Israel Day 10: Holocaust Memorial, Elah Valley, Southern Gate

Today we will concluded our trip with a tour of the Yad ve Shem (Holocaust Memorial). We then traveled to the Elah Valley and reflected on the battle of David and Goliath.   We  concluded our day at the Southern Wall Excavations (or Ophel Gardens), where some key New Testament passages were reconstructed. We closed out our trip by reading the account of Acts 2 and the launch of the Gospel through the Church and were challenged to continue what the Holy Spirit began in Acts 2. Themes for the day were suffering, God’s sovereignty, evil, and the advancement of the Gospel.   Tomorrow we head home!  Please pray that we have safe travel and ontime flights! 

Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial)





Elah Valley



The conflict between David and Goliath occurred here—1 Samuel 17:1–58; 21:9

Lesson: Gospel-Driven People Are Courageous-The Example of David

1 Samuel 17 (ESV)

I. Gospel-Driven People Realize The Need For Courage.

II. Gospel-Driven People Recognize The Organ For Courage.

III. Gospel-Driven People Use What They Have With Courage.

IV. Gospel-Driven People Understand The Source For Courage. 

Cornerstone of the South Western Wall




The Southern Gate



Footsteps to Entrance of Southern Gate




Southern Steps

Lesson: Gospel-Driven People Care Out The Commission of Jesus

Acts 1:1-11

Summary: The Book of Acts gives the account of Jesus’ ministry being passed on to His disciples and the formation of His Church. Their mission was to proclaim the resurrected Christ and fulfill the Great Commission given to them by Jesus (Matthew 28:19, 20). The disciples acted as witnesses to the salvation brought about by Christ (4:12; 10:43).

New Testament Overview:

Gospels are Who to know.

Letters are How to live.

Revelation is What’s Gonna happen.

Acts is What to Do——Until Jesus comes back! 

Acts 1:8 (ESV)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

I. Gospel-Driven People Embrace The Mission.

II. Gospel-Driven People Recognize The Power for The Mission.

III. Gospel-Driven People Realize The Price for The Mission.

IV. Gospel-Driven People Engage The Parameters for The Mission.

  “I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?” – Letter to Mr. Hasseltine From Adoniram Judson Asking for His Daughter’s Hand in Marriage

We leave Israel Commissioned For A Mission…..We are living in Acts Chapter 29….Will You Obey And Live Gospel Driven?





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Israel Day 9: Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Garden of Gethsemane, Mt of Olives, Garden Tomb, Jerusalem House of Prayer

We had a great day today in Jerusalem.   All of our group’s health have improved and we were all able to go out and participate in the day’s invents!  We started the day reviewing the archeological site of the Original City of David and reflected on the rule and life of King David. We then traveled through Hezekiah’s Tunnel underneath the original City of David. Afterwards we visited the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mt of Olives and reflected on Jesus’ last days and the Crucifixion.  We then traveled to the Garden Tomb and were able to participate in The Lord’s Supper.   We closed the day by visiting the Jerusalem Prayer Center.   Themes for the day were accountability, sacrifice, discipleship and surrender.  We have seen some amazing things and have been able to witness not only to our guide but too his son as well who has been accompanying us these last few days and has begun to ask many questions.  Please pray that we will finish our last few days here in Israel strong!

Hezekiah’s Tunnel



Jonathan (Our Guides Son)Image

Ruins of David’s Palace


Day 9-City of David 

2 Samuel 11:1–27 (ESV)

David and Bathsheba

11 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

6 So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19 And he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20 then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ ”

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

2 Samuel 12:1–13 (ESV)

Nathan Rebukes David

12 And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’ ” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

2 Samuel 16:20–22 (ESV)

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel. What shall we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof. And Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

Lesson: Gospel Driven People Recognize The Destruction of Sin

I. Gospel-Driven People Cultivate And Demand Accountability

II. Gospel-Driven People Refuse Justification And Respond To The Spirit

III. Gospel-Driven People Understand The Cost of Sin.

IV. Gospel-Driven People Will Honor God Through Brokenness And Repentance Over Sin. 

Psalm 51 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; 19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.



Olive Tree at Mt of Olives


Teaching at Mt of OlivesImage

Day 9- Mt. Of Olives 

Lesson: Gospel-Driven People Model Christ Through Submission and Suffering

Garden of Gethsemane

Luke 22:39–46 (ESV)

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

I. Gospel-Driven People Model Christ In Submission

II. Gospel-Driven People Model Christ In Suffering

1 Peter 2:19 (ESV)

19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

1 Peter 4:15–19 (ESV)

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And“If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Tomb at Garden Tomb



Jerusalem Prayer Center


Horation Spafford’s (Writer of It is Well) family lived in this house.


