Happy Father’s Day

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 3:11-12

Happy Father’s Day!

Special days like Father’s Day can be emotionally positive or negative — depending on the role our father played in our lives. God’s design for the family is to have a mom and a dad because it takes a man and woman, father and mother, to reflect God’s image to a child.

The First Ingredient for Biblical Fatherhood is Instruction

Vs. 11 – “Do not despise the Lord’s instruction my son and do not loathe his discipline.”

The purpose of fatherly instruction is to inform and equip. Many passages in Proverbs are about a father teaching his children about living wisely. Someone noted that proverbs is not a book for philosophers to ponder but rather a book for parents to practice.

The primary duty of a father is not to fix things or take out the trash but instead to teach his children. If you are a father, what are some practical ways in which you are teaching your children to live in a way pleasing to God.

The Second Ingredient for Biblical Fatherhood is Correction

The purpose of correction is to adjust and strengthen. Parents must love their kids enough to correct them. Requiring obedience of children is implicit in the biblical requirement that children obey their parents (read Ephesians 6:1).

The purpose of discipline and correction is to adjust and strengthen and not to humiliate or to anger. As a dad, what adjustments do you need to make in regard to how you discipline your children?

The Third Ingredient for Biblical Fatherhood is Affection

Vs. 12. “for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.”

For some, affection may be something difficult to express. We can, however, show affection by being a part of our children’s lives by being there for the big and small moments, especially those that can’t be repeated. Parents should also verbalize affection because there is power in words.

As a dad, how do you show affection to your children?

Words of a True Friend

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 18

Do you have true, strong, healthy relationships in your life? We can all relate that friends are always a huge part of our daily lives, but how do we keep them healthy so they lead us down the right path?

“I Choose You”

Every friendship begins with a choice. The truth in life is that we cannot be best friends with everyone in life, but we can choose who we are close to and who we need to keep at a distance. It is healthy to be selective and intentional with those who you invest your time and emotional energy with.

Discuss: Think of a time when you chose the wrong friend. What were the negative effects of that choice?

“I Know You”

Friendship is about getting to know someone and know someone well. Through knowing someone well we see the good things and we see the bad things, but a friend sees both of these things and still likes you anyway. Having a friend that knows a lot about you helps keep you accountable to the things of the Lord and will know when you need help.

Discuss: Who knows you well? How did that person get to know you well? When and how did that friend help you in your walk with Christ?

“I Challenge You”

A good friend isn’t someone who only says good things to you, but a true friend challenges you to be the best you that you can be. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that we need to sharpen each other like iron sharpens iron — not always a fun process but one that makes us better. We want this challenge so that we can continue to grow towards Christ.

Discuss: Who is someone in your life that challenges you toward Christ? How do they challenge you?

“I’m Committed to You”

True friends are found in adversity. A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out. We have to be on the lookout for these people because they are the ones that are truly on our team through the thick and the thin.

Discuss: Who was there for you during the hard times? What did it mean to you?

The Three Dimensions of Biblical Wisdom

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 1:1-7

Biblical wisdom is similar but not the same as the wisdom of the world. Proverbs 1:1-7 shows that Biblical Wisdom has three dimensions to it.

1. Biblical Wisdom is Moral | Proverbs 1:3
If you asked someone what wisdom is, the first answer you’d probably get would have something to do with morals and deciding about right and wrong. The pictures we have in our head about Solomon usually involves him being confronted with a complicated situation with no easy answers and somehow he decides on what the right thing to do. And it’s true. This is a huge dimension of what wisdom is. Wisdom will help you be righteous, seek justice, and be fair with all people even in complicated situations. But that is not the whole story.

2. Biblical Wisdom is Practical | Proverbs 1:2, 4-6
The Hebrew word for wisdom is best translated as “skill.” It is used to describe the ability of the craftsmen who worked on the tabernacle in Exodus 31:6. The Proverbs are not abstract concepts. They are radically practical.

