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Abide (discussion questions)

Chosen Words Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Abide,” on John 15:1-17 from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This continues the series, “Chosen Words,” where we will journey through John 13-17 over the next number of weeks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Spring is almost here! What plants do you most look forward to seeing as Spring returns? Why?
  2. This week we continue our series, “Chosen Words,” by looking at Jesus’ words about abiding or remaining in God from John 15:1-17. Before you read this passage of Scripture aloud, take a moment to ask God to speak to you as you read His word.
  3. Jesus picks up the extended agricultural metaphor of the vine and branches bearing fruit in this passage. This image is used throughout Scripture, often to describe the people of God, as seen in Psalm 80:8-19 and Isaiah 5:1-5. Jesus takes the image a slightly different direction here. What does he say the vine, branches, and gardener represent?
  4. One clear theme of this passage is the concept of bearing fruit. Take a moment to notice how often the word ‘fruit’ appears in this passage. What do you think Jesus mean by ‘bearing fruit’ in this passage?
  5. Would you describe yourself as someone who bears fruit for God? Why or why not?
  6. In verse 4, Jesus says: “neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” If bearing fruit is directly tied to ‘remaining’ – or ‘abiding’ or ‘staying put’ – in Jesus, what does Jesus specifically mean by remaining in Him from this passage?
  7. Jesus emphasizes love when He says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (vs 9). What do you think this means? What sort of love is Jesus talking about?
  8. How have you cultivated the life of remaining or abiding in Christ? Are there specific spiritual practices that help you with this?
  9. Jesus offers some very specific requests near the end of this passage: ‘love each other as I have loved you’ (vs 12), ‘you are my friends if you do what I command’ (vs 13), ‘so that you might go and bear fruit’ (v 16). How do you think this call to action connects with the call to remain in love?
  10. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? How will that shape your life in the coming week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

[Next week we continue our series, “Chosen Words,” by exploring Jesus’ words about overcoming difficulty in John 15:18-25 and 16:16-33. Read that portion of Scripture ahead of time.]

 
 

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Abide

Chosen Words Series Gfx_Thumb

This weekend at Eastbrook Church, I continued our series,”Chosen Words,” by looking at Jesus’ teaching on the spiritual life through the metaphor of the vine and the branches from John 15:1-17. After exploring the idea of Jesus as the ‘true’ vine, I spent time outlining four aspects of the life of abiding in Jesus.

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can join in with the “Chosen Words” devotional online.

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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Saturday Prayer 20

For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:14)

Lord, You are my God. In all that happens in and around my life, I turn my meditations to You – the only God.

Who is like You? Who is good and living like You? Who is patient and merciful like You? Who is righteous and just like You? Who is faithful and truthful like You? There is no one. Not in all the earth or in the expansive universe is there to be found any other being like You.

Around and within each moment, You are already here. I listen. I stop. You are already here. Like air that surrounds me unnoticed yet fills my lungs and brings me life, You are here bringing me life. Like sunshine that steadily glimmers over the waking earth bringing light and warmth, You are here lighting my life and warming my soul.

I rest and am still in Your presence.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 18

Lord,

there is no one like You
You are worthy of praise and glory
for You created this world from nothing
with a word You brought forth all the wonders of creation
and in Your ultimate Word, Jesus the Messiah,
You brought the wonders of new creation
to our sin-wracked earth
I praise You for Your power to create
I praise You for the wisdom of Your ways
I praise You for the beauty of Your creativity
I praise You for Your mercy to me, others, and this world

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 17

Lord,

You lived on this earth fully God and fully man
You perfectly displayed the way, truth, and life of the Father
In my life, I, too, long to perfectly display the Father

By Your Spirit in me, Lord, come and take up residence in me
so strongly that You are seen in me clearly
Have Your way with me so that my life might show forth Your life

My life in Yours, and Your life in mine.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in prayers

 

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