JOY week 1

Sermon Prep for October 2, 2016. Week 1 of Joy [Fruit of the Spirit]

note: feel free to take just one question grouping over ~5 days, one/day to allow yourself to be steeped in the scripture over a longer period of time, allowing it to sink deeply into your heart

READ John 15: Jesus as the True Vine

What strikes you? What encourages you? What challenges you? What questions does this passage raise for you?

 

 

Continuing in our series on the Fruit of the Spirit, this passage launches us into the topic of Joy. This may be somewhat surprising as the chapter begins with the challenging topic of pruning. What do you learn about Joy in this chapter? What does that teach you about pruning?

 

 

REVIEW Galatians 5:22-25

What do you learn by holding these two passages together?

 

 

Apply yourself to this message:

What would it look like for your joy to overflow?

 

 

Apply your group to this message:

Think back to last month’s topic: Love, which is so bound up in these verses with joy. What would your group look like if you followed Christ [were discipled!] in the way He calls you to in these verses? What would it look like for joy to overflow in your group context?

Love Week 4, PS: Feed my sheep

Slight change of plans, folks. Dan ended up preaching on John 21 this morning. So in addition to spending some time in 1 Corinthians 13, you can check out this story about Jesus and Peter.

Give it a read and contemplate this question that Jesus is asking Peter, and also you:

"Do you love me more than ____? If you do, feed my sheep!"

How do you fill in this blank, and how do you answer this question?

Community groups starting back up!

The mission of North Harbor’s Community Development Ministries is to provide opportunities for people to grow in relationship with the people of Jesus’ Body, the Church. We hope that through growing in relationship with people of the Church, you might have a stronger sense of belonging to Christ, His Body, and our community in particular. 

We have 3 kinds of groups:

Communities Under Development: Co-ed, 6-15 ppl

>     Learning together to be LIKE Christ

Discipleship Groups: Gender specific, 4 ppl

>     Practicing together being WITH Christ

Commission Teams: Co-ed, size varies

>     Supporting each other in living FOR Christ

 

SIX Fresh Openings:

· CUD: small co-ed groups using guides to prepare for Sunday’s sermons through quiet time with God and His word.

    • Brunswick on Tuesdays
    • Bath on Thursdays

· Our men's group meets on Wednesday mornings (5am)

· Commission Teams: following God’s leading to love our neighbors

    • Forney’s Care Team [Czech Republic]
    • Local Missions

· Discipleship Groups 

    • Always open to gather new groups
    •  Solitude and Silence group taking new members

Do you see God leading the way in a particular work? Would you like others to partner with you in this work? Contact Zoe to discuss starting a new team!

Check out these cards with my contact info, and also your cheat sheet on the types of groups we offer – for your own reference and in case other folks ask!

LOVE Week 4: C.U.D. Sermon Prep Guide: September 24

Welcome to or Welcome back to Communities Under Development with North Harbor!

Background: The mission of North Harbor’s Community Development Ministries is to provide opportunities for people to grow in relationship with the people of Jesus’ Body, the Church. We hope that through growing in relationship with people of the Church, you might have a stronger sense of belonging to Christ, His Body, and our community in particular. 

 

Communities Under Development (a.k.a. “CUD,” formerly "small groups") consist of 6-12 women and men that do life together and weekly meet in the MidCoast area for seasons of ~10 weeks at a time. Together they pray and talk, with a focus on sermon content, in order to learn how to be more like Christ (disciples). 

 

Each week by Tuesday night, I’ll post a Sermon Prep guide to allow you to dig into the Biblical passage that the next Sunday’s sermon will be based in. Our CUD groups discuss the content you explore through these guides and the sermons. Our hope in this approach is to streamline the process of choosing group discussion content, unify your experience of learning to be more like Christ by coordinating group discussions with sermons, and unify our groups’ experiences by having them digging into the same material – thereby enabling more cross group dialogue and affinity.

