Sermon Prep. for January 4

Part 1: Starting Point – 1 John 3.14-20, Isaiah 58, Matthew 25.14-30

For the next seven weeks, we will be in a sermon series called Thy Kingdom Come, looking at how to practice responsible Christian charity. A few months ago, to begin investigation into how our community could enhance our charity practices, we administered a Community Ministry Interests Survey. If you have not already done so, you can fill out this survey here and submit it to to give us a more complete overview of our community resources and interests moving forward.  

Getting to know you: What were the high and low points of your holiday?

Getting to know the Bible: 

1)    Read 1 John 3.14-20

a.     As a new year begins, begin by applying yourself to this message: Use this passage in a time of quiet as a guide for some honest self-reflection. Are you of the truth? Do not miss the power of vs. 20. How are you challenged? How are you encouraged? Does this alter the way you evaluate your own or others’ spiritual health at all?

2)    Read Isaiah 58 verses 1-2

a.     On a scale of 1-10, how much does this picture of religion so far line up with your idea of good spiritual practice?

b.     Read vs. 3-7: Where do you see the “bonds of wickedness” and people being oppressed around you? How much does this alternative picture of religion line up with what you practice?

c.     Read vs. 8-12: What do you find appealing in these verses?

d.     Read vs. 13-14: Why do you think Isaiah included these comments on Sabbath with this passage?

e.     How do I apply myself to this message? Read the chapter all together. What do you find to be challenging in this passage? What do you find to be hopeful in this passage?

3)    Read Matthew 25.14-30

a.     How did the third servant’s view of the master affect how the master ended up assessing him?

b.     How do I apply myself to this message? What is your assessment of who God is? How does that affect how effectively you are able to serve Him?