“Get This” for June 24

From Pastor Ken

I was introduced to Jake Pratt along with millions of others, courtesy of ESPN video footage. Jake was a high school senior with Down syndrome. Jake’s family and his school did not see limitations in his life, but only possibilities.

Jake was given an opportunity to leave the sideline roll of manager for the football team that he had held throughout his high school career; on a very special Friday night, he was allowed to suit up with the rest of the players. My heart was overwhelmed as he was dressed out in a team uniform on the sideline. But Jake’s story doesn’t stop there.

When the footage showed Jake going into the game, I watched in amazement as the tears began to flow. As the play was called, everyone on both sides of the ball supported number 90 as he ran for a touchdown. The entire stadium erupted in joy, and I sat tear soaked and speechless.

I will never forget the sound of the fans as Jake was cheered on to what must be one of the most memorable occasions of his life: contributing to a football team he has loved and served for many years. Off the sideline and into the game! Jake did not have to be given the desire to play. He only needed the opportunity.

As I viewed this powerful real life expression of “team,” my mind raced to Romans 12:5, wherein we are told that in the church each member belongs one to another. This indicates that we are responsible for how each member of the body of Christ should be in the play; there are no sidelines in the Kingdom of Christ.

So, church member and church leader, in the spirit of being an equipping church, who are you trying to get into the game? Do you desire to see someone running for the end zone more than yourself? Are you willing to do what it takes to give that “someone” an opportunity to be trained (by this, I mean discipleship), encouraged, and involved in becoming one who ministers and leads. I am so glad Jake’s coach put Him in the game.

Can we as a people of God make our priority to disciple someone until he or she is truly making an impact in the church, and through the church to the world? This becomes our opportunity to create leaders within the church. Let’s not just create good church members, but rather equip active ministers. Let’s put Jake in the game!

Jesus as the Good Shepherd

Jesus’ Impact as the Good Shepherd
John 10:7-16

JESUS SAID, “I am the Door” – (3 ways this is applied)
Presence
Provision
Protection

JESUS SAID, “I am the Good Shepherd” – (3 ways this is applied)
Physical
Relational
Spiritual

For the Church, this is vision.
For the one who is lost, this is hope.

Questions for Further Discussion:

  1. What person or group did you and your friends “follow” when you were a teenager?
  2. What qualities do the best friends possess?
  3. Who did Jesus say was a thief and a robber? (John 10:1)
  4. What kind of relationship do sheep have with their shepherd? (John 10:2-4)
  5. Why won’t sheep follow a stranger? (John 10:5)
  6. What effect did Jesus’ words have on His audience? (John 10:6)
  7. What did Jesus say He was? (John 10:7)
  8. To whom did Jesus say the sheep did not listen? (John 10:8)
  9. What did Jesus say would be the result of entering through Him? (John 10:9)
  10. How did Jesus contrast His coming with the coming of a thief? (John 10:10)
  11. Who did Jesus claim to be? (John 10:11)
  12. Why did Jesus say the hired hand would abandon his sheep? (John 10:12-13)
  13. What type of relationship did Jesus say He had with His sheep? (John 10:14)
  14. What did Jesus say He did for His sheep? (John 10:15)
  15. What did Jesus say He had? (John 10:16)
  16. Why did Jesus say the Father loved Him? (John 10:17-18)
  17. What effect did Jesus’ words have on the Jews who heard Him speak? (John 10:19-21)
  18. In what way is Jesus like a gate?
  19. How has Jesus been a gate in your life?
  20. In what way is Jesus like a shepherd?
  21. How are we like sheep?
  22. In what way is Jesus your shepherd?
  23. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus?
  24. How can we better hear the voice of Jesus?
  25. What tempts people to follow a stranger? Why?
  26. How has Jesus made your life full?
  27. How can you develop a more intimate relationship with Jesus this week?
  28. How can you be more attentive to the voice of Jesus?

“Get This” for June 17

From Pastor Ken

“What does fatherhood mean to me?” This question touches my life deeply, as I am sure for every dad.

My wife and I are blessed with three daughters, all adopted. So, immediately I realize that “fatherhood” is not limited to genetic progeny. In fact, fatherhood is not even limited to proximity. A man can offer his physical heritage and his domestic closeness and yet miss being a father. So, what genuinely constitutes fatherhood in the life of a man? I believe this can be answered in 3 ways: (1) a physical covering, (2) a relational covering, (3) and a spiritual covering. This perspective became real to me as I engaged in studying the Scriptures that reveal Jesus as the Good shepherd. So, I would like to explain these three truths of fatherhood in the light of the truth of Jesus as the Good shepherd.

I really want you to get this!

  1. Jesus identified Himself as the good shepherd by laying down His life for His sheep (John 10:11) – a physical covering, especially against the dangers of wolves (the darkness of this world). He carried this out ultimately on the cross, praise His name!!
  2. Jesus identified Himself as the good shepherd by knowing His sheep (John 10:14) – a relational covering; He emphasized this relationship by the significance of the sheep knowing His voice, thus demonstrating that the relationship is very close and personal.
  3. Jesus identified Himself as the good shepherd by stating (John 10:29) that His Father is greater than all. Jesus was always interested in His followers knowing that they truly belong to God – a spiritual covering.

Jesus truly cares about family. So, would it not make sense to measure one’s fatherhood by the heart of Christ?

Dads, how closely do you resemble the good shepherd when you love your children?

