Sermons by: Pastor Deric Bartlett

May 9, 2021
The Queen of the Castle – Deric Bartlett
Series: One off
This week, Pastor Deric shares a special Mother's Day message titled 'The Queen of the Castle" based on the book of Esther.

1. The ________ of Esther
2. The _______ of Esther

ICEBREAKER: What life lessons have you learned from your mother?

1. What do you learn about Esther’s background from Esther 2:5-11? How does her less than ideal life circumstances encourage you to face your own [cf. Genesis 50:19-21; James 1:2-4; and 1 Peter 1:6-9]?

2. How was Esther’s character portrayed in Esther 2:9, 10, and 15? Why are these desirable attributes to cultivate in life [cf. Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; and Proverbs 23:22-23]?

3. Esther was willing to give others credit instead of being self-serving [Esther 2:21-23]. Why is this such an undervalued characteristic today? What good could possibly from turning the spotlight on others [cf. Roman 16:1-2; 1 Corinthians 16:15-18; and Philippians 2:25-30]?

4. Esther could have tried to save herself by keeping her nationality hidden. However, she chose, at the bidding of Mordecai, to identify with her endangered people. How does her act of courage and self-sacrifice inspire you to face your fears [cf. 1 Samuel 17:41-51; Daniel 6:19-23; and 1 Peter 3:18]?

5. How do the events of Esther 5-7 – the first dinner, the humiliation of Haman, the second dinner, and the ultimate downfall of Haman – illustrate the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility [cf. Jeremiah 18:1-11; Acts 13:48; and Philippians 2:12-13]?

6. Esther decided to petition the king by declaring her solidarity with the people of God [Esther 7:3-4]. Do you value the community of faith? If so, how do you demonstrate it [cf. 1 Corinthians 12:26; Hebrews 10:32-39; and Hebrews 13:1-3]?

7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

“When Eve was brought unto Adam, he became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gave her the most sanctified, the most glorious of appellations. He called her Eve, that is to say, the Mother of All. He did not style her wife, but simply mother, mother of all living creatures. In this consists the glory and the most precious ornament of woman.” (Martin Luther)
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  • May 9, 2021The Queen of the Castle – Deric Bartlett
    May 9, 2021
    The Queen of the Castle – Deric Bartlett
    Series: One off
    This week, Pastor Deric shares a special Mother's Day message titled 'The Queen of the Castle" based on the book of Esther.

    1. The ________ of Esther
    2. The _______ of Esther

    ICEBREAKER: What life lessons have you learned from your mother?

    1. What do you learn about Esther’s background from Esther 2:5-11? How does her less than ideal life circumstances encourage you to face your own [cf. Genesis 50:19-21; James 1:2-4; and 1 Peter 1:6-9]?

    2. How was Esther’s character portrayed in Esther 2:9, 10, and 15? Why are these desirable attributes to cultivate in life [cf. Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20; and Proverbs 23:22-23]?

    3. Esther was willing to give others credit instead of being self-serving [Esther 2:21-23]. Why is this such an undervalued characteristic today? What good could possibly from turning the spotlight on others [cf. Roman 16:1-2; 1 Corinthians 16:15-18; and Philippians 2:25-30]?

    4. Esther could have tried to save herself by keeping her nationality hidden. However, she chose, at the bidding of Mordecai, to identify with her endangered people. How does her act of courage and self-sacrifice inspire you to face your fears [cf. 1 Samuel 17:41-51; Daniel 6:19-23; and 1 Peter 3:18]?

    5. How do the events of Esther 5-7 – the first dinner, the humiliation of Haman, the second dinner, and the ultimate downfall of Haman – illustrate the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility [cf. Jeremiah 18:1-11; Acts 13:48; and Philippians 2:12-13]?

    6. Esther decided to petition the king by declaring her solidarity with the people of God [Esther 7:3-4]. Do you value the community of faith? If so, how do you demonstrate it [cf. 1 Corinthians 12:26; Hebrews 10:32-39; and Hebrews 13:1-3]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “When Eve was brought unto Adam, he became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gave her the most sanctified, the most glorious of appellations. He called her Eve, that is to say, the Mother of All. He did not style her wife, but simply mother, mother of all living creatures. In this consists the glory and the most precious ornament of woman.” (Martin Luther)
  • Apr 25, 2021God’s Heart for Children – Deric Bartlett
    Apr 25, 2021
    God’s Heart for Children – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'God's Heart for Children' based on selected passages from Mark 9 & 10.

