Jan 18, 2015
The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!
Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!" from 1 John 1:5-10.

Questions:
Please read 1 John 1:5-10.
1. I’m guessing most, if not all of you, have tried to walk through a room in the inky, pitch black darkness of night. Even a tiny flashlight will help us avoid the dangers of stubbed toes or worse! How does this simple analogy compare to living in this dark world, following God and the light of His Word?

2. In verse five, John states that, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” Begin by reading Psalm 56:13; 119:105; Isaiah 2:5; Matthew 5:14-16; John 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Ephesians 5:8-14; Revelation 16:10-11; 21:23-25; 22:5. Compare and contrast the images you can find for “light” and “darkness.”

3. What does this and the other passages you’ve read say about why we are we so prone to live in the “darkness” of the world? What are the benefits of walking in the light of God? Is there anything that scares you about the light of God? What would that be?

4. We recognize that light is better than darkness and we want to walk in the light, but it’s going to be a battle. What things do you see in this passage that would be important for you do to remain walking in the light? (also see Ephesians 6:11-18)

5. Confessing our sin to God in prayer is our opportunity for a reality check. How accurately are you able to access the state of sin in your life? (vv. 8-10) We “deceive ourselves” if we believe we do not sin. Are you serious about dealing with sin? What are some other practical ways you can be certain you are dealing with all of the sin in your life?

“Heaven’s great harbour of refuge is prayer, and the moment a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with all sail.”  -- Charles Spurgeon
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  • Jan 18, 2015The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!
    Jan 18, 2015
    The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!" from 1 John 1:5-10.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 1:5-10.
    1. I’m guessing most, if not all of you, have tried to walk through a room in the inky, pitch black darkness of night. Even a tiny flashlight will help us avoid the dangers of stubbed toes or worse! How does this simple analogy compare to living in this dark world, following God and the light of His Word?

    2. In verse five, John states that, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” Begin by reading Psalm 56:13; 119:105; Isaiah 2:5; Matthew 5:14-16; John 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Ephesians 5:8-14; Revelation 16:10-11; 21:23-25; 22:5. Compare and contrast the images you can find for “light” and “darkness.”

    3. What does this and the other passages you’ve read say about why we are we so prone to live in the “darkness” of the world? What are the benefits of walking in the light of God? Is there anything that scares you about the light of God? What would that be?

    4. We recognize that light is better than darkness and we want to walk in the light, but it’s going to be a battle. What things do you see in this passage that would be important for you do to remain walking in the light? (also see Ephesians 6:11-18)

    5. Confessing our sin to God in prayer is our opportunity for a reality check. How accurately are you able to access the state of sin in your life? (vv. 8-10) We “deceive ourselves” if we believe we do not sin. Are you serious about dealing with sin? What are some other practical ways you can be certain you are dealing with all of the sin in your life?

    “Heaven’s great harbour of refuge is prayer, and the moment a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with all sail.”  -- Charles Spurgeon
  • Jan 11, 2015Created for Relationship with God
    Jan 11, 2015
    Created for Relationship with God
    Pastor Deric continues a new series entitled "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Created for Relationship with God" from 1 John 1:1-4.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 1:1-4.
    1. John dives right in to his letter with some important truths about Jesus and his personal experience with Him (vv.1-3). What does this tell you about John, his heart, his motivation and attitude writing this epistle? Also read and discuss John 20:26-29 and Luke 24:39. How does this change how you read or study this passage?
     
    2. What is it that John is insistent about in these opening verses? What errors, both then and now, could John be addressing with his line of reasoning?
     
    3. Do you believe that Jesus lived as a human being on this earth? What is it that convinces you of this belief?
     
    4. Write down your own definition of Christian fellowship. With whom do you have this fellowship? What does this mean in your life? Read Philippians 1:5 and Revelation 3:20 regarding this fellowship. Find other passages that support this same theme.

    5. As stated in verses three and four, what is the end result that will make John’s joy complete? Read John 15 where he also refers to joy in his ministry and life.

    6. The proclamation of the Gospel is obviously important to John (see John 21:24-25). How important is it to you? Has your life been changed by the Gospel? Can you explain the Gospel in your own words, in a few short sentences? What are you doing to advance the Gospel?
     
