The Heights of The Mountains Are His

Intro

95 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;

let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

2  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

3  For the LORD is a great God,

and a great King above all gods.

4  In his hand are the depths of the earth;

the heights of the mountains are his also.

5  The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands formed the dry land.

6  Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!

7  For he is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture,

and the sheep of his hand. (Ps 95:1–7)


Mind

  • What types of things should we think about when we give praise to God? In these verses, what is the Psalmist thinking about?

  • What image does the Psalmist use to describe his relationship to God? Why is it powerful?


Motive

  • When the Psalmist turns his mind to God’s greatness, what emotions does he begin to feel?

  • Is the Psalmist worshiping alone? What does his joy cause him to do in regard to other people?


Mission & Memory Verse


Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;

let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

2  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!


Worship


Prayer

Pray through each line of this Psalm. Pause and reflect on God’s revealed character.


Further Study


Parable of The Ten Virgins

Intro

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Mt 25:1–13)


Illustration


Mind

  • What does this parable teach us about wisdom?


  • Why didn’t the bridegroom know the foolish virgins?

  • what do these things mean? What does it look like for us to be prepared and wise? What does it look like for us to waste our opportunity to live for God?


Motive

  • Why do we remain prepared as we wait for the Groom’s return?

10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Mt 25:10–13)


Memory Verse

“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Lk 12:48)


Mission

Check out what Colossians 4 says about being faithful as we wait.

2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col 4:2–6)


Worship


Prayer

Ask God to give you endurance in your waiting today. As you prepare the lamps that you have been entrusted with today, ask God to give you delight in the daily work of faithful worship.


Further Study

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Intro

You Must Be Ready

41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Lk 12:41–48)


Illustration

In Prince Caspian from C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia, reveals himself to his people and rewards the faithful and wounded mouse, Reepicheep, for his love and service to his people. In this clip Aslan also shows himself fierce to Trumpkin, a red dwarf who doubted his return.


Mind

  • According to Jesus, what does it look like to be a faithful servant? What must you be doing?


  • What is the true food that all people need? Do you intentionally plan to see that the people around you are fed and taken care of?


Motive

  • What are the differences in motivation between the faithful and the unfaithful servants?

“ 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful (Luke 12:43-46)


Memory Verse

“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Lk 12:48)


Mission

Check out what Colossians 3 says about faithful service.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:12–17)


Worship


Prayer

Ask God to help you see your responsibilities in a new way today. Ask for endurance to remain faithful, even when waiting seems hard and long. Ask God to help you love your neighbor.


Further Study

You Must Be Ready

Intro

You Must Be Ready

35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Lk 12:35–40)


Illustration


Mind

  • What would it look like for you to stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning?



  • What changes will you commit to today in order to stay prepared?


Motive

  • Why is it that Christians should be willing to serve faithfully? Look at the verses below and discuss.

“ 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants!” (Lk. 12:37-38)


Memory Verse

35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” (Lk. 12:35-36)



Mission

Check out what Ephesians 6 says about stayed ready. Look carefully at what it means to stay prepared and pray that God would equip you in these ways to remain faithful.

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph 6:14–20.


Worship


Prayer

Pray for joy in your endurance.


By This We Know Love

Intro

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 Jn 3:16–18.)


Illustration


Mind

  • According to this text, how is it that we know what love truly is?






  • What is the right way to express genuine love?




Motive

  • What part of us does the text point to when it mentions giving to those in need?

“ 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 Jn 3:16–18.)



  • Read the whole text again. What types of action does real love require?





Memory Verse

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)


Mission

Real love is willing to die. In fact, as Jesus shows us, real love seeks to die for the good of others. This might mean giving up your goods to a brother in need, or it might mean humbling yourself in a thousand other ways. Whatever it looks like, love isn’t in word or talk, but in deed and truth. Let’s seek to live and love this way.


Worship


Prayer

Ask God to make His will well with your soul. Remember Jesus in the garden, how he prayed that there may be another way, but ultimately God’s will be done? Let’s look at the hard road of self-sacrifice and offer up willing obedience.


