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More than enough © 2015 LifeWay

Lacking something? Jesus is more than enough.

We all long for peace, security, and fulfillment. Denying those needs is pointless. Trying to meet them in unhealthy ways is counterproductive. Languishing in frustration when they aren’t met is unnecessary. God has a better plan. ]]

I am the Bread of life. – John 6:35

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I am the Light of the world. – John 8:12

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I am the Door. – John 10:7,9

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I am the Good Shepherd. – John 10:11

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I am the Resurrection and the Life. – John 11:25

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I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. – John 14:6

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I am the true Vine. – John 15:1

Are you tired of the treadmill of human effort, running on the personal fulfillment track to nowhere? Are you burned out by people and tired of being let down again and again? Are you ready to give up searching for significance at the mall or on the car lot? For everything you need, Jesus said, “I am.” And that’s more than enough.

Jeff Iorg Jeff Iorg is the president of Golden Gate Seminary (soon to be Gateway Seminary) in California. He is editor of the book, Ministry in the New Marriage Culture (B&H Publishing, 2015). Jeff is married to Ann; they have three adult children and one awesome grandson. Read more of his leadership insights at www.jeffiorg.com

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More than Enough: How Jesus Meets Our Deepest Needs As you lead your group in this study, help your group members to know CHRIST and His gracious work, live as contributing servants in the COMMUNITY of faith, and effectively engage the CULTURE without losing distinction. Note in the group plans the icons (below), which identify activities to help group members connect in specific ways to Christ, Community, and Culture.

Christ

Community

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Culture

Jesus made an undeniable connection between Himself and God the Father, the great “I Am.” Jesus is God.

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Jesus is the source of everything we need for this life and for eternity.

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Jesus’ death and resurrection made a relationship with God possible, and it is through that relationship we experience contentment, direction, protection, hope, peace, and purpose.

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More than enough © 2015 LifeWay

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When we follow Jesus as our Shepherd, we are a part of His fold. We are part of a community of fellow believers.

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A daily commitment to walk in the light of Christ is an encouragement for other believers to do the same.

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We can point others to Jesus as the only way to life, hope, and peace.

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Our contentment in Christ points others to something the world cannot offer them.

“Helping you move from where you are to where God wants you to be.” This is your passion for your class or group. Yet helping different individuals each take their next step to grow as disciples is challenging. The Transformational Discipleship Assessment (TDA) is a quick and easy tool to help you discover how you and the members of your group are doing in eight essential areas of discipleship. The TDA provides next steps to help your group move from where you are to where God wants you to be. The assessment is online which allows each group participant to take it in the comfort and privacy of their home, office, or even on their mobile device. Discover more at: TDA.LifeWay.com BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE © 2015 LifeWay

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MORE THAN ENOUGH: HOW JESUS MEETS OUR DEEPEST NEEDS

Session 1 Our Need for Contentment John 6:26-27,35-40

Session 2 Our Need for Direction John 8:12-19

Session 3 Our Need for Protection John 10:7-15,27-30

Session 4 Our Need for Hope John 11:17-27

Session 5 Our Need for Peace John 14:1-7

Session 6 Our Need for Purpose John 15:1-8

Songs, Magazine Articles, and Book Excerpts are available online to support this study. Go to BibleStudiesForLife.com/blog. Here are some examples:

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Session 2

Session 3

Our Need for Direction

Peace for the Journey

The song “These Are the Names of God” from Bible Studies for Life: Songs, Volume 2 proclaims the power found only in the name of the Lord. Visit LifeWayWorship.com to listen and purchase.

“Peace for the Journey” (LifeWay.com/YoungAdults) This article takes a deeper look at Psalm 23 and the promises it affords Christ-followers.

More than enough © 2015 LifeWay

The Point Jesus is the Bread of life who gives us true satisfaction.

