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Alice Drive Baptist Church Podcast

Alice Drive Baptist Church Podcast

By Alice Drive

A weekly sermon by Dr. W. Clay Smith
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November 6 Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Met Zaccheus
November 6 Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Met Zaccheus
· When you meet Jesus, everything can change. · Four Deep Needs: I need to understand. I need to be understood. I need to belong. I need to have hope. · Luke 19:1-10 - Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short, he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”  8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now, I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”  9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” · Deep need – I need to understand my life · Revelations 3:20: 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. · Reality – Jesus understands more about our lives than we do. · Psalm 71:1 – In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. · Second deep need – to be understood. · Romans 8:26-27 – 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. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. · Heavenly Father, you understand me better than I know myself. I will trust you, not me. · Third deep need: I need to belong. · Lord, I want to belong with you. · Fourth deep need: I need to have hope. · Romans 15:13: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE Starter: When have you felt you were not welcome or didn’t belong? What was that like? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Luke 19:1-10 2. Put yourself in Zaccheus’ shoes. What is his typical day like? How do people respond to him when they see him on the street? 3. In your opinion, what does Zaccheus hope will happen when he sees Jesus? 4. How do you think Zaccheus feels when Jesus notices him? When he tells him to come down, what does Zaccheus think Jesus is going to say? For Zaccheus, what does it mean for Jesus to invite himself to dinner? 5. In your opinion, why is there such a turnaround in Zaccheus’ attitude toward money? 6. In v. 10, what is the implication of Jesus saying, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” for his church?
32:27
November 17, 2022
October 30 Then I Met Jesus: When JEsus Met the Rich Young Ruler
October 30 Then I Met Jesus: When JEsus Met the Rich Young Ruler
· When you meet Jesus, everything can change. · Luke 18:18-23 - 18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’” 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. · Are you trying to be in control? · Will you respect the authority of Jesus? · John 14:21 - 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. · Will I take my next step? · Luke 18:24-20 - 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” · Are you missing your purpose? · Your three purposes: Share your story, share your gifts, share your resources. · Are you trusting wealth? · Are you trusting God to do what you cannot do · I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, not turning back. LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE Starter: Do you know someone who trusts in money more than they trust in God? What do you think is the reason for their trust? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Luke 18:18-23 a. What do you think is the ruler’s motivation for his question to Jesus? b. Do you think the ruler has really obeyed all the commandments Jesus lists, or is he out of touch? Why did you arrive at your answer? c. What might be other examples of what keeps people from taking their next step toward Jesus? 2. Read Luke 18:24-30 a. In your opinion, why might it be hard for rich people to trust their wealth instead God? b. Please share a time when you have seen God do the impossible. c. In your opinion, what can the church do to deliver on Jesus’ promise of receiving more relationally if you follow him?
37:29
November 17, 2022
Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Sends the Seventy Two
Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Sends the Seventy Two
You must trust that Jesus will care for you while serving and on mission.
35:28
October 27, 2022
Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Met the Sinful Woman
Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Met the Sinful Woman
When you meet Jesus, everything can change.
35:23
October 27, 2022
Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Met Peter
Then I Met Jesus: When Jesus Met Peter
· When you meet Jesus, everything can change. · Meeting Jesus and following Jesus are not the same. · Luke 5:1-3 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. · When you meet Jesus, he asks to use what you have. · You have what God has given you. · God has given you a story to share. · God has given you gifts to share. · God has given you resources to share · 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. · When you meet Jesus, he asks you to obey before you understand. · What are you missing because you haven’t obeyed God? · 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. · When you see God do what only God can do, you realize who you really are. · Will you let yourself be amazed by what God is doing? · When you meet Jesus, he invites you to follow. · To follow Jesus, you must leave something behind. · Is Jesus asking to use what you have? · Is Jesus asking you to obey before you understand? · Is Jesus asking you to follow him and leave something behind? · When you meet Jesus, everything can change. LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE Starter: In your opinion, what is the difference between meeting Jesus and following Jesus? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Luke 5:1-3 a. Notice the crowd hears the teaching of Jesus, but only Peter lets Jesus use what he has. What does this teach us? b. God has given us a story to share, places to serve, and resources to give. Which of these is the most difficult to do? Why? Which is easiest? Why? 2. Read Luke 5:4-7 a. Give Peter credit, he obeys even though he questions. Tell about a time when you obeyed even though you did not understand. What was the result? b. In your opinion, what was going through Peter’s mind when he was hauling in the miraculous catch? 3. Read Luke 5:8-11 a. Do you find yourself frightened when God is work close to you? Why do you think this is? b. In your opinion, what is the hardest thing for people to leave behind in order to follow Jesus?
29:41
October 27, 2022
Hope Forever: Your Invitation
Hope Forever: Your Invitation
· Revelation 22:1-3a -Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. · Everything is the way it is supposed to be. · Heaven has an infinite supply of what you need. · John 7:37-38 - “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” · The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. · Heaven is not about you. · John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” · Dallas Willard – “I am thoroughly convinced that God will let everyone into heaven who, in his considered opinion, can stand it. But “standing it” may prove to be a more difficult matter than those who take their view of heaven from popular movies or popular preaching may think. The fires in heaven may be hotter than those in the other place.” · Do you really want to do life with Jesus? · 16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. · What do I need to do to get ready for heaven? · Video- Lake baptism LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE Starter: In your opinion, why do most people want to go to heaven? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Revelation 22:1-5 a. Read Genesis 2:8-14.In your opinion, what is the significance of the Garden of Eden having the tree of life and rivers and heaven having the tree of life and a river? b. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. In your opinion, what are sins and wounds of America? What will it mean for Jesus to heal these wounds? c. Read Revelation 13:16-18. What is the significance of the name of God being written on the forehead of people in heaven? 2. Read Revelation 22:12-17 a. In your opinion, what does Jesus mean when he says “I will give to each person according to what they have done.” How does verse 14 interpret verse 12? b. In verse 16, Jesus describes himself. What does it mean for him to be the Root and offspring of David and the bright, morning star? c. In your opinion, does the church do a good job inviting people to discover the free gift of the water of life? Why or why not?
40:42
October 20, 2022
Sept 18 Hope Forever: Hell
Sept 18 Hope Forever: Hell
· Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · Only .5% of people believe they are going to hell · 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. · The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. · 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. · The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. · Revelation 21:8 8 But the cowardly… · the unbelieving… · the vile… · the murderers… · Matthew 5:22 – But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will subject to judgment…. Anyone who says, “You fool” will be in danger of the fire of hell.” · the sexually immoral… · those who practice magic arts… · the idolaters… · and all liars… · —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” · Hard question: What is written under your name in the Books of Deeds? · There is a road to hell and we are all on it, but thanks be to God, Jesus is the exit ramp. · Is your name in the book of life? · 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done · Romans 14:10 - 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. · 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. · 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. · Now decides then. · Check the book. · Heavenly Father, Is my name in your book of life? LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE Starter: In your opinion, who would most people say goes to hell? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8 2. Everyone will be judged. Imagine you are in that crowd. Who will be standing next you? How do you feel about that? 3. Imagine all your deeds have been read. How will you feel when you hear the record of your sins is revealed? Does this thought lead you to sin less? Why or why not? 4. Consider Rev. 21:8. Without being specific, which of these sins are likely to appear in your entry? 5. Notice this final judgment describes the banishment of death and Hades to a lake of fire – which we call “Hell.” What does this tell you about hell? 6. In your opinion, how will it feel when your name is read from the Book of Life?
35:58
October 11, 2022
Sept 11 Hope Forever: Final Defeat
Sept 11 Hope Forever: Final Defeat
· Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · Will you have hope when time ends for you? · Matthew 25:46 – Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. · We are created to be eternal beings · Two states of existence await you after death: With God or without God. · Your choices during your life on earth determine what state you will be in when time ends. · Jesus wins. · Revelation 20:7 - 7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. · Healthy relationships require choosing to attach. · You are not as spiritually smart as you think you are. · “Father, deliver me from my own foolishness.” · 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. · But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. · Choices have consequences. · 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. · Are you choosing the way of Satan or the way of Jesus? · What’s your choice? LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE Starter: In your opinion, do people take the idea of a real Satan seriously? Why or why not? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Revelation 20:7-10 2. What does v. 7 teach us about God? What does it teach us about Satan? 3. Note in v. 8 the large number of people who believe Satan’s lies. In your opinion, why are Satan’s lies so attractive? 4. Read Matthew 4:1-11. How might Satan use these temptations/lies on the nations he deceives in Revl. 20:8? 5. Notice in v. 9 God does the fighting, not his people. What can God’s people learn from this today? 6. In your opinion, why does God destroy Satan? What does he allow him to continue to exist in the lake of fire?
30:47
October 11, 2022
September 25 Hope Forever
September 25 Hope Forever
Hope Forever
33:05
October 06, 2022
Repent, Rejoice, Repeat
Repent, Rejoice, Repeat
Sep. 4/5, 2022 · Scripture Luke 18:9-14 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” · Thank you God that I am not like this Pharisee… · “He comes to God desiring only to improve his relationship with God.” · Hilaskomai = Mercy, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Freedom · Scripture Matthew 22:37-40 37… “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” · Scripture Luke 18:15-17 15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” · Childlike = Humility | Childish = Pride · Childlike = Open to Correction | Childish = Hardened to Truth · Childlike = Dependency on the Father | Childish = Dependency on Self · Scripture Matthew 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? · Can I PLEASE have these 3 pop up on the same slide 1 at a time? o Repent o Rejoice o Repeat · Of these two, who do you want as a friend? · Which of these two is a friend of God? · Will you humble yourself? Starter:  It’s easy to read this parable and immediately want to relate to the Tax Collector, but in what ways do you relate to the pharisee? 1.  Read Luke 18:9-17 2. What does it mean to be self-righteous? 3. Why is the tax collector justified? 4. What does Mercy look like? 5. How does God’s Mercy play out in your life? 6. What does a childlike faith look like to you? When is a time that you saw someone who had a childlike faith? 7. Of these two in the story, which one would you like to have as a friend? Why? 8. Which of these two is a friend of God?