Singing “It Is Well” Accompanied by our Guide Yossi”


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Israel Day 8: Temple Mount, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Pool of Bethesda, Antonio Fortress

Today we had a great day visiting the old City of Jerusalem.  Today we considered some of the most important historic and religious sites to Jews, Muslims and Christians. We began our day at theTemple Mount of Herod the Great, now also a sacred site for Muslims. Afterwards we visited the famous Western Wall, which is an open-air synagogue for the modern Jewish community. From there we walked along the traditional Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the prize of orthodox Christianity. Sites along the way included the pools of Bethesda (John 5), Hezekiah’s wall, and some existing portions of the Antonia Fortress of Herod the Great.  All of our group was able to make the trip today but please continue to pray for strength and endurance as we finish our time here in these beautiful country.

Temple MountImage




Western WallImage

Hezekiahs WallImage

Church of the Holy Sepulcher


Tomb Near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher


Remains of The Antonia FortressImage


Day 8-Jerusalem 


Mark 13:1–2 (ESV)- Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

Matthew 24:1–2 (ESV) -Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

The Cornerstone- Psalm 118:22 (ESV), Matthew 21:42 (ESV), Mark 12:10 (ESV), Acts 4:11 (ESV)

Cleansing The Temple- Mark 11:15–19 (ESV) – Jesus Cleanses the Temple, Isaiah 56:6–8 (ESV)

Healing at The Pool of Bethesda- John 5:1–16 (ESV)

Healing at The Beautiful Gate, Acts 3:1–10 (ESV)

Lesson: Gospel Driven People Recognize Needs And Give The Gospel: Peter And John

I. Gospel-Driven People Continue In The Gospel Through The Routine Of Life.

II. Gospel-Driven People Are Not Too Busy To Hear The Cry Of Others.

III. Gospel-Driven People Understand What People Really Need: Forgiveness and God!

IV. Gospel-Driven People Respond With The Gospel! 

V. Gospel-Driven People Celebrate The Work Of God In The Lives Of Other. 

IV. Gospel-Driven People Don’t  Hinder the Gospel Witness.

Be The Church!

Wall’s of Jerusalem

Isaiah 36:1 (ESV) – Sennacherib Invades Judah

2 Kings 18:13 (ESV) – Sennacherib Attacks Judah

2 Kings 19 (ESV) – Isaiah Reassures Hezekiah

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Israel Day 7: Bethlehem, Dead Sea Scrolls, & Samuels Birthplace

Israel Day 7: We only have a few days left in Israel! We have seen and done so much in this country yet everyday God continues to reveal more in not only the country but also in our lives! Yesterday we traveled to Bethlehem the Birthplace of Jesus visting the Shepherds Hill & the Church of the Nativity. We then traveled back to Jerusalem where we visited a model of Jerusalem from Jesus’ day & the displays of The Dead Sea Scrolls. From there we visited the birthplace of Samuel. Please continue to pray for our team as many had to stay back today due to health reasons. Themes of the day were Christ’s Birth and the Incarnation.

Ruins of Ancient Bethlehem


Inn & Manger much like where Jesus would have been born



John 1:14- And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Gospel Driven Living: (Incarnational Living) 

Embodying the Character of Christ and the Mission of Christ through the Spirit of Christ

I. Gospel-Driven People Make Disciples.

Mark Dever says, “If you tell me your a follower of Jesus and your not helping other people follow Jesus, I just don’t know what you mean.” If you are Christian you are called to make disciples, this is not optional. I cannot count how many christian men over 35 I have encountered that say one of two things: 1. I have never been discipled, 2. I have never discipled another person. What a tragedy! It should be the goal of every christian to be intentionally discipling others to follow after Christ.

II. Gospel-Driven People Practice Personal Evangelism.

Personal evangelism is an intentional verbal explanation of the Gospel (Creation, Fall, Rescue, Restoration). Pray earnestly for God to cultivate a brokenness for lostness in your life and challenge yourself to be intentional about sharing the Gospel. Some of the greatest growth I have experienced in the area of personal evangelism has been when I am around someone who has a heart for the lost and is intentional about sharing the Gospel. Your faithfulness in this will impact others and advance the Kingdom of God.

