Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Jesus Calls Out the Religionists: Luke 11:45-54

Summary: Most of the world is gripped by religion. Because of it many are kept from a true relationship with Jesus Christ.

  1. A.   What comes to mind when someone says “religion” or “religious?”
  1. What influence does religion have worldwide?
  1. How does this influence of religion affect a real relationship with Jesus Christ?
  1. A.   Did Jesus face support or opposition from religious leaders? Luke 11:37-54
  1. What does Jesus point out to the Pharisee about his religious condition? Luke 11:37-41
  1. Jesus pronounces a three-fold “woe” concerning hypocrisy, pride and hidden corruption. Read the text and point these out.
  2. A.   How do the religious leaders respond to Jesus? Luke 11:45, 53-54
  1. Take heart; Jesus told the truth and it was taken as abuse or mistreatment (You insult). Notice how this word translated “insult” is used and translated. Luke 18:31-33, I Thessalonians 2:1-4
  1. What happens today, in the USA, if you tell the truth regarding God, sin, righteousness, the cross, or the reality of Jesus Christ? Should we back off and be silent? Ephesians 4:14-16
  1. A.   What characteristic of religion can you point out in each of the following verses or series of verses? Luke 11:46; Luke 11:47-51; Matthew 23:29-36; Luke 11:52
  1. How can we have victory over these false attitudes and practices? Philippians 4:8-9, Corinthians 11:1

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light or Dark: Luke 11:29-41

Summary: If we set our eyes on Jesus, His light will change us, and our lives will be a witness to Him.

  1. A.   What are the some of the titles used in the Bible for our Lord? John 6:48, 9:5, 10:11, Revelation 1:1-5
  1. What are the implications of each of these titles?
  1. A.   What have we just seen in Luke 11? Luke 11:14, 11:23
  1. How did “one of the women in the crowd” react to what was happening and how did Jesus respond? Luke 11:27-28
  1. What theme of Luke, and for that matter, theme of the Bible, does Jesus repeat in Luke 11:28? Matthew 7:24
  1. A.   What does Jesus call “this generation” and why? Luke 11:29-32
  1. When the Jews asked for a sign, how did Jesus respond? John 2:18-22, Matthew 12:38-40
  1. God raised His Son from the dead, and He did not do it in a corner. Light brings responsibility. Jesus, the light of the world, rose from the dead and He is displayed. God did this and then Jesus appeared to them and convinced them for 40 days. We are to let that light shine. Jesus Christ arose! Who are we to fill our eye-sight with? Luke 11:33-36, Acts 2:22-36, 13:26-37
  1. A.   Read Luke 11:37-41. What is the Pharisee concerned about and what is Jesus’ response?
  1. Jesus pronounces three woes on the Pharisees. As preparation for next week, what are they? Luke 11:42-44

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whose Side Are You On? Luke 11:14-26

Summary: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the unseen forces of wickedness. Every soldier needs to know who his allies are and who his enemies are. We can learn from Jesus’ words about the prince of demons.

  1. A.   Read Luke 11:14-26. What is this text about?
  1. What kind of battle does the Bible teach us we are in? John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, Ephesians 2:1-2, 6:12
  1. Who are we up against in the battle? John 10:10, I Peter 5:8, Jude 9, Revelation 12:9
  1. A.   In light of texts we have looked at, and in light of what you know about the people and the world around you, in whose grip is the world and most people? I John 5:19, II Corinthians 4:3-4
  1. In stark contrast to the satanic blindness and bondage we see all around us, what do we, believers in Christ, have? John 5:24, 10:10, 20:31
  1. How is it that we have life in His name? Matthew 20:28, Luke 19:10, I John 3:8
  1. A.   What can be said about every person on the planet? Luke 11:23
  1. You know the end of the game! You can read the end of the book! Have you chosen the winning side? Sometimes do you live as if you do not know the outcome? John 19:30, Colossians 2:15, I John 3:8
  1. What should be our daily activity? Luke 9:23
  1. A.   What is Jesus’ work here on earth all about? Luke 11:14, John 10:10
  1. Jesus liberates! There are three responses to His casting out a demon.

1) Marveling Luke 11:14

2) Accusing of being in league with the devil Luke 11:15

3) Demanding more proof Luke 11:16

  1. Do you see these three responses in the people around you and in yourself?
  1. A.   What was His response to their responses? Luke 11:17-20, Matthew 12:28
  1. What illustration does Jesus use in the next few verses? Who is this strong one? How is he described? What is he guarding? What is the condition of what he is guarding? Who has dominion over this world? Luke 11:21-23, Acts 26:16-18
  1. Who is the stronger one? What does He do to the strong man? Luke 11:22, Revelation 1:8, Colossians 2:15
  1. Whose side are you on? Luke 11:14-23, Isaiah 53:12, Joshua 24:15, Matthew 6:24, I Kings 18:21

September 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Praying with Persistence and Confidence: Luke 11:5-13

Summary: No matter where you are in your Christian walk, you can always grow in your knowledge and practice of prayer. Today we will focus on God being our great providing Father. We will also look at our need for persistence and confidence in prayer.