    1. ______________ as God sees them (9:14-29)
    2. ____________________ as Jesus illustrated (9:33-37)
    3.  ________________  from temptation (9:42-50)
    4. ____________________ to Jesus (10:13-16)


    ICEBREAKER:
    What is your favourite international food?

    1. What divine characteristics did Jesus demonstrate in the healing of the demonized boy in Mark 9:14-27? How do these encourage you in your times of crisis [cf. Psalm 103:13; Colossians 2:15; and Hebrews 2:14-15]?

    2. The word translated “received” in Mark 9:37 is a term of hospitality. Children in ancient times had little significance. How did Jesus’ actions and words in Mark 9:36-37 challenge the prevailing attitude regarding the value of children [cf. Psalm 131:1-3; Ephesians 6:1-4; and Colossians 3:20-21]?

    3. Why do you think Jesus was particularly harsh in His condemnation of those who cause “one of these little ones who believe in me to sin” [Mark 9:42]? Examine also Proverbs 28:10; Luke 17:1-4; and Romans 14:13-23.

    4. What principles for dealing with temptation to sin do you pick up from Jesus’ instruction to cut off various body parts if they cause you to sin [Mark 9:43, 45, 47]? Consider also 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:13-15; and 1 John 2:15-17.

    5. The contrast between Jesus’ approach to young children and His disciples’ could not be starker [Mark 10:13]. What does this tell you about Jesus? What does this tell you about His disciples [cf. Genesis 33:5; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; and Psalm 127:3-5]?

    6. What is it about a child that makes him/her the ultimate example of how to enter God’s kingdom [Mark 10:15]? Look up John 1:12; Romans 8:14-17; and Galatians 3:25-26 for more insights.

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Now, as always, God discloses Himself to “babes” and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.” (A.W. Tozer)
  • Apr 11, 2021All Things Are Possible For One Who Believes – Deric Bartlett
    Apr 11, 2021
    All Things Are Possible For One Who Believes – Deric Bartlett

    This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'All Things Are Possible For One Who Believes' based on Mark 9:14-32.

    1. You can _________ with Jesus in every circumstance of life (v. 14-15)
    2. You can __________ the deepest disappointments of life (v. 16-19)
    3. You can _________ hurting and troubled people to Jesus for healing (v. 17-27)
    4. You can ___________ in faith and spiritual discernment (v. 23-29)

    ICEBREAKER: If you were featured on the local news, what would be the most likely reason?

    1. Although we don’t learn how the demon entered the young person, we still learn other important lessons about the demonic world from Mark 9:17-18. What lessons do you observe from this text [cf. Job 1:6-2:8; Ephesians 6:11-12; and 1 Peter 5:8-9]?

    2. Jesus’ disciples experienced some ministry success [cf. Mark 6:12-13]. However they remained a work in progress [Mark 9:18b]. How do their initial struggles encourage you to persevere in using your gifts to serve the Lord Jesus [cf. Mark 8:14-21; Mark 8:31-33; and Mark 9:9-10]?

    3. According to Mark 9:19, what was hampering the disciples’ fruitfulness in ministry that remains a persistent issue for Christ’s followers today [cf. Luke 24:25-27; John 20:26-29; and Hebrews 11:6]?

    4. How would you use Mark 9:20-22 to encourage a curious person to steer clear of the occult [cf. Isaiah 8:19-20; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 2 Corinthians 11:14]?

    5. The father’s cry, “I believe; help my unbelief!” gives amazing insight into the human condition and the fight for faith. What does this cry reveal about the person and the way forward for his spiritual journey [cf. Matthew 14:28-33; Matthew 21:18-22; and Luke 17:5-6]?