30:32
September 20, 2022
Do you believe: You must Participate
Do you believe: You must Participate
Aug. 28/29, 2022 · Your life moves in the direction of your strongest beliefs. · What must I believe to follow Jesus? · 1. Jesus was sent by God and this was shown by his miracles. · 2. It was God’s plan for Jesus to die on the cross so our sins could be forgiven · 3. Jesus rose again to prove his power to transform lives. · 4. Jesus is both God and King · Acts 2:37-41 - 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. · 5th essential belief: You must participate. · 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart… · Are you in agreement with God about the reality of your life? · “Brothers, what shall we do?” · Is your belief in Jesus strong enough to move you in his direction? · Peter replied, “Repent…” · …be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” · And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. · Are you listening to the Holy Spirit in your soul? · 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. · 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” · 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. · Big question: Will you participate? Starter: Were you ever rescued? Did you participate in your own rescue? 1. Read Acts 2:37-41 2. In your opinion, what were the reasons people were “cut to the heart?” 3. Give Peter’s audience credit. They were moved to asked to ask, “What do we do?” Why do you think followers of Jesus fail to ask that question? 4. Describe someone you have seen change once they began to follow Jesus. What made them change? 5. To be baptized in the name of Jesus means to baptism is a way to identify with Jesus. How might Jesus followers today recapture this public identification? 6. The Holy Spirit is received when a person repents and accepts Jesus. How do you experience the Holy Spirit speaking to you? What messages does he give you?
39:09
September 12, 2022
Do you believe: Jesus is Lord and Messiah
Do you believe: Jesus is Lord and Messiah
Do you Believe: Jesus is Lord and Messiah? · Your life moves in the direction of your strongest beliefs. · What must I believe to follow Jesus? · Acts 2:36 - 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” · Jesus is not just a teacher or miracle worker; he is God in the flesh. · Jesus is the King you need, not the King you want. · I am sorry my sins killed Jesus. · The 4th essential belief: Jesus is both Lord and Christ · Philippians 2:9-11 - 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place  and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,  to the glory of God the Father. · …every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth… · I want to choose to bow before the Great King now. · …every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father · Jesus is King, not you. · God’s kingdom does not depend on your response. · Knowing Jesus is King puts everything in perspective. · ”How can they (the Philippians) cling to their little ambitions and persist in their petty quarrels if they confess Jesus Christ as their Lord?” – Frank Stagg. · Jesus is the Lord (God!) and Christ (King)! · Is Jesus in charge of you? Really? · If Jesus is in charge of you, you want to be baptized. · If Jesus is in charge of you, you want to worship. · If Jesus is in charge of you, you want him to grow your character · If Jesus is in charge of you, you want to share. · Is Jesus is charge of you? · "My Jesus, my King, my Life, my All; I again dedicate my whole self to Thee." – David Livingstone Starter: Please describe the best leader you have known. Why did you choose to follow him/her? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Acts 2:36 2. How do you think Peter felt when he confronted the crowd at Pentecost and told them they had killed their King? How do you think people felt when they heard this? 3. To proclaim Jesus as Lord (God) is a radical step. It is a direct challenge to assertion “Caesar is Lord.” Caesar Augustus was the first to proclaim he was “son of a god.” In your opinion, do political leaders today aspire to “godship?” As Christ followers are we an increasing threat to government or a decreasing threat to government? 4. Read Philippians 2:5-11 5. Verses 6-8 speak about the humility of Jesus. In your opinion, what is the best way for us to learn humility from Jesus? 6. Verse 9-11 describe a great moment after the Second Coming when every living thing that has ever existed will bow in submission and confess that Jesus is God and the King. How will you feel in that crowd? How will the angels feel? How will the demons feel? How will Satan feel? 7. If Jesus is truly our King and the one in charge, then how should his church behave?
31:18
August 25, 2022
Do you Believe: In Resurrection?
Do you Believe: In Resurrection?
Do you believe? In Resurrection · What must I believe to follow Jesus? · Jesus was sent by God and the proof is his miracles, wonders and signs. · Jesus is the one perfect sacrifice that covers our sins. · Do you believe in the resurrection? · Acts 2:24: 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. · …because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. · 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. · Multiple witnesses/Historical Evidence/Growth of the Chruch · “Christ is the end of the Law.” Or “Christ is the end of legalism.” · Romans 10:9-13: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. · 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. · It is a prayer that leads into a path of life · 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” · Jesus resurrection allows us to know we are loved and know we are loved despite our failures. · Are you living in the joy of the resurrection? · The resurrection is the proof of our salvation Starter: Please share about a time you felt shame and guilt due to your sin and how has living in the joy of what Christ has done change that? Dig Deeper: 1. Read Acts 2:24 and 32 2. “freeing him from the agony of death…” what was that agony and weight of suffering? 3. Peter claims that everyone has witnessed the resurrection in some way, how has the resurrection changed our life and our Church? 4. Read Romans 10:9-13. 5. Tell a story about the time you knew the gospel was enough and you confessed Jesus as Lord. 6. According to Paul’s writings, There is nothing we can do To earn God’s favor. How often do we feel like we are trying to earn God’s love rather than accept it as a gift. 7. When you accepted Jesus as Lord, that was the beginning of a new path of life. That path of life is always leading to next steps. What are your next steps?
33:46
August 25, 2022
Do you Believe: Jesus Died?
Do you Believe: Jesus Died?
• What must I believe to follow Jesus? • Your life moves in the direction of your strongest beliefs • Jesus was sent by God and the proof is his miracles, wonders and signs.  • Acts 2:23: 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  • 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge…  • Matthew 16:21 - 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  • …and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  • It was God’s plan for Jesus to die on the cross.  • Romans 3:25-26: 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.  • 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood…  • …sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood.  • Leviticus 16 - 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die. 14 He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.  • Jesus is the one perfect sacrifice that covers our sins • How high, how deep, how wide, how long, how great is Your love  • …to be received by faith.  • He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished…  • …he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Starter: Please share about a time you forgave someone. Did it cost you anything? Dig Deeper:  1. Read Acts 2:23  2. It was God’s plan all along for Jesus to die for the sins of the world. How do you think Jesus felt, carrying that knowledge?  3. Where did Peter get the courage to confront the crowd when he asserted “You, with the help of lawless men, put Jesus to death by nailing him to a cross?”  4. Read Romans 3:25-26.  5. The word atonement means to “cover,” from a root that means “to be gracious,” or “to be cheerful.” In your opinion, how would a person feel if they knew their sins had been covered by Jesus? How would they live differently?  6. People often struggle to reconcile God’s love and his justice. Paul does not separate them. How would you explain how God’s love connects to his mercy?  7. Both Peter and Paul bring out the idea that faith is required to access the atoning power of Jesus’ death. What does it mean to you to have faith or to live the faith of Jesus’ atoning death for our sins?
35:48
August 10, 2022
Do you Believe: In Miracles?
Do you Believe: In Miracles?
 • May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13.  • Hope Happens when God works  • And hope does not put us to shame…  • Guilt is awareness you have done wrong; shame is feeling unworthy  • Is there a shame message you need to delete?  • “Heavenly Father, I feel unworthy of love and I know that is not how you feel about me. Change my thinking and feeling.”  • 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…   • God is patient  • God is kind.  • God does not envy  • God does not boast  • God is not proud  • God does not dishonor others  • God is not self-seeking  • God is not easily angered  • God keeps no record of wrongs  • God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth  • God always protects  • God always trusts  • God always hopes  • God always perseveres  • God never fails  • How deep the Father's love for us How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure  • God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  • Heavenly Father, make me aware of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.  • Heavenly Father, I want to receive all the love you have for me, so I can live in hope. Starter: Describe a time in your life you felt most loved.  Dig Deeper:  1. Read Romans 5:5 2. Are there shame messages that you need to delete from your life? What are they?  3. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.  4. Substitute the word “God” for the word “love.” Which picture of God’s love (for example: love/God is patient) do you need to meditate on most today?  5. What keeps you from being aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?  6. What is the most recent way you have seen the Holy Spirit work in your life?
32:06
August 10, 2022
Hope Grows: In Love
Hope Grows: In Love
• May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13.  • Hope Happens when God works  • And hope does not put us to shame…  • Guilt is awareness you have done wrong; shame is feeling unworthy  • Is there a shame message you need to delete?  • “Heavenly Father, I feel unworthy of love and I know that is not how you feel about me. Change my thinking and feeling.”  • 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…  • PIX  • God is patient  • God is kind.  • God does not envy  • God does not boast  • God is not proud  • God does not dishonor others  • God is not self-seeking  • God is not easily angered  • God keeps no record of wrongs  • God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth  • God always protects  • God always trusts  • God always hopes  • God always perseveres  • God never fails  • How deep the Father's love for us How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure  • God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  • Heavenly Father, make me aware of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.  • Heavenly Father, I want to receive all the love you have for me, so I can live in hope. Starter: Describe a time in your life you felt most loved.  Dig Deeper:  1. Read Romans 5:5  2. Are there shame messages that you need to delete from your life? What are they?  3. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. 4. Substitute the word “God” for the word “love.” Which picture of God’s love (for example: love/God is patient) do you need to meditate on most today?  5. What keeps you from being aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?  6. What is the most recent way you have seen the Holy Spirit work in your life?
29:31
August 04, 2022
Hope Grows: In Suffering
Hope Grows: In Suffering
• Everyone experiences pressure. • Pressure causes feeling(s). • Pressure can produce • You decide what pressure produces in your life  • Hope Happens when God works  • 2bAnd we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  • 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings…  • You have a choice about how you respond to suffering  • If we rejoice in all God does, then rejoice in what God will do with our suffering.  • …because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  • Perseverance is the strength to hold on.  • What am I to learn  • Ask God for strength and wisdom.  • I found that God met me, exactly as Jesus had promised his disciples when he was preparing them for victimization and persecution.  • …4 perseverance, character;  • Character is who you really are under pressure.  • Are you like Jesus when you are under pressure?  • Heavenly Father, help me be like Jesus under pressure.  • … and character, hope.  • The choices you make in suffering either lead to hope or away from hope  • Claim hope that God is at work when you are under pressure.  • Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me; your rod and your staff will comfort me. Starter: What pressures are you dealing with in your life right now?  Dig Deeper:  1. Read Romans 5:2b-4.  2. In your opinion, what is the best way to see as much of God’s glory (what God is doing) as possible?  3. In v. 3, the word “Suffering” comes from a Greek root that means “pressure.” How have you seen suffering bring pressure into a person’s life?  4. Have you known someone who faced pressure or suffering and rejoiced? Why did they?  5. What has God taught you through times of pressure and suffering? 6. How would you explain to someone the hope of Jesus that comes in suffering?
37:41
July 20, 2022
Hope Grows: In Grace
Hope Grows: In Grace
Starter: Please share a time in your life when hope sustained you.  Dig Deeper:  1. Read Romans 5:1-2.  2. If being justified by Jesus makes you right with God, what does a non-justified life look like? Why would someone choose this life?  3. Twice, the word “faith is mentioned in these verses. What are signs given to us that we can put our faith in God?  4. To be at peace with God would mean we no longer have anxiety with God. Describe a nation without anxiety, a nation under God. What would be different?  5. Imagine you are an Ambassador in the ancient world about to meet a new King for the first time. What are your feelings as you wait? How do you feel when the King sees you and welcomes you by name? What does this tell you about your Heavenly Father?  6. If you lived as an Easter person every day, what would change?
