I my goal for this message is to leave you with both and .

1 Thessalonians 4 13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout,[e] with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage[f] one another with these words.

V13 – Main Point #1

  • Have we ever said or are we currently saying, “I’ll be productive for the Lord after…………”
    • What are we sacrificing in order to get achieve that
  • What is something that we spend but they don’t make more of? 
  • The average American spends hours and minutes looking at a screen in a day (not including computer working hours) 
    • How do I stack up to this? 
    • What can I cut back on to be productive in my walk with Jesus? 

V15 – Main Point #2

  • How often a week am I in the Bible? 
  • How long in a week am in the Bible?
  • Is this where I want to be? 

V16 says, “16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven” 

  • Is there something that I occasionally do or regularly do, that I wouldn’t want King Jesus returning while I’m doing it?
  • Yes            No
  • If yes, what are actionable steps I can take to remove this from my life?

V17 – Main Point #3

John 5: 1-8 After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Aramaic, which has five colonnades. 3 Within these lay a large number of the disabled—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the disabled man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.” 8 “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your mat and walk.” 9 Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk.

Grow Group Questions

  1. Screen time – let’s talk about it. how did you stack up compared to the national average? 
  2. Have you ever said, “Oh I’ll get right with the Lord after…. Or I’ll wait to be productive / serve the Lord after…. Fill in the blank. – share the story 
  3. What is something you have put my hope in, in the past and it let you down?
  4. If honest, was there something that is in my life that I am prone to do on a weekly (or semi regularly) basis, that I wouldn’t want Jesus returning while I’m doing? – share

God calls us to live out our faith with excellence… In our passage, Paul will use the phrase: “do this even more” to speak of excellence. 

Meaning of Excellence: The quality of doing our absolute best.

For the Christian, excellence is the path of sustained spiritual growth.

Passage premise: The ministry that we do inside the church must have Christ as its foundation and must ultimately serve to prepare us to reach the lost with Christ’s love outside the church.

v.1: The church responded well to Paul’s earlier instruction on how they should live and please God. Then he challenges them to do this even more. They should take their love for Jesus to the next level.

Pastor Paul loved them too much to leave them where they were.

Coach Paul challenged them to up their game. They cannot rest on their reputation.

4:2: Paul says For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Truths Paul taught came from Jesus Himself; the church will do well to practice them.

Key Point: Willing obedience is one of the ways that we show our love for God.

4:3-7: For this is God’s will… your sanctification. Two meanings of sanctification:

1) Our new position in Christ. God declares us right with Him based on our faith in Christ.

2) The lifelong process where the Holy Spirit guides and empowers us to become like Jesus. Paul is talking about this one.

Paul explains that sanctification involves devoted effort in three specific areas. With a common theme. A believer must take great care not to defile their body:

1) Keep away from sexual immorality (4:3). 

Leviticus 18 (Do not defile yourself)

2) Learn to control your own body (4:4-5). 

The Holy Spirit empowers our self-control. He wants to help us!

3) Do not sin against or take advantage of another believer. (4:6). By sexual sin.

4:7: For God has not called us to impurity but to live in holiness. God calls us to holiness.

4:8: Anyone who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit:

Anyone who rejects God’s call to holiness is not rejecting Paul but is rejecting God Himself. 

God gave His Spirit to guide us to divine truths and to also empower our obedience.

4:9-12: Love is the foundational virtue of our faith. God’s love is rooted in the cross, it defines us; it compels us, it is inside of us, and love is evidence that the Holy Spirit has raised us from death to life.

In its “perfected” form, love is our witness to those outside our doors. In other words… 

Perfecting God’s love inside equips us to take Christ’s love outside into our community.

Paul gives three ways in which they can up their game with respect to love. 

1) Seek to lead a quiet life

2) Mind their own business

3) Work with their own hands.

God uses our personal testimony to reconcile people to Him, which is another way we show God that we love Him.

Grow Group Questions:

  1. What do you think about the concept of excellence as applied to the Christ follower?
  2. How can excellence be used to overcome complacency within the body of Christ?
  3. How can we be more intentional about avoiding defiling our body with sin?
  4. How can we be more loving toward others in our church?
  5. What are some ways that we can bring the love of Christ into our community?
  6. What are some hindrances that could impact our bringing the love of Christ into our community? How can we overcome them?