    “We live around the truth of the Gospel, but never quite get it. So the key to spiritual renewal is the continual rediscovery of the Gospel.” - Timothy Keller
  • Jan 4, 2015What I KNOW For Sure
    Jan 4, 2015
    What I KNOW For Sure
    Pastor Deric starts a new series entitled "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "What I KNOW For Sure" from the Book of 1 John.

    Questions:
    Please read the book of 1 John.
    1. How does John say we can know the truth? What false beliefs threaten the church today? How do you know you understand the truth? What is the evidence in your life that would lead others to say you know the truth?

    2. Is “doing good” the same thing as righteousness? Explain your answer. How does God view our righteousness? (see Is.64:6). What is your motivation in doing righteous acts? When is God pleased with our righteousness?

    3. I believe John was awe-struck by the reality of “what we are!” (3:1-2). What does the significance of being one of God’s children mean to you? How does that significance change the way you live? (see Rom. 8:17).

    4. Describe the relationship between love and obedience. How do you know that God loves you? What is your response to that knowledge? Why does God require obedience from us?

    5. If we know and understand the truth, why are we tempted to ignore the truth? What are the consequences of giving in to temptation? How do you overcome that temptation?

    6. Do you ever doubt your salvation? Why? What relieves your doubts? Where do you find assurance in Scripture?

    “Because in Jesus God became human, He is not only the God on the other side of the chasm, He is the bridge over the gap.” - Timothy Keller

  • Dec 23, 2014LIttle is Much When God is in It
    Dec 23, 2014
    LIttle is Much When God is in It
    Series: Various
    This week Pastor Deric share a special message from Isaiah 60:22 entitled "Little is Much When God is in It (facing your feelings of futility)." Questions: Please read the whole chapter of Isaiah 60. 1. To begin, God says through Isaiah that the least shall become a clan. Can you recall such a promise in Scripture? (see Gen 17). What does this say about God and his plans for the world? Where do you see yourself in His plans? In what way are you engaged in His plan? 2. God has all the resources of the world, and beyond, at His disposal. Why would He choose to use people to work out His plan? 3. The second part of this verse begins with God saying, "I am the Lord.” This is a simple statement with many implications attached to it. List some of the implications in this statement, and the significance of this on the people of Isaiah’s time, and for us now. 4. It happens according to His timing. Swiftly, but within His timetable! Is there any sense of urgency in your approach to joining the Lord in His work? How do you work out the dichotomy of "urgency and patience" in serving? 5. There is an ultimate grand purpose in everything God undertakes. Do you know His grand purpose? How does this week's passage fit into this? How are you fitting into His purpose? What changes in your attitude, worldview and life must take place in order for you to enter into His grand purpose? “The greatest threat to Christmas this year is not consumerism or Santa, but our own overfamiliarity with the most stunning story ever told." -- Matt Smethurst
  • Dec 21, 2014The Generous God of Christmas
    Dec 21, 2014
    The Generous God of Christmas
    Pastor Deric concludes our Christmas sermon series entitled "A Generous Christmas" with a sermon entitled "The Generous God of Christmas" from Romans 8:31-39.

    Questions:
    In order to get a greater grasp of the context for our passage this week, read Romans 8:26-39 several times.
    1. After reading verse thirty one, how do you respond to how God feels about you? Do you have a sense of shame, or a guilty conscience about things that you have been forgiven? What must you do in order to get past that?
     
    2. Does what you do, or how you live, match your position of righteousness? Are there currently practices in your life that you do not believe are led by the Holy Spirit?  What do you need to do to live as you ought to? What is the evidence of having one’s mind set on what the Spirit desires for us?
     
    3. Considering what God gave up for us (v.32), what are you willing to “give up” in order to live for Him and grow in your love and service for Him?

    4. As an adopted member of the family of God, how do you evaluate your contribution as a family member? What are the strongholds that you need to surrender to contribute more?

    5. Paul calls us to live as “more than conquerors (v.37).” What does that mean on a day-to-day level as opposed to an eternal level? What are some of the threats you face that are preventing you from experiencing God’s power and love like this?

