Tough as Nails-Part IV

Series: Tough As Nails

Title: Part 4

Date: November 26-27, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Give it away!

Passages: Matthew 27:45-56; John 12:27-28

Discuss It:

·       Do you have any family traditions connected to the Thanksgiving Holiday?

·       Has there ever been a time in your life where you felt abandoned?

·       Read John 12:27-28

·       What did Jesus ask the Father to do? (v. 28)

·       What role should prayer play in times of difficulty?

·       Read Matthew 27:45-56

·       What did Jesus cry out at the ninth hour? (v. 46)

·       How did the Roman Centurion react to the way Jesus died? (v. 54)

·       When God seems distant, Phil recommended the acronym CPR. Which of these have been helpful to you in the past?

o   Company – you’re in good company (Jesus knows)

o   Preach – preach truth to yourself

o   Reflect – recall a time when you did feel God’s presence

·       Which of these do you think might be helpful to you in the future?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Tough as Nails-Part III

Series: Tough As Nails

Title: Part 3

Date: November 19-20, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Give it away!

Passages: Matthew 6:19-24; 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Discuss It:

·       How do you feel about money?

o   It is complicated!

o   Peace

o   Anxiety

o   Stress

o   Joy

o   Etc…

·       How would you describe your relationship to money?

o   I don’t have enough

o   I have too much

o   I have enough

o   Etc...

·       Read Matthew 6:19-24

·       Where are we to store our treasure? (v. 20)

·       What do you think Jesus means by “store up treasures in heaven”?

·       What are some ways to see your resources as connected to heaven or eternity?

·       What does your ‘treasure’ reveal about your heart? (v. 21)

·       How is money and God connected in our life? (v. 24)

·       Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19

·       Where are we to place our hope? (v. 17)

·       What are we encouraged to do? (v. 18)

·       How would you rephrase this command in your own words? (v. 18)

·       For you, what are the obstacles to being more generous and willing to share?

·       What would help you grow in gratitude and generosity?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Tough as Nails-Part II

Series: Tough As Nails

Title: Part 2

Date: November 12-13, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

Do not resist and evil person. Love your enemies. Give up your right to be offended.

Passages: Matthew 5:38-47; Ephesians 31-32

Discuss It:

·       What is appealing about anger or rage?

·       Read Matthew 5:38-47

·       How did Jesus say we should respond to people who do us evil? (v. 39)

·       How did Jesus say we should treat our enemies? (v. 44)

·       How would you summarize Jesus’ words in your own words?

·       Read Ephesians 31-32

·       Phil stated, “Anger seems to be regarded as a virtue among followers of Jesus.” What comes to mind as you think about this statement?

·       When attempting the difficult task of loving your enemies, which of these responses resonates with you?

o   I don’t want to

o   My effort comes up short

o   I learn to really on God

·       For you, what are the obstacles to loving your enemies or being less angry?

·       In what ways might your life look differently if your forfeited your right to being angry and offended?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Tough as Nails-Part I

Series: Tough As Nails

Title: Part 1

Date: November 5-6, 2016

Speaker: Peter Barber

 

Big Idea:

Do not worry.

Passages: Matthew 6:25-34

Discuss It:

·       If/when you worry, how do you express it or how does it effect you? (For example: Mental worry – Thinking about ‘what if’ and worst-case scenario? Physical reactions – eating, drinking, finding release, etc.? Emotional reaction – ignore it, discouraged, angry, etc.? Other?)

·       What was the last thing that you worried about? (money, work, relationships, health, spouse, kids, image, other?)

·       What do you think your worry reveals about your devotions?

·       Matthew 6:25-34

·       What do we learn from the birds and flowers?

·       How is worry living like a non-believer (pagan)?

·       What are we to seek? What does this look like for you?

·       Brainstorm as a group: What are some creative and practical ways to shift your focus or deal with worry?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Fixer Upper-Part IV

Series: Fixer Upper

Title: Part 4

Date: October 29-30, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

Passages: 1 Peter 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Discuss It:

·       What qualities do you associate with love?

