Oct 18, 2015
Come Together for Worship
This week our guest speaker: Rev. Charles Costa continues our current series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For Worship" from Psalm 95.

Questions:
Psalm 95
Ice Breaker: There are many things that can cause us to ‘come together.’ Here at City Centre, worship is possibly the most prominent reason.

What initially brought you, and what keeps you coming to worship at City Centre?

1. After reading the Psalm, write your own interpretation of what it says to you about worship. How does your interpretation fit with what Jesus described as worshipping  “in spirit and truth?” (John 4:23). In what verses of this Psalm do you see both of these qualities that Jesus described?

2. Describe the motivation behind the emotions expressed in verses 1 to 5. Does this describe you as you approach worship?

3. What reasons does the writer list for worshipping God? (vv.3-5) (also see Col. 1:16; Phil. 2:10; Rom. 8:38-39)

4. How does the posture of the worshipper put into perspective the joy expressed in the first five verses? (vv.6-7)

5. What urgent message does the writer deliver in the last verses? (also read Hebrews 3:7-4:13)

6. Compare your worship to that described in the Psalm. Where do you agree and where do you fall short? What decisions do you need to make to rectify the situation?

“Gathering together for worship has nothing to do with pleasing ourselves but it has everything to do with pleasing God.” - AW Tozer
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  • Oct 18, 2015Come Together for Worship
    Oct 18, 2015
    Come Together for Worship
    This week our guest speaker: Rev. Charles Costa continues our current series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For Worship" from Psalm 95.

    Questions:
    Psalm 95
    Ice Breaker: There are many things that can cause us to ‘come together.’ Here at City Centre, worship is possibly the most prominent reason.

    What initially brought you, and what keeps you coming to worship at City Centre?

    1. After reading the Psalm, write your own interpretation of what it says to you about worship. How does your interpretation fit with what Jesus described as worshipping  “in spirit and truth?” (John 4:23). In what verses of this Psalm do you see both of these qualities that Jesus described?

    2. Describe the motivation behind the emotions expressed in verses 1 to 5. Does this describe you as you approach worship?

    3. What reasons does the writer list for worshipping God? (vv.3-5) (also see Col. 1:16; Phil. 2:10; Rom. 8:38-39)

    4. How does the posture of the worshipper put into perspective the joy expressed in the first five verses? (vv.6-7)

    5. What urgent message does the writer deliver in the last verses? (also read Hebrews 3:7-4:13)

    6. Compare your worship to that described in the Psalm. Where do you agree and where do you fall short? What decisions do you need to make to rectify the situation?

    “Gathering together for worship has nothing to do with pleasing ourselves but it has everything to do with pleasing God.” - AW Tozer
  • Oct 11, 2015Come Together for the Cross
    Oct 11, 2015
    Come Together for the Cross
    Pastor Deric continues our new series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "Come Together For The Cross" from Galatians 6:11-17.

    Questions:
    Galatians 6:11-17
    Ice Breaker: Ice Breaker: The ‘core’ of something is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a central and often foundational part… “

    What would you consider to be foundational or ‘central’ in your life?

    1. What are the two opposing motivations that Paul highlights in this paragraph?

    2. Why does the cross invite persecution?

    3. What place does the law of Moses hold in the life of the Christian today?

    4.  What does it mean to “boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?"

    5.  What does it mean to be “crucified to the world and the world to us?"

    6.  What is the new creation that Paul refers to in verse 15? What does it mean to us today? (also see 2 Cor. 5:17)

    “God doesn’t have to use people, but He almost always does. It means privilege for us and glory for Him."- Kevin DeYoung
  • Oct 4, 2015Judgement Seat Motivations for Global Ministry
    Oct 4, 2015
    Judgement Seat Motivations for Global Ministry
    This week we have a special guest speaker for our 35th Anniversary service, Dr. Bruce Snavely. He will be preaching from 2 Corinthians 5:10-21 entitled "Judgment Seat Motivations for Global Ministry."

