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. 

      Sermon Response 3/19/17  ASK & RECEIVE – WHY PRAY  The Text: MATTHEW 6:8-15; JAMES 4:2-3; PHILIPPIANS 4:4-13  As believers, talking to God and requesting things from Him are important to our spiritual lives because prayer unlocks the power of God. It is very important to know “what” to pray, and we should be diligent to learn “how” to pray, but the thing that causes a loyal relationship with God as opposed to a transactional relationship is understanding “why” we need to pray.  Discuss:    Read Matthew 6:8-15: What 4 things does Jesus tell us to include in our prayers? Which one of these is hardest for you? Why?    Why is confession so hard? Why is it so important to our prayer life?    Why do people treat prayer like a vending machine? What does it do to your faith if God doesn’t give you what you ask? Is there a wrong way to ask (pray)? Read James 4:2-3.    Read Philippians 4:4-13: How do Paul’s instructions help us know how to pray and help us respond to God no matter how He answers our prayers? What is the key to being able to rejoice, release (relax), request, reflect & repeat?    Why should you pray?    Respond:    Confess your sin to God (and maybe to someone else).    Develop a desire for a loyal relationship with Jesus – not just a transactional one –  motivated by your understanding of why you need to pray.    Approach God with a contentment driven by your gratitude for the cross.    Keep asking God for daily provision and for protection.    Prayer  Lord Jesus, I confess all my sins to you. Please forgive me and help me be forgiven towards those who have hurt me or sinned against me. Help me have a relationship with you that is not based on how you answer my prayers or on how much you bless me, but one that is based on my gratitude for the love you showed me on the cross. Thank you for loving me and for saving me from hell. If you never give me another gift, I already have enough because of that one gift. You are holy and you are good. Amen.   

Sermon Response 3/19/17

ASK & RECEIVE – WHY PRAY

The Text:
MATTHEW 6:8-15; JAMES 4:2-3; PHILIPPIANS 4:4-13

As believers, talking to God and requesting things from Him are important to our spiritual lives because prayer unlocks the power of God. It is very important to know “what” to pray, and we should be diligent to learn “how” to pray, but the thing that causes a loyal relationship with God as opposed to a transactional relationship is understanding “why” we need to pray.

Discuss:

  1. Read Matthew 6:8-15: What 4 things does Jesus tell us to include in our prayers? Which one of these is hardest for you? Why?

  2. Why is confession so hard? Why is it so important to our prayer life?

  3. Why do people treat prayer like a vending machine? What does it do to your faith if God doesn’t give you what you ask? Is there a wrong way to ask (pray)? Read James 4:2-3.

  4. Read Philippians 4:4-13: How do Paul’s instructions help us know how to pray and help us respond to God no matter how He answers our prayers? What is the key to being able to rejoice, release (relax), request, reflect & repeat?

  5. Why should you pray?

Respond:

  1. Confess your sin to God (and maybe to someone else).

  2. Develop a desire for a loyal relationship with Jesus – not just a transactional one –

    motivated by your understanding of why you need to pray.

  3. Approach God with a contentment driven by your gratitude for the cross.

  4. Keep asking God for daily provision and for protection.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess all my sins to you. Please forgive me and help me be forgiven towards those who have hurt me or sinned against me. Help me have a relationship with you that is not based on how you answer my prayers or on how much you bless me, but one that is based on my gratitude for the love you showed me on the cross. Thank you for loving me and for saving me from hell. If you never give me another gift, I already have enough because of that one gift. You are holy and you are good. Amen.

 

      Sermon Response  March 13, 2017  The Text: Matthew 6:5-13  During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus teaches on prayer. The teaching begins with a warning against prayer that is for your own glory and then Jesus gives us a model prayer often referred to as the Lord’s prayer.  Discuss:    Why does God dislike prayers that are done in public?    Why does God dislike prayers that have many words?    What are the four movements of the Lord’s prayer?    Respond:    When you pray do you speak more or listen more? Explain.    If God already knows what you need before you ask, why do we still need to pray?    Have you ever meditated? Describe the experience.    What do you need to do this week to strengthen your prayer life?    Prayer  Spend an extended period of time in silent prayer. Listen more than you speak. 

