Posts by John Stephen Smith

Peak of the Week: Thrive, Part 1

Identity—Who We Are “Beloved, I pray that in all respects, you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2, NASB) Why do some Christians thrive, while others seem to hold on by the skin of their teeth? How Do We Thrive, Instead Of Merely Survive? The starting point: know _____________ we are. Our identity. Who Are We? Ephesians 1:1-5: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints…

Peak of the Week: Be Happy, Part 4

God Wants Me To Be Happy Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Our walk with God begins on the ________________, not on the outside. Matthew 15:19 – “out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the…

Peak of the Week: Be Happy, Part 3

God Wants Me To Be Happy Matthew 5:5 – Jesus said, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. What does it mean to be meek? Jesus was meek – Matthew 11:29 take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. The word gentle is the same Greek word translated “meek” in Matthew 5:5. Meekness is observed in the way Jesus controlled…

Peak of the Week: Be Happy, Part 2

God Wants Me To Be Happy Last week we looked at this word “Blessed” which can also be translated “Happy,” in the New Testament. Jesus used the word nine times in the first section of the Sermon on the Mount. He was was speaking to a crowd of people hungering for happiness, but his overall encouragement is to develop a hunger for righteousness Mat-thew 5:6. Happiness, or this state of being “blessed,” is a product of a heart conditioned to…

Peak of the Week: Be Happy, Part 1B

God Wants Me To Be Happy Ecclesiastes 1:14: “All is vanity and a striving after the wind.” Should we then just conclude happiness cannot be found? Perhaps God doesn’t want us to be happy and it’s not even something we should pursue Or, perhaps, God defines happiness in different terms than we commonly do, and perhaps the pathway to God-defined happiness is different? In the Old Testament, there’s a Hebrew word that means _________________ or ___________________. It’s translated both ways…

Peak of the Week: Be Happy, Part 1A

God Wants Me To Be Happy Psalm 128:1-6 NKJV Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. 2 When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD. 5 The…

Peak of the Week: Overwhelmed, Part 4 of 4

Jesus to his disciples Mark 6:31 “Come away with me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while.” Earlier in the history of Israel – when the temple was dedicated – the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said: 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I…

Peak of the Week: Overwhelmed, Part 3 of 4

Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase—to 62% in 2016 from 50% in 2011—of undergraduates reporting “________________ ______________________.” 2 Chronicles 20:20-22 “Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Jehovah, worshiping Jehovah.” Question: Are you a leader? Think about people you lead…

Peak of the Week: Overwhelmed, Part 2 of 4

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6 KJV The next two steps when overwhelmed: 2 Chronicles 20 FIX YOUR ____________ ON _______________. vs 12: “We do not know what to do, … I stopped there last week. Let’s finish the statement. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” We need to be overwhelmed by the ____________ and the __________ of our God. vs. 14:…

Peak of the Week: Overwhelmed, Part 1 of 4

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the problems you face and troubles that come your way? Jehoshaphat faced what appeared to be an insurmountable alliance of adversaries coming against him: 2 Chronicles 20:1-2 NKJV It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from…