 

Our mission at North Harbor is to lead people toward a growing relationship with Jesus. So it is our hope that through the tool of sermon prep, you would be invited into meeting directly with God, with the aid of His word, in order to de-emphasize and aid the preacher’s teaching, empowering your ownership on your spiritual journey, and dignifying the power of your personal time with God to have a significant impact in transforming your life and relationship with Christ.

 

Sermons at North Harbor this school year are going to work through the Fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22]. Each month will focus on a different aspect of the Spirit’s fruit, September kicks things off with a focus on LOVE. To catch up on previous sermons visit: http://www.northharbor.org, choose the menu “What to expect” and select “Recent Sermons.” But let’s get into this week’s text!!

 

STUDY GUIDE:

READ 1 Corinthians 13

[note: this is a familiar passage to many people. To keep yourself from glossing over the richness of this message, try reading it at least once in a translation that’s less familiar to you. Try https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13 to test out some new translations]

 

What strikes you? How might God need to speak to you with this passage today?

 

Read verses 4-7. Highlight the descriptions of love that stick out to you. If you highlighted more than one, underline the one that is most curious to you in this moment. Try to think of a story [personal or fictional or whatever] that illustrates love acting this way (the love-describer you were most curious about). How does this story contrast the lack of love described in verses 1-3? What do you learn about love through these contrasts?

 

Consider a relationship you’ve been in where you experienced love at work. Consider life before this love began. Read verse 12. How does your loving relationship shed light on the infinitude of God’s love? How does the infinitude of God’s love shed light on how you pursue knowing God more fully?

 

Apply yourself to this message:

As often as 1 Corinthians 13 is read as part of wedding ceremonies, and we may associate it as being a romantic passage of scripture, read in the greater context of the letter, it is a massage about how Christians should live together in community, how we should do Church, or religion. Try not to point fingers at some general group outside yourself, but rather look within and consider how verses 1-3 might have a refining effect on how you approach your own Christian practice. It can be easy in religious settings to strive after great spiritual accomplishments, and it can often feel fruitless, discouraging. If you consider where you’re spending your “spiritual efforts” lately, do they fall into any of the categories discussed in verses 1-3?

 

Apply your group to this message:

Community groups are just getting restarted, so there’s a decent chance you’re studying this passage with some new folks and figuring out how to form yourself as a group. Groups can have many focuses: speaking truth to one another, seeking knowledge together, gaining understanding of mysteries, having faith to bring about miracles in our lives, giving of ourselves through service or donations. While these can all be very good endeavors, how does this passage guide the focus of how we should do group life together? Don’t just give the obvious one word answer, but try to flesh out what this would really look like for your group in practice. 

Communities Under Development: Sermon Prep

Sermon Prep for September 18, 2016. Week 3 of Love [Fruits of the Spirit]

Welcome to or Welcome back to Communities Under Development with North Harbor!

The mission of North Harbor’s Community Development Ministries is to provide opportunities for people to grow in relationship with the people of Jesus’ Body, the Church. We hope that through growing in relationship with people of the Church, you might have a stronger sense of belonging to Christ, His Body, and our community in particular. 

Communities Under Development (a.k.a. “CUD,” formerly "small groups") consist of 6-12 women and men that do life together and weekly meet in the MidCoast area for seasons of ~10 weeks at a time. Together they pray and talk, with a focus on sermon content, in order to learn how to be more like Christ (disciples). 

Each week by Tuesday night, I’ll post a Sermon Prep guide to allow you to dig into the Biblical passage that the next Sunday’s sermon will be based in. Our CUD groups discuss the content you explore through these guides and the sermons. Our hope in this approach is to streamline the process of choosing group discussion content, unify your experience of learning to be more like Christ by coordinating group discussions with sermons, and unify our groups’ experiences by having them digging into the same material – thereby enabling more cross group dialogue and affinity.

Our mission at North Harbor is to lead people toward a growing relationship with Jesus. So it is our hope that through the tool of sermon prep, you would be invited into meeting directly with God, with the aid of His word, in order to de-emphasize and aid the preacher’s teaching, empowering your ownership on your spiritual journey, and dignifying the power of your personal time with God to have a significant impact in transforming your life and relationship with Christ.

