan for Jesus and believers?
• If Jesus’ resurrection had never happened, according to Paul, what would that mean for the Christian faith? Explain.
• Focus on verses 16-19 for a moment. Think about why Paul said believers “should be pitied more than anyone” (v. 19). Are believers today “pitied” for belief in Christ? Why or why not? Explain.
• How does your faith hinge on the resurrection? Explain.

RESPOND

• Jesus still has the power to bring the dead to life today. Do you know people who need the power of Jesus to break the chains of sin in their lives Commit to pray for these people, asking God to use you as a light for Him.
• Living life with an eternal perspective means you live life focused on your future with Jesus and helping other people know how to spend eternity with Him, too. In your journal, explain eternal perspective in your own words.
• Because of Jesus’ power over death, you will spend eternity with Him if you trust Him as your Savior. How can you live with an eternal perspective this week? Jot down a few ideas in the margin.
• For further study on Jesus’ victory over death, read Romans 8:38-39; 1 Corinthians 15:55-56; and Hebrews 2:14-15.

BEHIND THE STORY

Over the last month you’ve studied about Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus, and the widow’s son being raised from the dead. Each of these people would physically die again, but Jesus performed these miracles so people would believe in His power that defeated death and made it possible to live with Him eternally.

THE POINT

The crowning moment over death was Jesus’ resurrection—making it possible for people to be in a right relationship with God.


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Death is Defeated

Posted on March 12, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Imagine yourself at the scene of Jesus’ resurrection—what you would see, hear, and think. Keep this in mind as you read today’s devotion.

“But the angel told the women, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.’” —Matthew 28:5-7

Read Matthew 28:1-7 in your Bible. Consider these questions:
• What did the women find when the reached the tomb? Why is that important?
• Describe the women’s initial reactions to the angel. How would your reaction be similar? How would it differ?
• In verse six, the phrase “just as He said” referred to Jesus’ prophecy of His coming death and resurrection. Why is it important that the angel confirmed Jesus’ words? Explain.
• The angel gave the women three commands in verses 5-7. What were they and why is that significant?
• What did the angel’s final command reveal about Jesus’ love for His disciples? Explain.

RESPOND

Jesus had the power to take on sin and overcome the grave, but His resurrection also showed God’s love and that He keeps His promises. Consider how deeply Jesus loves you—so much that He died for you!

• Have you ever felt overwhelmed by Jesus’ love for you? Journal about that experience. 
• Praise God for sending Jesus to die on the cross for you. Praise God for His love. If you don’t know where to begin, try praying Psalm 103.
• For further study on Jesus’ death and resurrection, read Acts 2:22-28, 32-36 and Revelation 1:18.

BEHIND THE STORY

Matthew included the women as the first eyewitnesses, even though women were not viewed as trustworthy during that time. This shows he was faithful to record actual events as they happened, no matter society’s rules or perceptions.(1)

THE POINT

Jesus defeated sin and death for all eternity—then He appeared to His followers so they could see the truth of His words.

(1)Holman Christian Standard Study Bible (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2010), 1671.


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Compassion Leads to Action

Posted on March 5, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

As you read your devotion today, consider this quote from D. L. Moody: “His is a loving, tender hand, full of sympathy and compassion.”

This miracle was the first account of Jesus raising someone from the dead. As you studied last month, He also raised Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus. Glance at the definition of compassion below. Define the term in your own words.

“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, ‘Don’t cry.’ Then He came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And He said, ‘Young man, I tell you, get up!’” —Luke 7:13-14

Read Luke 7:11-15 in your own Bible. Think about the following:
• This lady had nothing. She was a widow and about to bury her only son -she probably had no other means of financial support. Knowing this, how does Jesus’ reaction to her plight reveal His compassion?
• What was the outcome of this miracle (v. 16)? How would you react?
• List some ways Jesus raising this young man from the dead mirrors the salvation Christ offers to believers.

COMPASSION (n.)= Loving concern for the hurting or unfortunate.

RESPOND

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He only raised three people from the dead. Why not more? These miracles weren’t about people, they were about Him—to show that He was the Son of God and to offer salvation to the world.
• When have you experienced Jesus’ power in your life? Have you experienced Him work a miracle for you? Is there one you need to ask for now? Journal your response.
• Do you know people who need compassionate love? In your journal, list some places you can go to show compassion to the hurting and needy people around you. Then, record how you will carry out your plan.
• For further study on the miracle of salvation, read Ephesians 2:1-9 and Colossians 2:13-15.

