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)
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  • 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 21, 2021This Man Walks on Water – Max Oates
    Feb 21, 2021
    This Man Walks on Water – Max Oates
    This week, Pastor Max continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'This Man Walks on Water' based on Mark 6:45-52.
     
    1. The battle is not for kingdoms, but for souls. (v. 45 – 48a)
     
    2. The hero is not just a man, but God Himself. (v. 48b – 50)
     
    3. The risk is not in the storm, but in the heart. (v. 52)
     
    ICEBREAKER: What is the best location to fully enjoy a good cup of coffee?
     
    1. One of the most astonishing aspects of Jesus’ earthly life was His practice of prayer [Mark 6:46]. Why do you think Jesus prayed, and how does this impact your prayer life [cf. Matthew 26:36-44; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; and John 17:1-26]?
    2. Amid growing opposition to Jesus, and following a day of exhausting ministry, how does the description of the contrary wind and the disciples’ difficult lake crossing [Mark 6:48] contribute to Mark’s portrayal of discipleship [cf. Matthew 8:18-22; Matthew 19:16-22; and Luke 9:23-26]?
    3. What does the miracle of Jesus walking on the rough, windblown waters to be with His disciples reveal about Jesus [Mark 6:48]? Consider also John 1:1-5; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; and Colossians 1:15-17.
    4. Apparently, first century people also believed in the paranormal as in our day, for the disciples feared the one walking on the water was a ghost [Mark 6:49]. What should believers think about the paranormal [cf. Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 1 Samuel 28:3-20; and Isaiah 8:19]?
    5. Whether your fears are well-founded or irrational, how are Jesus’ words in Mark 6:50 bringing you comfort and peace in these troubled times [cf. Exodus 14:13-14; Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 43:1-2; and John 16:33]?
    6. In Mark 6:51-52, why does Mark expose the disciples’ lack of understanding and hard-heartedness with regard to the loaves? How are the miracles of the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus’ walking on water related? What was the lesson of the loaves that they were failing to grasp [cf. Mark 2:1-12; Mark 4:35-41; Mark 6:30-44; and John 6:14]?
    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

    “If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.” (Thomas Watson)

  • Feb 14, 2021The Master’s Math Lesson – Brad Lehman
    Feb 14, 2021
    The Master’s Math Lesson – Brad Lehman
    This week, Pastor Brad continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'The Master's Math Lesson: The Feeding of the 5000' based on Mark 6:30-44.
    1. Prioritize rest to recharge your reserves [Mark 6:30-32].
    2. Pray for a compassionate heart for others [Mark 6:33-36].
    3. Exhaust your human resources [Mark 6:37-38].
    4. Let your Master do the math [Mark 6:39-44].
    5. Meager resources grow exponentially when entrusted to Jesus.
    ICEBREAKER: How into self-improvement are you? In what areas?
    1. Why is rest so essential for followers of Jesus [Mark 6:31]? How are you incorporating rest into your regular routine [cf. Genesis 2:1-3; Mark 1:35; and Luke 5:16]?
    2. What does compassion look like in practical terms, and how does a follower of Jesus develop it [Mark 6:34]? Examine Luke 7:11-15; Luke 15:20-24; and Colossians 3:12-15 for more ideas.
    3. Why do sheep require a shepherd [Mark 6:34]? Why does Jesus uniquely qualify to be our Shepherd [cf. Psalm 23; Ezekiel 34:1-16; and John 10:1-18]?
    4. Why do you think God sometimes gives seemingly impossible assignments to His people [Mark 6:37]? What do these assignments require of us? What do they require of God [cf. Exodus 3:7-22; Numbers 11:10-23; and Matthew 19:23-26]?
    5. Children played significant roles in Jesus’ earthly ministry [Mark 6:38; cf. John 6:9]. Why do you think this was so [cf. Matthew 18:1-4; Mark 10:13-16; and Luke 9:46-48]?
    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?
    “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” (Henri J.M. Nouwen)
  • 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 momentum: v. 14
    2. Unending controversies: v. 14 – 15
    3. Unavoidable grudges: v. 16 – 20
    4. Inevitable suffering: 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)
  • Jan 3, 2021Spiritual Vaccination – Deric Bartlett
    Jan 3, 2021
    Spiritual Vaccination – Deric Bartlett
    Series: One off
    This week, Pastor Deric start the new year with a message title 'Spiritual Vaccination' base don Jeremiah 9:23-24.
     

