May 10, 2015
A Lifetime of Influence
Series: Various
Pastor Deric shares a special Mother's Day sermon entitled "A Lifetime of Influence" from a variety of passages in both the Old and New Testaments. Questions: Ice Breaker: I find it interesting when someone is asked who has had the biggest influence on their life. Sometimes it’s a coach or a close friend, but more often it is a parent, even when an older individual is asked, with family of his or her own. A parent’s influence can stand the test of time. Who has had the biggest influence on your life AND who are you currently pouring your life into? 1. Psalm 139:13-18 When the child is in it's most vulnerable state, a mother nurtures and protects her child. How do David’s expressions of God’s thoughts about us, explain why He would choose a process like a 9 month pregnancy to bring children into this world? 2. Psalm 22:9; 71:6 Describe how these passages confirm the influence mothers have on how children think about God.   3. 2 Timothy 1:5-7 Starting with this passage, describe and expand on the influence of a mother and a grandmother through the years. (see Proverbs 31:1) 4. Proverbs 29:15 What does “a child left to himself” mean, and how can that bring shame to his mother? 5. Genesis 2:18 Describe how this passage addresses how a mother’s influence changes in time and as events in a child's life unfold. 6. Ruth 3:1-5 From this passage, what is it that Naomi has to offer Ruth? How might this be applied to your own current station in life? "Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.” - Billy Graham
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  • May 10, 2015A Lifetime of Influence
    May 10, 2015
    A Lifetime of Influence
    Series: Various
    Pastor Deric shares a special Mother's Day sermon entitled "A Lifetime of Influence" from a variety of passages in both the Old and New Testaments. Questions: Ice Breaker: I find it interesting when someone is asked who has had the biggest influence on their life. Sometimes it’s a coach or a close friend, but more often it is a parent, even when an older individual is asked, with family of his or her own. A parent’s influence can stand the test of time. Who has had the biggest influence on your life AND who are you currently pouring your life into? 1. Psalm 139:13-18 When the child is in it's most vulnerable state, a mother nurtures and protects her child. How do David’s expressions of God’s thoughts about us, explain why He would choose a process like a 9 month pregnancy to bring children into this world? 2. Psalm 22:9; 71:6 Describe how these passages confirm the influence mothers have on how children think about God.   3. 2 Timothy 1:5-7 Starting with this passage, describe and expand on the influence of a mother and a grandmother through the years. (see Proverbs 31:1) 4. Proverbs 29:15 What does “a child left to himself” mean, and how can that bring shame to his mother? 5. Genesis 2:18 Describe how this passage addresses how a mother’s influence changes in time and as events in a child's life unfold. 6. Ruth 3:1-5 From this passage, what is it that Naomi has to offer Ruth? How might this be applied to your own current station in life? "Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.” - Billy Graham
  • May 3, 2015Overcoming The World
    May 3, 2015
    Overcoming The World
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Overcoming The World" from 1 John 5:1-5.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 5:1-5.
    Ice Breaker: Sometimes in sports, one side is so overmatched by their opposition, that there would seem to be virtually no way for the 'underdog' to succeed. These are the "David vs. Goliath" moments in athletics that I often find quite intriguing. The outcome is usually predictable, but sometimes…

    Have you ever been faced with a task so great that you couldn’t see any way to achieve success?

    1. What does "believing that Jesus is the Christ" mean and how does it enable a Christian to "overcome the world."? (compare with verse 5 "son of God") 

    2. With this passage in mind, describe how you have been changed by God's love, or how you are responding to His love.

    3. Describe the relationship, as Scripture describes it, between love and obedience.

    4.  What does it mean that God's commandments are not "burdensome" AND how does the fact that God's commandments are not burdensome contribute to the believer overcoming the world?

    5. In light of verses 4-5, how do we explain that so many believers appear to be overcome by the world rather than overcoming the world? 

    “In the end, it is the joy and wonder of the Gospel that will change you permanently. Only that experience sufficiently reprograms the heart.” - Timothy Keller
  • Apr 26, 2015God is Love – Part 2
    Apr 26, 2015
    God is Love – Part 2
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "God is Love-Part 2" from 1 John 4:14-21.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 4:14-21.
    Ice Breaker: Coke. It’s the Real Thing!” That phrase along with the red and white Coca-Cola and Coke label, was one of the most familiar advertising campaigns created. I knew that what I was drinking was the “Real Thing” by the familiar sight and taste.

    What tests can you apply to know that the God you worship is in fact, ‘the real thing?’