Sermon Response

March 13, 2017

The Text: Matthew 6:5-13

During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus teaches on prayer. The teaching begins with a warning against prayer that is for your own glory and then Jesus gives us a model prayer often referred to as the Lord’s prayer.

Discuss:

  1. Why does God dislike prayers that are done in public?

  2. Why does God dislike prayers that have many words?

  3. What are the four movements of the Lord’s prayer?

Respond:

  1. When you pray do you speak more or listen more? Explain.

  2. If God already knows what you need before you ask, why do we still need to pray?

  3. Have you ever meditated? Describe the experience.

  4. What do you need to do this week to strengthen your prayer life?

Prayer

Spend an extended period of time in silent prayer. Listen more than you speak. 

       Sermon Response     March 6, 2016   The Text: John 12:1-8  Jesus is now only 2 miles away from Jerusalem. He arrives at the house of Simon the Leper and he is greeted with a meal in his honor. During the meal, Mary anoints Jesus with a very expensive perfume. Mary’s extravagant act is ridiculed by the disciples, especially the thief Judas Iscariot. But Jesus comes to her rescue and lets all those present know that what Mary has done is beautiful because she is anointing him for his burial.  Discuss:    What are the three reasons a person would be anointed in the first century? (answer: They were the guest of honor at a banquet, they were being anointed king, for burial)    Why do you think Mary anointed Jesus? Explain.    Respond:    Have you ever done anything extravagant in your worship of God? Explain.    What stops you from doing extravagant things for God?    What best fuels your love for God? Explain.    Prayer  Lord may we be motivated by your love for us in Christ Jesus. May that love cause our souls to worship you and may that worship be extravagant. You are worthy of all our praise and honor. 

Sermon Response

March 6, 2016

The Text: John 12:1-8

Jesus is now only 2 miles away from Jerusalem. He arrives at the house of Simon the Leper and he is greeted with a meal in his honor. During the meal, Mary anoints Jesus with a very expensive perfume. Mary’s extravagant act is ridiculed by the disciples, especially the thief Judas Iscariot. But Jesus comes to her rescue and lets all those present know that what Mary has done is beautiful because she is anointing him for his burial.

Discuss:

  1. What are the three reasons a person would be anointed in the first century? (answer: They were the guest of honor at a banquet, they were being anointed king, for burial)

  2. Why do you think Mary anointed Jesus? Explain.

Respond:

  1. Have you ever done anything extravagant in your worship of God? Explain.

  2. What stops you from doing extravagant things for God?

  3. What best fuels your love for God? Explain.

Prayer

Lord may we be motivated by your love for us in Christ Jesus. May that love cause our souls to worship you and may that worship be extravagant. You are worthy of all our praise and honor. 

      Sermon Response  February 26, 2017  The Text: John 11:55-12-1  A simple passage to let the reader know that the passover festival is near and Jesus will be heading toward Jerusalem soon. The mood in Jerusalem is one of excitement and expectation as all those who arrived early to ceremonially cleanse themselves discuss wether or not Jesus will show up.  The main idea for the message comes from vs 55. Why did the these men arrive over a week early to ceremonially cleanse themselves for the Passover? And what can we learn from their devotion to God?  Discuss:    Why did the worshipers arrive early to ceremonially cleanse themselves? Read Leviticus 22:4-7    Why did the worshipers put themselves through such crazy activities?    What can we learn from the worshipers?    Respond:  1. Read Romans 12:1 - What does it look like for you to daily be a living sacrifice?    Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - What does it mean to you, that your life has been bought at a price?    Read Hebrews 10:22, John 13:10, and Ephesians 5:26. How do you currently wash yourself in the water of the Word? Does it work?    Prayer  Lord may we take our relationship with you seriously, may we daily surrender our lives unto you. Lord, give us grace and strength to flee from immorality, and give us a passion to daily wash in the water of your Word. 

