Saturday, April 25, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scripture for May 3rd: Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8; Theme: The Love of Jesus in our lives; Song: Swing Low Sweet Chariot (UMH 703) 1 John: We will be focusing on 1 John for the rest of the Easter season. I think that it has an important message on love for us to keep in mind. And for us to be reminded that live in Christ, is a life of learning how to love. You can tell the fruits of our spirit based on our ability to love one another. Love is not a feeling, love is action. Jesus showed us true love by dying on a cross for us. He chose to die in that way, because he knew the consequences. Not only should we be baptized into his blood, but we should but we should live our lives inside of his love. People should see Christ in all of our actions. When people are able to see Christ, they are also able to see God. People come to Christ, or they step away from Christ based on what they see in us. John: As United Methodist, we live in Christ by participating in worship, studying the word, private and corporate prayer, communion, fasting, and listening to the word. Jesus says that he is the vine and that we are the branches. As branches we stay connected by practice of these five things. We are not responsible for our own salvation, neither are we responsible for growing fruit. We stay connected and God is able to work through us. When we are disconnected, then we become very ineffective. In John, Jesus uses a lot of I am statements in order for us to understand what our relationship needs to be like and how we should trust him in all things. Do you trust Jesus to work his magic through you, are you open so that Christ can come in and work with you? Questions: How do others see Christ in your actions? How do you show love to others? Can you show love to those who don’t show love to you? Are you grateful that Christ died for your sins? What does it mean for Christ to be the true vine? When Christ gives you fruit do you give it away for keep it for yourself? What ways do you depend on Christ in your life?
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scripture for April 26th: Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18 Theme: Good Shepherd Sunday Song: 407 Close to thee Acts: When I was a little girl, my aunt told me that if I didn’t remember anything else about faith, to remember that salvation was in the name of Jesus, and Jesus alone. She told me to make sure that I was not baptized in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, but in Jesus name alone. She, like many people believed that there was power in the name of Jesus. She told me to always refer to this scripture about the power in one name alone. Jesus. There is power in one act alone – that is resurrection. Peter is being questioned by the authorities as he is preaching the gospel. Who gave you authority to speak to the people and to do these acts? By what authority do you speak? They were witnesses to God’s power in Jesus Christ, that is all that was needed to make a difference. Jesus gives us the power to witness to his goodness today. We have the authority to speak in Jesus name! John: This is the week when we remember what it means for Jesus to be the good shepherd. What does it mean that Jesus will take care of you? What does it mean for you to be a sheep in need of a shepherd? We are always in need of guidance. It can become so easy for us to become caught up in life and to see nothing else in front of our noses. And we need someone to guide us to the right places, sometimes in spite of ourselves. Jesus says that we don’t have to think in order to truly hear his voice in our lives. We automatically respond to his command. Even in the midst of other voices that call out and try to lead us astray- God’s sheep still follow their shepherd. It takes a special person to be God’s shepherd, and that special person has a special name – Jesus Christ. Questions: What power does Jesus have in your life? How do you tell others about the power of Jesus name? Is Jesus the ultimate authority in the world today? Why or why not? How do you recognize Jesus voice? What other voices compete for your attention in your life? Where is Jesus leading you right now? Is it peaceful? Is it to a better place than you are now?