June 19, 2017   The Text: Read The Book of Ruth (If you want to)   The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of faithfulness and obedience. It’s a story of redemption and ultimately of God’s love for his people. From this book we can see several characteristics of Boaz that men should strive to achieve. But the reality is, no man can be Boaz without knowing the better Boaz, Jesus.  Discuss:    Why did Ruth choose to stay with Naomi?    Why did Boaz show favor to Ruth?    What made Ruth’s actions in the threshing floor so extraordinary?    4. Why did Boaz choose to redeem Ruth through the land of Elimelech?  Respond:  1. 2. 3. 4. 5.  What makes a man a good protector and provider?  How can a man be a great comforter and giver of care?  What does it mean for a man to provide a covering of leadership for his family? What does this look like?  What does it mean for a man to provide a spiritual covering for his family. What does this look like?  Why is it so important for a man to have a relationship with Jesus in order to be like Boaz?  Prayer  God you are the better Boaz. Help the men in the room to be more like you. Let them love you first and foremost and may your grace be sufficient to love and lead their family well. 

June 19, 2017

The Text:
Read The Book of Ruth (If you want to)

The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of faithfulness and obedience. It’s a story of redemption and ultimately of God’s love for his people. From this book we can see several characteristics of Boaz that men should strive to achieve. But the reality is, no man can be Boaz without knowing the better Boaz, Jesus.

Discuss:

  1. Why did Ruth choose to stay with Naomi?

  2. Why did Boaz show favor to Ruth?

  3. What made Ruth’s actions in the threshing floor so extraordinary?

4. Why did Boaz choose to redeem Ruth through the land of Elimelech?

Respond:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

What makes a man a good protector and provider?

How can a man be a great comforter and giver of care?

What does it mean for a man to provide a covering of leadership for his family? What does this look like?

What does it mean for a man to provide a spiritual covering for his family. What does this look like?

Why is it so important for a man to have a relationship with Jesus in order to be like Boaz?

Prayer

God you are the better Boaz. Help the men in the room to be more like you. Let them love you first and foremost and may your grace be sufficient to love and lead their family well. 

      June 12, 2017   The Text: Read John 13:31-38   In this passage Jesus will predict Peter’s denial and gives his disciples a new command. The command itself is to love one another. This is not the new part. The new part is the way in which his disciples are to love. They are to love others the same way Jesus loves them... completely and sacrificially by laying down their lives. This is how the world will know His disciples.  Discuss:    Why did Jesus say that he was now glorified (vs 31-32)?    Why can the disciples not go where Jesus is going?    3. Why do you think Jesus calls his command to love new? Explain.  4. What is the difference between Peter’s denial and Judas’ betrayal?  Respond:    What makes loving people so hard?    Is it possible to truly love someone  unconditionally?    What fuels your love for others? How are you  currently doing at this task?    Have you ever tasted the sweet joy of forgiveness? Explain.    Prayer  God you have shown us how to love others. Your sacrifice of Jesus demonstrates for us perfect love. God give us grace to love others well. Let us taste your grace and forgiveness and may it fuel our love. May the world know that we are your disciples by the way we love. 

June 12, 2017

The Text: Read John 13:31-38

In this passage Jesus will predict Peter’s denial and gives his disciples a new command. The command itself is to love one another. This is not the new part. The new part is the way in which his disciples are to love. They are to love others the same way Jesus loves them... completely and sacrificially by laying down their lives. This is how the world will know His disciples.

Discuss:

  1. Why did Jesus say that he was now glorified (vs 31-32)?

  2. Why can the disciples not go where Jesus is going?

3. Why do you think Jesus calls his command to love new? Explain.

4. What is the difference between Peter’s denial and Judas’ betrayal?

Respond:

  1. What makes loving people so hard?

  2. Is it possible to truly love someone

    unconditionally?

  3. What fuels your love for others? How are you

    currently doing at this task?

  4. Have you ever tasted the sweet joy of forgiveness? Explain.

Prayer

God you have shown us how to love others. Your sacrifice of Jesus demonstrates for us perfect love. God give us grace to love others well. Let us taste your grace and forgiveness and may it fuel our love. May the world know that we are your disciples by the way we love. 

