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Colossians Study: Ministry to Maturity

[Colossians 1:21-29]

1) Must stay DEEPLY ROOTED and FIRM IN FAITH (v. 23a)

2) Must NOT GIVE UP HOPE received (v. 23b)

  • Warn every man
  • Teach every man all wisdom
  • Present every man mature in Christ

3) Must PREACH COMPLETE MESSAGE (v. 25)

plērōsai (play-ro’-o) Fulfill, complete, to make full, full to individual capacity

  • In its fullness [NIV]
  • Entire message [NLT]
  • Fully carry out [NASB]
  • Fully known [HCSB]
  • Fully deliver God’s message [Weymouth]

Our task is to make the Word of God known – to EVERYONE

Verse 28 says EVERYONE 3x’s – “each one”– emphasizing Christian teaching for all

WHY I work so hard?

Christ followers will GROW & MATURE

Goal (v. 28) – Present every man COMPLETE IN CHRIST.

How is it possible?

HIS POWER mightily works within me. (v. 29)

Bible Study Questions:

1) In verse 22, Paul wrote that God lets you stand in His presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.

What does it mean to be holy?

What does it mean to be faultless?

What does it mean to be innocent?

2) The passage notes that this “message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God’s people” (v. 26). The word “mystery” is used (v. 27).

What was the word mystery referencing?

Why was the message kept secret? Why was it now explained? (v.27)

3) The goal is “all of Christ’s followers will grow and become mature” (v. 28). How is this accomplished?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

More Than a Story: Responsiveness

[Great Feast: Luke 14:15-24]

In Luke 14 we see that Someone is hosting a dinner – the person is “a ruler of the Pharisees”

  • Verses 1-6 speak about healing of a person with dropsy on the Sabbath
  • Verses 7-11 speak about the place of honor [[PARABLE OF THE AMBITIOUS GUEST]]
    • This parable was told to the Pharisees and the lawyers
    • Seating rank & distinction / more important guests arrived later / those less important would be moved if no room – Pharisees loved the best seats – Lesson of humility
  • Verses 12-14 choice of guests [[PARABLE OF THE FEAST / BANQUET]]
    • This parable was told to the “ruler of the Pharisees” – Lesson of hospitality
  • Verses 15-24 heavenly banquet [[PARABLE OF THE GREAT SUPPER / FEAST]]
    • The great feast is ALREADY PREPARED.
    • The INVITATIONS ISSUED BUT DECLINED.
    • House will be FILLED BUT NOT BY THOSE ORIGINALLY INVITED.

Way of invitation – the invitation went out earlier for people to accept and have time to prepare. Later they went out again to touch base with those invited and tell them it was almost time.

Excuses:

  • Bought a field & had to go see it (Livelihood / Career)
  • Bought 5 yoke of oxen & had to go examine them (Possessions / Property)
  • Got married (Social / Relationship)

The people were pleased to be invited but that’s it – the invitation did not result in attendance

The invitees did not desire fellowship

Excuses would have sounded pathetic to the group because of the way invitations worked

Truth – this is how they were treating God’s invitation – it had no influence on their daily lives

Lesson of self-examination – GOD’S INVITATION IS FULL AND FREE

“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” – Revelation 22:17 [NKJV]

“If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.” – Hebrews 10:26-31 [MSG]

Bible Study Questions:

1) The Jews were looking forward to the resurrection. They saw the resurrection as a great celebration in God’s presence. Read Isaiah 25:6-9.

What did the passage mention would be at the banquet? What does this mean?

What actions does this passage promise?

This passage ends by giving us a response. What should be our response?

How can we respond in this way?

2) Looking at tonight’s main parable, we read that there was a group invited first. These people initially accepted the invitation; however, they later did not join the banquet. Who were the people who rejected the invitation of God? They would have been on the receiving end of this message.

3) What did these people think about their salvation?

4) When the slave went out to get more people, he returned and said still there was room so he was sent out again. What does this say to us?

 5) Those originally invited made excuses for not attending. The excuses involved relationships, property / possessions, and livelihood. How can these things keep us from God’s invitation? What is your biggest road block?

6) God’s invitation is a daily invitation. How can you stop making excuses?