Introduction:

Justification: Comes from the Greek concept meaning “to declare righteous”. It is a legal act wherein God pronounces that the believing sinner has been credited with all the virtues of Jesus Christ. Whereas forgiveness is the negative aspect of salvation, meaning the subtraction of human sin, justification is the positive aspect, meaning the addition of divine righteousness. (Moody Handbook of Theology, pg. 715)

Sanctification: Comes from the Greek verb meaning “to set apart”. It is used in two ways: (1) the believer is positionally sanctified; he stands sanctified before God; (2) the believer grows in progressive sanctification in daily spiritual experience. (Moody Handbook of Theology, pg. 723)

Glorification: The glorification of the Christian is that we shall share in God’s glory when we are in our resurrected bodies in the new heavens and new earth, experiencing deeper fellowship with God and not being at risk of falling away into sin, God’s glory finally being “all in all.” (The Gospel Coalition, An Essay be Gerald Bray)

 

1. A faith that is .

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by this our ancestors were approved. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith. By faith Enoch was taken away, and so he did not experience death. He was not to be found because God took him away. For before he was taken away, he was approved as one who pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. — Hebrews 11:1-6 (CSB)

  • Faith that grows in .
  • Faith that gives you.
  • Faith that will make us .

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God ​— ​who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly ​— ​and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, being double-minded and unstable in all his ways. — James 1:2-8 (CSB)

 

2. A love that is

  • A love for one another.
  • A love for everyone.

God’s love is grounded in who He is, and not the servant of our emotions or circumstances.

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God ​— ​God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. — 1 John 4:7-16 (CSB)

 

3. A faith that is .

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. — Matthew 7:13-14 (CSB)

Then he said to them,“Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand all of the parables? — Mark 4:13 (CSB)

  • Parable of the Sower is a foundational teaching. (Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23)

Sower =

Seed =

Soils =

Birds =

 

(1) Path (Hard Ground) – Hardened .

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts — Hebrews 3:7-8 (CSB)

 

(2) Rocky Soil (Shallow) – Walk away because of .

“For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14:28-33 (CSB)

 

(3) Thorny Soil   – Worries and .

Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” — Matthew 19:23-24 (CSB)

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. — 1 Timothy 6:7-10 (CSB)

Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared ​— ​whose will they be? ’ “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” — Luke 12:16-21 (CSB)

“Since the days of your ancestors, you have turned from my statutes; you have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Armies. Yet you ask, “How can we return?” “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me!” “How do we rob you?” you ask. “By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. You are suffering under a curse, yet you ​— ​the whole nation ​— ​are still robbing me. Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,” says the Lord of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the Lord of Armies. — Malachi 3:7-11 (CSB)

 

(4) Good Soil  – Spiritually .

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the one seated on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say,

Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created. — Revelation 4:9-11 (CSB)

 

 

GROW GROUP QUESTIONS:

1. What are some of the things you have experienced that grew your faith?

2. Are there any changes you need to make to further grow your faith?

3. Would you say your love for others is overflowing?

4. What soil do you struggle not being?

 

1 Thessalonians 2: 13-20 | An Advancing Kingdom

Setting:

  • The Kingdom of God is presented in both the OT and NT as a Kingdom that advances.

The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey him.’ — Daniel 7:27 (CSB)

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea, in summer and winter alike. On that day the Lord will become King over the whole earth ​— ​the Lord alone, and his name alone. — Zechariah 14:8-9 (CSB)

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near! ” — Matthew 3:1-2 (CSB)

Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. — Matthew 4:23 (CSB)

“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. — Matthew 6:9 (CSB)

1. The .

“from us”

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. — 2 Corinthians 5:20 (CSB)

“of God”

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (CSB)

“in you”

For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me. — Philippians 2:13-18 (CSB)

  • The Kingdom of God is a relay race “imitators”.

“Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. — John 14:12-14 (CSB)

What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. — 2 Timothy 2:2 (CSB)

2. The . (Acts 17: 1-5)

  • Persecution and suffering are a throughout the NT.

We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. — 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (CSB)

For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:21 (CSB)

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you. — Matthew 5:10-12 (CSB)

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, — 1 Peter 3:18 (CSB)

  • God will right all .

Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him,“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? ” “Who are you, Lord? ” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” — Acts 9:1-6 (CSB) 

When they heard these things, they were enraged and gnashed their teeth at him. Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! ”

They yelled at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and together rushed against him. They dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. And the witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! ” He knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them! ” And after saying this, he fell asleep. — Acts 7:54-60 (CSB) 

Then I saw him open the sixth seal. A violent earthquake occurred; the sun turned black like sackcloth made of hair; the entire moon became like blood; the stars of heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a high wind; the sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand? ” — Revelation 6:12-17 (CSB)

We can only begin to understand the gravity of the grace and mercy of the Gospel when it is viewed through the lens of the reality of the wrath of God.

3. The .

  • Jesus’s ministry was in the “face to face”.
  • Jesus’s Kingdom is a kingdom of .

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are Christ’s letter, delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God ​— ​not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. — 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (CSB)

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. — Revelation 7:9 (CSB)

 

 

GROW GROUP QUESTIONS:

1. How does the pattern that Paul lays out to the church in Thessalonica impact you today?

2. Have you experienced persecution or opposition to your faith in Christ, and how did this impact you?

3. Read the Parable to the Sower. How do the different soils apply to this theme of persecution?

4. How has the reality of the Kingdom of God being people impacted your life?

 

1Thessalonians 2: 1-12 Means and Ends

Setting:

  • We live in a culture where, “the ends justify the means”.
  • What about God’s Kingdom? We will see that God’s Kingdom is different. In God’s Kingdom the paramount concern is the “means”, and God is always in charge of the “ends”.

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. But the cowards, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars ​— ​their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” — Revelation 21:3-8 (CSB)

EXPECTATIONS AND BEHAVIOR:

 

1. Expect .

Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (CSB)

This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come — Matthew 24:14 (CSB)

 

2. Expect .

You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” — John 16:33 (CSB)

You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. For truly I tell you, you will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master. It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher and a slave like his master. If they called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much more the members of his household! — Matthew 10:22-25 (CSB)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. — Ephesians 6:12 (CSB)

 

3. Our are important.

* Exhorting

* Pure

* Truthful

* Not to please man

* Never manipulating

* Never self-seeking

Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. — John 8:43-44 (CSB)

No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. — Ephesians 4:29-31 (CSB)

 

4. We have been given of the Gospel.

For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion, that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. –– 2 Corinthians 5:13-15 (CSB)

 

5. Our is important.

* Gentle

Tell Daughter Zion, “See, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” — Matthew 21:5 (CSB)

* Caring

* Laboring

* Devout

* Righteous

* Blameless

* Encouraging

* Comforting

* Imploring

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. — 1Corinthians 16:13 ESV

“There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian. Most people will never read the first four.”— Rodney “Gipsy” Smith

 

GROW GROUP QUESTIONS:

1. Have you seen spiritual results in your life? What areas would you like to grow more?

2. How is your behavior and speech compared to the list in the text?

3. What influences in your life lead you away from these behaviors?

4. Are you interested in learning how to share your faith?

 

https://www.theword121.com/how-it-works

https://www.theword121.com/prepare

https://vimeo.com/showcase/10798358/video/277623654

 

Setting:

  • Ancient Thessalonica is in modern day Greece.
  • It was strategically located because of its seaport combined with the Roman roads that intersected there.
  • The birth of the church is detailed in Acts 17 and occurred during Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.

Introduction:

  • Whether intentionally or unintentionally, everyone develops a world view. This world view becomes the lens that we view our life and the world around us.
  • It has been proposed to establish a coherent world view you need to answer at minimum the following questions:
  1. Origin: Where did I come from?
  2. Meaning: Why am I here?
  3. Morality: How do I establish right from wrong?
  4. Destiny: What happens when I die?

 

OUTLINE:

          1.  Readers

  • The is God’s plan.