37:01
July 20, 2022
Desperate Dad
Desperate Dad
Starter Question: Describe a time when you felt desperate and God was your only hope. What happened? 1. Read Mark 9:14-29 2. The disciples and the religious scholars are arguing when Jesus comes down off the Mount of Transfiguration. How do you think the world perceives arguments among religious people? Do they help or hurt? 3. What does this passage teach us about a person who is possessed by an impure or unclean spirit? 4. In your opinion, is Jesus harsh with the Dad in the story? Or is he compassionate? Why? What in the story makes you consider this either way? 5. Notice in the story how the crowd is always depicted as moving toward Jesus. Why does Mark include that detail?
35:49
June 28, 2022
Remember Camp
Remember Camp
Starter Question: Describe a time and a setting when you felt close to God. 1. Read Leviticus 23:33-36 and Exodus 20: 8-11 2. In your opinion, why was rest so important that God commanded it and scheduled it? What does it say to you that God wanted there to be three weeks a year when his people were not to work? 3. Read Leviticus 23:39-40 4. To rejoice is to celebrate. How would you explain to someone what it means to rejoice in the Lord? What have you found helpful in your life that helps you rejoice in the Lord? 5. Read Leviticus 23:42 6. In what environment do you feel closest to God? How would camping out for a week draw God’s people to celebrate their relationship? 7. Read Leviticus 23:43 8. Take a moment now to reflect on your life. What are some moments when God showed up? What does remembering these moments make you feel?
34:23
June 28, 2022
The Unlikely: The Narcissist
The Unlikely: The Narcissist
Starter Question: What does this story show us about God’s love and will? 1. Read Judges 13:1 5 2. What does this passage teach us about how God uses people for his purposes? 3. Why do we tend to think we have to earn God’s blessings through good works and moral living? 4. Knowing this, why should we want to live holy? 5. As someone who constantly broke God’s standard why do you think Samson never repented? How does this compare to today? 6. Read Judges 17:28 30 7. What was Samson’s contribution to God’s deliverance of his people from the philistine rule? 8. Read Hebrews 11:32. 9. The fact Samson is named as a man of faith in this powerful passage says what to us about the Lord? 10. What does this mean about us individually? 11. Read Ruth1:1 & 4:22 What does God was working in the foreground with the Judges to preserve his own lineage as Christ in the background communicates? 12. How should that affect the way we think? How should this give us hope?
38:03
June 07, 2022
The Unlikely: The Scoundrel
The Unlikely: The Scoundrel
The Unlikely: The Scoundrel Judges 10, 11 Passim · PIX: North Buffalo Community Church · Judges 10:18 -18The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head over all who live in Gilead.” · Judges 11:1-3Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute. 2Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.” 3So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a gang of scoundrels gathered around him and followed him. · 6“Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.” · 7Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble · 8The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be head over all of us who live in Gilead.”9Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?” · 10The elders of Gilead replied, “The Lord is our witness; we will certainly do as you say.” 11So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeated all his words before the Lord in Mizpah. · Involve God first · 29Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. · God can use unlikely people he did not even choose for His will. · Be aware of God in your life. · 30And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” · Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. · Don’t bargain with God, submit to God. · 34When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.” · Do you ever give God something God does not want? · 39After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. · Leviticus 5:4-6  4or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt— 5when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. 6As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering[a]; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin. · Your relationship with God is not a bargain to be struck.
40:13
May 26, 2022
The Unlikely: The Coward
The Unlikely: The Coward
The Unlikely: The Coward Judges 6/7 Passim A coward is a person who lacks the courage to do or endure.   Are you a coward?   Judges 6:11 - 11The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  Just because a decision is smart, doesn’t mean it is courageous.   12When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”   When you follow Jesus, God gives you a new identity.   13“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian 14The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  15“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”   16The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Your opinion of yourself does not determine God’s purpose for your life.   17Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” 22When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!”  23But the LORD said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” 36Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew. Allow me one more test…   How many signs do you need? When was the last time you thanked God for being patient and gracious to you? Judges 7:2The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ If God asked you to do something that made no sense, would you? If the call of God is clear, he will provide the “how.”   10If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.”  What are the reminders God is sending you? God’s plan for you is bigger than your fear.   Leaving your fear here leaves your fear in control. Questions:  1.  Read Judges 6:11-23 2. After reading this section, what words would you use to describe Gideon? Does he strike you as God’s mighty warrior? Why or why not? 3. Think about Mary’s reaction to the angel Gabriel in Luke 2 and contrast that with Gideon’s reaction. How would you describe the difference? 4. Read Judges 6:36-40. 5. Have you ever heard of someone laying out a fleece before God? What does this do for Gideon?
37:52
May 17, 2022
The Unlikely: The Women
The Unlikely: The Women
The Unlikely: The Women Judges 4 passim •“At church we sang a hymn, “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go,” and I thought that meant girls too.”   •Judges 4:1-3 - Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, now that Ehud was dead. 2So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help. •4Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading[a] Israel at that time. 5She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.  •6She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’” •8Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” 9“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him. •The best faith is the one that helps you take your next step toward Jesus •17Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite. •18Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.  19“I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up. 20“Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’” •21But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died. •Her loyalty is not first to her husband, but to her God.   •“Seek first the Kingdom of heaven, and all these things will be added to you as well.” •22Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead. 23On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites.24 And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him. •Your gender does not determine your relationship with God; your faith does. •Galatians 3:28 - 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  •“Wherever He Leads, I will Go.”
38:57
May 11, 2022
The Unlikely: The Betrayer
The Unlikely: The Betrayer
The Unlikely: The Betrayer Judges 3:12-30 12Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.13Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.[a]14The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.15Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab.16Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit[b] long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.17He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.18After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way those who had carried it.19But on reaching the stone images near Gilgal he himself went back to Eglon and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.” The king said to his attendants, “Leave us!” And they all left.20Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace[c] and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat,21Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly.22Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.23Then Ehud went out to the porch[d]; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.24After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.”25They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.26While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the stone images and escaped to Seirah.27When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.28“Follow me,” he ordered, “for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and took possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab; they allowed no one to cross over. 29At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not one escaped.30That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years. • How long does it take for God to get your attention?   • Are you listening to God’s whispers • Every movement of God starts with someone listening to God’s whispers.  • “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!” – Billy Graham • Though none go with me, I still will follow; No turning back, no turning back • God operates in the real world.   • Sometimes the best we can do is follow Jesus, ask for grace, and trust that God is at work. • God uses unlikely people – people like you – to change history. • Am I an unlikely person?   • Your unlikeliness does not stop God from having a purpose for your life. • Your failures do not stop God’s love.   • Will I accept God’s mission for my life?  • What is God whispering to you today?
33:44
May 05, 2022
The Unlikely: The Test
The Unlikely: The Test
The Unlikely: The Tests  Judges 2:6-23 Judges 2:6-23 - 6After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. 7The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres[a] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.10After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12They forsook the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the LORD’s anger 13because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14In his anger against Israel the LORD gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.16Then the LORD raised up judges,[b] who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the LORD’s commands. 18Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.20Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, 21I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their ancestors did.” 23The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua. 
41:29
May 02, 2022
Final Hours: To Fear or Not To Fear
Final Hours: To Fear or Not To Fear
To Fear or Fear Not Matthew 28:1-10 · Does your fear ever keep you from the miracle of the resurrection? · Matthew 28:1-4 - After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. · How devoted are you to Jesus? · Our first reaction to losing control is to be afraid. · The message of the resurrection cannot be heard where there is fear. – Dale Bruner. · God will not force faith on you · 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” · 1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. · When the resurrection power of Jesus touches your life, a mission comes with it: Go tell · 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. · 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” · Let the joy of resurrection trample your fear. · The resurrection means fear doesn’t have to rule your life · Their failures had not changed the relationship; his death and resurrection has. · The disciples need to know they are still followers after their failures. · Heavenly Father, I give my fear to you. Let me experience the miracle of the resurrection.
30:16
April 26, 2022
Final Hours: Death
Final Hours: Death
32As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. 45From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” 55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. • Who am I that my Savior would die for me? • Are you doing something for Jesus not because you want to but because you have to? • Are you just going through motions, not really paying attention to Jesus? • Ever blame Jesus instead of doing self-examination?• Do you tell Jesus he has to prove himself to you?• Dale Bruner – “The greatest miracle Jesus ever did was the miracle he did not do• Has God already given you evidence to believe, but you still refuse? • 2 Corinthians 5:21 - 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. • When your pain overwhelms you, will you still cry out to God? • Will you do something kind for Jesus? • Are you living in the hope of Jesus? • Surely, he was the Son of God. • Do you see who Jesus really is? • They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. • If you are a Christian, are you following; are you serving? • Who am I that my Savior would die for me? The one loved by God. • Thank you for being the Savior who died for me. In your opinion, what does it mean that Jesus refuses to drink the wine and have his pain dulled before his crucifixion? 
37:17
April 13, 2022
Final Hours: Condemned
Final Hours: Condemned
Final Hours: Condemned  Matthew 27:11-26 • Our sinful desires will naturally always reject what is true • Matthew 27:11-14 11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. • Matthew 27:15-18 15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. • Matthew 27:19 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”    • Matthew 27:20-23 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” • What will you do with Jesus who is called Christ? • Matthew 27:26 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. • What do you do with this truth? • You shape the culture, you don’t let it shape you • What will you do with Jesus? Starter Question: When is a time you knew the right thing to do, but you didn’t do it? 1. Read Matthew 27:11-26 2. Who is Jesus to you? 3. What are some lies the crowd around you wants you to believe?  What does Jesus say about them? 4. Who is someone God placed in your life to help give guidance?  When is a time you listened and a time you didn’t?  What were the rewards/consequences? 5. When is the last time you wrestled with Christ’s righteousness? 6. How do you feel knowing that we are all guilty for Christ being on the cross?  How does that make you feel? 7. When is a time that Jesus used you to bring hope to someone’s life? 8. What can you show Jesus’ love through your life this week?
29:02
April 05, 2022
Final Hours: Trial
Final Hours: Trial
Scripture: Matthew 26: 57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two came forward 61and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”63But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68and said, “Prophecy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?” Have you ever felt threatened by God? 59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two came forward 61and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ If Jesus is who he says is, he destroys their way of life. He is a threat. 62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”63But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Jesus knows who he is; do you? Does your belief system get in the way of seeing God at work? 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66What do you think?” Are you the real blasphemer? 66What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” the answered. 67Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68and      said, “Prophecy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?” How does Jesus threaten you? When you feel threatened by Jesus, follow him anyway. No matter how it feels, his way is best. Read Matthew 26:57-68  Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin have the wrong idea about the Messiah. Read Matthew 25:14-30. How does the third servant's wrong ideas about the Master parallel Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin's wrong ideas about the Messiah?  When Jesus responds in Vv.64, he is quoting Psalm110:1 and Daniel7:13. Why do you think Jesus selected this verse to quote back to the Sanhedrin?  Jesus is claiming to the Messiah they need, not the Messiah they want. In your opinion, what kind of Messiah do people want today? Is Jesus that kind of Messiah? Why or why not?  Read Isaiah 53:7. How does Jesus fulfill this description of the Suffering Servant?