 

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

More Than a Story: Humility

[Two Men Who Prayed: Luke 18:9-14]

“Be humble or you’ll stumble.” – Dwight L. Moody

  • I am the least of the apostles – 1 Corinthians 15:9
  • I am the very least of all the saints. – Ephesians 3:8
  • I am the foremost of sinners. – 1 Timothy 1:15

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:14 [ESV]

Humbles HimselfTapeinoó – humiliate, abase, bring low, humble self

Exaltedhupsoó – raise on high, lift up, set on high

“A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.” – Proverbs 29:23 [HCSB]

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:6 [NIV]

We all fall short / Through Christ alone we are justified (Romans 3:23-24)

“Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.” – Job 9:20 [NASB]

You cannot fake it / God knows your heart

“And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15 [NASB]

“I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a … feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them.” – John Riskin

Bible Study Questions:

1) What are some of the positive attributes of the Pharisee who prayed?

2) What are some of the negative attributes of the Pharisee who prayed?

3) How would you describe the Tax Collector who prayed? What were his good points?

4) What gets in the way of your humility?

5) What are some things you can do to help you live a humble life?

6) Luke 18:14 says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (ESV).

What does it mean to be justified?

What does it mean that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled?

What does it mean that one who humbles himself will be exalted?

 

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

Something Outta Nothing

[Elisha and the Widow’s Oil – 2 Kings 4:1-7]

Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” (ESV)

This woman:

  • Lost her husband
  • Was about to lose her kids into slavery (see Leviticus 25:39-41)
  • Would then have no one to work the family land which would leave her deeper in debt

Humility – go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors

Faith – empty vessels and not too few

Solitude – then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons

I HAVE NOTHING … NOTHING EXCEPT A JAR OF OIL

God of the impossible – Luke 18:27

  • Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” [NIV]
  • “No chance at all,” Jesus said, “if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” [MSG]

See beyond the nothing… except a jar of oil

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. – Ephesians 3:20 [MSG]

 Study Questions:

1) The woman who approached Elisha was the wife of one of the sons “of the prophets.” This is similar to a disciple. The students were known as the “sons” and the instructor would be called “father.”

When the woman asked Elisha for help, what was Elisha’s response?

2) Considering this interaction between Elisha and the widow:

How do you respond when someone approaches you with a need?

How do you respond when you have your own need?

What could you do differently?

3) In tonight’s passage, we read about many different problems this widow had to overcome. Not only did she have to overcome the loss of her husband and potential loss of her children and her income stability, she had some inner obstacles to overcome.

What were some of those obstacles?

How did Elisha direct the widow through those obstacles?

4) What obstacles are you facing?

Feeding the Five Thousand Lesson

Feeding the Five Thousand

[Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:4-13]

Beyond the Text

  • What fish did Jesus feed to the people?
    • The Bible doesn’t say and scholars don’t know. Legend has it that the fish was Tilapia, also known as “St. Peter’s Fish.”
  • What about the Feeding of Four Thousand? Is it the same?
    • Matthew 15:32-38 and Mark 8:1-9 contains a story of the Feeding the Four Thousand in Decapolis. Though some people believe this is another account of the Feeding the Five Thousand, most agree it is a different event. This event describes seven loaves of bread and two fish.
  • The Feeding the Five Thousand is the only miracle to appear in all four Gospels besides the Resurrection.
  • The Bible says there were 5,000 men. This number does not include the women and children. Most scholars believe there was likely 15,000 people fed during this miracle.
  • What was eight months of a man’s wages?
    • The eight months of a man’s wages is about two hundred denarii. A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer.

Discussion

When it was getting late, what did the disciples want to do with the crowds?

What was Jesus’ response to the disciples?

When Jesus told the disciples “You give them something to eat,” what was the response from the disciples?

The boy provided five loaves and two fish. What did Jesus do? What did the disciples do?

When you have a need, do you try to meet the need? Do you trust God to meet the need? Do you trust God to do the impossible?

This event shows us Jesus provides to the disciples and then they provide to the crowd. How is that similar to what we do as good stewards? As ministers of the Good News? How is this similar for both physical needs and spiritual needs?

The disciples wanted to send the people away but Jesus wanted to take care of their needs. The passage before the Feeding of Five Thousand speaks about something Jesus had for the people. What was this trait? How does it help us to meet the needs of others?

