This is Pastor Ken’s second lesson in the series Desiring More, the journey toward personal holiness, from January 16, 2019.
This class will help emphasize our renewed efforts toward being a people of prayer. Billie Todd has prepared an extensive study through the Scriptures on the topic, which is not just information but practical application.
Use the Connection Card on Sunday to sign up for the class. There is a detailed workbook, so registration is greatly appreciated.
This summer, join us at a CentriKid camp at Skycroft Conference Center in Maryland, July 22-26, where Lifeway Christian Resources facilitates all the activities (recreation, Bible study, worship, track times) so our children’s leaders can focus on loving your kids. Our sole purpose for camp is intentionally pouring our lives into your kids. In this atmosphere, we can go all out in pointing your kids to Jesus.
Four Promises for Another Exciting Week at Camp:
- Every element rooted in Scripture
- A safe place–physically, spiritually, and emotionally
- Ministry through relationships
- Kid-friendly programming
Don’t miss our 2019 theme: All Access, where kids will discover their all access pass to God through studying John 17:3.
God wants Himself to be known. He has given you an “all access pass” by revealing things about Himself throughout history as an expression of His love for you. God has revealed that He is the only true God, He’s not hidden, and He wants a relationship with you. Here is a snapshot of where we’ll focus each day of camp:
- Day 1: The God Who Reveals
- Day 2: God Reveals His Name
- Day 3: God Reveals The Way
- Day 4: God Reveals His Power
- Day 5: God Reveals What’s Next
KGBC Registration: we have 16 reservations, including up to 4 adults (ratio is 1 adult for every 5 kids). We need to secure our spaces, so if you desire to participate, register with Amy or Scott by Sunday February 10 by getting to us a check to cover the $50 deposit. The camp total is $300 but we have discounts available. We can take care of paperwork this Spring.
For More Information: find Amy or Scott with you questions.
Check out the Centrikid Video:
Jonathan Sax, a former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, “When it was hard to be a Jew, people remained Jewish, when it was easy to be a Jew, people stopped being Jewish.” Same for Christianity. We get comfortable, complacent, apathetic.
The church in the Revelation was commendable, but regarding what mattered most, they were lacking.
To whom was this written, the congregation? The angel, is it a messenger? A pastor of the church? Who is the one who holds the seven stars and walks among them. Jesus gives us a very clear message to the church and this message impacts our journey.
Good people doing good things (Revelation 2:2-3) Jesus acknowledged their behavior locked in a specific lifestyle. I KNOW YOUR LABOR, I KNOW YOUR PERSEVERANCE, which speaks to their unction and then their character.
Labor – you work to the point of exhaustion, the church was very busy.
Perseverance and endurance – your character, setting the evil straight, Acts 19 and the story at Ephesus, unbelieving Jews and the sons of Sceva, no brought in by their false testimony. Demetrius and his silver idol business, and they worked hard through it all. They do not grow weary. Good people doing good things.
George Zulu from Zambia interned with Ken, held a church calendar in his hands and said, “You people are busy. With all this activity, how do your people go out into the world and just be themselves?”
Good things making empty routines (Revelation 2:4) I have something against you. Always beware the “but” or “however,” which will nullify all that you have just heard or done.
Downward spiral toward apathy:
1) First is being settled. Active people get settled, and comfortable, on the couch. They became settled in their activity. Their busyness was affirmation they were righteous enough.
2) Losing sight of the main thing, their purpose, their mission. Apathy reflects a coolness and a loss of passion.
3) Sacrificing the best on the altar of good things. They thought they were a loving congregation but they lost their first love. Hard work and good doctrine is never enough to satisfy our sacrificing Savior (Matthew 22:36-40, John 13:35 – love God and loving others, then the world will know that we belong to Jesus).
1 John 4:2 – to say that I love God and not others makes God a liar. Hate is when we withhold love from someone.
Calvin and Hobbs illustration, good is not defined as just the absence of bad.
Empty routines challenged by intense commitment (Revelation 2:5) Remember, Repent, and Return. This is easy to preach yet hard to apply.
Remember: how they travelled with Paul and went house to house and how the church was founded. Have I forgotten from where I started, and how far I have fallen?
Repent: turn away from mere activity and turn to your first love. Grief over our short comings is often not present. The deeper the sorrow, the deeper the repentance. A preschooler saying “I’m sorry” is not repentance. Am I going through the motions? It there no real emotion or feelings for God and for others?
Return: go back to when we first met. The intensity, love, passion, purpose. Jesus needs to be our motivation for good deeds.
Conclusion (Revelation 2:6) Nicholatians, evil people, promiscuous leaders, false teachers. “Don’t just hate what Jesus hates, love what Jesus loves!”
Mother Teresa quote: Gods love for you is infinite, your disregard for the church is finite, “focus on the infinite and allow it to overcome the finite.”
