Devotional April 10, 2016

Week of April 10, 2016

Monday: As we practice resurrection this Easter season, we will look at the Easter stories from John and the Book of Acts.

Read John 20: 19-23*

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What does it take for the disciples to believe they are seeing Jesus?

2. Why are Jesus’ wounds so important to the disciples?

3. How is Jesus’ suffering a part of your faith?

Prayer focus

Risen Christ, grant us your peace.


Tuesday: I will not believe.

Read John 20: 24-25

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. This is the passage that earns Thomas the nickname “Doubting Thomas”.

2. Why might Thomas not believe the disciples? Have you ever needed to witness something first-hand in order to believe?

3. Why might Thomas need to touch Jesus’ wounds?

Prayer focus

Wounded Jesus, teach us compassion.


Wednesday: What you sow does not come to life until it dies.

Read 1 Corinthians 15: 35-41

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What does it mean that something cannot “come to life until it dies”?

2. What might this have to do with the disciples’ need to see Jesus’ wounds?

3. What are some things in your life that must “die” (or that you must die unto) in order for Resurrection to come?

Prayer focus

Ever-living God, show us how to die unto all that is not of you that we might be born anew.


Thursday: Do not doubt, but believe!

Read John 20: 26-28

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Has there ever been a time when you have doubted, and then witnessed evidence physically before you? How did you feel?

2. What does it mean for Thomas to say, “My Lord, and my God”? How is his reaction different than that of the disciples the week before?

Prayer focus

Jesus our Lord, we long to touch you. Help us to come to believe.


Friday: Blessed are those who have not seen…

Read John 20: 29

 Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What is the relationship between doubt and faith? Is it possible that one leads to the other?

2. What does the journey between doubt and faith have to do with our church life together?

Prayer focus

Spirit of Truth, weave our doubt and faith together and make us a new life in Christ.

Note: It is important to remember the historical context of when the Gospels were written. At the time of the first Easter, the followers of Jesus were Jewish, and Christianity would remain a sect of Judaism for most of their lifetime. While the Gospels, John in particular, have been used to justify anti-Semitism in later history, this is far from the original intention of the Gospel writers.

Small Group Format


Introductions/getting acquainted

Mutual Invitation question: Who did you love the most as a child?


Opening Prayer


Song (optional)


Reflection on the weekly Scripture readings

Have someone read John 20:19-29

Discuss observations about the text

What word or phrase strikes you the most?

What do you think is the most important point of the text?


Summarize the Sunday message and its connection to this text


Use some of the daily questions for discussion in the devotional


Choose another day to read a different text and discuss the



Share your faith (in groups of 3)

How have you experienced God recently in your life?

(this will be a weekly question – it may be difficult to answer at first, but if you ask it each week, you may start to notice God more in your life)


Pray for each other


Refreshments (optional)


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Sun, 04/10/2016 - 09:30