Praise the Lord

Scripture Passage: Psalm 117

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible. This psalm is also the middle chapter of the Bible with 594 chapters preceding it and 594 chapters following. In God’s worship, it is not always necessary to be long; few words sometimes say what is sufficient, as this short Psalm helps us to understand. Psalm 117 is a summons to all peoples to praise the Lord.

Praise translates the Hebrew word “hallel” which means “to shine” or “to glorify” to “to praise.” The Bible often instructs us to praise God. As His people, we should develop the habit of praising God often and with a loud voice so that everyone can hear.

In what ways do you express your praise to God?

Christian pastor and author John Piper said, “Missions exists because worship does not.” God invites all peoples to praise Him. We must go to the nations to share with them the beauty of Jesus so that they too can join us in praising God.



How can God use your praise to inspire the nations among us to look toward God?

The Psalmist also invites us to praise the Lord because His steadfast love endures forever. As we look back on our lives, we can see the evidence of God’s never-ending and faithful love “toward us.” Seeing the fingerprints of His love should cause us to praise Him.

Take a moment to reflect on the evidence of God’s steadfast love in your life and then praise Him.

Declare His Mighty Acts

Scripture Passage: Psalm 145

This month, Kingsland’s student missions teams served from Houston’s inner city to the ends of the earth. More than 400 students and sponsors traveled the world to declare God’s mighty acts among the nations. As God’s people, we should look for every opportunity to talk about His greatness.

1. We should speak passionately about God.

Speaking passionately about God is our most powerful apologetic. When David spoke about God he did so in the most personal and intimate ways. Because David knew God intimately, he was able to speak passionately.

Does the intimacy of our relationship with God work its way into our daily speech and conversations?

2. We should speak often about God.

Speaking often about God not only impacts our generation, it also helps the next generation to learn of His greatness. Like David, we must “declare His mighty acts” and speak of them often.


The early church spoke often about Jesus and how wonderful He is and how He could transform lives. How often do you speak of Jesus and how wonderful He is?



3. We should speak often about God because He is the only eternal topic.

So much of what we speak about is temporary. It’s easy to allow our speech to be characterized by fleeting topics. Speaking about God, however, is different. He will not pass away nor will His word pass away.


What steps can you take to intentionally make God and His greatness a part of your daily speech?

The Power of God’s Word

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a love poem about the Bible. Reading God’s Word will change your life.

Three compelling reasons to read the Bible.

1. Read the Bible because it’s a supernatural source.

While the Bible was written down by man, it is God’s revelation to us. Man couldn’t have written it without the inspiration of God. Forty different authors over hundreds of years in different locations could never have matched up without God’s influence. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is “God breathed.”

2. Read the Bible because it is a trustworthy source.

The early church authenticated the books in 397 AD. The Bible speaks of science in ways that weren’t known at the time. Prophesies foretold were fulfilled. The whole Bible has unity and continuity.

3. Read the Bible because it is a transformational source.

The Bible is the story of someone who came to earth to rescue us. The Bible isn’t some practical tool box to fix your life — it tells us to “fix your eyes on Jesus” and then everything starts to look different.

• Read the entirety of Psalm 119 today.
• Are you reading the Bible regularly? Why or why not?
• How can you help each other stay in the Word?
• Write down your Bible reading plan.

The Power of Restoration

Scripture Passage: Psalm 80

Restoration means to take something back to its original condition, its original owner or its original purpose. Psalm 80 is a prayer for restoration as God is the only one with the power to restore our hearts, our homes and our nation.

Prayer: God, I need you to restore my heart. Help me to trust you and your power to restore my heart. I need you to restore my home, my relationships and our nation but I recognize that it begins in my heart. Help me to take these steps towards you and allow you to restore my heart.

1. Remember Your Identity
Our identity (who we are, our value, our purpose) is not defined by our successes or our failures. God gives us our identity and we are His children (1 John 3:1).

Prayer: God, help me believe that I am your child.

2. Return to the Creator
The responsibility of restoration belongs to God. We can’t fix ourselves or other people. However, we need to ask God to restore our hearts and trust Him as He restores us.

Prayer: God, help me to trust you to restore my heart.