BEHIND THE STORY

Jewish customs included an open coffin during a funeral, but anyone touching the corpse became ceremonially unclean. This was one of the many radical things Jesus did that went against tradition during His earthly ministry, causing much stir among the Jewish leaders. (1)

THE POINT
Jesus’ compassion for the woman showed His love, yet He also showed His power by raising the boy from the dead.

(1)Holman Christian Standard Study Bible (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2010), 1749.


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Obey to Honor

Posted on February 26, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Do you ever have difficulty wrapping your mind around the fact that Jesus and God are one? Pray that God will increase your understanding of this truth today.

When people hear the word honor, they think of battles, soldiers, winning awards, or being in a respected career. What does the word honor mean Consider the definition below and record your own definition in your journal.

HONOR (n.) – Respect and worthiness of rank.

• Do you think you honor Jesus? Why or why not? Journal your response.

“And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the
Son also gives life to anyone He wants to.” —John 5:21

Read John 5:21-24 in your Bible. Ask yourself:
• What does this passage reveal about the relationship between Jesus and His Father? Why is that important?
• List specific roles of Jesus named in this passage. Who gave Him permission and authority over all people?
• Jesus honored God by obeying Him and fulfilling His purpose. How can you do the same? How does living for Jesus acknowledge his power and authority in your life?

RESPOND

You can honor Jesus in your relationship with Him by living and speaking in ways that glorify God and show He is Lord of your life.

• Reflect on verse 21 for a moment. How has Jesus brought life to you? Are you quick to share this with people around you? Journal your response.

• Think of people in your circle who need to hear about Jesus and list them in your journal. Ask God to show you how to be more intentional about sharing His truth with them.

• For further study about Jesus and God being one, read John 1:1,14 and John 14:7-11.

BEHIND THE STORY

This imagery of Jesus as the Son sent by the Father is taken from the Jewish concept of the shaliach, or messenger, in which the sent one is like the sender himself and faithfully pursues the sender’s interests.1 Jesus as God’s Son and messenger had a right to honor and worship, as He was one with God in deity.

THE POINT

God has given Jesus authority over all people. If we want to honor God, we must honor and obey Jesus.

1.Holman Christian Standard Study Bible (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2010), 1808.


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For God's Glory

Posted on February 19, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Before you read today’s devotion, review the last few week’s devotions about Lazarus.

In your journal, write down what stuck out most to you from those passages of Scripture.

“So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You heard Me. I know that You always hear Me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so they may believe You sent Me.’”
—John 11:41-42

Read John 11:38-44. Think about the following:
• Read verse 39 again. Compare Martha’s reaction here to her reaction in verse 27. Does her response indicate the same kind of faith? Why or why not?
• What did Jesus’ prayer before he performed the miracle indicate about His
mission? What did it reveal about God’s plan? Explain.

Jesus’ prayer showed intimate knowledge of His Father’s plan for Lazarus. Jesus thanked God because God “heard” (v. 41) Him, the past tense pointing to their connection and God’s foreknowing of the event taking place. Jesus prayed aloud as proof to those standing around that God really did send Him and accomplish His will through Him—He wanted them not just to observe the miracle, but to believe in Him.

RESPOND

• Are you quick to give God glory when you see Him work in mighty ways This is how you can let the world know what a great God you serve—by telling others of His works. In your journal, come up with a few ways you could tell someone about Jesus and what He did for you.
• Glance over your journal entry. Do you know people who need to hear your story? List their names.
• Talk to an older Christian mentor, like your Trailstones leader or student pastor at church and ask them to hold you accountable to share your story with one of those people this week.

BEHIND THE STORY

Jesus’ purpose and God’s plan for raising Lazarus from the dead was to reveal God’s glory and help people believe that Jesus was truly the Son of God. John 11:45-53 gave a clear picture of the reaction of some of the religious leaders—this only strengthened their desire to get rid of Jesus. This was the final event to set their resolve to arrest Jesus and put Him on trial for blasphemy.

THE POINT

Jesus did great things and gave God the glory. We should also give God the glory for whatever we do.


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