32:25
March 31, 2022
Final Hours: Surrender
Final Hours: Surrender
Final Hours: Betrayal Matthew 26:36-46 • Matthew 26: 36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” • The Emotions of Jesus.   • 1 Peter 2:24 - 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed • Matthew 27:46 “…My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me.”   • My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.   • Matthew 26: 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” • 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. • “…if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me…”   • Matthew 26:27-28 – They he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ”Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant , which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”   • The Struggle of Jesus. • “Yet not as I will, but as you will • “My father…”   • You will not learn to trust God until you trust God.   • “Heavenly Father, show me where you are work • “In this prayer, Jesus is fighting for obedience.” – Dale Bruner.   • “If it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” • Watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak • I can’t; you can.  I will let you.  • Matthew 26: 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” • The courage of Jesus.   • John Calvin:  “He has found new reserves …”   • “…the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.”   Starter Question: When you hear the word “Surrender,” what comes to mind? 1. Read Matthew 26: 36-38 2. Have you ever felt overwhelmed with sorrow?  What does it mean to you that Jesus felt the same way? 3. Jesus wanted his disciples to keep watch with him, to pray with him.  What do you think it means to be with Jesus in prayer? 4. Read Matthew 26:39-44 5. In your opinion, why was it not possible to for the cup to pass from Jesus?  What do other scriptures tell us? 6. How does it make you feel to know that Jesus also struggled to obey? 7. Read Matthew 26:45-46 8. Why do you think Jesus’ feeling shift from struggle to courage?  Have you had a similar experience? 9. How would you describe the courage needed to completely surrender to God’s will?
32:10
March 22, 2022
Final Hours: Betrayal
Final Hours: Betrayal
Final Hours: Betrayal Matthew 26:20-25; 31-35; 47-50;69-75; 27:1-5 • How can someone do life with Jesus for three years and be greedy enough to betray Jesus? • What do you do when Jesus is not the Savior you want? • Matthew 26: 25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” • Jesus answered, “You have said so.” • Is Jesus Lord or teacher for you? • The first believers did not follow Jesus because he was a teacher; they followed him because they believed he conquered death! • Matthew 26:24b – “Woe to the man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born. • Is Jesus warning you about something? • Matthew 26: 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” • Even when you betray Jesus, he still wants the best for you • Matthew 27: 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” • Matthew 27: 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. • Regret is not the same as repentance • Is your repentance real, or is it just regret? • Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: • “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[b] • 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” • Matthew 26:33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” • 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” • 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. • Are you ever over-confident in your loyalty to Jesus? • “God, I can never defeat sin on my own; you can. I think I will let you.” • Matthew 26: 56b: …Then all the disciples deserted him and fled • 69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. • What is your choice? Loyalty or safety • It was not our commitment to Jesus that carries the day; it is Jesus’ commitment to us. • Peter is not the hero; Jesus is. • Until you bring your real self to Jesus, you will not have a real relationship with Jesus. • What’s the difference between Judas and Peter? A remorse that ruins versus a repentance that restores. Starter Question: Have you ever been betrayed? How did it feel? 1. The message today focused around two characters: Judas and Peter, both of whom betray Jesus. For you, is it easier to understand Judas or Peter? Why? 2. Both Peter Judas ignore Jesus’ warnings. In your opinion, what makes it hard to listen to Jesus’ warnings? 3. Judas intentionally betrays Jesus; Peter believes he will never betray Jesus. Both sin. How would you describe the difference between Judas’ sin and Peter’s sin? 4. Judas’ shame leads him to suicide; Peter goes back to the disciples. Have you every known someone who let shame keep them from church? What was their story. 5. After thinking about Judas and Peter, what life lesson are you taking away from today’s message?
37:14
March 15, 2022
Final Hours: The Final Meal
Final Hours: The Final Meal
Final Hours: Final Meal – Matthew 26:26-30 · With the Supper, Jesus created a memorial · Will you remember the sacrifice Jesus made for you? · With the Supper, Jesus laid down an ideal for his church – Communion. · “35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” – John 13:35 · Drink from it, all of you. – Matthew 26:27b. · Will you remember true followers of Jesus love each other? · With the Supper, Jesus made a Covenant. · 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. - Matthew 26:28 · 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39. · Will you remember you are secure in his covenant? · With the Supper, Jesus gives his followers hope. · May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13. · 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:29. · Will you remember to live in the hope of Jesus? · Will you remember Jesus’ sacrifice? · Will you love the body of believers? · Will you be secure in his covenant? · Will you live in the hope of Jesus? Starter Question: Have you ever been with someone in their final hours? What was that like? 1. Read Matthew 26:26-30 2. The Lord’s Supper is about receiving a gift from Jesus. Name as many of the gifts of Jesus to his people as you can. 3. What helps you remember the great sacrifice of Jesus? Does partaking of the Lord’s Supper help you remember? Why or why not? 4. Describe how knowing God always keeps his covenant helps you feel secure. 5. What could you do to help yourself to remember you live in the hope of God because you trust in Jesus?
33:38
March 08, 2022
Relationship 101: The Power of Good
Relationship 101: The Power of Good
Relationship 101: The Power of Good Romans 12:17-21 · Every relationship will have difficult moments. · Matthew 5:44 - 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. · First concept: No Paybacks. · Romans 12:17 - 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. · Think ahead good before all men. · Get rid of payback thinking; plan good. · Second concept: Peace, if possible. · 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. · Are you seeking peace in relationships? Are there relationships in your life right now where peace is not possible? · Concept 3: Remember God has the last word. · 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. · “When am I the difficult person?” · Where do I need to let go and remember God has the last word? · Fourth concept: The power of good. · 20 On the contrary: · “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good · "We clean the wounds of those who hate us and those who would kill us." · Has Jesus changed you so you can do good? · Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. LIFE GROUP GUIDE Starter Question: In your experience, what type of person is difficult for you to relate to? 1. Read Romans 12:17-21 2. In your opinion, why does the idea of payback sound so good? Does it work out that way? 3. In your experience, when is it not possible to be at peace with people? 4. When you are most likely to be the difficult person in a relationship? 5. Is there a relationship that you need to let God have the last word in? 6. When have you seen the power of good change a difficult person?
32:24
March 01, 2022
Relationship 101: It's not about you
Relationship 101: It's not about you
God has designed us to be relational beings Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. My Pride Our Pride “I will only relate to you if…” Proverbs 11:2 - When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Luke 14:11 - “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” It’s not about you. Romans 12:14-1514 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Concept of Blessing: Ability to put everyone else before yourself “Bless and do not curse…” The deeper issue in us is sin Set aside yourself Here are some ways you can be a blessing: Ask good questions Pray for them Be emotionally available Speak kindly about them Romans 12:16 - Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. It’s not about you Find freedom and forgiveness in Christ Remember the next time someone wrongs you: Ask, “Would I do the same if it weren’t for God’s love.” Pray, “Help me forgive them as you forgave me.” Meet with them where they are Let your words about them bring hope
28:03
February 22, 2022
Relationship 101: Start with the Heart
Relationship 101: Start with the Heart
· Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · Healthy relationships in the church body produce healthy relationships in life · Concept one: Values. · It is more blessed to give than to receive – Acts 20:35. · Romans 12:9 - 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. · What are your relationship values? · Concept two: Second. · 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. · You go first. · #yougofirst · Third Concept: Work. · Relationships require work. · 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. · Are you lazy in relationships or are you working? · Concept Four: Persevere. · PIX: J Curve · 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. We came together, fell apart And broke each other's hearts Remember when Remember when the sound of little feet Was the music we danced to week to week Brought back the love, we found trust Vowed we'd never give it up Remember when · Ask God to help you persevere one more day. · Fifth Concept: Others. · Relationships are healthiest in community · 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. · What if your family found someone to serve? · What’s the lesson for you? · I need to change my ideas about love · I need to put others first · I need to work at this relationship · I need to persevere for a while longer · I need to be open to serve others with my friends and family.
35:44
February 16, 2022
Mindset: Rule
Mindset: Rule
· Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · To be people of hope we need to have a mindset of hope. · Hope is the result of thousands of small decisions you make every day · Who makes the Call? What’s the Word? What’s the Standard? What’s the Attitude? · Who makes the call? · Colossians 3:15: 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. · What would happen in your life if Jesus called the shots? · What’s the Word? · 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. · What would happen in your life if you filled your mind with thoughts of Jesus? · What’s the Standard · 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. · “Jesus, do you approve of this?” · What would happen in your life if you asked Jesus if he approved of what you were about to say or do? · What is your Attitude · V. 15 - And be thankful. V. 16 - with gratitude in your hearts. V. 17 - giving thanks to God the Father through him. · The God who was at work in our past is at work in our present and will work in our future. · What would happen in your life if you practiced gratitude? · Surrender to Jesus and let him make decisions for you. · Intentionally fill your mind with Jesus’ teaching. · Ask Jesus if he approves of what you are saying or doing. · Practice gratitude.
34:58
February 09, 2022
Mindset: Outfit
Mindset: Outfit
· Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · Big question of the day: Is your mind outfitted for hope · Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved… · The more secure your identity, the stronger your hope. · clothe yourselves… · … with compassion… · …kindness… · …humility… · …gentleness… · Your will be done. · …patience. · 13 Bear with each other. · …and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. · 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity · If your mindset was outfitted with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love, would you be more hopeful · First, fill your mind with love. · Be still, and know that I am God… Psalm 46:10 · Second, love one person in one way. · Who do you need to love in one way? · Will you do one thing today to fill your mind with love?
