Luke 11:2-4 (KJV) 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
What is the kingdom of God? What is Jesus talking about? Help me understand this!
1) The Kingdom of God starts small
Luke 13:19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden…
D. A. Carson – “the greatness of the Kingdom would be no surprise for Jesus’ audience – they were born and bred in a religious background where this Messianic magnificence of the age to come was taught with much emphasis. On the contrary, a real novelty in the teaching of Jesus was the perspective of the smallness of its beginning.”
The kingdom of God being established in someone’s heart starts the same way for everyone – with a simple prayer of repentance and belief in Christ.
1 John 1:8-9 (NIV) 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 10:9 (NIV) 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
2) The Kingdom of God grows large
Luke 13:19 … It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”
Luke 13:21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV) 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness… 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
2 Peter 3:17-18 (NLT) 17 I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
What happens for those who are into their own kingdom, they replace Christ with cause.
Martin Luther said, “religion is the default mode of the human heart.”
Real growth of the kingdom of God in your life is shown through the fruit of your life, not the accumulation of your knowledge.
3) The Kingdom of God blesses others
Luke 13:19 …and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”
Christianity is a whole different way of thinking and looking at things. It’s looking at things through the lens of the Bible and through the eyes of Christ.
Mark 10:45 (NIV) 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Some of us, we need to rethink our causes. How much of the Gospel and God’s kingdom is a part of our causes?
Hebrews 12:28-29 (ESV) 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
Discussion Questions: (For your Life Group or Personal Study)
Download the pdf of these notes here:
Download a pdf of the notes here:
Click here to Download Notes JTTC Sacrifice 3-29-20 notes
Genesis 3:21 (NIV) 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
James 2:19 (NIV) 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
Romans 3:23 (NIV) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 5:12 (NIV) 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–
Romans 6:23 (NIV) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Why was a sacrifice so important? The sacrificial provisions in Leviticus and in the OT taught the Israelites that God can be approached with the blood of a worthy substitute.
John 1:29 (ESV) 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Lamb of God – Twila Paris (Performed by Cece Winans)
Your only Son no sin to hide
But You have sent Him from Your side
To walk upon this guilty sod
And to become the Lamb of God
Your gift of love they crucified
They laughed and scorned Him as He died
The humble King they named a fraud
And sacrificed the Lamb of God
I was so lost I should have died
But You have brought me to Your side
To be led by Your staff and rod
And to be called a lamb of God
Oh Lamb of God sweet Lamb of God
I love the holy Lamb of God
Oh wash me in His precious blood
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God
Why is sacrifice so central to God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation? Why couldn’t God just forgive people of their sins without sacrifice?
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 6:13 (NIV) 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
To be a holy sacrifice is to be completely set apart for God and dedicated to his service. If we are not set apart from our old life, we will not be useful to God.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
To serve God is the only reasonable way to respond to his mercy.
What does this look like lived out?
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV) 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The main problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar. – Anonymous
(For your Family, Online or Personal Study)
Click here to download – JTTC Lament 3-22-20 notes
Lament – a way to get the hurt and pain off of you and onto God.
Psalms of Lament seem to have 5 parts to them:
Protest – Here’s the problem I have.
Precise – The exact nature of the problem is expressed.
What do I need to do? – Self-reflection on whether or not I’m the reason for the problem?
Promise – We promise to God that we will do something differently.
Praise – Finally we can see the purpose in our pain and give God praise!
Another way of saying it – three phases:
Cruising – everything is going great…
Crashing – things are going unhinged…
Crushing – things are turned around or at least my perspective has changed in how I see it…
Benefits of Lamenting:
1) Lamenting brings your sadness to God\
2) Lamenting invites God’s power into your pain
Often in our culture when it comes to emotions of sadness and sorrow, we deal with it this way:
Stuff it – I’m just going to stuff this down.
Redirect it – I not only stuff it, but put my focus on other things so I don’t have to deal with it.
Vomit it – when we spread out our pain and sorrow to everyone.
Lament – Lamenting is when we direct our pain and sadness to God.
3) Lamenting brings confidence in Christ
Look at 5-6…
Take some time to read through another Psalm of Lament together, Psalm 142, then discuss these questions. Hold off on reading the ‘answer’ area until you’ve discussed the question for a while. Don’t feel like you have to hit every question.
We are told that this is a Psalm of David that he wrote while on the run from King Saul. Pastor Scott taught us that David was anointed King of Israel (1 Samuel 16:12) but did not sit on the throne until 13 years later. In those thirteen years, David is on the run living in the desert, just trying to survive. So he writes this Psalm from that perspective.
