Abraham | Lessons About Faith

Scripture Passage: Hebrews 11:8-10

God taught Abraham three important lessons about faith. These are lessons we should embrace as well.

1. Faith is founded in facts. | Abraham teaches us that the object of our faith is important. He had faith in God and in His capacity to fulfill His promises.

What promise of God is meaningful to you today?

2. Faith is revealed by response. | God’s command to Abraham was intentionally open-ended. God does not have to give us all the facts for us to trust Him. He calls us to obey inspIte of the circumstances. Many live restless lives because they don’t act on what God has told them.

What keeps you from responding to God’s promises by faith?

3. Faith is strengthened by vision. | Abraham went out, anticipating what was to come — where God would lead him. Abraham teaches us that faith is an opportunity to experience the extraordinary.

What do your responses to God’s promises tell a watching world about your faith in God?

Enoch | A Legacy of Faith

Scripture Passage: Hebrews 11:5-6

The Law of Legacy: What I do today that will influence the beliefs and actions of future generations, for good or evil.

We all leave a legacy. The question is what things will you do now to pass a Godly legacy onto the next generation.

Three Principles of Legacy

1. My legacy and my view of God are deeply connected.
My realization that I’ll leave a legacy should cause me to look closely at my belief system.

2. My walk with God is my greatest legacy.
Everyday life is when your walk with God is modeled for others.

3. My legacy will outlive me.
We are the product of the legacy of others, and we have the power to bless our children and future generations with the grace of God through the power of our blessings.

Discussion Questions

• What heritage have you received? Are there some aspects of it that you would like to set aside and replace? (The grace of God gives you the freedom to do that!)

• What heritage are you leaving? How are your faith and values shaping the heritage you are passing along? Every household is stating something about God

Walking With God

Noah is one of the best known biblical characters. His life teaches us how faith in God should lead to walking with God. Faith defined is believing that God will do what He says He will do. Noah’s example illustrates what faith looks like.

1. Noah’s faith led to righteousness.
2. Noah’s faith led to obedience.
3. Noah’s faith led him to worship.

Ultimately faith and obedience leads us to worship God, because He has shown himself as faithful to us.

Discuss the following questions around your table today.

• What does it mean to walk with God?
• Do you believe that God will do what he says he is going to do? Why or why not?
• What does obedience look like for you in your life?
• How has God grown your faith over the last year?

A Worthy Prayer

As Kingsland celebrated 40 years of ministry this weekend, Pastor Ryan led us to consider a worthy prayer for a loving church. Philippi was an upper middle-class community with an international flair, much like our own community. Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi serves as a wonderful pattern of prayer for our own church.

1. A Prayer for Gratitude Despite the Circumstances | Philippians 1:3-8

Paul thanked God for the Philippian church’s participation in the gospel from the first day to the present. He expressed gratitude for all that God had done to guide the church through good times and bad. In the same way, God has faithfully guided Kingsland through good and tough seasons through the years.

• Take a moment to thank God for His faithfulness.

2. A Prayer for Protection from Compromise | Philippians 1:9-10

Paul believed the danger of compromise far outweighed the danger of physical threats to the church at Philippi. He prayed, therefore, that they would be filled with love and maintain a spirit of discernment lest they stray from the truth.

• Take a moment to ask God to give you a wise and discerning spirit and the courage to stand strong for the truth of the gospel.

3. A Prayer for a Legacy of Fruitfulness | Philippians 1:11

Paul prayed that the Philippian church would yield fruit — both in regard to personal spiritual growth and winning the lost to faith in Christ.

Kingsland is committed to a grand vision of reaching 10,000 homes in our community and beyond because we believe that homes saturated with the gospel can transform an entire generation.

• Take a moment to pray that many more would come to faith in Christ in the coming years as Kingsland continues to love our community and the nations.

As we celebrate Kingsland’s rich past, determine to embrace the future and the role that God would have you to play in living a life of gratitude, standing firm in the truth of the gospel, and contributing to a legacy of fruitfulness.

Faith vs Religion

Scripture Passage: Hebrews 11:4 | 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.

Everyone has faith but how we approach God demonstrates if we are placing our faith in religion or placing our faith in Jesus. There are significant contrasts in placing our faith in God and placing our faith in religion.

1.​ Our awareness of the problem.
Abel knew that he was in desperate need for God’s forgiveness and grace. He also knew that he could not earn God’s forgiveness through religious efforts. However, Cain didn’t recognize his desperate need for God’s forgiveness and put his faith in his own efforts.

2.​ Our perception of people.
Cain compared himself with his brother in hopes of gaining God’s approval. Abel acknowledged that he could not measure up to God’s standards and relied on God’s grace to forgive him and make him acceptable to God.

3.​ Our method of payment.
We either attempt to pay for our sins by religious efforts or rest in God’s forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Prayer and discussion points.

1.​ Ask God to show you how you are trying to gain his forgiveness and acceptance by your own efforts.

2. ​Ask God to help you accept that you are forgiven and acceptable because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

3.​ Thank God for His great love and sacrifice for your freedom!

Key to Growth: Devotion

Acts 2:41-42

Today Pastor Ryan preached on the growth of a believer. Growth always comes through devotion, and devotion always comes with love. Through falling more in love with God, our level of devotion increases, because we desire to follow Him. Today there were three ingredients to living a devoted life.

Devotion to authentic community.

  • Through coming together and having the bond of Jesus Christ, we are able to grow closer to one another.
  • We also are able to hold each other accountable.

Devotion to biblical clarity.

  • We grow when we are focused on the Word of God.
  • God reveals Himself to us through the Bible.

Devotion to persistent prayer.