III. Gospel-Driven People Live Missionally.

Missional Living is where we embody the character of Christ and the mission of Christ through the Spirit of Christ. We see the world through the eyes of Christ. Setting missional living goals will mean getting involved with the least of these. The broken, hurting, poor, abused, used, orphaned, and oppressed are not only around the world, they are across the street. Missional living is an intentional way to be the hands and feet of Jesus for the glory of God.

Church of the Nativity – The Door of Humility




Birthplace siteImage

Wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem (Bethlehem is under Palestinian control)


Model of Jerusalem as it stood in Jesus’ time


Ruins at Solomon’s Birthplace


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Israel Day 6: Masada, Ein Gedi, Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem

Greetings from Israel!   Last night we stayed in the Dead Sea Region and this morning we began to make our way to Jerusalem.  We began our day at Masada; the imposing fortress palace built by Herod the Great. There in the southern Judean wilderness we considered one of the greatest disasters of the Zealot Revolt against Rome during the final moments at Masada. We also visited the area of Ein Gedi, the region where David hid from Saul (I Sam. 24). We finished our day with a scenic overview of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. Themes for the day were the sovereignty of God,  substitutionary atonement, and worship.  Please continue to pray for our group as we are battling fatigue and some lingering sickness.  Pray that God will bring endurance and healing to finish our trip strong!

Masada Fortress


Herod’s Throne RoomImage

Scribe at Masada


Cable Car To Masada



1. Possibly it was the stronghold of David—1 Samuel 22:4–5; 23:14; 24:22

2. Jonathan Maccabee originally built a fortress here

3. Herod the Great rebuilt this stronghold in 36 b.c. and it became one of his three fortresses

4. Here he left his family for refuge after the Parthian Invasion while he proceeded to Rome to seek help and receive an army

5. In a.d. 66, as the First Jewish Revolt began, Masada was captured by Menachem ben Yehudah, the leader of the Sicarii (named after the short dagger, sica, that they carried in their robes), the most extreme of the Zealots, who was later killed in Jerusalem by his opponents

6. After the fall of Jerusalem in a.d. 70, 967 men, women and children sought refuge here under Eliezer Ben Yair, the nephew of Menachem ben Yehudah

a. The Romans, under Flavius Silva, with the 15,600 strong Tenth Legion, came and built a solid seige wall about six feet thick and about seven miles in circumference around this mountain to keep any Jews from successfully fleeing

b. Along the wall the Romans built eight, separate army camps

c. Masada finally fell on the 15th of Nisan (the first day of Passover) in a.d. 73 after the ramp was built all the way to the top of the wall and the breech in the wall was made by the use of a battering ram

d. Fell by mass suicide—Only two old women and five children survived

Lesson: Masada-Christ is My Rock and Fortress!

2 Samuel 22:2 (ESV), Psalm 18:2 (ESV), Psalm 31:2–3 (ESV), Psalm 71:3 (ESV), Psalm 91:2 (ESV), Psalm 144:2 (ESV), Exodus 17:5–6 (ESV), Numbers 20:6–8 (ESV), 1 Corinthians 10:1–4 (ESV), Psalm 46 (ESV)


A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon;

He helps us free from ev’ry need that has us now o’ertaken.

The old evil foe now means deadly woe; Deep guile and great might

Are his dread arms in fight; On earth is not his equal.

With might of ours can naught be done; soon were our loss effected.

But for us fights the valiant one whom God himself elected.

You ask, “Who is this?” Jesus Christ it is, The almighty Lord

And there’s no other God; He holds the field forever.

Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us,

We tremble not, we fear no ill; they shall not overpower us.

This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will, he can harm us none.

He’s judged; the deed is done! One little word can fell him.

The Word they still shall let remain, nor any thanks have for it;

He’s by our side upon the plain with his good gifts and Spirit.

And do what they will—hate, steal, hurt, or kill—though all may be gone,

Our victory is won; the kingdom’s ours forever!

Martin Luther’s, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” has been translated into a host of other languages other than its original German and has over 100 English translations alone! It is based off of Psalm 46. This hymn serves well as a reminder of the spiritual warfare around us.  It deals very directly with our need for God’s strength in our daily fight against the Devil and his angels. Verse one begins by reminding us that our God is our fortress. He is the place where we can go to find refuge and safety. But he is not only our refuge, but he is also our weapon to fight against the Devil. The Devil is serious about this battle. He wants all of us to die with him eternally in hell. Deep hatred and great power are his weapons. No one on earth can stand up to him alone and win.