Download Feeding the Five Thousand Lesson

The Transfiguration of Jesus

[Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36]

Chronologically in the Bible, before the Transfiguration, we read that Peter recognizes Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16b NIV). After Peter’s identification of Jesus as the Christ, we read about the prophecy of the church – the well-known statement, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.” Following this prophecy, Jesus speaks to the disciples about the crucifixion and resurrection. Then Jesus, with the Three, headed up to a high mountain.

The Three were Peter, James, and John. They were the first to hear the call of Jesus (Mark 1:16-19). They were present during the healing of the daughter of Jairus, though the others were excluded (Luke 8:51). The Three were invited to come along with Jesus when He went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:30-46, Mark 14:26-42, Luke 22:39-46).

High mountains are associated with closeness to God and a readiness to receive His Word. We do not know the exact mountain where the Transfiguration occurred; however, many scholars believe it might have been Mount Hermon. We read about God directing Moses to go up a mountain (Mount Sinai) for Him to give Him the Law (Exodus 24:12-18). We read about Elijah going to Mount Horeb where He encounters the presence of God (1 Kings 19:8-18).

God’s voice echoes the same words on the mountain as spoken during the baptism of Jesus. “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 NIV). “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5 NIV).

1) What is Peter’s focus when Moses and Elijah join Jesus?

2) When we see the glory of God, what should be our response?

3) What do Moses and Elijah represent?

4) Is John the Baptist Elijah?

5) Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone about what they saw?

Download Bible study outline

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Acts: Possessions

[[Acts 4:32-37 ]]

No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. (v. 32b)

And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (v. 33b-35)

At this time people would sell some property – brought all proceeds – not told you have to sell everything (voluntary not mandatory) Barnabas sold a field he owned to support the ministry – sharing without considering repayment

[[Acts 5:1-11]]

Ananias & Sapphira – Sold property but kept back part of the money

“Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’ When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.” – Acts 5:3-5 [NIV] The Holy Spirit Peter replied, Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38 [ NLT]

Quench or Grieve It

  • Quench—1 Thessalonians 5:19Do not quench the Spirit. (NIV) Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. (NLT) [[Suppressive / Destructive / Non-Unifying]]
    • Holy Spirit – Fire – Purifying / Enlightening / Enlivening – Don’t despise Spiritual Gifts
    • NOT ALLOWING HIM TO MOVE FREELY
  • Grieve—Ephesians 4:30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (ESV) [[“Lupe” – To cause grief / To offend]]
    • Lying, angry, corrupt behavior – actions, behavior towards God and others
    • ACTING OUT IN SINFUL MANNER

The Holy Spirit…

Counsels You (John 14:16)

Cleanses you (Romans 15:16)

Comforts you (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Empowers you (Romans 15:13)

Helps you when weak (Romans 8:26)

Gives you confidence (2 Corinthians 5:5-6)

Assures adoption in God’s family (Galatians 4:6-7)

Encourages you (Acts 9:31)

Gives you new life (Romans 8:11)

Gives you wisdom & revelation (Eph. 1:17)

Leads you to all truth (John 16:13)

Helps you pray (Romans 8:26)

Convicts you (John 16:8)

Strengthens & renews you (Ephesians 3:16)

Brings you reassurance (Romans 8:16)

Sanctifies you (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Fills you (Ephesians 5:18)

Gives you joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6)

Helps you remember (John 14:26)

Dispenses God’s love in hearts (Romans 5:5)

 

Spirit leads into the Wilderness

“I suggest that many Christians… have never allowed them to be led by that selfsame Spirit into the wilderness. But those who would know the Spirit’s power and not just His presence must be tempted, tried, tested, and tempered, so that they might learn to live dependent on God and not on themselves.” – Oswald Chambers

1) Wilderness is a place of Separation Stripped down, out of comfort zone

2) Wilderness is a place of Grace God provides despite our sinfulness – Pillar of fire, Manna, Quail

3) Wilderness is a place of Revelation Opens your eyes to greater knowledge and understanding of God and His Word

4) Wilderness is a place of Preparation Correction, pruning, discipline

5) Wilderness is place of Choice With God – without God – a choice must be made

Download Outline PDF

This is one of the 4 part Acts series:

Acts: Prayer

Acts: Possessions

Acts: Persecution

Acts: Proclamation

Acts: Prayer

Acts: Prayer

[Acts 4:23-31, Acts 12:1-19]

1) Made In Faith

See Mark 9:14-29 –“I believe; help my unbelief!”

