Study the Bible

The Bible is the story of God’s kingdom unfolding in our midst. It is the treasure map to finding where God is and what he is up to. If you seek Him, He promises you will find Him. And when you find Him, joy will overwhelm you.

Discuss: “What is the Bible?”

• Look at the table of contents of your Bible: How many books are in the Bible?
• How many are in the Old Testament? New Testament?
• What is the difference?

Old Testament

• The Old Testament is summarized in one word, Israel.

4 basic sections of the Old Testament

• Torah: Genesis – Deuteronomy
• History: Joshua – Esther
• Writings: Job – Song of Songs
• Prophets: Major (Isaiah – Daniel) and Minor (Hosea – Malachi)

New Testament

• The New Testament is summarized in one word, Jesus.

4 basic sections of the New Testament

• Gospels: Matthew – John
• History: Acts
• Letters: Paul (Roman – Philemon) and GHeneral
• Revelation

Why study the Bible?

• To know God’s voice. Read John 10:27 and Hebrews 1:1-2. What do these verses teach us?

• To know God’s will. Read James 2:19 and 1:22-26. What do these verses teach us about knowing God’s will?

• To know God’s blessing. Read Psalm 1:1-3. What are some of the benefits (blessings)?

Check out the Kingsland App for some tools to help you get started.

Discuss with one another your favorite Bible stories: tell them in your own words, what you like about them, what they tell you about God, and what they say about you.

Aaron’s Blessing

Scripture Passage: Numbers 6: 24-26

Aaron’s blessing in Numbers 6 shows us how we can experience God’s blessing in 2020. This blessing was said at the end of every tabernacle service to send the people out into the world and into their families with a new beginning. As we are “sent out” into a new year, this blessing connects us to God and helps us to bless others as well.

1. We receive blessing through God delighting in us.
God made you and decided, from the beginning, that it was good. He wants to have a relationship with you that is intimate and genuine.

2. We receive blessing through God’s provision.
God not only delights in and wants the best for you, but He is committed with all of His power to achieving what’s best for you. He is willing to the pay the price, even if that’s the death of His own Son, to bring about what is best for you.

3. We receive blessing through the family.
When we enter into relationship with God, He makes us part of His family. Maintaining that relationship with the Father is the most important way to receive the blessing of His family.

Families are so important whether they be your physical or spiritual family, which is why Kingsland is passionate about the family. We received His blessing, now we can be a blessing within our families, within our communities, and to those who may not know God.

Discussion:

• Where do you feel like you struggle when it comes to receiving God’s blessing and becoming a blessing to others?

• Are you prepared to GO where God leads you, out of your comfort zone, to share the love of God to others?

• Are you prepared to GATHER in biblical community on a consistent basis – and to commit to others at Kingsland as you invest your life in theirs?

• Are you prepared to BLESS those in your household – to be committed to being a physical representative of the blessing of God to your own family?

• Are you prepared to REST in Jesus – to invest time every day to a personal relationship with the God who loves you?

Rest and Remain in Jesus

Scripture Passage: John 15

The habit of rest has to do with the domain of our hearts. The rest and fruitfulness we experience in life is directly related to the depth of relationship we have with Jesus. Every one of us can have a more fruitful 2020 by resting in two statements Jesus made in John 15. Let’s review!

1. You are already clean!
Remember that if you have believed in Jesus you are already clean! Jesus taught His disciples about the Truth of who He is, what freedom from sin looks like and how eternal salvation is won. Not only does Jesus’ declaration of His disciples being clean speak to all of that, but it also speaks to our identity, worth and value!

No one gets to tell you you’re not spiritually clean, if Jesus has already declared you clean. No one gets to tell you, you have no worth or value if Jesus has already said you have worth and value!

2. You must remain in Jesus!
Jesus said to “remain” seven times in the first eight verses of John 15. Jesus reminded His disciples to remain in Him! The Gospel isn’t just a means to eternal life, it’s the means to all life and that life starts the moment you surrender your life to Jesus.

Jesus also wants us to bear fruit that glorifies the Father (verse 8). Of course, this is easier said than done. Practicing simplicity, stillness and sacrifice are helpful keys to remaining in Jesus!

Questions to consider: 

• Why do you believe Jesus wants us to stay connected to Him so much? 

• What does it mean that we “can do nothing” apart from Jesus? 

• How can your family rest more in Jesus for 2020? 

• How can your family remain in Jesus and bear more fruit in 2020?

Jesus the Christ

Scripture Passage:  And Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Christ (Matthew 1:16).

We lift up the name of Jesus in worship because there is no other name worthy of praise and honor. This Christmas, remember these things about the name of Jesus.

1. The Name of Jesus is a Simple Name 

God, the Father named Jesus. God gave Him a name that was common to man because Jesus came to common man. He came to save the world and give His life for us.

2. The Name of Jesus is a Special Name

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

Jesus is “Messiah” and the “Anointed One.” Jesus is the One the Old Testament promised would one day bring salvation and a new covenant. Jesus came for us and gives all who trust in Him the gift of salvation, eternal life and a new life in Him.