    6. Following their ministry failure, the disciples (to their credit) approached Jesus hoping to gain some insights into what went wrong [Mark 9:28-29]. What reason did Jesus give which is critical for ministry effectiveness today [cf. Mark 11:22-24; John 15:1-7; and Ephesians 6:18]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Faith upholds a Christian under all trials, by assuring him that every painful dispensation is under the direction of his Lord; that chastisements are a token of His love; that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him, according to his need.” (John Newton)
  • Apr 4, 2021Resurrection Everyday – Deric Bartlett
    Apr 4, 2021
    Resurrection Everyday – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Easter
    This Easter Sunday, Pastor Deric shares a message titled 'Resurrection Every Day' based on Galatians 2:20.

    I have been crucified with Christ.
    It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
    And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
    who loved me and gave himself for me.

    ICEBREAKER: What culture would you like to learn more about?

    1. There is a backstory to this year’s Easter theme verse, and it is recounted in Galatians 2:11-13. What happened that perturbed the Apostle Paul and caused him to expound on the gospel of grace [cf. Matthew 21:45-46; Acts 15:1-5; and 2 Corinthians 11:3-4]?

    2. Galatians 2:16 contrasts two ways of being justified, which means being declared righteous in God’s sight. Which one is effective, and which is ineffective? Why? [cf. Romans 3:20; Romans 10:5-13; and Philippians 3:2-11]?

    3. When Paul wrote that he had been crucified with Christ in Galatians 2:20, when did that happen, and how? Was he speaking literally? If not, in what sense did this occur [cf. Romans 6:6; Romans 6:11; and Galatians 5:24]?

    4. The entire life of a Christian disciple is summed up in Paul’s words, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” [Galatians 2:20]. What does this look like in practical terms in your life [cf. Romans 14:8; Philippians 1:21; and Colossians 3:3]?

    5. Why is Jesus worthy of our faith [Galatians 2:20], and how are you daily learning to live by faith in Him [cf. Acts 26:15-18; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; and Ephesians 3:14-19]?

    6. According to the final phrase in Galatians 2:20, what did Jesus do for you, and why did He do it? How does this help you celebrate this year’s Easter despite the pandemic [Galatians 1:3-5; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; and Titus 2:11-14]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “God has defeated Satan through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through this overwhelming victory, God has also empowered you to overcome any temptation to sin and has provided sufficient resources for you to respond biblically to any problem of life. By relying on God's power and being obedient to His Word, you can be an overcomer in any situation.” (John C. Broger)
  • Apr 2, 2021Good Friday 2021 – Deric Bartlett
    Apr 2, 2021
    Good Friday 2021 – Deric Bartlett
    Series: Good Friday
    This Good Friday, Pastor Deric teaches from Isaiah 53.
  • Mar 28, 2021Mountain Top Moments – Deric Bartlett
    Mar 28, 2021
    Mountain Top Moments – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Mountain Top Moments' based on Mark 9:1-13.
     
    1. Climbing ______ the mountain with Jesus   -  v. 1-2a
    2. Living ______ the mountain with Jesus:  v. 2b-7
    3. Traveling _______ the mountain with Jesus: v. 8-13

    ICEBREAKER: What works of art have really made an impression on you?

    1. Jesus said some standing in His presence at that moment would actually see the kingdom of God come in power [Mark 9:1]. In context, to what event was He referring [cf. Matthew 24:29-31; Matthew 25:31; and Hebrew 2:9]?

    2. What was the significance of Jesus’ transfiguration [Mark 9:2-3]? What did it reveal about Him and the kingdom of God [cf. John 1:14; 2 Corinthians 3:18, and 2 Peter 1:16-18]?

    3. Why do you think it was Moses and Elijah that showed up on the mountain to talk to Jesus [Mark 9:4]? What lessons do you learn from this about the afterlife [cf. Malachi 4:5-6; Luke 9:30-31; and Acts 3:18-22]?

    4. Peter’s offer to pitch 3 tents seems to point to the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Booths [Mark 9:5; cf. Leviticus 23:39-43]. Why do you think this feast would come to his mind? Why was the offer both appropriate and inappropriate when you consider the identities of the 3 persons Peter mentioned [cf. John 1:14; Acts 10:25-26; and Revelation 19:10]?