      June 5, 2017   The Text: Read John 13:18-30   An emotional story of Jesus identifying his betrayer during the last supper. In these verses we see the Sovereign will of God and the humanity of Jesus. Judas Iscariot will be identified as the betrayer in the most intimate of ways, by Jesus sharing bread with him. This passage is raw and leaves us with one big question. Was Judas predestined to betray Jesus or did he choose to do so?  Discuss:  1. Why do you think Jesus chose to reveal Judas in this manor?  2. What makes Judas’ betrayal so hurtful?  3. What do you think it means that Satan entered Judas?  4. Do you think Judas was predestined to betray Jesus? why or why not? (good luck)  Respond:    Have you ever choose to betray Jesus? Explain.    What can you choose to do today to better  honor Jesus?    Is there any area of your life where you are  willingly choosing yourself over God? Explain.    Prayer  God may we choose every day to honor and serve you. Give us hearts for your people and your purpose. Let us cling to you and your Son Jesus.  We need you God to give us grace to choose what is best. 

June 5, 2017

The Text: Read John 13:18-30

An emotional story of Jesus identifying his betrayer during the last supper. In these verses we see the Sovereign will of God and the humanity of Jesus. Judas Iscariot will be identified as the betrayer in the most intimate of ways, by Jesus sharing bread with him. This passage is raw and leaves us with one big question. Was Judas predestined to betray Jesus or did he choose to do so?

Discuss:

1. Why do you think Jesus chose to reveal Judas in this manor?

2. What makes Judas’ betrayal so hurtful?

3. What do you think it means that Satan entered Judas?

4. Do you think Judas was predestined to betray Jesus? why or why not? (good luck)

Respond:

  1. Have you ever choose to betray Jesus? Explain.

  2. What can you choose to do today to better

    honor Jesus?

  3. Is there any area of your life where you are

    willingly choosing yourself over God? Explain.

Prayer

God may we choose every day to honor and serve you. Give us hearts for your people and your purpose. Let us cling to you and your Son Jesus.

We need you God to give us grace to choose what is best. 

      May 29, 2017   The Text: Read John 13:1-17   Jesus is in the upper room having the last supper with his disciples. Prior to the meal the disciples had been fighting about who would be the greatest and Jesus took the opportunity to teach a powerful lesson about true greatness. Jesus chose to use few words but his actions left little room for misunderstanding. Jesus having all authority and power humbled himself and performed the job of the lowest servant by washing his disciple’s feet. Jesus then commanded his followers to do for others as he had done for them.  Discuss:    Why do think Jesus chose to wash his disciple’s feet?    What do you think caused Peter to respond to Jesus the way he did?    When Jesus says he must cleanse Peter, what does he mean?    Respond:    Why is it so difficult for us to serve others?    When was the last time you sacrificially served someone else?    When you think of what Jesus did for you on the cross does it motivative you to do the same for others? Explain.    4. Who do you need to serve this week?  Prayer  God give me a heart to serve those around me. May I have a heart that seeks to serve because I have been served by you. 

May 29, 2017

The Text: Read John 13:1-17

Jesus is in the upper room having the last supper with his disciples. Prior to the meal the disciples had been fighting about who would be the greatest and Jesus took the opportunity to teach a powerful lesson about true greatness. Jesus chose to use few words but his actions left little room for misunderstanding. Jesus having all authority and power humbled himself and performed the job of the lowest servant by washing his disciple’s feet. Jesus then commanded his followers to do for others as he had done for them.

Discuss:

  1. Why do think Jesus chose to wash his disciple’s feet?

  2. What do you think caused Peter to respond to Jesus the way he did?

  3. When Jesus says he must cleanse Peter, what does he mean?

Respond:

  1. Why is it so difficult for us to serve others?

  2. When was the last time you sacrificially served someone else?

  3. When you think of what Jesus did for you on the cross does it motivative you to do the same for others? Explain.

4. Who do you need to serve this week?

Prayer

God give me a heart to serve those around me. May I have a heart that seeks to serve because I have been served by you. 

      May 22, 2017   The Text: Read John 12:37-50   Jesus is explaining how some of the Jewish worshipers have chosen not to believe in Him despite His many miraculous signs. Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:10 to inform his listener that God is hardening the heart of some for the specific purpose of saving many (read Romans 11:25-26). When we looked at the other places Isaiah 6:10 is quoted in the New Testament we see several reasons why people would choose to not believe in Jesus: 1) The preaching of the gospel was flawed. 2) The listener could care less. 3) God is hardening hearts for a purpose 4) The listener desires the praise of man more than the praise of God.  Discuss: Respond:    How could bad preaching cause unbelief? Give examples. How can you combat others bad preaching?    What do you do when a person could literally care less about hearing the gospel?    How do you personally handle the scriptures that say God hardens hearts and blinds eyes to the gospel? Do you think there is a balanced approach to these passages? Explain.    4. How does the fear of man cause unbelief. How can we combat this fear in ourselves? And in others?  Prayer  God may those who currently do not believe in your Son find faith in Him. 

