Psalm 127

Scripture Passage: Psalm 127:1-5

We all are familiar with keys and most of us carry many keys. Keys are essential to gaining access to what is locked. The Bible is like a key. We carry it with us but often fail to use it to unlock the wisdom we need for daily living.

Understanding the Bible

The Old Testament is a collection of 39 books written in Hebrew and divided into the Torah, History, Writings, and Prophets. These books tell us the story of God’s faithfulness.

The New Testament is a collection of 27 books written in Greek. These books tell us the story of Jesus and the Church.

The Psalms were written by multiple authors over a number of years. These writings comprise Israel’s hymnbook.

Psalm 127 addresses the balance of home and work.

1. Biblical view of Work (Verse 1) | Unless the Lord builds the house…
It’s not about working a little harder; it’s about finding the work God created for us.
We are designed as humans to work. God has meaningful work for us to do, but in order to find that work, you need to find God. (John 15:5, Hebrews 12:2, Ephesians 2:10).

2. Biblical View of Provision (verse 2) | He gives…while they sleep
You are not the source of everything. Everything you have is because God gave you.
Seek the Kingdom and He will provide your needs. God wants to move us to confident, cheerful dependence on him to provide (2 Corinthians 8:13-15).

3. Biblical View of Family (verses 3-5) | Children are a gift
The primary place that God wants to use you is in the home. It all starts in the home and then everything flows from that. The world tells us to place our priorities elsewhere, but the home is the most essential place of priority.

Discussion Questions:

• What work do you believe God has called your family to do in this season? How are you seeking God to find that work?

• In what ways do you trust the Lord for provision in your life and with your family?

• How is family remaining a priority in your home? What are steps you can take to make the home a place of continued blessing to those there?

Mother’s Day Lessons from Mary and Martha

Scripture Passage: Luke 10:38-42

Every mother has a profound level of influence – and many moms are at times overwhelmed with the task of raising a family. The Bible gives us insight into how moms, and each of us, can navigate a busy existence.

The story of Martha and her sister Mary gives us insight into how to live a balanced life.



Lessons from Martha —

1. Anxiety | When Jesus visited her home, Martha was pulled in many directions. She was overwhelmed by preparations.

2. Irritability | Martha was visibly upset, especially because she wanted help from her sister, Mary.

3. Despair | Preoccupation with and anxiety over preparations can easily lead to despair because things might not get done.

Lessons from Mary —

1. Posture | Mary sat at the feet of Jesus when He visited her home. She submitted to His authority and sought to listen and to learn from Him.

2. Priority | Mary made it a priority to sit at Jesus’ feet. Priorities are the things we say yes to at the expense of other things which we say no to. People mistakenly think that their priorities are the things that they think are most important. Our priorities are actually the things we do!

3. Time | There is no substitute for time spent in the Lord’s presence with no interruptions. Mary found focused time to submit her mind intellectually to the Word of God.

Truths from the Word of God for mothers —

• You are blessed and surrounded by God’s favor (Psalm 5:12).

• You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

• The Lord delights in you and He quiets you with His love and rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

• You are God’s treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6).

• You have been called out of darkness and into God’s wonderful light to praise Him (1 Peter 2:9).

• God has lavished His great love on you and you are His daughter (1John 3:1)

Called to Surrender

large logoGenesis 22: 15-17a “Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn,” this is the LORD’s declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you.”

This Sunday, Commitment Sunday, is the culmination of five weeks of focus on our commitment to My Mission, My Home, My Legacy. Pastor Ryan began by asking, “What is your greatest test of faith you can remember?”

Share what test of faith crossed your mind at that question.

Pastor Ryan said that when God speaks to our heart and calls us to respond that we are called to three acts of surrender. These are found in today’s Scripture passage:

  1. Absolute surrender requires absolute commitment.

Just like coming to an intersection that has a yield sign, Pastor Ryan reminded us that God always has the right of way, and we are always called to yield to Him. It’s been suggested that surrender is saying yes before you know the question.

Tell those with you of a time when you overcame fear and yielded to God’s call in faith

  1. Absolute surrender requires absolute obedience.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.”

Share a tough time you trusted and were obedient to God’s call

  1. Absolute confidence in His promise.

Speak of that time when you trusted God for His promise

Share a commitment you make just today in one of these areas:

  • My Mission – moving in the direction of those in need
  • My Home – Hold the habits; Own the table; Mark milestones; Engage beyond the home
  • My Legacy – commit to giving first and best over the next three years

Intercessory Prayer

Scripture Passage: Genesis 18:16-33 | Abraham’s intercessory prayer for the people of Sodom

Four Blessings That Can Come From Intercessory Prayer

1. Intercession Draws Us Closer to the Heart of God
God works in us when we pray for other people. The greatest reason to pray is to connect with the One with whom you’re praying.

