Sermon Response August 28, 2017   The Text: Read John 16:1-15   Jesus tells his disciples one more time that they will face extreme persecution and then he reminds them of the tremendous help the promised Holy Spirit will be in keeping their faith through the trials. The comfort will be for the disciples personally along with the aid the Holy Spirit will provide for the disciples to carry out their mission.  Discuss:  1. Why is being put out of the synagog significant?  2. How does the Holy Sprit “prove” or convict the world of their wrong?  3. Why is it significant that Jesus lays out the order of truth the way he does? (God tells Jesus, Jesus tells the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit tells the disciples)  Respond:  1. Describe a time when you felt the Holy Spirit convict you of truth?  2. Have you ever felt like God was speaking through you to help someone else? Explain.  3. Do you currently depend on the Holy Spirit to help you fulfill the mission? Why or why not.  4. What do you need to do this week to better live on mission? Is there someone in your life that you need to be praying for the Holy Spirit to convict?  Prayer God thank you for the Holy Spirit. By your strength may we daily live on mission and may we glorify you!

Sermon Response August 28, 2017

The Text: Read John 16:1-15

Jesus tells his disciples one more time that they will face extreme persecution and then he reminds them of the tremendous help the promised Holy Spirit will be in keeping their faith through the trials. The comfort will be for the disciples personally along with the aid the Holy Spirit will provide for the disciples to carry out their mission.

Discuss:

1. Why is being put out of the synagog significant?

2. How does the Holy Sprit “prove” or convict the world of their wrong?

3. Why is it significant that Jesus lays out the order of truth the way he does? (God tells Jesus, Jesus tells the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit tells the disciples)

Respond:

1. Describe a time when you felt the Holy Spirit convict you of truth?

2. Have you ever felt like God was speaking through you to help someone else? Explain.

3. Do you currently depend on the Holy Spirit to help you fulfill the mission? Why or why not.

4. What do you need to do this week to better live on mission? Is there someone in your life that you need to be praying for the Holy Spirit to convict?

Prayer God thank you for the Holy Spirit. By your strength may we daily live on mission and may we glorify you!

      August 20, 2017  Don’t Lose Heart   The Text: John 15:18-16:4   In John 15, Jesus continues to comfort his disciples by telling them to remain (abide) in Him. He promises that if they remain in Him, they will bear much fruit, and He show them what that looks like – obeying His commandments and loving one another. But then in verse 18, he tells them that if they truly are His disciples, they will be hated by those who don’t follow Him. He isn’t trying to discourage them, but He is trying to prepare them so that they won’t lose heart and fall away.  Discuss:    Read John 15:18-21: Why do you think the “world” (those who are estranged from God) hate followers of Jesus? What are some justified reasons for them to hate us? What affect does that have on our willingness to follow Jesus?    What do you think it means to be “of the world”? In what ways does the “world” love its own?    Read John 15:22-25; 16:2-3: Have you ever experienced the hatred of the world? Have you ever been hurt, criticized or persecuted by people who claimed to follow Jesus? How did this make you feel?    Read John 5:26-27; 16:1, 4: Our response to hate is to keep focusing on and following Jesus – to look like Jesus, even to those who hate us. Why is this so difficult?    Respond:    List ways that you can “bear witness” about Jesus to those who hate you.    List some ways in which you can better obey Jesus’ commands and in which you  can love others – even those who might hate you.    What can you do to prepare for people’s hatred, so that you won’t lose heart,  give up and fall away?    List simple acts of love that you can do that will change the world.       Prayer  Lord Jesus, I want to abide in You and follow you all the days of my life. It is difficult when people reject me, persecute me or even hate me because I want to be liked. But I would rather be accepted by You than by man, so help me to remain strong and to not fall away. Help me to bear much fruit by obeying your commands and by loving everyone, especially those who come against me because I am trying to follow You. May I always testify about You and what you are doing in me and through me, even if it causes me to be rejected. Remind me that they are rejecting You, not me. Keep me from being unkind, intolerant and hateful to the world. Let me show the love you have shown me always. Amen. 