Further Study

Douglas Wilson Sermon: https://www.christkirk.com/sermon/1-john-lust/

The Good Samaritan

Intro

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” ( Lk 10:25–37)

Illustration

Mind

  • According to Jesus, does being a neighbor simply mean that you live next to someone? What does Jesus mean by the word neighbor?





  • What is the difference between the way the religious leaders (Priest and Levite) understood God’s commands versus the way the Samaritan did?



Motive

  • How is it that we are to love other people?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live” (Lk. 10:27-28).

  • How does Jesus teach us to view our resources when serving those in need?



Memory Verse

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)


Mission

36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Lk. 10:36-37)


REMEMBER, the only true and ultimate Good Samaritan is Jesus. There is no one who has loved God with all their heart, mind, strength and loved their neighbor as them self except for Jesus. He it is who has looked with compassion upon you. He it is who has bandaged our wounds and paid the price necessary to see us whole through his own life. And it is his example of love that we rejoice in and aim to follow.

Worship

Prayer

Ask God to give you eyes to see and hearts to feel compassion for those around you. Ask God to forgive you if you have walked past the needs of others in your life.


Further Study










A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

Intro

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:33–37)

Illustration



Mind

  • What is Jesus frustrated about?

  • According to Jesus, how can we tell the true nature of what’s inside a person?


Motive

  • Look at the text again. Where do our words come from?

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:33–37)

  • Where do the good things that we do come from? What do you think Jesus means when he says we bring forth good deeds from our treasure?


Memory Verse

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt 12:34).


Mission

36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:33–37)


How about you? Will the words that you use prove that you are a child of God, or will they bring you judgement?

If judgement, turn from your sin. Confess and repent - God has paid the cost for you through his son, Jesus.


How can we live our lives bearing the good fruit that is within us? Let’s strive to speak the words of Jesus in the ways of Jesus and so prove to be his disciples.

Worship

Prayer

Ask God to purify your heart and help you to bear good fruit that shows his good work inside you.

Further Study

  • Ligon Duncan Sermon (Click on the photo)







The Sower And The Seeds

Intro

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:1-9).


Illustration


Mind

  • According to the parable, what is needed to produce a healthy crop?



  • According to Jesus’ explanation in verses 18-23 below, what do the different soils represent?

“Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”


Motive

  • Look at Jesus’ explanation of the parable below and pick out the reasons why some grow strong and some do not. Pay attention to the motives and emotions.

“Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”


Memory Verse

23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty” (Matthew 13:23).

Mission

God is the one who creates the good soil for growth. If he has prepared your heart to trust him - to not be choked by the cares of the world or snatched away by a predator, then bear the fruit of obedience and trust. The seed is God’s word, and to bear fruit we must understand it. This week, make it your prayer that God would create good soil in your heart. Seek not only to have regular times of reading God’s word, but pause and pay attention to what it is saying.

Be like a poet. Poets aren’t simply people who can write well, they are people who feel well and put it into words. They pause to look at something until it burns in their mind and heart. Be like a poet this week who looks at God’s word until it comes alive. Wrestle with the hard things of God - seek and you will find.


Worship


Prayer

Ask God to create good soil in your heart. Ask him to take out any thorns (idols) so that you can be fruitful.

Further Study

  • John MacArthur Sermon

What Is Man?

Text

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet

(Psalm 8:4-6)

Illustration


Mind

  • What does this Psalm say about the size and the dignity/value of man?

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet (Psalm 8:4-6)

Motive

  • Why is the writer of this Psalm so amazed?

  • Do you ever stop and let your mind think about God’s magnitude? If not, why?

    • The Lord tells us in Psalm 46:10 to, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Mission

  • According to Psalm 8, we are given dominion (control - care-taking) over the works of God’s hands. What does that mean?

  • When you think about your life and its purpose, do you ever consider what your creator has called you to do? What would it look like for you to take dominion over God’s kingdom? What did he tell the disciples? Good examples - (Matthew 4:18-24; 28:19-21)

Memory Verse

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10)

Further Study (This is a must watch!)


