If Anyone is Thirsty, Come to Me

If Anyone is Thirsty, Come to Me
John 7:1-53
Why do we tend to doubt?

  1. The Disciples – John 7:1-11 – We don’t fully understand the mission of Jesus.
  2. The Crowd – John 7:12-31 – Fear can paralyze us – like the loss of comfort or change.
  3. The Religious Leaders – John 7:32-53 – Our hearts become hardened toward a downward spiral of unbelief.

Questions for Further Study:

  1. In what do people today put their faith?
  2. What ideas tend to cause division among the people you know?
  3. What questions did the people begin asking about Jesus? (John 7:25-26)
  4. Why was it significant that people knew where Jesus was from? (John 7:27)
  5. What did Jesus cry out in the temple court? (John 7:28-29)
  6. What did the people try to do? (John 7:30)
  7. Why were the people unsuccessful in trying to seize Jesus? (John 7:30)
  8. What reason did some of the people give for putting their faith in Jesus? (John 7:31)
  9. What did the Pharisees do when they heard the crowd talking about Jesus? (John 7:32)
  10. How long did Jesus say He would be with His audience? (John 7:33)
  11. What did Jesus say the people would be unable to do? (John 7:34)
  12. How did the Jews respond to what Jesus said? (John 7:35-36)
  13. What invitation did Jesus offer on the last day of the Feast? (John 7:37)
  14. What result did Jesus promise for those who believed in Him? (John 7:38)
  15. Why hadn’t the Spirit been given yet? (John 7:39)
  16. What conclusions did the people come to about Jesus? (John 7:40-41)
  17. Why did the people get confused over Jesus’ identity? (John 7:41-42)
  18. What effect did Jesus have on these people? (John 7:43)
  19. What did some of the people want to do? (John 7:44)
  20. What has the world as a whole concluded about Jesus?
  21. What can you tell about a person from his or her hometown?
  22. How has your background shaped you into the person you are today?
  23. When do you feel most refreshed in your relationship with Christ?
  24. How has Jesus caused division among groups of people with whom you are associated?
  25. How has Jesus satisfied your thirsts and longings in life?
  26. In what way do we attempt to satisfy our thirsts and longings in life outside of Christ?
  27. What specific thirst or longing do you need to trust Christ to satisfy this week?
  28. How can you refresh your relationship with God today?

“Get This” for May 6

From Pastor Ken…

Have you ever considered that we look for satisfaction in other places than in a relationship with Jesus because we really don’t know Him as we should?

A Moment in the Life of Jesus

After the feeding of the 5,000, the crowd continued to look for a convenient blessing of physical bread. Jesus redirected their superficial desires by teaching that He himself is the “bread of life” that alone satisfies man’s soul (John 6). Jesus then revealed Himself even more personally during a popular Jewish festival (the Feast of the tabernacles). On the last day of this event, after the priest had given a visual reminder of when God provided water for Israel during the wilderness years, Jesus cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). Wow! At the very moment when Israel was looking back to when God provided physical needs, Jesus invited everyone to have a deeper need satisfied: the need of the human heart.

I really want you to get this!

Jesus gave this invitation to an audience comprised primarily of those who doubted Him (the Jewish Leaders, the crowd at large, and even the disciples). To overcome the doubt that constantly swirled around Him, Jesus simply gave an invitation to believe that He alone can satisfy the deepest longing of the heart. In fact, Jesus actually promised that through faith in Him, life will be as rivers of living water flowing from within (John 7:38). Now,that’s a full life.

JESUS WANTS TO MOVE YOU FROM A LIFE OF DOUBT TO A HEART THAT TRULY OVERFLOWS WITH LIFE!

But, maybe you feel anything but rivers of life coming from within. Maybe bitterness, discouragement, regret, or fear seems to flow more readily. If so, remember the invitation of Jesus: come and drink, which means, come and receive by faith Jesus’ love and forgiveness that alone can satisfy your soul.

  • Jesus gives you this invitation today. Isn’t it time you RSVP?
  • What doubts swirl about your mind and heart today?
  • Do these doubts keep you from desperately thirsting for Jesus?

I will be preaching a message this Sunday, May 6 on why we doubt and why we shouldn’t (from John 7). Please join us!


Do you want to receive “Get This” directly to your inbox? Use our online contact form and let Ken know.

