God’s Good Pleasure
During November, we’ll be wrapping up our focus on God’s Plan for You. It’s been a great year. We’ve focused on God’s plans for a future and our welfare (Jeremiah 29.11). While some in the world associate these promises with earthly gain, we’ve discovered this year that God’s primary concern is our spending eternity with Him. He has done, is doing, and will do everything possible to bring us home. His promises are repeated through the New Testament: We can live with confidence and assurance that we will receive what He has promised.
But yet, many of us experience fear. It can be paralyzing. Our text in Luke 12 identifies four things men and women commonly fear. We fear death, public shame, and a lack of physical necessities. Verse 32 identifies that we may sometimes fear whether or not God will supply us with our reward. The message of the chapter is that God is the kind of God whose people need not fear. God wants to be generous and helpful. He never begrudges the benefits of His grace.
Our plan of study on Sunday will cover Luke 12.32. We’ll talk about:
- God’s good pleasure.
- He is our Father.
- We are part of His flock.
- He has given us the Kingdom.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- What fears do you battle in life? Do you ever have fear over whether you are really saved?
- What does good pleasure mean in Luke 12.32?
- What does it mean to you that God identifies Himself as your Father?
- Why is it important to understand we are given the kingdom?
- How does little flock signify affection and care?
Sunday Song Leader: Roy Pyle
Sunday Scripture Reading: Matt Ringle
TEXT: Luke 12.31-34
A Greater Appreciation for the Word
Of his own will he brought us froth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures, James 1.18. As God’s children each of us have experienced the tremendous power of the word of God in it’s conviction and saving power. Think back to the time when pure gospel preaching moved you to action. You were hungry. You couldn’t get enough teaching. Classes were exciting and worship was exhilarating.
Wednesday evening after Bible class, Jim Grushon Sr. and I were talking. He mentioned the feeling he had the morning after his baptism. As he walked into work later that day and ran into the guy who shared the gospel with him, he asked, “How long does this feeling last?”
His friend replied, “As long as you remain close to the Word.”
I like that. Every member at Kettering should understand the power of the word in producing salvation. Now, the imperative is for each of us to let it continue to do it’s powerful work. James 1.19a tells us how we do that. We need to be quick to hear.
The idea is that we grasp every opportunity to increase our hearing of God’s word. True Christians run to hear the word of God. They long to read it. They want to learn it. How is your hunger? Do you long to grow? How is your appetite for the word?
This is the mark of the believer. If you observe a person who has no desire to be under the teaching of God, chances are that you’ll see a person who does not demonstrate what it means to be a true Christian.
As a member at Kettering, you have tremendous opportunities to dive into the word. Besides Sunday, you can participate in a Bible class at least three other days of the week. Devotionals and group studies are on the schedule. There will be a men’s retreat next weekend and the ladies hold monthly studies. These events are designed to challenge you and wet your appetite for deeper personal study. Can you say along with the Psalmist: Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
- Matthew Allen
Doers of the Word
During October, we’ve been talking about the pursuit of God and His plan. Not only must we believe God and understand He never walks away from His promises, we must actually respond in obedience and submission.
It was Solomon who said, keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life, Proverbs 4.23. The heart of every person governs their behavior. Jesus said that a good heart produces good things and an evil heart produces evil things, Matthew 12.33, 35. It always comes down to conduct - how you live. At the end of the first century, John wrote: It is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God…, 1 John 3.10. The line between the person in Christ and the person not in Christ is very clear. Those who obey the word of God will have the evidence of the life of God in their life.
The only proper response to the word of God is obedience. Notice what James says in 1.22: but be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. If you are a hearer only, you are deceiving yourself. About what? Your salvation, genuineness, and authenticity. The mark of a genuine disciple is to be a doer.
Our plan of study on Sunday will cover James 1.19-27. We’ll talk about:
- Understanding this passage in its proper context.
- James 1.19-21 - The proper reception to the Word of God.
- James 1.22-27 - The proper reaction to the Word of God.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- Read James 1.18-25 - how many times is the word spoken of directly or alluded to? How does this help us understand the context?
- What is an important thing about the word of God we learn from 1.21?
- How is the word like a mirror?
- Why does James refer to the word as the perfect law of liberty?
- What are some reasons we can view God’s word as liberating?
Sunday Song Leader: Randy Mullins
Sunday Scripture Reading: Collin Schofield
TEXT: James 1.19-27
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:31.
A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, the son fell, hurt himself and shouted, "AAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!".
To his surprise, he heard a voice repeating, somewhere on the mountain, ”AAAhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!"
Curiously, the boy shouted, “Who are you?”
He received an answer, “Who are you?"
Angry at the answer, he shouted, ”Coward.”
Quickly he received the reply, “Coward."
He looked at his father and asked, “What is happening?”
The father smiled and said, "Son, pay attention.”
And then the father shouted to the mountain, "I admire you.”
The voice replied, "I admire you.”
Again the man shouted, "You are a fool.”
The voice replied, "You are a fool.”
The boy was astonished, but he did not understand.
Then the father explained, "People call it an ECHO, but in reality it is LIFE ... It gives back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love around you. If you want more competitiveness in your group, compete harder. This relationship applies to all aspects of life. Life will give you in return exactly what you have given it. "Your life is not a coincidence. It's a reflection of you.”
Somebody said, "If you do not like what you get back, check what you emit.”
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows,
that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7
During October, we’re talking about the pursuit. As disciples, we follow Jesus, who spent His life on earth in constant service of others. Doing good is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22) and is the natural result of allowing God to shape our heart. In Galatians 6.8 Paul said that we will reap eternal life when we allow acts of service to characterize our life.
What are some good things you can do? For those inside and outside of the church? Here are ten simple suggestions (in no particular order):
- Romans 12.10 - help your family - the ones you need to serve the most are often the ones closest to you.
- 1 Peter 4.10-11 - volunteer to serve in your spiritual family - what spiritual gifts do you possess that you can use in service to others?
- Matthew 25.36 - donate items to the needy - you probably have clothes and other possessions you don’t need that someone else could use.
- 1 Thessalonians 5.11 - send someone an encouraging note - use the church directory to identify someone you think could use an uplifting message of support and hope.
- Acts 20.35 - deliver a meal - someone may be going through a difficult time and really appreciate this act of kindness.
- Hebrews 13.16 - watch someone’s kids - give a young mother a break.
- Philippians 2.3 - help others shine - build them up and applaud their efforts.
- James 1.19 - listen - make a world of difference in someone’s life by allowing them to just talk and express how they feel.
- Proverbs 11.24-25 - pay it forward - your act of kindness might just come at the right moment for someone else.
- Galatians 6.9 - every day of your life is an opportunity to do good - sometimes the best acts of kindness are spontaneous and do not have to make a powerful difference in someone else’s life.
We can all demonstrate the love of Christ. How are you doing? Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor, Romans 12.10.
- Matthew Allen