Verse two begins by confirming our weakness. We can do nothing by ourselves against the Devil. But we are not alone; no, we have a substitute who will fight for us. This substitute is someone whom God himself chose. Who could it be?  Jesus Christ, there is no other God! He holds his place in battle forever! Because we have our hero fighting for us, verse three says that we are not afraid even if the world is full of devils who want nothing better than to devour us. Why? Because we won’t be overpowered! Even the Devil himself can bark as loud as he wants, he can roar like the mightiest of lions, but he has no bite. He can’t harm us because Jesus has defeated him. One word of God can and will destroy him. But Jesus, the Word incarnate remains! He’s with us through out our lives here on earth and he gives us his good and perfect gifts and he gives us the Holy Spirit. No matter what happens here on earth, if we are hated, if we lose our possessions, if they torture us physically and mentally, even if they kill us, they can’t take away our victory. Nothing can separate us from the love ofChrist! His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven is ours forever!

I. Gospel-Driven People Do Not Resist The Rock.

Matthew 21:42–45 (ESV), 1 Peter 2:6–9 (ESV)

II. Gospel-Driven People Rest In The Rock. 

III. Gospel Driven People Rejoice In The Rock.

Ein Gedi Caves


Waterfall at Ein Gedi




1. Contains a total of four springs: Ein Gedi, Ein Nahal Arugot, Ein Nahal David and Ein Shulamit

2. Identified by some as the Hazazon—Tamar of Genesis 14:7

3. City of the Tribe of Judah—Joshua 15:62

4. One of the confrontations between David and Saul occurred here—1 Samuel 23:29–24:22

5. Camp of the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites when they came up against Jehoshaphat—2 Chronicles 20:2

Lesson: Wings And The Demonstration Of The Gospel: David and Saul

1 Samuel 23:29–24:22 (ESV), Numbers 15:37–41 (ESV), John 1:1–2 (ESV), John 1:14 (ESV), Ruth 3:9 (ESV), Psalm 17:8 (ESV), Psalm 36:7 (ESV), Psalm 61:4 (ESV), Malachi 4:2, Luke 8:41

4 Demonstrations of The Gospel…from David’s Example.

I. Gospel-Driven People _________________________ God is Sovereign.

II. Gospel-Driven People Understand God ___________________ Suffering For Our Good And His Glory.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2–4, ESV)

“David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.” (1 Samuel 22:1–2, ESV)

“A MASKIL OF DAVID, WHEN HE WAS IN THE CAVE. A PRAYER. With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see:  there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142, ESV)

III. Gospel-Driven People Honor God In Servanthood. 

IV. Gospel-Driven People Embrace Submission.

“You will not be in Authority if you are not under authority.”-P.J. Scott

City of Bethany


Abraham & Isaac

Genesis 22:1-19 (ESV)

Lesson: The Gospel-Driven Worldview: The Example of Abraham

Synopsis: Genesis 22:1-14 reveals Abraham’s faith and provides a picture of substitutionary atonement that God requires and that would ultimately be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We see one of many beautiful names of God in Genesis 22:14, Jehovah- Jireh, A compound name of God combining the personal name and a word suggesting God’s knowledge of the human situation that leads to provision. Hebrews 11 is the New Testament commentary that reveals Abraham’s worldview and his subsequent obedience.

Worldview-  A worldview is a comprehensive view of life through which we think, understand, and judge, and which determines our approach to life and meaning.

“One generation believes a truth, the next generation assumes a truth, and the third generation denies a truth.” D.A. Carson

5 Functions of a Worldview:

1. A worldview seeks to provide a coherent and organized thought system.

2. A worldview attempts to define life, thereby bringing hope and meaning to life.

3. Worldviews bring sense to life by offering explanations for the seemingly irrational events that occur in life.

4. Worldviews determine our values.

5. A worldview guides actions by assigning values and priorities to those actions.

Everyone has a worldview, a particular way of looking at life. What define’s your worldview?

I. Gospel-Driven People Have A Worldview Rooted In Faith.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV), Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

II. Gospel-Driven People Have A Worldview Defined By Action.

Hebrews 11:8–9 (ESV)

III. Gospel-Driven People Have A Worldview Built On The Eternal Not The Temporal.

Hebrews 11:10 (ESV), Hebrews 11:13–16 (ESV)

IV. Gospel-Driven People Have a Worldview That Has An Impact On Their Family And Their Future.  

Hebrews 11:11–12 (ESV)

V. Gospel-Driven People Have A Worldview That Believes The Word of God, Counts The Cost of Following God, And Shows The Fruit of Obedience. 