    1. How can we know that God the Father sent His Son to be our Saviour? (v. 14; also see Gal. 4:4-6; Jn. 15:26-27; Acts 5:32)

    2. What are the implications we face as Christians, if we rightly understand the Father’s plan, Jesus’ mission, the Holy Spirit’s role and our place in God’s grand plan?

    3. Explain how God’s love gives us a hope for this life we live and for the coming day of judgement? (vv.15-19)

    4. Describe how love for God is modelled in our relationships with our brothers and sisters. (vv.20-21)

    “The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God’s Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.” - Henri Nouwen
  • Apr 19, 2015God is Love – Part 1
    Apr 19, 2015
    God is Love – Part 1
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "God is Love-Part 1" from 1 John 4:7-13.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 4:7-13.
    Ice Breaker: You’ve probably heard the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” It’s maddeningly true! In a number of ways I’m like my own dad and I can even see, and sometimes hear, myself in my boys.

    It’s interesting to think that if we’re “born of God”, shouldn’t we bear a resemblance to our heavenly Father also?

    1. In verse 7, John says that those who love, have been born of God and know God. Describe how “knowing God” changes how you love. (see Matt. 11:25-29; Jn.17:3; 2Peter 1:3-4)

    2. With references to this passage and other Scripture, explain in your own words why you should love.

    3. What does our love say about who we are and what truly matters to us? (v.7; 9-11)

    4. Describe how your life is a testimony to the fact that God’s love sent Jesus to be the Saviour of the world. (v.10)

    5. Describe, with Scripture references, how we are able to show God’s love to other people. (v.11-12)

    “God is love in Himself; God has loved us in Christ; and God continues to love in and through us; these are the reasons why we must love each other.” - John Stott

  • Apr 12, 2015Learn To Discern
    Apr 12, 2015
    Learn To Discern
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Learn To Discern" from 1 John 4:1-6.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 4:1-6.
    Ice Breaker: Sometimes I find myself listening to people without really hearing them. Or, sometimes it seems I only hear what I want to hear. My ability to hear has little to do with the importance of the message being communicated and more to do with my own attitude or my state of mind at the time.

    How can you train yourself to really pay attention to the things that are truly important?

    1. In verse 1, John cautions his readers to always test what they hear or are learning. Why do we need to be so diligent in testing what we hear or read? (read Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Pet. 1:1)

    2. With many different ideas being taught about the Bible and who Jesus is, describe and expand on how John says we can be sure to learn the truth about Jesus and His Gospel. (vv.2-3)

    3. In verse 4, John reminds us that we have overcome the world if we live in the Holy Spirit’s power. Expand on that thought, referencing other Scripture. (e.g. Rom. 8:6-11; 2 Cor. 3:16-18; Gal. 5:16-18; 22-26; 1 Thess. 5:19)

    4. Now, reference and apply what this and other Scripture has to say about how we are to listen to the Word of God. (vv.5-6) What are you doing to guard yourself against false teaching?

    “Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.” - Timothy Keller
  • Apr 5, 2015The Love of Christ Controls Us
    Apr 5, 2015
    The Love of Christ Controls Us
    Series: Easter
    Pastor Deric shares a message today from 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 as we celebrate Easter at the Living Arts Centre.
  • Mar 29, 2015Persistent Praying
    Mar 29, 2015
    Persistent Praying
    Series: Prayer
    Pastor Deric concludes our series for our Week of Prayer simply titled "Prayer" with a sermon entitled "Persistent Praying" from Ephesians 6:18-20.

    Questions:
    Please read Ephesians 6:10-20 for help with the context of our passage this week.
    Ice Breaker: There has never been a time in the history of our country when the fervent prayer of God’s people has been as important as it is today. Some might take issue with that statement, but it’s certainly true that our generation needs God’s people to pray!

    When is the best time of the day for you to spend serious time in prayer for ‘the cause of Christ’ and the spiritual well-being of the world, our country, our city, our church, your own friends, co-workers and family?

    1. In the New Testament, Christians are frequently exhorted to pray “at all times” or “without ceasing.” (See Lk. 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1Thess. 5:17) What would that kind of prayer life look like? (v.18)

    2. Paul calls us to be praying “in the Spirit.” How is praying in the Spirit different than simply praying with the Spirit’s help?