·       Who is a loving person you know? Why do you think so?

·       Read 1 Peter 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

·       What do you think the author means by “love covers over a multitude of sins”?

·       What do we gain if we don’t have love? (v. 3)

·       Have you ever seen someone who was very gifted, but did not love well? Did it change the way you thought about them?

·       Of the qualities listed for love, which ones stand out to you and why?

·       For you, what is challenging about loving in a way that resembles all these characteristics?

·       What are some practical ways that you could grow in some of the qualities of love?

·       Who is someone that you could show love to this week?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Fixer Upper-Part III

Series: Fixer Upper

Title: Part 3

Date: October 22-23, 2016

Speaker: Steve Garcia

 

Big Idea:

If I want to impact my family…think Intentional not Additional

Passages: Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Discuss It:

·       What are some creative ways you have seen families grow in their faith or encourage family traditions?

·       Read Deuteronomy 6:1-12

·       What command are the Israelites told to obey? (v. 5)

·       In what ways is Israel encouraged to engage God’s commands? (v. 6-9)

·       What are some practical ways you can engage and remember God’s command?

·       What verse or thought stands out to you?

o   Why is it significant to you?

o   How would you restate it in your own words?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result of this passage?

o   What challenges do you anticipate in making the change, if any?

o   What would help to support the change or make it easier?No

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Fixer Upper-Part II

Series: Fixer Upper

Title: Part 2

Date: October 15-16, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

A family culture isn’t defined by decisions, posters, or proclamations. It is defined by daily behavior. Serve others, not your own selfish desires.

Passages: Galatians 5:13; Romans 7:21-8:2; Philippians 2:5-7, 14-15

Discuss It:

·       When was the last time you had a squabble with a family member?

·       Read Philippians 2:1-11

·       What four qualities mark unity with Christ? (v. 1)

·       What did Paul say about self-centeredness? (v. 3-4)

·       How would you restate this in your own words?

·       How is Jesus an example of humility and unselfishness for us? (v. 6-8)

·       How does Jesus’ example of humility challenge our natural self-centeredness?

·       Read Galatians 5:13

·       How should we use the freedom we have in Jesus? (v. 13)

·       What practical steps can you take this week to demonstrate humility and serve someone else?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Fixer Upper-Part I

Series: Fixer Upper

Title: Part 1

Date: October 8-9, 2016

Speaker: Geoff Surratt

 

Big Idea:

To change our family we have to change our words. To change our words we have to change our hearts. To change our hearts we have to change our treasure.

Passages: James 3:5-6, Proverbs 17:21, Ephesians 4:29, Luke 6:45

Discuss It:

·       Who do you see as the model family growing up? (Either someone you knew or someone you saw in a movie or on tv)

·       Read James 3:5-6

·       Why was James so concerned about the tongue? When have you experienced the detrimental power of the tongue?

·       Read Proverbs 17:21

·       How do words bring life? How do words bring death?

·       Read Ephesians 4:29

·       What do you think the author means by “unwholesome talk”? What types of talk would you categorize as unwholesome?

·       Was the talk in your family growing up more “unwholesome” or “beneficial”?

·       Who have you known who does a good job of building people up with their words?

·       In Luke 6:45 Jesus said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

·       In what ways does the treasury of your heart need to change? How can you make these changes?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

 

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Those are not my people-Part IV

Series: Those Are Not My People

Title: Part 4

Date: October 1-2, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

Those are my people! Ever person I meet bears the image of God.

Passage: John 13:34-35; Galatians 2:11-21

Discuss It:

·       Have you ever considered ending a friendship out of fear that your friendship and love for them will condone their behavior? What was that like?

·       Read John 13:34-35 and Galatians 5:6

·       How would you summarize or restate these verses in your own words?

·       Based on these verses, what is at stake based on how Christians love?