    5. What Old Testament event took place on a mountain, was overshadowed by a cloud, and was accompanied by God’s voice [Mark 9:7]? What parallels do you see, and why are they so significant to Jesus and His ministry [cf. Exodus 19:16-20:17; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; and Acts 3:17-26]?

    6. The disciples were confused about the meaning of “rising from the dead” [Mark 9:10]. From their perspective, why was it difficult to understand this statement from Jesus literally? What does this teach us about the nature of the discipleship process [cf. Matthew 4:19; Matthew 28:19-20; and Acts 4:13]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “On Christ’s glory I would fix my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world”. (John Owen)


  • Mar 21, 2021What Do You Say About Jesus? – Deric Bartlett
    Mar 21, 2021
    What Do You Say About Jesus? – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'What Do You Say About Jesus?' based on Mark 8:27-38.

    1. We say that He is ____________________ (v. 27-30)
    2. We say that He is _____________________ (v. 31-33)
    3. We say that He is ______________________ (v. 34-38)

    ICEBREAKER: What weird thing do you have nostalgia for?

    1. Mark 8:27-28 indicates there were multiple theories concerning Jesus’ identity.What do these popular ideas reveal about Jesus and His ministry? What theories are floating around today regarding who Jesus is [cf. Luke 9:7-9; John 7:10-13, 20; and John 8:48]?
    2. The question Jesus posed to His disciples in Mark 8:29 penetrates to the core of what it means to be a Christian. How do you personally answer His question? Why? [John 6:68-69; John 11:27; Romans 10:9-10; and Philippians 2:9-11]?
    3. The Greek term “Christ” and the Hebrew term “Messiah” both mean “anointed one”. If the claim that Jesus is the Christ is true, what difference does it make [Luke 24:25-27; Acts 2:36; and 1 John 5:1-5]?
    4. What does Jesus’ prediction that He would suffer, die, and rise from the dead [Mark 8:31] demonstrate about what Christians can also expect in this earthly life [John 16:33; Acts 14:19-23; and 2 Timothy 3:10-13]?
    5. According to Mark 8:33, what elicited such a stern rebuke from Jesus? What were the disciples expecting Jesus, as the Christ, to accomplish? What should they have expected [Romans 8:5-8; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; and Colossians 3:1-4]?
    6. Today, the cross is often used as jewelry and the idea of bearing one’s cross typically conveys the thought of putting up with an inconvenience. What did Jesus mean when He called all His followers to take up their crosses and follow Him [Luke 14:25-33; Romans 6:5-11; and Galatians 2:20]?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but in God.” (Harry Ironside)
  • Mar 14, 2021What Do You See? – Deric Bartlett
    Mar 14, 2021
    What Do You See? – Deric Bartlett

    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'What Do You See?' based on Mark 8:22-26.

    1.    We see Jesus living every day in the ______________ (v. 22) 

    2.    We see Messiah fulfilling every promise ________________  (v. 22-25)

    3.    We see the Good Shepherd guiding His children all the way _______________ (v. 26) 


    ICEBREAKER:
    What is the best or worst prank you have played on someone?

    1. In Mark 8:18, Jesus reprimanded His disciples for having eyes but not perceiving clearly who He was and what He could do. Why is physical sight such a potent metaphor for spiritual perception [cf. Isaiah 6:9-10; Jeremiah 5:18-31; and Matthew 13:13-17]? 

    2. During these days of physical distancing and sanitizing, we are being deprived of human touch. Why do you think Jesus often helped so many through touch and the laying on of His hands [cf. Mark 8:22-23]? Consider also Mark 3:10; Mark 10:13-16; and Luke 13:10-13.

    3. Why do you think Jesus spat on the blind man’s eyes [Mark 8:23]? Look up Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 25:7-10; and Job 30:9-10 for background ideas.

    4. What did the blind man’s comment that people initially appeared like trees walking [Mark 8:24] indicate about his eyesight at that moment? Do you think Jesus messed up the healing and had to retry it to get it right [cf. Mark 2:8-12; Mark 7:37; and Luke 4:36]? Why or why not?