Sermons at North Harbor this school year are going to work through the Fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22]. Each month will focus on a different aspect of the Spirit’s fruit, September kicks things off with a focus on LOVE.  This coming Sunday [9/18/16] will continue to look at the story of David and Jonathan. To catch up on previous sermons visit: http://www.northharbor.org, choose the menu “What to expect” and select “Recent Sermons.” But let’s get into this week’s text!!

READ: 1 Samuel 20.

What is the covenant made between David and Jonathan? How does this covenant demonstrate love on both their parts?

 

This last Sunday [9/11], Dan’s key statement was, “Love is rooted in God and not subject to circumstances.” How do you see this being illustrated in this story?

 

Read Galatians 5:13-26. Does this friendship between David and Jonathan look like men bearing fruit of the flesh or fruit of the spirit? How so (especially consider verse 26)?

 

Applying myself to this message:

Jonathan and David offer a beautiful example of resisting competition, envy, and the desires of the flesh. What in your heart needs crucifying so that you might move deeper into belonging to Christ?  

Fireside Missionary Chats

The Funderburks are hosting 2 more opportunities to chat with missionaries, hear their stories and learn how we can better support our own missionaries.  

On Friday, August 5th we have a current missionary in Thailand, Amanda Wongnirattisai who has been in Thailand for 10 years now and is married to a local pastor there.  

On Wednesday, August 10th,our very own Logan Perry will share his stories of short term missions that he participated in before he met Ruth.  This is a rain or shine event from7-9PM

Both events are hosted at 18 High Street in Brunswick.

Attending these evenings will be a great way to learn more about mission work and explore whether you might want to join our Forney Family Support Commission Team that serves as a home-base and support group to the missionaries our church sponsors. You can contact Kathleen Funderburk at any time if you are interested in joining this important team and aid in their valuable long term work.

Top Ten (Sermon Prep for November 22)

Getting to Know You: What are you top ten favorite ways to relax?

Getting to Know The Bible:

It's easy to confuse familiarity with true knowledge. Everyone has heard of the ten commandments, but do you really know them? Try to write out the ten commandments without cheating by looking them up.

  1. ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________
  4. ___________________________________
  5. ___________________________________
  6. ___________________________________
  7. ___________________________________
  8. ___________________________________
  9. ___________________________________
  10. ___________________________________

Which commandment do you feel like is the most important? Which feels like the second most important?

Ok, now you can look and see how well you did. Read Exodus 20:1-17. List out the ten commandments:

  1. ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________
  4. ___________________________________
  5. ___________________________________
  6. ___________________________________
  7. ___________________________________
  8. ___________________________________
  9. ___________________________________
  10. ___________________________________

Who issued the ten commandments? What do you learn about this individual in verses 1-2? What do you learn about who this person is in verses 3-7?

Take a look at the balance of word count as its spread out over the commandments. Which commandment is given the most weight in word use? Does this surprise you? Does this make sense to you? What does this say to you?

Where is grace in all of this?

Applying Myself to this Message:

What are the top ten priorities in your life?

  1. ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________
  4. ___________________________________
  5. ___________________________________
  6. ___________________________________
  7. ___________________________________
  8. ___________________________________
  9. ___________________________________
  10. ___________________________________

Does the way you live your life mirror the priorities illustrated in the way the ten commandments are written?  What do you need to confess to God? What is one way you can make a change this week to shift your own priorities to honor God more fully?

How does grace empower you to live a life more fully honoring to God?

Read Exodus 20:18-20. How do the Israelites respond to the ten commandments? Through songs we sing at church we often say things like, "Speak to us LORD! Be with us in this place!" Have you ever considered what it was that we were asking for when we sing things like that? Why is the reaction from the Israelites so different? How does their reaction inform how mindful we need to be about what we ask for? How does this impact your own desire?