    6. In the light of all of these promises of God, what do you fear and why? How can we overcome our fears?

    “The Christian life is essentially life in the Spirit, that is to say, a life that is animated, sustained, directed and enriched by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, true Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, indeed impossible.”  --John Stott
  • Dec 14, 2014Christmas According to the Foremost Sinner
    Dec 14, 2014
    Christmas According to the Foremost Sinner
    Pastor Deric continues our Christmas sermon series entitled "A Generous Christmas" with a sermon entitled "Christmas According to the Foremost Sinner" from 1 Timothy 1:15.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 Timothy 1:12-17 several times.
    1. Paul begins by pointing to God and thanking Jesus for the strength to do what he has been called to do in his service to his Lord. What “service” have you been called to perform for God? How was it possible for a sinner (v.13) like Paul, and now us, to do great things for the Lord (see Phil. 2:13)?

    2. Paul received mercy (v.13) and grace (v.14) in abundance from the Lord. Can you sense Paul’s emotions as he writes about what Jesus has done for him? What changes have come over Paul (v.14)? How have you been changed by the mercy, grace and love of Jesus? How are you continuing to grow in mercy, grace, faith and love?

    3. Paul calls them to pay attention because he was going to share truth with them that was beyond debate, that Jesus came to save sinners (v.15)! Are you honest with yourself and God about the sin in your life? How can we defend ourselves against the temptations of the world?

    4. What was God’s purpose in Paul receiving mercy and grace in abundance (v.16)? What does God’s mercy and grace reveal to you about yourself? Who are you displaying God’s mercy, grace and love to? How has your personal experience of the Gospel and spiritual growth changed how you interact with your neighbour?

    5. What lessons in gratitude can we learn from Paul’s statements about personal grace and salvation? How will our true gratitude to God influence us when we are tempted by habitual sins?

    “The debt was so great that, while man alone owed it, only God could pay it.” -- Anselm of Canterbury
  • Dec 7, 2014Generous Worshipers
    Dec 7, 2014
    Generous Worshipers
    Pastor Deric continues our Christmas sermon series entitled "A Generous Christmas" with a sermon entitled "Generous Worshipers" from Matthew 2:1-12.

    Questions:
    Please read Matthew 2:1-12 several times.
    1. Matthew mentions the birthplace of Jesus in verse one and in verses five and six. How should the Bible’s fulfilled prophecies impact you?

    2. Matthew tells of the Magi from the east and their journey to see the baby, born King of the Jews. Who were the Magi and what would the importance of this story be to the original Jewish readers? Why is the story of the Magi important to you? How does their journey to find the Messiah affect your faith journey?    

    3. Why would Herod and all of Jerusalem be troubled regarding the visitors from the east inquiring about the location of the coming King of the Jews (vv.2-3)? Why is it that the message of Jesus is still so troubling in today’s world? How is His message troubling to you?

    4. Describe the Magi’s response to seeing the star again, and then meeting Jesus (v.11). They weren’t Jews, so why would they have responded with such excitement, awe, reverence and generosity?

    5. The Magi bowed down and offered their treasures to Jesus. How do you respond to Jesus the Messiah? Have you bowed down and offered your life, your “treasures” to Him? What have you experienced as barriers to offering yourself to Jesus?

    6. God often uses the humble (Mary and Joseph) rather than the high and mighty (Herod, scribes). Not even the politically powerful (Herod) can thwart the plans He has (v.12). Are you serving Him, even during difficult or troubling times? Do you trust Him? Are you allowing God to determine the “how, when, where and what” aspects of your service?
  • Nov 30, 2014Priceless Gifts from Heaven
    Nov 30, 2014
    Priceless Gifts from Heaven
    Pastor Deric starts our Christmas sermon series entitled "A Generous Christmas" with a sermon entitled "Priceless Gifts from Heaven" from Ephesians 2:1-10.

    Questions:
    Please read Ephesians 2:1-10 several times.
    1. What is man’s natural relationship with God? Why is that true? Can you back that up with references from this passage and others?

    2. Is it possible for us to live as free and independent people, or are we always following someone? Can you support your answer from this passage or others?

    3. What does this passage have to say about the ways of the world, and hope for non-Christians?

    4. As a result of God’s great love for us, He has done three things for us. What are they? (v 5-6)

    5. What is Paul telling Christians about God’s mercy and grace? What is it that motivates God to extend His mercy and grace to us?