Genesis 22:1 (ESV), Hebrews 11:17–18 (ESV), James 2:18–21 (ESV)

VI. Gospel-Driven People Have A Worldview That Is Anchored In The Promises of God And Has The Faith To Believe The Impossible

Genesis 12:1–4 (ESV), Genesis 15:4–6 (ESV), Hebrews 11:19 (ESV)




The Temptation of Jesus/Good Samaritan/Psalm of Ascents/Hospitality

Temptation of Jesus

Luke 4:1–13 (ESV)

Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25–37 (ESV)

Psalm of Ascents (120-134)

Despite the disagreements on meaning, modern scholarship is rather well agreed that the heading to the group of psalms here discussed, “a song of ascents,” indicates psalms of particular use to worshipers ascending the hills to Jerusalem in order to celebrate one of the three major festivals (Passover, Weeks, or Booths; cp. Leviticus 23). These were glorious occasions. The psalms, then, appropriately may be called “Pilgrim Songs.”

Bethany (House of Figs)

(Mark 11:1–14, ESV), (Matthew 26:6–13, ESV), (John 11:1–46, ESV), (Luke 10:38–42, ESV)



Hospitality is the ability to welcome strangers and entertain guests, often in your home, with great joy and kindness so that they become friends. Hospitality is supposed to include one’s family (1 Tim. 5:8), friends (Prov. 27:10), Christians (Gal. 6:10), and strangers who may not be Christians (Lev. 19:34).


Jesus spent time befriending social outcasts (Matt. 11:19), often ate with His disciples, and has welcomed us into the family of God, which includes an eternal home (John 14:2) and an eternal party (Isa. 25:6-9; Rev. 19:6-9). Elders and pastors are commanded to exercise hospitality (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8). Peter enjoyed the hospitality of Simon (Acts 9:43) and Cornelius (Acts 10:48). Paul enjoyed the hospitality of Lydia (Acts 16:15) and the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:34).

I. Gospel-Driven People Recognize The Place of Hospitality. 

II. Gospel-Driven People Demonstrate The Ministry of Hospitality.

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Israel Day 5: Baptism, Beit Shean, Jericho, Qumran, & the Dead Sea

Today was a very special day in Israel.  We started the day going to Yardent & celebrating through Baptizing 3 of our group in the Jordan River!  We then departed the Sea of Galilee &  journeyed down the Jordan Valley towards the Dead Sea. Along the way we visited the principle city of the Decapolis, Scythopolis (or Beit Shean) &  experienced an impressive Greco-Roman metropolis.  From there we traveled to the city of Jericho & visited the ancient site of the city destroyed by Joshua & the Israelites. This afternoon we made our way to Qumran, site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.   The remainder of our afternoon was spent experiencing swimming in The Dead Sea (a unique experience that everyone enjoyed). Themes for the day were spiritual disciplines, the Word of God, family worship, & contextualizing the Gospel.  Please continue to pray for everyone for endurance & continued health.

Baptism on the Jordan




Beit Shean (Decapolis)



1. Controlled the Beth Shean Pass connecting the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel Valley

2. Built on the south side of the Harod River and dates back to the Calcolithic Period

3. In Egyptian records it is mentioned in the Execration Texts, the Campaign of Thutmose III, the Amarna Letters and the Campaign of Seti I

4. Given to the Tribe of Manasseh—Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29

5. Not taken by Joshua and retained by the Canaanites—Joshua 17:12–16; Judges 1:27–28

6. Taken by the Philistines—1 Samuel 31:7

7. Saul’s body was fastened on the walls of Beth-Shean—1 Samuel 31:8–12; 2 Samuel 21:12

8. The city became Israelite only under David

9. Part of the Fifth Solomonic District—1 Kings 4:12

10. Destroyed by the Assyrians under Tiglath Pileser II in 732 b.c.

11. Resettled by Greeks and renamed Nysa-Scythopolis based on the legend that Dionysus, the god of wine, buried his nurse, Nysa, here; it became the largest city of the Decapolis