 

Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. — Matthew 16:17-18 (CSB)

  •  I am part of that .

As you come to him, a living stone ​— ​rejected by people but chosen and honored by God ​— you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. — 1 Peter 2:4-5 (CSB)

  • Your “” is found in the truth that you are a living stone. God is building something, and you are part of it.

 

2.  Remembering

  • Kingdom effort grounded in ,, and .

 

Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” “Because of your little faith,” he told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” — Matthew 17:19-20 (CSB)

If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. — 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (CSB)

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing. — 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (CSB)

  • Kingdom citizenship because of God’s and .

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” — Acts 9:15-16 (CSB)

For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. — Ephesians 1:4-6 (CSB)

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. — 1 Corinthians 1:18 (CSB)

  • We are to be a Kingdom .

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. — Revelation 3:15-19 (CSB)

 

 

             3. Ringing

  • The Word of LORD is to out from us.

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:14-16 (CSB)

  • God is ringing a bell, and you are that .

 

             4. Rescued

  • My need is to have my sin forgiven.

Then I saw a great white throne and one seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. — Revelation 20:11-15 (CSB)

 

GROW GROUP QUESTIONS:

  1. Are you involved in God’s plan?
  2. What are things that can distract us from the plan God has for our life?
  3. Give an example of how God used someone else to “ring” out the Word of God to you.
  4. What are some practical things you could do so that you can “ring” out for Jesus?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9Cc6fRbadk

 

SCENE 1: The of the LORD (1-9)

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to count the people of Israel. — 1 Chronicles 21:1 (CSB)

 

  1. God can use all things to accomplish His purposes including .

Aking’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand:

He directs it wherever he chooses. — Proverbs 21:1 (CSB)

 

SCENE 2: The of the LORD. (10)

  1. Conviction of sin is always an act of .

Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. — John 16:7-11 (CSB)

Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. “Now my soul is troubled. What should I say ​— ​Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate what kind of death he was about to die. — John 12:23-33 (CSB)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. — Proverbs 9:10 (CSB)

 

SCENE 3: The of the LORD. (11-end)

  1. The heart of God and the Gospel itself in characterized by .

As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what was happening. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him. So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! ” Then those in front told him to keep quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to him. When he came closer, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see.” “Receive your sight,” Jesus told him. “Your faith has saved you.” Instantly he could see, and he began to follow him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. — Luke 18:35-43 (CSB)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift ​— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. — Ephesians 2:4-10 (CSB)

  • Mercy – compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish.

 

2. God always His promises.

Samuel replied, “Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord. Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart. Don’t turn away to follow worthless things that can’t profit or rescue you; they are worthless. The Lord will not abandon his people, because of his great name and because he has determined to make you his own people. — 1 Samuel 12:20-22 (CSB)

“ ‘The Lord declares to you: The Lord himself will make a house for you. When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and blows from mortals. But my faithful love will never leave him as it did when I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever.’ ” — 2 Samuel 7:11-16 (CSB)

 

             3. God’s wrath is satisfied through .

  • Atonement – reparation for a wrong or injury.
  • Burnt offering – shedding of blood for covering of sins (Leviticus 1)

That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you. In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. — Hebrews 9:18-22 (CSB)

  • Peace offering – shedding of blood to celebrate peace with God in the partial eating of what is sacrificed. (Leviticus 3)

So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate ​— ​and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” — John 6:53-58 (CSB)

 

            4.  God’s atonement is .

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field. — Matthew 13:44 (CSB)

You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body. — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB)

 

              5.  God’s atonement has a .

  • God was very specific with the location in which David was to offer atonement.
  • In due time David’s offspring would build a temple to continue this practice in the same location.

 

EMERALD CITY:

  • Not far from the threshing floor of Araunah another sacrifice was offered.
  1. God’s ultimate atonement was found in a .

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. — Romans 8:1-4 (CSB)

From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness came over the whole land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni? ” that is,“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me ?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after his resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many. When the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God! ” — Matthew 27:45-54 (CSB)

 

V.14 Belt of truth.  