3. Renew Your Service
God uses His children to accomplish His work on earth. You are created in God’s image and God has a purpose for your life. The enemy lies to us and tells us we are a failure and need to go back to our old ways.

Prayer: God, help me reject the enemy’s lies and believe what you say about me and your plan for my life. I’m drawing a “line in the sand” today and asking you to restore my heart and my home. I choose to believe you and serve you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Redefining Leadership

Scripture Passage: Psalm 131

Kingsland is blessed with many men who are seeking God’s heart for their lives, interceding in prayer for the marriages and their kids, leading strong both spiritually, relationally and working hard to provide, all the while trusting God as the ultimate provider.

Psalm 131, written by King David, contains some very practical lessons on servant leadership that men can apply as they lead their homes.

1. Redefined Power | 

Power is the ability to create change. Smart parenting involves both the use of hard and soft power. Parents must balance their use of both and exercise wisdom, humility, and grace as they lead their children.



Do you tend to be too hard on your kids or too soft? What is the danger of these extremes?



2. Accepted Limits | 

Dads must help their children understand the value of boundaries. Doing so can help keep our kids on track.

What boundaries have you set for your kids and why? How do you explain to your kids the value of boundaries?



3. Faith-filled Contentment
 | 
Great leaders and great parents reach a maturity in their walk with God that anchors their souls to God’s faithfulness — so that when storms arise, or times are confusing, they can be at rest.



In what ways do you or should you model contentment for your kids that assures them you are trusting God?

Bible Truths About Same-Sex Attraction

Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Kingsland goes to many of the geographically “hard places” when it comes to missions. We are also willing to go to the “hard places” philosophically as well. The topic of same-sex attraction is one of those hard places. When it comes to this topic, some churches are so weighted on the side of truth that they express hatred. Others are so weighted on the side of grace that they forsake biblical teaching.

Forgotten Truths About Same Sex Relationships

1. Same sex attraction or gender confusion will not send you to hell anymore than heterosexuality or gender certainty will send you to heaven. 

Paul exhorted the Corinthian Christians to not continue to embrace the things they did before coming to faint in Christ. Jesus talked about denying ourselves in order to follow Him — and that includes the things Paul wrote about, including our ideas, ambitions, dreams, and even our sexuality.

2. Homosexuality goes against God’s plan. Homosexuality is mentioned eight times in the Scriptures (four in each testament), and lesbianism (homosexuality between females) one time. In no instance is it commended. It is always described as wrong and unnatural.

3. Each of us, regardless of our background or sexual preference, are invited to be transformed by Jesus. There are many situations where we can buy into the lie that we cannot change. 1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us otherwise — “And some of you used to be like this!” So some of those who had been redeemed, who were a part of the Body of Christ, used to be involved in same-sex relationships.

We have the best news on earth for anyone who is missing out on God’s design for their lives in any shape or fashion. Jesus transforms lives. Kingsland should be the safest place on earth to open up about feelings of same-sex attraction. We won’t win any popularity contests by saying that there’s a better way, but we’ll honor God by loving people and speaking the truth in love.

The Value of Life

Scripture Passages: Psalms 8, 139, 103

The Bible affirms that life is sacred — that we are made in God’s image, that we are His special creation deserving of being treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, rank, or riches.

Every act of kindness as well as every act of violence that is committed in the world today is motivated by an underlying worldview and what that particular worldview teaches about the value of human life. What an individual believes about the value of human life can motivate them to either aggressively hurt others or to compassionately move in the direction of the hurting.

For too long, we have limited the scope of our understanding of the sanctity of human life to abortion alone. Abortion is indeed a violation of the sanctity of human life — but beyond this particular violation there are many others.

•  What are some other ways in which the sanctity of human life is violated in our world today?

As the primary faith trainers in their homes, parents must intentionally teach and model for their children what it means to value all human life — including their own. An individual who feels that their own life has little or no value is likely to have little or no regard for the welfare of their neighbor.

Our children must know that they are of inestimable value to God and to us. By so doing our children are more likely to affirm the worth of others, less likely to harm others, and more likely to stand against and to defend those whose lives are in danger.

• In what ways are you helping your children understand what it means to value human life?

• How are you guarding your children against media and messages that teach a disregard for human life?

• What can you and your family do to stand as champions for the value of human life?

 

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