Wisdom isn’t just something you know. It’s something you do. It is learning to live skillfully. Verses 2 literally says, “to receive instruction in wise behavior.” The word we use here at Kingsland for this is “true fulfillment.” You will find true fulfillment when you acquire wisdom, literally when you learn the skill of living well.

3. Biblical Wisdom is Theological Proverbs !:7
Wisdom is moral. Wisdom is practical. But the most important dimension of wisdom is that it is theological, which is just a fancy way of saying that it is God-Focused. Several times in the proverbs, including in verse 7, we are reminded that “fear of the Lord” is where everything begins.

People often think “fearing God” means that we should be afraid of God. But that is not what it means. We are told that God loves us (John 3:16), and that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). So fearing God cant mean to be afraid of Him.

Fearing God means to be “to wonder and be amazed at.” The difference is discerned in its effect on us. To be afraid of something makes you run away from it. To be awed by something makes you want to draw closer to it. Fearing God is to be amazed by who God is and to desire to draw closer to Him.

This is the most important dimension of wisdom because it is the source. Wisdom comes from being in right relationship with the one who made the world.

• Wisdom is moral, it will help you make right decisions in hard situations.
• Wisdom is practical, it will help you learn to live skillfully.
• Wisdom is theological, it will draw you closer to God, and the closer you are to God the more His life will flow into yours.

Discussion Questions:
• What does it mean that wisdom is learning to live skillfully?
• What does it mean to fear God? Why is it the beginning of becoming wise?

On Singleness

Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 7:7-9

We all have been single and in all likelihood will experience singleness again. If you are single you have the opportunity to use you singleness to honor and glorify God. If you are married, you have the opportunity to love and understand people who are single.

Three ways to find fulfillment in singleness.

1. Guard your heart.
Fulfillment does not come from objects or people.

2. Embrace your freedom.
We should find joy in our current season of life.
We have freedom to pursue our calling in singleness.
We have the freedom to pursue marriage.

3. Rest in Jesus.
Everything you need for contentment is right here in this season of life in Jesus.

Think About It
• Are there areas in your life where you are seeking fulfillment in objects or people?

• Do you have contentment in the current season of life you are in? Why or why not?

• How are you currently pursuing your calling?

• Do you believe that everything you have everything you need for satisfaction in this season of life? Why or why not?

• How can you care for someone who is single right now?

• If you are single, how can your practically pursue God’s calling in your life?

Reminder: You are enough in Jesus Christ!

How to Honor Your Parents

Scripture Passage: Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:1-4

1. Honor Begins with Obedience


Parents are responsible for giving their children clear rules and guidelines to follow. Guidelines remove the guesswork for kids and provide them with a foundation for obedience. One way in which children can honor their parents is by obeying them.

• If you are a parent, do you give clear guidelines for your children to follow?

• If you are a child, how has obeying your parents protected you from potential harm?

2. Honor Leads to Blessing
The Fifth Commandment states: “Honor your father and mother so that you may have long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

The universal command for all people of any age is not obedience but honor. The Bible doesn’t tell grown-ups that they have to obey their parents. As adults, we honor our parents by giving weight to their counsel and by giving consideration to their needs as aging adults.

• If you are an adult and your parents are still living, what are some ways in which you can honor your mother and father?

Consider these suggestions for how you can honor your mother on this Mother’s Day and beyond.

• Listen to your mother (Proverbs 1:8-9)

• Respect Your Mother (Proverbs 30:17)

• Protect Your Mother (John 19:26-27 and 1 Timothy 5:8)

• Thank your mother (Proverbs 31:28)

3. Honor Changes Culture
The promise in the Fifth Commandment was more than a personal promise to an individual. It was a promise to the entire culture. There is a foundational aspect to honoring our parents — and when we lose it, then the entire structure of society starts to crumble.

• If children of all ages were to stop honoring their parents, what would be the potential impact on our society?

Reflections of Marriage

Scripture Passage: Ephesians 5:31-33

Not everyone should be married. But everyone should value marriage. One of Kingsland’s Legacy Milestones is Biblical Marriage.

