Sermon Response September 09, 2018   The Text:Nehemiah 4   Discuss:    Why were the foreign nations so angry about the wall?    What was Nehemiah’s response to both the external and internal opposition?    Why was the threat so great to Jerusalem and its inhabitants?    Respond:  1. Why is it so important to have “family” to fight with you?    Have you ever felt like Satan has attacked you? Explain.    Tell about a time when you felt very alone how did you respond to these feelings?    Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.    What do you need to do to better surround yourself with people who can fight with and for you?  Prayer  God may we always have people around us to help fight our battles. Thank you for being a God that fights with us.

Sermon Response September 09, 2018

The Text:Nehemiah 4

Discuss:

  1. Why were the foreign nations so angry about the wall?

  2. What was Nehemiah’s response to both the external and internal opposition?

  3. Why was the threat so great to Jerusalem and its inhabitants?

Respond:

1. Why is it so important to have “family” to fight with you?

  1. Have you ever felt like Satan has attacked you? Explain.

  2. Tell about a time when you felt very alone how did you respond to these feelings?

  3. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

What do you need to do to better surround yourself with people who can fight with and for you?

Prayer

God may we always have people around us to help fight our battles. Thank you for being a God that fights with us.

      Sermon Response September 02, 2018   The Text:Nehemiah 3   Discuss:    Read through the text and discuss what jumps out to you from a seemingly mundane passage?    What is the significance about the Sheep Gate?    Respond:    What is the Churches “wall?” What are we called to do? Explain.    How do we best fulfill the great commission? Matthew 28:18-20.    How do you love your neighbor? Give details.    4. What do you need to do this week to get to work for Jesus?  Prayer  God may we fulfill your mission and do our part to see you glorified in this world.

Sermon Response September 02, 2018

The Text:Nehemiah 3

Discuss:

  1. Read through the text and discuss what jumps out to you from a seemingly mundane passage?

  2. What is the significance about the Sheep Gate?

Respond:

  1. What is the Churches “wall?” What are we called to do? Explain.

  2. How do we best fulfill the great commission? Matthew 28:18-20.

  3. How do you love your neighbor? Give details.

4. What do you need to do this week to get to work for Jesus?

Prayer

God may we fulfill your mission and do our part to see you glorified in this world.

      Sermon Response August 26, 2018   The Text:Nehemiah 2   Discuss:    Why do you think Nehemiah waited 4 months to ask the king for permission to go to Jerusalem?    Why do you think Artaxerxes sent soldiers and calvary with Nehemiah?    What made the leaders of Trans Euphrates so angry with the people of Israel?    Respond:  1. Has God ever laid on your heart to do something for Him? Tell the story.    Have you ever experienced opposition toward a God given calling in your life? Explain.    How do you typically respond to opposition in your life?    Is there something in your life now that God has laid on your heart but you, for whatever reason, are reluctant to pursue it?    When God calls he equips and he is the one who will cause his plans to succeed!!!!  Prayer  God we pray that you speak to your children and that we will be faithful and obedient with the opportunities you give us. May the world be changed through the success you give to those you call.

Sermon Response August 26, 2018

The Text:Nehemiah 2

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think Nehemiah waited 4 months to ask the king for permission to go to Jerusalem?

  2. Why do you think Artaxerxes sent soldiers and calvary with Nehemiah?

  3. What made the leaders of Trans Euphrates so angry with the people of Israel?

Respond:

1. Has God ever laid on your heart to do something for Him? Tell the story.

  1. Have you ever experienced opposition toward a God given calling in your life? Explain.

  2. How do you typically respond to opposition in your life?

  3. Is there something in your life now that God has laid on your heart but you, for whatever reason, are reluctant to pursue it?

When God calls he equips and he is the one who will cause his plans to succeed!!!!

Prayer

God we pray that you speak to your children and that we will be faithful and obedient with the opportunities you give us. May the world be changed through the success you give to those you call.