David is directing this song to God. Laments are always directed to God.
We think of complaining as a bad thing. We often say that if you can’t say anything nice, then you shouldn’t say anything at all. Yet, when it comes to how we relate to God that is far from the Truth. When we complain, it is usually to people that we trust and feel safe around. Kids will complain to their parents…even use phrases like they hate them and never want to speak to them. But those feelings never stay long, and once those feeling pass, the relationship is resumed.
Even though David is complaining this is actually a sign that He trusts in God. David feels safe enough with God that he is expressing his trust in the Lord through his complaint. And God is open to hearing and receiving their complaints. God is strong enough and powerful enough to handle our pain and our complaints.
David is writing about a clear and present danger in his life. The threat that he is facing is King Saul and his army. They are hunting David down and trying to kill him and destroy anyone else who would dare support David. We don’t know the specifics of how Saul’s army was hunting David, but from this Psalm, we can imagine that they were setting traps and ambushes attempting to capture him.
When you read vs. 7, it seems like David is telling God to help him so that he can praise God. This seems to indicate that David’s prayer is a prayer of desperation. David needs God to show up and save him and is trying to convince God of this. The idea of trying to convince God of anything may seem unimaginable but in our times of desperate need, we may feel like we will do anything to get God to do something for us. This is another example of how the Psalmists are connecting with reality. When people go through difficult and tragic experiences we often pray as if we can bargain with God. If we promise to do certain things then maybe God will do what we want Him to do for us. Maybe God will come through if we can strike a deal. And God entertains these types of prayers because God meets us where we are at. God was meeting David in his desperation.
David seems to indicate if he was free he could praise God’s name and then gather together all those who are righteous and seek to give God praise and worship. David is hoping that freedom from pursuit will lead to peace and prosperity in his life. For the most part, in his life, he makes good on his promise. David, as king, makes the lives better for his people, exalts God’s name. David is known as a man after God’s own heart.
The caves symbolize the dark and painful circumstances and places we are in. Some of us are in those places by the choices of others…or because of our own sin. Some answers may be caves of depression, the caves of abuse, the caves of joblessness, singleness, transition, struggling marriages, or childlessness.
(thanks to Liquid Church for the help with the discussion questions)
Here are the notes for the message from our Journey to the Cross series where I talk about Suffering.
Genesis 50:20 (NIV) 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…
Romans 8:20-23 (NIV) 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV) 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’
Lamentations 3:32-33 (NIV) 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Everything that Christ accomplished for us sinners, he accomplished through suffering:
Galatians 3:13 (NIV) 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Romans 6:23 (NIV) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In Christ Alone
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
1 Peter 2:24 (NIV) 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV) 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Philippians 2:7-8 (NIV) 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV) 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (NIV) 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:18 (NIV) 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV) 13 …He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Revelation 7:17 (NIV) 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) 18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…
1 Peter 2:21-25 (ESV) 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21 (NASB) 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
From our Devotional this week – The testimony of Scripture is that Christians need to embrace suffering as part of our calling and endure it as part of our witness.
1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV) 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
Philippians 1:29 (NIV) 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,
2 Timothy 3:12 (NIV) 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
So I take it to be a biblical truth that the more sincere we become about being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and reaching the unreached and simply religious people of the world, and exposing the works of darkness, and loosing the bonds of sin and Satan, the more we will suffer. That’s why we should prepare.
Job 42:5 (NIV) 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Acts 7:54-55 (NIV) 54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
1 Peter 4:14 (NIV) 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
James 1:2-4 (NIV) 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
We can consider it pure joy/rejoice on two accounts:
First, suffering provides a context for our faith to mature.
Second, suffering focuses our hope on the consummation of all things, when God “will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore”(Revelation 21:4).
Discussion Questions: (For your Life Group or Personal Study)
Let me tell you something I’ve learned on my prayer journey – sometimes my prayer life takes a defensive posture. Things happen, and then I go into prayer mode to pray over it. This isn’t a bad way of praying, after all, Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” We should be praying all kinds of prayers and requests!
Here’s what I’ve learned though – what if I took on more of an offensive posture when it comes to prayer? Meaning, I’m not going to wait for something to happen to drive me to my knees, I’m going to go to prayer right now. I’m going to build up my most holy faith right now through prayer so that no matter what comes my way in the future, I’m ready for it!
Do you see the difference?