I am the Bread of Life

Knowing Jesus, Knowing Real Life:
I am the Bread of Life.
John 6:26-71

  1. Three Life-problems Jesus Exposed (John 6:26-34)
    1. A superficial commitment (John 6:26) What’s in it for me?
    2. An ignorance of the spiritual (John 6:27-29) A love for the material where faith is devalued.
    3. An attitude of entitlement (John 6:30-34) Wow me or else I’m out of here.
  2. Three Reasons Jesus Referred to Himself as the Bread of Life (John 6:35-59)
    1. Jesus is Essential (John 6:35-40) Both are essential for life.
    2. Jesus fulfills the “I Am.” (John 6:41-51) “Flesh” here means “flesh,” not “soma” (body).
    3. Jesus Satisfies (John 6:52-59) Living bread will provide lasting satisfaction.
  3. Three Ways This Truth Affects My Life (John 6:60-71)
    1. A challenge to our basic knowledge of Jesus and our idea of following Him (John 6:60-61) The gospel is offensive, scandalon.
    2. An openness to the spiritual work of God through Christ in our lives (John 6:62-65)
    3. The resolve the Jesus is the absolute and only answer for my life (John 6:68-71)

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What kind of bread do you like most?
  2. How do people attempt to satisfy their need to feel secure and significant in life?
  3. What needs do you spend the majority of your time trying to satisfy?
  4. Why did the crowd seek Jesus? (John 6:26)
  5. What did Jesus say the Son of Man would give to these people? (John 6:27)
  6. What did Jesus say was the work of God? (John 6:28-29)
  7. What did the crowd ask Jesus to do? (John 6:30-31)
  8. Who did Jesus say was the true bread of life? (John 6:32-33)
  9. What did Jesus say would be the result of coming to Him? (John 6:35)
  10. What did Jesus say He would never do to those who came to Him? (John 6:37)
  11. Why did Jesus come down from heaven? (John 6:38)
  12. What did Jesus say is the Father’s will? (John 6:39-40)
  13. Why did the Jews begin to grumble? (John 6:41-42)
  14. Who did Jesus say could come to Him? (John 6:43-44)
  15. What did Jesus say would be the result of believing? (John 6:47)
  16. What contrast does Jesus make between manna and the bread of life? (John 6:48-51, 58)
  17. What did Jesus say about His flesh and His blood? (John 6:53-57)
  18. What things do we seek from Jesus?
  19. In what ways do you have a demanding attitude toward God?
  20. When and why did you come to Jesus?
  21. In what way has Jesus satisfied your hunger and thirst for acceptance and meaning in life?
  22. In what ways do you still feel empty?
  23. What situations cause you to feel insecure?
  24. When do you feel secure in your relationship with God? Why?
  25. How has the Christian life turned out to be different from what you expected?
  26. In what way is Jesus an example for us to follow?
  27. What can you do today to rely on God, rather than on things or people, to satisfy your needs?
  28. What demanding attitudes do you need to ask God to help you change?

The Miracle and Me

The Miracle and “Me”
John 6:1-25
5 Ways Jesus Impacted His Disciples
in the Feeding of the 5,000
and Walking on Water.

  1. He centered their focus on the spiritual impact of the moment. (John 6:1-4)
    1. The reason people were following Jesus. (John 6:2)
    2. The how – Jesus sat and taught his disciples. (John 6:3)
  2. He built their faith. (John 6:6-9)
    1. The why – Jesus was going to test them. (John 6:6)
    2. Jesus’ question showed how differently people can think about life.
      1. Managerial.
      2. Missional.
  3. He involved them personally in His work. (John 6:10-13)
    1. The disciples are involved. (John 6:10)
    2. The Father is involved. (John 6:11a)
    3. The Savior is involved. (John 6:11b)
  4. He proved His presence with them in the storm. (John 6:14-18)
  5. He settled their fears. (John 6:19-21)
    1. Storms = struggles
      1. Soul care (John 6:20) – his care for us, our care for others.
      2. Jesus stands above that which brings us fear. (John 6:19)
    2. They were WILLING to let Jesus in the boat? (John 6:21)
    3. How often are people unwilling to let Jesus into their lives?