      Sermon Response August 19, 2018   The Text: Nehemiah 1   Discuss:    Why do you think the news of the wall impacted Nehemiah so heavily?    Do you think it was the wall or the news that the people were in trouble and a disgrace that moved Nehemiah more?    Why do you think Nehemiah prayed in the way that he did?    Respond:  1. Do you have a typical “way” that you pray. Explain why or why not.    What causes you to stand in awe of God? Does this feeling happen often in your life?    When you pray do you find yourself confessing your brokenness to God? Why or why not.    What is the one thing you need to ask God to do in your life?    Take time as a group to share those request and then spend a good amount of time praying for one another.  Prayer  Lift up the previously mentioned prayer requests.

Sermon Response August 19, 2018

The Text: Nehemiah 1

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think the news of the wall impacted Nehemiah so heavily?

  2. Do you think it was the wall or the news that the people were in trouble and a disgrace that moved Nehemiah more?

  3. Why do you think Nehemiah prayed in the way that he did?

Respond:

1. Do you have a typical “way” that you pray. Explain why or why not.

  1. What causes you to stand in awe of God? Does this feeling happen often in your life?

  2. When you pray do you find yourself confessing your brokenness to God? Why or why not.

  3. What is the one thing you need to ask God to do in your life?

Take time as a group to share those request and then spend a good amount of time praying for one another.

Prayer

Lift up the previously mentioned prayer requests.

Sermon Response August 12, 2018

The Text:Matthew 5:1-10

Discuss:

  1. What do you think is Jesus’ main objective for giving the beatitudes?

  2. How do you think those listening that day would have received such “negative” sounding message?

  3. Do you agree or disagree with me that the beatitudes are a step by step “instruction” guide for living like Jesus? Explain.

Respond:

  1. Read each of the eight beatitudes one at a time and let a few people from your group discuss how that verse applies to their life.

  2. Have time for quiet reflection on your life and where you are in your spiritual journey. Try and apply the teachings of Jesus to your life and then share with the group what you need to do this week to take one step forward.

Prayer

God, may we learn from you word and apply it to our life!

      Sermon Response August 05, 2018   The Text:Ezra 10:1-17   Discuss:    Why was Ezra mourning? In your opinion was his response justified?    What do you think of the plan Shekaniah came up with? Explain your answer.    Why do you think the rain was such an issue for the people?    Where you shocked to find out there were only 111 men guilty of the sin in all of Israel? Why or why not.    Respond:    Why do you think confession is so powerful, yet so rarely done in the church?    Have you ever experienced the liberating freedom of confession? Tell the story.    Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.  3. MOMENT OF TRUTH: Is there anything in your life that you would like to confess to the group?  Prayer  God, may we find your sweet mercy though continual and genuine confession.

Sermon Response August 05, 2018

The Text:Ezra 10:1-17

Discuss:

  1. Why was Ezra mourning? In your opinion was his response justified?

  2. What do you think of the plan Shekaniah came up with? Explain your answer.

  3. Why do you think the rain was such an issue for the people?

  4. Where you shocked to find out there were only 111 men guilty of the sin in all of Israel? Why or why not.

Respond:

  1. Why do you think confession is so powerful, yet so rarely done in the church?

  2. Have you ever experienced the liberating freedom of confession? Tell the story.

Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

3. MOMENT OF TRUTH: Is there anything in your life that you would like to confess to the group?

Prayer

God, may we find your sweet mercy though continual and genuine confession.