May 22, 2017

The Text: Read John 12:37-50

Jesus is explaining how some of the Jewish worshipers have chosen not to believe in Him despite His many miraculous signs. Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:10 to inform his listener that God is hardening the heart of some for the specific purpose of saving many (read Romans 11:25-26). When we looked at the other places Isaiah 6:10 is quoted in the New Testament we see several reasons why people would choose to not believe in Jesus: 1) The preaching of the gospel was flawed. 2) The listener could care less. 3) God is hardening hearts for a purpose 4) The listener desires the praise of man more than the praise of God.

Discuss: Respond:

  1. How could bad preaching cause unbelief? Give examples. How can you combat others bad preaching?

  2. What do you do when a person could literally care less about hearing the gospel?

  3. How do you personally handle the scriptures that say God hardens hearts and blinds eyes to the gospel? Do you think there is a balanced approach to these passages? Explain.

4. How does the fear of man cause unbelief. How can we combat this fear in ourselves? And in others?

Prayer

God may those who currently do not believe in your Son find faith in Him. 

      May 15, 2017   The Text: Read Ephesians 6:1-4   For Mother’s Day we talked about the God given design of mothers and the impact they have on their children’s lives. The hope is to spend time in your groups talking about the role of mothers.  Discuss:  1. What is one great lesson you can remember learning from your mother?  Respond:    Read Proverbs 3:5-6. How can a mother best guide the lives of their child under the umbrella of direction? What is the hardest part of giving life direction to a child?    Read Matthew 20:20-21 What would be the greatest prayer you could pray for a child? Why? Do you pray for you children (future children)? Explain what motivates these prayers.    Read 2 Timothy 1:5. Under the umbrella of faith a child will flourish. What are the main differences between an umbrella of faith and an umbrella of religion? How do you make sure and provide an umbrella of faith?    Prayer  God thank you for great mothers. 

May 15, 2017

The Text:
Read Ephesians 6:1-4

For Mother’s Day we talked about the God given design of mothers and the impact they have on their children’s lives. The hope is to spend time in your groups talking about the role of mothers.

Discuss:

1. What is one great lesson you can remember learning from your mother?

Respond:

  1. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. How can a mother best guide the lives of their child under the umbrella of direction? What is the hardest part of giving life direction to a child?

  2. Read Matthew 20:20-21 What would be the greatest prayer you could pray for a child? Why? Do you pray for you children (future children)? Explain what motivates these prayers.

  3. Read 2 Timothy 1:5. Under the umbrella of faith a child will flourish. What are the main differences between an umbrella of faith and an umbrella of religion? How do you make sure and provide an umbrella of faith?

Prayer

God thank you for great mothers. 

      May 7, 2017   The Text: Read John 12:30-36   Jesus tells a group of listeners that the Son of Man must be lifted up, hung on a cross, in order for three very important things to happen. 1. Jesus takes upon himself the wrath of God and the debt of sin. 2. Jesus conquers Satan  3. The cross becomes the lighthouse by which all mankind will be called to the Father.  After Jesus says these things he disappears into the crowd to speak publicly no more.  Discuss:    How does the cross of Christ become Judgement for the world?    How does the cross of Christ destroy the Prince of this World?    How does the cross of Christ call all mankind to the Father?    Respond:    Why is the symbol of the cross so powerful?    What does the cross mean to you?    Has the cross of Christ called you to God? Explain how.    4. What is the cross calling you to do?  Prayer  God thank you for the Cross. For its power and the joy that comes through faith in Jesus the one who was lifted up. May we live lives that are worthy of the Cross, by your grace. May we all be witnesses of the cross as you continue to call men and women to yourself. 

May 7, 2017

The Text: Read John 12:30-36

Jesus tells a group of listeners that the Son of Man must be lifted up, hung on a cross, in order for three very important things to happen. 1. Jesus takes upon himself the wrath of God and the debt of sin. 2. Jesus conquers Satan

3. The cross becomes the lighthouse by which all mankind will be called to the Father.

After Jesus says these things he disappears into the crowd to speak publicly no more.

Discuss:

  1. How does the cross of Christ become Judgement for the world?

  2. How does the cross of Christ destroy the Prince of this World?

  3. How does the cross of Christ call all mankind to the Father?

Respond:

  1. Why is the symbol of the cross so powerful?

  2. What does the cross mean to you?

  3. Has the cross of Christ called you to God? Explain how.

4. What is the cross calling you to do?

Prayer

God thank you for the Cross. For its power and the joy that comes through faith in Jesus the one who was lifted up. May we live lives that are worthy of the Cross, by your grace. May we all be witnesses of the cross as you continue to call men and women to yourself. 