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What is the most difficult situation in which you have ever found yourself?
  2. In what exciting events have you recently participated? What made them exciting?
  3. Where did Jesus go? (John 6:1)
  4. Why did the crowd of people follow Jesus? (John 6:2)
  5. Where did Jesus and His disciples go? (John 6:3)
  6. What Jewish feast was near? (John 6:4)
  7. What question did Jesus ask Philip? (John 6:5)
  8. Why did Jesus ask Philip a question? (John 6:6)
  9. How did Philip respond to Jesus’ question? (John 6:7)
  10. Who was Andrew? (John 6:8)
  11. What role did Andrew play in feeding the five thousand? (John 6:8-9)
  12. What solution did Andrew propose to Jesus’ question? (John 6:8-9)
  13. What miracle did Jesus perform? (John 6:10-11)
  14. How much bread was left over? (John 6:12-13)
  15. How did the crowd of people respond to Jesus’ miracle? (John 6:14)
  16. What did the crowd of people intend to do? (John 6:15)
  17. What was Jesus’ reaction to the crowd’s intention? (John 6:15)
  18. For what reasons do people follow Jesus today?
  19. What makes you want to follow Jesus?
  20. What is your typical reaction to situations that seem to present no readily available solution?
  21. With what situations in life do you have a difficult time trusting God?
  22. What does God provide for us on a daily basis?
  23. In what ways do people attempt to use Jesus or His name inappropriately?
  24. What misconceptions have you had about Jesus or His role in your life?
  25. How and when has God miraculously provided for your needs?
  26. How can we trust God with our needs?
  27. What things do you need to thank God for providing?
  28. What tough situation do you need to trust God to work out in your life this week?

Proven by Jesus

PROVEN BY JESUS
What is the Real Truth of Christianity?
John 5:18-47 reveals two responses to the volatile attacks against the truth of Jesus.

  1. The First Response: the Self-Disclosure of Christ (John 5:18-30)
    1. Jesus: the fulfillment of God’s Word, Work, and Will (John 5:19)
    2. Jesus: God’s Only Son (John 5:20)
    3. Jesus: the Only Source of Life (John 5:21)
    4. Jesus: the Highest Place of Honor (John 5:22-23)
    5. Jesus: God’s truth and the Object of Our faith (John 5:24)
    6. Jesus: Relevance for every life (John 5:25-27)
    7. Jesus: The One Who Holds Eternal Life (John 5:28-30)
  2. The Second Response: The Testimonies of Heaven and History (5:31-47)
    1. God testifies (John 5:32, 37).
    2. John the Baptist Testifies (John 5:33-35).
    3. The Works of Christ Testify (John 5:36).
    4. The Scriptures Testify (John 5:38-40).

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What different groups of people have suffered persecution throughout history?
  2. What are some of the positive aspects of your relationship with your parents?
  3. Why did the Jews persecute Jesus? (John 5:16)
  4. Whose work did Jesus do? (John 5:17)
  5. Why did certain Jews want to kill Jesus? (John 5:18)
  6. What did Jesus say that the Son could do? (John 5:19)
  7. What did Jesus tell the Jews that He would show them? (John 5:20)
  8. What did Jesus say He was able to do? (John 5:21)
  9. To whom did God entrust all judgment? (John 5:22)
  10. Why did God entrust judgment to Christ? (John 5:23)
  11. How did Jesus say a person can gain eternal life? (John 5:24)
  12. What time did Jesus say had already come? (John 5:25)
  13. What did Jesus say the Father has in Himself that He has granted to the Son? (John 5:26)
  14. What time did Jesus say was coming? (John 5:28-29)
  15. Whom did Jesus say He desires to please? (John 5:30)
  16. In what way does the world persecute Christians today?
  17. How have you been persecuted as a believer?
  18. When have you experienced pressure not to practice or share your faith in Christ?
  19. Why does the world persecute Christians?
  20. How can we honor the Son and the Father with our lives?
  21. How can we know for sure that we have eternal life?
  22. Why should we feel secure in our relationship with God?
  23. How should we prepare ourselves for Jesus’ judgment?
  24. In what way are we like Jesus with respect to our relationship with God the Father?
  25. In what way is Jesus an example for us to follow?
  26. What steps can you take this week to enjoy more fully your relationship with your Heavenly Father?
  27. What can you do today to bring honor to God?
  28. How will you allow Jesus’ example in this passage of Scripture to influence your life this week?

Dangerous Substitutes for the Real Truth

Dangerous Substitutes for the Real Truth…
(and how Jesus corrected each)
John 5:1-17

  1. Substitute #1: culture.
    1. Three false conclusions: the lame man’s culture said,
      1. this is as good as it gets
      2. there is nothing you can do
      3. this is your normal. (John 5:5)
    2. One powerful truth: Jesus said, do you want to get well? (John 5:6)
  2. Substitute #2: limitations.
    1. Limitations bring helplessness and hopelessness. (John 5:7)
    2. Jesus brings restoration to your lost years. (John 5:8)
    3. Your mat: you carry IT, no longer let it carry YOU.
  3. Substitute #3: legalism.
    1. Jesus restores and frees: walk by My restoration in your life. (John 5:8-9)
    2. Legalism confines and restricts: walk by our rules. (John 5:10)
  4. Substitute #4: the status quo.
    1. The status quo always seeks a human standard of blessing.
      1. Don’t walk around like everyone else.
      2. Don’t sin any more; new life is now yours.
    2. Jesus always offers an eternal blessing. (John 5:14, 17)

