9/25/16

Committed with the Message

9/25/16

Description:Questions for discussion:1.Growing up, did you ever imagine having adventures, being a secret agent, winning the game, saving the world? What happened to those dreams and adventures as we grow up?2.Why do you think so many people think that being a Christian (or becoming a Christian) means you put the lid on life and don’t have any fun or sense of excitement? Has that been your experience?3.Why do you think God has left us here on the earth? How would you answer that question if someone asked you? Do you live in light of the answer you gave?4.Read verse 16-17. Paul says we see people with a new perspective now. (hint: read v. 14) What does that look like for you during the week?5.What does it mean to you that God has entrusted you with his message of reconciliation? How does that change how you live your life?6.What is one assignment this week God may be inviting you into, to share his message of reconciliation? Who might that person be? What is one thing you can do to demonstrate Christ’s love to him/her.

9/18/16

Compelled by Christ's Love

9/18/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Share a recent or funny story where you totally thought you were doing something right, only to find out you were doing it wrong!2. Read 2nd Corinthians 5:9-11. If someone stopped reading here, what might someone think our motivation as Christ-followers ought to be for sharing our faith and living for God? Why would that be a wrong mindset?3. Read verses 12-13. What does Paul say is more important than outward appearances, and why? Have you ever had an experience where someone thought you were crazy for living and following Christ the way you do? How did you respond? 4. Read verses 14-15. A false religion based on self-righteousness, judgmentalism, guilt, shame, fear, duty, or obligation are all the wrong motivations for being a Christ-follower and sharing the good news. Have you ever been falsely motivated by one these mindsets? How did you recognize that, and how did you change that mindset?5. Look at the 3 bullet questions above. Answer each of those based personally on your life right now. What attitudes, actions, or behaviors need to change this week to make things right in the goal of becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ? As a group, pray for these things.

8/21/16

Feed the Hungry

8/21/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What part of the message struck you the most? Why?2. What did you learn about Jesus? God? People?3. In what way(s) might God be calling you to follow Jesus this week? For accountability, tell one person about this step.4. How might your life look different if you followed Jesus’ path consistently?

8/7/16

Servant Lives

8/7/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What part of the message struck you the most? Why?2. What did you learn about Jesus? God? People?3. In what way(s) might God be calling you to follow Jesus this week? For accountability, tell one person about this step.4. How might your life look different if you followed Jesus’ path consistently?

7/10/16

Our Way vs. Jesus' Way

7/10/16

Description:How are you currently struggling in ways that are not your cross as Jesus defines it?How might you currently pick up your cross?What could you give up in order to deny yourself and the things of this world?Spend some time examining the link between self denial, bearing your cross and salvation. What do you find? What will you do about it?Pray and consider how losing your life could be life giving for you and those in your sphere of influence.

6/26/16

Dinner with the Lost

6/26/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What part of the message struck you the most? Why?2. What did you learn about Jesus? God? People?3. In what way(s) might God be calling you to follow Jesus this week? For accountability, tell one person about this step.4. How might your life look different if you followed Jesus’ path consistently?

6/12/16

Baptism

6/12/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What part of the message struck you the most? Why?2. What did you learn about Jesus? God? People?3. In what way(s) might God be calling you to follow Jesus this week? For accountability, tell one person about this step.4. How might your life look different if you followed Jesus’ path consistently?

6/5/16

Prayer Leads to Direction

6/5/16

Description:Questions for Reflection:What stuck out to you?What further questions does it raise?What does it say about Jesus?How will you respond personally?With whom / how can you share this?

5/8/16

Josiah: Your past does not need to determine your future.