3. The Name of Jesus is a Saving Name

There is no other name that brings salvation, healing and deliverance to people other than the Name of Jesus! There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Think About It & Talk About It

If you have never trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation then tell Jesus that you want Him to save you and receive His gift of salvation. He loves you and came to save us. He came to save you!

For believers, we can call on the name of Jesus to rescue us, heal us and set us free.  Are you walking through something difficult and painful? Call on the Name of Jesus and ask Jesus to help you, rescue you, heal you and receive His power at work in and through you. 

Is there someone you love who needs Jesus to rescue them?  Pray for them and ask Jesus to rescue them in the Name of Jesus.

The Women in Jesus’ Genealogy

Scripture Passage: Matthew 1:1-17

Five women are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Their inclusion is remarkable because they lived in a time when genealogies rarely contained even a single female name. So why are these women included?

What does the mention of these women signify? These five women have five amazing stories that can teach each of us about the true meaning of Christmas.

Tamar | A Story of Hope

Tamar is the first woman mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy. Her story is a story of desperation, grief, and depravity and yet reminds us that in place of desperate acts and broken hopes, the coming Messiah would bring real hope into a needy world.

With whom can you share the story of hope this Christmas?

Rahab | A Story of Faith

Throughout Scripture, Rahab is referred to as a prostitute or harlot — perhaps because it demonstrates the fact that God can redeem anyone and anything for his purpose. However, Rahab’s faith earned her a place in the lineage of Jesus. Her faith was more powerful than her failure.

What failures can you entrust to God this Christmas?

Ruth | A Story of Lovingkindness

Ruth was a young Moabite women who had married into a Jewish family. She chose to care for her widowed mother-in-law rather than return to her own people. Ruth eventually married a man named Boaz. Their son became the grandfather of King David.

To whom can you demonstrate kindness and compassion this Christmas?

Bathsheba | A Story of Grace

Bathsheba entered into the story in the most heartbreaking way. After committing adultery with Bathsheba, King David orchestrated the death of her husband. She eventually became one of King David’s wives and the mother of Solomon, the wise king.

How can grace heal a broken heart? To whom can you demonstrate grace this Christmas?

Mary | A Story of Fulfillment

Mary was an ordinary girl on the threshold of marriage. But God planned from the very beginning for her life to be anything but ordinary. He planned to use Mary to fulfill his plan of salvation for a broken world. Her story is one of fulfillment as she gave birth to Jesus.

What might God be able to do through your life if you gave Him complete control?

The Ascension and the Mission of the Church 

Scripture Passage: Acts 1:1-11

The ascension of Jesus is inseparably linked to His redemptive plan. In fact, Jesus’ commission to the disciples to go as witnesses into the world coincided with this incredible, miraculous event.

The Ascension Reminds Us That We Have a Valid Mission | Acts 1:1-5

Do you see? The same God who kept every promise in His word will keep every promise He has made for the future. That means every word in the Scriptures is true. You never ever have to doubt if you’ve chosen the right side when you’re on God’s side. The Ascension reminds us that we have a valid mission.

The Ascension Reminds Us That We Have an Empowered Mission | Acts 1:6-9

Jesus gave His disciples a mission that was bigger than themselves! Think about this: these 11 disciples were on the hillside 2000 years ago and answered the call. We worship and proclaim the good news because of the faithfulness of those disciples. There are millions of others today who are waiting on us to answer that same call.

The Ascension Reminds Us That We Have a Victorious Mission | Acts 1:9-11

Jesus Christ is our forerunner. He has gone ahead of us to heaven. Jesus is going to return as conquering King. We have been commissioned to proclaim his coming!

Think About It & Talk About It

• What does the word “ascension” mean? 

• In what ways are we on the same mission the disciples were sent on? 

• What is the mission God has called you to? 

• The Gospel is the power for salvation and the purpose of our everyday life. How will you live on mission this week?

Shift Your Security

Scripture Passage: Philippians 4:10-20

In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul assure us that we can shift our security and trust God to provide for our needs.

Trust God to Give Opportunities
The Philippian church provided for Paul while he was in prison. One way in which God provides for His people is by creating opportunity to bring people with abundance together with people in need. Whether you have need or abundance, you can trust God to give you opportunity.

Trust God to Give Blessing
In the midst of need you can trust God to give you blessing that would otherwise not be available. Paul never said that every situation is good but rather that God is able to work all things for the good of those who love Him (see Romans 8:28).

Trust God to Give Strength
God frequently gives us more than we can handle — but he never gives us more than He can handle. God promises that you can trust Him to give you the strength to get through hard times.

Think About It & Talk About It
• Where are you putting your security?
• Are you still thinking that your life is going okay and though mentally you agree that you need to trust God, you are still confident in your own ability to handle every situation?
• Are you struggling and feel stuck? Perhaps you need to cease striving and know that God is God (Ps. 46:10).
• Have you been complaining about where you are so much that you need help changing your focus?
• Have you been trying to do it on your own and need to confess your inadequacies? Pray for his strength and learn to abide in Him.