August 20, 2017

Don’t Lose Heart

The Text: John 15:18-16:4

In John 15, Jesus continues to comfort his disciples by telling them to remain (abide) in Him. He promises that if they remain in Him, they will bear much fruit, and He show them what that looks like – obeying His commandments and loving one another. But then in verse 18, he tells them that if they truly are His disciples, they will be hated by those who don’t follow Him. He isn’t trying to discourage them, but He is trying to prepare them so that they won’t lose heart and fall away.

Discuss:

  1. Read John 15:18-21: Why do you think the “world” (those who are estranged from God) hate followers of Jesus? What are some justified reasons for them to hate us? What affect does that have on our willingness to follow Jesus?

  2. What do you think it means to be “of the world”? In what ways does the “world” love its own?

  3. Read John 15:22-25; 16:2-3: Have you ever experienced the hatred of the world? Have you ever been hurt, criticized or persecuted by people who claimed to follow Jesus? How did this make you feel?

  4. Read John 5:26-27; 16:1, 4: Our response to hate is to keep focusing on and following Jesus – to look like Jesus, even to those who hate us. Why is this so difficult?

Respond:

  1. List ways that you can “bear witness” about Jesus to those who hate you.

  2. List some ways in which you can better obey Jesus’ commands and in which you

    can love others – even those who might hate you.

  3. What can you do to prepare for people’s hatred, so that you won’t lose heart,

    give up and fall away?

  4. List simple acts of love that you can do that will change the world.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to abide in You and follow you all the days of my life. It is difficult when people reject me, persecute me or even hate me because I want to be liked. But I would rather be accepted by You than by man, so help me to remain strong and to not fall away. Help me to bear much fruit by obeying your commands and by loving everyone, especially those who come against me because I am trying to follow You. May I always testify about You and what you are doing in me and through me, even if it causes me to be rejected. Remind me that they are rejecting You, not me. Keep me from being unkind, intolerant and hateful to the world. Let me show the love you have shown me always. Amen. 

      August 14, 2017   The   Text: Read John 15:9-17   Jesus commands his disciples to love, to love well, and to love as he does. He tells his disciples that He learned to love from His Father and that they have now been shown how to love by Him. The way the disciples are to show love to one another is though obeying the commands of God and laying down their lives. This costly kind of love comes with a great three fold reward.  Discuss:    How does Jesus define love?    Can you think of any other commands from God that come with promised rewards?    What do you think the disciples would have been thinking when Jesus called them friends and not servants?    Respond:    What does laying down ones life look like in your opinion?    Why is the command to love as Jesus loved so important to follow? How are you doing at obeying this command?    One reward for loving like Jesus is complete joy. Do you currently experience this reward in your life? Explain.    One reward for loving like Jesus is friendship with your savior. Do you currently experience this reward in your life? Explain.    5. One reward for loving like Jesus is answered prayer. Do you currently experience this reward in your life? Explain.  Prayer  God thank you for showing us true love in the form of your Son Jesus. Give us grace and strength to love as you love. Help us love in such a way as to change the world around us. 

August 14, 2017

The Text: Read John 15:9-17

Jesus commands his disciples to love, to love well, and to love as he does. He tells his disciples that He learned to love from His Father and that they have now been shown how to love by Him. The way the disciples are to show love to one another is though obeying the commands of God and laying down their lives. This costly kind of love comes with a great three fold reward.

Discuss:

  1. How does Jesus define love?

  2. Can you think of any other commands from God that come with promised rewards?

  3. What do you think the disciples would have been thinking when Jesus called them friends and not servants?

Respond:

  1. What does laying down ones life look like in your opinion?

  2. Why is the command to love as Jesus loved so important to follow? How are you doing at obeying this command?

  3. One reward for loving like Jesus is complete joy. Do you currently experience this reward in your life? Explain.

  4. One reward for loving like Jesus is friendship with your savior. Do you currently experience this reward in your life? Explain.

5. One reward for loving like Jesus is answered prayer. Do you currently experience this reward in your life? Explain.

Prayer

God thank you for showing us true love in the form of your Son Jesus. Give us grace and strength to love as you love. Help us love in such a way as to change the world around us. 