2. Intercession Invites Us Into the Mission of God
When we pray missional prayers, it draws us in to a missional life. As you pray, you’ll begin to see with Kingdom eyes. You’ll realize a lot of the opportunities around you aren’t coincidences but divine appointments.

3. Intercession Appeals to the Character of God
God delights in our praying according to His nature.

4. Intercession Invites Extraordinary Answers from God.
If you are saved, it is because you are the answer to someone’s prayers. All the great work that Kingsland has been able to participate in is an answer to prayer!

Discussion Questions
• Do you see your neighbors as coincidences or divine appointments? How are you praying for them? And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22
• Who is that one person, one family, one community, one nation, that if you took Matthew 21:22 seriously, you would pray for?
• Do you believe that people’s lives are changed for eternity because you prayed? Why or why not?

My Mission, My Home, My Legacy

We are in the middle of a focus on where God is taking Kingsland and how each of us can be a part.

Abraham is a great example of someone who trusted God with a vision. He received a greater vision. A vision is based on God’s promises, and there are two types:

• Strategic Vision is our inherent desire to imagine, create and plan for a better future.
• Spiritual Vision is the faith to see the invisible promises God has made available now.

Abraham responded in faith and took steps of faith.

Kingsland has identified 3 areas of vision for our church. We need to move in that direction.

My Mission – The unique place God has called us to lead and serve with our passions, talents and abilities

My Home – Our goal is to transform 10,000 homes with the Gospel. That starts in each of our own homes.
• Hold to the Habits
• Own the Table
• Mark the Milestones
• Engage Beyond

My Legacy – Our financial prayers. Abraham rested in God’s ability. Even though Abraham believed God, he still struggled with trusting God and trusting himself to respond appropriately.

Talk About It

• How does God want you involved in Kingsland? Each of us should get alone with God and ask Him.
• What steps of faith can we take to respond to the vision?
• What areas of your home life need some work?
• Who is God calling your family to reach out to?

Generosity and Giving

Our God is a giving God. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that giving is a key theme in the Scriptures — second only to salvation. Like the early church, Kingsland is a generous and giving church. Your gifts enable us to invite others, from Katy to the ends of the earth, to find true fulfillment in Jesus Christ one home at a time.

The Old Testament story of Abraham teaches us some important lessons about giving.

Read Genesis 14:17-24

1. Giving is Voluntary | Giving is a natural thing when you appreciate or love someone. Abraham offered the priest Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had. He did so voluntarily and not out of obligation.

In what ways do you acknowledge that everything you have is a gift from God and that you are a steward of what He has given you?



2. Generosity Costs Something | We should give because we want to and not because we have to or ought to. Abraham did not give his leftovers to the Lord. Instead, he gave a planned portion in recognition that the Lord is the Possessor of heaven and earth.

Which of the following best describe why you give?


I give because I have to (giving according to the law).
I give because I ought to (giving according to guilt).
I give because I want to (giving according to grace).




3. Giving is an Indicator | Abraham refused to express dependence on anyone but God. His giving was an indication that he deeply loved and worshiped God. This is also the first time in Scripture that giving is mentioned in the context of worship.



What does your giving indicate about your worship?

Discussion: Consider where you are on the giving ladder and how you can take a step or steps of faith toward a life of increasing generosity.



First Time Giver
Emerging Giver
Consistent Giver
Tither
Bold Giver

Principles of Calling

large logoIn Genesis 12:1-4 the Lord speaks to Abraham and calls him to move from where he is to where God is moving him. The Lord speaks to us today and calls us to move in His direction through 1) His Word 2) gifted teachers 3) the Holy Spirit 4) circumstances and trials.

  1. God’s Call Always Precedes an Invitation to Move

When God speaks to us He invites us to move in His direction. God moves us from where we are to where He wants us to go.

  1. You’ll Never Fulfill Your Calling Without a Cost

When God speaks to us and moves us it is an opportunity for us to trust God with whatever it may cost us to follow Him.

Kingsland is embarking on a church-wide Vision Campaign over the next five weeks to seek God and make a commitment in three specific areas of our lives: 1)My Mission 2)My Home and 3) My Legacy.

