One Year in the Word is the journey our church began in January 2017. For one year we will read through the Bible, discuss the Scriptures as families and Connection Groups, and focus on key passages in our Sunday morning worship.
November 1 – December 2
Week of October 29 – November 4
John 11 – Acts 7
Devotional Passage: Read John 20:1-9, 24-31 (Jesus rises from the dead and appears to His disciples).
Question 1: The greatest event in human history occurs in John 20:1-9: the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said He was going to rise from the dead, and He did it. This event transformed the lives of His followers. After Jesus was arrested most of them were nowhere to be found, but when Jesus showed Himself to them their fear turned to courage. Based on the things that Jesus has done throughout the gospels (especially what He does in John 11), should it be considered improbable that He could raise Himself from the dead?
Question 2: Thomas was not with the disciples when they first saw the resurrected Jesus (John 20:19-23). This is why he doubted. But after he put his fingers into Jesus’ hands and side, His doubts turned to belief, and Thomas boldly proclaimed to Jesus, “My Lord and my God”! Jesus gently rebuked Thomas for needing to see to believe. Jesus said the ones who are truly blessed never see and yet still believe. What about you? You’ve never seen Jesus, but do you believe that He rose from the dead? Have you placed your trust in Him to be saved?
Week of November 5 – 11
Acts 8 – Acts 23
Devotional Passage: Read Acts 10:1-23 (God is getting ready to share the gospel with Gentiles)
Question 1: God shared a vision with Peter. As a Jew, Peter was not allowed to eat certain types of animals. In the vision, God told Peter to eat these animals that were previously prohibited. This was to teach Peter a very important lesson: God was about to do a new work with people whom the Jews previously were not supposed to associate with (Gentiles, which are non-Jews). Peter was to see that all people were now going to be a part of God’s gospel program. This may have been hard for Peter to embrace. What about you? Do you sometimes have a hard time being willing to share Jesus with all types of people (popular, unpopular, athletic, non-athletic, etc)? How can you overcome that this upcoming week?
Question 2: Peter told Cornelius “…everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.” (10:43). Forgiveness is only possible by believing (trusting) in Jesus. Can you think back to a time in your life where you decided to trust Jesus to forgive you of your sins? If not, why not do that right now? And then tell someone about your decision so they can help you grow.
Week of November 12 – 18
Acts 24 – Romans 11
Devotional Passage: Romans 6:15-23 (Paul talked about submission to our Master)
Question 1: God’s saving grace apart from doing the “rules” of the Old Testament was a point Paul was trying to make clear. It’s God’s grace alone that saves you – and you contribute noting to it. People have been wondering if you could just get saved and then live however you want. In this passage, Paul clearly tells them that is not case. Like a slave submits himself to his master, we are to submit ourselves to “righteousness,” not sin. When Christ is our Master, we do the things that please our Master. Have you submitted your life to your Master? What areas of your life need to be more under His control?
Question 2: Paul reminds his readers that the consequences of sin are deadly. He uses a payment analogy to help them: when you participate in sin, the payment for that sin is death. Death can be a confusing word, because we usually only associate it with what happens when you die, but death means “separation.” So every time we sin, we are creating separation, definitely between us and the fellowship we have with God, but usually also between others. Sin destroys and separates. Thankfully God’s free gift of eternal life counters the power of sin over us now, and when we physically die. As a Christian, are you treating sin as seriously as you should? How would one take steps to see their sin as God sees it and make necessary changes?
Week of November 19-25
Romans 12 – 2 Corinthians 5
Devotional Passage: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 (Paul talked about being selfless towards others)
Question 1: In Paul’s day, there were temples that made animal sacrifices to idols, and then they would sell the meat from those sacrifices to the public. Some Christians would not buy or eat that meat because of where it came from; other Christians saw no issue with this because there is no such thing as idols anyway, and it’s just food. This is still a real issue for today. Can you think of any scenarios that Christians disagree on today that are not necessarily bad or good?
Question 2: Paul taught that there was nothing wrong with eating the meat that was sacrificed to idols, but for the sake of other Christians who struggled with that, he would alter his actions when he around them, simply so he wouldn’t hurt their consciences. In other words, he would be selfless and put their needs ahead of his. What are some ways that you could set aside your “rights” in order to be selfless toward someone else?
Week of November 26 – December 2
2 Corinthians 6 – Colossians 4
Devotional Passage: Colossians 1:9-14 (Paul prayed for the Colossians)
Question 1: Paul prayed for many things for the Colossians in this passage. Can you name some of the things Paul prayed for? How could you incorporate those things into your own prayer life?
Question 2: Why do you think our prayer lives can sometimes fail to resemble a Scriptural pattern for prayer? Why do we not pray for people like the Apostle Paul did? Do we really believe prayer does accomplish things? If so, why don’t we pray more intentionally and diligently?