      August 7, 2017   The Text: Read John 15:1-8   Jesus begins a beautiful allegory describing himself as the vine. He teaches the importance of connection to the vine for the purpose of bearing kingdom fruit. Jesus lets us know that God the Father will cut off branches that do not bear fruit and prune the branches that bear good fruit so as to produce more fruit.  Discuss:    Why do you think God prunes the fruit bearing branches?    What does it mean when Jesus says the gardner will cut off dead branches?    Why does Jesus over emphasis the need for connection to the vine?    READ the following verses and summarize the four types of kingdom fruit.    The fruit of the Spirit - • Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,  kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Righteous living - • Ephesians 5:8-11 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the  Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  Making Disciples - • Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing  them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Praising God - • Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a  sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  Respond:  1. Do you currently see the Fruit of the Spirit in your life? Explain.  2. Do you currently see the Fruit of Righteous Living in your life? Explain.  3. Do you currently see the Fruit of Making Disciples in your life? Explain.  4. Do you currently see the Fruit of Praise in your life? Explain.  Prayer  God may we bear fruit for your glory. 

August 7, 2017

The Text: Read John 15:1-8

Jesus begins a beautiful allegory describing himself as the vine. He teaches the importance of connection to the vine for the purpose of bearing kingdom fruit. Jesus lets us know that God the Father will cut off branches that do not bear fruit and prune the branches that bear good fruit so as to produce more fruit.

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think God prunes the fruit bearing branches?

  2. What does it mean when Jesus says the gardner will cut off dead branches?

  3. Why does Jesus over emphasis the need for connection to the vine?

  4. READ the following verses and summarize the four types of kingdom fruit.

The fruit of the Spirit -
• Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Righteous living -
• Ephesians 5:8-11 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the

Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Making Disciples -
• Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing

them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Praising God -
• Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a

sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Respond:

1. Do you currently see the Fruit of the Spirit in your life? Explain.

2. Do you currently see the Fruit of Righteous Living in your life? Explain.

3. Do you currently see the Fruit of Making Disciples in your life? Explain.

4. Do you currently see the Fruit of Praise in your life? Explain.

Prayer

God may we bear fruit for your glory. 

      July 31, 2017  T he Text: Read John 14:22-31   Judas starts off the section by asking a good question, but Jesus answers the question by repeating many of the same things he has already told his disciples. Jesus does however give one incredible piece of new information. He tells his disciples that he will not only send the Holy Spirit but he will also leave His Peace. The peace of Christ along with the power of the Holy Spirit perfectly enables his disciples to face today with all the necessary tools to accomplish their mission.  Discuss:    Why do you think Jesus ignored Judas’ question?    Which statements does Jesus repeat from the previous sections? Why are these all so important?    What is the role of Satan in this passage?    Respond:    Does the peace of Christ currently rule in your heart? Explain.    What areas of disobedience in your life are robbing you from having the peace of Christ?    How do you face hardship in your life?    4. What area of your life currently needs the peace of Christ the most?  Prayer  God you gave us the most precious gift of Jesus and He has in His mercy given us His peace. May we delight in you and your Son as we journey through the trials and struggles of life. Give us the Peace of your Son Jesus. 

July 31, 2017

The Text: Read John 14:22-31

Judas starts off the section by asking a good question, but Jesus answers the question by repeating many of the same things he has already told his disciples. Jesus does however give one incredible piece of new information. He tells his disciples that he will not only send the Holy Spirit but he will also leave His Peace. The peace of Christ along with the power of the Holy Spirit perfectly enables his disciples to face today with all the necessary tools to accomplish their mission.

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think Jesus ignored Judas’ question?

  2. Which statements does Jesus repeat from the previous sections? Why are these all so important?

  3. What is the role of Satan in this passage?

Respond:

  1. Does the peace of Christ currently rule in your heart? Explain.

  2. What areas of disobedience in your life are robbing you from having the peace of Christ?

  3. How do you face hardship in your life?

4. What area of your life currently needs the peace of Christ the most?

Prayer

God you gave us the most precious gift of Jesus and He has in His mercy given us His peace. May we delight in you and your Son as we journey through the trials and struggles of life. Give us the Peace of your Son Jesus. 

