Gear Up for the Game

[ The opening video illustration was purchased from BluefishTV ]

Gear Up for the Game
2 Peter 1:1-11


  1. Jesus Cares About Me (Luke 15:1-7) Romans 5:8
  2. Jesus Gives Me Hope (John 11:1-44) John 11:25
  3. Jesus Helps Me to Believe (John 20:19-31) John 20:29
  4. Jesus Loves Me (John 13:1-35, 19:25-27, 20:1-10, 21:1-14) 1 John 3:1a
  5. Jesus Gives Me Joy (Acts 16:23-34) Psalm 95:1


  1. God Rules: The Bible tells us that God created everything, including you and me, and he is in charge of everything (Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4:11, Colossians 1:16-17)
  2. We Sinned: Since the time of Adam and Eve, everyone has chosen to disobey God (Romans 3:23). The Bible calls this sin. Because God is holy and cannot tolerate sin, we have a problem. Sin is that which separates up from God, no matter how hard we try to reach him. We deserve punishment and death (Romans 6:23).
  3. God Provided: To deal with our sin problem, God provided a way to forgive sin. Sin could not just be forgiven and swept under the rug, it has to be paid for. Jesus took the punishment that we deserve and could never pay on our own. Jesus saves us (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9).
  4. Jesus Gives: Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead. Since he gave up his life for us, we can be welcomed into God’s forever family. This is the best gift ever (Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 3:18).

What can I do now? Learn Your ABCs

  1. Admit to God that you are a sinner. Tell God you messed up and are sorry for doing your own thing. Repent, and turn away from your sin and turn to God. Stop doing bad things and start doing good things. Turn to Jesus, the only one who can save you.
  2. Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and receive his free gift of forgiveness from sin. Only Jesus can save us from our sin problem. Not even praying, going to church, or reading your Bible can save you. We trust in Jesus, his death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead to bring salvation.
  3. Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Tell God and then tell others what you believe about Jesus. When Jesus is your Savior, you are trusting in him only for your salvation. He is your Savior and he is your Lord, Boss, and Master. You follow him because of what we read in the Bible. We are born again into new life and will be with God forever (Romans 10:9-10, 13).


  1. The Christian Life Begins with Faith (2 Peter 1:1–4)
    1. This faith is in a person (2 Peter 1:1–2) – not belief in a set of doctrines.
    2. This faith involves God’s power (2 Peter 1:3)
    3. This faith involves God’s promises (2 Peter 1:4)
  2. Faith Results in Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:5–9)
    1. The Path of Diligence – Positive Progression (2 Peter 1:5-8)
      1. We Must not only believe, we must behave (2 Peter 1:5a)
      2. We Must not only have integrity, we must be informed (2 Peter 1:5b)
      3. We Must not only be taught, we must be temperate (2 Peter 1:6a)
      4. We Must not only be in possession, we must be patient (2 Peter 1:6b)
      5. We Must not only be good, we must be godly (2 Peter 1:6c)
      6. We Must not only be holy, we must be helpful (2 Peter 1:7a)
      7. We Must not only be liberal (in kindness), we must be lovable (2 Peter 1:7b)
    2. The Path of Delusion – Negative (2 Peter 1:9)
  3. Spiritual Growth Brings Practical Results (2 Peter 1:10–11)
    1. Steadfastness (2 Peter 1:10a) – be all the MORE diligent about your calling and his choosing you.
    2. Stability (2 Peter 1:10d) – You will never stumble.
    3. Salvation (2 Peter 1:11) – Entrance into the eternal kingdom of Jesus, will be fully supplied.

The Bottom Line:

  1. Don’t just sit in the stadium – you are not a spectator. Church is not a spectator sport.
  2. Don’t dress out and just sit on the sidelines – be ready to get in the only game that counts.