  1. For a quick review, what are 3 keys from the Lord’s prayer? They revolve around His name, our needs and weakness to sin.
  1. Pastor Scott mentioned that a key to prayer is what we think when we think of the Father. What are your thoughts here?
  1. Building upon this thought, here’s what the famous theologian A.W. Tozer has to say, “Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God.”
  1. Verses 9-10 are the key to the 2 parables. What do we learn about the Father here?
  1. We see in verses 9-10 the simple commands of ask, see and knock. What does this progression tell you about the intensity of these requests? Are they simple enough that even a child could follow through on them?
  1. Persistence is the key to the first parable in our section. Should we be persistent because God is reluctant to bless us? Respond to this in light of Romans 8:31-32.
  1. Is persistence in prayer an isolated thought in the Bible? See also Luke 18:1-8.
  1. The second parable is all about our confidence that God will deliver the best for us. How is this different from us? How does this impact our world view? See verse 13.
  1. At some point, everyone in life will let us down to some degree. How does this compare with God? See Psalm 27:10.
  1. In fact, who is the only person that trusted God, but was shunned by Him? What does this tell us about the gravity of our own sin? See Matthew 27:46.
  1. Parenthetically speaking, we shouldn’t be dissuaded from fully following Christ due to mockers. How did Christ handle this in Luke 23?
  1. A few closing thoughts/questions:
  2. How do we ask God for things? Is it grace based or merit based?
  3. Are we passing our knowledge down to the younger generation like in II     Timothy? In fact, how does Paul address Timothy in chapter 1?
  1. Who is our Father? What do we ask for? How often do we ask?

September 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lord’s Prayer: A Second Look: Luke 11:1-4

Summary: The Lord’s Prayer is powerful. It has become so familiar, it is almost symbolic. But we must not allow our familiarity with it to keep us from missing the depth of what it says.

  1. A.   Read the summary above and then read the text of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Respond as you feel lead by the Lord.
  1. What did the disciples need? How about you? Luke 11:1, 5:16, 6:12
  1. What was Jesus doing when He was asked to teach the disciples to pray? Did He pray this prayer? Could He pray this prayer? Explain. Luke 11:1-4
  1. A.   This prayer is in Matthew 6 (the middle of “The Sermon on the Mount”) and it follows warnings on how not to pray. What pattern of prayer is modeled in “The Lord’s Prayer” and in the warning? Matthew 6:1-15
  1. As this is our second look at this prayer, we have already noted the prayer starts with worship and moves to intersession. Luke 11:2, Matthew 6:9-10
  1. What follows intersession in this prayer? Luke 11:3-4, Matthew 6:11-13
  1. A.   We will do well to follow this pattern in our prayers: worship and adoration, intersession, and then petition for our needs. What needs are mentioned in this prayer? Luke 11:3-4
  1. It is worth noting how quickly this prayer in Luke 11 moves from the highest intersession, “Thy kingdom come,” to the simplest daily need, “Give us each day our daily bread.” What can you learn from this? Philippians 4:6-7, I Thessalonians 5:16-18
  1. How would you characterize the requests in Luke 11:3-4? What do you need daily? What do you need to be reminded of daily? Proverbs 3:5-8
  1. A.   How often do you need forgiveness for your sins? Luke 11:4, I John 1:7-10
  1. Why do we need daily forgiveness? Mark 7:20-23, Psalm 32:1-5
  1. What follows our supplication for our own sins? Luke 11:4, 7:47, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12-13
  1. A.   What is the final daily supplication? Luke 11:4, Matthew 6:13
  1. Our reality is simple: daily, in the next moment, we could make a wreck of our lives. Who is able to keep us from sin? Luke 11:4, James 1:13-16, I Corinthians 10:12-14

September 23, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Christian, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer: Luke 11:1-2

Summary: We shouldn’t become complacent as we look at the most famous prayer in the Bible. There is much we can learn by Jesus’ teaching on prayer and his modeling of prayer.