      July 24, 2017   The Text: Read John 14:15-21   Jesus continues to remind his disciples that he will be leaving soon and in his absence he will give the promised Holy Spirit to be their teacher, guide, and power to complete the mission.  Discuss:  1. Read the following passages highlighting the relational characteristics of the Holy Spirit.  The HS is given to those who love God and obey him.  • Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.  The HS Lives in you  •1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  The HS Marks us as God’s possession •Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you  heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  Sanctification •2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for  you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.  Teacher •1 Corinthians 2:10-14 these are the things God has revealed to  us by his Spirit.The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  Guide •Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are  the children of God. Gifts to serve the church  •1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.  Prayer intercessor •Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our  weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  Respond:    What have you been taught in the past regarding the Holy Spirit?    What role does the Holy Spirit currently play in your daily life?    Of the above mentioned relational functions of the Holy Spirit which one do you currently need the most?    4. How can you deepen your dependance on the Holy Spirit this week?  Prayer  God please give us your promised Spirit. That we may live in constant communion with you and in constant dependance upon your Spirit. 

July 24, 2017

The Text: Read John 14:15-21

Jesus continues to remind his disciples that he will be leaving soon and in his absence he will give the promised Holy Spirit to be their teacher, guide, and power to complete the mission.

Discuss:

1. Read the following passages highlighting the relational characteristics of the Holy Spirit.

The HS is given to those who love God and obey him.

• Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

The HS Lives in you

•1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

The HS Marks us as God’s possession
•Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you

heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

Sanctification
•2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for

you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Teacher
•1 Corinthians 2:10-14 these are the things God has revealed to

us by his Spirit.The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

Guide
•Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are

the children of God. Gifts to serve the church

•1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Prayer intercessor
•Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our

weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Respond:

  1. What have you been taught in the past regarding the Holy Spirit?

  2. What role does the Holy Spirit currently play in your daily life?

  3. Of the above mentioned relational functions of the Holy Spirit which one do you currently need the most?

4. How can you deepen your dependance on the Holy Spirit this week?

Prayer

God please give us your promised Spirit. That we may live in constant communion with you and in constant dependance upon your Spirit. 

       July 17, 2017   The Text: Read John 14:1-14 Focus on vs 13-14   Jesus finishes his attempt to ease the troubled hearts of his disciples by letting them know that when he leaves them he will sit at the right hand of God and will do anything they ask in his name. This is a huge statement and one that is often times taken out of context. It is also a frustrating statement for anyone who has prayed in the name of Jesus only to have the answer come back NO. We will use four other passages to better unpack what Jesus is really promising his disciples.  Discuss:  1. Read John 15:16 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?  2. 3. 4.  Read John 15:7-8 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?  Read 1 John 5:14-15 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?  Read Mark 11:24 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?  Respond:    Putting all of the verses together, in your own words, what must one do in order to guaranty that Jesus will do what you ask in his name?    Do your prayers usually fulfill these conditions? Explain why or why not.    Do you pray missional God sized prayers on a regular basis? Explain why or why not.    4. What will your prayer be for this week? Hold your group members accountable to this prayer.  Prayer  Jesus let us pray in such a way as to always receive a YES. Jesus do much through our prayers to glorify your Name!!!! 

 July 17, 2017

The Text:
Read John 14:1-14 Focus on vs 13-14

Jesus finishes his attempt to ease the troubled hearts of his disciples by letting them know that when he leaves them he will sit at the right hand of God and will do anything they ask in his name. This is a huge statement and one that is often times taken out of context. It is also a frustrating statement for anyone who has prayed in the name of Jesus only to have the answer come back NO. We will use four other passages to better unpack what Jesus is really promising his disciples.

Discuss:

1. Read John 15:16 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?

2. 3. 4.

Read John 15:7-8 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?

Read 1 John 5:14-15 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?

