The Heart of a Jesus Follower

The Heart of a Follower of Jesus
(5 Ways Jesus teaches His disciples to remains strong in commitment and service.)
John 14:1-15

  1. Jesus teaches His followers to have an untroubled heart (1-4).
    1. Jesus was distracted, discouraged, and distressed
    2. Jesus was dealing with betrayal, denial, and not being with his men much longer
    3. “Believe” is not an imperative, but indicative, meaning they believed in Jesus, he told them to act like it.
  2. Jesus teaches His followers about the priority of the relationship (5-7).
    1. He is the way – the only, exclusive path tothe Father
    2. He is the truth – the truth intimately known
    3. He is the life – victory over death
  3. Jesus teaches His followers to move beyond doubt (8-11).
  4. Jesus teaches His followers about true confidence (12-14).
    1. He invites them into his work
    2. He involves them in greater works to come
    3. He increased their blessing – ask, and he will do it
  5. Jesus teaches His followers lifestyle obedience (15).
    1. This is not a cold legalism – keep the commandment.
    2. This is personal affection – we serve and obey because we love him.

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What are some widely accepted “truths” that you believe to be false?
  2. In what ways do you resemble your parents?
  3. What did Thomas ask Jesus? (John 14:5)
  4. What did Jesus tell Thomas that He was? (John 14:6)
  5. Whom did Jesus say that His disciples would know if they really knew Him? (John 14:7)
  6. Whom did Philip ask Jesus to show them? (John 14:8)
  7. What did Jesus ask Philip in response to Philip’s request to be shown the Father? (John 14:9)
  8. How did Jesus characterize His relationship with the Father? (John 14:10-11)
  9. What evidence did Jesus use to prove that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him? (John 14:11)
  10. What did Jesus say that those who had faith in Him would do? (John 14:12)
  11. Why did Jesus say that anyone who had faith would do greater things? (John 14:12)
  12. Why did Jesus say that He would do whatever His believers asked in His name? (John 14:13)
  13. What did Jesus say that He would do for His followers? (John 14:14)
  14. In what way is faith in Jesus Christ exclusive or narrow?
  15. In what way is Christianity an exclusive belief system?
  16. How is Jesus the way, the truth, and the life in your life?
  17. How are we related to Jesus Christ and God the Father?
  18. What does it mean to know someone?
  19. What does it mean to know Jesus and God?
  20. What “greater things” are we doing today?
  21. What can we ask Jesus to do?
  22. What should our motivation be when we make requests of Jesus?
  23. How can we bring glory to the Father?
  24. What can you do this week to deepen your relationship with Christ?
  25. What can you do today to bring glory to God?
  26. Whom do you need to tell about the way Jesus offers a relationship with God?

Guatemala Benevolent Offering August 5

Dear Church Family,
 
We are writing these words in front of an orphanage in Villa Nueva, Guatemala. We completed our day of work here and we just gathered as a team – both KGBC and CRI staff to pray on a muddy, dusty floor that will become a new building for Destiny of Hope Orphanage. We prayed, asking God to bless the ministry, asking for His provision, and asking for children who need to know the love of Jesus to fill the orphanage. Just as soon as we said “Amen” and were headed to the bus, the director of Destiny of Hope received a phone call that a baby was ready at that very moment to be picked up and brought back to the orphanage. We are currently waiting for that child to arrive so that we can celebrate the goodness, and the faithfulness of God! (Thus, we decided to write this on the spot.)
 
Catalyst Resources International has felt God’s leading for this ministry, and has received licensing within the last month to begin receiving children at Destiny of Hope. They currently have one child, (with one more on the way as we speak), and are expecting more any day! They are in the middle stages of building their second building. There are currently not enough funds to finish this building, but CRI is trusting that God will provide. Workers are available to work next week, but funds are not confirmed for materials that will be needed for them to continue the job.
 
This Sunday, we will be collecting a benevolent offering for this incredible ministry. We are asking that you come prepared to give, in whatever way God is leading you. Our goal is to make these funds available to CRI as quickly as possible so that construction may continue.
 
It has been an amazing week and we can’t wait to tell you all about it! Thank you for your prayers. Please pray for Catalyst Resources International, and Destiny of Hope Orphanage!
 
Update – We walked baby Johanna into the orphanage this afternoon and prayed over her. She is safe and sound at Destiny of Hope! (Click the images below to read the photo descriptions.)
 
