MONTHLY ARCHIVES: March 2019

Eternal Jesus

Posted on March 26, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Take a minute to focus on who God is—the God of Abraham and God of creation is the same God you worship today.

What does it mean to say that Jesus is eternal? Describe the concept in your own words.
Read John 8:56-59 in your Bible.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am’.” —John 8:58

Jesus used the phrase “I am” in John 8:58 to refer to Himself. This phrase was first used in Exodus 3:14 when Moses asked God who he should say sent him to the Israelites.

• Why do you think it bothered the Jews that Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham?

Now, read Colossians 1:15-20 in your Bible.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” —Colossians 1:15

Consider this:
Jesus isn’t only like God; Jesus is God. The death of an ordinary man on a cross would have no ramifications for the rest of us—the One to die had to be perfect, spotless, without blemish. Only Jesus, fully God and fully man could take on the sins of the world and offer us the opportunity to be restored to a right relationship with God.

• Through Jesus, we are able to see the invisible attributes of God and witness His character. In the space below, list some of Jesus’ characteristics that help you understand more about who God is.

RESPOND

The reason Jesus came to earth in human form was to restore our relationship with God and to help us know Him on a deeper level.

• Think of some people who need to experience restoration in their relationship with God. List their names in your journal and commit to pray for them this week.
• In your journal, record some steps you can take to share Jesus with the people you listed above.

BEHIND THE STORY

Jesus is fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. Everything unravels without Christ’s divinity—it is essential to the Christian faith. Jesus’ deity is what allows us to be able to be in relationship with God.(1)

THE POINT

God revealed Himself to us through His Son so that we could know Him and be restored to a right relationship with Him.

(1)“The Baptist Faith and Message,” The Southern Baptist Convention, 2000. Accessed via http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp.


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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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