"Let's Get to Work, Partner!" (Sermon Prep. for November 15)

Getting to Know You: Think of a person you've enjoyed partnering with to do a task [work, personal, community project, whatever kind of task] .  What made that person a good partner? What types of qualities would make you want to avoid partnering with a person?

Getting to Know the Bible [consider taking one day to read and enjoy each passage below]:

Read Matthew 11:28-30

How would you describe God as someone to partner with in doing work?

Describe the kind of trust required to be able to enjoy God's rest.

Read Exodus 5:1-6:12

A yoke was a farming tool used to hitch two animals together to carry a load. It can provide a picture for two beings partnering in a task together. How would you compare Pharaoh's [Exodus 6:6] and God's [Matthew 11:30] "yokes" (how do they compare as partners for doing work)?

Describe Pharaoh's greed with respect to the resource of the Israelite people. How does his greed affect the kind of partner he is to work with?

Read Exodus 16

Often, when a person is overpowered or abused, given the opportunity, they will themselves overpower or abuse someone weaker than themselves. This happens both on individual and historical levels. Consider the greed with which Pharaoh treated the Israelites. Is something of that greed showing up in the Israelites in this passage? How does God use discipline to work healing from the trauma of their slavery?

What does this passage have to do with trust? What does this passage have to do with rest/Sabbath?

Applying Myself to this Message:

What is something you are greedy for that you could instead trust God with? How might you experience God's rest if you chose trust in this area?

How would God describe you as someone to partner with in work? How do you experience God's grace when you consider that as your work partner, God desires to give you rest?

What Sort of Man: Foresaken

Getting to Know You: Have you ever felt ditched, abandoned, or like someone has turn their back on you? Have you turned your back on someone before? What would you be willing to give up to avoid reliving [or living for the first time] that experience?

Getting to Know the Bible:

Read Matthew 27:45-54

1) What strikes you? What challenges you? What encourages you? What questions does the passage raise for you?

2) What do you think it means for a father to abandon his son? What do you think it meant for God to abandon Jesus?

3) What sort of man is this Jesus portrayed in this passage? Who do people say that He is after this experience? [see vs. 54]

4) What do you make of verses 51-53? What do you think those incidents have to do with God the Father abandoning Jesus? What do they say to you about the new world we live in after Jesus conquered death and rose again?

Applying Yourself to this Message:

5) How does verse 46 make you feel about God the Father?

6) Have you ever turned your back on Jesus in anyway? How does this story speak to you about your behavior and God's response to it?

What Sort of Man: Connected

Getting to Know You:

Find a quiet place where you can be alone. Turn off music and other noise around you. Set a timer for 5 minutes and sit in solitude and silence until the timer goes off. Write some bullet points or notes about what this silence was like for you. How did it feel? How did you body react? What did you think about?

Getting to Know the Bible:

Read Luke 6:12-13. What strikes you? What encourages you? What questions does it raise?

Read Mark 1:35-39. What strikes you? What encourages you? What questions does it raise?

Read Matthew 14:13-14, 22-24. What strikes you? What encourages you? What questions does it raise?

What do you observe about Jesus' pattern of behavior?

What follows Jesus' time of solitude in each episode? What does this teach you about solitude and silence?

What sort of man is this Jesus?

Applying yourself to this message:

Set a timer for 5 minutes again. Use this time to pray and meditate on Jesus. Who is He? How does who He is bless your life? How might your own solitude be a potential gift to Him?

What Sort of Man: Single-Minded

Getting to know you: 
What's the craziest accident you've ever gotten in (car or otherwise)? 

Getting to know the bible:
1) Read Luke 9:46-62. What strikes you? What challenges you? What encourages you? What questions does it raise for you?

2) Based on reading this passage, what sort of man is this Jesus? 

3) Pick one of the many examples in this passage where Jesus behaves differently than the people in the story expected him too. What does his surprising behavior teach you about what He values? 

Applying myself to this message:
1) Towards what are some of this story's characters "faces set?" Toward what is Jesus' face set (literally and figuratively)? Toward what is your face set? 

