The God of Sufficiency


This week we move from a place of a challenge to a place of familiarity. The Lenten passage this week is one that is well known across many Christian denominations. For our devotion, we focus on the latter half of this passage and how it might inspire us in a new and fresh way.  

SCRIPTURE: John 3:19-21  

DISCUSSION: Take some time to talk about or draw on paper different opposites that you see in your everyday life? What can you learn from them? Together, think of and share times that light was helpful. Also, think of and share times where light was uncomfortable. This John passage urges us to seek truth and to live in the light. What might that look like for you in your home? In your school? In your community? 

ACTIVITY: One way that we can follow Jesus is by looking for ways to share the “light of Christ” with others. Our John passage shares that when we live in the light, others will understand that our actions are in line with God’s purposes. But how can we increase our awareness of following the light of Christ? This week, consider using the following verse from the letter to the Philippians as a guide. “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8). This Sunday evening, gather as a family and brainstorm how you can live in a way that shines Christ’s light in your church, school, community this week. Write down or draw the example you choose. As your act of fasting this week, make the choice to practice your example of Christ’s light in the world. Make a point to check in with each other during the week by asking, “How are you choosing light today?” 

PRAYER: God of love and light, You gave us your Son to conquer death and bring us into life. To lead us out of darkness and illuminate our paths with light. Help us this week and every week to learn how to choose light and to share that light with each other so that we may know the vastness of your love for us and for this world. AMEN. 


How to Get the Most from God’s Word

In order to understand the meaning of a passage of scripture, we need to keep in mind some basic principles of interpretation. These principles will not only lead us to understanding the passage of scripture we’re looking at, but will lead us to personal application, to live what we’re learning. Let’s take a closer look at some words of Jesus from John 14 (NIV):

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

  1. Understanding a passage of scripture starts with considering its historical context, for example, who is speaking and who is being spoken to? Why? Describe the scene in which Jesus speaks these words (remember, John 13 to 17 are Jesus’ final words of comfort to his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion). The apostles did not know these were Christ’s final hours on earth. How do you think the significance of Jesus’ message in these verses changed after his resurrection?


  1. In v.18, Jesus says: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” What does the word “orphan” mean in this verse? In Christ’s day, orphans were often neglected, destitute of comfort and prey to their environment. Why is it important that Christ tell the disciples they are not orphans? How does the promise that Christ will come to us bring you comfort?


  1. Another principle of understanding scripture includes interpreting unclear verses with clear ones. Look at v.19 above. As you search the surrounding verses as well as the context of verse 19, see if you can find a clear verse that would help you to understand what Jesus meant when he said that the world would not see him, but they would. Talk about what it must have meant to the disciples when they heard these words. What fear might they have experienced? When you looked at the surrounding verses to help explain this verse, what promise or comfort did you find?


  1. Another important principle of interpreting a text is letting the text speak for itself. Read v.21 above again. Put this verse into your own words. What actions reveal that someone loves Jesus? What promise does Jesus make to those who love him?


  1. Christ not only wants us to have an ongoing relationship with him, but also obey his commandments. How can you obey his commandments out of love rather than a sense of duty?


  1. What is one thing from this brief study that you sense God is saying to you? How can you apply it to your life this week?

How to Study God’s Word

  1. Why should people read the Bible?


  1. What challenges do you face when reading the Bible?


  1. What prevents you from studying the Bible?


  1. What Bible study resources do you use, or that you are aware of?


  1. What tips would you give to someone who wants to start reading the Bible? What facts would be helpful to know?


  1. What are you going to change so that you read your Bible more regularly?


  1. What resources will you use?


  1. Who are you going to study the Bible with?


  1. Who will hold you accountable?

How God’s Word Comes Alive

  1. What are different ways that God speaks to us?


Read John 14:8-11

  1. How do we know that the Bible is God’s Word?


Read John 14:18-26

  1. Why did Jesus send the Holy Spirit?


  1. What role does the Holy Spirit play in my understanding of God’s Word?


  1. If someone were to ask you how to go about hearing God’s voice while reading the Bible, what advice would you give?


  1. Do you hear God speaking to you through His Word?


  1. Give an example of how God spoke to you through the Bible.


Power to Change

God spoke this world into existence. Such is the power of His word. In John 6:33, Jesus tells us that the words He spoke are spirit and life. His Word is living and active. That is the power of the Word of God, and that is the power that all those who have a living faith in Jesus have available to them.