Questions for Further Study:
- Why does love—even the most fervent and committed love—sometimes grow cold over time?
- What are some mementos or heirlooms you are especially attached to?
- What is something you remember loving dearly as a child that you eventually outgrew?
- If Jesus were to write a letter to our church, what do you think He’d say?
- If Jesus were to write you a personal letter, for what would He commend you, and in what ways would He correct you?
- What do your actions say about who or what is most important in your life?
- What do you think Christ meant when He said, “You have forsaken your first love”?
- What does it mean to repent?
- What about our faith are we prone to “outgrow”?
- At what time in your life did you feel closest to God or the most dedicated to God?
- How would you assess the health of your relationship with Christ right now?
- What can cause us to lose our love for God?
- How can we keep our commitment to Christ from waning over time?
- Besides knowing all the right answers and doing all the right activities, what do we need for spiritual vitality?
- In what concrete ways can you show today that Jesus Christ is your first love?
- What is one step you can take this week to build the quality of perseverance in your faith?
- What can you do or say to encourage a Christian friend to remain loyal to Christ?
What a change occurred in Saul’s perspective after he met Jesus on the road to Damascus! Leaving on his journey, he was sure that what he believed was right. When Jesus’ voice pierced Saul’s heart, his whole worldview turned upside down. Everything Saul thought he knew had to be rethought: his understanding of truth, his worldview, his life mission. This encounter was just the beginning of his transformation from Saul the persecutor to Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. What difference has encountering Jesus made in how you live and lead?
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. — Acts 9:3-5
We often see this passage only in the context of salvation (Saul’s conversion on the Damascus Road) but let’s broaden our understanding of Paul’s experience to being confronted with new truth, which forces him into a decision.
Let’s also make this personal. Active church people need to take the introduction of truth (let’s enter here the preaching of God’s Word on Sunday) and decide what to do with the challenge put in front of us.
Ken is preaching January through February on a topic that we can easily dismiss. Perhaps you will justify, “I am pursuing God because I attend church on Sunday.” When we assume this position, we can easily miss the very thing that the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives. We each must pray and reflect on where we stand with Jesus to discover what God wants us to do and how he wants us to change.
I hope you will listen again to Ken’s introductory message on moving “From Apathy to Intensity” and see if God is speaking to you and challenging you to make some adjustment toward a higher level intensity in your faith.
[Part of this post is from the January 14 Lead Like Jesus devotional, and the image: SON OF GOD Movie, Scene 10/29 – Damascus Road; Paul (CON O’NEIL) sees Jesus (DIOGO MORGADO) and is thrown from his horse]
What is your vision for the world? Jesus clearly expressed His vision as He taught His disciples to pray: that God’s kingdom would come to characterize the world He created. He calls us to continue to pray that God’s “will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Is this your vision, too? How can you be part of bringing God’s kingdom to life in your spheres of influence today?
This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” — Matthew 6:9-13
At King’s Grant, we are experiencing several events to help bring God’s kingdom on earth: Winter Shelter January 23-30, Ken’s January Bible Study on Desiring More (our journey toward personal holiness), the Pursue series (the intensity of our faith), Wednesday Life Groups this next semester (starting back January 30) and Billie Todd will be leading a Wednesday evening class on prayer beginning January 30 at 6:00. All this is designed to develop community, faith, and love.
Continue to pray for God’s will to be done in your life and in the life of the church.
[Part of this post is from the January 11 Lead Like Jesus devotional]
This is the first lesson in the January Bible Study 2019 about our journey toward personal holiness, by our lead pastor, Ken Pruitt.
Jesus called His disciples into a life of community. He did that with His first disciples, and He continues to do that today. Following Jesus as our leader is not merely an individual exercise. He calls us into His body, His family, His flock, His church. He knows that we will need traveling companions on this life journey—brothers, sisters, people to encourage us, people to challenge us, people to walk alongside us, people to get in our face when we get off the path.
Who are you walking alongside today? Who encourages you as you learn to follow Jesus? Who are you strengthening by your presence? Into whom are you pouring your life? Who is pouring life into you?
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.— Hebrews 10:24-25
We hope that you get involved in community life here at King’s Grant. Sunday morning small groups are quite convenient, at 9:45 a.m. (after and before morning worship) and Wednesday groups begin January 9 at 6:00 and run through Easter 2019.
Reminder Cards for our 50th Anniversary are going out in the mail very soon. Mark your calendar and display the card on your refrigerator at home or in your cubical at work. There will be reflective activities and special segments during worship times leading up to our celebrating what God has done throughout the decades.
The Living Room Series – See Janice Barber for more Information
Start date: Tuesday January 8, 2019
End date: Tuesday March 5, 2019
Luncheon or dinner: March 12, 2019
Meeting at 9:15 a.m. or 6:45 p.m.