5/8/16

Description:Questions for discussion:1. Would you say you come from a crazy family? What would be some of the more crazy things about your family of origin? 2. Going forward, if there was one thing you could leave behind from your family growing up, what would it be?3. Read 2 Chronicles 34:1-2. Why do you suppose Josiah was able to change so much, having come from such an evil family?4. What is one area of your life you need God’s word to have authority, if you are going to see a change in your family?5. In verses 3-7 Josiah essentially repents for the sins of his fathers and makes drastic changes. Is there anything you need to repent of from your family if God is going to change you going forward? 6. Which step that Josiah took most resonates with you? Is there something you can do in your life to emulate or imitate that step?7. Is part of your past keeping you from the life which God has for you? Can you commit that area to prayer and ask God to help you change?

4/17/16

Ephesians 2:8-10

4/17/16

Description:Questions for Discussion:1. Share some awards, trophies, or medals you have won at any stage of your life. What was required on your part to earn those? Thinking about those awards, how did they make you feel, both when you received them, and now? 2. Read Ephesian 2:8-9. How is the message of the gospel different than receiving an earned reward? Why does it need to be different? If we can’t ‘earn’ salvation, explain why we can’t dis-earn it either. Now read Eph 2:10. Why do you think it was important for Paul to say what he did in verse 8-9 before he wrote verse 10? 3. Have you ever made the case (or heard someone else make the case) that you are a “good person?” How and why? Have you ever tried to leverage your “works” with God? Why? 4. For you personally, what is it that you need salvation from? As followers of Christ, corporately, what is it that we need salvation for? 5. Explain how you have truly received salvation by God’s grace. How would you demonstrate evidence of this? 6. God saved us not only from something but for something. Do you see yourself as God’s workmanship? Even more, can you see yourself as God’s beautiful poem? If so, what good works do you believe God has specifically called you to? What step might you take this week towards living in the understanding that God has saved you FROM works, FOR works?

4/10/16

Ephesians 2:4-7

4/10/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Why do you think people so often want to escape into other stories such as films and movies? What are they looking for?2. Read Ephesians 2:4-7. Why is this story greater than any story you might see in entertainment?3. Read verses 4-5. How do you understand the love of God? How have you experienced it in your life? How do you long to experience it still?4. These verses talk about three aspects of God’s character: love, mercy, and grace? Discuss how you would define each of these. What do these character traits tell you about God and how he has acted on our behalf?5. According to these verses what part do we play in our salvation? What part does God play? What might that mean for each one of us?6. Read verses 6-7. Essentially what Paul is saying is that those who have come alive in Christ are trophies of God’s grace on display in an eternal trophy case to all creation. How does that make you feel? What difference does that make for you on Monday at work?

4/3/16

Ephesians 2:1-3

4/3/16

Description:Questions for Discussion/Reflection:1. As you've been on your journey towards knowing Christ, how has your view of yourself and your action, changed? Have your views changed at all?2. What do we say to ourselves to justify our sins?3. Why is it so hard to view ourselves as holy?4. After we come to an understanding of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, how should this change how we view our sin?5. Why is it so important to know our heart condition before we put our trust in Christ?

3/20/16

Ephesians 1:19-23

3/20/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Who is your favorite fictional hero and why?2. Which do you think would be worse: for your favorite fictional superhero to not realize their strengths or to not use them? Why?3. The phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility” is not a new concept. Why do you think this statement is true?4. Read Ephesians 1:17-23. In verse 19 Paul prays that the Ephesians would know God’s incomparably great power to us who believe. Would you say that you are included in those “who believe?” If so, what does this then mean for you?5. Which of the above three implications of God’s power (past, present and future) do you most connect with and why? Least connect with and why?6. As the head of the body, Jesus fills His Church. The Church, in turn seems to be responsible for also filling everything in every way. If you are part of the Church, what is one way that you do not live in light of God’s power in you?7. What is one specific way you could demonstrate that you live in light of God’s power this week?