Beth, Ken, and Team
 

Jesus Prepares His Followers

PREPARED
(4 Ways Jesus Prepared His Followers to Be Sent Out)
John 13:1-38

  1. Jesus establishes the principle of selfless service for His followers (John 13:1-9).
    1. Intention – he got up, volitional action.
    2. Genuineness – development of a servant’s heart.
    3. Lifestyle – I get to do this rather than I have to do this.
  2. Jesus sets apart His followers from the world (John 13:10-17).
    1. I will do this and not wait for someone else to do it.
    2. Jesus sets an example which leads to an expectation.
    3. It comes from the heart, not just an activity for me to do.
  3. Jesus identifies the enemy of His Lordship (John 13:18-30).
    1. The enemy is Satan, but also selfishness.
    2. Selfishness grieves the Master’s heart
    3. Satan’s influence go against the Lordship of Christ.
    4. Selfishness will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than what you want to pay.
  4. Jesus calls His followers to a new command (John 13:31-38).
    1. We are to love one another.
    2. Love is the sign that we are followers of Jesus.
    3. How can we not be like Judas, with a calloused heart?

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What can you learn about a person from the way he or she dresses?
  2. How do people reveal their convictions through their life-style?
  3. What does it mean to love someone?
  4. What did Jesus say when Judas had gone? (John 13:31)
  5. What did God do through Jesus? (John 13:32)
  6. How much longer did Jesus say He would be with His disciples? (John 13:33)
  7. Why was Jesus saying farewell? (John 13:33)
  8. What was Jesus giving to His disciples? (John 13:34)
  9. What did Jesus command His disciples to do? (John 13:34)
  10. How did Jesus say people would know His disciples? (John 13:35)
  11. What question did Peter ask Jesus? (John 13:36)
  12. What did Jesus tell Peter? (John 13:36)
  13. What did Peter pledge to do? (John 13:37)
  14. What blunt statement did Jesus make about Peter? (John 13:38)
  15. How is God glorified by our behavior?
  16. What does it mean for you to love people as Jesus has loved them?
  17. What kind of love was Jesus talking about?
  18. How is love a sign that someone is a disciple of Christ?
  19. How do we deny Christ with our words or life-style?
  20. When and why are we tempted to deny Jesus?
  21. How does our denying Christ affect our relationship with Him as well as our relationships with
    other Christians?
  22. Who is someone you need to love as Christ has loved you? How?
  23. What can you do to stay loyal to Christ this week with either your words or your life-style?
  24. How can you show Christ’s love to others at your place of work, at home, or in your neighborhood?
  25. What steps can you take to become more loving to others?

God’s Salvation and Man’s Crisis

God’s Salvation and Man’s Crisis
5 Apologetics of the Christian Faith
John 12:27-50

  1. The Name of God (John 12:27-29).
  2. The Message of the Cross (John 12:30-34).
  3. The Relevance of Jesus (John 12:35-37).
  4. The Need of this Present Culture (John 12:38-43).
  5. The Accountability with the Truth (John 12:44-50).

Questions for Further Study:

  1. Who or what in life encourages you to be self-centered?
  2. Are you moire likely to panic at a big crisis of a small one?
  3. When have you set aside your own needs temporarily to meet the needs of other people?
  4. What did the group of Greeks ask Philip? (John 12:20-22)
  5. What brought these gentiles to a Jewish festival?
  6. For most of John’s book, Jesus is telling people his time had not yet come (John 2:4, 7:6, 7:30), so what happened? (John 12:23)
  7. What did Jesus say had come? (John 12:23)
  8. What did Jesus say about a kernel of wheat? (John 12:24)
  9. What did Jesus say about loving and hating life? (John 12:25)
  10. What did Jesus say about the person who wants to serve Him? (John 12:26)
  11. How did Jesus feel? (John 12:27)
  12. What was Jesus’ attitude? (John 12:27)
  13. Why didn’t Jesus ask the Father to save Him? (John 12:27)
  14. What did Jesus ask the Father to do? (John 12:28)
  15. How did the crowd react to God’s voice? (John 12:29)
  16. What time did Jesus say it was? (John 12:31)
  17. What did Jesus say would happen when He was lifted up? (John 12:32)
  18. How did the crowd respond to Jesus’ words? (John 12:34)
  19. In what way was Jesus’ audience running out of time? (John 12:35)
  20. What did Jesus tell the crowd to do? (John 12:36)
  21. How do we love our own lives?
  22. How does Jesus want us to hate our lives?
  23. When and why is it difficult for you to serve and follow Jesus?
  24. What does it mean for us to “walk in the light”?
  25. What tempts you to wander in the darkness rather than walk in the light?
  26. What example has Jesus set for us to follow?
  27. How can a group of people all have the same experience but interpret it differently?
  28. What is one change you can make in your life to become more attentive to the needs of others over your own?
  29. In what areas of your life are you in denial?
  30. Where is Jesus calling you to die so that you might live?
  31. On to what do you tend to hold rather than follow Jesus?
  32. Do you feel more like you are walking in darkness or in the light?
  33. To whom can you be helpful today? How?