      Sermon Response July 29, 2018   The Text Ezra 9   The exiles have returned from captivity to Jerusalem... the temple has been completed and dedicated... the worship of God at the temple has been re-established... but something is wrong. The people have sinned against God by marrying the “faithless” people of the land, and Ezra is devastated.  Discuss 1. Read Ezra 9:1-2. How were the officials doing their job correctly by  telling Ezra about the sin of the people? In what ways would this be appropriate for leaders, parents, pastors, etc.? What keeps us from doing this for the people we lead?    What are your thoughts on the fact that the priests and Levites were also participating in the sin?    Besides breaking the law from Deuteronomy 7:1-4, why was it sinful for the people to marry the people of the land?    Read Ezra 9:3-6. How does your reaction to sin compare to Ezra’s? Do you find it easier to be “appalled” at other people’s sin rather than your own? Why or why not?    What do you think would happen if you grieved your sin as strongly as Ezra grieved this sin?    Read Ezra 9:7-9. Ezra recounts the grace and mercy of God. How does focusing on His grace and mercy help you overcome sin?    Read Ezra 9:10-15. Ezra recounts the guilt of the people and the separation from God that results because of their sin. How does admitting guilt and remembering the “wages of sin” help you overcome sin?       Respond    Write down a sin that you struggle with... look at that sin written on the  paper... How does that sin make you feel? Don’t share your sin with  the group, but share your feelings.    Now draw a cross over the sin and fill it in until you cannot see the sin  anymore. This is what the blood of Jesus does for your sin and He cannot see it anymore. He suffered a criminal’s death so that your sin would be paid for and forgotten. How does that sacrifice make you feel?    Prayer  Dear Jesus, I have been set apart to be holy - dedicated to you and for your service, and in my sinful state, I am not worthy to stand before you in any capacity. But because of your death on the cross, I have been made worthy, not because I am good, but because you are righteous. I know that I cannot ignore my sin or I will never admit my need for you to save me, so help me admit my guilt... help me grieve enough to repent of my sin... and help me surrender to your Spirit so that I can live in righteousness. Amen.

Sermon Response July 29, 2018

The Text Ezra 9

The exiles have returned from captivity to Jerusalem... the temple has been completed and dedicated... the worship of God at the temple has been re-established... but something is wrong. The people have sinned against God by marrying the “faithless” people of the land, and Ezra is devastated.

Discuss
1. Read Ezra 9:1-2. How were the officials doing their job correctly by

telling Ezra about the sin of the people? In what ways would this be appropriate for leaders, parents, pastors, etc.? What keeps us from doing this for the people we lead?

  1. What are your thoughts on the fact that the priests and Levites were also participating in the sin?

  2. Besides breaking the law from Deuteronomy 7:1-4, why was it sinful for the people to marry the people of the land?

  3. Read Ezra 9:3-6. How does your reaction to sin compare to Ezra’s? Do you find it easier to be “appalled” at other people’s sin rather than your own? Why or why not?

  4. What do you think would happen if you grieved your sin as strongly as Ezra grieved this sin?

  5. Read Ezra 9:7-9. Ezra recounts the grace and mercy of God. How does focusing on His grace and mercy help you overcome sin?

  6. Read Ezra 9:10-15. Ezra recounts the guilt of the people and the separation from God that results because of their sin. How does admitting guilt and remembering the “wages of sin” help you overcome sin?

 

Respond

  1. Write down a sin that you struggle with... look at that sin written on the

    paper... How does that sin make you feel? Don’t share your sin with

    the group, but share your feelings.

  2. Now draw a cross over the sin and fill it in until you cannot see the sin

    anymore. This is what the blood of Jesus does for your sin and He cannot see it anymore. He suffered a criminal’s death so that your sin would be paid for and forgotten. How does that sacrifice make you feel?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, I have been set apart to be holy - dedicated to you and for your service, and in my sinful state, I am not worthy to stand before you in any capacity. But because of your death on the cross, I have been made worthy, not because I am good, but because you are righteous. I know that I cannot ignore my sin or I will never admit my need for you to save me, so help me admit my guilt... help me grieve enough to repent of my sin... and help me surrender to your Spirit so that I can live in righteousness. Amen.

      Sermon Response July 22, 2018   The Text:Ezra 8   Discuss:    Why do you think there were no Levites among the 1500 men?    Why do you think Ezra trusted God more than soldiers and horsemen?    How do you think they transported so much gold and silver?    Why do you think Ezra demanded such meticulous counts of the offerings given for the temple?    Respond:    Have you ever given someone biblical council/ advice? Did it help them?    Do you ever feel like it is easier to give biblical council than it is to follow it? Why is this?    3. Have you ever fasted so as to humble yourself before God? Tell the story.  4. What do you need to do this week to better trust God and humble yourself before him?  Prayer  God, may we trust you and live out what we believe to be true about you. Help us humble ourselves before you. You are our great God!!