Do you provide physical covering, laying yourself down daily – making sacrifices – so that you are protecting them from the evils of this world. Do you care about what they are watching, who they spend time with, etc. Do you provide a relational covering? Do you take the time to truly know your children, and for them to truly know you? Do you let them into your life, into your space, and into your heart? And most of all, do you provide a spiritual covering? Is your greatest concern for them spiritual? How do you encourage them to truly dedicate themselves to God, Who is greater than all, including us dads?! Are you nurturing your children spiritually by allowing them to hear you pray; are they encouraged by your own walk of faith? Can you pour into them out of the abundance of your daily experience with Christ.

Dad’s, today I ask you a simple question: are you willing to shepherd your children and your home (your precious bride included)? Let’s be real men! Let’s live and love like shepherds!

For every man of any age (and for that matter, every person), shepherd someone’s life today by living in obedience to the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Join the community of faith at King’s Grant Baptist this Sunday, June 17, to celebrate Father’s Day, and to engage in a study from the Gospel of John, Chapter 10: “How Jesus impacted lives as the Good Shepherd.”

Knowing True and Artificial Faith

Four Ways to Know the Difference between Real and Artificial Faith.
John 10:25-30

  1. RELATIONSHIP – My sheep know ME, that is personal and relational. Salvation is not based on my family connection to God, or my involvement in the church, or the work of my hands.
    1. Believing (John 10:25-26)
    2. Hearing (John 10:27)
  2. DISCIPLESHIP – Jesus calls us to follow him.
    1. Joining – Matthew 4:18-22 – they dropped their nets.
    2. Honoring – 2 Corinthians 4:6 – we will shine and give God glory.
    3. Following – Luke 9:23 – deny self, take up our cross, and follow.
  3. KINGDOM LIFE – Jesus gives life, abundant and free, not just life in heaven but life that comes up from everywhere here on earth.
  4. CONFIDENCE – no one can take us away, we are secure in Christ, we hold his hold, but more importantly, he holds OUR hand, like a father grasps the hand of his daughter, he will not let go. The security is based on the father’s ability to hold on, not the daughter’s own strength or effort.

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What truths are hard for you to accept? Why?
  2. How did your family typically handle conflict when you were growing up?
  3. What question did the Jews ask Jesus? (John 10:22-24)
  4. How did Jesus answer the Jews’ question? (John 10:25-26)
  5. What did Jesus say His sheep did? (John 10:27)
  6. What did Jesus say He gave to His sheep? (John 10:28)
  7. What did Jesus say that no one could do to His sheep? (John 10:28-29)
  8. With whom did Jesus claim to be one? (John 10:30)
  9. Why do people today fail to realize that Jesus is God?
  10. In what way are you Jesus’ sheep?
  11. What makes you feel secure in your relationship with your friends?
  12. What makes you feel secure in your relationship with God?
  13. How secure is your relationship with God?
  14. How will you demonstrate your thankfulness to God today for your secure relationship with Him?
  15. What steps will you take to follow your Shepherd closely this week?

Truth Proven in a Life Restored

The Truth of Jesus Proven Through a Life Restored
John 9:1-41

First Observation. What Jesus did. (John 9:1-7)
Jesus brought the needs and inabilities of the blind man into the realm of God’s Work.

Second Observation. What the blind man did. (John 9:8-12)
The blind man responded to Jesus reordering His steps.

Third Observation. What the culture did. (John 9:13-34)
The culture was skeptical of the supernatural change Jesus brought to the blind man.

Fourth Observation. What change does. (John 9:35-41)
The blind man believed and worshipped.

Questions for Further Study:

  1. Who do you know who has challenged “the establishment” or “the system”?
  2. About what do you tend to get complacent?
  3. To whom was the blind man taken? (John 9:13)
  4. On what day did Jesus heal the blind man? (John 9:14)
  5. What did the Pharisees ask the blind man? (John 9:15)
  6. Over what were the Pharisees divided? (John 9:16)
  7. Who did the blind man think Jesus was? (John 9:17)
  8. Why did the Pharisees send for the blind man’s parents? (John 9:18)
  9. How did the blind man’s parents answer the Pharisees’ questions? (John 9:19-21)
  10. What did the blind man’s parents fear? (John 9:22-23)
  11. What did the Pharisees ask the blind man to do? (John 9:24)
  12. How did the blind man respond to the Pharisees? (John 9:25)
  13. What question did the blind man ask the Pharisees? (John 9:27)
  14. Whose disciples did the Pharisees claim to be? (John 9:28)
  15. What did the blind man say was remarkable? (John 9:29-30)
  16. What did the blind man say nobody had ever done? (John 9:31-32)
  17. What convinced the blind man that Jesus was from God? (John 9:33)
  18. What did the Pharisees do to the man who was born blind? (John 9:34)
  19. What divides Christian leaders today?
  20. How would you react to a miraculous healing?
  21. Why do you believe Jesus is from God?
  22. When have your parents disappointed you?
  23. How do you respond when your authority is challenged?
  24. What authority have you ever challenged?
  25. How do people respond when the status quo is disturbed?
  26. In what way has Jesus upset the status quo in your life?
  27. When have you allowed fear to control your behavior?
  28. In what way are Christians today complacent?
  29. In what way has Jesus opened your once-blind eyes?
  30. What area of your life about which you have become complacent do you need to allow Jesus to revitalize? How?
  31. What program in your church about which people have become complacent can you help revitalize?
  32. How would you challenge someone this week who disputed the authority of God?