2) What is one change you could make in your life to make yourself better fit for the kingdom of God? (See verse 62) imagine yourself putting that into practice before next Sunday rolls around. What does that scene look like? 

What Sort of Man: Feeding of the 5000

Use as much of this guide as is helpful for you in engaging with the passage that will be preached on this next Sunday. Join our Community Under Development to discuss these guides with others. The group is in its 2nd week right now - meeting Wednesdays, 7pm, at the Church office with the one and only John Schanck!

Getting to know you:
Recall a time when you were depleted in some way (sick, exhausted, worn out, sad, etc) and THEN someone stepped in and asked something of you. Share: how did that feel? What kind of mood did that put you in? 

Getting to know the Bible:
1) Read Matthew 14: 13-21
What strikes you? What challenges you? What encourages you? What questions does it raise?

2) Pull back. Read Matthew 14:1-21. 
What state do you think Jesus was in at verse 13? As he withdraws, the crowd follows Him. With what emotion does He respond to them? (Vs 14). What sort of man is this Jesus?

3) What is the disciples' plan for the evening? Who does Jesus say should take care of the problem at hand? How is the problem solved? (Esp consider vs. 18) what do you learn about how Jesus takes care of problems that concern Him? What sort of man is this Jesus?  
 

Applying yourself to this message: 
Do you have observations/concerns for this world and/or the people in it? How/where do you think your concerns align with the heart of God? What do you learn from this story about how your concern might be addressed to Jesus' liking? 

What does Jesus' display of compassion in this story mean to you personally? How do you experience and know His compassion for YOU? 

What Sort of Man: Feed My Sheep

Sermon Preparation Guide for John 21:15-19

Use however much of this guide is helpful to you in engaging with the passage to be preached on this coming Sunday [October 11]. Our goal is that you get to meet directly with God and hear from Him before hearing from anyone else about what God wants to tell you through His word. 

Getting to know you:

What's the most abundant breakfast you can remember eating? 

 

Getting to know the bible:

Read John 21.15-19. What strikes you? What questions does it make you wonder about? 

 

Pull back. Read the passage but this time begin at verse 1 (aka John 21:1-19). What strikes you this time? What questions does it make you wonder about? 

 

What do you learn about the sort of man Jesus is?

 

Pull back even further. Read John 13:34-38. Now re-read John 21:15-19. What do you learn about the heart of Christ? How does He desire us to respond to who He is? 

 

Applying myself to this message: 

How would you answer Jesus' question to Peter? How would Christ respond to your answer? 

 

Consider an area in your life where God is asking for your obedience or service. What resources are you using to accomplish this work? 

 

Where does the food come from that they eat for breakfast in this story?  When God calls us to do a great work of obedience, where does the strength/supply/power come from to get the job done? 

 

How might this passage shape how you understand your partnership with Christ as you follow Him in obedience? 

What Sort of Man: Pt. 2 Tempted

We're starting off our second decade as a church by spending some time getting to know Jesus even better. Use these study guides on your own to prepare for sermons and to discuss in our Community Under Development, which meets Wednesday nights at 7pm at the church office.

Getting to Know you:

What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done because you were hungry? 

 

Getting to know the bible:

1) What state do you think you'd be in after going without food for 1 day? How about 40 days? What state do you expect Jesus to be in after going without food for 40 days?

 

2) Read Luke 4:1-5

What strikes you? 

 

3) Read Deuteronomy 8. 

Deuteronomy 8 heeds the Israelites to remember and obey. What are the Israelites told to remember? What do youobserve about the type of obedience the Lord expects from them? 

 

4) what is similar between these two passages? 

 

5) how do Luke 4 and Deuteronomy 8 help you answer, "what sort of man is this Jesus?" 

 

Applying myself to this message:

6) What do you feel like you are entitled to that you currently have or think you should have? (Rights, privileges, possessions, etc. be specific). Take another minute, get honest and thoughtful. Try to answer the question again. Based on how Jesus behaves in Luke 4:1-5, how would you describe his sense of entitlement ?  What do you learn about him and yourself in this comparison? How might you thank or praise Christ for who He is?