Why does marriage matter?
• Because marriage was invented by God.
• Because marriage is the cornerstone of home life.
• Because we learn something about our relationship to God in the marriage relationship.

Genesis 1 reveals that humans were created in the image of God – unique among all the rest of creation.

Every believer can better understand how God relates to us by recognizing the ways that marriage reflects the nature of God.

Marriage Offers a Glimpse of God’s Leadership (verses 22-23)
• Verses 15-21 – Mutual submission
• Husbands are to lead as Jesus led us – sacrificial v. 23
• Be filled with Holy Spirit. V. 18
• Think about the mutual submission of the Trinity.

Marriage Offers a Glimpse of God’s Love
• Deeper love; more than just affection
• Commitment not emotional
• There is no perfect husband/wife
• Marriage gives you a taste of Heavenly love: love with patience and grace like He does.
• “Marriage should start on simmer and end on a boil,” Pastor Rush.
• God has demonstrated love to us when we were absolutely unlovable and incapable of loving him back.

Marriage Offers a Glimpse of God’s Commitment
• In v. 31, Paul quotes Genesis 2: 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
• There’s a leaving that’s important here.
• There’s a joining that’s important here – “becoming one flesh.”
• Commitment is a radical lifelong pursuit.

Table Discussion Questions:
• What does mutual submission mean?
• How does a Biblical marriage provide a glimpse of God’s leadership?
• Children: Why do mommy and daddy submit to one another?
• How does the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit practice mutual submission?
• How does a covenant differ from a contract?

The Empty Tomb Changes Everything

Scripture Passage: Mark 16:1-8

Every skeptic should consider two important statements made by the angel to the women at the empty tomb.

1. See The Place (verse 6)
Easter should change your mind about Jesus.

The resurrection is Ground Zero for belief in Jesus. Because of the resurrection, we cannot regard Jesus as simply a good man or a teacher. We must consider His claims to be the Son of God — the Messiah. Skeptics must deal with the empty tomb before embarking on any other philosophical arguments.

Some have suggested that the body of Jesus was stolen. 
What possible motives would this have served? If the body had been stolen and the disciples knew it, would they have given their lives for this lie?

Others have suggested that Jesus did not die on the cross. What are the problems with this theory given what history teaches about the way in which the Romans had perfected the art of crucifixion?

We believe that Jesus rose from the dead. How does the resurrection affirm the claims of Jesus?

2. Do Not Be Alarmed (verse 6)
Easter should change your mind about your future.

The resurrection alleviates the pain of fear, trials, and suffering.

Every life will end in death. Regardless of our efforts to cheat death, it will come for all. After the death of His friend Lazarus, Jesus told Lazarus’ sisters, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” If Jesus was right about the resurrection, then He is right about life and eternal life.

In what ways does the resurrection of Jesus give you comfort?

The resurrection of Jesus means that death is defeated.

Remember that we are responsible for our choices and actions. We must choose to live in a way that pleases God.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Scripture Passage: Mark 11

Why did Jesus have to die? If God is a loving God then why would He sacrifice His own Son? Couldn’t there be another way?

Three Reasons Jesus Had to Die on the Cross

1. Jesus Had to Die to Rescue Us.
In the Temple, Jesus saw how desperately wicked we are and that we could never get back to God on our own. We need to be rescued because we are all sinners and the wages of sin is death. No amount of self-righteousness could rescue us—only Jesus!

2. Jesus Had to Die Because He Was the Perfect Sacrifice.
Only a perfect sacrifice would be acceptable to a perfect God. Jesus was perfect and righteous, and no more sacrifices would ever need to be made in the Temple again.

3. Jesus Had to Die to Prove God’s Love.
Jesus did more than say He would lay His life down for us. He did it and in so doing He proved God’s love. God’s love for us sent Jesus to the cross so the veil would be torn and everyone would have access and could come in to God’s presence.