The Passage John 6:26-27,35-40

The Bible Meets Life Advertisements are created on the premise that the advertised product will meet a need or give you contentment. There may be truth about contentment in some of those ads, but any comfort gained is never permanent. Products wear out. A delicious meal may give great satisfaction, but you’ll still get hungry a few hours later. We often settle for temporary satisfaction, but Jesus offers us something far greater. It’s a peace found only in Him.

The Setting John 6 opens with Jesus feeding the 5,000 (though that number refers only to the men present, not including the women and children there). That multiplying of food, coupled with earlier healing works Jesus had performed, had the crowds ready “to make Him king” (v. 15). Jesus and the disciples departed that evening. The next day, the crowds, still exhilarated over the free feast, came looking for Jesus (vv. 22-25).

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What does the Bible say?

John 6:26-27,35-40 (HCSB) Bread of life (v. 35)—This was an allusion used by Jesus referring to the white substance that tasted like wafers made with honey miraculously provided by God for the Israelites wandering in the desert. The psalmist called it “bread from heaven” (Exodus 16:31; Psalm 78:24). The last day (v. 40)—This phrase embodies Jewish thought about a final judgment by God featuring the resurrection of the dead that ends history and establishes ultimate justice.

26 Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the

signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life,

which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.” 35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be

hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I

will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who

sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has

given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in

Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

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SESSION 1 © 2015 LifeWay

THE POINT

Jesus is the Bread of life who gives us true satisfaction.

GET INTO THE STUDY

10 minutes

DISCUSS: Invite your group members

Notes

to discuss Question 1 on page 13 of the Personal Study Guide (PSG): “When TIP: NEW! Because we love music as much as you do, each week you’ll find a song that corresponds to that week’s session. These “Playlist Picks” are available for purchase on iTunes®. Download one, a few, or all of them for a custom playlist to use with the Spring 2016 studies. See page 162 for more information.

have you recently had too much of a good thing?” Allow time for each person to respond (a response now will encourage them to respond to other questions later in the study). SUMMARIZE: In the American culture, “more” always seems to equal “better.” For example, the average home has 189 TV channels. The 7-ounce soft drink size of 1955 has been replaced with 42-ounce cups—and larger. We’re convinced more is better, bigger is best, and getting our way equals prosperity and happiness. ACTIVITY (OPTIONAL): To illustrate this idea, search online for the USA Today article, “Coke aims for cool with the new 146-flavor dispenser” (April 16, 2014) about the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines now widely available. Play the short video to illustrate our culture’s desire for more choices. SAY: “Who hasn’t felt like more is better? We all have at some point. The danger comes when we expect products, experiences, and opportunities to supply what only Christ can give.” ENHANCEMENT: Bring your group’s attention to Pack Item #2, “More than Enough” poster, to introduce the topic of this six-week study. GUIDE: Call the group’s attention to The Point on page 14 of the PSG: “Jesus is the Bread of life who gives us true satisfaction.” PRAY: Transition into the Bible study by praying for your group. Thank God for being our constant source of true fulfillment.

Post Pack Item #1 to invite others to your study. Display Pack Item #2 to communicate the study topic. PLAYLIST PICK: “First” by Lauren Daigle

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10 minutes

STUDY THE BIBLE John 6:26-27

Notes

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Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw

the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.” RECAP THE PSG (PAGE 16): Earlier in John 6, Jesus multiplied five barley loaves and two fish into enough food to feed 5,000 men, and still had enough leftovers to fill 12 baskets (vv. 12-13). It was an impressive miracle that convinced people Jesus was a prophet from God who should be their king. The next day the people were hungry again, and so they went looking for Jesus. READ: Ask a group member to read aloud John 6:26-27. SUMMARIZE: The crowds sought the fulfillment of physical needs, but Jesus was more concerned with their spiritual needs. We often struggle with the same misplaced priorities, trying to satisfy our deepest needs with things like bigger TVs, sportier cars, or fancier clothes. We seek satisfaction in things that don’t last. ALTERNATE QUESTION: Why do people seek satisfaction in things that don’t last?