3/13/16

Ephesians 1:15-18

3/13/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. If you listened to the message on Sunday what was your reaction? What did you like or not like? What did you learn?2. When/if you pray for someone what do you typically pray for that person? What are some of the things you ask God for?3. WHY do we pray for the things we do? What do our prayers for others reflect about the values & priorities in us? Are they necessarily Kingdom values, what God wants to see accomplished in that person?4. Read Ephesians 1:15-18. What kind of things does Paul pray for the Ephesian believers? What does that reflect about Paul & his priorities? What are some other things that you notice in Paul's prayer?5. In Paul's mind, there is a war raging around us & in the world between the Kingdom of God & the rulers & authorities of this dark world & the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens (See: Ephesians 6:12-18). How does this prayer reflect the nature of this conflict? How does praying a prayer like Paul prays here function as a rebellion of sorts against God's enemy?6. Who is one person you can pray this prayer for every day this week ?

3/6/16

Ephesians 1:11-14

3/6/16

Description:Questions: 1. Share a story where you were not chosen for something and how that made you feel. Share a story where you were chosen for something and how that made you feel. 2. Read Eph 1:13-14. What does this say is required of us to be 'in Christ' and a part of God's family? What do you think of when you read the words: included, sealed, promised, and guaranteed? How does this help us against false feelings of being 'not chosen' by God? 3. If you have children (and even if they're not making the best choices in life right now) describe your love for them. With this in mind, how do you think this compares with God's love for us, His children in Christ? 4. Have you inherited anything from family (if so, what)? Why do you think this was given to you? What do we inherit from being in God's family? Why is this given to us? 5. Quick thoughts: What do you do with coffee? [drink it] What do you do with a burger? [eat it] What do you do with paint? [paint with it] What do you do with a shirt [wear it] What are these questions getting at? Our main idea for the morning was: 'In Christ you are chosen & sealed for His praise & glory. Now live for His praise & glory.' What is the purpose of our being chosen & sealed? What are some ways that you can live for His praise & glory this week?

2/28/16

Ephesians 1:7-10

2/28/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Does redemption and forgiveness hold significance in your everyday life with the people around you? If not, what do you think that says about your walk with God?2. Have you ever experienced being lavished or lavishing someone else; going so over the top? Do you regularly think about Christ’s forgiveness in this way?3. Have you ever believed that lie that you are unqualified to share in His forgiveness?4. What does it mean to you to be qualified, if anything at all? If nothing comes to mind, relate it back to a job or even if you were in an interview for a job; from there what do you think it means to be qualified ‘In Him?’5. Why is it so hard for people to be able to forgive one another, especially yourself if this is an aspect of your life where you might be struggling?

2/21/16

Ephesians 1:3-6

2/21/16

Description:Questions for Reflections:1. Share any memories you have of when you and your spouse (or significant other) had a DTR. What emotions, insecurities, or anxiety did you have during that time? :)2. Have you ever experienced or are you currently experiencing “spiritual anxiety?” How would you describe it? How does that play out in your life? 3. If two of the major responses to spiritual anxiety are “being religious” and “running away from God”, which of these two have you found yourself more often doing? Why??4. Of the four spiritual blessings mentioned in Ephesians 1:3-6 (holiness, blamelessness, adoption, and grace), which sound like the best blessing to you and why? Which of these four blessings might you struggle most to grasp and why?5. If you knew that God had chosen you in Christ to receive all these blessings, and that He was pleased to do it, how might this change the way that you view God? Yourself?6. Knowing that, in Christ, you are a loved, blameless, and chosen son or daughter of God, and that He has blessed you with everything you need for this day, this season, and any trial you face, how might you respond and relate to Jesus differently this week?

2/14/16

2/14/16

Description:For security reasons, the message will not be posted. Reflections questions are:1. Where were you on 9/11, 2001? What was your reaction and emotions to the events of that day?2. What is your attitude in general towards Muslims? Toward Muslim fundamentalist? Have you ever met a Muslim? What was that like for you?3. Read 1 Chronicles 11:23. How did Nabeel apply that to today and 9/11? How perhaps has God used the events of that day for HIS purposes?4. Read Jonah 4:2-3. How might our attitudes towards Muslims be like that of Jonah? According to Nabeel, what is the main point of the book of Jonah?5. Read Deuteronomy 9:13-14. How is this a picture of prayer? What would it look like for us to pray for Muslims in this way? Make a plan to try to pray in this way sometime during the week.