·       Read Galatians 2:11-21

·       In what ways was Cephas not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel? (v. 14-15)

·       How is a person justified or made right with God? (v. 15-16)

·       As a follower of Jesus, what is the new reality in which we live? (v. 20)

·       What fears or concerns come to mind when you think about loving someone and not judging their sin?

·       How would you respond to the statement, “How you treat others is a reflection of what you believe.”

·       What would it look like for you to display the extravagant love of God for those around you?

·       Where is the challenge for you, when it comes to seeing all people as my people, each one bearing the image of God?

·       Who is someone that needs to know that you love them?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Those are not my people-Part III

Series: Those Are Not My People

Title: Part 3 (Baptism Weekend)

Date: September 24-25, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

Baptism Weekend – Jesus Sets Us Free

Passage: Matthew 3:13-17; Romans 6:1-11

Discuss It:

·       What are some initiation rites or affiliation procedures that you have seen some organizations or groups use with new members?

·       Read Matthew 3:13-17

·       How did John react to Jesus’ request? (v. 14)

·       How did Jesus respond to John’s reluctance? (v. 15)

·       What did God the Father say about Jesus? (v. 17)

·       Why do you think John felt awkward about baptizing Jesus?

·       Why do you think Jesus, having never sinned, wanted to get baptized?

·       If you have been baptized, what led up to you deciding to get baptized

·       If you have been baptized, what stands out to you and what do you remember about that time?

·       Read Romans 6:1-11

·       What does baptism symbolize about our relationship to Jesus (v. 2-4)

·       How does being united with Jesus through His death change our relationship to sin? (v. 7)

·       In what ways is a Christian truly free?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

 

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Those are not my people-Part II

Series: Those Are Not My People

Title: Part 2

Date: September 17-18, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

If you decide who belongs and who doesn’t, then the circle you draw will eventually exclude everyone but you.

Throughout his ministry Jesus changes the rules by defining who belongs.

Belonging Precedes Changing!

Passage: Luke 5:27-32

Discuss It:

·       Which vocations or jobs do people typically think negatively about? Why?

·       Read Luke 5:27-32

·       What was Levi’s profession? (v. 27)

·       Who would be modern day example of Levi, the tax collector?

·       What actions did Levi take upon hearing Jesus’ invitation to follow Him? (v. 28)

·       How did the Pharisees and others express their disapproval of Jesus? (v. 30)

·       What reason did Jesus give for His coming? (v. 32)

·       Why do you think Jesus was comfortable at a party with sinners and those rejected by most others?

·       Whom would you be uncomfortable to spend time with at a party?

·       If belonging precedes changing, what happens when Christians exclude someone?

·       How can you become more comfortable with those you are tempted to exclude?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Those are not my people-Part I

Series: Those Are Not My People

Title: Part 1

Date: September 10-11, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Big Idea:

You become a neighbor when you are kind to others

Passage: Luke 10:30-42

Discuss It:

·       When was the last time you thought “Those are not my people"?

·       What groups or types of people do you like to hang out with?

·       How has the groups or types of people you hang out with changed over the years?

·       Read Luke 10:30-42

·       When was a time that you had a strong sense of belonging?

·       What effect did belonging have on you?

·       When was a time that you felt excluded or that you didn’t belong?

·       What effect did exclusion have on you?

·       Who would be modern day examples of:

o   The Priest?

o   The Levite?

o   The Samaritan?

·       Who do you feel tempted to exclude? Why is that?

·       Is there a foundation to exclude any one?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Getting through what you are going through-Part IV

Series: Getting Through What You Are Going Through

Title: Part 4

Date: September 3-4, 2016

Speaker: Peter Barber

 

Big Idea:

 Serving is an essential component for growth.

Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-11

Discuss It:

·       Read 1 Peter 4:7:11

·       What did Peter instruct his readers to do since the end of all things was near? (v. 7)

·       How did Peter encourage his audience to love each other? (v. 8-9)

·       How ere Peter’s readers to use their gifts? (v. 10)

·       What goal did Peter want his audience to reach with all they did? (v. 11)

·       How would knowing the world would end this year change the way you think or act?