DISCUSS: Question 2 on page 16 of the PSG: “What are some ways young adults seek satisfaction in today’s culture?” DO: Instruct group members to complete the activity on page 17 of the PSG on their own. Satisfaction Guaranteed: ]]

From which of the following pursuits do you derive significant fulfillment? Mark all that apply. ___ Current dating relationship/ marriage ___ Being on-target with my five-year career plan ___ A specific personal image (clothes, possessions, physical appearance, lifestyle) ___ Sports, cooking, blogging, or other leisure pursuits ___ Other: __________________________________________

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Is there any danger in seeking your greatest satisfaction and fulfillment in these things? Explain.

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SESSION 1 © 2015 LifeWay

THE POINT

Jesus is the Bread of life who gives us true satisfaction.

John 6:26-27 Commentary People seek satisfaction in things that don’t last. Verse 26: Earlier in John 6, Jesus’ feeding miracle had provoked messianic expectations among the crowds. The people naturally concluded, “This really is the Prophet who was to come into the world!” probably inferring the prophet like Moses (John 6:14). They were ready to force Jesus to become their “king” (6:15). Jesus answered in a way that redirected the question to expose the false messianic expectations. “I assure you” is an attempt to bring across the strong affirmation of the phrase in the original Greek. In the KJV, this phrase is rendered, “Verily, verily,” and in the NIV, “Very truly.” In this way, Jesus strongly signaled He was getting ready to say something that the listener should trust absolutely. Jesus then acknowledged that the crowds were looking for something (“You are looking for Me”), but they were looking for all the wrong reasons. They experienced a miracle, “you ate the loaves and were filled,” but did not see the signs, the true spiritual reality to which this physical event was meant to point. This teaching is John’s hallmark contribution to the story of who Jesus really is. Signs challenge our thinking about what we expect. With His sign of the feeding of the crowds, Jesus meant to draw attention to Himself in order to challenge false expectations about who the Messiah would be and what the Messiah would accomplish. The crowds sought free food for their bellies; Jesus wanted them to seek Him for their souls. Verse 27: Jesus warned the listeners on the basis of their false expectations, “Don’t work for the food that perishes,” which seems to echo Isaiah 55:2. Food and water are necessary for daily living, of course. Yet, food for this life perishes. What is necessary for today is not sufficient for tomorrow. What we often do not recognize is that as much as we search for food for the body, which does not even last, we just as earnestly should search for food for the soul, which does last. Thus, we have the contrasting “food that lasts for eternal life.” Humans are more than biological beings. They are spiritual, and John acknowledged this reality with his favorite term, “eternal life.” One instantly thinks of John 3:16, of course, as the premier verse that puts a laser focus on this spiritual reality, but more to the point of the analogy Jesus was producing here would be John 12:25. The crowds were looking for a king to fill their stomachs, but Jesus wanted to fill their souls. He would not lower Himself to be the king of their expectations, because He is the Son of man. He was not the type of Messiah for whom they were looking. To authenticate and authorize this new and unexpected Son of Man role for the Messiah, Jesus pointed out that “God the Father has set His seal of approval” on Jesus as the Son of Man.

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10 minutes

STUDY THE BIBLE John 6:35

Notes

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“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever

be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” SUMMARIZE: Recap for your group the events in verses 28-34. ]]

The crowd asked Jesus what sign He planned to do so they might believe in Him. They wanted Jesus to perform a miracle to establish His credibility.

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Jesus declared that God had given them “the real bread from heaven” and further clarified, “the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world ” (vv. 32-33). In response, the people cried out, “Sir, give us this bread always” (v. 34).

