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A study based on "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" Author:  Donald Whitney

Chapter 1

Cameron Jungels

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Psalms 67 -David Kizziah - Sunday AM, August 31

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“Encountering Trials with Joy and Wisdom” (James 1:2–8)<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Wed PM/August 27, 2014

 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:2–8, NIV)

1.       We can face trials with joy, because we know that they are used by God to move us toward spiritual maturity (2–4).

a.      Perspective of Joy

b.      Purpose of Spiritual Maturity

 

2.      In the midst of trials, we can call on God in faith and he will give us the wisdom that we need (5­–8).

a.      Our Need: We need wisdom in the midst of trials, and all times of life as a believer of Christ in a pagan world.

b.      God’s Response: generosity and liberality.

c.       Our Attitude: Undoubting, single-minded faith.

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“Truth & Love” (Revelation 2:1–7)

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Sunday PM/August 24, 2014 

Revelation 2:1–7 (NIV)

 

To the Church in Ephesus

2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.  "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: (Rev. 2:1, NIV)

 

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. (Rev. 2:1, NIV)

 

10 On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,  11 which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."  12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,  13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.  17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.  18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.  19 "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.  20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. (Rev. 1:10-20, NIV)

 

Christ praises a church that works hard and faithfully defends the truth in the face of opposition.  

2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.  (Rev. 2:2-3, NIV)

 

6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (Rev. 2:6, NIV)

 

Christ rebukes a church that has grown cold in its love for God and others. 

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Rev. 2:4-5, NIV)

 

7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Rev. 2:7, NIV)

 

Main Idea: In obedience to Christ, we must strive to be a church that is faithful to the truth while maintaining a fervent love for God and others.

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“Jesus, the Good Shepherd” (John 10:1–30), part 3

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Sun AM/August 24, 2014

 

Main Idea: Jesus is the good shepherd who cares for his sheep in this life and the life to come.

1.       Jesus is the only shepherd of the sheep (all others are frauds) and there is no way but through him  

2.      Jesus is a truthful shepherd who never misleads or deceives his sheep.  

3.      Jesus is a loving shepherd who knows his sheep, and they know him.  

4.      Jesus is a rescuing shepherd who saves his sheep and gives them abundant life. 

5.      Jesus is a sacrificial shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. 

6.     Jesus is a faithful shepherd who never abandons his sheep.

12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--  15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep.  (John 10:12-15, NIV)

7.      Jesus is a gathering shepherd who draws sheep from other pens into one fold.

16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16, NIV)

8.     Jesus is an unfailing shepherd who never loses his sheep (27-30).

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.  30 I and the Father are one."  (John 10:27-30, NIV)

36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.  37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."  (John 6:36-40, NIV)

30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.  31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:30-31, NIV)

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39, NIV)

Main Idea: Jesus is the good shepherd who cares for his sheep in this life and the life to come.

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“The Living One” (Revelation 1:9–20)

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Sun PM/August 17, 2014

Revelation 1:9–20 (NIV)

John’s Vision of Christ

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” 12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,  dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. 

 

1.       Jesus calls his servants to faithfully witness for him, even if that means painful suffering (v. 9-11) 

2.      Jesus encourages his suffering servants with a vision of his glory and triumph (12–18).

a.      Jesus is glorious in majesty (12–16).

b.      Jesus is victorious in triumph (17–18).

                                                              i.      The Divine One – The First and the Last.

                                                           ii.      The Living One – The one who was dead.

                                                         iii.      The Triumphant One – The one who holds the keys of death and Hades.

c.       The vision of Jesus’ glory and triumph leads to worship and courage.

 

3.      Jesus instructs his suffering servants to persevere in faithful obedience (19­–20, chs. 2–3).

Main Idea: Those who are suffering under the weight of persecution or on the verge of surrender to the world can take courage and persevere, because Jesus is the risen and glorious Lord of heaven and earth.