  • This is a life style of desperate calling on God.
  • Inviting God in to the prayer conversation, rather than just requests.
  • Seeking His face as much as His hand.
  • Making every meeting a prayer meeting.

Through these ingredients we are able to have spiritual growth.

Questions:

  • What does the word devotion mean to you?
  • How do you walk in devotion in your everyday life?
  • What does it mean to be authentic in community?
  • What does it mean in prayer to seek God’s face rather than His hands?

How To Handle Hardships

Scripture Passage: 2 Corinthians

Although the sun is shining and all looks well in Katy, thousands of families continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Many of our local subdivisions look like war zones with debris flanking streets and volunteers working like ants to clean out homes damaged by flood waters. Many families are still displaced from their homes and wondering how and when their lives will return to some measure of normalcy. The Bible offers wise counsel on how to handle hardships.

1. It’s ok to be weak. | 2 Corinthians 1:8-9; 54:7; 12:7-10
We are all frail creatures of dust. Our weaknesses should point us to the strength that God provides.

• How have you or others whom you know become more aware of your weakness in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey?

2. It’s ok to be confused. | 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Paul wrote about being perplexed but not despairing. To be perplexed is to have serious questions. That’s ok. To be despairing, however, is not ok. Despair is a type of arrogance that says things will not turn out well. The Scriptures encourage us to trust God when facing difficulties (Prov. 3:5-6).

• What hard questions have you wrestled with because of Hurricane Harvey?

3. It’s ok to be sad. | 2 Corinthians 7:5-6
It is God Himself who comforts us. His comfort often comes through those who move in our direction when we are facing difficulties.

• How have others comforted you and how has God used you to comfort others who suffered loss because of Hurricane Harvey?

4. It’s ok to have needs. | 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
Your needs matter. Be willing to acknowledge your weaknesses. We need one another. Be willing to accept help.

• Who has come alongside to help you in the past days? If you helped others, discuss what this meant to you and your family?

5. It’s ok to have abundance. | 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Those who have been blessed with an abundance have opportunity to experience the joy of giving. Those who have less have the opportunity to experience the joy of receiving provision from God. Allow God to bless others through you if you have abundance.

• Celebrate the ways God has provided for you or give thanks for the opportunities in which God used you to provide for the needs of others.

The Faith of a Desperate Man

Scripture Passage: Luke 18:35-42

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. (CSB)

Change can be hard, even when we know it’s for the better.

Every Believer in Christ can overcome a desperate situation by recognizing 3 secrets of the blind man:

  1. Don’t miss an opportunity. In all the chaos currently around us, don’t miss the opportunity to bring the focus on Jesus. Kingsland’s has a goal to reach 10,000 homes for Jesus. Harvey is an open opportunity to engage with people. Opportunities have an expiration date. Reach out to those around you.
  2. Break Up With the Crowd. The blind man screamed out to Jesus even though the crowd was trying to quiet him. Doers make talkers uncomfortable. Step out in faith and trust that God will come through.
  3. Ask for Great Things. The blind man could have asked for more food, but he asked for it all – his sight. You seldom get more than you ask for.

When the blind man received his sight, the entire crowd praised God. You have the chance to change those around you by making yourself a candidate for change.

Discuss around the table today (or any place you gather):

  1. What can you do right now to make a difference in the world around you?
  2. What scary changes have you gone through? Discuss ways God came through for you?
  3. The blind man in the Bible had no control over anything in his life. Think of a time in your life when you felt totally out of control. How did God use that time?

The God of All Comfort

Scripture Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 – Experiencing God’s Comfort

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort.”

Two things we do in order to experience God’s comfort:

1. We must receive Gods comfort. | You are not able to recycle to others what you have not yet received. We have all experienced pain in the past week. Seek the Lord by going to Him and be honest about your hurts and broken heart. God has given you permission to mourn.

2. Redistribute Gods comfort. | God is not only developing people through his Word, He is also developing people through your word about Him. God is not only healing people through what He does, He is also healing people through what you do in His name. We participate in God’s work when we comfort others with the comfort we have received from him.

Discuss around your table today (or any place you gather):

1. Storms cause fear, uncertainty, and can be hard to process. Process out loud together what the last week has been like for you. Encourage one ​another to remember that God loves us, God is with us and God takes care of ​us.

2. Be honest with God about what’s going on around you. Ask Him to heal your broken heart, bandage your wounds, and restore the joy of your salvation for those things.

3. What have you been through that God can recycle?

For more information about what you can do to serve in response to Hurricane Harvey or for help on damage to your home, go to our Katy Disaster Response site.

Restoring the Table

Scripture Passage: Acts 2:46-47

“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

During difficult times it is especially important to remember that God is with us, cares for us and provides for us. The early church encountered their own “storms” but God continued to work in people’s lives as they gathered together for meaningful meals, with joyful, sincere hearts while praising God.

Three key ingredients of meaningful meal times:

1.​ Social | Connect around the table by having conversations with one another ​instead of being on the cell phone or watching TV.

2. ​Special | Make a plan to gather with others, recognize the meal and time ​together as a gift and be grateful.

3. ​Spiritual | Thank God for His provision and His presence by praying at the ​beginning of your meal.

In the midst of the storms of life we can rediscover the power of meaningful meal times. God can actually use meal times to transform our lives and those around us.

Discuss around your table today (or any place you gather):

1.​ Storms cause fear and uncertainty. Talk about your fears and encourage one ​another to remember that God loves us, God is with us and God takes care of ​us.

2.​ What are you thankful for today and how is God helping you through the ​storm?

3.​ Pray for God’s protection and peace and thank God for His provision in the ​midst of Hurricane Harvey.

For more information about what you can do to help in response to Hurricane Harvey go to Kingsland.org/hurricane-update.