2/7/16

Ephesians 1:1-2

2/7/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What are some of your favorite movies that have the topic of finding or embracing identity? What do you like about those movies?2. When you typically think about your personally identity, what are some things you might typically refer to? What things do you think God thinks of when he considers your identity? 3. Describe a time in your life when someone negatively projected an identity to you that you still remember. (ex. “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t tied on.”) Describe a time when someone positively projected an identity to you. (ex. “You’ve got great leadership skills.”) How did either of those situations affect you, both at the time, and even today?4. Read Ephesians 1:1. What identity does God put on us when we place our faith in Jesus Christ? How is this identity achieved, and how is it not achieved?5. In Christ, God considers us holy & faithful saints. How do you explain that to a non-believer without sounding arrogant (and what keeps us from arrogance)?6. As you have pursued and discovered Jesus, what have you learned about yourself? Are there things in your past or present that keep you from embracing and living out your identity in Christ? If so, what are those things and how do you believe that God looks upon that when you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ?7. Consider this statement: Believing the identity God gives us in Jesus Christ should lead to living out our identity that God gives us in Jesus Christ. Why is this important not to get backwards? What difference does this make in our lives? What is one way you can apply this statement to your life this week.

1/31/16

Humility

1/31/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What are some regular acts of selfishness you personally see on a daily or weekly basis? What have been some of the worst demonstrations of pride & selfishness that you’ve personally seen. How did you respond to those situations? What are some of the best acts of selflessness and serving that you’ve seen or experienced? How did that make you feel?2. Have you ever had to work through and resolve disunity? (home, workplace, church?) How did these situations resolve back toward unity?3. Read Philippians 1-5. In these verses, what is Paul calling us to draw upon in order to do the things we’re called to do? What is the source of those motivators, and why is that important?4. Have you ever been guilty of selfish ambition, vein conceit, or empty glory? If so, what has God taught you (or changed in you) through that situation? How have you demonstrated (or someone demonstrated to you) an act or life-style of putting others before oneself, or considering others better than oneself?5. Read Philippians 6-11. What are some of the things these verses say about Jesus? What attitude’s does Paul want us to ’take on?’ (hint: the blanks on back of the handout)6. What are some practical ways, this week, that (in your job, in your home, with your neighbors, to your spouse/parents/children, etc.) you can become less self-focused, and more humble in character, serving of others, and obedient to Christ? (Ask your group members to keep you accountable and to ask you about this throughout the week, or at your next meeting!

1/24/16

Perseverance

1/24/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What is the hardest thing you have ever had to endure? What specifically helped you to persevere through that difficulty?2. How do you think you were changed by that experience? Was it for the better or for worse?3. Kelly Clarkson sings a popular phrase: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Do you agree with that or not, why or why not?4. Read James 1:2-4. What is James’ take on persevering through suffering? According to him, what is the result of perseverance? 5. Read Romans 5:2-4. Notice the progression in verses 3-4. What does it all begin with? What does perseverance lead to? What do you think this means?6. In our culture are we concerned about character? Why or why not? What aspect of ourselves do you think God is more concerned with?7. What is one thing in your life right now, you need God’s perspective and help to persevere through?

1/17/16

Compasion

1/17/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Have you ever had an experience where you were compassionless to a situation and later had remorse after coming to experience that same situation? (Dan’s milk story)2. Describe when you’ve seen great suffering. What was that like? Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. God is described as the Father of compassion. How do you react when God is described this way, and how do you reconcile this with the great suffering you’ve seen?3. Describe a time when you needed to be comforted. What was that like for you? Share a time when you feel that you showed compassion to someone else. Why did you do that? 4. When have you recently found yourself guilty of being callous or hard-hearted to a difficult situation in someone’s life? Describe a time you found yourself guilty of ‘keeping arms length,’ ‘being too quick to give advice,’ ‘one upping,’ ‘looking for silver linings,’ or just avoiding comforting someone in need or suffering. Why was this the case and what could you have done differently?5. Who is one person that you can comfort this week with the comfort that you have received from God though Christ?