Sermon Response

February 26, 2017

The Text: John 11:55-12-1

A simple passage to let the reader know that the passover festival is near and Jesus will be heading toward Jerusalem soon. The mood in Jerusalem is one of excitement and expectation as all those who arrived early to ceremonially cleanse themselves discuss wether or not Jesus will show up.

The main idea for the message comes from vs 55. Why did the these men arrive over a week early to ceremonially cleanse themselves for the Passover? And what can we learn from their devotion to God?

Discuss:

  1. Why did the worshipers arrive early to ceremonially cleanse themselves? Read Leviticus 22:4-7

  2. Why did the worshipers put themselves through such crazy activities?

  3. What can we learn from the worshipers?

Respond:

1. Read Romans 12:1 - What does it look like for you to daily be a living sacrifice?

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - What does it mean to you, that your life has been bought at a price?

  2. Read Hebrews 10:22, John 13:10, and Ephesians 5:26. How do you currently wash yourself in the water of the Word? Does it work?

Prayer

Lord may we take our relationship with you seriously, may we daily surrender our lives unto you. Lord, give us grace and strength to flee from immorality, and give us a passion to daily wash in the water of your Word. 

      Sermon Response  February 12, 2017  The Text: Genesis 2:19-24 & 1 Peter 3:1-6  When God created man he presented every creature before him in hopes of finding a suitable helper. When none was found, God made from man a woman. God in his infinite wisdom and design created the perfect helper for man. Woman was not designed to be a maid but instead a super hero who enables an incapable man to fulfill his God given purpose, to work and take care of all that God entrusted to him.  The way a woman best helps a man in marriage is by submitting. Submission is not giving up your thoughts, dreams, and passion or just doing whatever a man says. Biblical submission is voluntarily placing yourself under the authority of another. Ephesians 5:21 says that we should mutual submit to one another as to the Lord. Submission is not something you simply choose to do, it is the fruit of a life surrendered to God. There are three roots that must be present in a woman’s life in order for submission to occur. These roots are all found in 1 Peter 3:3-6.  Root # 1 Her BEAUTY is found in her adorning TRANQUILITY  Root # 2 Her HOPE is in God Root # 3 Her FAITH makes her FEARLESS  Discuss:    Why do you think man needed a helper?    Why is woman a perfect helper for man?         Why is submission seen a such a negative thing in our culture?    How do the three roots of submission better allow a woman to submit?    Do you believe that God’s design for marriage is really one that will cause your relationship to flourish? Why or why not.    Respond:    Singles: Guys how can you identify the roots of submission in the  life of a woman? Girls which root is the most difficult for you    Married Couples: Is your marriage flourishing? Where do you need to grow?    Prayer  Lord may we live under your authority and submit to you design for marriage. God help our marriages flourish. 

Sermon Response

February 12, 2017

The Text:
Genesis 2:19-24 & 1 Peter 3:1-6

When God created man he presented every creature before him in hopes of finding a suitable helper. When none was found, God made from man a woman. God in his infinite wisdom and design created the perfect helper for man. Woman was not designed to be a maid but instead a super hero who enables an incapable man to fulfill his God given purpose, to work and take care of all that God entrusted to him.

The way a woman best helps a man in marriage is by submitting. Submission is not giving up your thoughts, dreams, and passion or just doing whatever a man says. Biblical submission is voluntarily placing yourself under the authority of another. Ephesians 5:21 says that we should mutual submit to one another as to the Lord. Submission is not something you simply choose to do, it is the fruit of a life surrendered to God. There are three roots that must be present in a woman’s life in order for submission to occur. These roots are all found in 1 Peter 3:3-6.

Root # 1 Her BEAUTY is found in her adorning TRANQUILITY

Root # 2 Her HOPE is in God
Root # 3 Her FAITH makes her FEARLESS

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think man needed a helper?

  2. Why is woman a perfect helper for man?

 

  1. Why is submission seen a such a negative thing in our culture?

  2. How do the three roots of submission better allow a woman to submit?

  3. Do you believe that God’s design for marriage is really one that will cause your relationship to flourish? Why or why not.