The Narrowing Effect of Following Jesus

The Narrowing Effect of Following Jesus
John 12:1-26

  1. As revealed in Jesus’ visit to Lazarus’ house (12:1-11).
    1. The broader view of the Christian life: good deeds.
    2. The proper view of a follower of Christ: a strong commitment to the message of Christ’s love and redemption for the world.
  2. As revealed in the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (12:12-19).
    1. The broader view of the Christian life: interested in “the intermittent experience.”
    2. The proper view of a follower of Christ: surrender to His rule and reign as King.
  3. As revealed in Jesus’ words (12:20-26).
    1. The broader view of the Christian life: knowing more about Jesus.
    2. The proper view of a follower of Christ: forsaking all to follow Jesus.
  4. Conclusion: How does this better instruct me in the vision of the church? How does this better form my role as a part of the Body of Christ?

Discussion Questions for Further Study:

  1. Jesus Anointed at Bethany – John 12:1-11
  2. When have you indulged another person with an expensive gift? How did you feel? How did they feel?
  3. If you have a year’s wages, on what would you spend it?
  4. How do you deal with the tension of helping people in need while enjoying your wealth and possessions?
  5. When did Jesus arrive in Bethany? (John 12:1)
  6. What was done in honor of Jesus in Bethany? (John 12:2)
  7. What did Mary do to Jesus? (John 12:3)
  8. How did Judas respond to Mary’s act? (John 12:4-5)
  9. What motivated Judas’s response to Mary’s act? (John 12:6)
  10. Why did Jesus say that Mary had anointed Him with perfume? (John 12:7)
  11. What did Jesus say about the poor? (John 12:8)
  12. Why did the large crowd come to Mary and Martha’s home? (John 12:9)
  13. What did the chief priests plan to do? (John 12:10)
  14. They were going to kill Lazarus too. Do you see the irony?
  15. Here is a great outline of John 11 and 12…
    1. Lazarus was dead – John 11:14, 39 – who can tell the story of YOUR death, and coming to life?
    2. Lazarus was disabled – John 11:44 – in what ways have you been disabled, unable to life as God intends for you?
    3. Lazarus was dangerous – John 12:10-11 – when have you been this dangerous to the adversary? Is this your desire, to be evangelistically and great commission inclined?
  16. What motive did the chief priests have? (12:11)
  17. If you had a dinner in honor of Jesus, who would you invite?
  18. How do you worship Jesus with your resources?
    1. Have you developed the habit of tithing?
    2. Does anyone have the gift of giving?
  19. What concern should we have for the poor among us?
  20. What are your thoughts on the guys at intersections with cardboard signs?
  21. When have you helped due a compelling story but later realize you had been duped?
  22. In what way can we help those less fortunate than ourselves?
  23. What organizations do you support, or with which you volunteer?
    1. When/how do we know if what we are doing is helping the poor?
    2. Do we give them what they ask for or give them what they need?
  24. Why are there poor people?
  25. Can poorness be cultural? Self-perpetuating? A preferred lifestyle? A rut into which a generation will not get out?
  26. What did Jesus mean when he said the poor are always with us?
  27. How do we selfishly use God’s resources for our own pleasure?
  28. What about missions and benevolence?
  29. Do we/you sacrifice in giving or give out of your/our excess?
  30. When have we masked our own selfishness with the appearance of concern for others?
  31. How can you worship and honor God with your resources today?
  32. When have you been the most dangerous to Satan, our enemy?
  33. How is your budget a reflection of your spiritual priorities?
  34. How can you help someone less fortunate than yourself this week?
  35. If you had a year’s salary to spend on the kingdom of Christ, what would it be?
  36. What impure motives do you need to confess to God and ask Him to purify?