1/10/16

Contentment

1/10/16

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What New Years’ Resolutions have you made and why?2. In what ways did you witness (or personally experience) discontent this past Christmas? Why?3. Looking at the above notes, what, in your own life has gone from a want, to a need to a right? Why do you think that is? In what ways does this thing cause discontentment in your life?4. Paul says in Phil. 4:11 that he has learned to be content in any and every situation. What might be one way that you could intentionally change your circumstances to try to learn contentment in the next week or month?5. Read Philippians 4:13. Paul reveals here the “secret” to contentment. Give one example of how this secret could bring real and practical contentment in your own life?6. In what ways do you seek contentment by your own “self-sufficiency”? In what ways do you need to replace this self-sufficiency with “Christ-sufficiency”?

1/3/16

Repentance

1/3/16

Description:Questions for Discussion/Reflection:1. How do you usually respond when someone points out a blind spot to you? How has this happened in the past? Share a story.2. Why do you suppose owning up to faults and failures is so hard to do? What is the upside to doing that?3. Mike said “repentance is the doorway to the life which God has in store for us.” Do you agree with this or not? Why?4. Read Luke 3:7-9. What were the Jews putting their security in? Why was that false security? What could we be putting our false security in?5. Read Luke 3:10-14. John gives them some very practical things to actually DO. What would John say to US today? What would he have us DO?6. What is one thing you would like God to change in you in 2016? Have the group pray for that one thing.

12/20/15

For Yonder Breaks a New & Glorious Morn

12/20/15

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What are some of the most memorable Christmas presents you’ve gotten over all your life? What made them special? What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?2. Describe a time in your life when you have sung the loudest or shouted with the most joy (outside of a Christian context). What was the context and why did you do so? Could you ever imagine singing or shouting about God like you did then? Why or why not?3. Describe a time in your life when you have sung the loudest or shouted with the most joy in a Christian context. What was that like and why did sing out in that way?4. What judgments or punishments (see Zeph.3:15) would you most want God to take away from you? How would that make you feel if those punishments or judgments were removed? Read Zephaniah3:17. Are the actions of God here easy for you to believe or difficult? Why? 5. With your group, as best as you can, recall the words to O Holy Night. After going through Zephaniah, in what ways do the words take on a new level of depth for you?6. What might be one way this week that you can sing, shout, or rejoice about what God has done in sending Christ as the mighty warrior who saves?

12/13/15

The Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices

12/13/15

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Do you ever feel weary & just completely out of energy?Have you ever gotten to the point that you are so tired that you just want to give up?2. Do you find yourself like Judah, where you have tried to live for God but have found yourself failing and in shame? Or do you see the thrill of hope, that only comes from God, play an active role in your life?3. What actions are needed to move forward in your relationship with God? Is it the need of repentance or humility? Do you need to strive for a righteous life? Or rather do you simply need to seek the Lord in a more intimate way?

12/6/15

Long Lay the World, in Sin and Error Pining

12/6/15

Description:Questions for discussion:1. When you think of "hopelessness" or "darkness", what story/book/film best conveys these in your opinion? Why?2. "Long lay the world, in sin and error pining..." In what ways can you relate to this verse of "O Holy Night"? In what ways are you pining? What things / circumstances / relationships are you pining for and why?3. Read Zephaniah 1:4-6. In what ways do you find yourself guilty of some of the same accusations that God makes to the people of Judah?4. In what ways do you struggle with the idea of God's judgment and why? In what ways do you agree with the idea of God's judgment and why?5. One of Zephaniah's chief indictments against the people of Judah was spiritual complacency. They did not seek the Lord, nor inquire of Him (v. 6). In what ways might you be indicted for spiritual complacency as well?6. Read Luke 1:67-79. How does the birth of Jesus change the way we might see Zephaniah chapter 1?7. Read Zephaniah 2:1-3. What glimmers of hope do you find there as you prepare for next week? In what ways might you respond to this text this week?

