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A Daring Dilemma


A Daring Dilemma


John 7:1-24



It would be an understatement to say that Jesus was a brave man. After all, He took the punishment for the sin of the whole world! However, as I look at this chapter, there are places where I see that Jesus had to be brave and “suck it up” at so many points in His life. There is no wonder they call Him the “Man of Sorrows,” and even though He had to be in constant emotional pain, He was able to keep it together to accomplish the Father’s Will. WOW!


One of the first things I notice in John Chapter 7 is even Jesus’ brothers really didn’t believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be. During the Feast of Booths, they wanted Him to go to Galilee with a dog and pony show to prove to those people He could perform miracles. You can almost hear an audible sigh when He sent them on their way, but Jesus did have a plan. It just didn’t include his family.


Once the brothers were gone, Jesus went up to Galilee to hear what was being said and to teach in the synagogue. His idea was not to put on a show but rather to educate His people.


Knowing that the Pharisees were out to kill Him, He had to be careful. Whatever He said had to be accurate and to the heart. Jesus is so good at that, isn’t He?


When He got there, He saw that the Jews were looking for Him. He heard various comments in the crowd about who people thought He was and what He was doing. There were people who were for Him and against Him, but He was certainly part of the gossip rag that day.


When He went to the temple, the people were amazed at His teaching; for they knew, He had no formal training. They probed Him for information about how He knew what He knew. That sure was the wrong thing to ask…there He goes again, saying what He says only comes from the Father. Who did He think He was? God? Yes, that is exactly what He was saying. In addition, He was challenging the big-guys on how they practiced their religion. He was reprimanding them on their Sabbath rules. The nerve of Him! What Chutzpah! Amazingly, the Pharisees did not challenge Him! They were in a pickle! What could they do to stop this man?


The astounding thing was that public opinion started to change. Not because of what Jesus was saying, but rather, because of what the Pharisees were not saying. Next week, we’ll see what that was.


See Ya Next Time!


 You are free to use this study on your website or blog as long as you include the following:

Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com





Questions: Read John 7:1-24


In verses 1-9


1. What was Jesus’ brothers’ agenda?

2. Why did they think that Jesus needed to market His miracles?

3. Why do you think they took that approach?

4. How did Jesus respond to them?

5. Discuss why He remained in Galilee?


In verses 10-13

6. Why do you think Jesus wanted to go “in private”?

7. Why were the Pharisees looking for Jesus?

8. What were the various opinions of Jesus?

9. Discuss how these people were just like us today.

10. Why do you think people were afraid to speak out?

11. Is it like that today? Why or Why not?


In verses 14-24

12. Discuss the themes of denial, pride, right and wrong judgment that you find in these passages.



You are free to use this study on your website or blog as long as you include the following:

Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com


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Christian Life How to’s

How to have a Vibrant Prayer Life

Dr. Cheryl Durham, Director

Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries

A Living Truth Ministry


Being in missions, I have often heard that there is no retirement clause in the Bible. The Gospel just commands us to go. There is no stop. So what happens if you cannot go? What happens if you are incapacitated or just plain old?


 I have thought about this a lot. In fact, this was the idea that created Living Truth, a transdenominational mission agency that I work with that helps small ministries do what God calls them to do. All of us can work well into our old age.


Well, what if I have no particular ministry, what do I do then? The answer is the most important ministry is always right before you; it is intercessory prayer. It can be done by anyone, anywhere, anytime. You do not need special equipment or skills, and you are naturally gifted in it. We can all talk to God.


If the truth be known, at least where I live, intercessors are theoretically well-meaning, but practically rare. How do you start, or jumpstart, a lagging prayer ministry? Where do you go to get one started? Here are seven steps that will get you on your way.


Step One: Get a Journal


A friend of mine got me a really pretty wooden journal from Honduras. It is beautiful. I use it for special entries. I also have a spiral bound notebook because it is easier to write in, you can file it in a three ring binder on a shelf, and they are incredibly cheap. Ten for a dollar in August before the kids go back to school. If you do not have any of that, you can do it through an e-mail program like G-mail or Yahoo Mail. The address is free, you can check it anywhere, and it makes it easy to file any way you want. It also makes it easy to stay in touch with those for whom you are praying.


Step Two: Find things to pray about.


There is never a lack of prayer needs. All you have to do is to start reaching out. If you do not know any people, there is the church bulletin. If you do not have a church, there is the news, the internet, the television, and even radio. Just pray for the needs that you hear. Do not forget to ask God! He can bring to mind people that you forgot you knew and maybe people that you do not. If you are really stuck, or are fond of foreign people group prayer, there is a book that has been out for years called “Operation World” by Patrick Johnstone, this book lists almost every people group in existence, their environment, and their prayer needs.





Step Three:  Keep Records.


Make sure that you write down whom you are praying for on one side and what you pray for on the other. Later, you will see that God answers all of them in some way or another. It is this step, combined with the next step, which really keeps the process alive and lets you know why God thinks prayer is so important. It demonstrates the interactive relationship between you, God, and the world that is, when you think about, quite astounding. The God of the universe is using YOU to help Him bring about His Kingdom on Earth. Wow!


Step Four:  The Feedback Loop


You are going to want to know how God is working, and how your people are doing in their lives. If you do not have any people that you know, you might watch the news to see what is happening in the world. God can do anything and He does amazing things. This step will not only show you how great God is but it will build intimacy with the people you are praying for, even if you do not know them. You will know that they are special to God and that one day, perhaps you will know them. This is what is known as koinonia.


Step Five: Go to God for Wisdom and Read the Word of God


Step Five can come anywhere in the process except the end. You need wisdom from God to pray effectively. The best way to know that is through prayer and the Word. When you pray, you talk to Him and when you read the Word, He talks to you. His Holy Spirit will guide you in both prayer and study. After all, the Holy Spirit knows exactly what to pray for, right? Just remember that if you start a book, be careful to read it through before you start another. Do not jump around.


What you will start to see is a few patterns emerge as you pray for people. For example, I have led discipleship groups for many years, but each time I do, God has a way of joining the hearts of those in the group in such a way that no matter what book of the bible they are reading in (and they are all different), God talks to each about the same issue. When we come back together and hear what God is doing in each life, well, you have to be there to appreciate it. So ask for wisdom and watch for patterns. Let Him surprise you.


Step Six:  Piggy Back Prayers.


As people give you requests, and as you see a pattern emerge, ask God what additional things you can pray for concerning this person. Wait for God, pray about what He gives you, and let what you learn from God shape how you pray for that person. Let it shape their requests.




Always give thanks to God and let people know how good God has been to you as well and how He has answered your prayer for them. Show them that they can depend on God.


If you follow these seven steps, you will be truly amazed how much you have missed by avoiding prayer. Intercessory prayer can be one of the most rewarding ministries and it is the one you can do anywhere, with very little effort. I think that anyone can do it.  That is why there is no retirement clause in the Bible. You can always talk to God.




Chaplydia,  Biblical Counselor and Discipleship Coach Helps individuals and groups develop and enhance their calling and their lives using a Biblical World View.  Go Above and Beyond the NORM!

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 www.livingtruth.us/chaplydia.html Question?  E-mail Chaplydia@livingtruth.us

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