37:47
February 01, 2022
Mindset: Trash
Mindset: Trash
Colossians 1: 5-11
43:36
January 25, 2022
Mindset: Focus
Mindset: Focus
January 16/17, 2022 Mindset: Focus Colossians 3:1-4 Points: Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Big Idea: You can focus or not: your choice. Colossians 3:1 - Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. …you have been raised with Christ… …set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Are you seeking the way of heaven? 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Psalm 139 - 23 Search me, God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Choosing your mindset is high stakes. What mindset are you choosing? Intentionally put yourself in God’s presence each day. You need Jesus time more than you need “me” time Memorize simple mindset prayers. Your will be done I can’t, you can, I will let you. Thank you I love you Help me think like you think Fill me with hope – Help me understand – God, help me see you. Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. LIFE GROUP GUIDE Starter Question: Described the most focused person you have known. What were they focused on? Did it translate to other areas of his/her life? 1. Read Colossians 3:1-4 2. Find and share a word that describes your experience of being resurrected with Jesus. How does it impact you today? 3. One of the reasons to read the Gospels is to discover the values of heaven. Look at Matthew 13:31-33. Jesus uses two parables to describe heaven’s way of thinking. What do these two parables teach you about setting your mind on Jesus? 4. How would a person’s life completely change if they knew for sure they were secure (hidden) in Christ? 5. Verse 4 invites us to think about our lives with an eternal dimension. Imagine yourself appearing with Christ in glory. What will that be like for you?
43:01
January 18, 2022
Year of Hope
Year of Hope
January 9/10, 2022 Year of Hope - Romans 15:13 Points · “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21 · Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · “Hope is the anticipation of good that has not yet arrived.” – Dallas Willard. · May the God of hope… · … fill you… · God wants something for you, not something from you. · … with all joy and peace… · Chara =joy; Charis = grace. · Heavenly Father, God of all hope, fill us with joy and peace. Amen. · … as you trust in him… · …as you faith in him… · Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God… · …so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. · Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. LIFE GROUP GUIDE Starter Question: Describe a time in your life you felt the need for hope. How did hope eventually enter your life? 1. Read Romans 15:13 2. In your opinion, what blocks people from embracing God as a God of hope? 3. Romans 15:13 teaches us that God wants to fill us with joy and peace. In your opinion, do most people want this filling? Why or why not? 4. How would you advise someone to actively trust God? What would you encourage them to do or stop doing? 5. Share about a time when you felt the power of the Holy Spirit. Did that experience fill you with hope?
37:15
January 11, 2022
Look & Listen
Look & Listen
ADBC 02/02/2021 Look and Listen 1 Kings 19:9-18 Transition Scripture 1 Kings 19:11-13 Points · Will this year be better?, Will things be easier?, Can I plan anything? · Tired · Globally, 7 in 10 report that they are struggling or suffering · Security · HOPE Group Discussion Questions Starter: What from 2021 has you exhausted and looking for something new in 2022? Go Deeper 1. Read 1 Kings 19:9-18 2. What stands out most to you in this passage? 3. Look back at 2021, where/when did you see God most? What about his goodness from last year do you need to be reminded of as you move into 2022?
31:39
January 04, 2022
More Than a Baby: Reconciler
More Than a Baby: Reconciler
Colossians 1:21-23
19:32
December 28, 2021
More Than a Baby: Savior
More Than a Baby: Savior
More than a Baby: Savior    Colossians 1:19-20 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Points: · The story of Jesus doesn’t start in the manger. · 1. Jesus who was before is; · 2. Jesus the Savior; · 3. Jesus the Supreme; · 4. Jesus the Coming Victor. · Jesus is the Savior. · What if Jesus the Savior means Jesus the Hero? · If you want to know God, know Jesus · …God was pleased… · God is not random, but intentional. · …all his fullness… · “Everything God is, Jesus is” – Richard Melick · God is grace. · …dwell in him. · God want to be with us – Immanuel. · Heavenly Father, Please forgive my sins. Take charge of my life. I promise to follow Jesus the rest of life. · Jesus rescues. · … through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven… · Will you let Jesus rescue you? · Jesus is the peacemaker. · … making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. · God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 · 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… Colossians 3:15. · What does it mean for Jesus to be our Savior/Hero? To know God, know Jesus. Jesus rescues. Jesus is our peacemaker. · Heavenly Father, Please forgive my sins. Take charge of my life. I promise to follow Jesus the rest of life Discussion Questions Starter: Name someone who is your hero. Why are they your hero? Go Deeper 1. Read Colossians 1:19-20 2. People often separate the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. How does the “All his fullness dwell in him…” answer that statement? 3. God could have chosen many different ways for humans to be reconciled to himself. Why do you think he chose Jesus as the way of reconciliation? 4. All of creation will be reconciled to God through Jesus. Besides human beings, what else do you see in creation that needs to be brought back to God’s original design? 5. The blood of Jesus on the cross brings peace with God. How would you explain to this to someone who has never heard about Jesus?
29:04
December 21, 2021
More Than a Baby: Boss
More Than a Baby: Boss
More than a Baby: The Supreme Colossians 1:18 ADBC 12-12/13-21 Points · The Story of Jesus doesn’t start in the manager. · 1. Jesus who was before is; 2. Jesus the Savior; 3. Jesus the Supreme; 4. Jesus the Coming Victor. · Jesus is the Supreme -He is in charge · At a time when the world needs the hope of Jesus, the church is struggling. · Jesus’ people – the church – need to remember who is in charge. · Colossians 1:18 - 8 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. · If Jesus is to be supreme over the church, what is the church supposed to be? · …the body… · …the church… · …He is the firstborn of the dead… · Kennon Callahan – We are the Easter People! · What does it mean to be church? We are moving for Jesus (the body); we have decided and are acting for Jesus (the church); and we are Easter People (firstborn of the dead). · What does it mean for Jesus to be supreme over the church? · He is the head of the body… · “What does Jesus want · …he is the beginning… · Matthew 16:15-18 - 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. · …the firstborn from among the dead… · … in everything he might have the supremacy. · Follow Jesus, lose your opinion. · Jesus is more than a baby; he is the Supreme Authority for his people. · We are the body of Christ, and Jesus is in charge. · I want to follow Jesus without the church. · Jesus doesn’t think that way. · Whatever Jesus says, our answer is “yes!” Group Discussion Questions Starter: If Jesus was pastor of our church, what would he change? Go Deeper 1. Read Colossians 1:18 2. Share at least two ways the church could act more like a body and less like an institution. 3. In your opinion, why do many churches nottake action? What is holding them back? 4. Explain what Jesus being the head of the church means to you. What would be signs that a church does have Jesus as the head? 5. Again, as in verse 15, Jesus is described as the “firstborn.” This time, he is identified as the firstborn of the dead. Why do you think Paul is extending that metaphor? What does it mean for his followers that he is the firstborn of the dead? 6. Jesus is to have supremacy in everything – in the church and in our lives. In your opinion, where do churches have trouble letting Jesus be supreme? Where do most Jesus followers have trouble letting Jesus be supreme?
38:18
December 14, 2021
More Than a Baby: Creator
More Than a Baby: Creator
More than a Baby: Creator Colossians 1:15-17  12-5/6-21 Points · The Story of Jesus doesn’t start in the manager. · 1. Jesus who was before is; 2. Jesus the Savior; 3. Jesus the Supreme; 4. Jesus the Coming Victor. · Jesus was before is · Colossians 1:15 - 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. · … the invisible God. · Absent a picture, we create our own image of God · The Son is the image of the invisible God. · Everything you need to know about God is found in Jesus. · The firstborn of all creation. · Jesus was before is. · Colossians 1:16 - 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. · Jesus was before is. · For in him all things were created · Only in Jesus is there an environment for creation to exist. · Genesis 1:1-2 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness hovered over the face of the earth, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. · Are you beginning to realize your ideas about Jesus may be too small? · 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. · Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made… · When I cannot understand his plan, I will trust his hand. · All things have been created through him and for him. · Colossians 1:17 - 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. · Jesus followers: Kneel at the manger and marvel your creator came for you. Group Discussion Questions Starter: Can you think of any incorrect beliefs that people have about Jesus that come up at Christmas? Go Deeper 1. Read Colossians 1:15 2. As a group, think about stories in the gospels about Jesus. What does these stories tell you about the character of Jesu? 3. Imagine God decided to make you the firstborn, the one in charge and responsible for his creation. What that be like? In what way does this help you understand Jesus? 4. Read Colossians 1:16 5. As a group take three minutes, and list as many things as you can think of that Jesus made. What does this tell you about Jesus? 6. What comes to mind when you read about Jesus creating “thrones, powers, rulers, or authorities?” Does it make you uncomfortable that Jesus has allowed evil people to be in power? How would you explain this to a non-believer? 7. Read Colossians 1:17 8. What image comes to mind when you hear about Jesus holding all creation together? How will this impact how you live your life?
31:17
December 07, 2021
Do You Have a Story? Blessings
Do You Have a Story? Blessings
Psalm 107:1-3 Psalm 107:33-43 Points: · You have a story. · Whether you know it or not, God is in your story. · 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—  those he redeemed from the hand of the foe. · “for he is good…” · Genuine gratitude requires deep trust. · Trust grows when we notice God at work. · “His love endures forever.” 33 He turned rivers into a desert,  flowing springs into thirsty ground, · 34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,  because of the wickedness of those who lived there. · This is the blessing of judgement. · You cannot have justice for one without justice for all. · Judgement is the first step of making things right. · 35 He turned the desert into pools of water  and the parched ground into flowing springs; 36 there he brought the hungry to live,  and they founded a city where they could settle. 37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards  that yielded a fruitful harvest; 38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,  and he did not let their herds diminish. · This is the blessing of abundance. · 39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled  by oppression, calamity, and sorrow; 40 he who pours contempt on nobles  made them wander in a trackless waste. · This is the blessing of humility. · 41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction  and increased their families like flocks. 42 The upright see and rejoice,  but all the wicked shut their mouths. · This is the blessing of God holding you while the world falls apart. · 43 Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. What do God’s blessings tell you? Group Discussion Questions Starter: In the past month, please share one way God has blessed you. Go Deeper 1. Read Psalm 107:33-34 2. Why does judgement not feel like a blessing? 3. Imagine a world without judgement. Would you want to live in that world? Does this insight help you see judgment as a blessing? 4. Read Psalm 107:35-38 5. Imagine you live in an impoverished country. How would these verse speak to you? 6. In your opinion, why would God bless a country like the USA? 7. Read Psalm 107:39-40 8. Please share a time when God humbled you. Was it a blessing? 9. Read Psalm 107:41-42 10. Can you think of someone who is needy or who is upright that God blesses? 11. Read Psalm 107:43. 12. In your opinion, what is the best way for you to ponder the blessings of God?