READ: Ask a group member to read aloud John 6:35. SUMMARIZE: Jesus redirected their thinking to spiritual needs by proclaiming, “I am the bread of life.” Interestingly, the original Greek text puts emphasis on the subject, “I.” Jesus and Jesus alone provides the nourishment necessary to properly sustain spiritual life. Only in Him will we find complete satisfaction now and forever. ALTERNATE QUESTION: How would you explain the term “Bread of life” to someone who’s never heard it?

DISCUSS: Question 3 on page 17 of the PSG: “When have you experienced spiritual hunger or thirst?” (Note: Some may tend to answer this with an example from youth camp, a mission trip, or just long ago. Encourage your group to think of a recent time when they intentionally sought or experienced God, His Word, and His presence. Be ready to share about your own experience.) DISCUSS: Question 4 on page 18 of the PSG: “What does this “I am” statement teach us about Jesus’ nature and character?” TRANSITION: In the next verses, Jesus went on to explain why He came to earth and what He offers those who follow Him.

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SESSION 1 © 2015 LifeWay

THE POINT

Jesus is the Bread of life who gives us true satisfaction.

John 6:35 Commentary In Jesus we find complete satisfaction now and forever. Verse 35: The crowds were confused by Jesus’ response. They asked what they could do “to perform the works of God” (6:28). They still remained focused on physical food and working wonders. Whatever power Jesus used to turn five barley loaves and two fish into food for thousands, they wanted in. Yet, Jesus knew that even if they gained this power for the day, they still would be hungry the next. Jesus again redirected their thinking. If they wanted to do the works of God, they needed to reconsider what life is all about, which is not recreating a permanent picnic. The true work of God is “that you believe in the One He has sent” (6:29). In Jesus we find complete satisfaction now and forever. In this verse we have one of the famous “I am” statements from the Gospel of John, which is distinct to John compared to the other Gospels. To the crowd’s request for this unique bread from heaven, Jesus responded, “I am the bread of life.” The Greek text puts emphasis on the subject, “I.” Jesus and Jesus alone provides the nourishment necessary to properly sustain spiritual life. The wilderness manna pointed to Jesus the Son of man, whose life purpose was not simply to bring food for a day but life for eternity. The crowds no doubt looked for a repeat of the previous day or the Old Testament manna, both of which filled the stomach and nourished the body. But Jesus spoke of greater fulfillment to which each of these had pointed— that which fills the spirit and nourishes the soul, Jesus Himself. The manna quenched the physical hunger for a little while, but the next morning the wilderness ancestors once again made their way outside their tents to gather up fresh manna to satisfy that day’s hunger. Even the crowds who now sought Jesus and a repeat of the previous day’s feast demonstrated how temporary was the satisfaction the physical nourishment provided. But the satisfaction Jesus offers is not measured in hours but in eternity. His satisfaction is complete and ongoing. Thus, no one who comes to Jesus “will ever be hungry.” But Jesus not only said that the one who comes to Him will not hunger again, He also said no one who believes in Him “will ever be thirsty again.” Those who had wandered in the wilderness and had to depend on God to send manna from heaven for them to have food to eat also found themselves with a shortage of water. Twice God had provided water for the multitude from a rock (Exodus 17; Numbers 20). But like the manna, this water only satisfied the thirst of these wanderers for a brief period of time—unlike what Jesus promised to the seaside seekers looking for another miraculous banquet: food and drink for the soul. John affirmed that only in Jesus will we find complete satisfaction now and forever.

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10 minutes

STUDY THE BIBLE John 6:36-40

Notes

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“But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone

the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” READ: Ask a group member to read aloud John 6:36-40. SUMMARIZE: Verses 36-40 give a brief summary of Jesus’ earthly ministry: ]]

God always takes the first step in the salvation process: He sent Jesus as a Savior. God also prompts, convicts, and draws people to Himself.

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Jesus came from heaven to do God’s will.

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Those who believe in Christ will have eternal life and Jesus will “raise them up” on judgment day.

ALTERNATE QUESTION: What do these verses communicate about eternal life?