Questions for Further Discussion:

  1. What character qualities do you find most attractive in other people?
  2. What do people often do to “grow” intellectually, culturally, or in some similar way?
  3. If you could be better at one thing, what would you want to improve?
  4. Who wrote 2 Peter? (2 Peter 1:1)
  5. To whom was 2 Peter written? (2 Peter 1:1)
  6. What did Peter say had been given to his audience? (2 Peter 1:3)
  7. How do God’s people benefit from the promises God has given them? (2 Peter 1:4)
  8. What did Peter urge his readers to add to their faith? (2 Peter 1:5-7)
  9. How did Peter encourage his audience? (2 Peter 1:5-7)
  10. What would be the result of possessing godly character in increasing measure? (2 Peter 1:8)
  11. What happens to the person who does not possess godly qualities? (2 Peter 1:9)
  12. What did Peter want his audience to be eager to do? Why? (2 Peter 1:10-11)
  13. What happens when we pursue the qualities Peter described? (2 Peter 1:11)
  14. How equipped do you feel for life and godliness?
  15. What is the relationship between knowledge of God and Christ and spiritual growth?
  16. Which of the character qualities that Peter listed do you find the most difficult to practice?
  17. Which of the qualities listed by Peter do you consider to be the most important to add to your faith? Why?
  18. What does it mean to be ineffective and unproductive?
  19. How can the qualities Peter mentioned keep us from being ineffective and unproductive?
  20. Why is it easy to forget what God has done for us?
  21. How can someone make his or her calling and election sure?
  22. Which of the qualities listed do you want most to add to your faith?
  23. How will you add a godly quality to your faith today?
  24. What steps will you take in order to make your calling and election sure?
  25. What steps will you take this week to make your faith more effective and productive?

Lasting Impact “I Will” Video Challenge

These video segments are coordinated with Ken’s teaching series called, How to Make a Lasting Impact (October – November 2017).

We handed out the Thom Rainer book to every family, and I challenge classes to get together and discuss the information we learn from our reading. We are not replacing the class lessons, but hope that we can stimulate conversation by encouraging every family to read this book.

  1. I Will – an Introduction – October 1
  2. I Will Gather for Worship – October 8
  3. I Will Gather in a Small Group – October 15

For the rest of the series, check out

Embrace the Master’s Plan

Embrace the Master’s Plan, with Scott Chafee, the primary Scripture being Luke 6:39-40 – Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.

[ Sermon Audio ] [ Sermon Text ]

Jesus is the greatest example of leadership ever known. He had a plan to reach the world with his message of freedom and forgiveness, but left the whole thing into the hands of 12 ordinary men. How did he do it? What was his plan? What was his plan B? How does one take a grand idea, develop a plan, and implement such a bold proposal?

  1. Selection – men were his method (Luke 6:13 – he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles).
  2.  Association – he stayed with them (Matthew 28:20 – I am with you always, even to the end of the age).
  3. Consecration – he required obedience (Matthew 11:29 – take my yoke upon you).
  4. Impartation – he gave himself away (John 20:22 – he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit).
  5. Demonstration – he showed them how to live (John 13:15 – I have given you an example).
  6. Delegation – he assigned them work (Matthew 4:19 – I will make you fishers of men).
  7. Supervision – he checked on them (Mark 8:17 – Do you still not see or understand?).
  8. Reproduction – he expected them to reproduce (John 15:16 – I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last).


Ken has been teaching about vision over the past several weeks, but vision is not just in theory. We need to embrace the vision to help build the kingdom of God here in our community.

Community. Faith. Love. People always take priority over programs or preferences.

  • We must mend and restore relationships: relationships with God and with others, resulting in COMMUNITY (member)
  • We must establish and lay a foundation toward spiritual maturity and effective ministry (FAITH is what guides us toward the ministry he has for us). (minister)
  • We must embrace the task of being sent out with a lifestyle of being on mission. It is the LOVE of Christ that compels us to live this out every day. (mission)

Methods vary but our mission always remains the same – it has been said, “marry the mission, but date the methods.” Are we willing to do WHATEVER it takes to reach people we are currently not reaching? It could be that we need to “do things no one is doing” in order to reach people no one is reaching. It sounds scary. It sounds like change. Is the church about me, or is the church about the Kingdom? Are we willing to let go of the familiar and comfortable in order to embrace the Master’s plan?

Will you embrace the Master’s plan and be the church member and minister that God has called you to be?

