“Well done, good and faithful servant!”- Matthew 25:19-23
Avoid the “big two”
If you understand ownership, you’ll know you are to be a contributor and not a consumer.
If you understand accountability, you will prioritize your investments and how you measure them.
Hebrew 11:6 “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Know God- Know Peace/No God- No Peace
We give because God first gave to us!
Only massive doses of God’s love will help us overcome our self-doubt and self-pity.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
What does this mean?
Remember God has the right to take away anything in your life you don’t use for Him.
Exercise your faith regularly, exercise helps faith grow!
Hebrews 13:21 “God will equip you with all you need for doing God’s will.”
1. How would the world be different if everyone believed God created and “still owns” everything?
2. When/how are you tempted to doubt that everything you have are belongs to God?
3. Why/how would believing that God created and owns everything take most of the stress/worry/anxiety out of your life?
4. Which would God prefer- that you seek to serve and obey Him and fail or play it safe and succeed? Which do you find yourself doing most often?
5. How do you see the “use it or lose it” principle play out in your life?
6. How do you usually handle self-doubt, self-pity and self-consciousness? How can this parable help you with any or all of these concerns?
7. How can you ensure that you are more concerned about God’s affirmation than praise from other sources?
“Remember the Saints” – Matthew 17:1-8 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Saints are different
Most problems are old solutions that have outlived their usefulness.
Saints help us break the bondage of the past and give us a vision for the future.
What God does
God uses saints to provide security and strategy for our lives.
God uses saints to protect us from the full impact of life’s plagues.
Learn these lessons
Remember the temptation during trying times will be to go backward.
You can’t journey outwardly until you have journeyed inwardly.
1. What are some of the things Jesus had in common with Moses and Elijah?
2. What are some of the things Jesus could learn from Moses and Elijah?
3. What are some things you could learn from Moses and Elijah?
4. What are some of the season in your life when you had to make significant changes because you found yourself “in bondage?”
5. Who have been the saints that God has sent into your life when you were struggling?
6. What are some of your attitudes and actions that are no longer “life-giving?”
7. What are some of the ways you could be “Moses and Elijah” to others?
“Trained & Equipped” – Matthew 7:24-29 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Faith is a four letter word
It was a lot easier to get the Israelites out of Egypt than it was to get Egypt out of the Israelites.
God is always in the process of building lives based on faith and not worry.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Godly change is good
A journey with Jesus will change how you think and how you act.
Jesus says that the person who worries needs to change, not the things we worry about.
Matthew 7:28-29 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Just walk with Jesus
Develop a rhythm to your life centered on the idea that God calls and you are to respond.
Don’t forget life’s warning label, do not attempt this by yourself.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
1. How is being a disciple of Jesus like being an Israelite on their way from the Egypt to the Promised Land?
2. As you look back at events/experiences in your life, can you see some of the ways God has been trying to train and equip you for both serving Him and enjoying His Kingdom?
3. Why are we often better able to learn and grow when we are forced out of our comfort zones?
4. What were some of the most important lessons you learned between the ages of 20 and 30?
5. In what ways are Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) and the giving of the 10 commandments (Exodus chapter 20) similar?
“Signs and Wonders” – Luke 2:40-52 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Our lives are powerfully influenced by our early experiences and decisions.
Even Jesus had to face the challenge of living up to his identity or down to others expectations.
Important time with God
God can certainly use signs and wonders but God also uses very ordinary experiences to transform lives.
Our lives are blessed when we value the contributions of all ages.
Now is a great time to make peace with your past and re-dedicate yourself to the season you’re in.
Plan to faithfully navigate the three key seasons of life- learners, doers and mentors.
1. What were some of your defining moments between the ages of 10 and 20?
2. What choices that you made in this 10 year span most please you? Most haunt you?
3. How well do you think you lived into the gifts, hopes and dreams God placed in you before you were born?
4. What were the experiences and who were the people who encouraged or discouraged you from becoming the person God created you to be?
5. In what ways can you use your experiences of your first 20 years to bless the lives of those of people who are currently that age?