    3. Paul differentiates between prayer and supplication in verse 18.  Identify and define the different kinds of prayer found in Scripture. (see Phil. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:1)

    4. In the middle of verse 18, Paul gives us a key to victory over the things that will hinder our ministries. What does Paul tell us that will power us to victory? (also read Neh. 4:9; Mark 13:13; Mark 14:38)

    5. Paul boldly coveted the prayers of others on his behalf. He obviously felt it was mutually beneficial. (v.20) Do you have others praying for you as Paul did? Are you praying boldly for others who need your prayers? Make a list of those who pray for you and another list of the people you pray for.

    “Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this: always obey such an impulse.” - Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Mar 15, 2015That’s Reassuring!
    Mar 15, 2015
    That’s Reassuring!
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "That's Reassuring!" from 1 John 3:19-24.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 3:19-24.
    Ice Breaker: I am an optimist by nature. I tend to “see the glass half full instead of half empty” and I also tend to see the “good” in others. When it comes to myself however, I find it easy to doubt myself.

    What is likely to make you doubt? How do you deal with doubts about your faith?

    1. In verse 19, John says there’s a way I can be sure I’m a Christian. What is it that will reassure my heart? (v.19-20) Revisit and read part of last week’s passage, 1 John 3:16-18. Also read James 2:17.

    2. We all place our faith or confidence in something or someone. When you place your confidence in God, how can you know that you have placed your faith in the right place? Read Psalm 139:1-3; Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 10:29-30; Romans 11:33-34.

    3. How do you know God will hear and answer your prayers? (vv.21-22) Read 1 John 5:14; John 14:13; 16:23,26; John 15:7,16.

    4. What commands must we obey if we are to be fruitful in prayer? Read John 15:9-10.

    5. How can you know the Holy Spirit lives in you? (v.24) Read Romans 8: 14-17; 1 John 4:2,7; 5:3.

    “Truth can only characterize the behaviour of those whose very character originates in the truth, so that it is by our loving others ‘in truth’, that we know that we ourselves belong to it.”- John Stott
  • Mar 8, 2015Love Can’t Be Faked
    Mar 8, 2015
    Love Can’t Be Faked
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Love Can't Be Faked" from 1 John 3:11-18.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 3:11-18.
    Ice Breaker: We hear a lot about love in the media and the world around us. It seems that love referred to these days is an emotion that leads to selfish actions. Here in this passage, John refers to love as motivation for selfless action. Communion is our regular remembrance of the supreme example of love in a selfless action. Jesus Christ demonstrated His love for you and me in His willing, personal sacrifice on the Cross.

    When was the last time you put love into real action? How about love in action that didn’t directly benefit you?

    1. Jesus is the great example of how “we should love one another” in verse 11. What have you learned from Jesus’ example and what is it about His example of love that is so compelling?

    2. What is it that identifies believers and sets them apart from the rest of the world? (v.12-15)  How will the world identify you as a Christian?

    3. In verse 15, John seems to be echoing Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 5:21-22. John obviously takes Jesus’ lesson seriously. How would you explain this lesson to a brother that hating your brother is the same as murder?

    4. John used Jesus and Cain as contrasting examples of the “love/hate spectrum” and now Jesus is our example of how far we should be willing to go regarding our love for our brothers. (v.16) What would this kind of love, a willingness to die for someone else, look like in our church today?

    5. While kind, encouraging, loving words are certainly valuable and important, John says that words alone are not enough. We need to also love “in deed and in truth.” (v.18) What are some ways we try to love without giving or really caring, and how could we turn them around into truly caring gifts of love?

    “He hath loved us before the foundation of the world, a love so ancient it cannot have been born of any human cause.” -- Charles Spurgeon

  • Mar 1, 2015The Whole Truth About Sin
    Mar 1, 2015
    The Whole Truth About Sin
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The Whole Truth About Sin" from 1 John 3:4-10.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 3:4-10.
    Ice Breaker: It’s interesting to observe young children. I remember a family function where a group of adult family members watched our 2 year old grand-daughter walk over to the pantry, grab a treat without asking permission and then walk carefully back through the kitchen with her eyes closed! We were all there to see it, but she obviously believed if she had her eyes closed, we couldn’t see her! As foolish as this sounds, isn’t this how we often look at the sin in our lives? If we ignore or disregard it, maybe God won’t “see” it.

    Are you taking a “closed eye” approach to the sin in your life? What do you think will have to happen before you’ll do something about that sin?

    1. Explain and discuss the kind of thinking that leads us into the lawless life of sin that John is talking about in verse 4? Where does the characteristic of lawlessness come from? What are the consequences of a lawless life?