28:38
November 30, 2021
Do You Have a Story? Crisis
Do You Have a Story? Crisis
Psalm 107:1-32 Points · You have a story. · Whether you know it or not, God is in your story. · Romans 8:28  · Psalm 107:1  · The pain of the moment clouds your vision of God’s goodness · Psalm 107:2  · You only understand God’s work in your life fully in the rear view mirror · Psalm 107:4 · Crisis: You lack direction. · Cry: Psalm 107:6  · Rescue: Psalm 107:7  · Thanks: Psalm 107:8, 10, 11  · Crisis: Your way is a dead end. · Cry: Psalm 107:13  · Rescue: Psalm 107:14  · Thanks: Psalm 107:15  · Psalm 107:17  · Crisis: You make a mess. · Cry: Psalm 107:19  · Rescue: Psalm 107:20  · Thanks: Psalm 107:21  · Psalm 107: 23, 26, 27  · Crisis: You are caught in a storm you didn’t make. · Cry: Psalm 107:28  · Rescue: Psalm 107:29  · In a storm you didn’t make? Jesus is still in charge of the storm. · Thanks: Psalm 107:31  · Which of these stories is your story today? · Are you giving God thanks he is in your story? · No matter your story is, God is there. Group Discussion Questions Starter: Have you heard a God story recently that really impacted you? Why did it touch your soul? Go Deeper 1. There is a clear pattern to Psalm 107: Crisis, Cry, Rescue, and Thanks. In your opion, why would God inspire a writer to use an outline such as this? 2. Read Psalm 107:4-9 3. How would you explain to someone that God leads wanderers to a city? What does that mean to you? 4. Read Psalm 107:10-16, especially v. 16. 5. V. 16 pictures not just a rescue of prisoners, but a destruction of the prison. What does mean to you? 6. Read Psalm 107:17-22 7. Why would a fool loath food and drew near to the gates of death? 8. What does it mean to you that God sends out his word and heals the fools? 9. Read Psalm 107:23-32, especially v. 30. 10. Notice that God also guided the wanderers and these caught in the storm. What does that say to you?
36:24
November 23, 2021
GeneroUS: Progress
GeneroUS: Progress
2 Chronicles 24:4-14 Points: · Am I willing to be generous? · What financial legacy will I leave? · Generosity makes things happen. · 4…There was within the heart of Joash to renew the house of the LORD · What has God put in your heart? · Most people when offered vision that requires discomfort choose comfort. · Maturity is when you can speak truth to your mentor. · Matthew 6:21 – Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. · If you are not being generous, your soul is sick. · Intending to is failure to. · The offering is forthe Temple, but the offering is to God. · Generosity makes things happen. · When you are generous, you are just like Jesus. · Your generosity makes things happen · Heavenly Father, Show me my part and give me the courage to do it. Discussion Questions: Starter: Please share a time in your life when you saw generosity make a difference. Go Deeper 1. Read 2 Chronicles 24:4-5. 2. Notice Joash is not satisfied with the status quo. What status quo bothers you? What call to action may be present? 3. The Levites are passive aggressive. Why do you think they resisted Joash’s command. 4. Read 2 Chronicles 24:6. 5. Think about the courage it took for Joash to confront Jehoiada. Is there someone in your life you need to have the courage to confront? Who? Why? 6. Read 2 Chronicles 24:8-12 7. Notice the details of the officials who handled the money and what they did with it. What does this say to churches about the way they handle God’s money? 8. Read 2 Chronicles 24:13-14. 9. Generosity makes things happen in the Temple. What is God saying to you about your generosity and what could be done with it?
33:31
November 16, 2021
GeneroUS: Legacy
GeneroUS: Legacy
1 Chronicles 29:1-9;14 Points · $15 an hour x 2080 hours in a year x 40 years of work = $1,248,000. · Big Question: What will be your financial legacy · “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. · Every year God gives you is to help the next generation. · Who needs your legacy? · Matthew 6:19 - But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal · Everything I kept, I lost; everything I gave away lasts for eternity – Pat Neff · 2 With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God… · 3 Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple… · Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today? · 6 Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. · 9 The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. · 1 Chronicles 29:14 - 14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. · Why did God give you what he gave you? To leave a legacy. · Five minutes after you die, what will you wish you had given away? Discussion Questions Starter: Do you know someone who left a positive financial legacy? Tell a little about them? Go Deeper 1. Read 1 Chronicles 29:1-9 2. Think about David’s life. What could explain why he wanted to be generous to the LORD’s work? 3. David would not see the Temple in his lifetime. In your opinion, what would motivate people to give something they would never see? 4. David tells about what he will give to show the people the way. In your opinion, what is the best way to distinguish between someone bragging about their giving (Matthew 6:1-4) and someone who shares their giving as a testimony (this passage)? 5. Verse 9 describes the rejoicing of the people and the King. In your opinion, why were they rejoicing? Do we rejoice in giving? 6. Read 1 Chronicles 29:14 7. In your opinion, what is the best way to determine the purpose of what God has given you?
39:21
November 09, 2021
GeneroUS: Willing
GeneroUS: Willing
GeneroUS: Willing Exodus 35:4-5; 20-22; Exodus 36:3-7 Points · 1. Finances are a mess. · 2. Drowning in debt · 3. Lack of trust. · Generosity is good for your soul. · 4. Fear. · It is okay to be afraid; it is not okay to stay afraid. · 1 John 4:18 · Exodus 35:4-9 · 2 Corinthians 9:7 · Not everyone has the same to give, but everyone has something to give. · Exodus 35:20-22 · Exodus 33:4 · Exodus 33:14 · Gratitude grows generosity. · Exodus 36:3b-7 · Am I willing to be generous? · Do you trust God to take care of you? · The more generous you are, the more you are like Jesus. · Lord, what do I need to do to be generous? Discussion Questions Starter: When you hear the phrase “Big Prayer” what comes to mind? Go Deeper 1. Read Exodus 33:4-9 2. What do you think went through the Children of Israel’s minds when they heard this command from Moses? 3. Think about the language here. God gives us a command, but obedience is for those who are willing. What does that say to you about God’s commands and our response? 4. In your opinion, what is the equivalent in our time of offering God not just gold or silver, but other valuables? 5. Read Exodus 33:20-22 6. Notice the people move quickly to bring their offering. In your experience is it better to obey your first impulse to be generous or to wait and think about it? Which shows more trust? 7. Read Exodus 34:2-7 8. The people’s generosity is guided by their gratitude. In your opinion, what would help people be more grateful? What would motivate someone to be generous?
35:44
November 02, 2021
Big Prayer: Be Amazed
Big Prayer: Be Amazed
Points: 1. Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. 2. 1. Pray 3. Pray Together 4. Pray and Mean it 5. Acts 12:6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 6. John 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 7. He’s Sleeping 8. 2. When you are not praying, rest in God’s promises 9. Acts 12:7-11 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 10. 3. God answers our prayer in His way 11. We miss the answer when we don’t like it 12. We miss the answer when it isn’t an option we gave God to choose from 13. When the answer is yes 14. Acts 12:12-17 15. When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place. 16. Prayer is God’s invitation to let us participate in what He’s doing.
41:53
October 27, 2021
Big Prayer: Be Bold
Big Prayer: Be Bold
Big Prayer: Be Bold Acts 4:23-31 23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage  and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth rise up  and the rulers band together against the Lord  and against his anointed one.’ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Points · A Big God Answers Big Prayer. · Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… - Matthew 6:10 · Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them… · Praise reminds us what God is able to do. · Remember this is not God’s first time. · Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven – Matthew 5:10 · When we encounter resistance, it is time for big prayer. · Big Prayer means understanding and aligning with God’s big plan · God’s big plan – Help as many people as possible take their next step toward Jesus. · Big prayers are Bold Prayers · Send power. · Ron Lewis – Most churches are scared to death of the Holy Spirit’s power because they will lose control · Your will be done, your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven. Group Discussion Questions Starter: When you hear the phrase “Big Prayer” what comes to mind? Go Deeper 1. Read Acts 4:23-31 2. Notice their first reaction to a crisis is to pray. What’s your first reaction? What would change if prayer was your first reaction? 3. They began their prayer with praise. A big prayer should begin with praise related to your request. If you were to pray for a revival in our country, what kind of praise might you offer? If you were to pray for a church grow, what kind of praise might you offer? If you were praying for a group of people to change their mind, what kind of praise would offer? 4. Read v. 28. What do you think they meant by this phrase “Your power and will decided beforehand…?” 5. In your opinion, what does healthy boldness look like in a church? How can we be bold and not obnoxious? 6. In your opinion, what would it look like if our church was filled with Holy Spirit and miracles, signs, and great works were occurring in Jesus’ name?
35:03
October 20, 2021
Make or Break: Strong vs. Quick
Make or Break: Strong vs. Quick
Make or Break: Strong vs. Quick Matthew 7:24-27 Transition Scripture · Matthew 7:24-27 - 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat Points -Never build until you know what will knock down what you build -Storms are certain; preparation is optional - “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice…” -Religion doesn’t equal relationship with God. - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3. -Do what Jesus says. -Hate - 1-------------------------50--------------------100 – Love -Doing what Jesus says prepares your character for the storm that will come. -What destroys a friendship? Betrayal. -Friendship is best when promises are kept. -Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity. -What destroys family relationships? Me not we -Criticism -Contempt -Defensiveness -Stonewalling -Families are best when “we” includes Jesus. -“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:21 -“What is the will of my Heavenly Father in this family?” -What destroys your relationship with God? Indifference. -Matthew 6:33 – Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well. -“The Lord is my ROCK.” -Whoever hears these words of mine and does them is like a man who builds his house on the rock -Where are you building – Rock or Sand? Group Discussion Questions Starter: In your experience, what happens to people who always seek the easy way? Go Deeper 1. Read Matthew 7:24-27 2. Tell about someone you know who built their lives on the words of Jesus. What was their life like? 3. Tell about someone you know who heard the words of Jesus but didn’t do them? How did their lives turn out? 4. What are the common storm you think everyone will face? 5. If someone were to ask you “How do I build my life on the rock?” what would you tell them? 6. Notice the connection between v. 27 and vv. 22-23. Why do you think Jesus highlight this danger?
32:47
October 20, 2021
Make or Break: True vs. False
Make or Break: True vs. False
Make or Break: True v. False Matthew 7:15-23 Scripture: Matthew 7:15-23 - 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Discussion Questions Starter: Has there ever been a time you took bad advice? What made you trust the person who gave it? Go Deeper 1. Read Matthew 7:15-20 2. Jesus’ words are very plain. In your experience, what is the best way to determine if someone is a false prophet/teacher/leader? 3. Can you think of examples of teaching that is false and you should avoid? 4. Read Matthew 7:21-23 5. How would you explain the difference between doing the will of our Heavenly Father and doing works in his name? 6. Imagine Judgment Day. What will it be like for the people who say, “Lord, did we not prophesy, cast out demons, and do miracles in your name?” What will go through their minds? What will they understand on that day they do not understand now? 7.
29:54
October 05, 2021
Make or Break: Contrast vs. Conform
Make or Break: Contrast vs. Conform
Make or Break: Contrast vs. Conform Christ followers choose the path less traveled Matthew 7:13-14 Transition Scripture Matthew 7:13-14 - 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Group Discussion Questions Starter: What did YOU need to hear from today’s message? Go Deeper 1. Read Matthew 7:13-14 2. How often do your choices line up with the path to destruction? 3. What is the difference in saying you’re a Christian and being a Christian? 4. What has it cost you to follow Jesus? 5. How does your being united with Jesus play out in different areas of your life? 6. Who in your life needs to hear about the narrow gate?