Whether One of Many: The Home

This message is from Scott Chafee on the value of the home used as a tool for the Kingdom of God, from Psalm 127:1-2. [ The full message text may be found here ]

Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

The Value of a Lighthouse

  • Life Purpose
  • Life Verses – here are a few possibilities: Acts 20:24, Galatians 2:20, Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 28:19-20, Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Hebrews 12:1-2

The Vanity of Life

  1. It is vain to build a House without God – Psalm 127:1a
  2. It is vain to guard the City without God – Psalm 127:1b
  3. It is vain to Work Hard without God – Psalm 127:2

The Vacuum of Space

  • The Front Hall – where we initiate relationships
  • The Dining Room – where we satisfy our appetites and desires
  • The Living Room – where we fellowship and get to know each other
  • The Work Room – where we find the work bench and build things
  • The Bed Room – where we protect our moral purity
  • The Recreation Room – where we have entertainment and relaxation
  • The Hall Closet – where we store items we want to keep

Next Steps:

  1. Transfer Your Deed.
  2. Choose Your Verse.
  3. Embrace Your Purpose.
  4. Clean Your Closet.

Study Questions:

  1. How did Solomon remind us that all of life’s blessings come from God and not people’s own achievements?
  2. In what specific ways should God’s people depend on Him?
  3. What does this psalm say about relationships?
  4. What should motivate us to depend on the Lord for help in times of need?
  5. What promises from this psalm would you like to claim for yourself?
  6. What attitude should we have toward ourselves?
  7. How do you think you could improve your attitude toward worshiping God?
  8. In what specific ways do you need to depend more on the Lord and less on yourself?
  9. What have you learned today about interpersonal relationships?
  10. How should we treat our family members and friends?
  11. What good things, experiences, people, or successes has God granted to you?
  12. How can we thank the Lord for His goodness to us?
  13. How could you demonstrate your thankfulness to the Lord today for the friendships you have?
  14. In what specific area of your life could you depend more on the Lord and less on confidence in your own abilities?
  15. In what ways will you begin to use your home as a tool for the purposes of God?
  16. Who are the neighbors that you are regularly praying for?
  17. Who in your community needs the GPS (God’s Plan of Salvation) that you have?

He is Faithful

[ Here is a Link to My Sermon Notes ]

He is Faithful to Complete it
Philippians 1:1–6

  • Paul and Timothy
  • Paul and Grace / Peace
  • Paul and Prayer

The Mission (Philippians 1:5) – participation in the gospel, from the first day until now.
The Mandate (Philippians 1:6a) – he who began a good work in you.
The Maturity (Philippians 1:6b) – will perfect it, or will complete it. – this is all about maturity.
The Movement (Philippians 1:6c) – until the day of Christ Jesus.

Not only had the church participated in the gospel (Philippians 1:5) but they participated in their own spiritual growth. Growth is not left up to other people, we must take responsibility for our spiritual growth and maturity.

The graphic I mentioned (in the MISSION section):

pathways to serving header

The Shepherd’s Sacrifice

The outline mentioned in the message:

Jesus pointed out five special ministries that he performs as the Good Shepherd.

  1. He is the DOOR for the Sheep (John 10:7-10).
  2. He DIES for the sheep (John 10:11–13).
  3. He DISCERNS (knows) his sheep (John 10:14–15).
  4. He DELIVERS (brings) other sheep into the flock (John 10:16).
  5. He has DOMINION over (takes up) His life (John 10:17–18).
  6. He causes DIVISION among the leaders (John 10:19-21).

Next Steps:

  1. Do you know the Shepherd’s voice? (If not, let’s talk about it).
  2. What was the turning point for you, when you first heard and responded to God’s voice?
  3. How do you discern the voice of God in the midst of so many competing voices in the world?
  4. In what ways can you be more attentive to God’s voice?
  5. In what ways can you live your life sacrificially?
  6. What emotion can you describe that indicates how you feel about God caring for you as this Good Shepherd?
  7. If she is still with us, when do you plan on calling your mom today?

The text of the message: [ Sermon Notes ]

The Shepherd’s Staff

Here are the Next Steps I mention at the end:

  1. Will you commit yourself to prayer during this time, as we seek a new pastor?
  2. Will you commit yourself to others in this church through faithful participation and active service?
  3. Will you put your own desires and personal preferences aside as we seek to become a church focused on God’s mission and global purpose?
  4. In what ways will you seek the lost? Bring back the scattered? Bind the broken? Strengthen the sick? Feed or lead the sheep?
  5. In what ways will you meet the needs of others during this time of uncertainty?

Here is the graphic I mentioned in the message:

Christology-Missiology-EcclesiologyHere is a transcript of the message: [ The Shepherd’s Staff ]