11/29/15

Justice

11/29/15

Description:Questions for Reflectdion1. What are some of the injustices in the world that really upset you and why?2. When have you personally experienced an injustice? What was that like for you?3. Describe a time when you were guilty of doing something wrong. Were you hoping for justice or mercy in this instance? Why?4. The irony in our desire for justice is that it is one directional. We don’t really want justice when we are guilty. How have you seen this to be true?5. In order for God to be loving, He has to be just. In what ways do you either agree or disagree? How does this apply personally to your life?6. In the courtroom scene that was described, how do you imagine it playing out if you are sitting in the defendant’s chair?7. Read John 3:36. How does this sentence line up with the trajectory of God’s theme of justice throughout Scripture? Where do you personally stand with this sentence?8. What is one way that you can extend forgiveness to another human being made in God’s image this week? What is one way you can join in seeking God’s loving justice against evil this week?

11/22/15

The Presence fo God

11/22/15

Description:APOLOGIES THAT THE INTRO TO DAN'S MESSAGE WAS NOT RECORDED.Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. What are some of the things that distract you most in life (obligations, fun things, challenges, technology, etc)? How do these things affect your relationship with God and your ability to feel His presence? 2. After hearing bad news, have you ever asked the question “where is God”? How have you answered this previously? How might you answer this question now (different? same?)?3. What were some of the things that made God’s temple special in the Old Testament? What did the temple allow the God’s people to do? Read John 1:14. What was so special about Jesus “dwelling” among us. 4. Share a time or experience where you prayed for, or longed for, Jesus’ presence to be physically in your life (to talk to, learn from, lean on, etc). Read John 16:5-7. How does these verses make you feel? Do you believe what Jesus says? Why does it feel hard to believe this at times?5. Share a time where you personally felt God’s presence in your life. What was that like? What difference did that experience make in your life? Though the feelings fade, what are some ways to live as though we are in God’s presence all of the time?6. Read 1 Cor. 3:16 and 6:19-20. As God’s temple in the world, what are some ways we can honor God with our lives? What are some ways we can shine God’s light into the darkness?

11/15/15

World Fest Sunday

11/15/15

Description:Questions for Reflection1. What did you like/not like about Todd’s talk? What struck you?2. Have you ever asked yourself what is the purpose of my life? How have you tried to answer that question? How do the scriptures answer that question?3. Read Psalm 46:10. Why do we only focus on/hear about the first part of that verse? What does the second half talk about? Who is God's primary focus ultimately? What implications does that have for us?4. Have the group look up the following verses: Deuteronomy 4:5-6; Exodus 9:16; 1 Samuel 17:45-46; Psalm 46:10; Habakkuk 2:14; Malachi 1:11; Isaiah 49:6. What is the theme of all of these verses? Claude said there are over 2,000 verses like this in scripture. What do you think that reflects?5. Why do we not get this? Why are we resistant to this?6. Todd said: when we love someone, we start to love the things that the people we love, love. Do you agree with this? According to the scriptures what does God love? What is he passionate about? Are you passionate about that as well? What does that reflect? What does that tell you about yourself?7. What is one thing you can do to engage in what God is passionate about?

