These [stories] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. — John 20:31
Welcome, friends! I’m so glad you’re here with us for the You Are Never Alone Online Bible Study with our dear friend and pastor Max Lucado.
My name is Laurie McClure and I’m the editor at FaithGateway and one of your OBS leaders. Just in case you’re new to OBS and we haven’t met before, an introduction: I’m a born-and-bred Southern Californian who moved all the way to the other coast (North Carolina) this year. The beach is my happy place any time of year. I’m a Jesus follower and a Bible study junkie born into a family full of preachers and Bible nerds. I love ice-cold Perrier, going to see movies, musicals, and plays (any and all kinds of great stories), listening to live music, singing, yoga pants, and radical grace. I was married for decades and raised five kids and am now single and loving it. If you all were in my home, we’d share a big, yummy charcuterie platter and iced tea with lots of lemon!
There’s a good reason Max Lucado has oftentimes been called “America’s Pastor”. He knows the Word of God, he’s full of the love of Jesus, and he’s approachable, relatable, kind, friendly, and wise. His eyes look straight at you undistracted by others, caring about you personally like you’re the only one in the room, the only one that matters right now. I imagine Jesus is exactly like that.
Which is interesting, really, because even long-time believers don’t always operate in what we believe about Jesus. Even though we may have a kind, loving, caring image of Him in our minds, isn’t it easy to forget that in our daily lives, especially hard times? Then, we question if God even knows what we’re going through and wonder if He cares!
John has always been curious to me because he nicknamed himself the “beloved” disciple because that’s how he felt in his relationship with Christ — loved. I think we’ve got a lot to learn from his perspective of Jesus!
John shared his stories of Jesus because he wanted us to see and accept His love.
[He] wrote down these miracles not to impress us, but to urge us believe in the presence of Christ. ~ Max
Believing = life
In knowing God, as Max says, we have strength beyond our strength, accomplishment beyond our ability, and life abundant. Because of His presence which never fails.
I am with you always, to the end of the age. — Matthew 28:20
When life gets dark and stormy, when we’re facing an onslaught of challenges, we need to know that God is with us in those big crises of life, but beyond this we need to know that He’s with us in the small things of life. ~ Max
In our daily lives, in the ordinary, in the regular errands, work, school, dinner, laundry of normal life, Jesus is here with us. And He wants to hear about whatever we’re going through, whatever we’re thinking about, whatever concerns us.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our issues that we forget to talk to God about it! Does that happen to you?
Here’s something extraordinary about God: He tells us not to be anxious about anything but tell Him about it (Philippians 4:6). That’s HUGE!
The Cliff’s Notes edition of John could include:
See what He did?!
He loves us!
And, when Jesus doesn’t answer right away…
Do what He says.
A precise prayer gives Jesus the opportunity to remove all doubt about His love. ~ Max
So, let’s pray specifically about everything knowing that we are not alone. Bring it all before Him. He knows. He sees. He cares. And He is acting behind the scenes on our behalf.
John the beloved knew that he was loved because He saw Jesus in action. We can embrace that same knowledge. As we study John, we can know we are loved!
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session one of You Are Never Alone on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 1-9 but DON’T GO AWAY just yet! Hang out for the conversation with our OBS community afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 11-22.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You. Help us to see and experience Your love as John did. Remind us that You want to be known intimately and You want to hear everything that’s on our minds. You want that kind of close relationship where we tell You everything and trust that You care deeply. Help us to trust You, Jesus! We want to love you more, God. Amen.