Opening Prayer: Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
- Did Jesus overcome temptation by himself? When have you experienced “angels waiting on you?”
- Recent studies show that 40% of human beings struggle with addictive behaviors. How might this inform your opinion about these behaviors in others or in yourself?
- Recall a time, if ever, you experienced a success or triumph followed by a temptation? What happened? Where was God in that situation? What did you learn?
Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, be with us as we go out into the world and face our many temptations, those big and small. Give us the courage to confront our struggles and the strength we need to release them into your hands. May you conquer those things that pull our attentions away from you. In Jesus Christ name, Amen.
Opening Prayer: O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring us again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- What was Peter’s problem with Jesus?
- Peter tried to stand in the way of Jesus’ plan. Recall a time, if any, you
have wanted to protect or control a loved one in their journey. What
happened? What did God teach you in the situation?
- What are we giving up when we “deny ourselves” and what does it mean
to “take up our cross?” How could following Jesus call to do this change
your life and your relationships with others?
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help break the chains that bind us; loosen our desire for control. Cast your perfect and redemptive light into the dark places of our lives so we may fix our eyes on you, and thus deny ourselves. Fill us with joy and purpose as we seek to take up our crosses and follow you, redeeming our relationship with you and those in our lives. Amen.
Opening Prayer: Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- What are the idols that compete for your attention and affection?
- How might these idols affect your life? How do they influence how we
portray ourselves? How do they impact our relationship with God?
- How has/can God use your weakness for transformation?
- Reflect on a perceived weakness that you could offer to God right now.
Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, your word teaches us that your grace is sufficient, and your power is made perfect in our weakness. Teach us to know ourselves and rely upon your strength in all areas of our lives. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen
- Read the passage from John 3. How does verse 17 address claims that Christianity is about judgment and condemnation?
- What does Jesus mean by “the world?” See also 1 Timothy 2.4.
- Is anyone in the world beyond the reach of Jesus’ saving embrace? How
does your answer affect your treatment of others? Reflect on a concrete
act (prayer, a benevolent action) you could offer for someone with whom
you have a resentment.
- How might the reading from John 3 allow you to better forgive others or
Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, where we pass judgement, you offer grace. Give us hearts filled with compassion for all people. Give us wisdom and discernment that we might recognize our own prejudices. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we might truly love and serve people the way Jesus loved and
served people. It is in his name that we pray, Amen.
Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless all of us who, following in his steps, give ourselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, we may minister in his Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- In what ways do you serve Christ? How do you feel Christ’s presence
when you serve others?
- Jesus tells us that the purpose of a grain is to die in order to bear much
fruit. What do you see as your purpose? What needs to die so that your
life might bear much fruit?
- Jesus saw his purpose entwined with his Father’s will. (v28) Where do you
see God’s will working itself out in your life?
Closing Prayer: Give us strength, Lord Christ, to sacrifice our will so that we can bear great fruit for God’s Kingdom. Encourage us in our frustrations, convict us of our weaknesses, and pour into our hearts a passion to see your vision for the world around us. Open our eyes to your face reflected in those we serve that we might truly be the hands, feet, eyes, ears and heart of our Lord here and now. Amen.
Opening Prayer: Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- On the cross Jesus says “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Why does Jesus say that? Is it true that God has forsaken him?
- The Centurion says at the end “Truly this was God’s Son”. How did the
events of Jesus’ death reveal his Sonship to the Centurion? How does it
reveal it to us?
- How does Jesus’ death on the Cross make a difference in your life?
Closing Prayer: Jesus, our saviour, speak to us as we kneel before your cross. Lead us into understanding how we can live a life worthy of your death. Help us to daily recognize and proclaim you, just as the Centurion shared his revelation. Amen.