12. In 143 b.c., Jonathan Maccabee tried to halt the Syrians and agreed to negotiations, only to he tricked and captured

13. In 104 b.c., it was taken by the sons of John Hyrcanus and the inhabitants were given the choice to convert to Judaism or leave. The majority chose to leave and the city became Jewish again and returned to the name of Beth Shean

14. In 63 b.c., with Pompey and the Romans, it was rebuilt and it became a gentile city and the capitol of the ten cities of the Decapolis; it was again renamed Scythopolis; the only city of the Decapolis west of the Jordan

15. In the First Jewish Revolt in a.d. 66, Vespasian made the city the winter camp for the 5th and 10th Legions

 Lesson: Contextualization: Living The Gospel Out In Our Culture

The gospel is the key. If you don’t have a deep grasp on the gospel of grace, you will either over-contextualize because you want so desperately to be liked and popular, or you will under-contextualize because you are self-righteous and proud and so sure you are right about everything. The gospel makes you humble enough to listen and adapt to non-believers, but confident and happy enough that you don’t need their approval. – Tim Keller

I. Gospel-Driven People Embrace The Mission of The Church.

Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

“When you study the New Testament, you will see that the church is given this same vocation. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). In God’s plan of redemption, the church is called to be and to do what Israel failed to be and to do. The purpose of the church is to work together to reach out to the world around us. We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light so that we can proclaim God’s excellencies to a watching world.”-Francis Chan

 II. Gospel-Driven People Don’t Confuse Being In The World with Being Of The World.

John 17:11 (ESV)

III. Gospel-Driven People Don’t Complain About What We Can’t Do Or Don’t Have.

IV. Gospel-Driven People See The World As Broken And Are Passionate About Sharing The Gospel To Restore It. 

Jericho Ruins


Lesson: The Crossing of The Jordan-Leading You Family To Ask Questions

Purpose Statement For Gospel Driven Parenting: “I exist to equip my children to build their beliefs through the WORD of God, to articulate and understand the meaning of the Gospel, to master the ability to think logically (characterized by clear, sound reasoning), to communicate their conclusions persuasively, to the end they are prepared to serve His Kingdom and advance the Gospel across the street and around the world.

Exodus 13:14 (ESV)

14 And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.

Deuteronomy 6:20 (ESV)

20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’

Joshua 4:6 (ESV)

6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’

Joshua 4:20 (ESV)

20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.

I. Gospel-Driven Parents Lead Their Children To Ask Questions.

II. Gospel-Driven Parents Lead Their Children To Right Places.

III. Gospel-Driven Parents Lead Their Children To Right Worship.

IV. Gospel-Driven Parents Lead Their Children To Right Perspective

V.  Gospel-Driven Parents Lead Their Children To Right Salvation.


Cave-where-scrolls-were-found Bathin-Pull-at-Quran



1. Possibly referred to as the City of Salt—Joshua 15:62

2. Archaeology has shown that there was Jewish settlement here as early as the eighth century b.c. and may have been among Uzziah’s towers in the wilderness—2 Chronicles 26:10

3. In New Testament times, it was the site of the Essene Community

a. First arrived in the second century b.c.

b. In 31 b.c., it was destroyed by an earthquake and abandoned

c. It was rebuilt during the reign of Archaelaus (4 b.c.—a.d. 6)

4. The Essene Community was destroyed by the Romans in a.d. 68

5. Last known residents were a Roman garrison stationed here during the Bar Cochba Revolt (a.d. 135)

6. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found here in 1947

Lesson: The Word of God Our Satisfaction And Delight

I. Gospel-Driven People Realize Why They Study God’s Word.

  • To Know Jesus.  John 5:38–40 (ESV)
  • To Prepare ourselves for disciple-making, ministry, and service. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV)

Profitable means that there is a great gain on an investment. It teaches – helps us understand and brings clarity to life. It reproves – shows us how we have sinned. It corrects – points us to the truth when we are in error. It trains – shows us how to obey. God’s Word is fully sufficient to prepare us for everything the Bible commands us to do. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to transform us into Christ-likeness. It is fully sufficient for life and truth transference.

  • To Transform ourselves. Psalm 19:7–11 (ESV), Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)
  • To Understand God’s character and attributes.