Questions for Further Study:

  1. Why might someone prefer rules and regulations to freedom?
  2. In what way are relationships more important than rules and regulations?
  3. For what event did Jesus go to Jerusalem? (John 5:1)
  4. Who came to the pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem? (John 5:2-3)
  5. How long had the one invalid man been at the pool? (John 5:5)
  6. What did Jesus ask the invalid man? (John 5:6)
  7. How did the invalid man respond to Jesus’ question? (John 5:7)
  8. What did Jesus command the invalid man to do? (John 5:8)
  9. What happened to the invalid man after Jesus spoke to him? (John 5:9)
  10. On what day of the week did this miracle take place? (John 5:9)
  11. What did the Jews say to the healed man? Why? (John 5:10)
  12. How did the healed man respond to the Jews’ question? (John 5:11)
  13. What did the Jews ask the healed man? (John 5:12)
  14. Why didn’t the man know who healed him? (John 5:13)
  15. What did Jesus tell the man he had healed on their second encounter? (John 5:14)
  16. What did the healed man do after he spoke with Jesus a second time? (John 5:15)
  17. In what way do you think life is unfair?
  18. When have you felt as if life has dealt you a bad hand?
  19. When have you felt that God was waiting too long to do something you’d trusted Him to do?
  20. When do we tend to get impatient with God’s timing in our lives?
  21. On what in life, other than God, do we sometimes depend?
  22. Why do we attempt to take matters into our own hands, rather than trust God to work them out?
  23. When has someone tried to squelch your freedom in Christ with religious rules or regulations?
  24. Why do some people care more about keeping certain “religious” rules than they do about developing a meaningful relationship with Jesus?
  25. What rules tend to interfere with your enjoyment of your relationship with Christ?
  26. In what way has Jesus made you well?
  27. What is something you need to trust God with today?
  28. Who is someone you can encourage to enjoy his or her relationship with Christ this week?
  29. What “religious” rule that hinders your relationship with Christ will you make secondary to that relationship this week?

The Impact of the Empty Tomb

The Impact of the Empty Tomb Today

The Resurrection Account (Luke 24:1-12)

  1. Human reality
  2. Divine Reality
  3. When the Two Collide

The Resurrection Applied (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

  1. The Reality of Salvation in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1): Facts of the Christian Life
    1. “Heard the Gospel.”
    2. “Received the Gospel.”
    3. “Take You Stand.”
  2. The Human Reality (1 Corinthians 15:2): Challenges to the Christian Life
    1. “You are saved.”
    2. “You Hold Firm.”
    3. “Or, you have believed in Vain.”
  3. When the Two Collide (1 Corinthians 15:3-4): The Foundation of the Christian Life
    1. “Christ Died for Our Sins.”
    2. “He Was Buried.”
    3. “He Rose Again.”

Questions for Further Study:

  1. How do people pass on their beliefs and traditions to others?
  2. What do you think is important to pass on from one generation to the next?
  3. What do you want others to remember about you?
  4. How can a Christian avoid believing the gospel in vain? (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
  5. Why is it important to “hold firmly to the word”? (1 Corinthians 15:2)
  6. Why did Paul pass on what he had received? (1 Corinthians 15:3)
  7. How did Christ’s life fulfill the Scriptures? (1 Corinthians 15:3)
  8. What are the key points of the gospel? (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
  9. To whom did Christ appear after His resurrection? (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)
  10. Why did Paul emphasize the facts of Christ’s resurrection? (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)
  11. Why did Paul describe himself as one “abnormally born”? (1 Corinthians 15:8)
  12. Why did Paul feel unworthy to be called an apostle? (1 Corinthians 15:9)
  13. For what reason was Paul able to call himself an apostle? (1 Corinthians 15:10)
  14. On what did Paul’s apostleship rest? (1 Corinthians 15:10)
  15. How would you describe, in your own words, the importance of the gospel to your life?
  16. What has God’s grace accomplished in you?
  17. In what one area of your life have you been stubborn about allowing God’s grace to work?
  18. What does it mean for you to hold firmly to the gospel?
  19. What are the implications of the fact that the truth of the gospel is of first importance to God?
  20. What difference does it make that Christ’s death and resurrection fulfilled Old Testament prophecy?
  21. How does Christ appear or make Himself known to us today?
  22. What evidence could you use to persuade others this week about the truth of the gospel?
  23. How could you rely on God’s grace in your efforts to tell your friends about Christ?