    Questions:

    2 Corinthians 5:10-21
    Ice Breaker: Truth be told, there are likely many different things that motivate us to action. Some are positive and others may actually be negative.
     
    What are some of the factors that motivate you to daily action, and why do you think you are so affected by them?
     
    1. As a Christian, how does the realization that we will all stand before the judgement seat of God impact your life? (v.10; also read Psalms 62:12; Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:10-12)
     
    2. How does Paul understand the "fear of the Lord”? What impact does his understanding have on his ministry? (v.11; also read Job 31:23; Acts 9:31; Heb. 10:31)
     
    3. What is the primary motivator in Paul’s ministry and how has this same motivator impacted your life and ministry? (vv.12-15)
     
    4. How does the realization that we are a "new creation” change things for Paul and for us? (vv. 16-19; also read John 3:3; Rom. 6:4; Eph. 2:14-16; 4:20-24)
     
    5. What is the role of an “ambassador"? (v. 20)
     
    6. In light of this passage, what is God’s plan and purpose for you as a disciple? (vv. 20-21; also read Eph. 6:18b-20)
     
    “God always has a plan, and he can use anybody to carry it out.”- Kevin DeYoung
  • Sep 27, 2015We Are His Witnesses
    Sep 27, 2015
    We Are His Witnesses
    Pastor Deric continues our new series "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "We Are His Witnesses" from Acts 1:4-9.

    Questions:
    Acts 1:4-9
    Ice Breaker: When I think of a ‘witness’, most often it seems to refer to someone involved in a police and/or legal matter. Often it seems that being a witness can mean a good outcome for some and a difficult outcome for others.

    How have you responded to the call to be Jesus’ witness in the world around you?

    1. Why is “waiting” so hard for us and why is it so good for us? (v.4)

    2. What does it mean to be “baptized” with the Holy Spirit? (v.5)

    3. What are the dangers inherent in “knowing the times and dates” that are God’s own business? (vv.6-7)

    4. What is the “power” that we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us? (v.8)

    5. What is a witness and why is it important to the church? (vv.8-9)

    “We are all apologists now, and we stand at the dawn of the grand age of human apologetics." - Os Guinness
  • Sep 20, 2015The One Church
    Sep 20, 2015
    The One Church

    Pastor Deric starts a new series called "Come Together" with a sermon entitled "The One Church" from Ephesians 4:1-6.

    Questions:
    Ephesians 4:1-6
    Ice Breaker: At City Centre, our vision is to be a "Spirit-filled and unified church family who are working together to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and build believers on the foundation of God’s Word."

    Very simply, what would be the central responsibility of the congregation in our vision statement?

    1. What is the calling that we have received? (v.1)

    2. In your words explain what Paul meant when he emphasized a life worthy of the calling they have received.

    3. What does it mean according to the Scriptures to “keep the unity of the Spirit?" (v.3)

    4. Identify the evidence for the universal or “invisible” church and the local or “visible” church in this passage.

    5. What is the importance of the word “one” (used 8 times) in Paul’s argument for "coming together" as the church? Which of the “ones” stood out to you most?

    6. What does it mean that God is ONE, the Father who is “over all and through all and in all?" (v.6)

    “God always has a plan, and he can use anybody to carry it out." - Kevin DeYoung

  • Sep 13, 2015The Secret to a Satisfying Life
    Sep 13, 2015
    The Secret to a Satisfying Life
    This week we have a special guest speaker Dr. Ron Cline. He will be preaching from John 4 entitled "The Secret to a Satisfying Life."

    Questions:

    John 4
    Ice Breaker: I believe everyone is driven by feelings of accomplishment or satisfaction. Sometimes the satisfaction is fleeting, like a good cup of coffee or tea with a wonderful meal. Other times, personal satisfaction can last much longer, especially when it involves things we pour ourselves into. Things like family and church.

    What are the things in your life that cause you to feel deep and lasting satisfaction?