All the armor depends on it. Study the truth in scripture, but more importantly, let it study you.

V.14b Breastplate of righteousness

When we attempt to gain self-worth with our good works, abilities, a person, power, approval, a bank account, we are putting our own breastplate on. The ultimate solution – the righteousness that comes not from our own works but from Jesus Himself. 

V.15 Gospel shoes of Peace

My sin debt is wiped clean and death has been defeated by the sacrifice of Jesus. The good news means I no longer have to fight in my own strength, but simply put on the armor and stand firm in the peace and the strength of our victorious Lord. 

V.16  Shield of Faith.

When the enemy fires a dart of accusation, temptation, or guilt, the Christian responds with words and actions of faith soaked in God’s word. It takes faith to yield to the truth. The shield was most effective in the Gospel Community.  Faith is best activated with others but won’t survive if dry.  

V.17 Helmet of salvation. It protects how we think. 

Past: I am a new creation in Christ and now saved from the penalty of sin.    

Present: I am being saved from the power of sin (changed into the likeness of Christ in my actions). Future: I will be saved from the presence of sin in my new flawless body.

V.17b  The Sword of the Spirit.

It’s when the LOGOS word has soaked your shield, and you speak out God’s RHEMA word, at the right time. Bookends of victory is God’s written word and wielded word as it is spoken.  The sword needs to be properly wielded.  How?  Be familiar with it:  Memorize it, hide it and ask the Spirit, it’s His sword so ask when and how to use it.

V.18-20 Prayer:

How we do battle. We stand firm and we pray (which extends the hand of God). How do I pray? Pray the word of God.  It’s the only way to truly pray God’s will.  Make it a priority by faith. Pray continuously over your family, with your family.  Pray in the Spirit. 

Grow Group Questions:

  1. Paul says twice to take up the FULL armor of God.  What happens when we leave pieces out?
  2. Why does Paul say “stand” 4 times instead of “charge”?  What does he want to communicate?
  3. Where are metaphorical breastplates of righteousness that our culture typically puts on?  Why is it the “breastplate” and not another piece of armor like leg protector…
  4. Why is it the “helmet” of salvation and not another piece in the armor? Why does the spiritual battle start in the mind?
  5. Which of the armor do you find most difficult to put on? 

Setting:

  • “Hope if a joyful expectation of the future, based on true events in the past, which changes everything about my present.” Rico Tice
  • Real hope is what the Christian faith claims to offer.

SCENE 1: David sees Himself

  1.  David came from beginnings.

After Jesse presented seven of his sons to him, Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord hasn’t chosen any of these.” Samuel asked him, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” he answered, “but right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send for him. We won’t sit down to eat until he gets here.” — 1 Samuel 16:10-11 (CSB)

Brothers and sisters, consider your calling: Not many were wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world ​— ​what is viewed as nothing ​— ​to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one may boast in his presence. It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us ​— ​our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, —in order that, as it is written: Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. — 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (CSB)

 

         2.  David was by God. 

David became more and more powerful, and the Lord God of Armies was with him. — 2 Samuel 5:10 (CSB)

The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. — 1 Peter 5:10 (CSB)

 

3.  David was by God.

Then the Lord said, “Anoint him, for he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day forward. — 1 Samuel 16:12-13 (CSB)

The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor — Isaiah 61:1-2 (CSB)

Now it is God who strengthens us together with you in Christ, and who has anointed us. He has also put his seal on us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment. — 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (CSB)

  • David’s greatness rested in God’s purpose for him.
  • Our greatness lies in God’s purpose for us.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (CSB)

 

4.  David was the of Israel’s songs.

As the troops were coming back, when David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. As they danced, the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands. — 1 Samuel 18:6-7 (CSB)

  • What will be said about us? What will be said about you?

Now some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists also attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus that Paul preaches! ” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this. The evil spirit answered them, “I know Jesus, and I recognize Paul ​— ​but who are you? — Acts 19:13-15 (CSB)

 

SCENE 2: God Speaks

  1. God spoke David.

WAYS GOD SPEAKS THROUGH US TODAY:

1) When we teach, preach, or proclaim the .