The rescue mission is complete, the perfect sacrifice has been made and God’s love has been put on display. This is why Jesus had to die—so there would no longer be any division between God and man.

Discussion Questions

• What did Jesus see that day in the Temple that helps explain why He had to die? (merchants, money changers, sacrifices, Temple Veil)

• Do you try to be good enough? Why is that never going to be enough? (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 7:24)

• What was the purpose of the veil? Why is it significant that the veil was torn?
Is there any part of you that says you don’t need rescuing? Confess and lay that at Jesus’ feet now.

Baptism

Scripture Passage: Mark 1:4-11.

There are  3 essential benefits of baptism:

1. Baptism is a symbol of your death and resurrection. The word baptize in Greek translates “to bury” or “to totally immerse” — which is the reason we baptize by immersion. It is symbolic of the death and burial of Jesus. When we are baptized we are being buried and raised, from death into new life.

2. Baptism pictures your new life. Read Corinthians 5:17. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are new creations.

3. Baptism pictures your part in God’s redemptive plan. Jesus was baptized to identify Himself with us. When we are baptized, we are identifying with Him.

Discussion:

• Baptism is a symbol. Discuss other symbols from the Bible.

• If you have been baptized, tell your family about the experience.

• When should a person get baptized?

• If a person has given their life to Jesus and never gets baptized, are they still saved? Why or why not?

Praying and Fasting

Have you ever been:
• so excited about something you were not hungry?
• so caught up in a game that you did not want to stop to eat?
• involved in a project that you worked through lunch or dinner?
• concerned about something, someone that you did not want to eat?

Fasting is a way to concentrate our attention on God and His perspective rather than the challenge we face.

If you’re facing challenging decisions, crises, major needs – what to do? This is not an easy 1,2,3, fix. God provided a way to express brokenness and dependence in an intentional way. That is fasting.

Read Ezra 8:21-23
• Talk about it. What did Ezra do? What did God do?

Fasting is denying yourself of something valuable for a period of time to receive something from God or be set free by God.

1. Fasting is Good for Me

2. Fasting Strengthens My Dependence on God

Fasting is about connecting with the heart of God. It restores our hunger for God.

3. Fasting Enlists God’s Assistance for Great Things
Is there anything too hard for God?
What do you desire that only God can do?
List things that seem impossible for you: (these are areas to fast and pray – seeking His heart and will)

Steps to Consider when Fasting
• Make a Plan – There are different types of fast, including a Partial Fast (“Daniel Fast”), 
Full Fast, Liquid Only Fast
, and Creative Fast (from caffeine, cable, computer)
• Pray about Your Privacy
Not all fasts should be a secret. There are lots of public fasts in Scripture! The point is not to do it for accolades. A “need to know” principle is helpful
• Strategically Disconnect
Enhance your experience by removing distractions (cell phones, email, web, TV).
• Expect a Challenge
You’re going to be emotionally spent at times (if you go beyond 24 hours)
• It’s going to be hard.
You’re going to experience doubt.
• Rest and Be Still
Carve out time to be with God.
• Keep Moving
• Expect a Breakthrough!

Discover the adventure of fasting.
Pray for something specific.
Ask God for a breakthrough in the coming year.
Do something hard or extra-ordinary.

Father I pray in Jesus’ name that we would be people who practice the spiritual discipline of fasting, and that in doing so we would become more sensitive to Your leading.

For Your Kids
• What are some things that your child might “fast” from for a period of time, i.e. favorite toy? Remember time is different the younger we are; instead of day(s) from an item perhaps a morning or an hour, or a few minutes.
• What might your child fast about? Be creative… is it a friend who is sick; is there a test at school; is there jealousy about a friend; is there envy about a “new” toy a friend has…
• As he/she gets anxious, use it as a teachable moment to pray to Jesus about it.
• Rejoice when the fast is over “with an ice cream” (which may be getting a toy back).
• Talk about how it feels to know that God is with them and wants to spend time with them.