32:13
September 28, 2021
Make or Break: Ask vs. Guess
Make or Break: Ask vs. Guess
Make or Break: Ask v. Guess Matthew 7:7-12 Transition Scripture Matthew 7:7-12 - 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Group Discussion Questions Starter: What would you say is your biggest challenge in communicating? Go Deeper 1. Read Matthew 7:7-12 2. Have you seen people misapply vv. 7-8? Why do you think they do that? 3. Jesus uses three commands – ask, seek, and knock. What might be an example of praying to ask? To Seek? To Knock? 4. In vv. 9-11, Jesus challenges us to think about the goodness of God.  If we know to give good gifts to our parents, then what does this say about God? What good gifts does God want to bring to people? 5. In v. 12, we are told to do to others as we wish them to do for us. Think about your own needs. What does this teach you about doing for others?
38:42
September 21, 2021
Make or Break: Listen vs. Judge
Make or Break: Listen vs. Judge
Make or Break: Listen v. Judge Matthew 7:1-6 - “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Points · When it comes to relationships, You are responsible for you. · A healthy relationship with God teaches you how to have healthy relationships. · Matthew 6:33 – Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. · Do not be a critic. · ‘For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ · Before you judge, listen and understand. · A critic never has a healthy relationship. · Be self-aware. · 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. · “Why?” · Psalm 139:23 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” · Without self- awareness, relationships never find health · Guard what is sacred. · 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. · Hold your boundaries. · Don’t throw away the holy sacrifice of Jesus. Discussion Questions Starter: Is there someone in your life who is a constant critic? How do you feel about that person? Go Deeper 1. Read Matthew 7:1-6 2. For you, what is the hard about not judging or criticizing people? 3. How would advise someone to stop being a critic? What steps should they take? 4. In your opinion, what keeps people from being self-aware? What could they do to become more self-aware? 5. Have you ever pretended to be better than you really are? What does that feel like? What would happen if you no longer had to pretend? 6. Is it hard or easy for you to hold a boundary? How do you guard the sacred work of Jesus in your life?
36:59
September 14, 2021
Work Ethics: Idle Hands
Work Ethics: Idle Hands
The Point: Your work ethic comes from your worship ethic Source: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 There is space between what you should and shouldn’t do, and something will happen in that space: Worship or Idolatry Paul is writing to the Christians in Thessalonica to remind them of the importance of worship in light of Christ’s final return. However… - They were getting lazy and selfish (this is the opposite of worship) - They had poor work ethic because they were super focused on themselves… Their worship was making sure they were good enough - They were relying only on church members to take care of their needs - Making noise through gossip, slander, and bad noise about God. Here is a reality we find… Idle hands find idols When you’re lazy you will find something to worship, because you were created to worship. Let's see what Paul says. 6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. Paul here is fighting their continued wrong view of Jesus’ return, BUT he is also fighting the Greek culture that put more of the work on the slave rather than themselves. The first time Paul addressed this, the people could claim ignorance, but this time there is no excuse… “We command you… In the name of Jesus” So what is the punishment for not following this order? “Keep Away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us” - Disassociate yourself from them & remove the unhealthy influences - Keep away from people with poor work ethic This is church discipline. - The idea is to isolate the perpetrator so that they may see their sin - They can recognize the thing that needs to change Paul is saying, “look around and identify those who are distracting you from worship.” (So let me ask you this….) Identify the sin and realize who’s fault it is 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. One of the biggest distractions from our worship to God is laziness. If we are not actively seeking to worship God in our life, when we’re lazy, we begin to worship in the wrong way. - Biggest temptation we face is to worship the creation over the creator Paul has set the example with his own life. He worked for a living. He didn’t depend on the church to take care of him. The heart ache we feel with our children is the same heart ached Paul has here! Paul is saying, “If you are worshipping, your are working” 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. This is where it’s different: What you are told today is if you don’t blatantly meet the needs of everyone, you aren’t being Jesus. There are some needs that don’t need to be met Compassion does not mean enabling someone’s laziness. When someone’s lazy, they feel that time with something else. This is not how God has intended us to be. God is not lazy. Every action of our salvation required work. GOSPEL 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. He can command them in the Lord Jesus Christ to work because the Lord Jesus Christ worked We should work quietly and so we don’t have to be a burden to others- But what happens if we lean into our laziness? 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him
31:50
September 05, 2021
Place of Grace: Guidance
Place of Grace: Guidance
Place of Grace: Guidance John 15:26-27 Transition Scripture John 15:26-27 - 26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. To a place of grace, we must be connected to Jesus; love; and have support to face the hate. The Father is involved in his creation as a father is involved in the lives of his children. The Son is God in flesh, who comes to redeem the world The Holy Spirit is God intimately connected to people John 15:26: When the Advocate comes … The Paraclete comforts Psalm 23:4 – Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. The Paraclete advocates. Psalm 139:23-24 - 23 Search me, God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting. The Paraclete encourages Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do The Paraclete informs John 15:26 - … he will testify about me. John 15:26 - I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father. You need to hear the truth you don’t want to hear. How do you know if it is really the Holy Spirit speaking to you? Is the message consistent with Scripture Is the message challenging Does wise counsel agree this is a message from God? The support and prayer of a LIFE Group will help you hear the Holy Spirit. (LIFE Group Slide)Text GROUP to 803-720-9711. John 15:27 -27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. We can share what the Holy Spirit shares with us. What have you seen Jesus do? Who needs to hear those stories? Lord, show me who needs to hear my stories. Do you want God intimately involved in your life? Whatever I face in life, I want to face it alone. Discussion Questions Starter: Who do you turn to for guidance? Go Deeper 1. Read John 15:26-27 2. When most people hear “Holy Spirit” what do they think? What is their image of the Holy Spirit? 3. Can you share a time when the Holy Spirit comforted you? Encouraged you? Informed you? 4. What messages do you resist most from the Spirit? 5. How would you apply v. 27 to your life? How are you sharing what the Holy Spirit shares with you?
38:04
September 01, 2021
Place of Grace: Support
Place of Grace: Support
ADBC 8-22/23-21 Place of Grace: Support John 15:18-25 Transition Scripture John 15:18-25 - 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ Discussion Questions Starter: Can you think of Jesus followers who are hated by the world? In your opinion, why does the world hate them? Go Deeper 1. Read John 15:18-25 2. Notice the contrast of these verses with the first part of John 15. John 15:1-17 emphasizes connection with Jesus, bearing fruit, and the love of God. Why do you think Jesus shifts to teaching about the world hating his followers? 3. There is a strange phrase at the end of John 15:20 – “If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” What do you think Jesus means? 4. How would you explain v.23 - 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well to someone? Can you think of examples where people hate Jesus and our Heavenly Father? 5. If you were advising a Jesus follower who is dealing with hatred because of his or her faith, what would you tell him or her? 6. In your opinion, how does opposition from the world impact most Jesus followers? What is their reaction?
36:37
August 25, 2021
Place of Grace: Love
Place of Grace: Love
ADBC 8-15/16-21 Place of Grace: Love John 15:9-17 Transition Scripture John 15:9-17 - 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other. · Insecure people have insecure connections. · We believe people can have secure relationships when they are connected to Jesus. · Big Idea: If you are connected to Jesus, you are secured by his love so you can love. · The Love Model: 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love · Matthew 28:20b – Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age · The Obedience Lock: 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love · The Joy of Security: 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. · Joy is deep-seated sense of well-being, of safety in God’s universe. – Dallas Willard. · If you are secured by his love, you will love. · The Outflow truth: 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. · Love gives. · Adopt the Jesus standard for love. · The Laydown Principle: 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. · The Slave – Friend Conversion: 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. · The Security of Being Chosen - 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. · The Reminder: 17 This is my command: Love each other. · Are you secured by Jesus’ love so you can love? · claysmith@adbc.org Discussion Questions Starter: In your life, other than your spouse/significant other, who has loved you best? Go Deeper 1. Read John 15:9-17 2. Jesus clearly connects the idea of keeping commands and remaining in his love. How do you understand this connection? How would you explain it? 3. Being loved by Jesus means we have joy. In your opinion, do most Jesus followers live in joy? Why or why not? 4. Jesus defines love as laying down your life. Outside of your family, who would you sacrifice for? 5. Jesus says we are friends if we do what he commands – love. How do verses 15-16 change your understanding of prayer?
32:43
August 17, 2021
Place of Grace: Connected
Place of Grace: Connected
 ADBC 8-8/9-21 John 15:1-8   Transition Scripture John 15:1-8 - 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciple · Big Idea: Who you connect to determines what you produce. Starter: Who are you really connected with? How does that impact your life, your mood, and your future? Go Deeper 1. Read John 15:1-8 2. Often the best way to understand a passage is to identify who you are in the story. What are the implications of being a branch connected to Jesus? 3. Reading the passage closely, in your opinion, what does Jesus want for every branch/person that is connected to him? 4. Imagine the frustration of trying to bear fruit but not being connected to the vine. Why would a person do that? 5. Does verse 6 make you uncomfortable? What do you think Jesus is saying? 6. In your opinion, are the benefits of staying connected to Jesus?
37:18
August 10, 2021
How to Live: In Charge
How to Live: In Charge
How to Live: In Charge Delmar Peet 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 - For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 1. The way to live, is connected to the Holy Spirit in you 1 Thessalonians 4:11 - aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs Is your noise connected to the good news? 2. Live in light of your greatest message. 1 Thessalonians 4:11b and to work with your hands, as we instructed you 3. Live in light of what you produce, not consume. “Am I adding value to the people around me?” 1 Thessalonians 4:12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. YOUR LIFE IS THE MESSAGE
35:04
August 03, 2021
How to Live: Learn to Love
How to Live: Learn to Love
How to Live: Learn to Love July 25/26, 2021 Transition Scripture 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 - 9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more Big Idea: Whoever teaches you how to love determines how you love. What if God taught you to love? Group Discussion Questions Starter: Who is the most loving person you know? Why are they so loving? Go Deeper 1. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 2. Imagine Jesus sitting down with you and saying, “Today, I am going to teach you about love.” What would he say? 3. The church at Thessalonika loves well. In your opinion, does our church love well? Why or why not? 4. God himself has taught the church in Thessalonika to love. In your opinion, what does God need to teach our church about love? 5. Love must grow to thrive. Would you say your growth edge is to love your neighbor, love the stranger, or love your enemy? Why?
