Devotional for Worship Series
The "I AM" Statements of Jesus
NOTE: Please use the devotional studies below to help you prepare for the upcoming weekend worship services.
Click on the Bible verses to read from BibleGateway
“The Mission of Jesus & His Church” August 12-18
- Read Genesis 12:1-3. Notice that God’s first message to Abram here is a call him to obedient faithfulness (verse 1). Then, as Abram follows God the Lord will bless him richly (verse 2-3a). But, the end game is not about the promotion of Abram. Rather, “Through you every family on earth will be blessed (verse 3b).” Abram is to be God’s instrument through which God will bless all the families of the earth. This is a messianic covenant. God has given Abram an important mission. Through Abram and his family in the generations to come, God is going to send that Savior of mankind. The greatest need that every person has is a spiritual one. We need to be saved from our sins for all of eternity because we cannot save ourselves.
- Now listen to God speak to the nation of Israel (Abram’s descendants) about 1,400 years later. Read Isaiah 42:5-9. This too is a messianic claim on the people. They don’t exist for themselves. They are to be God’s representatives to bring His blessings to the people of the world. And when the Messiah would come, this too would be His mission.
- When Jesus came, He understood His mission clearly. He didn’t come to establish His own physical kingdom in this world. Read Matthew 20:28 and John 18:33-38. What did He believe His mission was?
- Read Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:6-8. Jesus has died, risen from the grave and is now about to ascend into heaven. How does He say the mission of bringing God’s blessings to the families of the earth is to be accomplished?
- Read 1 Timothy 2:3-7. What does Paul say is the passionate mission of God & His Church?
“I Am The Vine” August 19-25
- Which sounds better to you: A rich life of spiritual health and growth, or a frustrating life of spiritual independence and emptiness? In John 15:1-8 Jesus used an agricultural analogy to explain how the Christian life can bless us as we stay connected to Him and His purposes.
- According to verse 1, how does Jesus describe himself? How does He describe His heavenly Father? Read verse 2. What does the Father do? What do you think this pruning is (for help read Psalm 50:15)? Give some examples of pruning. What is the goal of pruning?
- Read verse 3. What does Jesus say has cleansed the disciples (Read Romans 1:16 to see the ultimate in spiritual cleansing)?
- Read verse 4. What do you think it means to “live in me?” As we live in Jesus, what does He promise to do for us? How do Christians “produce fruit” (see John 14:20-21)? Now read Verse 5. What does Jesus mean when He says we can’t we produce fruit without Him (see Hebrews 11:6 for help)?
- Read verse 6. What is the warning given in this verse?
- Read verse 7. What promise does Jesus make here? What does He mean when He uses the word “anything”? (See 1 John 5:14 for help.)
- Read verse 8. Now read Ephesians 2:8-10. How are we saved for eternity? Why do Christians strive to do good works?
“Work Is God’s Purpose For Us” August 26– September 1
- Read Genesis 1. What do you see God doing?
- What does Genesis 1:26-28 say about the creation of the man and the woman? What were they created for? Read Genesis 2:15. What was the man supposed to do in the Garden of Eden?
- Read the following verses. What do they say about our attitude about work?
¨ Proverbs 10:4 _____________________________________________________________
¨ 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 ____________________________________________________
¨ 1 Timothy 5:8 _____________________________________________________________
¨ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ____________________________________________________
¨ Ephesians 4:28 ____________________________________________________________
- Read Ecclesiastes 5:18-19. What did King Solomon think of the concept of work?
- Read Colossians 3:23-24. When we go about preforming the work that we do, who does St. Paul say we’re really working for? How can this affect our commitment and attitude toward our work?
- Read Matthew 6:19-24. As we go about our work, what warning does Jesus have for us here?
“I Am The Way, The Truth & The Life” August 5-11
- Setting the context- The Night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest: Read John 13:1-3. What do we learn about Jesus here? Read John 13:21-22. What troubling message did Jesus reveal to the disciples? How well did the disciples understand Jesus’ teachings about His impending death and resurrection (see Matthew 16:21-23 & Mark 9:30-32 for help.)?
- Read John 13:31-38. The head scratching continues. What troubling details does Jesus now tell the disciples? How would you have felt at this point if you had been Peter or one of the other disciples? What are they puzzled about?