      April 30, 2017  I love our baptism services.  The stories of life change and the symbolism is always so powerful.  I gave a short message at the end of service, calling people to share their faith this week.  I challenged the church to share their faith with someone in their family, at their place of work, or while out and about.  For the sermon response this week I simply want you to answer one question.  How has your faith in Jesus Christ changed your life?  Explain in great detail.   Take the time to let everyone in your group answer this question.

April 30, 2017

I love our baptism services.  The stories of life change and the symbolism is always so powerful.  I gave a short message at the end of service, calling people to share their faith this week.  I challenged the church to share their faith with someone in their family, at their place of work, or while out and about.  For the sermon response this week I simply want you to answer one question.
How has your faith in Jesus Christ changed your life?  Explain in great detail.

Take the time to let everyone in your group answer this question.

      April 24, 2017   The Text: Read John 12:20-29   Jesus teaches his disciples how to live a life that glorifies God. In this teaching Jesus also reveals the inner turmoil he feels about his impending crucifixion. From the text we see that the ultimate goal of every person’s life should be the glorification of God.  Discuss:    Why do you think the Greek worshipers wanted to meet with Jesus?    When Jesus says that God honors those men and women who serve Him, what does he mean?    3. What do we learn from God’s own words in verse 28?  Respond:    Have you ever been able to see how a season of personal suffering actually glorified God? Explain.    Do you see your job as a means to glorify God, why or why not?    God will receive his glory regardless of your actions, the only question is whether or not you will be the one that is    responsible for giving him that glory. Are you a person who normally glorifies God with your life? Explain.  4. What do you need to do this week to better glorify God?  Prayer  God glorify yourself through me. May my life be lived in service to your Son and may you give me the grace necessary to bring glory to your name. 

April 24, 2017

The Text: Read John 12:20-29

Jesus teaches his disciples how to live a life that glorifies God. In this teaching Jesus also reveals the inner turmoil he feels about his impending crucifixion. From the text we see that the ultimate goal of every person’s life should be the glorification of God.

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think the Greek worshipers wanted to meet with Jesus?

  2. When Jesus says that God honors those men and women who serve Him, what does he mean?

3. What do we learn from God’s own words in verse 28?

Respond:

  1. Have you ever been able to see how a season of personal suffering actually glorified God? Explain.

  2. Do you see your job as a means to glorify God, why or why not?

  3. God will receive his glory regardless of your actions, the only question is whether or not you will be the one that is

responsible for giving him that glory. Are you a person who normally glorifies God with your life? Explain.

4. What do you need to do this week to better glorify God?

Prayer

God glorify yourself through me. May my life be lived in service to your Son and may you give me the grace necessary to bring glory to your name. 

      April 10, 2017   The Text: Read John 12:12-16 with Mark 11:1-11   The triumphal entry. Jesus is on the move. He is headed to Jerusalem and the worshipers gathered within the city are excited to witness history. They line the parade route from the Mount of Olives to the gates of Jerusalem. They sing and cheer and rejoice for they believe their Messiah has finally arrived and they have front row seats to witness history.  Discuss:    Why did John choose to only highlight the Old Testament references in his telling of the triumphal entry? (hint vs 16 is important)    Why did Jesus choose to ride into Jerusalem on a colt?    3. Why did Jesus enter Jerusalem and then almost immediately turn around and go back to Bethany?  Respond:    Has God ever failed to meet your expectations? Explain.    What primarily fuels your worship of God? Give examples.      Who is Jesus to you and why is he worthy of your worship?    What do you need to do today to fully surrender to the King?    Prayer  Lord help us worship you because you are the king. Let us know you more and in knowing you let our hearts be moved toward you. Forgive us when we allow emotion and circumstance to dictate our worship. Give us the grace necessary to daily surrender to you. 

April 10, 2017

The Text:
Read John 12:12-16 with Mark 11:1-11

The triumphal entry. Jesus is on the move. He is headed to Jerusalem and the worshipers gathered within the city are excited to witness history. They line the parade route from the Mount of Olives to the gates of Jerusalem. They sing and cheer and rejoice for they believe their Messiah has finally arrived and they have front row seats to witness history.

