Check out the bible readings for this week.
One of the ways we can all participate in the Church Renewal Lab on an ongoing basis is through reading one chapter of the Bible each day, five days out of seven, and pondering a question intended to help us think through what we’ve just read and how it applies both to our life together and our life as part of our broader neighborhoods and community. Imagine what God might do through us as we ponder and pray together! With that in mind, here are the readings and questions for the week of October 7-13, 2018
Read: John 15:1-17
Consider: If I'm not abiding in Jesus, then where is it that I abide? I once asked myself. I began to notice that when I was tired or anxious, there were certain sentences I would say…like, "Life really stinks. Why is it always so hard? It's never going to change." If no one noticed I was struggling or asked me what was wrong, I found my sentences shifting to a more cynical level: "Who cares? Life is a joke."…My comforter, my abiding place, was cynicism and rebellion….I had always thought of these things as just bad habits. I began to see they were much more; they were spiritual abiding places that were my comforters and friends….The final light went on one evening when I read John 15:7 in The Message…: "If you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon." Jesus was saying…, "I have made my home in you…, but you still have other comforters you go to. You must learn to make your home in me."*
Question to ponder: If you are not abiding in Jesus, then where is it that you abide?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Student Ministries (middle school, high school, college): Carol Hulstein, Anna VanderLeest, Daniela Gore, Jean Ohliger.
Read: John 15:18-16:4
Questions to ponder: Since the emphasis in vv 9-17 has been on love, why do you think Jesus now talks about hate? When have you found that showing love or speaking the truth in love can lead to hostility from others? How do you explain that?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab Team focusing on Children’s Ministries (birth through elementary school): Teresa VanderLeest, Alicia Christians, and Regina Wiggins.
Read: John 16:5-16
Questions to ponder: How do you think the disciples are feeling as Jesus speaks these words? What does Jesus say about the Holy Spirit in these verses, and why is that a good thing for the disciples—and for us? If you were a disciple, how would you feel after Jesus says what He does in v 16?
Pray for Mike May and Randy Wiggins, our church custodians.
Read: John 16:17-33
Questions to ponder: The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant in v 16. If you were there, would His answer in verses 20 and following have encouraged you or confused you even more? What are some of the characteristics of the relationship we can have with the Father because of Jesus (vv 23-27)? How do you handle changes and transitions when they occur in your life?
Pray for the church Adult Ministries Team.
Read: John 17:1-5
Questions to ponder: What was one task you accomplished as a child that made you feel really good? What event does Jesus say it is now “time” for? What does it mean for someone to be “glorified”—what kind of people can be “glorified”?
Pray for the church Congregational Life Ministries Team.