 

7) Luke 4:4 quotes Deuteronomy 8, "Man shall not live on bread alone.'" What do you live on? On what do you rely to getby from day to day? How is that different from what God was trying to teach the Israelites in the dessert? How is that different from how Jesus faced the temptation of Satan in his state of hunger and vulnerability? 

 

Consider picking one "bread" (one thing you rely on to get by from day to day) and try resisting using it for one day, maybe one week, and as you struggle with that temptation, meditate on Christ as a man who knows that struggle withyou, and as the God that supplies your source of life (Deuteronomy 8:3 - maybe even read/recite/memorize this verse in place of consuming your "bread"). 

 

For further Reading:
Hebrews 5.7-9

Hebrews 4.14-16

Ephesians 4:17-27

Getting to Know You: What is your favorite commercial?

Getting to Know the Bible:

1)    Read Ephesians 4:17-27.

a.     What strikes you?

b.     What encourages you?

c.     What challenges you?

2)    How have you learned and been taught Christ that is in contrast to the blindness described in verses 17-19?

3)    Read Ephesians 4:14-15.

a.     How are verses 17-24 and expansion on the same point as verses 14-15 of chapter 4?

Applying Myself to This Message:

What is one way in which you need to “put off the old” right now, and be renewed, putting on the “new man”?

Sermon Prep: Ephesians 4:25-32

Getting to Know You: What is one bad habit you’ve managed to break? What motivated you to do so?  

 

Getting to Know the Bible:

1)    In verses 25-27, what do you learn about

a.     speaking truth to one another

b.     b) anger?

2)    This is not just a simple do and don’t list. It gives a helpful picture of WHY behaviors are to be removed ~ and replaced. What are those pictures?

a.     What does that tell you about God’s instructions? Purposes?  

3)    Consider the call to forgiveness here. [vs. 32] What do you learn about forgiveness? Try re-reading the whole chapter with forgiveness in mind. Who might you need to forgive? How does this scripture empower you to do so?

Applying Myself to This Message:

What would happen if we headed these instructions?

How would you be more complete?

How would the Body of Christ function better?

Ephesians 4:7-16 Sermon Prep

Getting to Know You:

1)    Consider your childhood, what was a trick, lie, false story someone was able to get you to believe?

2)    Describe a time and place when you felt like you truly belonged.

 

Getting to Know the Bible:

Read Ephesians 4:7-16

1)    Does anything feel contradictory or confusing on your first reading? Spend an extra few minutes [or come back to it at least once on another day] praying about that and thinking through what doesn’t seem simple to understand.

2)    Read verse 8. This is a reference back to Psalm 68:18. Take a look at that verse. What is different about how it is quoted here in Ephesians? What do you make of the difference?

3)    What does Christian maturity look like? When and how can it be reached? Who needs to be involved for it to be achieved? [extra credit: per the phrase in vs. 13 “until we all attain . . .” for more on this read Hebrews 11. How does it make you feel to consider that the people mentioned there are waiting to experience glory until you can join them?!?]

4)    Read verses 14 and 15. How doe these two verses present contrasting pictures? Whose well-being is prioritized by the forces moving the children [cunning men in verse 14] versus the maturing Christians [Christian brothers and sisters in vs. 15]?

5)    Read verse 16. Describe what it looks like or means for the Body of Christ to undergo bodily growth. How does this happen? What are/will things be like when this does happen?

6)    What do you learn about God from this passage?

7)    Still can’t get enough? I know! This is so good!! ;) Read the book of Colossians. Highlight where you see inspiration that might have been used to write this passage in Ephesians. How does this enhance your insight on the message of the passage?

 

How Do I Apply Myself to This Message?

Verse 11 describes some of the gifts God has given the Body of Christ, namely, ministers to serve it and equip us to be built up in maturity. How have you been built up by Christian ministers/brothers/sisters? Are you living in a way that makes good use of those gifts?