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (CSB)

They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us? — Luke 24:32 (CSB)

                    2)  When we .

But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. — 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (CSB)

                   3)  When we .

Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. For the person who speaks in a tongue is not speaking to people but to God, since no one understands him; he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the person who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation. The person who speaks in a tongue builds himself up, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. I wish all of you spoke in tongues, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up — 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (CSB)

 

         2.  God spoke David.

  • Expectation of  

In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. — Matthew 7:17-20 (CSB)

  • Healthy

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his instructions have good insight. — Psalms 111:10 (CSB)

    • Anticipated – (Verse 4) Isn’t this the promise of Jesus?

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. — John 14:27-29 (CSB)

 

        3.  God’s with David.

  • This covenant is .
  • This covenant is .
  • This covenant is .

Long ago God spoke to the ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs. — Hebrews 1:1-4 (CSB)

“To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. — Revelation 3:21 (CSB)

  • This covenant is .

Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! May the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn’t this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” — Zechariah 3:1-2 (CSB)

 

EMERALD CITY:

  1. The Kingdom of David was a kingdom that offered hope. David’s hope was based on the purpose God gave him, the knowledge that God spoke through him and to him, and that God had established a covenant with him.
    • My is found in God’s perfect plans for my life.
    • God wants to speak me and me.
    • God has established a covenant me.

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. — John 14:1-3 (CSB)

 

V.1-3 General promise for children

  1. Obey – Obedience is linked to submission.  Why is submission so important?
    1. It reflects the example and the heart of God as Jesus submitted to His Father, even to the cross.  
    2. It reflects the order and authority of God and therein grows faith. Why? Our biggest issue is self-determination.  I will be in charge. I will determine what is best. Obedience to God’s delegated authorities is a tangible way to demonstrate faith.   
  2. Honor – Give them respect that their position deserves regardless of their moral goodness.  When you honor them, you are honoring the Lord.  What does that look like?
      1. Don’t speak poorly of them, even if they are terrible. 
      2. Forgive them, even if they don’t deserve it. 
      3. Cultivate a heart of thankfulness for the things they did right.  
      4. show them compassion and grace, not vengeance even when they don’t deserve it.

Caveat: what about the destructive or abusive parent? Separation is sometimes needed to avoid destructive family patterns.  It means maintaining safe boundaries while speaking truth in love. 

Parenting Advice: bring them up in the training (discipline) and instruction of the Lord.  

v.4 How do we exasperate (provoke) our children?  In our discipline.

  1. Inappropriate levels of discipline: 
    1. Inconsistent or no discipline. Prov. 13:24 says if we love our children, we must be careful to discipline, because Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. If they don’t understand they are under authority, they will become their own authority.
    2. Excessive or unexplained discipline: With degrees of rebellion, there should be degrees of discipline with clear instruction to explain the standard they are held to.
  2. Attitude in discipline
    1. Anger: Discipline in anger will negatively impact the child and the relationship.
    2. Humiliation: Take a child to a private, not public place and lovingly correct. 

Paul’s antidote to exasperating: Instruction in the LordDeuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach the law diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (constantly)

V.5-9 Employee/employer relationship. (Joseph and Potiphar in Genesis 39) 

  1. (V.5-7) Glorify God:  Joseph served Potiphar with integrity and diligence as unto the Lord. 
  2. (V.6:6) Work Diligently: Genesis 39:6 “So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything.”
  3. (V.6:8) True Compensation– Despite injustices, Joseph trusted the Lord to reward. Gen. 45-What you meant for evil; God meant for good. There is a true payday coming. 

V.9 Christian employersEmploy to the glory of God as a steward of God’s company. 

Homework:

Grow Group Questions:

  1. Why is self-esteem the enemy, not the goal, in child rearing? The goal should be to build God-esteem. What do you think I mean by that? 
  2. How can parents know the proper balance between grace and strictness and the importance of being a parent rather than a friend?
  3. What are some guiding principles in dealing with abusive and ungodly parents? 
  4. Why is glorifying God the central idea for human activity and what difference does it make?
  5. What is the key idea to motivate us to be known as hard workers?

 

 

 

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