11/8/15

The People of God

11/8/15

Description:Questions for Reflection:1. Have you ever had a funny cross cultural experience? Explain. What made it humorous?2. Read Exodus 19:3-6. What do you suppose it means that the Israelites were to be a Kingdom of Priests? What does a priest do for the people? Who do you think was to be the recipients of Israel’s “ministry” if they were all priests? What do you suppose that looked like?3. The word “holy” in verse six means to be ‘removed from common use; set apart for special treatment.’ What do you think Israel was set apart for? How would they be different from the other nations at that time?4. Read 1 Peter 2:9-12. What does Peter say about believers in Jesus there? What are we to be doing? How is our role similar to the role that Israel played to the world?5. Have you ever thought of yourself as having dual citizenship? What aspects of God’s Kingdom culture are more easy for you? Which ones are more difficult?6. What is one way your group can pray for you as you strive to be God’s unique/chosen/royal/holy person this week? Who is one person you want to better represent the Kingdom to accurately?

11/1/15

Covenant

11/1/15

Description:1. Aside from marriage, what is the most significant promise that you’ve ever made? What made it significant?2. Has someone broken a significant promise they made to you?—what was that like for you? Have you broken a promise?—what was that like for you?3. Do you think you tend to approach God with more of a covenant relationship or a contract relationship? Why? Do you think you tend to approach people with more of a covenant relationship or a contract relationship? Why?4. Read Ephesians 2:8-13; Galatians 3:13-14; and Hebrews 9:11-15. How do each of these texts uniquely reinforce the theme of God’s covenant relationship? 5. Consider this statement: Jesus is the one who kept the conditions of the covenant that we would never keep, so that we might receive the unconditional blessings that we would never deserve. In what ways does your life reflect your belief or disbelief in this idea?6. In what ways does the way you relate to God directly impact the way that you relate to others? If you better understood God’s covenant relationship with you, how might this practically change your relationships with others? Give specific examples.

10/25/15

Redemption

10/25/15

Description:1. Describe a time when you messed up, but found a way to redeem yourself. What was that like for you?2. Describe a time when you messed up but someone else stepped in to fix it for you. What was that like for you?3. What things are you “handcuffed” to in your life? (i.e., things you “have to have, do, be, etc.) Why is that?4. Have you ever received a gift certificate from someone, but failed or forgot to use it before it expired? How did that make you feel?5. Read Romans 3:21-26; Galatians 3:13-14; and Colossians 1:13-14. How do each of these texts uniquely reinforce God’s redemptive thread in Jesus?6. God’s story points us to Jesus as the ultimate redeemer and the cross as the ultimate redemption not just in His story, but in yours. Have you experienced redemption in Jesus? If so, how? If not, why do you think that is the case?7. What is one thing that you need Jesus’ redemption from and how can you seek His redemption this week?8. How can you leverage God’s redemptive story to share the gospel with others in your life this week?

10/18/15

The People of God

10/18/15

Description:1. Have you ever had a funny cross cultural experience? Explain. What made it humorous? 2. Read Exodus 19:3-6. What do you suppose it means that the Israelites were to be a Kingdom of Priests? What does a priest do for the people? Who do you think was to be the recipients of Israel’s “ministry” if they were all priests? 3. The word “holy” in verse six means to be ‘removed from common use; set apart for special treatment.’ What do you suppose Israel was set apart for? How would they be different from the other nations at that time? 4. Read 1 Peter 2:9-12. What does Peter say about believers in Jesus there? What are we to be doing? How is our role similar to the role that Israel played to the world? 5. Have you ever thought of yourself as having dual citizenship? What aspects of God’s Kingdom culture are more easy for you? Which ones are more difficult? 6. What is one way your group can pray for you as you strive to be God’s unique/chosen/royal/holy person this week? Who is one person you want to better represent the Kingdom to accurately?