  1. Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I wish I would _______” or “I wish I wouldn’t _______”? If you could change one or two things about your character, what would they be?


  1. Hebrews 4:12: “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Which word of this verse stands out to you? Share some examples of how you’ve seen God’s Word living and active in your life. How has it affected your character? How has it affected your thoughts and attitudes? How has it changed you?


  1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV): “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Substitute your own name for “the man of God” in this verse and read it to yourself several times. How does this exercise personalize God’s promise for you? What “good work” has God’s Spirit brought to your mind?


  1. John 8:31-32 (NASB): “If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” Put these verses in your own words. How would applying this verse change you?


  1. John 13:17 (NIV): “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” It has been said that, “We’re not blessed for knowing the Bible – we’re blessed for doing the Bible.” Spend a moment and consider some ways you can do the Bible. What has God’s Spirit brought to mind that you can live out this week?


  1. Mark 12:24 (LB): “Jesus said ‘Your trouble is that you don’t know the Scriptures.’” According to this verse, how might believers avoid some of their problems in life? What are some of the ways that God helps believers through the Scriptures?


  1. Psalm 119:105 (NIV): “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” This verse was written at a time when people typically used oil lamps that often only gave enough light to take the next step. Why do you think it is important for believers to walk in the light they have without delay?
  2. What have you sensed God saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?

Why I Can Trust God’s Word

The Bible was not only the first printed book, but it is also the most translated, sold and read book of all time. God Himself breathed His very words into human minds and through human hands onto scrolls. Although it took over 1600 years, 40 authors from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles, and three languages to write, it contains a unified single message: the redemption of humankind by Jesus Christ.


  1. Share a story about your first encounter with the Bible. What passage of Scripture or what story do you first remember reading or impacting you?


  1. Psalm 12:6 (NIV): “The words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay and purified seven times!” God took great care to preserve His words and protect the Bible from eradication. How can this passage make you feel confident about the trustworthiness of the Bible?


  1. How can the purity of the Bible and its unified message improve your relationship with God?


  1. Knowing the care God put into protecting the Bible and maintaining its message, talk about how its truth can motivate you to expand your biblical knowledge.


  1. Luke 11:28 (NLT): Jesus replied, ‘But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’” Jesus believed the Bible was true and commanded us to trust His Word. What does this verse say we are to do once we hear the Word of God? Why is this so essential in making our faith real to ourselves and others?


  1. Jesus came to bring God’s message of salvation to people who have lost hope. How does putting the Word of God into practice help you stop being a slave to your own desires?


  1. Talk about one area in your life the Holy Spirit may be prompting you to change. What action steps are necessary? How can others help you in this process? Who can you invite to come alongside of you?


  1. Romans 12:2 (NIV): “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” What specific things can you do to transform our minds? Is there an attitude you need change?


  1. What have you sensed God saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?


Building My Life On God’s Word

Recording incomplete


  1. What are the different reasons people read the Bible?


  1. Why are people not reading the Bible?


Read James 1:19-25

  1. Is being angry wrong? Explain.


  1. What are the dangers of being angry?


  1. James calls his readers into action (v.21). What exactly does he want his readers to do, or to stop doing? Explain or give examples.


  1. When does going to church regularly, and listening to a sermon, become a danger to Christ-followers?


  1. Give examples of how to be a doer of God’s Word.


  1. How do you put God’s Word into practice in your life?