    2. According to John in verse 5, what is the answer to lawlessness? How is it that sinners are able to resist sin? (vv.5-6)

    3. How do you reconcile the command to practice righteous living with sin in your life? Do you just live with it? Does it create tension in you? (see Rom. 7:15)

    4. How is it that we are able to live a righteous life? (see v.9) Are you experiencing victory over sin and living in righteousness? (see Rom. 6:1-2,15,22; 7:21-25)

    5. What are four points that help define the true nature of sin? (see sermon notes)

    6. John Stott says, we have either “divine or diabolical parentage.” How will the world recognize where your parentage comes from, and who you follow? (Eph.4:21-24)

    “God is at work in the worst of times. He is at work doing a thousand things no one can see but Him.” -- John Piper

  • Feb 22, 2015What Do You See?
    Feb 22, 2015
    What Do You See?
    Series: Various
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "What Do You See?" from 1 John 3:1-3. Questions: Please read 1 John 3:1-3. Ice Breaker: This passage is just a little glimpse into the immeasurable love that God has for you and me! His capacity to love is beyond anything we can imagine, and the depth of His love for each of us is virtually unfathomable. I have been somewhat shocked at my capacity to love my family. Not that they don’t deserve my love… they do! They are all amazing and each of them bring me incredible amounts of joy and pleasure! My astonishment is that my love grows as my family has grown. I thought my heart would burst when I first met my wife-to-be! Now, two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandkids later, I manage to love them ALL beyond description! Do you ever “wonder” at being loved by God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe?  Explain. 1. The expression John used to describe God’s love in verse 1 can be understood to mean “other-worldly” or “foreign to this world.” How would you describe the love of God to a person, Christian or not? How is it that so many people in this world miss out on God’s amazing love? Could this explain why people reject the church as well? (see John 1:1-10; Col. 3:1–3) 2. What images and/or feelings come to mind when John describes you as one of “God’s children?” What kind of life will it be for God’s children here on earth? (see John 16:33; Rom. 8:18-39; 12:9-21) 3. What does John mean when he says at the end of verse 2, “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is”? Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18) When will this happen? (read Titus 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 4:16-17) 4. What does it mean to “hope in Christ”?  How does this affect your daily life? (See Rom. 8:17) 5. What are the practical implications of this passage for you and your life right now? Does anything need to change in how you think about God? What about your thoughts of meeting Jesus face-to-face? “We’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.” -- Timothy Keller
  • Feb 15, 2015Signs of the Times
    Feb 15, 2015
    Signs of the Times
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Signs of the Times" from 1 John 2:18-29.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 2:18-29.
    Ice Breaker: It’s difficult, and really not safe to try to read a map and drive a car at the same time. There are even laws and fines for “distracted driving” now! Modern GPS driven TomTom or Garmin devices should also only be carefully viewed and studied when the car is fully stopped. Likewise as a Christian, it’s difficult and even dangerous to live life at modern speeds, trying to “figure it out” while we navigate through it. We really need to stop and take the time to study God’s Word. Read it. Pray through it. Meditate on it. Talk about what it says with others and then what it means in terms of how we need to live our lives in the fast paced world of today.

    How are you doing at taking time to study God’s Word? Is it a priority to you or are you just trying to “catch a glimpse” as you hurtle through your week?

    1. Who are the antichrists John is talking about and where is this opposition coming from? (v.18-19) How is John able to identify them? What is their purpose or plan?

    2. What examples of similar opposition do you see in the world around you today? Give examples.

    3. What is it that protects us from being deceived by those in opposition to the Gospel? (v.18-21) What is it about them that’s so dangerous? (v.21)

    4. In the face of these times and the prospect that the end is closer than ever, how are we to live? How do you approach each day, each week? (v.20-25)

    5. How would you describe your understanding of John’s direction to “abide in Him?” As stated in verse 29, how are we to be able to identify Christians? How does this fit with those who profess to have knowledge to share with us?

    “We find ourselves fighting the Bible’s entire story line if we do not recognize our deepest need is to be reconciled to God.” -- D.A. Carson
  • Feb 8, 2015Do Not Love the World
    Feb 8, 2015
    Do Not Love the World
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Do Not Love the World" from 1 John 2:15-17.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 2:15-17.
    Ice Breaker: I love to eat! With a few notable exceptions, I’ll eat just about anything! Food appeals to me on so many levels. It looks good, smells good and, most often, tastes great! Unfortunately, some of it isn’t good for me. The food I eat seems to be fighting against my desire to keep my body in a good, healthy condition.

    This seems like a pretty good illustration concerning my battle with my desire for “the world” too. What are some of the “things in the world” that tug at your heart? Where does this unhealthy desire most often start?