Sermon Response July 22, 2018

The Text:Ezra 8

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think there were no Levites among the 1500 men?

  2. Why do you think Ezra trusted God more than soldiers and horsemen?

  3. How do you think they transported so much gold and silver?

  4. Why do you think Ezra demanded such meticulous counts of the offerings given for the temple?

Respond:

  1. Have you ever given someone biblical council/ advice? Did it help them?

  2. Do you ever feel like it is easier to give biblical council than it is to follow it? Why is this?

3. Have you ever fasted so as to humble yourself before God? Tell the story.

4. What do you need to do this week to better trust God and humble yourself before him?

Prayer

God, may we trust you and live out what we believe to be true about you. Help us humble ourselves before you. You are our great God!!

      Sermon Response July 15, 2018   The Text:Ezra 7   Discuss:    What made Ezra such a unique servant of God?    Why do you think Artexerxes was so kind to the Ezra and his companions?    Why was Persia so concerned about making people follow the Law of Moses?    Respond:  1. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt the rules made you obey God (ie. church camp, your grandma’s house)? How did it make you feel?  2. Do you feel you do a good or bad job at Studying the Word of God? Explain.  3. Do you feel you do a good or bad job at observing/obeying the Word of God? Explain.  4. Have you ever experienced the freedom that comes from knowing that Jesus is your righteousness? Or do you feel like it is on you to follow the laws of God?  Prayer  God, make us holy just as you are holy. May your Word guide us and may your Son, Jesus, enable us to live lives worthy of your name!

Sermon Response July 15, 2018

The Text:Ezra 7

Discuss:

  1. What made Ezra such a unique servant of God?

  2. Why do you think Artexerxes was so kind to the Ezra and his companions?

  3. Why was Persia so concerned about making people follow the Law of Moses?

Respond:

1. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt the rules made you obey God (ie. church camp, your grandma’s house)? How did it make you feel?

2. Do you feel you do a good or bad job at Studying the Word of God? Explain.

3. Do you feel you do a good or bad job at observing/obeying the Word of God? Explain.

4. Have you ever experienced the freedom that comes from knowing that Jesus is your righteousness? Or do you feel like it is on you to follow the laws of God?

Prayer

God, make us holy just as you are holy. May your Word guide us and may your Son, Jesus, enable us to live lives worthy of your name!

      Sermon Response July 8, 2018   The Text:Ezra 6   Discuss:    Why do you think the memo they found in Ecbatana is different from the one quoted in Ezra 1?    Why do you think Zerubbabel is not mentioned as the governor in vs 7 or for the rest of Ezra?    Why is it so unlikely that Darius wrote vs 9 without some help? Explain.    Why was it important for the Levites and the priests to purify themselves before they served at the Passover festival vs 20?    Respond:    How has the Lord filled you with joy (vs 22)? Tell the story.    Have you ever been part of a team that served the Lord and when the task was done all you were left with was unspeakable joy (16)? Tell the story.    When you read Nehemiah 8:10 “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” How does your heart respond to those words? Explain.    Prayer  God, may you be our joy and our strength. May we run to you!!!!! Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in you.

Sermon Response July 8, 2018

The Text:Ezra 6

Discuss:

  1. Why do you think the memo they found in Ecbatana is different from the one quoted in Ezra 1?

  2. Why do you think Zerubbabel is not mentioned as the governor in vs 7 or for the rest of Ezra?

  3. Why is it so unlikely that Darius wrote vs 9 without some help? Explain.

  4. Why was it important for the Levites and the priests to purify themselves before they served at the Passover festival vs 20?