Three Ways to Prepare for Easter

THREE WAYS TO PREPARE FOR EASTER
Luke 19:37-38; Romans 1:1-7

  1. We prepare through an authentic life of praise and adoration to Jesus Christ.
  2. We prepare as the Object of our praise and adoration becomes our identity.
  3. We prepare as our Identity in Christ becomes confirmed through genuinely belonging to the church.

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What are some of the normal ways people begin a letter or a phone call?
  2. When have you been startled by the opening paragraph of a letter?
  3. If you were writing the initial letter to a pen pal, how would you introduce yourself?
  4. How did Paul introduce and identify himself to the Romans? (Romans 1:1)
  5. What special calling on his life did Paul feel? (Romans 1:1)
  6. In what ways has God revealed His gospel to people? (Romans 1:2-4)
  7. Who is the focus of God’s gospel? (Romans 1:2-4)
  8. What credentials does Jesus have to confirm His claim as Son of God? (Romans 1:3-4)
  9. What did Paul and others receive as a calling for their lives? (Romans 1:5)
  10. Who were the new group of people being exposed to the gospel message? (Romans 1:5)
  11. What were the Gentiles and all people being called to believe? (Romans 1:5)
  12. How did Paul describe the people who were receiving this letter? (Romans 1:6)
  13. To whom was this letter written? (Romans 1:7)
  14. What kind of greeting did Paul send to his audience? (Romans 1:7)
  15. In what way do you feel God has placed a special calling on your life?
  16. What purpose for living has God given you?
  17. What words do you use to describe yourself to others as a follower of Jesus Christ?
  18. How did you feel when you realized God’s gospel was meaningful to you?
  19. What do most people today believe about God’s plan for the world?
  20. What do most people today believe about God’s plan for their personal salvation?
  21. How have your beliefs about Jesus Christ changed during the various stages of your life?
  22. In what ways would remembering in prayer each day God’s calling on and plan for your life affect your daily walk with Christ?
  23. With whom could you share God’s unfolding plan of salvation for the whole world?
  24. How would you explain God’s plan of salvation to a friend?
  25. To what friend could you explain God’s love and your response to His plan of salvation? How?

A Life Change

A Life Change
5 Practical Differences the Risen Christ Brings to our Lives
Colossians 3:1-17 (Romans 12:3-8)

Since You have been raised up with Christ:

  1. Your affections. (Colossians 3:1-4)
  2. Your past. (Colossians 3:5-7).
  3. Your character. (Colossians 3:8-11).
  4. Your relationships. (Colossians 3:12-15)
  5. Your worship and work. (Colossians 3:16-17; Romans 12:3-8)

Questions for Further Discussion:

  1. What’s the nicest suit or outfit you have ever worn?
  2. When you’re finished with your old clothes, what do you often do with them?
  3. Where did Paul tell the Colossians to turn their attention? (Colossians 3:1)
  4. Where did Paul tell the believers to focus their concern? (Colossians 3:2)
  5. What was the Colossians’ security? (Colossians 3:3)
  6. Why should believers look forward to Christ’s return? (Colossians 3:4)
  7. What must die? (Colossians 3:5)
  8. What evil activities does God seek to eliminate from our lives? (Colossians 3:5)
  9. Why is God’s wrath coming? (Colossians 3:5-6)
  10. What had the Colossians taken off? (Colossians 3:7-9)
  11. What had the Colossians put on? (Colossians 3:10)
  12. What distinctions are removed in Christ? (Colossians 3:11)
  13. What virtues does God seek to plant in us? (Colossians 3:12, 14)
  14. How were the Colossian believers called to clothe themselves? (Colossians 3:12-17)
  15. Why did Paul call on the believers to be peaceful and thankful? (Colossians 3:15-16)
  16. What should we do? How? (Colossians 3:17)
  17. What is one principle that ought to guide everything we do? (Colossians 3:17)
  18. If you consistently set your sights on Christ and heaven, how would your life be different?
  19. What old, “earthly” clothing do you need to get rid of?
  20. How does wearing “Christ’s clothing” affect the way you live your daily life?
  21. What Christian virtues are you lacking?
  22. What spiritual process is involved in “putting off” and “putting on”?
  23. What is involved in replacing old habits with new ones?
  24. How should life in Christ affect the way you treat others?
  25. How are all your relationships to be built around Christ?
  26. Why do we need to be loving toward others?
  27. Why is a thankful spirit an important part of holy living?
  28. Which of God’s goals for holy living do you need to apply to your life this week?
  29. How can you be more thankful and loving to those who are close to you?