35:06
July 27, 2021
How to Live: In Control
How to Live: In Control
Starter: Do you know someone who struggles with sexual sin? What is his/her life like? Go Deeper 1. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 - 3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. 2. What comes to mind when you hear the word “holy?”  Is it positive or negative? Why? 3. How would you advise a friend on how to control their sexual appetites? 4. In your opinion, do most people value their bodies as something sacred, special, or unique? Why or why not? 5. In your opinion, why do people want to keep God out of their sex lives? 6. Based on these verses, what encouragement would you give to a person who is struggling with sexual sin?
35:37
July 20, 2021
How to Live: Instructions
How to Live: Instructions
How to Live: Instruction 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 July 11/12, 2021 ADBC Transition Scripture 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 - As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. Discussion Questions Starter: Who were the three most influential people in your life? Why? Go Deeper 1. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 2. What would be one thing your Heavenly Father needs to teach you? 3. What would be one thing you could do that would please your Heavenly Father today 4. Is there a spiritual victory you need to celebrate with the group? 5. Is there a roadblock you need to push past? What is it? 6. Which Fruit of the Spirit do you need to ask God to bring out in you? (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness/generosity, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control)
32:00
July 13, 2021
What's Right, What's Wrong With America
What's Right, What's Wrong With America
June 27/28, 2021 What’s Right, What’s Wrong with America Proverbs 14:34, John 18:33-38a; Transition Scripture Proverbs 14:34 - Righteousness exalts a nation,  but sin condemns any people. John 18:33-40 - 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. Group Discussion Questions Starter: In your opinion, what is right with America? What is wrong with America? Go Deeper 1. Read Proverbs 14:34 2. Think about things you wish were right in our country. If those were fixed, how would other nations see us? 3. Think about the shame of sin. How do citizens behave when they are ashamed of their country? 4. Read John 18:33-38a 5. In your opinion, why do people seek power instead of truth? 6. What does mean to you when Jesus says, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me?” 7. Pastor Clay suggested five actions we could take to move our country toward righteousness: Pray, speak truth, care of those harmed by government action/inaction, love fiercely, and offer new citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Which one do you need to do this week?
33:18
June 29, 2021
The Path to Freedom: Together
The Path to Freedom: Together
The Path to Freedom The Point: Freedom is seen in a place of grace The Scripture: Galatians 6:1-10 Doing Good to All 6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. The Path to Freedom WK 3 Questions 1. How have you misunderstood freedom in Christ? 2. Whose Kingdom are you investing in? Who is king of your world? 3. In what way can you begin investing into the ministries God has? a. Step In b. Step Up c. Step Out 4. Have you ever fell into the comparison trap? What helped you to overcome it? 5. When did you receive grace? 6. Name a time you gave grace. 7. What does a place of grace look like for you?
31:15
June 22, 2021
The Path to Freedom: War
The Path to Freedom: War
The Path to Freedom – Week 2 Galatians 5:16-23 Bottom Line: Put Christ on Display 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - In this series – Path to Freedom o Talking about something that we all want, but find it so hard to get, and if we think we get it, it’s hard to keep - Freedom. o But last week we learned that God wants you free          -freedom isn’t our own selfish happy place.          -being free means being connected to Christ. o So as you live your life, who is put on display?          -At work – success for who (give examples/personal stories)          -When you’re in an argument – are you more concerned with being right or making sure this person             sees Jesus in you.          -When you correct someone – do you want them to see you as better than them or do you want them to see Christ in you? o This is the path to freedom.          -You are free to stop worrying about yourself, your reputation, your image, your past, your baggage.          -You can stop putting yourself on the pedestal – and die to yourself. Living in Freedom means dying to yourself. o Let’s make it a point – as we live our lives, as we interact with others and with each other   to turn the eyes of the world away from of us and put them upon Christ.
31:48
June 15, 2021
The Path to Freedom: Slave
The Path to Freedom: Slave
Working Bottom Line: Your path to freedom isn’t about what you do or don’t do, but about what you have. Synopsis: God hates us being in bondage so much so that he died about it. (And rose)  Some of the most passionate language in the New Testament is found here      regarding your path to freedom. What things enslave you from taking your next step toward Jesus? Gal 5:1-15 5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! Life by the Spirit 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
35:15
June 08, 2021
Decide or Default: Who Will I Serve?
Decide or Default: Who Will I Serve?
Decide or Default: Who Will I Serve? Matthew 20:20-28  ADBC 5-30/31-21 Transition Scripture Matthew 20:20-28 - 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Group Discussion Questions Starter: Do you know someone who excels at serving? Describe his or her life. Go Deeper 1. Read Matthew 20:20-23 2. Do you think people still ask to be Jesus’ favorites? Do people expect preferential treatment at church? Why do you think this is? 3. James and John still do not get that God’s Kingdom is not about power and authority. In your opinion, is this still a struggle for Jesus followers today? 4. Read Matthew 20:24-28 5. Jesus invites his followers to forget power games and become servants and slaves. How would you explain these concepts to someone? 6. To follow Jesus means to be like him – and thus to serve, not be served. How well do American Christians do at this? What could we do to improve? 7. Jesus says he came to be the ransom for many. What does it mean to you that Jesus paid a price for you to have an opportunity to be in relationship with the Father?
34:49
June 02, 2021
Decide or Default: Will I be Generous?
Decide or Default: Will I be Generous?
Transition Scripture Mark 12:41-44 - 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Group Discussion Questions Starter: Please share about the most generous person you know. In your opinion, what makes them generous? Go Deeper 1. Read Mark 12:41-44 2. Paint this scene in your mind. What do the rich people look like? How is Jesus dressed? What does the widow look like? What are sounds? 3. In your opinion, what does God think about the gifts of the wealthy in this story? 4. Jesus has obvious praise for the widow. What would you imagine her backstory to be? How long had she been a widow? What could God have done in her life to make her so grateful? How might her trust in God help her in everyday life? 5. Apply this story to your life. What thought or emotion do you need to correct to enable you to trust God more? How would increased trust impact your giving?
34:39
May 25, 2021
Decide or Default: Will I Share My Story?
Decide or Default: Will I Share My Story?
Decide or Default: Will I Share My Story? John 4:28-42 ADBC 5-16/17-21 John 4:28-42 - 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. 31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” Group Discussion Questions: Starter: Who first told you about Jesus? Why did you listen to them? 1. Read John 4:28-30 2. In your opinion, why do most people not share their story? 3. What does it mean to the woman that Jesus might be the Messiah? 4. Read John 4:31-38 5. In your opinion, what prevents most Jesus followers from seeing opportunities to share their story? 6. Would you consider yourself more of a “sower” or a “reaper?” Why? 7. Read John 4:39-42 8. When people saw Jesus for themselves, they believed. What, in your opinion, might get in the way of people seeing Jesus? 9. To believe Jesus is the Savior of the world means you believe he is now part of your story. Could you share part of your story that Jesus has written? How has he worked recently in your life?
36:35
May 19, 2021
Decide or Default: Will I Be Disciplined?
Decide or Default: Will I Be Disciplined?
Decide or Default: Will I Be Disciplined? Luke 14:25-35 ADBC 5-9/10-21 Luke 14:25-35 - 25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. 34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Group Discussion Questions: Starter: In your opinion, why do people have difficulty being disciplined? 1. Read Luke 14:25-26 2. Do you know someone whose family gets in the way of them following Jesus? What is the situation? How do you think they would hear these words of Jesus? 3. Read Luke 14:27 4. In your opinion, what “cross” does Jesus most often ask people to carry? 5. In your hearing what does “follow after me” mean? 6. Read Luke 14:28-33 7. How would you explain to someone that following Jesus is worth the cost? 8. Read Luke 34-35 9. In what ways have you seen Jesus followers change something in a community?
31:21
May 12, 2021
Decide or Default: Will I Choose to Heal?
Decide or Default: Will I Choose to Heal?
Decide or Default: Will I Choose to Heal? John 5:5-17 ADBC 5-2/3-21 Group Discussion Questions: Starter: When we think of unhealth and healing, we think about the our bodies. Please share a time when you feel like God healed someone – maybe yourself – from destructive thoughts or feelings, from bad decisions, or a broken relationship. 1. Read John 5:5 2. Imagine this man’s life. What do you think his average day was like? Who brought him food? Who attended to his physical needs? Why do you think he is still there after 38 years? 3. Read John 5:6 4. In your opinion, why would a person not want to be healed? What is Jesus’ question really asking the man to think about? 5. Read John 5:7-9. 6. Please share a time when you thought a problem could only be solved one way and God solved it another way. What did you learn? 7. Jesus supplies the man’s healing. What is the man’s part in being healed? 8. Read John 5:9b-13 9. What is your reaction to the Jewish leaders who scold the man for carrying his mat on the Sabbath? What do you think was their intent?
37:22
May 02, 2021
Decide or Default: Who Will I Love?
Decide or Default: Who Will I Love?
Group Discussion Questions: Starter: Who do you find easy to love? Who do you find is difficult to love? Why? 1. Read Matthew 5:43-45 2. How would you define “enemy?” How does it make you feel to think about loving them? 3. Have you ever prayed for someone you think is not your friend? What happened? 4. Read John 15:12-16 5. How do you react to commands? Do you accept them, or accept them as suggestions, or ignore them? If Jesus was rating your obedience to his command to love, how would you score on a scale of 1-100? (100 is high) 6. Jesus’ model of love is to sacrifice. Share a time you sacrificed because you loved. Have you every sacrificed because of love for someone you didn’t know well? How did that feel? 7. If you were ultimately secure in the knowledge that God loved you, what difference would it make in your life?
41:03
April 27, 2021
Decide or Default: Who Do I Identify With?
Decide or Default: Who Do I Identify With?
Decide or Default: Who Will I Identify With? Matthew 3:13-17  4-18/19-21 Group Discussion Questions: Starter: Baptism is sign that something has happened to you. What do you remember about your baptism? 1. Read Matthew 3:13-17 2. What do you think went through John’s mind when he saw Jesus in line to be baptized? 3. John wants Jesus to baptize him; Jesus refuses and tells John to baptize him. In your opinion, are religious leaders today as humble as John? Why or why not? 4. Jesus says he needs to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. What does it say to you that Jesus was willing to the right thing, even though it was not necessary for him. 5. What do you think Jesus experienced when he saw the Spirit descending as a dove and heard the voice of his Heavenly Father? What did he feel? What did he think? 6. In your opinion, how can we encourage people to identify with Jesus? Do we erect unintended barriers?
32:03
April 20, 2021
Decide or Default: Who Will I Follow?
Decide or Default: Who Will I Follow?
Matthew 19:16-30
41:29
April 12, 2021
Decide or Default: Will I Be Curious?
Decide or Default: Will I Be Curious?
John 20: 1-18
33:60
April 05, 2021