Respond:

  1. How has the Lord filled you with joy (vs 22)? Tell the story.

  2. Have you ever been part of a team that served the Lord and when the task was done all you were left with was unspeakable joy (16)? Tell the story.

  3. When you read Nehemiah 8:10 “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” How does your heart respond to those words? Explain.

Prayer

God, may you be our joy and our strength. May we run to you!!!!! Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in you.

      Sermon Response July 1, 2018  The Text: Ezra 5    Discuss: 1. 2. 3. 4. Why did God sent the prophets to Jerusalem? Why did Tattenai ask for the names of those constructing the temple? What does Ezra mean when he says the “eye of God was upon them?” How would you grade the response that the Jews gave to King Darius? Explain your answer. Respond: 1. Tell of a time when you knew God was watching over you?   2. The returnees to Jerusalem realized that is was God’s will for their families to have been exiled in Babylon. How do you respond to a God who would act in such a manor just to secure the hearts of his people? 3. What area in your life is God currently trying to get you change but you have been sitting on for quit some time? Prayer God, may we trust you and faithfully follow you all the days of our lives.

Sermon Response July 1, 2018
The Text: Ezra 5


Discuss:
1. 2.
3. 4.
Why did God sent the prophets to Jerusalem?
Why did Tattenai ask for the names of those constructing the temple?
What does Ezra mean when he says the “eye of God was upon them?”
How would you grade the response that the Jews gave to King Darius? Explain your answer.
Respond:
1. Tell of a time when you knew God was watching over you?

 2. The returnees to Jerusalem realized that is was God’s will for their families to have been exiled in Babylon. How do you respond to a God who would act in such a manor just to secure the hearts of his people?
3. What area in your life is God currently trying to get you change but you have been sitting on for quit some time?
Prayer
God, may we trust you and faithfully follow you all the days of our lives.

      Sermon Response June 24, 2018  The Text:Read Ezra 4  The Jews who have returned run into opposition to them rebuilding the temple and have to stop working.  Discuss:    The Jews went from a spiritual high of getting back to Jerusalem to a spiritual low of having to stop rebuilding. What is an example you having experienced something similar in your life?    The Jews faced opposition for wanting to exclusively rebuild the temple, have you ever had to face opposition for exclusively following Christ?    Though enforced by men, God allowed the rebuilding of the temple to be stopped. What is an example of one time in your life that God directed things differently than you would have preferred?    Respond:  1. Should there be an expectation of our lives being smooth and easy once we accept Christ? In your life, when things don’t go the way you want, how have you reacted and what does that say about our believed about life being easy as a Christian?    Is there someone in your life that is dealing with the question of whether to choose trust in God this week? Is there someway for you to reach out and help them?    CHALLENGE: Discuss those that may be struggling with trust in God this week and then commit to pray for them everyday.    Prayer  God, help us trust you when we don’t know what’s next and help us to see and act on the opportunities you give us to be your hands and feet this week.

Sermon Response June 24, 2018

The Text:Read Ezra 4

The Jews who have returned run into opposition to them rebuilding the temple and have to stop working.

Discuss:

  1. The Jews went from a spiritual high of getting back to Jerusalem to a spiritual low of having to stop rebuilding. What is an example you having experienced something similar in your life?

  2. The Jews faced opposition for wanting to exclusively rebuild the temple, have you ever had to face opposition for exclusively following Christ?

  3. Though enforced by men, God allowed the rebuilding of the temple to be stopped. What is an example of one time in your life that God directed things differently than you would have preferred?

Respond:

1. Should there be an expectation of our lives being smooth and easy once we accept Christ? In your life, when things don’t go the way you want, how have you reacted and what does that say about our believed about life being easy as a Christian?

  1. Is there someone in your life that is dealing with the question of whether to choose trust in God this week? Is there someway for you to reach out and help them?

  2. CHALLENGE: Discuss those that may be struggling with trust in God this week and then commit to pray for them everyday.

Prayer

God, help us trust you when we don’t know what’s next and help us to see and act on the opportunities you give us to be your hands and feet this week.