  1. How do we know that Jesus prayed often? Luke 11:1, Luke 5:16
  1. How often do we take our big (and small) decisions to the Lord? Luke 6:12
  1. How are Jesus’ prayers impacting us even today? Hebrews 7:25
  1. Corporate prayer is important, but what is another pattern that you see with Jesus’ prayers? Luke 9:18
  1. How is prayer both instinctive (to the Christian) but also a continual learning process? Romans 8:15 & 26
  1. As we mature in our Christian walk, what should we be teaching others to do? Luke 11:1
  1. How does the Lord’s prayer open? What should we first focus on?
  1. What is the focus later on in the Lord’s prayer?
  1. What is so unique about addressing God as Father? Do we ever see it in any of the prayers in Psalms?
  1. What is the implication of Jesus addressing God as the Father? How is it so personal to Him and us? John 5:39-47
  1. Pastor Scott gave an illustration of how the neighborhood kids would need a “Gilchrist escort” to access Scott in the attic. How is this a picture of our access to God through Christ?
  1. We must remember that we serve the one true and great God. How does God answer King Hezekiah’s prayer against Sennacherib and his mighty army? This is an important story since it is mentioned in II Kings 19, Chronicles & Isaiah.
  1. Our “big” problems seem so small when we look at God’s victories, as in II Kings 19. Considering this, what should be the cry of our heart? Revelation 22

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undistracted Sitting and Listening Luke 10:38-42

Summary: Mary was absorbed in Jesus’ words while Martha was absorbed in serving. These two women represent two kinds of people in the church today. We can learn valuable lessons from each one.

  1. A.   Read the text. Who were Mary and Martha? Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-5
  1. Step back for a moment and think about how busy mothers are all the time. It is a 24/7 ministry. Do you remember this, dads?
  1. Read the text again. Who is this written for? Luke 10:38-42, Psalm 119:18, Romans 15:4
  1. A.   What did the two sisters do when Jesus “entered a certain village?” Luke 10:38-39
  1. What does it look like today when you welcome Jesus into your home and sit at His feet?
  1. A.   What contrast do we have in verse 40?
  1. Read verses 39 and 40 again. With what was each sister absorbed?
  1. Two categories of people described in this passage, those who are devoted to listening to the Lord and those who are devoted to serving the Lord. What reaction did Mary and Martha express toward one another regarding what each had chosen? Luke 10:40
  1. A.   How does Martha question the Lord? Is she alone in this line of questioning? Luke 10:40, Mark 4:38
  1. Can we get to the point that we question God’s care for us?
  1. What step follows questioning the Lord? Luke 10:40
  1. A.   How does Jesus get Martha’s attention in verse 41? Have we heard this before? Genesis 22:11, Luke 22:31-32, Acts 9:4
  1. We have already seen Martha was distracted. What other emotion was she displaying? Luke 10:41
  1. In this matter of worry, Jesus takes this right to the fundamental issues of life. Matthew 6:25-34, Psalm 94:19
  1. A.   What is the solution to our distracted, worried, bothered lives? Luke 10:39, 42
  1. We have chosen, once for all, our Savior and salvation. But day by day, we must choose the Lord. Read the account again. What one thing did Mary choose? Luke 10:38-42
  1. If we chose poorly and put anything above Christ, such as riches, fame, family, or pleasure, it will ultimately be taken away from us. Luke 10:42, Philippians 1:21

Principles from Luke 10:38-42:

1)   Jesus is not teaching heart occupation with Christ as opposed to much service. The people you know who are the most occupied with Jesus are the most occupied with service. II Corinthians 11:2-3, Philippians 1:21-22

2)   Jesus is teaching that the source of the Christian life is Jesus Christ himself. Do you have undistracted, unplugged, daily time with him? A missionary’s advice: “Sit at the foot of the cross, and tell the people what you see.”

3)   Mary was listening “to the Lord’s word.” Meditate on the Word of God. Psalm 1:1-2, Matthew 4:4, 24:35, John 6:63, 8:47, 14:6 & 9, Colossians 3:16

September 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Beheld His Glory: Luke 9:27-36

Summary: As we see in Scripture, the inner three actually beheld His glory and they never got over it. Let’s take a closer look and see the applications of this in our own lives.

 

  1. To set the stage for the Transfiguration, what do you notice from verse 26? How can this help us with our sinful pride?

 

  1. What do you suppose the disciples were thinking after hearing verse 27?

 

  1. Speaking of verse 27, how does it relate to I Corinthians 15:50ff and Revelation 22:7,12?

 

  1. The inner 3 never got over the Transfiguration. See II Peter 1:16-20 and I John 1:4.

 

  1. We see from Scripture that Jesus ministered to the masses (feeding the five thousand) all the way down to the inner three. What two other significant instances do we see Jesus ministering with just the inner three disciples? See Luke 8:51-56 and Matthew 26:36-46.

 

  1. Luke 22:39ff is the parallel passage to Matthew 26:36ff. What pattern do we see Jesus repeating? How should that impact us?

 

  1. Once upon the mountain, we see Jesus transfigured before the inner 3. The Greek root of this word (metamorphoo) is only found 2 other times in the Bible: Romans 12:2 and II Corinthians 3:18. What’s the significance/impact of these two verses?

