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A Word from Kay Daigle on how to use the resources for this study…I want to encourage you to complete the personal lesson below before you click on any of the accompanying elements that may be found with this lesson (audio lecture, manuscript, PowerPoint, or handout). This study was written to help you maximize your personal spiritual growth. That means that you first spend time with God through His word, and then hopefully, discuss what you learned with a small group of women. After that, if you want to hear the audio (or read the manuscript) and follow the PowerPoint, filling in the handout, then that is a great time to do it! I cannot cover all the verses in depth, but you can read and study them for yourself. It is best for you to think through the passages before hearing what anyone else thinks, even me! You will find some lessons without lectures. At our church we use some of those weeks to spend extra time in our small groups sharing life stories, having a longer prayer time, or expressing how God is working in our lives.
“If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Jesus in Luke 9:23-24 (NET)
It seems that week after week Jesus’ words in Luke confront us with the demands of being a Christ-follower. So far we have been asked to leave everything behind and to humble ourselves if we are to really come home to the peace and rest in Jesus. Now we see that we need to die to self. Although our salvation is not dependent upon how well we accomplish this, our blessing, our peace and our witness often are. It’s not easy to get home sometimes
Read Luke 8:4-15.
1. List the four kinds of ground described in this parable and Jesus’ explanation of each.
2. What was Jesus’ purpose in using parables? Is this what you previously understood? If not, what was your understanding?
Read Luke 8:16-18.
3. What does the light of truth in Jesus do in our lives?
Read Luke 8:19-21.
5.Sharing question: What is your relationship with Jesus according to His words in v. 21? How does this make you feel? What does that suggest about the kind of relationship you have with Him in a practical way? How does understanding this relationship affect your feeling of coming home to Jesus?
6.Responding to God: Write a prayer in which you talk honestly to God about your family, both your old physical family and your new spiritual family.
Watch in your reading today for four miracles that Jesus performed.
Read Luke 8:22-55.
7. What were the four miracles and how did they differ?
8. Describe how each of these people who came into contact with Jesus reacted to the miracles:
Disciples in the boat:
People of the town:
Woman in the crowd:
Jairus and his wife:
9. What would you say is the primary component that causes people to react differently to Jesus?
10.Sharing question: How did you initially respond to the stories of Jesus? There is a journey to faith and we get there in different ways. Where are you in the journey?
11.Responding to God: Ask God to open your heart to see Jesus’ miracles as if you were watching them unfold before you. Worship at His feet.
Read Luke 9:1-11.
12. Where did the twelve receive their power and authority? What surprises you about the instructions that Jesus gave them?
13. What do the following verses say about your power as a believer? What difference should that make to you each day?
Read Luke 9:12-27.
14. The reaction of the crowd to Jesus’ feeding them is not recorded. Dr. Bock says that indicates that the lesson is primarily for the disciples.1 What may they have learned for future ministry from this occasion?
15. Compare the disciples’ answer about Jesus’ identity with the news that confused Herod (9:7-9).
16. What further understanding did Jesus feel that the disciples needed in order to be ready to proclaim Jesus as Israel’s Messiah (9:21-22)? In other words, they weren’t ready yet. Why would they need that information before they proclaimed Him?
The Precious Word from God this week is Luke 9:23-24. As you memorize it, meditate upon its ramifications in your life.
Understanding Jesus as the Christ (Messiah) means that we realize more and more what coming home to Him really means. The NET Bible helps us understand what the meaning of taking up the cross daily would have meant to the first century Jews.2
Only Luke mentions taking up one’s cross daily. To bear the cross means to accept the rejection of the world for turning to Jesus and following him. Discipleship involves a death that is like a crucifixion.
17. Read Galatians 6:12-14. How do these verses help you understand the quote above?
18.Sharing question: Are you willing to not only die physically, if necessary, but also die to other things that help you better follow Jesus? How are you doing with giving up material things for the sake of the gospel? Have you been willing to share the gospel at the risk of rejection from friends, family, or co-workers?
19.Responding to God: Talk to God about taking up your cross daily to follow Him as defined by the quote on the previous page. Write down what He says to you about what that looks like in your life in specific ways—in your job, your leisure, and your time.
Read Luke 9:28-36.
20. How did this event fulfill the prediction of 9:27?
21. What was the departure, or exodus, that Jesus was about to take (9:31)?
22. How were God’s words in 9:35 a rebuke to Peter?
23.Sharing question: Have you ever been guilty of thinking of Jesus as being on the same level with you or other biblical characters? How? How did that affect your faith?
24.Sharing question: Read Moses’ prayer in Exodus 33:18. Do you really have a heart to have God answer that prayer in your life? Why or why not?
25.Responding to God: Write a prayer based upon Ex. 33:18 or a prayer asking God to give you the kind of love for Him that erupts in this prayer.
The disciples’ mountaintop experience was closely followed by a failure of faith.
Read Luke 9:37-45.
26. Why might believers fall prey so easily to failure after a mountaintop type of experience with Jesus?
Read Luke 9:46-50.
27. What do the events of the demon-possessed boy (vv. 37-43), Jesus’ words (vv. 44-45), the disciples’ argument (vv. 46-48), and John’s words (vv. 49-50) reveal about where the disciples were spiritually at this point?
28.Sharing question: With which of the stories about the disciples do you identify most? Why?
29.Sharing question: Where are you today spiritually? What reactions have you had this past week that reveal your real heart?
30.Sharing question:How much allegiance do you show God? How willing are you to die for Him? How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10? Why?
31.Responding to God: Write a prayer or poem confessing your struggles with self, faith, and spiritual pride.
Like these disciples, Carrie experienced temptation after a mountaintop experience.
I think about this summer when I went to Israel. The whole trip was a mountain top experience! Minute by minute I was surrounded by the truth of God’s Word. Scriptures were coming to life as I stood on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, wondered in the wilderness, and walked the narrow streets of Jerusalem. However, there was one point during the trip, when we were in the ancient city of Dan (where the tribe of Dan settled) when I was tempted with disillusion. Satan was whispering to me that the bible was not real, it was all made up. He wanted me to believe that all of this land and places mentioned in the bible were written and made-up stories by man and not inspired by God. The experience in Israel was so overwhelming emotionally, that I for one minute thought “this is too good to be true.”
I prayed to the Lord at that moment, while walking in the ancient city of Dan, to take these thoughts of doubt from me. I didn’t want them and I wished I weren’t having them. I asked for his forgiveness for entertaining those thoughts and acknowledged His goodness, His faithfulness and His power to be creator of all. The Holy Spirit then reminded me of His authority, His miracles and His truth.
God was faithful and good to me to help me through my temptation when I called upon His name. Each time I begin to doubt and buy into Satan’s deception, I remember my Israel experience and call upon His name.
1 Bock, 164.
2 NET Bible Note 8, p. 1829