6. Why is it so important for you to be intentional about doing that and how important is a plan and some accountability?
“In the Beginning” – Pastor Jim Glesne
Genesis 1:1-2 / Revelation 21:1-5
Look back at God’s providence over your life.
God is a God of new beginnings.
The Lord will do a new thing.
1. What would be consider “new beginnings” in your life?
2. What role have other people and/or the church made in your life?
3. Read Philippians 3:6b. What is Paul saying about himself, and perhaps us?
4. How does God’s faithfulness offer us a new beginning no matter where we find ourselves?
5. Read Lamentations 3:22-23. What does that say to you?
6. What does Isaiah 43:18-19 remind us of?
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” – John 14:12
As we prepare to celebrate Victory’s 40th anniversary early next month, it has been pure joy to celebrate some of the people, events and accomplishments of Victory’s first 40 years. I’m so proud to be a part of this congregation. It’s not hard to find examples of both excellence and faithfulness. If you think worship is inspirational, you should sit up front where I do and hear your singing. I love the warmth and friendliness that is exhibited informally before and after worship services and other activities. We have a growing reputation in the community as “the church that cares” because of our Food Bank and programs like “I-HELP” and “Family Promise.” Our campus is well-maintained and shows the community the pride we have in our church. In recent years we have physically expanded our ministry so that we are now responsible for ministry that is happening on three separate campuses. Our first 40 years have been awesome!
But this anniversary is not only about the past. It must also be about the future. Remember, the true test of a ministry is, will it last? It is my hope that we can use this month and this anniversary to take some specific steps to ensure a future for Victory that is even brighter than the past. Regardless of our age or situation, there are great spiritual benefits for us when we are challenged and stretched. So each week this month we will be offering our worshipers some “hands on” resources that we think can add energy to the momentum we already have and propel us into the future.
I’d like to invite you for this next month to intentionally evaluate how you might invest your life, time and energy in doing things that will outlive you. Remember the words we all want to hear at the end of this life are these: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21
Pastor Larry Kassebaum
“Blessed in the Ordinary” – Matthew 5:1-12 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Like a good rabbi, Jesus did most of his important and official teaching sitting down.
In these words, Jesus takes life situations we normally would like to avoid and unlocks their treasure.
Jesus offers true joy
God’s grace is revealed most powerfully because of pain and through pain.
In our pain, we re-discover God’s power to comfort and heal and the value of loving friends.
Nobody is lucky all the time.
Nothing can break the beatitudes but our lives will break when we live contrary to their spirit.
1. How do the beatitudes help you understand the saying, “you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you”?
2. How have you found yourself believing that you “are not blessed” when these things have happened to you?
3. How radically do these words from Jesus contradict the normal thought pattern of most unbelievers?
4. How would embracing the truth behind all 8 of these beatitudes transform your thinking and behavior?
5. What are some of the examples of Jesus “practicing what he preached” with regard to these teachings?
6. Which beatitudes are you best at? Worst at?
7. What are some of the ways you’ve become aware of the blessings described by Jesus?
“Let Go and Let God” – Matthew 4:18-23 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Faith or foolishness
The call of Jesus is short on details and long on uncertainty.
Your fear will tell you what you are afraid of leaving behind and taking a leap of faith.
When Jesus calls
Jesus drew people to Him because His words and actions promised a better life.
Jesus has the ability to see our true talent and transforms us with a higher calling.
God uses our past
Jesus knew that fishermen would be used to frustration, hard work, setbacks and obstacles.
You already know enough to rise up and follow.
- If you had been one of those early fishermen who were invited to follow Jesus what would you have done?
- What are some of the factors that might have enabled them to make such a major decision so quick?
- Spiritually, are you:
- Still tending the nets
- Leaving the boat
- Following hard after Jesus
- Feeling left behind
- How do you feel when you compare their decisions and behavior to your own relationship with Jesus and his desires for you?
- If the disciples would have known all that was going to happen, do you think they would have still followed so quickly?
- Where do you see signs of a miracle in this story?
- How does this story help you see God’s miraculous work in your life?