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:24-25 [NIV]

2) Forgive Others

3) Abide in Him

To remain or abide in God means to obey His commandments. Love God. Love Others. (See John 15:8-12)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7 [NASB]

“and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” – 1 John 3:22 [ESV]

4) In Jesus Name

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” – John 14:13-14 [NLT]

5) For God’s Will

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3 [NIV]

“We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.” – 1 John 5:14-15 [GW]

6) Persistent and Bold

Ask, Seek, Knock – Continuous (Not Single Request – Present Tense)

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” – Matthew 7:7-11 [MSG]

This is one of the 4 part Acts series:

Acts: Prayer

Acts: Possessions

Acts: Persecution

Acts: Proclamation

Our Birthright Message with Outline

Main Passage: Genesis 25:29-34 [ESV]

Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom. Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

What is a Birthright? What did it mean for Esau?

The birthright was for firstborn son.

PRIESTHOOD – This was before the Levites were the priests. Holy. Set apart. Priest for family.

PROMISE – Promised double portion of father’s estate. Reason was because the oldest son was to take place of father, to care for mother and sisters. This particular promise to Esau meant a double portion of the Promised Land (or 2/3 of the Promised Land)

POWER – He had authority in family – would have been seen as head of family

Esau’s Momentary Pleasure – Unholy Choice

Esau valued temporary pleasure / thrill over responsibility and blessing of being set apart

Hebrews 12:15-17 [NIV] speaks of a Call to Holiness

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

 

Embrace Your Birthright

PRIESTHOOD – PROMISE – POWER

We are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26)

We are co-heirs with Christ – Romans 8:15-17 [ESV]

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Holy Spirit – Down payment / Guarantee of Inheritance to Come

The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. (Ephesians 1:14 ESV)

Every Spiritual Blessing – Ephesians 1:3 [NASB] – You have ALL YOU NEED

Redemption. Forgiveness. Grace.

  • Remember you are set apart.
  • Boldly claim the promises of God.
  • Walk with a confidence that comes from power of God.

Ephesians 1:11-14 [ESV]

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Download Embrace Your New Birthright Outline from Dropbox

Children’s Ministry Lesson: Abraham Abundance and Blessing

Getting Started: Discussion of Count the Stars Simile

First tell children about some similes – brave as a lion, crazy like a fox, slow as molasses. Visual illustration: molasses poured out slowly.
Genesis 15 says “look up at the sky and count the stars… so shall your offspring be.” – As many people as stars.
Can you count the stars? Do you know how many stars there are in the sky? What does this mean? (You can also show your favorite constellation to intro to these questions).

Craft / Activity

Watered down glue / glitter / black or dark blue construction paper / brown or beige construction paper

Cut the brown / beige construction paper as a small land mass before class.

Spread the watered down glue on the papers. Put the land mass at the bottom of the paper. Sprinkle glitter on the paper. Be sure to have a small box to catch the glitter that falls from the paper.

On the land mass, write “Count the Stars” – Genesis 15:5

After doing the activity, begin digging deeper into the lesson (this allows for the papers to dry and for children to have another visual learning experience).

Genesis 12:1-5 – God’s promise to Abram

I will make you into a GREAT NATION

I will make your NAME GREAT

You will be A BLESSING

… ALL PEOPLES ON EARTH WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU.

(New Home – Great Name – Family)

Abram (75 years old)  – left Haran with Sarai and Lot.

Genesis 15:2-6 – Count the Stars

Abram asked what the Lord could give. He had no children. The Lord said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars –if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 18:10-14 – Sarah Laughs

Three men visit Abraham and food is prepared. They explain that Sarah would have a son. Sarah laughed. Is anything too hard for the LORD?

Genesis 21:1-7 –Isaac born

The Lord did as He promised. Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac, God has brought me laughter. Abraham was 100 years old.

Discuss what this means to us. Discuss blessing. Discuss abundance.

Closing Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:8

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

What does this mean? What are we promised?

Download this Lesson (Dropbox Link to .doc file)

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