Walking Points: Reflection Questions and Next Steps
Coming Home: Receiving Jesus
Our pastor is preaching an Advent series through December entitled, “Coming Home.” He writes,
“We often look at this season through the lens of nostalgia. The tug of our memories is almost irresistible. We long to go back “home” to the holidays of our past.
"But the message of the Scriptures is not that “we” journey back to some favored place in our memory. Rather, it is the startling news that God is making his home among us. We are left with some questions, “Will we receive him? How do we receive him?”
Below are some “Walking Points,” which are questions for reflection and next steps for you to consider taking during this Advent season and beyond. You can use them for your personal devotional time or with others in a small group.
John 1:9–13 (ESV)
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
1. In verse 9, the Apostle John refers to Jesus as the “true light” (see also John 8:12).
· What does John mean by that?
· What does light do?
· What do you think it means that the “true light gives light to everyone.”
· In what ways do we get light from Jesus?
· Share some examples of how Jesus lights your life (Ephesians 5:8; 1 John 2:8-10).
2. Not only did Jesus, as the Son of God, come to the world, but he came to world he made (v. 10).
· What are two or three things we learn about Jesus from those two truths in verse 10?
· To think that the Creator of heaven and earth took human flesh and walked among us is astonishing. What emotions do you experience as you reflect on that? Why?
3. The last part of verse 10 says the world did not know Jesus when he came. Verse 11 goes further by declaring Jesus came to his own people and they did not receive him.
· What are some reasons people do not recognize and receive Jesus today?
· What are some reasons you have recognized who Jesus is and have received him into your life as Lord and Savior?
· How would you share God’s story of good news with a friend who has not yet “received Jesus?”
· How would you incorporate your story into that larger story? (If you are doing these questions in a small group, share with the others how you came to know Christ as Lord and Savior.)
4. What does John say it means to “receive” Jesus, according to verse 12?
· Does he mean only intellectual ascent? If not, what are the biblical components of faith in Jesus?
· What are the benefits of receiving Jesus (v. 12)?
5. Being a child of God, biblically speaking, isn’t something you are simply by being alive. It’s not a condition that is the result of a natural process. Instead, it’s the result of a supernatural work (John 3:1-15; Eph. 2:8-9).
· Compare and contrast what it means for a person to have their identity formed and shaped by who world says they are versus who God says they are as his child.
· What does it mean for you to know you are a child of God? What difference does that make in how you think, speak, and live your life?
· How would you share that with a friend or family member who seems to be seeking their identity in all the wrong places?
6. Write down the name of one person you would like to share your thoughts and experiences with, based on what you discussed in these questions. Begin to pray for that person now and for God to provide you with an opportunity to talk about Christ, and the difference he’s made in your life, with them.
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