A Conspiracy to Stop the Gospel

A Conspiracy that Could Not Stop the Gospel
John 11:45-57

  1. What was this conspiracy? John 11:45-48
  2. What did this conspiracy attempt to accomplish? John 11:49-50
  3. How did this affect the gospel? John 11:51-54
  4. What does this mean for the church? for Me?

Questions for Further Study:

  1. Without naming names, who is the most dishonest and self-serving person you’ve ever known?
  2. What examples of selfishness do you see in a typical day?
  3. How do you deal with problem people in your life?
  4. How did many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary respond to Jesus’ miracle? (John 11:45)
  5. Who was told about Jesus’ miracle? (John 11:46)
  6. What did the Sanhedrin fear? (John 11:47-48)
  7. What did Caiaphas say about Jesus? (John 11:49-50)
  8. How did Caiaphas prophesy? (John 11:51-52)
  9. What did the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin plot to do? (John 11:53)
  10. How did Jesus respond to the Sanhedrin’s plot? (John 11:54)
  11. Why did many people go to Jerusalem? (John 11:55)
  12. For whom did the people in Jerusalem look? (John 11:56)
  13. What orders had the chief priests and Pharisees given to the people? (John 11:57)
  14. What motive other than ministry might people have for engaging in Christian service?
  15. What personal ambitions might subvert the goal of serving God and others in Christian organizations?
  16. When have you intentionally or unintentionally used the church to pursue your own agenda?
  17. Why is it so difficult to have pure and selfless motives in life?
  18. How do you respond when your goals and your motives conflict with one another?
  19. How might Christianity be challenged or threatened by Jesus if He were to come back today?
  20. How would you tell a self-centered person the gospel message?
  21. What self-centered motive will you ask God to help you change?

Jesus is Life

Jesus is Life
John 11:1-46

Principle #1: The Good that Jesus Brings is not limited by Your Present Situation. (John 11:1-5)
The Application: Don’t give up on God.
What determines your situation?
People?
Predicament?
Promise?

Principle #2: The human reasoning of your present circumstance should always stand contested by faith in Christ. (John 11:6-16)
Application: Trust Jesus even when it doesn’t make sense.
…When His timing doesn’t always make sense
…When following Him is not always comfortable or safe
…When problems seem so irreversible
…When there always seems to be a battle to fight

Principle #3: The Truth of Christ is the only way to respond to a crisis of belief. (John 11:17-27)
Application: When in doubt, hold tight to your relationship with Jesus Christ.
DOUBT: Circumstance and Culture
BELIEF: Jesus

Principle #4: The compassion of Christ is stronger than your deepest sorrow. (John 11:28-37)
Application: Confess your inability to deal with “this” on your own, and fall before the Savior.
Urgency
Openness
Comfort

CONCLUSION: If the Truth of Christ raised a dead man, what will His Truth do for you? (John 11:38-44)

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What do the people you know fear most in life?
  2. What sort of miracle would be the most spectacular to witness?
  3. How did Jesus feel when He went to Lazarus’s tomb? (John 11:38)
  4. In what type of tomb was Lazarus buried? (John 11:38)
  5. What did Jesus tell the others to do? (John 11:39)
  6. How did Martha respond to Jesus’ request? (John 11:39)
  7. How did Jesus show Martha the importance of her belief? (John 11:40)
  8. What did Jesus do before He called to Lazarus? (John 11:41-42)
  9. What did Jesus say to the Father? Why? (John 11:41-42)
  10. How did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? (John 11:43-44)
  11. What did Lazarus do when Jesus called to him? (John 11:44)
  12. What did Jesus tell the people to do? (John 11:44)
  13. When have you been deeply moved?
  14. Under what circumstances have you doubted the power of God?
  15. When have you had faith in God’s ability to work out an impossible situation?
  16. What is one miracle God has done in your life?
  17. How does God show His glory to us?
  18. In what way has God shown His glory to you?
  19. In what way has God “raised you from the dead”?
  20. If you had been there when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, how do you think you might have responded?
  21. What specific situation do you need to trust God to work out in your life?
  22. For what “miracle” do you want to thank God today?
  23. What can you do today so that others might believe in Jesus?