Fri, 6 August 2010
READ: John 6:25-59
THINK: What do you do when you’re really hungry? You eat. Even when you’re not hungry you eat because you know it’s necessary—and you probably enjoy it. Apply this reasoning to your spiritual life. If you’re truly hungry, you’ll feed your spirit through time with God in His Word and prayer. If you’re not taking this time on a regular basis, it’s either because you’re not hungry for God, you don’t enjoy time with Him, or you don’t realize how necessary it is for your spiritual life, health and well-being. So indulge your spiritual appetite and see how God’s Word satisfies a hungry soul.
RESPOND: How can you work for food that doesn’t spoil but “endures to eternal life” (v. 27)? How should believ- ing in Jesus affect your works (v. 29)? Why would people ask Jesus for another sign (vv. 30-31) after they’d already experienced a great miracle (cf. 6:5-15)? What does Jesus mean when He declares, “I am the bread of life”? (See 6:35 note.) Why will people who truly believe in Jesus “never go hungry, and...never be thirsty”? What hope and assurance can people find by coming to Jesus? (See 6:37 note.) How would you describe “God’s will” and how it relates to your life personally? (See 6:40 note.) How can your choices affect God’s will for your life? How does God the Father draw people to Jesus? (See 6:44 note.) Why is it so important to respond when you sense the Holy Spirit drawing you to God? What does Jesus mean when He says that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood will have eternal life? (See 6:54 note.) How can you continue to feed on Jesus in order to grow spiritually?
PRAY: Ask Jesus to help you focus your efforts on things of eternal value. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power so you can fulfill God’s perfect will. Thank Jesus for being the bread of life that satisfies your spiritual hunger.
ACT: Take your Bible with you, and during free time feed your spirit on God’s Word. Try reading in Proverbs, which is filled with practical wisdom for youth. Make a conscious effort today—and every day—to do things God’s way rather than your own way. And if you’ve sensed God’s Spirit drawing you to Jesus—perhaps to accept His forgiveness and new life for the first time—don’t resist any longer. Entrust your life to Him and let Him restore your ultimate purpose.
Fri, 6 August 2010
READ: John 6:60-71
THINK: Certainly, Jesus followers are to live by His example, being kind and gracious to people in an effort to reflect Jesus’ character and influence others to follow Him. But Christians must also realize that God’s Word and way of life will always be offensive to people. That doesn’t mean that Jesus’ followers set out to oppose people, but even when Christians do everything right in their conduct toward others, they’ll still face resistance and rejection. Jesus’ followers must understand that as they live by God’s standards, their lives will stand in sharp contrast to those who choose to defy God and go their own way. This should not surprise of offend anyone who lives to honor Jesus.
RESPOND: What statements from Jesus seemed too hard and offensive to some of His followers? What does Jesus mean when He says, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing”? How does this relate to Jesus previous statements in verse 53-59? According to this passage, what feeds you and gives life spiritually (v. 63)? What might Jesus have meant about knowing from the beginning who would betray Him, and how would this relate to Judas’ choices and actions concerning Jesus? (See 6:64 note.) Why did many who had previously followed Jesus turn back and no longer follow Him from this point on (v. 66)? How does Peter’s response in verse 68 serve as an example to all who desire to follow Jesus?
PRAY: Ask Jesus to give you the strength, determination and dependence on Him that will keep you loyal to Him no matter how difficult things may get.
ACT: Continue the exercise from yesterday by keeping your Bible with you and feeding on it during your free time. If you are reading in the Proverbs, you may be able to get through a good portion of the book in a couple days. Also, perhaps you’ve struggled with your attitude toward something in God’s Word that has offended you or been tough to accept. Ask God to forgive you and to help you meet the challenge and be obedient so you can grow deeper in your relationship with Him and in your understanding of God’s Word.