Respond:

  1. Singles: Guys how can you identify the roots of submission in the

    life of a woman? Girls which root is the most difficult for you

  2. Married Couples: Is your marriage flourishing? Where do you need to grow?

Prayer

Lord may we live under your authority and submit to you design for marriage. God help our marriages flourish. 

Designed

Designed

Sermon Response

February 5, 2017

The Text:
Genesis 2:15 & Ephesians 5:25-28

In the beginning God created man to work and care for all that He entrusted to him. This same purpose applies to our marriage relationships. When a man fails to work humans suffer. When a man fails to work at marriage the relationship suffers. Ephesians 5 speaks of four jobs that a man is to do in the marriage relationship.

The four jobs are: Sacrificially love his wife, lead his wife by washing her in the water of the Word, work at presenting his wife blameless before God, and work daily at being selfless. When a man does his job a marriage will flourish.

Discuss:

  1. Describe how a man’s laziness could cause a marriage to suffer?

  2. What does it look like for a man to sacrificially love his wife?

  3. What does a man need to do in order to wash his wife in the water of the Word?

  4. What are the best ways for a man to encourage his wife in the things of the Lord?

  5. When a man is selfless and places the needs of his wife before his own a wife feels valued. Why is selflessness something you need to work at daily?

Respond:
1. Singles: How can you begin to apply the truths from the text

before getting into a serious relationship.

2. Married Couples: What do you need to do to cause your marriage to flourish?

Prayer

God help us live into our designed purpose. Cause men to work and in doing so may you cause marriages to flourish. May we honor our marriages in the same way that your Son loves and honors the Church. 

Lazarus

Lazarus

Sermon Response

LAZARUS TRUSTING THROUGH DISAPPOINTMENT

The Text: JOHN 11:17-44

Jesus finally arrives in Bethany where Lazarus has died. He is too late, and Martha and Mary are disappointed that Jesus didn’t heal their brother. Their responses in their disappointment are vastly different Martha tries to take control of the situation and Mary settles into her discouragement, not even being able to be consoled. Jesus weeps because He is so passionate about His mission to glorify His Father and to draw people to believe in Him (to make disciples). And He realizes that they don’t fully trust Him or understand this mission. He shows them His mission by raising Lazarus from the dead which both gives glory to God and causes people to believe in Jesus.

Discuss:

  1. When you are disappointed, do you find yourself more like Martha trying to take control of the situation or are you more like Mary retreating into your disappointment and discouragement?

  2. Why is it hard to trust Jesus in the midst of your disappointment with life?

  3. If you knew that the cause of your disappointment would bring glory to God and cause someone to believe in Jesus, would you ask God to take it away?

  4. Which is most difficult for you Blindly trusting in Jesus to handle your situation... Focusing on His mission instead of your circumstances... or Releasing the thing that you’re holding on to that is causing your disappointment?

Respond:

  1. What one step can you take today to Trust, Focus & Release?

  2. How can God use your situation to glorify God and make disciples?

Prayer

Lord, I give you my expectations, my disappointment and my doubt. Please help me to trust you more with EVERY area of my life. Keep my mind focused on your mission so that others can know you because they know me. 

Lazarus

Lazarus

Sermon Response

Lazarus

The Text:

John 11:1-16

This is part 1 of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus has been hiding out in Perea for the last few months. While there he gets word from Mary and Martha that his friend Lazarus is very sick and will die if he does not come quickly. Jesus and his disciples are two days away from Bethany where Lazarus lives. The disciples know that returning to Judea will mean almost certain death for them and their leader, Jesus. But Jesus reminds them that as long as it is “day” there is work to be done and the Father will protect them until the time for work is over. The text ends with Thomas making a radical declaration of allegiance to Jesus.

Discuss:

  1. What do we know about Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus?

  2. Why do the disciples have so much trouble understanding Jesus’ words in the text? What does the metaphor of day and night represent?

  3. Why does Jesus wait 2 days before starting his journey to Bethany?

  4. What do you think fueled Thomas’ declaration.

Respond:

  1. Mary and Martha were desperate disciples. Their hope and need drove their faith in Jesus. Describe a time in your life when you were like Mary and Martha.