    5. Why do you think Jesus healed the blind man in 2 stages, from partial to full sight [Mark 8:25]?

    6. Who, beside the blind man, benefitted from this miracle [Mark 8:25]? Who was with Jesus observing it as eyewitnesses? In context, how did this healing instruct them [cf. Mark 8:17-18; Mark 8:21; Mark 8:27-38]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?


    “In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.” (Blaise Pascal)






  • Mar 7, 2021Our Daily Bread! – Deric Bartlett
    Mar 7, 2021
    Our Daily Bread! – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Our Daily Bread!' based on Mark 8:1-21.
     
    1. God has a plan to ___________________ (v. 1-10)
    2. You can refuse to eat the _____________________ (v. 11-13)
    3.  You have to learn to digest your _______________________  (v. 14-21
     
     

    ICEBREAKER: What skill or talent would you most like to learn?

    1. Why do you think Jesus miraculously fed the 5000 in Mark 6:35-44, and then repeated it by feeding the 4000 in Mark 8:1-9? Why was this such an important lesson for His disciples to grasp [Mark 8:16-21]? Consider also Isaiah 6:8-13; Matthew 13:10-17; and Hebrews 5:11-14.

    2. Mark 8:11 tells us the Pharisees came to Jesus asking for a sign from heaven. But Mark’s Gospel to this point has recorded numerous miracles of healings, feedings, and exorcisms among others. What does this indicate about the religious leaders’ hearts [cf. Matthew 16:1-4; Luke 11:14-23; and 1 Corinthians 1:18-25]?

    3. What does Jesus’ reaction to the Pharisees’ demand in Mark 8:12 indicate about His humanity, as well as the condition of people’s hearts [cf. Isaiah 53:1-4; Mark 6:1-6; and Luke 19:41-44?

    4. Why do you think Jesus unfavourably compared the teachings of the Pharisees and Herod’s politics to leaven [cf. Matthew 16:11-12; Luke 12:1-3; and 1 Corinthians 5:6-8]?

    5. Mark’s Gospel clearly recorded the disciples’ frequent misunderstanding of Jesus’ miracles and teachings. How do their struggles encourage you to continue striving to understand and live as a disciple today [cf. Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 14:28-31; and Matthew 16:8]?

    6. The disciples were thinking literally whereas Jesus was thinking figuratively when He mentioned the bread and the leaven [Mark 8:14-18]. Why do you think Jesus employed analogies or word pictures to convey spiritual truth [cf. John 3:1-7; John 4:7-15; and John 7:37-39?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Jesus did not come into the world mainly to give bread, but to be bread. ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not hunger. He who believes in me will never thirst’ (John 6:35)…Now he is going to give bread and you can miss it by thinking that is the main thing he came to do. But that is not the main reason he came. You have already had a lot of bread taken out of your hands. And I hope it lands on you with massive good news that he came to be bread, not mainly give bread. He has got to take bread out of a lot of people’s hands so that they will trust him as the bread.” (John Piper)

  • Feb 28, 2021The Paradise of God – Deric Bartlett
    Feb 28, 2021
    The Paradise of God – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'The Paradise of God' based on Mark 7:1-23.
     
    1. Elevate tradition over __________: v. 1-5 
    2. Value appearance over ___________: v. 6-7 
    3. Observe legalism over _____________: v. 8-13
    4. Choose compliance over ______________: v. 14 & 18 
    5. Trust law over ________________: v. 15-23

    ICEBREAKER: How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?

    1. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day would have felt right at home during our pandemic with their emphasis on washing [Mark 7:1-4].  Why did their cleansing activities upset Jesus [cf. Matthew 23:25; Acts 10:28; and Colossians 2:8]?

    2. The religious leaders were good at judging others but not so good at judging themselves [Mark 7:5]. Why is judging others so dangerous [cf. Matthew 7:1-5; Romans 2:1-11; and James 4:11-12]?

    3. Why is hypocrisy a particularly heinous sin [Mark 7:6-8]? Consult Matthew 23:27-28; Luke 13:10-17; and Galatians 2:11-13 for more insights.

