The Un-Bold Servant

Scripture Passage: Mathew 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents is among the most well-known of Jesus’ parables. The parable can also be regarded as a story about a man who lacked boldness. The kingdom of God needs people who are bold and fearless when God says to advance.

In this parable, a rich master entrusted his servants with financial resources to invest while he was away. However, instead of investing these resources, the servant who received one talent dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. He demonstrated fear and a lack of boldness.

God is calling for boldness. Therefore we must understand the factors that determine the measure of our boldness.

1. My Understanding of Biblical Boldness



Boldness is the confidence to act on God’s promises, maximizing the gifts that have been entrusted to us for His glory. Two of the three servants in the parable demonstrated this kind of boldness.

2. My Confidence in the Master’s Character

The servant who buried his talent believed a lie about his master. He believed the lie that his master was a harsh man. When we believe the wrong things about God, we are more likely to act in fear and not in faith.

3. My Anticipation of the Master’s Return

While the master was away, two of the three servants invested the resources entrusted to them in such a way that they would please their master upon his return. We are to live the same way — boldly investing the talents God has entrusted to us in order to advance His kingdom and bring Him glory.



4. My Comprehension of His Calling

The servant who lacked boldness was busy doing the wrong things while his master was away. His calling was to invest his master’s money, something he failed to do.

Think About It and Talk About It



• If you knew that Christ was going to return before the end of this year, what would you do differently?



• If you knew you could not fail, what bold thing would you attempt for Jesus?

The Timing of God’s Kingdom

Esther

Scripture Passage: Esther 8

Today Pastor Ryan continued to look at the story of Esther and how God is at work in what seems like coincidence. God’s timing in the book of Esther is perfect. In the same way, God’s timing in our lives is perfect and He has us exactly where he wants us when He wants it.

God’s timing is trustworthy and we see that from two principles in Esther.

  1. God conquers the coincidental.
  • God is working in coincidences if we have spiritual eyes to see.
  • Looking back in our lives there are many moments that we may label as coincidence that is God working in our live.
  1. God overturns the irreversible.
  • God overturns impossible situations that may seem like they have no hope.
  • God may put you in an impossible situation to lead others to the God who is getting you through it.

We closed with looking at three circles we have in our lives.

  1. Context–This is where God has placed you in your life
  2. Circumstances–These are positive experiences, crisis, clarity from God, seasons of searching and other situations.
  3. Calling–This is unique calling and talents that God has given you and placed in your life

These circles lead us to divine appointments. God has led you to this context with these circumstances in your calling for such a time as this.

Questions:

  • How do we put on spiritual eyes to see God’s working in coincidence?
  • What are somethings that you have labeled as coincidence when God has been at work?
  • Have you ever thought a problem was too far gone to fix? When?
  • Has God ever brought you through a problem that you thought was too far gone? How did He work?
  • Spend some time thinking about your context, circumstances, and calling. What divine appointments are in front of you in your life?

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.

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

My Mission | My Home

Scripture Passage: Ephesians 5:15-17

One of the greatest challenges of life today is focusing on the most important priorities we have.

• Does my life match my priorities?

• What do I need to say no to?

• What do I need to say yes to?

Kingsland’s theme for the year: My Mission, My Home

As a church, we are committed to reaching 10,000 homes — which includes our respective homes. Here is an easy way to remember how to reach your own home and to equip your family to invite all people to experience true fulfillment in Jesus Christ, one home at a time.

H = Hold to the Habits
Rest, Bless, Gather, Go

O = Own the Table
5 meaningful meals a week.

M = Mark the Milestones
Celebrate the spiritual markers in your life.

E = Engage Beyond the Home
Be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world.

Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 25:15).

• Are you willing, like Joshua, to consecrate your own home for the work of the Gospel?

That’s a decision every person—and every household has the opportunity to make. Do not make the decision out of a sense of guilt or coercion, but out of an overflowing anticipation of what God has in store for those whose homes are consecrated to Him.

Discussion Questions

• Do you know what God has called you to do?

• Have you determined what it will take to live according to that calling?

• What do you need to say no to? What do you need to say yes to?

Called to Hospitality

Scripture Passage: Luke 14:12-14

1. Hospitality is an Act of Generosity (v.12)

Hospitality is one of the ways we practice the spiritual discipline of giving. God calls us to share the gift of hospitality to those outside our normal circle of friends by opening our hearts and lives to others.

2. Hospitality is an Act of Reconciliation (v.13-14)

God uses Hospitality to tear down the barriers between people leading to reconciliation.

God uses Hospitality to reconcile people to Him who may be far from Him.

3. Hospitality is an Act of Compassion (v.13-14)

Hospitality is reaching out to the lost, the hurting, and those in need of God’s blessings. We can help others feel welcome when we open our hearts to them and extend God’s blessings.

Discuss and pray about making the following ways of sharing hospitality a part of your lives:

A. Invite a neighbor/acquaintance into your home to get to know them.
B. Connect more intently and deeply with those in your life.
C. Open your home to a Community Group.
D. Volunteer to help on Sunday mornings.
E. Share one meal per week with someone outside your comfort zone.

What Did You Learn This Year? 


Scripture Passage: 2 Timothy 3:14

Near the end of his life, Paul was confined to a Roman prison cell with little hope of release. That imprisonment was the occasion for Paul’s final letter to Timothy, his young protégé, in which he gave him some final words of advice. Paul encouraged Timothy to continue in what he had learned.

• What has God taught you this year?

As a church, there are three important lessons that we learned corporately this year.

1. Our circumstances do not define us.

Many of us learned some valuable lessons as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. One of our members remarked, “I have learned that I am not a hurricane victim. That is not my identity. These events will not define me or my family.”

The story of God’s people is always a story of God’s hope prevailing in spite of tough circumstances. God has chosen to use broken people in broken circumstances for His perfect good.

• What circumstances did you face this year that caused you to more strongly cling to hope in God?

2. God has a plan for us.

Paul defined his life as a fight and a race — but he did not always know his next opponent or where the course of his race would take him. What he did know, however, was that God had a plan for his life and he only needed to have hope in the Author of that plan.


• In what ways have you seen God’s plan for your life unfold over this past year?



3. We need us.

We get a glimpse of Paul’s loneliness in his letter to Timothy. He appealed to his young friend, “Make every effort to come to me soon … and then again, make every effort to come before winter.”

The Scripture is clear about the fact that we need one another. Doing life alone is dangerous.

• 
Take a moment to thank God for all of those who were there for you this year in your moments of need. Determine to be there for others in the coming year.

Moses | Enduring Faith

HebrewsScripture Passage: Hebrews 11:23-29

God teaches us through the life of Moses that our faith can endure as we wait on Him.

  1. Enduring Faith Avoids Shortcuts. Moses was not perfect but he trusted God and followed God’s plan for his life. Moses chose to wait on God instead of attempting to solve his own problems.

• Ask God to show you where you are taking short cuts  instead of trusting and waiting on God.

  1. Enduring Faith Accepts Opposition. Moses expected opposition and decided in advance that he would trust God in times of opposition.

• How do you view opposition? Do you see opposition as an opportunity to trust God or does opposition pull you away from God? Ask God to help you trust Him and His promises during times of opposition.

  1. Enduring Faith Anticipates the Reward. Moses looked to God’s promises and God’s vision so that he walked by faith and not by sight.

• Ask God to help you fix your eyes on Jesus and His eternal rewards as you wait on Him.

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.