Three Dimensions of Salvation

Scripture Passage: Phil 3:1-21

The Bible talks about salvation as having three dimensions: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification is the removal of the penalty of sin. Sanctification is the removal of the power of sin. Glorification is the removal of the presence of sin.

Often we talk about salvation as if it only is about justification. No one wants to experience the penalty of their sin. But God wants to do more than paying the penalty of your sin. He wants to remove it from your life so that you can experience true fulfillment.

In Philippians 3, Paul shows us these three Dimensions of Salvation:

Justification (Phil. 3:1-11)
Justification means God removes the penalty of sin. An easy way to remember this is that when you are justified, God sees you “Just as If” you’d never sinned. It is a legal term meaning that you have been given the legal standing of “not guilty.” In other words, we’re all failures from a spiritual standpoint; but Jesus’ work on the cross made available our access to his perfection.

Paul talks about this being the reason for our rejoicing. He warns against “the dogs” who would devour people by making them doubt this justification and living in fear that God might take back his love and forgiveness. He says that this justification wasn’t earned, but freely given. In fact, all the work he could have brought to God as “payment” was considered garbage compared to what Jesus had given as payment.

Sanctification (Phil. 3:12-14)
Sanctification means God removes the power of sin. Even though we’ve been completely forgiven, we still struggle with old ways and fleshly desires. In fact, 1 John tells us that anyone who says he is without sin is actually a liar and the truth is not in him. So while we are completely saved when we place our faith in Jesus, we’re still being transformed into the image of our Savior. So every day of our life in Christ, God is continuing to save us from the heartache of our sin.

Glorification (Phil. 3:15-21)
Glorifiation means God removes the presence of sin. Glorification is the completion, the consummation, the perfection, the full realization of salvation. Philippians 3:21 sums this concept up by saying, “He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.” In a sense, glorification is the completion of sanctification!

We have been saved form judgment when we trusted Jesus (justification). We are being saved from sin as we allow the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out (sanctification). And one day, we’ll be completely saved from the sin as we enter into God’s presence (glorification).

Discussion Questions:
• What are the three dimensions of Salvation?
• How do we sometimes present an incomplete view of salvation to people?
• How do you encourage a person to pursue sanctification?

The Power of Mentoring

 

Scripture Passage: Philippians 2:19-29

The Apostle Paul offers insight into how to live the Christian life with other people and into the value of mentors and mentoring. Mentoring is a relationship in which a mentor helps a protégé reach his or her God-given potential. Although the word “mentor” never appears in the Bible, the concept of mentoring is found throughout the pages of Scripture.

Each of us should seek to cultivate three relationships with others.

1. Everybody Needs an Epaphroditus — An Ally

What’s the role of an ally? This person is often someone near your age, with similar life conditions to your own, who helps you address ideas, problems, questions, and practical issues of life. An ally holds you accountable and challenges sin in your life. He speaks hard truths to you.

2. Everybody Needs a Paul — A Mentor

Dr. Howard Hendricks proposed “ten marks” of a mentor:
1. Seems to have what you personally need.
2. Cultivates relationships.
3. Is willing to take a chance on you.
4. Is respected by other Christians.
5. Has a network of resources.
6. Is consulted by others.
7. Both talks and listens.
8. Is consistent in his lifestyle.
9. Is able to diagnose your needs.
10. Is concerned with your interests.

3. Everybody Needs a Timothy — A Disciple or Mentee
A disciple or mentee is someone less advanced than you in some area of your spiritual life whom you take under your wing and mentor. It may not be someone younger in age!

Think and talk about mentoring…

Parents: How can you mentor your kids and also help them to connect with others who can mentor them?

Personally:
• Who in your life is an ally? Identify them and name them.
• Who in your life is a mentor? Identify them and thank them this week. 
• If you do not have a mentor, who could you ask?
• Who are you mentoring?

Unity

Scripture Passage: Philippians 1:27

Paul reminds us that we are citizens of heaven and, as such, should lived our lives worthy of the gospel. Unity — common values, common goals, common struggles — is essential to living out our citizenship in a world that watches every move we make.

It is important to understand that unity is not union, uniformity, or unanimity. Unity refers to oneness of heart, a similarity of purpose, and an agreement on truth. Paul explained how unity happens.

First, we must have common a common relationship. As Christ-followers we have the same Heavenly Father and are members of the same family.

Take a moment to thank God for those with whom you are connected at Kingsland.

Second, a part of cultivating unity is a common spirit. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us as members of God’s family.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to work cooperatively with others.

Third, to cultivate unity we must have a common mission. We must move in the same direction. We must work side by side in order to advance God’s purposes in the world today.

Take time this week to get acquainted with our new EmpoweredHomes.org website. Encourage others you know to visit the site to glean ideas on how to have a home that glorifies God. Determine to work cooperatively with other members of our family to reach 10,000 homes with the good news of Jesus Christ.