- Read John 14:1-4. Now to make things even more puzzling, Jesus parallels what is about to happen to a wedding. In Jewish culture, marriages were all arranged by the parents of the two families. Once the marriage contract had been agreed upon, the engaged couple would drink from a cup of wine. Then the groom would tell his bride-to-be that he was going to go to his father’s house to prepare a home for his bride. He would go and build an addition onto his father’s house and then he would come back and get his bride and take her to their new home. A wedding would be performed and she would then live in this home with her husband and his family. With that background in mind, who is the bride and who is the groom in Jesus’ account?
- Read John 14:4-6. Where is Jesus going to go? Why don’t the disciples understand (for help read John 12:34 & Luke 24:21a)? What does Jesus mean in verse John 14:6?
- Now read Revelation 19:1-9. This is Judgment Day! What does verse 7 say is happening? Who is the groom? Who is the bride (verse 8)?
“I AM the Resurrection” July 29-August 4
Read John 11:1-27
- At the end of Chapter 10, Jesus has left Jerusalem after being threatened with arrest and death and has no traveled East of the Jordan River, there He continues to preach and teach and a crowd begins to form around Him.
- Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, the brother of Mary and Martha, has fallen gravely ill. Why does Jesus not immediately go to see His friend? If He had gone, would how would the story have changed? Lazarus dies but what does Jesus say He is going to do, and what does Jesus say His action will cause the disciples to do?
- Death is something that no one can escape. It will eventually come for everyone of us, unless Jesus comes again first. But what is Jesus claiming about death (verse 11)?
- Martha runs to meet Jesus, and makes a bold statement. What was her expectation of Jesus? How does she show her faith, even though she has experienced the loss of her brother (Verse 21)? What did she not understand (verse 24)?
- Jesus now makes His I Am statement. What does Jesus again say He has power over? Jesus puts things into a Spiritual view and says that by believing in Him we have what?
- Read Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12 and 6:23. Why does death exist? What is it that allows us to conqueror death?
- Jesus express human emotion in the midst of the loss of His friend. Yet Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Why? What is the purpose of raising Lazarus? What does this prove?
“I AM the Door, I AM the Good Shepherd” July 22-28
Read John 10:1-15
- In this section of the Gospel of John, Jesus makes to particular “I AM” statements. Jesus is speaking about sheep and leadership and His relationship with His followers.
- Shepherds would often have to travel a long way to find pastures for their sheep. When they found a lush spot, they would build a circular stone wall with a small opening. To ensure the safety of the sheep, the shepherd would lay down in the opening, acting as a door to protect the sheep.
- What does Jesus say about those who come in any other way? What does He say is the goal of the thief? Who is the thief (verse 10)?
- Jesus then goes on to say that He is the good Shepherd. What reasons does He give for calling himself the Good Shepherd?
- How does Jesus saying that He knows His sheep make you feel? What does it mean that Jesus knows you? What does He know about you? What does Jesus say He does for His sheep?
- Jesus also says that “there are sheep that are not of this fold?” What does that mean to you? What role can we play in helping those “not of this fold?? Who in your life needs to hear about the Good Shepherd? Pray about it? Ask God to show you how to share Jesus with them?
“… the Light of the World” July 15-21, 2019
Read John 8:12-20.
Jesus is speaking with the Pharisees around the temple treasury (vs. 13, 20), when He says, “I am the light of the world.”
- Read Isaiah 42:6, and Daniel 2:22. Both of these are prophesies surrounding the coming of the Messiah. How do they describe what the Messiah will do? By Jesus saying “I am the light”, what is He saying about Himself? How does He go a step further when he adds the phrase, “of the world”?
- The Pharisees knew what the Old Testament said about the Messiah. Why do they say, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true”? What do they believe about Jesus, or who do they think Jesus is?
- Jewish legal grounds called for two witnesses for legal claims. Who does Jesus appeal to as His witness (John 5:30-32)? What does Jesus say about Himself? What does Jesus accuse the Pharisees of judging by? What does Jesus say was His purpose or mission (John 3:16)?
- However, Jesus doesn't say that He cannot make judgements, but if He does, who is the second witness (vs. 17-18)? Read also Deuteronomy 19:15.
- Read John 9:1-7. Once again, Jesus refers to Himself as the light of the world. How does He prove that He is who He says He is?