John 10:1-21

Share a time when you chose your comfort over God’s provision.
Do you still find yourself striving to earn God’s approval at times? If so, how?
What keeps you from honestly sharing your sin struggles with trusted friends?
Where is God calling you to take a risk for Jesus this week?
Jesus as the Good Shepherd

10:1 “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 10:2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 10:3 The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 10:4 When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 10:5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not recognize the stranger’s voice.” 10:6 Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

10:7 So Jesus said to them again, “I tell you the solemn truth, I am the door for the sheep. 10:8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 10:12 The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 10:13 Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away.

10:14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me – 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. 10:16 I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. 10:17 This is why the Father loves me – because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father.”

10:19 Another sharp division took place among the Jewish people because of these words. 10:20 Many of them were saying, “He is possessed by a demon and has lost his mind! Why do you listen to him?” 10:21 Others said, “These are not the words of someone possessed by a demon. A demon cannot cause the blind to see, can it?”

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Acts 9:23-31

Where in this passage do you see taking a RISK for the Lord?
How does this passage motivate you to take RISK for Jesus?

Saul’s Escape from Damascus

9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. They were also watching the city gates day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening in the wall by lowering him in a basket.

Saul Returns to Jerusalem

9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, he attempted to associate with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took Saul, brought him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 9:28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29 He was speaking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they were trying to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria experienced peace and thus was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church increased in numbers.

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Acts 9:10-19

Where in this passage do you see DESPERATE DEPENDENCE?
How does this passage help you reflect upon your own DESPERATE DEPENDENCE?

9:10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, Lord.” 9:11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 9:12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 9:13 But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call on your name!” 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 9:18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.

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2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Where in this passage do you see UNEXPECTED JOY?
How does this passage help you reflect upon your own UNEXPECTED JOY?

4:16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 4:17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 4:18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

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Acts 9:1-9

Where in this passage do you see INVITING people into conversation about the Lord?
How does this passage motivate you to INVITE people into conversation about Jesus?

The Conversion of Saul

9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats to murder the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 9:2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 9:3 As he was going along, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 9:5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 9:6 But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.” 9:7 (Now the men who were traveling with him stood there speechless, because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 9:8 So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, he could see nothing. Leading him by the hand, his companions brought him into Damascus. 9:9 For three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything.

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John 8:31-59

Describe the darkness in your life before you met Christ.
How have you seen Jesus bring light into your dark places?
Describe a time when you saw the light of Jesus shine in another person.
Do you struggle to believe you are radiant because of the work of Christ in your life?
What would it look like for you to shine the light of Christ this week?
Abraham’s Children and the Devil’s Children
 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 8:33 “We are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 8:34 Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 8:35 The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. 8:36 So if the son sets you free, you will be really free. 8:37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. But you want to kill me, because my teaching makes no progress among you. 8:38 I am telling you the things I have seen while with the Father; as for you, practice the things you have heard from the Father!”

8:39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father!” Jesus replied, “If you are Abraham’s children, you would be doing the deeds of Abraham. 8:40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham did not do this! 8:41 You people are doing the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Jesus, “We were not born as a result of immorality! We have only one Father, God himself.” 8:42 Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come from God and am now here. I have not come on my own initiative, but he sent me. 8:43 Why don’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot accept my teaching. 8:44 You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 8:45 But because I am telling you the truth, you do not believe me. 8:46 Who among you can prove me guilty of any sin? If I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 8:47 The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words. You don’t listen and respond, because you don’t belong to God.”

8:48 The Judeans replied, “Aren’t we correct in saying that you are a Samaritan and are possessed by a demon?” 8:49 Jesus answered, “I am not possessed by a demon, but I honor my Father – and yet you dishonor me. 8:50 I am not trying to get praise for myself. There is one who demands it, and he also judges. 8:51 I tell you the solemn truth, if anyone obeys my teaching, he will never see death.”

8:52 Then the Judeans responded, “Now we know you’re possessed by a demon! Both Abraham and the prophets died, and yet you say, ‘If anyone obeys my teaching, he will never experience death.’ 8:53 You aren’t greater than our father Abraham who died, are you? And the prophets died too! Who do you claim to be?” 8:54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worthless. The one who glorifies me is my Father, about whom you people say, ‘He is our God.’ 8:55 Yet you do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey his teaching. 8:56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.”

8:57 Then the Judeans replied, “You are not yet fifty years old! Have you seen Abraham?” 8:58 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!” 8:59 Then they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out from the temple area.

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John 8:12-28

Describe the darkness in your life before you met Christ.
How have you seen Jesus bring light into your dark places?
Describe a time when you saw the light of Jesus shine in another person.
Do you struggle to believe you are radiant because of the work of Christ in your life?
What would it look like for you to shine the light of Christ this week?
Where Jesus Came From and Where He is Going

8:21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will look for me but will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” 8:22 So the Jewish leaders began to say, “Perhaps he is going to kill himself, because he says, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” 8:23 Jesus replied, “You people are from below; I am from above. You people are from this world; I am not from this world. 8:24 Thus I told you that you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”

8:25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus replied, “What I have told you from the beginning. 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the Father who sent me is truthful, and the things I have heard from him I speak to the world.” 8:27 (They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.)

8:28 Then Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me. 8:29 And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him.” 8:30 While he was saying these things, many people believed in him.

The NET Bible© is freely available at http://www.bible.org