·       How would you restate verse 8 in your own words?

·       Have you ever experienced personal or spiritual growth through serving others? If so, what was that like?

·       What gifts, talents, or abilities has God given you that you could use to serve others?

·       What is a practical and simple way that you could someone else this week?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Getting through what you are going through-Part III

Series: Getting Through What You Are Going Through

Title: Part 3

Date: August 27-28, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Review It:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

The stuff in the circle can work together for your good…if:

·       You love God.

·       You understand his purpose for you.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

Change the way you think: Truth + Habits + Time = Change

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. Romans 8:8-9

Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:24-25a

Discuss It:

·       What was one of your favorite summer activities?

·       Read Romans 8:1-17

·       What has God done to free us from the law of sin and death (v. 1-4)?

·       In verses 5-8 Paul divides all of humanity into two categories: those who live according to the sinful nature and those who live according to the Spirit. In your own words, what are some characteristics of each group?

·       There are many professing Christians whose lives seem very different from Paul's description of life in the Spirit. How do you think Paul would account for this fact?

·       In verse 12 Paul concludes that we have an obligation. Describe in your own words the negative and positive aspects of that obligation (v. 12-14).

·       How do we experience the reality and privileges of being God's children (v. 15-17)?

·       Phil mentioned that life change is a combination of three things: truth, daily habits, and time. How have you seen this truth in your own life?

·       Of these three, which do you feel the most comfortable with? Which is more challenging?

·       Of these three, which would you like to grow in?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Getting Through What You Are Going Through-Part II

Series: Getting Through What You Are Going Through

Title: Part 2

Date: August 20-21, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Review It:

Perspective is so key! We do not want to admit that we do not see the world as it is, but as we are. We always need more perspective.

Life is not so much about what happens to us, as it is about how we respond and what we choose to do next.

How you respond and what you choose to do next will probably be based on what you think just happened.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…” Viktor Frankl

You can choose your perspective! Your perspective will either help you are hurt you. Don’t double your problem.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45b (NIV)

We ask - Why?

If God loves us and can cause good to come from all things, then maybe we could ask a better question:

·       What can I learn from this?

·       What do I fear the most?

·       Do I trust God with everything?

God will not be all you want until he is all you have.

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5 (ESV)

Discuss It:

·       How would you define ‘perspective’?

·       What are the things that can impact our perspective for the good or the bad?

·       Phil mentioned that our perspective will either help or hurt us, so don’t double the problem. Have you ever doubled you problem by the perspective you had? What was that like?

·       Read Romans 8:28

·       How would you state Romans 8:28 in your own words?

·       Do you have any challenges with applying Romans 8:28 to your perspective?

·       When in a challenging situation, what would it be like to start asking questions like…

o   What can I learn from this?

o   What do I fear the most?

o   Do I trust God with everything?

·       Are there any situations where you struggle to trust God or struggle with fear?

·       What would help you in these situations?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Getting through what you are going through-Part I

Series: Getting Through What You Are Going Through

Title: Part 1

Date: August 13-14, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Review It:

For the creation was subjected to frustration, Romans 8:20a (NIV)

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait…Romans 8:22- 23a (ESV)

Things are not as they should be!

Tempted to ask, “Does God care about what is happening to me?”

The deeper questions, “Is God good?”

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

It is very difficult for us to determine what is good or what is bad for us. So how do we make sense of all this?

What we learn from the Olympics… Gold is better than Silver, Silver is better than Bronze, and Bronze is better than no medal.

Research finds that Gold and Bronze metal winners are very happy and content, but Silver medalist is the most discontent person on the stand. Silver medalists thinks, “I almost had a gold, but now I don’t.”

Your circumstances can cause you to completely lose PERSPECTIVE!