DISCUSS: Question 5 on page 19 of the PSG: “How would you describe your experience with the ‘Bread of life’?” (Note: Help your group to consider how Christ gives true, lasting satisfaction by meeting our spiritual needs. Explain that while we won’t always be on a “spiritual high,” we are promised the faithfulness of God as we seek to know and follow Him.) SAY: ”God draws people into salvation and then sustains our eternal relationship with Him. We’re no longer hungry, thirsty people striving to satisfy eternal cravings with earthly possessions, achievements, or accomplishments; We’re secure in God through Jesus.”

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SESSION 1 © 2015 LifeWay

THE POINT

Jesus is the Bread of life who gives us true satisfaction.

John 6:36-40 Commentary People who put their trust in Jesus experience true contentment. Verses 36-37: Jesus directly confronted the crowd’s unbelief. Why should they ask for a sign? Jesus insisted, “You’ve seen Me.” He’d already fed a crowd of well over 5,000. Jesus stated the reality, “you do not believe.” If anywhere in the New Testament we have evidence that miracles do not produce belief, this is one chapter that dramatically tells the story. Jesus, however, was not disturbed by this skepticism. He was confident in His mission, because Jesus had God’s assurance of results: “Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me” (v. 37). Jesus then made His own wonderful promise to those who come to Him. These He “will never cast out.” Verses 38-39: Jesus has come down from heaven (v. 38). Now, that’s the real miracle—incarnation, the Word made flesh (1:14), God with us (Matthew 1:23). Jesus has come expressly to do “the will of Him who sent Me.” Further, God in His sovereignty will not let the work of Jesus falter or fail. Jesus will lose “none of those He has given Me” (John 6:39). Verse 40: The believer has the promise from Jesus that He will “raise him up on the last day” (v. 40). The reference to the “last day” here is to the Jewish expectation of a final day of reckoning by God. God was expected to bring present history to an end in order to judge humanity and establish ultimate justice. In this judgment, rewards and punishment would be meted out. The righteous would be rewarded with a resurrection to life eternal. Jesus defined the righteous as the one who believes in Him. When Jesus raises believers to eternal life, we will eat the true heavenly manna. In this way, Jesus fulfills the promise of the Passover festival, the salvation of the world, a deliverance by God to be equaled by no other. This food and drink is better than any manna their forefathers in ancient Israel ever ate (vv. 49-50) and more refreshing than any water that ever gushed forth from its rock reservoir. The Israelites ate their heavenly manna and drank their divinely provided water, but eventually they still died. Jesus is the true Bread of Life. When we partake of His heavenly manna, we have eternal life. We trust Him now, and He holds us to the end. Then, He raises us to eternal life.

BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE © 2015 LifeWay

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5 minutes

LIVE IT OUT SAY: “Jesus is the only One who can meet every one of our deepest needs.” GUIDE: Lead group members to consider the responses to the Bible study listed on page 20 of the PSG. ]]

Evaluate your own heart. Identify something (a possession, achievement, or accomplishment) you have been pursuing to give you security. Repent and ask God to give you contentment in Jesus.

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Prioritize Christ. If you don’t already, make it your goal to spend time daily in God’s Word. Need a place to start? Check out the daily Bible reading plans at Bible.com.

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Share the love. Identify a local ministry that fights hunger and volunteer to serve wherever they have a need. As you seek to alleviate someone’s physical hunger, minister to their spiritual needs as well by praying for them. If the opportunity arises, share with them how Jesus has been your Bread of life.

Wrap It Up
 SAY: “Get off the ‘get more’ treadmill and enjoy the eternal satisfaction only Jesus provides. Everything you need—and more—is found in Jesus. Enjoy the feast!“

Get expert insights on weekly studies through the Ministry Grid (MinistryGrid.com/web/BibleStudiesForLife).

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SESSION 1 © 2015 LifeWay