 

  1. What mistake does Peter make when he sees the transfigured Christ with Moses and Elijah? How do we see this type of mistake being made today?

 

  1. How did God respond to Peter’s ignorance? How did Peter, James and John respond to God’s sign?

 

  1. It’s clear from verse 35 and that Heaven is occupied with Christ. Hence, we should be too. See Galatians 6:14 and I Corinthians 1:18ff.

 

  1. Let’s take a closer look at some final points:
  2. Jesus’ humility will be followed by His glory. How do we experience this on a lesser degree? See II Corinthians 4:17.
  3. Heaven will be glorious. See Revelation 22:1-7.
  4. Be occupied with Him. See Colossians 3:1-4.
  5. The disciples never got over the Transfiguration. See John 20:29-31.

September 9, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Following Jesus: Luke 9:23-26

Summary: Losers are winners? Following Jesus determines who the winners and the losers are. Do not let “following Jesus” become a cliché. What does it really mean to be a Christ follower? What does it look like to be a Christ follower?

 

  1. A.   Jesus said repeatedly, “Follow Me.” What does our passage say about that? Luke 9:23-26

 

  1. What clear three-part statement is made in verse 23? Luke 9:23

 

  1. A.   What is the context of our text? Luke 9:18-22

 

  1. Last week we were challenged to ask three people, before Easter, the question, “Who do you say that I am?” Share your experiences.

 

  1. What happens as soon as the person of Christ is really understood? Luke 9:20-22

 

  1. A.   After His person and His work are understood, what then? Luke 9:23

 

  1. “Deny” yourself. How strong a term is this? John 13:38, Acts 3:14, 7:35, Hebrews 11:24

 

  1. A.   What does it mean to “take up his (our) cross daily?” Luke 9:23, I Corinthians 15:31, Acts 20:24

 

  1. We might say something like, “We’ve all got our crosses to bear,” referring to the common troubles of life that everyone has, including unbelievers. But for Whose sake are we called to lose our lives? Luke 9:24, Mark 8:35

 

  1. A.   Deny self, take up your cross, and __________ _____. Luke 9:23, 5:11, 18:43, John 1:43, 21:19-22, Mark 1:17

 

  1. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Luke 9:24, 14:26-27, 17:32-33, Matthew 10:37-39, John 12:24-26

 

  1. What is He really saying in Luke 9:24? What are we really called to lose and what do we gain when we lose it? Luke 9:24-25, John 1:4, 10:10

 

  1. A.   Suppose you had what most people are living for, money, fame, popularity, and achievement. Suppose this really brought happiness and fulfillment. What would the “shelf life” of all this be? Luke 9:25, 12:16-21

 

  1. Are you selling your very soul for that which does not last? Luke 9:26, John 12:42-43

 

  1. Which would you prefer: a lifetime of being shamed in this life or having “the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory?” Luke 9:26

 

  1. What did Jesus have to do for the salvation of your soul? When will all this become perfectly clear? Luke 9:26, I Thessalonians 4:16-18, Acts 17:30-31, Hebrews 2:11, 11:16

September 7, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Question: Luke 9:18-22

Summary: Life is full of many important questions, but there is only one ultimate question. Who is Jesus Christ?

 

  1. In Luke 9:18 we see Jesus praying alone. In fact, we never see Him praying with a group, even the disciples. Why?

 

  1. In verse 18, Jesus also asks who the multitude thinks that He is. How do they answer?

 

  1. What does the multitude’s response tell you about always following the crowd?

 

  1. In verse 20, we see Jesus ask the same question of His disciples. “But who do you say that I am?” How do they answer?

 

  1. What does Scripture say about Christ? See Luke 3:22, Luke 4:34, Luke 8:25 and Luke 8:28.

 

  1. If we take an honest look at Jesus’ claims, it only leaves us with 4 logical choices. He is either a liar, lunatic, legend or Lord. We have seen that Scripture clearly illustrates Jesus as Lord. How can we rule out liar, lunatic or legend?

 

  1. Some people will say that Jesus was only a prophet. How is this argument refuted? See Luke 4:17-21 and John 14:6.

 

  1. In Luke 9:21-22, Jesus warned His disciples NOT to instruct others of His deity until the proper time. Why?

 

  1. We can learn a lot from what Scripture says about Christ. Now what should we do about it? See John 8:24.

 

  1. How can you apply Christ’s deity to your life:

What question should we ask from verse 20? What should we do immediately after we ask that question? Don’t divorce His person from His work. Christ is God, but He is NOT aloof. How does this tie into the theme verse of Luke (see 19:10)? Who is He? How does He care for us? See John 16:7 and Romans 8:28.

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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