    1. What does John mean when he says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world?” What would be “the things in the world?” What things do you struggle to let go of?

    2. What are the “things” in the world? What is the ultimate damage that can be done to us? (see James 4:4; Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13)

    3.Consider the scope and the power of the love of God. What response does this incredible love of God demand from us? How do the things of the world compare to God?

    4. John mentions another reason for us to focus on the will of God, instead of the things of the world in verse 17. What is his reasoning and why should it appeal to the Christian?

    5. Explain and discuss the thinking and behaviour that contributes to the degeneration of Godly attitudes and values? What practical measures are you taking to guard yourself and your family from this?

    6. As Jesus has sent us “into the world” (John 17:18), how are we going to be able to influence the world without being swallowed up by the world?

    “Worldliness is not so much a matter of activity as attitude… [It] not only affects your response to the love of God; it also affects your response to the will of God.”  --Warren Wiersbe
  • Feb 1, 2015The NEW Commandment is actually VERY OLD
    Feb 1, 2015
    The NEW Commandment is actually VERY OLD
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The NEW Commandment is Actually VERY OLD" from 1 John 2:7-14.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 2:7-14.
    Ice Breaker: I enjoy watching TV detective shows. I don’t like to be restricted to the network’s schedule, so we get shows on dvd, to watch when we want. The “who-done-it” part is fun, but I particularly enjoy being able to watch every episode, to witness the process of how each character develops. Then, how the relationships between the characters grow as part of the seasons’ storyline. Some of the characters are close friends, others not so much. Inevitably, there’s team-building, deeper friendship and probably a romance growing somewhere!

    How seriously do you value the relationships in your life? Are you taking time to build new relationships, taking the time to invest in and deepen those existing relationships?

    1. In verse 7, John begins to single out one of God’s commands that we are required to keep. In what way is John writing about something old, and in what way is he writing about something new? Why must our understanding contain both? (see Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5; John 13:34-35)

    2. John returns to the illustration he used in chapter one, contrasting darkness and light. Discuss the meaning of light and darkness in verses 8 to 11. What shows you are walking in the light and not in darkness?

    3. How important are relationships to you? Do you have a relationship problem with another person or persons? According to this passage, what can you do to resolve the problem and restore the relationship?

    4. John comes on with a very strong accusation in verse 11. What does John mean when he says, “… whoever hates his brother is in the darkness…?” How might you describe the spiritual condition of someone who “hates his brother?”

    5. Where are there opportunities to build new, meaningful relationships in your life? What are some practical things you can do to begin building this kind of relationship with a person? What might need to change in you for this to happen?

    “Everyone says they want community and deep friendship. However, because it takes accountability and commitment, we run the other way.” - Timothy Keller
  • Jan 25, 2015We Have An Advocate With God the Father
    Jan 25, 2015
    We Have An Advocate With God the Father
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "We Have An Advocate With God the Father" from 1 John 2:1-6.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 2:1-6.
    1. Have you ever had the need for someone to speak for you or speak on your behalf? Maybe it was an agent, a lawyer or simply an expert in a particular field. In my case, my confidence in the agent’s ability to speak accurately for me, was founded on my understanding of his expertise in his field and his knowledge of who I am and what my wishes were.

    Here in 1 John 2:1, John explains that we have an advocate speaking on our behalf to the Father. His name is Jesus. How confident are you in your advocate and why? Describe how it feels to know that Jesus is your advocate?

    2. What is it about your “walk” that necessitates your need for an advocate? What is it about Jesus and His nature that makes Him the greatest possible advocate for you? Search for Scriptures to support your answer.

    3. At the very root of the matter, what aspect of the nature of God the Father and Jesus His Son, brought about Jesus becoming the “propitiation for our sins?"  (see John 3:16; 15:13; Romans 5:8) We verify what we believe by how we act. How then are we to act, if we say that we love Jesus as our Lord and Saviour?

    4. In verse four we are told that if we know Him, we are to keep His commandments, keep His Word. What is John talking about here? (Titus 1:16) What does it mean to “know Him?" (see John 15:4-5; 17:3; 1 John 5:20) What are the consequences of knowing God?

    5. In verse six it says we are "to walk in the same way in which He walked.” How is your “walk” going? How serious are you about being obedient to this command? What steps can we take to learn to walk as Jesus walked? What needs to change in you in order for that to happen? 

    “His wrath is averted not by any external gift, but by His own self-giving to die the death of sinners. This is the means He has Himself contrived by which to turn His own wrath away.” - John Stott