Loving Like Jesus

Intro

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him (Jesus). 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them” (Lk 15:1–2)

Mind

  • Why were the religious leaders angry with Jesus?

  • What do these verses tell you about the way Pharisees and Scribes view the people who in sin?

  • What do these verses tell you about the way Jesus views those same people?

Illustration


Motive

  • Why do you think Jesus is ministering to people at a dinner table? What is unique about that place?


Memory Verse

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mt 9:12–13).



Mission

What would look like for us to live like Jesus? How should we begin to pray for and serve those around us who need to hear and see the great love of God? It might look like laughter and stories shared around a meal - it might look like lots of different things, but if we are following Jesus’ example, it must mean that we meaningfully and genuinely love those around us in some real ways.

How can you do that this week?

What do you love to do? Maybe you can invite someone to do it with you.

What do you have time to do? Do you need to say no to something (even a good thing) so that you can make space for the great adventure of the gospel?

What creative ways can you begin to serve other?


Worship



Prayer

Ask God to help you see those around you as he sees them and to give you a passion for loving the world as he does.

Further Study

  • Mike Breen teaching on what it means to be a Family on Mission:

What Causes Fights?

Intro

What Causes Fights?

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (James 4:1–3).


Illustration


Mind

  • What is that James says causes anger and fights?

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (James 4:1–3).

  • Why does God often not give us what we ask for?


Motive

  • What is it that is at war within us?

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (James 4:1)



If we want something so much that we are willing to sin to get it, then we have made an idol of that thing.

  • Can you remember a time that you wanted something so much that it led you to sin? (Maybe a fight with a spouse or sibling)

Memory Verse



What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (James 4:1)




Mission

Is there someone that you need to seek forgiveness from today? Do not delay, in Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus says, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14–15). How is it that we as Christians are willing to receive incredible mercy from God and not show it to others. We can’t do this, and Jesus commands us not to. Seek forgiveness where necessary today and rejoice in how great grace - even where there is legitimate wrongdoing - shows the gospel.

Also, pay attention to your anger. Again, if you are willing to sin in order to get something, you have made what you want an idol. You are willing to disobey the true God to get access to another god. Ask your heavenly Father to satisfy you in him - he will be glad to do it.



Worship




Prayer

Ask God to help you turn away from wrong passions and turn toward him. Remember to ask him for help rightly, not spending his grace on your passions and wants, but to get more of him.





Further Study





The Lost Sheep

Intro

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:1–7).



Illustration

Mind

  • Why were the Pharisees and Scribes angry with Jesus?

  • How do “good” people often feel about “bad” people? How does Jesus teach us to feel?


Motive

What does the shepherd feel when he finds his lost sheep? What does God feel when a lost son or daughter returns?

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing (Lk. 15:4-5).



The Pharisees and Scribes were religious leaders - they were shepherds (That’s what the word Pastor means). How should they spend their time if there are lost people in their community?


“Depend on it. God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply.” – Hudson Taylor

“When we consecrate ourselves to God, we think we are making a great sacrifice, and doing lots for Him, when really we are only letting go of some little bitsy trinkets we have been grabbing, and when our hands are empty, He fills them full of His treasure. ~ Betty Stam”

Memory Verse

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7).



Mission

As followers of Jesus, we must love the things that he loves and do the things that he does. Looking at this parable, what types of people are we called to love and what types of things should we spend our time doing?


11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples,“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:11-13).

  • Who is it that you are searching for? Who are you helping find their way back to Jesus? Pray for them now.

  • What was Jesus doing at the beginning of the story that made the Pharisees so mad? Is that something that you should do sometime, too? When and how?



Worship

Prayer

Ask God to help you love like He loves. Be thankful that he is not angry when we turn from our sin, he rejoices!

Further Study

  • R.C. Sproul Sermon: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/sermons/parable-lost-sheep/

God: The Greatest Treasure

Intro

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:44–46).