Read Mark 11:24 what condition(s) does this verse add to our prayers?

Respond:

  1. Putting all of the verses together, in your own words, what must one do in order to guaranty that Jesus will do what you ask in his name?

  2. Do your prayers usually fulfill these conditions? Explain why or why not.

  3. Do you pray missional God sized prayers on a regular basis? Explain why or why not.

4. What will your prayer be for this week? Hold your group members accountable to this prayer.

Prayer

Jesus let us pray in such a way as to always receive a YES. Jesus do much through our prayers to glorify your Name!!!! 

      July 9, 2017  Bombshells – Greater Things   The Text: John 14:12   Jesus promises that anyone who believes will do greater things than even He did while on earth. This outrageous bombshell statement is hard to comprehend. How could we possibly do greater things than Jesus? The answer is found in the truth that when Jesus went to the Father, he sent His Spirit to live in all believers, and the Spirit uses His power to do greater things in and through the believers. The only thing we must do is surrender to His will and to His power, and let Him receive the glory.  Discuss:    Read John 14:1-12: Jesus comforts his disciples saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” How is this statement in verse 12 comforting to Jesus’ disciples and to all believers?    It is one thing to say that you know something is true, but it is another thing to say that you believe that it is true? If you believe Jesus’ statement in verse 12 is true, how will that change the way you live?    What is the hardest part about surrendering and getting out of the way? How would your unwillingness to surrender limit Jesus’s power in your life?    What are some ways that we tend to focus on building our kingdom instead of building God’s Kingdom? Does that matter?    Respond:    Ask yourself if you really trust God and if you are willing to live in such a way that reveals that faith?    Identify at least one thing in your life that is an obstacle to surrendering to God’s greater things. Give it to God so that He can work powerfully in you.    Is there anything that God is asking you to give so that He can do greater things in and through you?    Prayer  Lord Jesus, I want to do greater things for your Kingdom, but sometimes I get in the way. Please help me surrender to you and fully trust in your power alone to accomplish great things. I am impotent without you, and you could do it without me, but I cannot do it without you. Forgive me of my sin, remove any obstacle in my life that is hindering your powerful work in me. Make me willing to give whatever you ask – effort, talent, ability, spiritual gift, money, time – anything     that you ask from me. Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit so that anything is possible. Amen. 

July 9, 2017

Bombshells – Greater Things

The Text: John 14:12

Jesus promises that anyone who believes will do greater things than even He did while on earth. This outrageous bombshell statement is hard to comprehend. How could we possibly do greater things than Jesus? The answer is found in the truth that when Jesus went to the Father, he sent His Spirit to live in all believers, and the Spirit uses His power to do greater things in and through the believers. The only thing we must do is surrender to His will and to His power, and let Him receive the glory.

Discuss:

  1. Read John 14:1-12: Jesus comforts his disciples saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” How is this statement in verse 12 comforting to Jesus’ disciples and to all believers?

  2. It is one thing to say that you know something is true, but it is another thing to say that you believe that it is true? If you believe Jesus’ statement in verse 12 is true, how will that change the way you live?

  3. What is the hardest part about surrendering and getting out of the way? How would your unwillingness to surrender limit Jesus’s power in your life?

  4. What are some ways that we tend to focus on building our kingdom instead of building God’s Kingdom? Does that matter?

Respond:

  1. Ask yourself if you really trust God and if you are willing to live in such a way that reveals that faith?

  2. Identify at least one thing in your life that is an obstacle to surrendering to God’s greater things. Give it to God so that He can work powerfully in you.

  3. Is there anything that God is asking you to give so that He can do greater things in and through you?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to do greater things for your Kingdom, but sometimes I get in the way. Please help me surrender to you and fully trust in your power alone to accomplish great things. I am impotent without you, and you could do it without me, but I cannot do it without you. Forgive me of my sin, remove any obstacle in my life that is hindering your powerful work in me. Make me willing to give whatever you ask – effort, talent, ability, spiritual gift, money, time – anything

 

that you ask from me. Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit so that anything is possible. Amen. 