    6. How then, does Paul explain how we are “saved?” Where do our “good works” fit in to God’s plan?  

    7. Summarize what this passage is teaching you in your own words, using no more than two or three sentences.
  • Nov 23, 2014You Are Being Audited!
    Nov 23, 2014
    You Are Being Audited!
    Pastor Deric continues our current series entitled "Our Generous God" a Stewardship Series. This week his sermon is on 1 Chronicle 29:1-9 entitled "You Are Being Audited!"

    Questions:
    Please read 1 Chronicles 29:1-9 several times.
    1. Why does David use great detail to describe his efforts to provide for the temple that Solomon will build (v.2-3)?

    2. Why does David describe his son Solomon as “young and inexperienced” and what can we learn from his involvement at this point in the process (v. 2-5)? There is detail in the amounts and nature of the gifts David gave to the temple. What does that say about David’s offerings (v.2-5)

    3. David challenges the leaders of the people to give willingly and consecrate themselves to the Lord (v.5). What is the significance of the word “consecrate” and how did the leaders respond (v.6-8)?

    4. How does David view this opportunity to give to God (see v.10-13)? Explain and expand using highlights from the text.

    5. What is the most significant thing to be learned and applied from this passage? How has this passage changed or reinforced your view about how God views giving and generosity? What are you doing to leave behind a legacy of faith for the next generation?
     
    6. What holds people back from being generous with what they have? What about you?
  • Nov 16, 2014A Wealth of Generosity
    Nov 16, 2014
    A Wealth of Generosity
    Pastor Deric continues our current series entitled "Our Generous God" a Stewardship Series. This week his sermon is on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 entitled "A Wealth of Generosity."

    Questions:
    Please read 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 a several times.
    1. What means does God often use to comfort us when we are afflicted? (v.1-4) Can you give examples from your own experience?

    2. We most often think of sorrow as a bad, difficult emotion or experience. What “good” can sorrow lead to? (v.1-4)

    3. How can we as Christians help motivate other Christians? (v.5-8)

    4. How does Paul’s description of Jesus’ example speak to you? (v.9)

    5. Drawing on what Jesus has done for us (v.9), how should we respond? What should the attitude of our heart and mind be regarding this response? (9:5-8)

    6. What principle for Christian living can we draw from this passage? What is our responsibility regarding other Christians? Are you moved to respond, or are you easily able to disregard the needs of others?

    7. Where can you see opportunities to help other Christians in your community or in the world at large? How can we as individuals or as a group, follow through on those opportunities? Give examples.
  • Nov 2, 2014Robbing God
    Nov 2, 2014
    Robbing God
    Pastor Deric continues our current series entitled "Our Generous God" a Stewardship Series. This week his sermon is on Malachi 3:6-12 entitled "Robbing God."

    Questions:
    Please read Malachi 3:6-12.
    1. In verse 7 leading up to our study passage, Malachi states that his people have “turned aside” from God’s statutes. What does turning away from God indicate about the spiritual state of the people of Judah? How serious is this to God? (see v.6) How do the people view their relationship with God? (v.7)

    2. What charge does Malachi bring against the people of Judah? What were the circumstances within their country that should have tipped off the people about their broken relationship with God? (see v.10-11)

    3. What does the phrase, “the whole nation” (v.9) tell us about the seriousness and the scope of the problem?

    4. What is God’s command and promise to Judah? (v.10-11)
     
    5. How is Malachi’s message fundamentally tied to God’s plan for all of the nations? (see Gen. 12:1-3)

    6. What is the message that Malachi’s people need to grasp? What is the change that needs to be made and how is change brought about?
  • Oct 26, 2014Take Heart!
    Oct 26, 2014
    Take Heart!
    Series: Various
    Pastor Deric's sermon this week is entitled "Take Heart!" from John 16:33. A response to all that has happened this week in our world.
    Questions: Please read John 16:33 1.  Read John 16:25-33 and explain the context in your own words. Talk about how it relates to our lives as Christians in 2014. 2.  What evidence is there in verse 33 that Jesus isn’t an “escape” from troubled times?  Elaborate and discuss. 3.  How does a Christian experience peace in a world of tribulation according to verse 33?  (see Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:6-7) 4.  Why is Jesus instruction to “take heart” so appropriate for a Christian? 5.  How has Jesus overcome the world? What does that mean? 6.  What is our role as Christians in a world that is descending increasingly into chaos and violence?
  • Oct 19, 2014The Selfishness of Shallow Worship
    Oct 19, 2014
    The Selfishness of Shallow Worship
    Pastor Deric continues our new series entitled "Our Generous God" a Stewardship Series. This week his sermon is on Isaiah 58 entitled "The Selfishness of Shallow Worship."