Life is not so much about what happens to us, as it is about how we respond and what we choose to do next.

How you respond and what you choose to do next will probably be based on what you think just happened.

Discuss It:

·       What do you think the difference is between people who go through difficult times and come out on the other side doing better or doing worse?

·       Read Romans 8:18-30

·       In you own words, how does Paul describe the current reality of the world and our lives?

·       Are you ever tempted to ask, “Does God care about what is happening to me?” If so, what does that look like for you?

·       When you think about the challenges of life, how do you reconcile that with what Paul states in Romans 8:28?

·       Phil stated, “Your circumstances can cause you to completely lose PERSPECTIVE!” Where have you seen this to be true in your life?

·       If life is not so much about what happens to us, as it is about how we respond and what we choose to do next, how should that shape our thinking and our perspective?

·       What helps you to keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your perspective open to him during challenging times?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Superheroes-Part VII

Series: Superheroes

Title: Part 7

Date: August 6-7, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Review It:

Hero: Joshua

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you are HERE, but you want to be THERE? Then this is the hero for you. (Here ----------> There)

“…lead my people across the Jordan into the land I am giving them.” Joshua 1:2b (NLT)

“In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God has given you.” Joshua 1:11b (NLT)

God always provides what we cannot do for ourselves. However, he does not simply hand us everything we want--or even need.

Here is a list of the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan, Joshua 12:7a (NIV) …thirty-one kings in all. Joshua 12:24b (NIV)

He still expects us to:

·       Engage

·       Work hard

·       Overcome obstacles

He still expects us to:

·       Have faith

·       Fully trust

·       Depend on him

·       Do things his way

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. Joshua 6:2 (NIV)

March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in. Joshua 6:3-5 (NIV)

 

God always provides what we cannot do for ourselves. However, he does not simply hand us everything we want--or even need.

What do we call children who are given everything they want, whenever they ask? Entitled & Spoiled

God is a perfect father.

Two keys for the journey

·       Depend On God.

·       Do The Work.

 “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15b (NIV)

Discuss It:

·       Have you ever had to take a long journey and didn’t know how it would end? What was that like?

·       Phil mentioned that we need to remember God’s story and that He fulfills His promises. Have you found any helpful ways in remember God’s faithfulness to you?

·       Read Joshua 6:1-20

·       What did God instruct Joshua and the people to do in attacking Jericho? (v. 2-5)

·       If you were Joshua, what would have been going through your mind as you listened to God’s instructions?

·       Phil stated, “God always provides what we cannot do for ourselves. However, he does not simply hand us everything we want--or even need.” How would you restate this in your own words?

·       Have you seen this statement to be true in your own life? If so, how?

·       Which is easier for you? Why?

o   Depend on God

o   Do the Work

·       Which is harder for you?  Why?

o   Depend on God

o   Do the Work

·       In what ways might you grow in these two areas in your current journey?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

 

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Superheroes-Part VI

Series: Superheroes

Title: Part 6

Date: July 30-31, 2016

Speaker: Phil Vaughan

 

Review It:

Hero: Rahab

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.”

“Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitutenamed Rahab and stayed there. Joshua 2:1b

“I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.” Joshua 2:9b

Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Joshua 2:12a

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. Hebrews 11:31

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Matthew 1:1

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Matthew 1:5a (NIV)

Jesus’ Family Tree

·       Tamar

·       Rahab

·       Ruth

·       Uriah’s wife

All four women are Gentiles.

He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. Acts 10:28

For God does not show favoritism. Romans 2:11

But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. James 2:9

The question isn’t, “Do I show favoritism?” The question is, “How do I show favoritism?”

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, 1 John 4:18a

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? James 2:25

Jesus said to:

·       Love my neighbor.

·       Love those who are different than me.

·       Love those who mistreat me.

·       Love my enemies.

Discuss It:

·       Are there any sketchy or scandalous characters in your family tree?

