MONTHLY ARCHIVES: December 2017

The Vine

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Karah

PAUSE

Briefly read back over each of the ‘I Am’ statements from the last two weeks’ devotions, as you prepare your heart for today’s reading.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” —John 15:5

Read John 15:1-8. Answer the following questions:

• A vine sustains—fruit will not grow unless connected to the vine. What does it mean that Jesus is the vine? Explain.

• In verse 4, Jesus said a branch cannot produce fruit on its own. Look back at the first part of the verse. How does a branch produce fruit? How does this relate to a Christian’s relationship with Jesus?

• In verses 3-4, Jesus was speaking to His disciples. Why was it important for them to remain in Him? How does this apply to you? Explain.

• Throughout His ministry, Jesus focused on bringing glory to God. Look at verse 8. What does this tell you about the importance of producing fruit as a follower of Jesus?

• How could remaining connected to Jesus and producing fruit help others recognize their need for Him?

RESPOND

If you want to truly live out your faith, you must remain connected to Jesus. When you remain in Jesus, your life will bear fruit of your relationship with Him. Put simply: if you truly love and follow Jesus, others will be able to see Him working through you.

• Jesus said to remain in Him five times throughout verses 1-8. Does this describe your relationship with Jesus? Why or why not? How are you growing in your faith? Journal your response.

• For further study on bearing fruit read Galatians 5:22-23.

BEHIND THE STORY

In the Old Testament, Israel was often depicted as the vine and God as the vineyard keeper. Usually, Israel was shown as dried up or ready to be burned (Ps. 80:8–9; Isa. 27:2–6). But in the New Testament, Jesus declared He was the vine. Jesus became the mediator between God and Christ followers. In today’s passage, Jesus revealed that people must remain in Him to live in a way that pleases God.

THE POINT

Jesus is the center of our lives. When we remain focused on Him and continue to grow in relationship with Him, our lives will bear fruit that others will see.


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The Way, the Truth, the Life

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Karah

PAUSE

Quickly list of all the thoughts or things cluttering your mind right now. Review and set aside your list. Ask God to help you clear your mind to focus on His Word.

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” —John 14:6

Read John 14:1-11. Ask yourself:
• What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (v. 6)? It is only through Jesus that you can be reconciled to God, know the truth about how to live, and experience new life.

• According to the last part of verse 6, what is the way to be reconciled to God? How did Jesus make this possible? Explain.

• Many people believe that there is more than one way to get to heaven. Circle the words “except through me.” How do Jesus’ words go against that view?

• Reflect on verse 7. Jesus said if the disciples knew Him, they would know the Father. In verse 9, Jesus repeated Himself, once again declaring that He and God are one. How does knowing this affect your view of Jesus’ authority? His promises to you?

RESPOND

Journal a prayer, thanking God for providing a way for you to be reconciled with Him through Jesus. Do you struggle to believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life? Confess your struggle
to God. If you have questions, ask your camp counselor or a pastor at your church.

Ask God to help you to stand firm in your beliefs. Pray that He will give you wisdom as you talk to people who have different beliefs. Look at the definition of the word reconciled below. Examine your heart. Are you reconciled to the Father?

reconciled (v.) = to restore harmony to a relationship

BEHIND THE STORY

In John 14:1-6, Jesus told His disciples that He would soon depart from them to go to the Father. He said He would go away to prepare a place for them, and then return to take them with Him. In
verse five, Thomas asked how they would know the way to the place Jesus prepared for them. Today’s Scripture gives the answer.

THE POINT

Jesus is the only way to be saved. We must share this news with others


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