    1. With knowledge gained from the entirety of chapter 4, what would be the significance of the statement in 4:4, “And He had to pass through Samaria.”? (see v.34)

    2. How does this passage suggest we should view people in the communities around us? (v.35)

    3. Describe the three vital parts to the process of evangelism outlined here and the key to success. (also see 1 Cor. 3:6-8)

    4. Describe the benefits you will experience when you begin to fulfill your role in the work described in these verses.

    5. Where are the ripened harvest fields in our world today?

    “Everything we do in obedience to God, no matter how small, is significant.” John Piper

    “Be faithful in whatever God gives you. That’s all you can do.” Kevin DeYoung
  • Sep 6, 2015A Treasure Worth Dying For
    Sep 6, 2015
    A Treasure Worth Dying For
    Series: Various
    This week Pastor Deric share a special message from Matthew 13:44-46 entitled "A Treasure Worth Dying For." Questions: Please read Matthew 13:44-46 Ice Breaker: What do you value most? I grew up in a world where family, job, home and ’things’ were most valued. Later, in my Christian walk, I struggled to make God and my relationship with Him the most important thing in my life. After some honest reflection, what are some of the things that can push God into the background of your life? 1.  Why did Jesus speak in parables?  (see vv. 10-13) 2.  What lessons do we specifically learn from these parables in the context of the Gospel?  3.  What significance does the word “treasure” in verse 44 suggest? 4.  What does “selling all” mean in this parable? (v. 45) 5.  What or who is the phrase “pearl of great price” referring to in verses 45-46? 6.  Compare and contrast the two parables. “The more you see your own flaws and sins the more precious, electrifying and amazing God’s grace appears to you.” - Timothy Keller
  • Aug 30, 2015Partners For Ministry
    Aug 30, 2015
    Partners For Ministry
    This week Pastor Max concludes the series "The Privilege of Partnership" with a message entitled, "Partners For Ministry."

    Questions
    Please read
    Philippians 1:3-11

    Ice Breaker: If you’ve been paying attention here, you know how much I appreciate working as part of a team! There’s nothing like partnering with other like-minded people to win a game or to make a difference that matters for eternity.

    Describe some of the challenges faced in assembling a really good team.

    1. What was it about the relationship between Paul and the Philippian church that brought great thankfulness and joy to Paul? (vv.3-5)

    2. Describe what you notice that is unique about a partnership in ministry? (v.6) (see Ps. 57:2-3; 1 Cor 1:7-8; 1 Thess. 1:3-4)

    3. What do we learn about the cost and the reality of partnership in ministry? (vv.7-8) (see 4:14-15)

    4. Describe some of the results of this partnership between Paul, the Philippian church and God. (vv.7-11) (see 1:29-30; Rom. 1:11)

    5. Are you a member in a partnership such as we’ve been studying in this passage? Describe how it's working, its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not participating, what needs to change?

    “I would rather fail in the weakness of the Spirit than succeed in the power of the flesh.” - Ray Ortlund

  • Aug 23, 2015Partners For Education
    Aug 23, 2015
    Partners For Education
    This week Pastor Max continues the series "The Privilege of Partnership" with a message entitled, "Partners For Education."

    Questions
    Please read Ephesians 6:1-4

    Ice Breaker: If you are a parent, there’s almost nothing as satisfying and at the same time frustrating as raising children. There is an element of great responsibility, and also the sense that much of what results is out of your control.

    As a parent, from where did you gather your information on how to raise your children?

    1. Describe what Paul means when he says children are to “obey” and  “honor” their father and mother? (vv.1-3) (also see Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Col. 3:20)

    2. What is the child’s responsibility and how might we see that working itself out in a family? (see Luke 2:51)

    3. Explain what it means to “provoke” your children. (see Col. 3:21)

    4. How would you describe Paul’s expectations of parents as they raise children?

    5. If you are a parent, what would be your strengths? What would be your weaknesses? How might you capitalize on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses?