·       Read Joshua 2

·       How many spies did Joshua send into the land? (v. 1)

·       In Jericho, who di the spies stay with? (v. 2)

·       What was Rehab’s request for the spies? (v.12)

·       What was to be the sign that Rahab’s family would be saved by the Israelites? (v. 17)

·       Read Matthew 1:1, 5

·       What comes to mind for you as you think about Rehab the prostitute being listed in the family tree of Jesus?

·       Phil mentioned that the question isn’t, “Do I show favoritism?” The question is, “How do I show favoritism?” Where do you struggle with favoritism in your life?

·       Read 1 John 4:18-19

·       For you, which is more difficult:

o   Love my neighbor.

o   Love those who are different than me.

o   Love those who mistreat me.

o   Love my enemies.

·       How can we grow in love for those that we find difficult or challenging?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Superheroes-Part V

Series: Superheroes

Title: Part 5

Date: July 23-24, 2016

Speaker: Jason McBride

 

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Hero: Moses

What do you do when you are following God and you find yourself in the desert?

The LORD said, I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey... Exodus 3:7-8

So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10

When You Are In The Desert

·       Life Feels Disorienting

·       Disillusioned with God

·       Long to be Anywhere but Here

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 11:4-6

Desert is Fertile Soil for

·       Complaining

·       Turning from God

All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:2-4

Moses in the Desert – Melt Down

He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.” Numbers 11:11-15

Hard Questions in the Desert

·       What will you do with a God you do not understand?

·       Will you follow a God that does not live up to your expectations?

Big Difference!

·       Israelites Complained ABOUT God

·       Moses Complained TO God

The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. Numbers 11:16-17

When We are in the Desert

·       We need to trust in God’s presence

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15-16

·       We need to learn to cry out to God

·       We need to look to the Cross

Discuss It:

·       Have you ever had to eat the same food, over-and-over again, for an extended period of time? What was it like?

·       Read Numbers 11:4-17

·       Jason mentioned that in the desert life feels disorienting and we may become disillusioned with God. Have you ever found yourself in a place like that, a place you didn’t expect? What was it like for you?

·       What did the Israelites complain about? (v. 4-6)

·       How did Moses handle the complaint of the people? (v. 11-15)

·       When you are tempted to complain, are you more likely to complain about God or complain to God?

·       How did God respond to Moses’ prayer? (v. 16-17)

·       How have you seen God provide for you during a desert experience?

·       Read Exodus 33:15-16.

·       Moses trusted in God’s presence. Is there anything that helps you to trust in God’s presence, even when you don’t see it or feel it?

·       What suggestions would you have for someone in pain on how to honestly cry out to God?

·       When in the desert, how can the Cross of Jesus and what Jesus did be a comfort?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

Superheroes-Part IV

Series: Superheroes

Title: Part 4

Date: July 16-17, 2016

Speaker: Steve Garcia

 

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Hero: Samson

Whenever 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… Judges 2:18

Pattern:

·       Rebel

·       Repent

·       Restore

Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. Judges 13:1

You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines. Judges 13:5

Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” Judges 14:1–2

Samson’s Criteria for a Wife – Must be attractive (end of list)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” Judges 16:5

With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. Judges 16:16

Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him. Judges 16:20

21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. Judges 16:21–22

Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. Judges 16:28–30

God will use me to WIN others or to WARN others!

Discuss It:

·       Who is someone with strength that you admire (physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, etc.)? Why?

·       Read Judges 16:4-30

·       How many times did Delilah try to trick Samson into revealing his secret strength?

·       How did Delilah finally get him to tell his secret? (v. 16)

·       What did the Philistines do with Samson? (v. 21)

·       What was Samson’s last request of God? (v. 28)

·       How does Samson’s story serve as a warning to others?

·       In order to avoid a bad ending, how would you have coached Samson earlier in his life?

·       How does the story of Samson challenge you personally?

Apply It:

·       What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?

·       What will help you remember it?

·       Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?