Illustration

Mind

  • What are these parables trying to tell us about the Kingdom of Heaven? What is it like?

Motive

What motivated the man in parable to sell all that he had? What was he feeling?

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field (Matt. 13:44).


  • What does that motivation tell us about the way we should see the Kingdom of heaven?

  • Do you see God’s Kingdom with such value that you would give any earthly thing away to have it? Why or why not?


"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."– John Piper

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C. S. Lewis

Memory Verse

11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).



Mission

Everything you know or love in this world was made by God. You can appreciate things, and even love certain things in this world, but you must trace them back to their source. We must love God as ultimate, not what he makes. Here’s how Romans 1 says it:

20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen (Romans 1:20–25).

C.S. Lewis gets it right in his “Meditations In A Tool Shed” when he says,

I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam.

From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it.

Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun.

Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.

We usually just pay attention to what the sunbeam is shining on, but we need to let our eyes travel up the beam to look at the source.

  • Is there anything that you need to give up today so that you can buy the pearl or the field?

  • What is holding you back from having your whole joy in Christ?


Worship


Prayer

Ask God to help you see His unmatched majesty. Ask him to give you a heart that would joyfully give up anything if it meant having Christ.

Further Study

  • John Piper Sermon: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-kingdom-of-heaven-is-a-treasure


Where Moth And Rust Don't Destroy

Intro

Treasure In Heaven

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).


Illustration

castle.jpg
ferrari.jpg

Mind

  1. What is Jesus drawing our attention to by saying that moth and rust can destroy the things we love?


  2. Where do you, and how do you, store up treasure that cannot be stolen or ruined?


Motive

  • According to Jesus, what do the things we treasure tell us about ourselves?

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)

  • If our heart goes where our treasure is, and Jesus calls for us to put our treasure in heaven, then where must our hearts be?

Money: “a fog which always obscures reality” – G.K. Chesterton

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it; “Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble with it. – Franklin

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

Memory Verse

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matt. 6:24).



Mission

God isn’t after our money - He doesn’t need it. He is after your heart. As a good father should, he won’t let you spend your life chasing down a meal that will never satisfy you. He will chase you instead, and command that you come to him alone if you are thirsty or hungry (John 6:35). The Bible says “taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Today, take God up on his offer of satisfaction. Look at your heart; your money; your calendar, and see if you are running hard after something that isn’t going to last.

Have you placed your ultimate hope on things that can be taken away?

God isn’t calling the things of the world bad (after all, he made them), but He does tell us that we will never be whole if we place our trust in them. Time and time again we spend our time, money and energy chasing things that promise more than they give. Turn to Christ for your wholeness. Place your trust and treasure in Him and you will never live to regret it. This is what faith looks like. Give it a try.


Worship

Prayer

Ask God to forgive you if your heart’s treasure has been in the wrong place. Ask today for a heart that sees and feels the supreme value and worth God.




Further Study

The Rich Fool 1 - Luke 12:13-21

Intro

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21)

Illustration

Mind

  1. What is the parable about?

    15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

  2. What is our life about? Have you ever thought about why you exist and what it is you are supposed to do today? What is it?


Motive

  1. Is Jesus saying that wealth is bad, or is he saying something else?

    19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

  2. What did the man in the parable do with all of his wealth? Why was he a fool?

“If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.” – Bacon

“After hypocrites, the greatest dupes [fools] the devil has are those who exhaust an anxious existence in the disappointments and vexations of business, and live miserablty and meanly only to die magnificently and rich. They serve the devil without receiving his wages, and for the empty foolery of dying rich, pay down their health, happiness, and integrity.” – Colton.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Mission

Do you have a lot of treasure stored up in barns while others around you are in need? Consider giving something away this week. It might hurt, but pay attention to why it hurts. Are you putting too much love and trust in your time or treasure? Pick a way to give yourself generously and sacrificially this week.

Prayer

Ask God to forgive you if you have been trusting in yourself or worshiping stuff [idols]. Ask him to help you be rich in him above earthly riches.

Further Study