  2. The disciples were called to follow Jesus every day, as long as there was work to be done. Describe a time in your life where following Jesus simply meant waking up every day and doing life for his glory.

  3. Thomas passionately declared his willingness to die for Jesus. He was fully surrendered. Describe a time in your life when following Jesus became extreme and the cost of doing so could have been your whole life.

Prayer

Jesus, because of who you are and what you have done, let us follow you every day of our life. May we trust you when we are in need, follow you as long as there is breath in our lungs and always be willing to give all we have for the sake of your name. 

Justification VS. Moralism

Justification VS. Moralism

Sermon Response

Justification VS. Moralism

The Text:
Read: Luke 11:39-42, Luke 10:38-42, Galatians 2:15-21, Ephesians 2:1-10

The Path of disciplined grace is the narrow road on which God’s grace and man’s efforts (the spiritual disciplines) intersect to best allow God to transform the inner person to look more like Jesus. There are two dangerous pits that people fall into that are heresy and keep a disciple from growing into what God intends for them. One is antinomianism or justification where the disciple believes that if there is nothing that improves their position with God, then there is no reason to do anything spiritual or righteous. The other pit is moralism where the disciple thinks that they must work harder to avoid sin and to be righteous so that they improve their position with God, but it usually leads to legalism instead of growth.

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think you lean more toward Justification or Moralism?

  2. Why doesn’t just trying harder and working harder make us more spiritual and righteous?

  3. Is there a time in your life where you’ve “stapled apples” to a dead tree – pretended to be righteous when you were spiritually dead inside? Why did you do that? What was the result?

  4. Explain the Gospel from Ephesians 2:1-10, and how it relates to the path of disciplined grace. How do grace and discipline collide in our faith?

Respond:

1. How can you learn to live out of your desire for God instead of living to please God?

Prayer

Lord, help us learn to rest in You so that we can worship & serve out of our gratitude for what you’ve done for us on the cross. 

Justification VS. Moralism

Justification VS. Moralism

Sermon Response

Justification VS. Moralism

The Text:

Read: Romans 3:9-12, Isaiah 57:20, Colossians 2:20-23, Ephesians 2:8-9

The Path of disciplined grace is the narrow road on which God’s grace and man’s efforts (the spiritual disciplines) intersect to best allow God to transform the inner person to look more like Jesus.

Discuss:

  1. A disciple is someone who does what Jesus did, teaches what Jesus taught, and represents Jesus in his absence. Where do you need to grow as a disciple?

  2. Which of the inward spiritual disciplines do you engage in the most? Which one do you fail to do? (Meditation, Prayer, Study, Fasting)

  3. What is a good definition of a person who has fallen into the heresy of Justification (antinomianism)?

  4. Do you tend to lean more toward the Justification or Moralism side of the path of disciplined grace? Explain.

Respond:

1. What do you need to do this week to position yourself on the path of disciplined grace so as to allow God to transform you?

Prayer

Lord gives us the grace and discipline to look more like you! 

Just Jesus

Just Jesus

Sermon Response

Just Jesus

The Text:
Read Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:20-21, Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:8-14

As you read the above passage make note of all that was prophesied and proclaimed regarding the arrival of Jesus. Highlight the many blessings, like peace and joy that are promised in Christ Jesus. These passage are a celebration of the beautiful truth that Jesus invaded earth to save us and bring us life.

Discuss:

  1. What do you want for Christmas?

  2. Is there anything in your life that you want this year but you know that you can’t purchase it at Target? What does your soul want this year?

  3. Do you believe that Jesus is the only thing that can bring people true peace? Explain.

  4. Do you trust that Jesus is sufficient for all of your needs? What does that look like in your everyday life?

Respond:

1. Is Jesus the best gift you could receive this year? What do we do to receive this gift?

Prayer

Lord you are all we want and all we need. Forgives us when we try to find our satisfaction in things other than you. May we all be filled with your peace this Christmas season!