    Questions:
    Please read Isaiah 58.

    Now, begin by re-reading verses 3 to 5.

     
    1. God was commanding the prophet to give His reproofs to His people in a powerful and pressing manner. What was so wrong? What is the warning here for us? What does God identify as the basic troubling issue?
     
    2. What place does fasting have in a life of faith, and what are some of the obvious conclusions you can draw from this text about your attitude while fasting? Give Scripture examples to back your answers.
     
    3. God’s people were engaged in religious form (going to church, praying, fasting, having devotions, etc), yet God did not hear them or acknowledge their “worship.” What was the problem? (Rev 3:17; Matt 7:21-23)
     
    4. Identify and elaborate on the specific behaviours in verses 3 and 4 that God points to as evidence of their hypocrisy.

    5. What is God describing in verse 5?

    Now, re-read verses 6 to 12.

    6. What is the overall teaching that is being conveyed?

    7. Explain and elaborate on what each point of God’s fast may mean to us today. Give biblical examples to support your ideas.

    8. Discuss the many way the Lord promises to replenish and transform our lives as a result of fasting the way He prescribes.

    9. What will be the final result according to verse 12?
  • Oct 12, 2014More Than Enough
    Oct 12, 2014
    More Than Enough
    Pastor Deric continues our new series entitled "Our Generous God" a Stewardship Series. This week his sermon is on Exodus 35 and 36 entitled "More Than Enough."

    Questions:
    Please read Exodus 35 and 36 twice through.
    1. What detail in Exodus 35:5 changes the nature of Israel’s contribution to build the Tabernacle? How does this principle apply to the church today? Can you support your idea from Scripture?   

    2. Exodus 35:21 describes the people as being “stirred” and “moved” in their giving.  What does that mean? Do you feel that way about being generous to God’s work?  (Compare Rev. 3:15-18)
     
    3. Exodus 35:22 explains that the people were moved to give “willingly.” What does their willingness communicate to us? (see 2 Cor 9:7; compare 2 Chron 35:8)  
     
    4. The “sub-plot” in this narrative is the revelation about the condition of the people’s hearts (v. 5, 21, 22, 26, 29). They had a heart for God and His work. It is a heart response that God cares about more than anything else. How does this apply to our lives today? (see Prov 21:2;  1 Sam 16:7)

    5. How do you explain the concept of being “commanded” to participate in God’s work in Exodus 35:10 and the “free-will” participation of God’s people emphasized in this story?  

    6. Chapter 35:23-24; 31, and chapter 36:2 explain that the people gave according to the abilities that God gave them. How does that apply to our giving practices? (see 2 Cor 8:7-12)
     
    7. Exodus 36:7 states that Israel “had more than enough” to complete the work that God gave them to do. How is the story an example of the words of the famous missionary to China, Hudson Taylor: “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply?” What does this story remind you about God’s ability to meet your need? (see Phil 4:19)
  • Oct 5, 2014Giving Back to Yourself
    Oct 5, 2014
    Giving Back to Yourself
    Pastor Deric continues our new series entitled "Our Generous God" a Stewardship Series. This week his sermon is on Luke 6:27-38 entitled "Giving Back to Yourself."

    Questions:
    Please read Luke 6:27-38 several times through.
    1. What is the significance of Jesus’ use of “love” (agape) to this overall passage?

    2. Jesus instructs us, “love your enemies” in verse 27. What is the the first step in obedience to Jesus and how would this change how we think, act and live?

    3. Is it possible to fake this kind of love? How do we know love is genuine?

    4. What is the principle in verse 30 that Jesus wants His followers to adopt? What guides and governs a giving heart?

    5. God is the ultimate example of a good gift giver. How are some ways His giving differs from ours?

    6. According to verses 32 to 35, what is it that sets the Christian apart from the unbeliever?

    7. In verse 35, Jesus gives us directions on how to live this way. What are His orders to us?  What will the result be?

    8. How does Jesus describe a forgiven follower in verse 37?

    9. What is the connection between “giving” and “getting” that is being taught from this entire paragraph?

    Click here for a PDF version of the Digging Deeper questions