    4. Having traditions is not necessarily evil [cf. 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15]. Why was Jesus taking issue with the traditions of the religious leaders [Mark 7:9-13]? Look up Proverbs 28:24; Matthew 23:23-26; and Galatians 1:14 for further clues.

    5. Why are outward appearances poor indicators of a person’s spirituality [Mark 7:17-19]? Consider also 1 Samuel 16:6-7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; and Luke 16:15.

    6. Jesus cut to the heart of the matter by stating that defilement derives from a person’s heart [Mark 7:20-23]. What can be done to cleanse a defiled heart [cf. Psalm 51:10, 17; Ezekiel 36:26; and Acts 15:9]?

    7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Hypocrisy can plunge the mind of a man into a dark abyss, when he believes his own self-flattery instead of God’s verdict.” (John Calvin)

  • Feb 7, 2021The Reward for Following Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Feb 7, 2021
    The Reward for Following Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'The Reward for Following Jesus' based on Mark 6:14-29.
     
    1. Unstoppable _______________: v. 14
    2. Unending _________________: v. 14 – 15
    3. Unavoidable_______________: v. 16 – 20
    4. Inevitable ____________________: v. 21-28

    5. Loyalty, Rest and Eternal Life: v. 29

    ICEBREAKER: What is the weirdest way you have met someone?

    1. What does the report that Jesus’ name had become well known even to an unbelieving politician like Herod tell you about the reality of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry [Mark 6:14]? Consider also Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 23:6-12; and Acts 4:23-28.
    2. Several possibilities were offered as to Jesus’ identity in Mark 6:14-16. What do these opinions indicate about Jesus, and why does it matter [cf. Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 11:2-6; and Luke 7:16-17]?
    3. What do you learn about the potential consequences of addressing a culture’s blatant immorality from the experience of John the Baptist [Mark 6:17-19]? What are the potential consequences of not addressing it [cf. Romans 1:24-32; Ephesians 4:17-19; and 1 Peter 4:3-5]?
    4. Herod was portrayed as a deeply conflicted person in Mark 6:19-20. What do you think was going on in his heart that should be avoided [cf. Romans 2:14-16; 2 Corinthians 4:4; and Titus 3:3]?
    5. Herod made a rash promise for all the wrong reasons [Mark 6:21-23]. What errors in his judgment can you list which can help you escape his foolhardiness [cf. Proverbs 17:27-28; Proverbs 29:20; and Ecclesiastes 5:1-2]?
    6. What did the beheading of John the Baptist [Mark 6:24-29] forebode for Jesus? Why is following Jesus costly? Do you believe Jesus is worth suffering for? Why or why not? [cf. Luke 9:23-26; John 12:25-26; and Revelation 12:11]?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
  • Jan 31, 2021Offended by Jesus Because of Unbelief – Deric Bartlett
    Jan 31, 2021
    Offended by Jesus Because of Unbelief – Deric Bartlett

    This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Offended at Jesus Because of Unbelief' based on Mark 6:1-13.

    I.     We can reject Jesus by being offended (v. 1-13)

    1)   “they took offense” at Jesus  (v. 1-3) 

    2)   “they took offense” at His choice of apostles (v. 7-11)

    3)   “they took offense” at His call for repentance (v. 12-13)

    II.    We can restrict Jesus by unbelief (v. 4-6)


    ICEBREAKER:
    What is the most amazing fact you know?

    1.Jesus received a rather cool reception from the people of his hometown, Nazareth. With this in mind, how do their hostile questions unintentionally help to authenticate Jesus’ life and ministry [Mark 6:1-2]? Examine also Luke 11:14-23; John 3:1-7; and John 8:48-59.

    2.What do you learn about Jesus’ family from Mark 6:3? What do you imagine it would have been like to grow up with Jesus as your eldest sibling [cf. Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 2:41-51; and John 7:1-9]?

    3.Why do you think “a prophet is not without honour, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household” [Mark 6:4]? What emotions do you think Jesus was feeling when He made this comment [cf. Matthew 14:28-31; Matthew 23:37-39; and Luke 23:34]?

    4.From Mark 6:1-6, what are some of the consequences of unbelief that must be avoided [cf. Mark 9:14-24; Acts 19:8-10; and Romans 11:17-24]?