Discussion:

  • Kingsland’s Vision Campaign is a time to seek God’s presence and direction in our lives. What are some things that could hinder you from truly seeking God and allowing Him to move you?
  • Pray! Ask God to help you seek Him and give you a heart that is willing to be moved.
  • Vision Campaign Daily Devotionals: Read today’s devotional in the Vision Campaign Booklet that you received at church today. Commit to seeking God and His direction daily during our Vision Campaign.

Jesus in the Old Testament

Scripture Passage: Exodus 25:10-22

The Arc of the Covenant in the Old Testament is a type of Christ. A type is a symbol which represents something else. Both the arc and the items it contained point to Jesus and remind us of our need for Him. Below are some questions and some answers that will help you come to deeper understanding of how the Arc of the covenant is a type of Christ and how the things inside of it are fulfilled in Christ.

What does the mercy seat remind us of? The blood on it atoned for the sins of the people. The blood of Christ is what atones for our sins. It shows that we are in need of mercy and someone to pay for our sins, in order for us to gain access to God. Our own merit cannot get us there.

What do the commandments remind us of? The commandments remind us that we cannot keep the law, but that only Christ can perfectly keep the law. So, in Christ is all measure of righteousness. So, now by placing our faith in Him, He takes our sinfulness in exchange for His righteousness. Now when God looks at us He doesn’t see us as a sinful broken mess, but instead sees the righteousness of Christ.

What does the pot of manna remind us of? Manna was the food that God provided the Israelites while they were wandering in the desert. The manna reminds us that Jesus is the only one who will satisfy us. He is the bread of life. So, Jesus is the only one who will bring about true fulfillment in our lives.

What does Aaron’s rod represent? Aaron was the high priest. He would enter into the presence of God and was the mediator. God has ordained Jesus Christ to be the Savior and the mediator between God and man. The cross of Jesus Christ and His resurrection separate Jesus from every other world religion. Because Jesus is alive and still our mediator.

Prayer Time:

• Spend time thanking Jesus for being the atonement for our sins.

• Thank Jesus for giving us His righteousness for our sins.

• Ask God to remind us daily for our need for him and that true fulfillment only come through Christ.

• Thank God for sending Jesus to restore relationship with Him and to be our mediator.

Five Earthquakes in Scripture

Throughout scripture, God used earthquakes as a demonstration of His awesome power and to signal a major point in human history. He even tells us in Scripture that earthquakes will increase as we approach the return of Jesus. Of course, not all earthquakes are a message but God used major natural events to verify His power at critical moments in Scripture.

What message do we learn from earthquakes.

1. The Earthquake at the Introduction of the Law (read Exodus 19:17-18) indicates God’s power over mankind.

2. The Earthquake at the Crucifixion indicates God’s power over sin.

3. The Earthquake at the Resurrection indicates God’s power over death. This earthquake was an incredible celebration and affirmation of the obedience of Jesus. God was saying, “Amen” (read Matthew 28:2).

4. The Earthquake of the Retribution (read Rev. 6:12; 8:5; 11:13; 16:18) indicates God’s power over evil.

5. The Earthquake of the Restoration (read Zechariah 13:3-4) indicates God’s power over despair.

So where do you find yourself today. Is the footing under your life a little shaky? What earthquake are you facing? You can find sure footing and new beginnings in God.

As you reflect on earthquakes and whatever things are shaking up your own world, remember…

• God’s power is working in us. He has the power to change our lives (Romans 8:11).
• God’s power is working for us (Act 4:31).
• God’s power is working ahead of us and changes our future (Rev 21:1-4).

The Mystery of the Torn Veil

mysteries-of-easter

Every Christ follower can experience a breakthrough by making three discoveries about the veil.

  1. The Veil’s Purpose
  • Sin has a history of building barriers: The Garden of Eden, The Tabernacle, The Temple
  • The veil was a barrier between sinful man and the presence of the Holy God.
  1. The Veil’s Destruction
  • These barriers between us and God are not how God wanted things to be. He created us for relationship and intimacy and closeness.
  • God has a history of breaking barriers when all seems hopeless: the Red Sea, the Jordan River, Jericho
  • The veil was torn in two from top to bottom—the barrier that separates us from God has been removed by Him. You can’t tear the curtain by yourself.
  1. The Veil’s Invitation
  • As it says in Hebrews 10:20, Christ became the veil.
  • Jesus has restored us and our original design in creation—to be in the presence of God. Not by anything we have done, but by the power and provision of God.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why would we not commit ourselves to draw close to God, to live in hope, when Christ made every accommodation for us to do so?
  2. What is blocking your access to God? 

Through the veil of Jesus the old one is torn down and we have full access—don’t misunderstand it or waste it!