II. Gospel-Driven People Understand What It Mean’s To Study God’s Word.

Ezra 7:10 (ESV)

Acts 17:11 (ESV)

2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

III. Gospel-Driven People Practice The Discipline of Direction In Studying God’s Word.

The Principle of Direction: direction not intentions leads to destination

The direction of delight. (2a)

“but his delight is in the law of the Lord, ” (Psalm 1:2a, ESV)

“In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. ” (Psalm 119:14, ESV)

“I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. ” (Psalm 119:16, ESV)

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. ” (Psalm 119:24, ESV)

“Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. ” (Psalm 119:35, ESV)

“for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. ” (Psalm 119:47, ESV)

We are all in one of 3 places when we consider delighting in God’s Word.

1. We have been regenerated (born again) and we love the Word of God.

2. We are carnal and we have replaced our love for the Word of God.

3. We are natural and we have no desire for the Word of God.

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Israel Day 4: Mt. Arbel, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee

We are having an incredible time in Israel!  God has really begun to show our group alot in their lives about what it truely means to be “Gospel Driven”!   Today we covered close to 7 miles on foot and explored the teachings of Jesus as he ministered in the Sea of Galilee region giving attention to various texts and traditions from his day. Sites included:  Capernaum, Mt.of Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mt.),  an ancient boat museum, a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and a hike from Mt. Arbel. Themes for the day were restoration, reconciliation, discipleship, miracles, and justice modeled by Christ in Northern Galilee.   Please continue to pray for our group as some have been a bit ill.  Pray for health and endurance as we head south toward the Dead Sea!

 Mt. Arbel


Teaching time at Mt. Mt Arbel Image

Learning that Being a Disciple is Costly 


Lesson: Discipleship: The Model of Jesus

Two thousand years ago, Jesus walked up to a handful of men and said, “Follow me.”

Imagine being one of those original disciples. They were ordinary people like you and me. They had jobs, families, hobbies, and social lives. As they went about their business on the day Jesus called them, none of them would have expected his life to change so quickly and completely.

The disciples could not have fully understood what they were getting into when they responded to Jesus’s call. Whatever expectations or doubts, whatever curiosity, excitement, or uncertainty they felt, nothing could have prepared them for what lay ahead. Everything about Jesus—His teaching, compassion, and wisdom; His life, death, 

and resurrection; His power, authority, and calling—would shape every aspect of the rest of their lives. In only a few years, these simple men were standing before some of the most powerful rulers on earth and being accused of “turn[ing] the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). What began as simple obedience to the call of Jesus ended up changing their lives, and ultimately, the world.

What Is a Disciple?

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? As you will discover, the answer is fairly simple, but it changes your life completely. The word disciple refers to a student or apprentice. Disciples in Jesus’s day would follow their rabbi (which means teacher) wherever he went, learning from the rabbi’s teaching and being trained to do as the rabbi did. 

Basically, a disciple is a follower, but only if we take the term follower literally. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is as simple as obeying His call to follow. When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it

would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus’s call literally and began going everywhere He went and doing everything He did. It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). That’s the whole point of being a disciple of Jesus: we imitate Him, carry on His ministry, and become like Him in the process. 

Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a “Christian” without being like Christ. A “follower” who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, “Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.” Seriously? No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way? It appears that we’ve lost sight of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The concept of being a disciple isn’t difficult to understand, but it affects everything.- Francis Chan


Luke 9:57–62 (ESV), Luke 14:28–33 (ESV), Luke 9:23–25 (ESV)

I. Gospel-Driven People Believe Being A Disciple is Not Optional.

Jesus says that if anyone would come after me, he must follow me. If you want to come after me—it’s a general term—if you want to have any experience of me, any relationship with me, you have to be a disciple. There are not two kinds of Christians: regular Christians and people who are really disciples. There’s only one: to be a Christian is to be a disciple. To have anything to do with me is to follow me in the way I define it: setting a new priority, finding a new identity, experiencing living out of a new mercy.- Tim Keller

II. Gospel-Driven People Recognize Being A Disciple is A Journey.

III. Gospel-Driven People Realize Being A Disciple is Costly.

IV. Gospel-Driven People Understand Being A Disciple is Not A Program But It Is Intentional

V. Gospel-Driven People Recognize Being A Disciple is Conforming To Jesus

Teaching at Mt. Of Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount)


Lesson: The Sermon On The Mount- The Need For The Gospel, The Fruit of The Gospel, and The Witness of The Gospel

Jewish Rabbinical Practice: “Pearl Stringing”

John MacArthur on Pearl Stringing from James, (charaz)

Even if this outline were used, however, the expositor could fail to convey adequately, if not personally understand, the author’s logical development. This section of James 1, and indeed the whole book, is not outlined according to western standards. This structure, and therefore our preaching on the chapter, should be characterized more as “a string of pearls,” since that is what it is…. Following a beautiful string of precious jewels like this is an important part of an exposition of this passage and others like it.