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“Greetings, Grace, Glory, & Greatness” (Revelation 1:4­–8)

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Sun PM/August 10, 2014

 

Revelation 1:4–8 (NIV)

4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

 

1.       Greetings to the People of God (v. 4a)  

2.      Grace and Peace from the Triune God (vv. 4b–5a). 

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD--  3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;  4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.  5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.  (Isa. 11:1-5, NIV)

 

3.      Glory and Power to the Triumphant God-man (vv. 5b–7). 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37, NIV)

 

5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,  6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."  (Exod. 19:5-6, NIV)

 

4 As you come to him, the living Stone-- rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him--  5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 2:4-5, NIV)

 

13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Dan. 7:13-14, NIV)

 

34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.  35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.  36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken,"  37 and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."  (John 19:34-37, NIV)

 

10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zech. 12:10, NIV)

 

30 "Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. (Matt. 24:30, NIV)

 

4.      Greatness and Perfection of the Timeless God (v. 8) .

 

12 "Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.  13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together. (Isa. 48:12-13, NIV)

 

6 "This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.  7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let them foretell what will come.  (Isa. 44:6-7, NIV)

 

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.  35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"  (Dan. 4:34-35, NIV) 

 

Main Idea: A gracious and peaceful blessing is afforded the people of God, because of the greatness and goodness of the Triune God.

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“Jesus, the Good Shepherd” (John 10:1–30), part 1

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Sun AM/August 10, 2014

 

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” 19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

 

Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Main Idea: Jesus is the good shepherd who cares for his sheep in this life and the life to come.

1.       Jesus is the only shepherd of the sheep, and there is no other way to God.  

2.      Jesus is a truthful shepherd who never misleads or deceives his sheep.  

3.      Jesus is a loving shepherd who knows his sheep, and they know him.

3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. (John 10:3-4, NIV)

14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- (John 10:14, NIV)

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27, NIV)

24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."  25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me,  26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. (John 10:24-26, NIV)

4.      Jesus is a rescuing shepherd who saves his sheep and gives them abundant life.

9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:9-10, NIV)

5.      Jesus is a sacrificial shepherd who gives his life for his sheep.

11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11, NIV)

14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--  15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15, NIV)

17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again.  18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."  (John 10:17-18, NIV

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“Out of the Depths” – Psalm 130

1 A song of ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.

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“The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1­–3)

Cameron Jungels/Eastside Baptist/Sun PM/August 3, 2014

 

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,  2 who testifies to everything he saw-- that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.  3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Rev. 1:1-3, NIV)

 

1.       What kind of a book is this?

a.      Revelation is unique among the books of the New Testament.

b.      Revelation is unique because it is a hybrid of 3 different literary genres (all specified in the opening verses), each with its own typical components and features:

                                                              i.      Revelation is an apocalypse.

1.        Recording visions and dreams.

2.      Language is full of imagery that is cryptic and symbolic.

3.       Formally stylized, using numbers to package the information and using symmetry, repetition, etc.

4.      However, Revelation is not pseudonymous as other apocalypses are.

5.      Also, Revelation does not intend to “seal up” the contents for a later time. John knows the end has begun in the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. The beginning of the end has arrived. It is time to open up the contents for all to see and heed.

                                                           ii.      Revelation is a prophecy.

1.        Prophets: God’s authoritative spokespersons, not necessarily predictive future prophecy.

2.      Prophets often spoke into the current situations of their hearers/readers.

                                                         iii.      Revelation is a letter.

1.        Written personally from John to the churches with pastoral care and concern, as well as urgent warning.

 

2.      What (or better, Who?) is this book about?

a.      This is a Revelation from Jesus Christ and about Jesus Christ from first to last.

b.      This is a book about worship – to worship and magnify the God of the universe, the risen Son and King, Jesus Christ, and the eternal Spirit of God. Any other response short of worship fails to understand the book as it is.

 

3.      Why is the message of this book important?

a.      For John’s readers it involved events of imminent historical importance.

b.      For Christian readers of all times, it illumines the importance of a heavenly perspective on earthly affairs.

 

4.      What is there for me in this book?

a.      The opening of the letter makes clear that there is a heavenly blessing that awaits those who read, hear, understand, and keep/obey what is written in this book.

b.      This is a book of timely importance and eternal significance.

 

Main Idea: To be truly blessed in this life and the life to come is to see Jesus Christ as the reigning King of Heaven and to heed the words of his revelation.

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