    6. How might you apply the principles of this passage in the broader context of relationships, the church and society as a whole? (also read Eph. 5; 6:5-20)

    “The goal is Jesus, the centre is the Gospel and the family is a means for revealing the Gospel now and for passing the Gospel from one generation to the next.” - Dr. Timothy Paul Jones
  • Aug 16, 2015Partners For Missions
    Aug 16, 2015
    Partners For Missions
    This week Pastor Max continues the series "The Privilege of Partnership" with a message entitled, "Partners For Missions."

    Questions
    Please read 1 Corinthians 3:5-15

    Ice Breaker: Have you ever been a part of a great team? In my opinion, there’s nothing like it! When every member compliments the other and all are functioning in their strengths, it’s a special synergy that occurs and the outcome is often very special.

    What great and not-so-great experiences have you had as part of a team?

    1. What is a primary role of Christian leaders? How can leaders’ natural abilities affect their role and the outcome of their ministry? (vv.5-7) (also see 9:1; 15:1; Acts 18:4-11; 2 Cor. 10:14,15)

    2. How does Paul’s assertion that God brings about the growth, impact how you view the churches' role in His mission? What about your role?

    3. What can people conflicts within the ministry tell us about those involved?

    4. What was Paul’s goal in his ministry? (vv.8-9) (also see Rom. 12:3-8; 15:20; Eph. 2:20-22)

    5. Where can you participate in the mission and expand your view of the churches’ task to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus? (vv.10-11)

    “Be obedient even when you don’t know where obedience may lead you.” - Sinclair Ferguson
  • Aug 9, 2015Partners With Christ
    Aug 9, 2015
    Partners With Christ
    This week Pastor Max begins a new series called "The Privilege of Partnership".  Today's message is entitled, "Partners with Christ" from Ephesians 1:3-14.

    Questions
    Please read Ephesians 1:13-14

    Ice Breaker: Have you ever had a relationship where you both just seem to know what the other is going to say or do before they say or do it? I had a good friend 40 years ago that I had a special friendship with. We were like brothers and shared a great deal of our lives with each other.

    Have you ever had a relationship like that? How did you feel when you were together or when you were apart?

    1. As you read through this passage, how would you describe what it’s like to know the spiritual blessings you have in Jesus Christ?

    2. Knowing the spiritual blessings you’ve received, which of the blessings seemed to take on the most meaning to you? Why?

    3. What does this passage and others have to say about why we've received these blessings from God?

    4. Is it possible to find a balance between the teaching of predestination (vv.4-5,11) and our freewill choice? (also see, Rom. 8:29-30; Jn. 6:44; Matt. 11:28; Jn. 3:16; 1Tim. 2:1, 3-4; 2Pet. 3:9; Isa. 55:9; 1 Cor. 13:12)

    5. How would you describe the way God regards His children? (also see, Num. 3:12, 45; 8:14; Josh. 14:3-4; 18:7)

    “Trust is accepting what God sends into your life whether you understand it or not.”
    - Timothy Keller
  • Aug 2, 2015Personal Security in a Terrorizing World
    Aug 2, 2015
    Personal Security in a Terrorizing World
    Pastor Deric completes our new series in Matthew 7 called "Life Lessons From Jesus" with a sermon entitled "Personal Security in a Terrorizing World" from vs 24-29.

    Questions:
    Please read Matthew 7:24-29
    Ice Breaker: Have you ever been in the presence of a true authority figure? In the world of team sports, it could be an experienced coach or it might be a ‘battle-scarred’ veteran player on the team. When they speak, the team listens and follows.
     
    Have you ever experienced this? Why do we follow these people?
     