Discuss:

  1. Why did John choose to only highlight the Old Testament references in his telling of the triumphal entry? (hint vs 16 is important)

  2. Why did Jesus choose to ride into Jerusalem on a colt?

3. Why did Jesus enter Jerusalem and then almost immediately turn around and go back to Bethany?

Respond:

  1. Has God ever failed to meet your expectations? Explain.

  2. What primarily fuels your worship of God? Give examples.

  1. Who is Jesus to you and why is he worthy of your worship?

  2. What do you need to do today to fully surrender to the King?

Prayer

Lord help us worship you because you are the king. Let us know you more and in knowing you let our hearts be moved toward you. Forgive us when we allow emotion and circumstance to dictate our worship. Give us the grace necessary to daily surrender to you. 

      Sermon Response  April 2, 2017   The Text: Read John 12:9-11   A very short passage letting the reader know that Lazarus has now been deemed guilty by association with Jesus. We know of absolutely nothing that Lazarus did to warrant the religious leaders wanting to take his life but they had to do something because many people were putting their faith in Jesus due to the miraculous testimony of Lazarus.  Discuss:    Why were the religious leaders so scared of Jesus and Lazarus being in Bethany together?    Why do you think so many people believed in Jesus after he raised Lazarus from the dead?    Respond:    Those who call themselves disciples of Jesus should be seen as guilty by association. Would the world see you as guilty of associating with Jesus? Explain.    Read John 15:18-19 and Luke 6:22. Why should disciples consider it a good thing to be “hated” by the world?      Read 1 Peter 2:11-12. How can we be a part of the world but not partake in the sin of the world? How do you do this?    How do you need to grow in your discipleship to be associated with Jesus?    Prayer  Lord let us be more like you. May we live in such a way as to be guilty by association. 

Sermon Response

April 2, 2017

The Text: Read John 12:9-11

A very short passage letting the reader know that Lazarus has now been deemed guilty by association with Jesus. We know of absolutely nothing that Lazarus did to warrant the religious leaders wanting to take his life but they had to do something because many people were putting their faith in Jesus due to the miraculous testimony of Lazarus.

Discuss:

  1. Why were the religious leaders so scared of Jesus and Lazarus being in Bethany together?

  2. Why do you think so many people believed in Jesus after he raised Lazarus from the dead?

Respond:

  1. Those who call themselves disciples of Jesus should be seen as guilty by association. Would the world see you as guilty of associating with Jesus? Explain.

  2. Read John 15:18-19 and Luke 6:22. Why should disciples consider it a good thing to be “hated” by the world?

  1. Read 1 Peter 2:11-12. How can we be a part of the world but not partake in the sin of the world? How do you do this?

  2. How do you need to grow in your discipleship to be associated with Jesus?

Prayer

Lord let us be more like you. May we live in such a way as to be guilty by association. 

      Sermon Response   March 26, 2017   The Text: Read Zachariah 8:18-23   An old testament prophecy declaring the power of God’s people to draw in the nations with their happiness, joy, peace, truth and powerful prayer. The idea is simple, all people are seeking God and those who know God are the reference point in which the lost people can find an invisible God.  Discuss:    How are the people of God suppose to make the four required fasts a joyous festival?    What does it mean to entreat the Lord? Why do people have a need to entreat the Lord?    Why do you think 10 people want to cling to the hem of one Jews robe?    Respond:    If someone didn’t know God would they be able to see Him in you? Explain.    Have you ever had someone approach you out of the blue and want to know about God? Tell the story.      Why did God choose to make His reference point the church?    How can the church be a better reference point for God?    Which of the reference point marks do you most need to grow in, - Happiness, Truth, Peace, Powerful Prayer? Why and how will you do this?    Prayer  God make us your reference point. May we be full of happiness, truth, peace and God please hear our faith filled prayers. Let us be for this world the means by which all peoples can come to know you. 

Sermon Response 

March 26, 2017

The Text:
Read Zachariah 8:18-23

An old testament prophecy declaring the power of God’s people to draw in the nations with their happiness, joy, peace, truth and powerful prayer. The idea is simple, all people are seeking God and those who know God are the reference point in which the lost people can find an invisible God.

Discuss:

  1. How are the people of God suppose to make the four required fasts a joyous festival?

  2. What does it mean to entreat the Lord? Why do people have a need to entreat the Lord?

  3. Why do you think 10 people want to cling to the hem of one Jews robe?

Respond:

  1. If someone didn’t know God would they be able to see Him in you? Explain.

  2. Have you ever had someone approach you out of the blue and want to know about God? Tell the story.

  1. Why did God choose to make His reference point the church?

  2. How can the church be a better reference point for God?

  3. Which of the reference point marks do you most need to grow in, - Happiness, Truth, Peace, Powerful Prayer? Why and how will you do this?

Prayer

God make us your reference point. May we be full of happiness, truth, peace and God please hear our faith filled prayers. Let us be for this world the means by which all peoples can come to know you.