10/11/15

The Story

10/11/15

Description:1. What are some of your favorite Epic stories? Why do you appreciate them? What makes them so enjoyable or so great?2. Do you ever feel like you are a part of a story that is going somewhere or is your life part of a random existence? Why? 3. Dan said: “Remembering what God has done in the past is vital for living by faith in the future.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement. Why or why not?4. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Does this seem like over-kill? Why or why not? What is God trying to prevent, and why is that important?5. Read Deuteronomy 6:20-24. Who is this addressed to and what did God want them to remember? Why do you suppose God wanted them to remember these things?6. What is your experience in life when you forget the context of your own story; when you forget where you have come from and doubt a certain future? How do you resolve this?7. The message concluded with 4 points of remembrance of God’s story: 1. Remember that God’s laws are good. 2. Remember to study & know God’s Word. 3. Remember to pass down what you’ve seen. 4. Remember to make it public. Which of these are your strongest, and which are your weakest? Why is that? What do you think will need to change in order to fully remember God’s story the way He desires you to?

10/4/15

Deeper in Discipleship

10/4/15

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. When have you been assigned a task you didn’t feel equipped for? What was that like for you?2. Read Luke 9:1-5. If you were one of the disciples how would you feel if Jesus spoke these words to you? Why?3. Do you believe that Jesus has given you His power and authority? In what ways does your life reflect and/or deny this belief?4. The word disciple means “an adherent who accepts the instruction given to him and makes it his conduct.” Based on this definition, in what ways would your life reveal you to be (or not be) a disciple of Jesus? 5. Read Luke 9:6. The disciples obeyed Jesus. Since Jesus calls all disciples to the proclamation of the Kingdom of God by His power and authority, what would verse 6 read if you were one of the disciples? Would you obey? Are you?6. Read Matthew 28:18-20. The call here is for the disciples to make disciples. In what ways are you engaging in the Kingdom mission, equipped by the power and authority of Jesus?

9/27/15

Deeper in Community

9/27/15

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Share a few personal stories of gardening/landscaping and some of the joys, challenges, and/or failings experienced!2. What was mentioned as some wrong reasons to serve? If you were very honest with yourself, what ulterior motives for serving someone else have you found yourself guilty of and how did/has God been working through this in you?3. Read Exodus 34:29-35. What does this reveal about God and His presence? Now read 2 Corinthians 3:7-18. Why do you think both of these passages either align, or does not align with the way you experience and understand God in your own life?4. If Paul refers to the law in terms of the ministry of death, why is it called a ministry and why do we still see it as good?5. To what degree would you say that the veil that Paul speaks of in this text has been removed in your own life and why?6. Paul says that those who follow Jesus “are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus with ever increasing glory...” If you are a follower of Jesus, what evidence of this can you see in your life?7. Paul says in verse 12 of chapter 3, “therefore since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” What is one way that you might be bold in reflecting God’s glory this week?

9/20/15

Deeper in Prayer

9/20/15

Description:Questions for Reflection:1.What has been your experience with prayer? How would you describe your prayer life? Frustrating, mysterious, life-giving, or something else?2.If Jesus was the Son of God, why do you think he prayed? If Jesus prayed consistently, what do you suppose that says about us, God’s adopted children?3.Read Matthew 6:5-15. What are some things Jesus tells us not to do, and what are some things Jesus tells us to do in prayer here? What are some of the things he tells us to ask God about in verses 9-13? How does this compare with the things that you typically ask God for?4. Read 1 John 5:14-15. What is one of the conditions about answered prayer according to John. How would this change our prayer life if we tried to pray in this way? 5. Share any principles or things with the group that has helped you be more consistent in your prayer life?6. What is one thing you could do this week to help you grow in your prayer life?

9/6/15

Small Groups

9/6/15

Description:Questions for Reflection/Discussion:1. Thinking back to a time in your own life when you were isolated, what are some of the thoughts or feelings you experienced?2. What is your definition of community? What specific examples of living in community exist in your own life currently? What opportunities for living in community have you potentially missed out on?3. The effects of David's chosen isolation were devastating. What relational guardrails do you have in place in your life that will help you avoid some of the same mistakes David made?4. Jesus showed us how we should live in community. List some ways in which Jesus overcame the messiness that often comes with living in community.5. How are you currently being discipled? How are you currently discipling others?