    5.How would you apply Jesus’ method of disciple-making from Mark 6:7-9 to today [cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 10:1-12; and John 4:31-38]?

    6.What remedies are available for hearts hardened to the gospel [cf. Ezekiel 3:4-11; John 12:36-43; and Romans 2:1-11]?

    7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Christ never failed to distinguish between doubt and unbelief. Doubt is can’t believe. Unbelief is won’t believe. Doubt is honesty. Unbelief is obstinacy. Doubt is looking for light. Unbelief is content with darkness.” (Henry Drummond)

  • Jan 24, 2021Tracking with Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Jan 24, 2021
    Tracking with Jesus – Deric Bartlett

    This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Tracking with Jesus' based on Mark 5:21-43.

    1.  Jesus is accessible to a crushing crowd (v. 21,24) 
    2.  Jesus is approachable to a ruler of a synagogue (v. 22-24)  
    3.  Jesus is responsive to an unwell, unclean woman (v. 25-34)
    4.  Jesus is focused with the disciples (v. 37)
    5.  Jesus is unmoved by the mockery of unbelief (v. 40)
    6. Jesus is new life to all who believe in Him (v. 41- 42)


    ICEBREAKER:
    What is a problem you have that might be entirely unique to you?

    1.Mark recorded three stories in rapid succession in which three people fell before Jesus [Mark 5:6, 22, 33]. What does this action indicate about these three individuals? What does it indicate about Jesus [cf. Esther 8:3; Luke 5:8-10; and Revelation 1:17-18]?

    2.All parents experience a sense of panic and powerlessness when their children are gravely ill. Jairus suffered anguish while his beloved daughter suffered illness [Mark 5:23]. What is noteworthy about this father’s approach to Jesus? And what does it say about Jesus that He went with him [Mark 5:24]? Consider also Psalm 103:8-14; Matthew 15:29-32; and Hebrews 4:15-16.

    3.After reading the description of the hemorrhaging woman’s plight in Mark 5:25-26, what do you suspect was her mental and emotional state? Why do you think she attempted to touch Jesus’ garments undetected [Mark 5:27-28]? Look up Leviticus 15:25-27; Matthew 14:35-36; and Luke 8:43-44 for more clues.

    4.Why do you think Jesus asked, “Who touched my garments?” in Mark 5:30? What was His purpose in calling out the distressed woman [Mark 5:33-34]? Consult also Luke 17:15-19; Luke 18:35-43; and Luke 19:37-38.

    5.While pondering the story in Mark 5:35-43, how do Jesus’ words recorded in Mark 5:36 and 39 break the seeming inevitability and finality of death [cf. Mark 9:23; John 5:25-29; John 11:11-15; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18]?

    6.Note the contrast between Jesus’ words and everyone else’s in Mark 5:35-43. What is the difference? How does this encourage you to take Jesus’ words to heart, “Do not fear, only believe” [cf. Matthew 8:13; John 11:25-26; and John 14:1-7]?

    7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “Affliction brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them.” (Robert Murray McCheyne)

  • Jan 17, 2021Men, Monsters & Miracles – Deric Bartlett
    Jan 17, 2021
    Men, Monsters & Miracles – Deric Bartlett

    This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Men, Monsters & Miracles' based on Mark 5:1-20.