I. The Sermon on The Mount Reveals Our Need For The Gospel.

Matthew 5:1–12 (ESV), Matthew 5:17–20 (ESV), Matthew 5:21–22 (ESV), Matthew 5:27–28 (ESV), Matthew 5:38–48 (ESV)

II. The Sermon On The Mount Reflects The Fruit of The Gospel.

Matthew 6:1–21 (ESV), Matthew 6:25–34 (ESV), Matthew 7:24–27 (ESV)

III. The Sermon on The Mount Requires The Witness of The Gospel.

Matthew 5:13–16 (ESV)



Site of Peters House


Ancient Synagogue Near Peters House


Lesson: Capernaum: The Base of Gospel Proclamation And Demonstration

Matthew 4:12–13 (ESV), Matthew 9:1 (ESV), Luke 4:23 (ESV), Mark 2:1–12 (ESV), Luke 7:1–10 (ESV)

Everyone Needs The Answer To Two Questions:

1) Can I be forgiven of my sins?

Sin is our greatest problem.

Sin is our greatest enemy.

Sin separates us from God.

Sin renders us spiritually dead.

Sin, not forgiven, results in eternal death in a place called hell.

Sin shatters relationships, causes us to think foolishly, leads us to make bad choices and decisions, moves us to act in evil and destructive ways.

2) Who can forgive me of my sins?

I. Gospel Centered People Realize The True Needs of People.

II. Gospel Centered People Are Compelled To Action For The Sake of Others.

III. Gospel Centered People Believe In The Authority of Christ To Forgive Sins. 

Isaiah 35:6 (ESV)

Boat Ride on Sea of Galilee


Casting Nets


Ancient Boat Excavated in the Sea of Galilee


Mural of what the boat would have looked like



1. Measurements

a. 13 miles long

b. 5 to 8 miles wide

c. 32 miles around

d. 150 feet deep (varies 60–156 ft.)

e. 630 feet below sea level—The lowest sweet water lake in the world

2. Names

a. The Sea of Chinnereth (Kinneret)—Numbers 34:11; Joshua 11:2; 12:3; 13:27

b. The Lake of Gennesaret—Luke 5:1

c. The Sea of Tiberias—John 6:1; 21:1

d. The Sea of Galilee—Matthew 4:18; 15:29

3. Marked the eastern border of the Land—Numbers 34:11

4. Marked the boundary of the Transjordanian Tribes—Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 12:3; 13:27

5. Major area of Jesus’ ministry—Matthew 4:18; 15:29; Mark 1:16; 7:31

6. Site of the drowning of the pigs—Mark 5:1–20; Luke 8:26–39

7. Jesus frequently crossed this sea—Matthew 8:23; Mark 8:10; Luke 8:22; John 6:1

8. The miracle of the stilling of the waters—Matthew 8:23–27; Luke 8:22–25

9. Jesus walked on the water—Matthew 14:22–33; John 6:16–21

10. Miracle of the enormous catch—Luke 5:1–11

11. Miracle of Peters fish—Matthew 17:24–27

12. Jesus gave Peter his lesson on feeding the sheep—John 21:1–23

13. Jesus’ Ministry

a. 19 of 32 parables

b. 25 of 33 miracles

14. The rabbis teach: The Lord created seven seas but the Sea of Gennesaret is His delight

15. The sudden storms on the sea are called Sharkia, Arabic for “east”

16. Key Cities

a. Tiberias

b. Migdal-Magdala (Tarichae)

c. Caparnaum

d. Chorazin

e. Bethsaida

f. Gergasa

g. Gamla

h. Hippos-Susita

i. Kinneret

17. The Fishing Industry

a. Contains 18 species, 10 of which are commercially important

b. The edible fish fell into three main categories

(1) Musht—Five species including St. Peter’s fish

(2) Biny (Barbels)—Three species of the carp

(3) Sardines—Two species

c. It contains catfish which cannot be eaten by Jews and so they are not as                                    commercially important

Lesson: Calming The Sea And Walking On Water: Jesus Is Lord

I. Gospel-Driven People Recognize Jesus As Lord.

II. Gospel-Driven People Respond To Jesus As Lord.  

III. Gospel-Driven People Rely On Jesus As Lord. 

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