      July 3, 2017   The Text: Read John 14:1-14   Jesus is trying to encourage the troubled hearts of his disciples. He does so with three bombshell statements. The first of which is “I am the way the truth and the life.”  Discuss:    Why do the disciples have troubled hearts?    When Jesus says he must go prepare a room, what does he mean?    Why did Thomas need to see God?    What does “I AM” mean?    5. What gives Jesus the right to claim to be the way the truth and the life?  Respond:    When Jesus says he is the way how do you interpret this?    How is Jesus the truth in your life?    Have you ever experienced the life that Jesus  claims to be?    4. In what way do you need Jesus to calm your troubled heart?  Prayer  Jesus thank you for being the way the truth and the life. Please come and comfort our troubled  hearts. We believe that you are sufficient for all of our needs. 

July 3, 2017

The Text: Read John 14:1-14

Jesus is trying to encourage the troubled hearts of his disciples. He does so with three bombshell statements. The first of which is “I am the way the truth and the life.”

Discuss:

  1. Why do the disciples have troubled hearts?

  2. When Jesus says he must go prepare a room, what does he mean?

  3. Why did Thomas need to see God?

  4. What does “I AM” mean?

5. What gives Jesus the right to claim to be the way the truth and the life?

Respond:

  1. When Jesus says he is the way how do you interpret this?

  2. How is Jesus the truth in your life?

  3. Have you ever experienced the life that Jesus

    claims to be?

4. In what way do you need Jesus to calm your troubled heart?

Prayer

Jesus thank you for being the way the truth and the life. Please come and comfort our troubled

hearts. We believe that you are sufficient for all of our needs. 

      June 25, 2017  This week concludes the two part study of the book of Ruth. Last week, we focused on Boaz and his example of protecting/providing and comforting/caring for Ruth. He covered her and acted as her kinsman-redeemer, buying the land of her father-in-law and marrying her, welcoming Naomi as well. Jesus, as our Better Boaz, covers us with his blood and takes us from being foreigners and aliens to members of his family and recipients of all the covenantal promises.  Sunday, we talked about Ruth’s example of trusting God in wilderness times, being faithful in the waiting, and resting in the promises and rewards. We also discussed our ultimate redemption through the blood of Christ.  DISCUSSION  Ruth 1:1-5  1. What is the significance of Elimilech taking his family to Moab during the famine in Israel and staying there for 10 years?    What does this say about the way Elimilech led his family? (faith, protection, etc.)    What does it mean if believers “return to Moab”?  Ruth 1:15-16  2. Ruth was born and raised in Moab. She turned from all she knew to go with Naomi to Israel.      What does it show about Ruth’s faith that she clung to Naomi saying “your people shall be my people, and your God my God”. (Note Orpah went back “to her gods”)    In what ways was Naomi a type of mentor/spiritual mother for Ruth? (also 2:20-3:5)    Do you have someone like this in your life? Someone that you can help point you towards God and guide you along the way?    Are you this for anyone else?  Ruth 2:1-13    4. Ruth went to the field and worked all day-for two months, through both the barley and wheat harvests. She was humble, obedient, hard working, and diligent. She had faith in the way she handled even the mundane, boring parts of life. Boaz recognized her great character as she cared for Naomi and worked with integrity in his field.    What example Ruth set for us, as people that spend most of our days just doing the things that have to get done?    Read Matthew 25:23. What does God say about people that are faithful in the little things?    How can we live missionally in “the little things”.       Ruth 2:12 and 3:9  5. Both passages talk about taking cover under wings. (Some translations use the term “garment”, but both words are the same Hebrew word, “Kanaph”)    What do the wings symbolize?    Wives, how can your husband provide this safety for you? Describe how you feel when you are secure under his wings of protection and godly leadership? (See also Song of Solomon 2:3)    How can the protection and gentleness of being under the wings of a faithful husband relate to your ability to respect and submit to your husband? (Eph. 5:22-33)  CONCLUSION  Read Ephesians 2:12-14 and 1 Peter 1:18-19  6. Ultimately, Jesus is the Better Boaz for both men and women. We rest under the wings of his blood. We are no longer aliens and foreigners, but part of God’s family and under his blessings and promises...receiving the “full reward”.       PRAYER    How does it comfort you to know you are under God’s wings, wings of protection that will never be removed?    If you are in a time of wandering, maybe you have “traveled to Moab”. What steps do you need to take to return to God and place yourself back under his wings?       God, thank you for giving us grace that we did not deserve and for saving us, even though we were like foreigners and separated from you because of our sin. Thank you that you have called us and we can trust you in the wilderness and rest under your wings of safety and protection. Thank you for those that have helped to guide us along the way. We pray that we will remain faithful and be a people of integrity and a witness to you in this world. Let us rest under your wings, stay focused on you, and trust that we will find our full reward in you alone. 