 

Read 1 Corinthians 13. How are you doing you part in building our group up in love? Do you use your gifts to do so? If you don’t feel you are doing that, how might you?

 

Read verse 15. Work on memorizing this verse. As you commit the words to memory, meditate on the meaning and instruction. Consider how you can internalize this command and live it out.  

 

Ephesians 4:1-10 Sermon Prep

Getting to Know You: What is something about yourself that you like best that makes you unique?

Getting to Know the Bible:

Read Ephesians 4:1-10

1)    What does it look like to “to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (hint: vs. 2-3)?

 

Gifts: Unity BUT Diversity                                                               Read Ephesians 4:1-7

2)    What does it look like to be “completely humble and gentle?” When have you seen it? (vs. 2)

 

3)    What unifies us as Christians? (vs. 4-6) What diversifies us as Christians? (vs. 7) Why would God introduce diversity into something He wants to be unified? How is this an exhibition of grace towards us?

 

4)    What do our gifts from Christ have to do with Christ filling all things? (vs. 10)

 

Gifts where there used to be Law                                           Read Ephesians 4:8-10

“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the letter (of the Law) kills, but the (Holy) Spirit gives life.”

~2 Corinthians 3:6

 

5)    In these verses, Paul alludes to Moses “coming down” with the 10 commandments (see Exodus 20; Psalm 68:18). What’s different about receiving the 10 commandments and receiving the gifts of Christ through the Holy Spirit?

 

How do I Apply Myself to This Message?

How well are you currently doing at leading “a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called”? What is one thing you could start doing differently this week to be doing better?

 

In specific observance of your day today, how do you see an example and experience the gift of Christ’s grace that He has given to each of us?

Ephesians Series Resumed

May 31: Potluck Sunday

Read all of Ephesians Chapter 4

1)    Read the chapter again and identify which three words ring out to you as important when you read this chapter? [try readying through and circling key words as you go]

2)    Read the chapter again [this might be on a separate day from the above] and identify at least one verse that you could underline in this chapter that brings you encouragement or hope?

a.     Consider trying to memorize this verse over the course of this next month’s sermon series. Write it out and post it somewhere you will see it often – a mirror, car dashboard, on the back of your phone.

3)    Read the chapter again and identify at least one verse that you would highlight as raising a challenge or question for you?

a.     How would you state that question? [ex: What does he mean when he says . . . ? Why is it so hard for me to apply . . . ? How can it be this way and that way at the same time? How to I reconcile myself to the fact that the Bible says . . . ?] Hold onto that question, find the bold courage to wrestle with it. Listen closely to the upcoming sermon series to see if your question is addressed from the pulpit. [consider even contacting Zoë Reyes [zoefaithreyes@gmail.com] or Dan Wells to share your question] Pay close attention to your quiet times of prayer and study over the sermon prep and community group discussion to see if God offers you insight to either answer or help your revise your question. At the end of the series, see where you stand, how you feel about the question you’ve articulated. If you’re in a community group, consider making a point of circling back around to these questions with each other at the end of the series.  

Game Changer: Setbacks

Getting to Know You: Consider and describe a time when you were pursuing a goal [advancing your career, trying to provide for yourself/family, developing a creation] and experienced a setback of some kind.

 

Getting to Know the Bible:

1)    Read Acts 16:16-40

a.     What strikes you?

b.     How was the woman with the spirit of divination serving to advance her masters? How was this woman serving to advance Paul? Why would Paul make the counter-intuitive choice to free her of the spirit within her?

c.     In addition to freeing this woman of the spirit within her, what other setbacks did Paul embrace? How was the Kingdom of God advanced by Paul’s setbacks?

2)    Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

a.     What strikes you?

b.     How is embracing Christ a setback to Christians? How is Christ’s resurrection a Game Changer in terms of pursuing our own goals? Considering setbacks?  

 

How Do I Apply Myself to This Message?

Many of us see setbacks as a hindrance but Paul sees them as opportunities.  How can we learn to see our setbacks with eyes of faith?