    1. The MAN who lived in a grave with an evil spirit
    2. The MONSTERS who have to be evicted
    3. The MASTER who sends us back home “clothed and in our right minds”
    4. The MOB who evicts Jesus from their lives
    ICEBREAKER: Where are five places you really want to visit before you die?
    1.Mark portrayed Jesus as full of action and authority. In context, He commanded the wind and waves, and they obeyed, leaving His disciples in awe [Mark 4:35-41]. He then commanded a legion of demons and they obeyed [Mark 5:6-13]. What do these stories tell you about Jesus’ identity? Consider Luke 4:31-37; John 1:1-5; and Colossians 1:16 for more insights.
    2.According to the Bible, unclean spirits exist [Mark 5:2]. A real, yet invisible world, is warring against the human race. How are believers to counter their evil influences [cf. Acts 26:18; Ephesians 6:10-20; James 4:7; and 1 Peter 5:8-9]?
    3.Mark 5:3-5 describes the utter brokenness and lostness of a person as far removed from God and others as possible. How is his wretchedness described? What does it say about Jesus that He invested time and energy in him? Consult Matthew 9:35-36; Luke 5:29-32; and Luke 19:10 for further ideas.
    4.The term “Legion” [Mark 5:9] means “thousands” and was used by the Romans for a military division. This name adds a sense of battle to the text, which, in fact, it was. What strategic lessons do you learn from Jesus’ interchange with the demonic horde [cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; Colossians 2:15; and Hebrews 2:14-15]?
    5.Can you imagine witnessing a legion of unclean spirits possessing about 2000 “unclean” pigs and stampeding them down a sharp decline to drown in a sea [Mark 5:11-13]? This story vividly portrays the number, the influence, and the destructiveness of the demonic world. How do you personally resist such diabolical evil [cf. Romans 8:38-39; 2 Corinthians 2:11; and Ephesians 1:21-22]?
    6.The opposing responses to Jesus could not be in starker contrast. The crowds from the city and countryside feared, and asked Jesus to leave [Mark 5:15-17], showing their persistent brokenness. However, the broken man made whole asked to leave with Jesus but was commissioned to share his story with other broken people [Mark 5:19-20]. Who do you know that is broken and needs Jesus to make them whole [cf. John 4:25-30; John 7:37-38; John 8:12; and John 9:24-41]?
    7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
    “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist and a magician with the same delight.” (C.S. Lewis)
  • Jan 10, 2021Alone with Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Jan 10, 2021
    Alone with Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Alone with Jesus' based on Mark 4:21-34
     
    1. Being alone with Jesus produces spiritual discernment: v. 1-20
    2. Being alone with Jesus produces spiritual light: v. 21-25
    3. Being alone with Jesus produces faith in God’s plan: v. 26-29
    4. Being alone with Jesus expands the kingdom of God on earth. v. 30-33
     
    ICEBREAKER: What do you resent paying for most?
     
    1.In the broader context, Jesus was speaking of “the secret of the kingdom of God” [Mark 4:11]. How do you think a lit lamp on a lampstand [Mark 4:21] illustrates Jesus and the kingdom of God [cf. Matthew 5:14-16; John 1:4-5; and John 8:12]?
     
    2.Jesus’ words, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” [Mark 4:23] are actually a command. He is telling His hearers to “Listen up!” Why, according to Mark 4:24-25, should we listen to Christ and the message of God’s kingdom so attentively? How do we put this into practice [cf. Matthew 10:14; Matthew 17:5; and John 10:7-18]?
     
    3.According to Mark 4:26-29, what is humanity’s role in the kingdom of God, and what is God’s role? How does this influence the way you approach ministry today [cf. Matthew 16:18; 2 Corinthians 5:11; and Ephesians 2:19-22]?
     
    4.Why do you think Jesus asked His disciples the question of Mark 4:30? Why are earthly illustrations and comparisons so helpful for understanding spiritual truths [cf. Matthew 16:5-12; John 4:13-14; and 2 Timothy 2:3-7]?
     
    5.The parable of the mustard seed [Mark 4:31-32] indicated that Jesus’ ministry and the kingdom of God seemed insignificant at first but would eventually expand enormously. Why do you think God starts small to accomplish His great plans [cf. Deuteronomy 7:5-8; 2 Samuel 7:8; Matthew 15:32-39; and 1 Corinthians 1:26-29]?
     
    6.Jesus taught the crowds in parables, but to His disciples He gave fuller explanations [Mark 4:33-34]. How does this motivate you to spend more time and energy to be with Jesus and follow Him [cf. Luke 24:25-27; John 16:12-14; and Acts 4:13]?
     
    7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
    “The goal of sanctification is for God to set apart for Himself a ‘peculiar people’ who are marked by their love for God and a desire for His kingdom – a people who show that as much as they tell it. The Lord wants us to be a people who are a living foretaste of His coming kingdom.” (James Smith)
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PAS. Max Oates