June 25, 2017

This week concludes the two part study of the book of Ruth. Last week, we focused on Boaz and his example of protecting/providing and comforting/caring for Ruth. He covered her and acted as her kinsman-redeemer, buying the land of her father-in-law and marrying her, welcoming Naomi as well. Jesus, as our Better Boaz, covers us with his blood and takes us from being foreigners and aliens to members of his family and recipients of all the covenantal promises.

Sunday, we talked about Ruth’s example of trusting God in wilderness times, being faithful in the waiting, and resting in the promises and rewards. We also discussed our ultimate redemption through the blood of Christ.

DISCUSSION

Ruth 1:1-5

1. What is the significance of Elimilech taking his family to Moab during the famine in Israel and staying there for 10 years?

  • What does this say about the way Elimilech led his family? (faith, protection, etc.)

  • What does it mean if believers “return to Moab”?

    Ruth 1:15-16

    2. Ruth was born and raised in Moab. She turned from all she knew to go with Naomi to Israel.

  • What does it show about Ruth’s faith that she clung to Naomi saying “your people shall be my people, and your God my God”. (Note Orpah went back “to her gods”)

  • In what ways was Naomi a type of mentor/spiritual mother for Ruth? (also 2:20-3:5)

  • Do you have someone like this in your life? Someone that you can help point you towards God and guide you along the way?

  • Are you this for anyone else?

    Ruth 2:1-13

4. Ruth went to the field and worked all day-for two months, through both the barley and wheat harvests. She was humble, obedient, hard working, and diligent. She had faith in the way she handled even the mundane, boring parts of life. Boaz recognized her great character as she cared for Naomi and worked with integrity in his field.

  • What example Ruth set for us, as people that spend most of our days just doing the things that have to get done?

  • Read Matthew 25:23. What does God say about people that are faithful in the little things?

  • How can we live missionally in “the little things”.

 

Ruth 2:12 and 3:9

5. Both passages talk about taking cover under wings. (Some translations use the term “garment”, but both words are the same Hebrew word, “Kanaph”)

  • What do the wings symbolize?

  • Wives, how can your husband provide this safety for you? Describe how you feel when you are secure under his wings of protection and godly leadership? (See also Song of Solomon 2:3)

  • How can the protection and gentleness of being under the wings of a faithful husband relate to your ability to respect and submit to your husband? (Eph. 5:22-33)

    CONCLUSION

    Read Ephesians 2:12-14 and 1 Peter 1:18-19

    6. Ultimately, Jesus is the Better Boaz for both men and women. We rest under the wings of his blood. We are no longer aliens and foreigners, but part of God’s family and under his blessings and promises...receiving the “full reward”.

 

PRAYER

  • How does it comfort you to know you are under God’s wings, wings of protection that will never be removed?

  • If you are in a time of wandering, maybe you have “traveled to Moab”. What steps do you need to take to return to God and place yourself back under his wings?

 

God, thank you for giving us grace that we did not deserve and for saving us, even though we were like foreigners and separated from you because of our sin. Thank you that you have called us and we can trust you in the wilderness and rest under your wings of safety and protection. Thank you for those that have helped to guide us along the way. We pray that we will remain faithful and be a people of integrity and a witness to you in this world. Let us rest under your wings, stay focused on you, and trust that we will find our full reward in you alone. 

      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.