Posts by John Stephen Smith

Peak of the Week: Discipleship Requirements – Bear Much Fruit, Part 3

Bear Much Fruit This is found in John 15:1-17, particularly verse 8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” A DISCIPLE UNDERSTANDS FRUITFULNESS Even from the first page or two in your Bible, God sets forth the principle of ____________________________. Fish reproduced fish. Birds reproduced birds. Cattle reproduced cattle. Apple trees produce seeds that will create more apple trees. And even humans, as God created us, were to reproduce other…

Peak of the Week: Discipleship Requirements – Love One Another, Part 2

LOVE ONE ANOTHER We are taking a closer look at four specific statements of Jesus as he called people into a life of discipleship. Today we give emphasis to Requirement #2, which is to “Love One Another.” This one is found in John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” LOVE…

Peak of the Week: Discipleship Requirements – Abide in My Word, Part 1

Abide In My Word In this series of four lessons, we are going to focus on the four times in the Gospels where Jesus explicitly set forth the what-we-are-calling “Jesus’ Discipleship Requirements.” Four times, he would state an expected response of faith & add words like these: “to show yourselves to be my disciples” or “if you want to be my disciple…” Now, the most basic requirement that sets the foundation for these four is the simple invitation & expectation…

Peak of the Week: Thrive, Part 4

Leaping, Not Limping Acts 3:3-6: “When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he…

Peak of the Week: Thrive, Part 3

God & His Blessings Ephesians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing Christ.” Notice vs. 5 – our adoption into God’s family was “in accordance with his purpose and will.” Verse 7, our redemption through Christ’s blood is “in accordance with this the riches of God’s grace.” Verse 9, he revealed the mystery of the gospel with us, “according to his good pleasure.”…

Peak of the Week: Thrive, Part 2

Inheritance—What We Have To thrive and get out of the mode of barely surviving, we need to hear and take into each of our hearts powerful doses of truth about who we are and what’s possible! Ephesians 1:3-10 NKJV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we…

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…