    1. It makes sense to build on the right foundation, so why would people continue to build their lives on the wrong foundation? (v.24) (also read, Ps 18:30; Prov 30:5; 2 Cor 4:1-2; Heb 4:12)

    2. What is God’s purpose in testing us in our lifetime? (v.25-27)

    3. What are the possible outcomes of the testing we experience in our life? (v.25-27)

    4. Why isn’t there more evidence within the church of people ‘sold out’ and doing what Jesus says?

    5. What is a great danger in all of this? (vv.28-29)

    “I’d rather stand [with God] and have [the world] my enemy, than to go along with the crowd to destruction.” - A.W. Tozer
  • Jul 26, 2015True or False
    Jul 26, 2015
    True or False
    Pastor Deric continues our new series in Matthew 7 called "Life Lessons From Jesus" with a sermon entitled "True or False" from vs 15-23.

    Questions:
    Please read Matthew 7:15-23
    Ice Breaker: Have you ever bitten into a really nice looking piece of fruit and been disappointed with what you tasted? I have. It wasn’t a very satisfying experience.

    What steps can you take first to avoid a really disappointing experience with a good looking, but truly bad piece of fruit?

    1. According to Matthew’s description of a false prophet in verse 15, what makes them so dangerous to a Christian?  (see Acts 20:29-30)

    2. What motivates the false prophet?  (Acts:11:27-28; 21:9-11; 1 Cor 12:10; 28; 14:1-3)

    3. In your own words, define "discernment" and explain why it is so important in light of Jesus' warning about false prophets, phony professions of faith and religious performance.

    4. What constitutes "religious jargon" and why is it so dangerous? (see vs 21)

    5. Why is religious "performance" so dangerous?  Why is Jesus’ statements in verses 21 to 23 so startling to us today?  

    “Be assured there is nothing new in theology except that which is false.” - C.H. Spurgeon
  • Jul 19, 2015Asking and Receiving
    Jul 19, 2015
    Asking and Receiving
    Pastor Deric continues our new series in Matthew 7 called "Life Lessons From Jesus" with a sermon entitled "Asking and Receiving" from vs 7-11.

    Questions:
    Please read Matthew 7:7-11
    Ice Breaker: Asking and receiving. I have a hard time asking for help. I’d much rather be on the giving end. This is something I’ve really had to work on in my life. This also means that being on the receiving end… even receiving good things, has been hard. Maybe you’re the same.

    Why is it hard for some to receive? What do you think this means about how we think? How can this way of thinking affect our image of God the Father as our provider?

    1. As Jesus directs His followers to “ask, seek and knock” in verse 7, describe what that would look like in your prayer life.

    2. With the results Jesus is promising regarding prayer in verse 8, how then should we pray?

    3. What does Jesus have to say about the importance of persistence in our prayer life? (v.8) What do other passages in Scripture have to say about that? (see Luke 11:5-8; 18:1-8)

    4. In this passage, an emphasis is placed on the generosity and faithfulness of the Father. What kinds of ‘good things’ will our Heavenly Father provide for His children?

    5. There is a definite image that Jesus intends for us to grasp in this passage. What is the picture of God that Jesus wants to share with His disciples, and us as well?

    “My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” - Apostle Paul, Philippians 4:19
  • Jul 12, 2015There’s A Plank In Your Eye!
    Jul 12, 2015
    There’s A Plank In Your Eye!
    Pastor Deric starts a new series in Matthew 7 called "Life Lessons From Jesus" with a sermon entitled "There's A Plant In Your Eye!" from vs 1-6; 12-14.

    Questions:
    Please read Matthew 7:1-6; 12-14
    Ice Breaker: If I’m honest, I feel drawn to judge others. I know I shouldn’t, but the urge to ‘sit in judgement’ is strong.

    Consider what it is that causes us to judge others.

    1. What approach should the church have with regard to judging, according to verses 1 and 2?

    2. According to verses 3 to 5, how am I going to be able to approach the world around me with the ‘right perspective’?

    3. In simple terms, what is Jesus calling His followers to do? (v. 12)

    4. In the light of what we’ve already learned, how would you apply Jesus’ teaching from verses 6, 13 and 14? (also read Luke 13:24)

    “We can only change permanently as we take the Gospel more deeply into our understanding and into our hearts.”- Timothy Keller