     

    1. Knowing God as the LORD is the experience that summarizes the entire Bible
    2. Knowing God as the LORD will protect you from judgment
    3. Knowing God as the LORD will protect you from boasting
    4. Knowing God as the LORD will protect you from ignorance


    ICEBREAKER:
    What realistic New Year’s resolutions are you planning to make?

    1. Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet”. Jeremiah 9:1-2 provides a great example of this tendency. What prompted his tears, and how does it help in the development of a compassionate heart for people [cf. Matthew 5:4; Luke 19:41-44; and Romans 9:1-5]?

    2. Notice the word pictures used to describe the spiritual adultery of the people [Jeremiah 9:3-8]. Has the human condition changed over time? What examples from today reveal the human race’s continued spiritual unfaithfulness [cf. Genesis 6:5-7; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:28-32; and 2 Timothy 3:1-5]?

    3. God’s patience toward sinners eventually ends. What do you learn about God’s character that prompts you to restrain unrighteousness [cf. Romans 2:1-11; Romans 9:19-26; and 2 Peter 3:8-10]?

    4. Jeremiah 9:12-22 lists God’s indictment of His unfaithful people along with the impending doom of destruction and exile. Why do you think people persist in sin when it inevitably leads to disaster [cf. Genesis 4:6-7; Numbers 32:23; and Romans 6:15-19]?

    5. After outlining the imminent destruction and death [Jeremiah 9:15-22], the LORD exposed the false boasts of the people of Judah [Jeremiah 9:23]. What were these 3 false hopes, and what are modern parallels [cf. Deuteronomy 8:11-20; Isaiah 5:18-23; and Zephaniah 1:14-18]?

    6.  According to Jeremiah 9:24, in what does the LORD delight? If someone truly knows the LORD and His character, what practices will he/she exhibit? Consider Exodus 34:6-7; Jeremiah 31:33-34; and Micah 6:6-8 for further insights.

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

    “There’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve Him, boldness to share Him, and contentment in Him.” (J.I. Packer)

  • Dec 27, 2020The King Visits a Governor – Max Oates
    Dec 27, 2020
    The King Visits a Governor – Max Oates
    This week, Pastor Max concludes the series "Christmas Visits" with a message titled 'The King Visits a Governor' based on John 18:28-40.

    1. Ask with an authentic heart (v. 28-34)
    . . . and seek His unique answer.
     
    2. Ask with a humble heart (v. 35-37)
    . . . and realize your need for His answer.
     
    3. Ask with a willing heart (v. 38)
    . . . and be prepared to wait for His answer.
     
    4. Ask with an honest heart (v. 39-40)
    . . . and be open to receive His answer.


    ICEBREAKER: What hobby do you think would be a lot of fun to get into? 1.One of the greatest ironies of history is found in John 18:28. The religious leaders did not enter the governor’s headquarters lest they defiled themselves. Yet they were illegally handing Jesus over for crucifixion. What does this indicate about what truly defiles [cf. Isaiah 1:10-20; Matthew 23:1-36; and Mark 7:1-23]? 2.John 18:30 records the greatest of all blasphemies – the religious leaders accusing Jesus of “doing evil”. What contributes to this kind of blatant wickedness that we should beware [cf. Mark 3:1-6; John 9:39-41; and Ephesians 4:17-19]? 3.It is apparent from John 18:31-32 that Jesus’ death was deliberate. Who was responsible, and why [cf. John 12:32; Acts 2:22-23; and Acts 3:12-16]? 4.The dialogue between Pilate and Jesus about kings and kingdoms [John 18:33-36] illuminated two drastically opposing views of power and authority. What do you learn from each of their perspectives? Consider also John 6:15; John 8:23; Revelation 1:5; and Revelation 11:15. 5.Jesus clearly communicated His life purpose in John 18:37. What is the truth according to Jesus, and why is it so important [cf. John 1:17; John 8:14; John 14:6; and 1 John 4:1-6]? 6.The confrontation between Pilate and Jesus portrays the defining moment for us all. Pilate appeared powerful but was being pressured by lies. Jesus appeared powerless but spoke the truth of another kingdom not of this world. Similarly, each of us must decide: What will I do with Jesus: crucify Him, or crown Him? Is He under me, or over me? What is your response? Look up John 19:6; Acts 2:36-39; and Acts 4:8-12 for more insights. 7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message? “Pilate’s skeptical sneer ‘What is truth?’ was addressed to Truth Himself, standing there right in front of his face. The world’s stupidest question was three words; God’s profoundest answer was one Word.” (Peter Kreeft)
  • Dec 20, 2020Decrees and Doxologies – Deric Bartlett
    Dec 20, 2020
    Decrees and Doxologies – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "Christmas Visits" with a message titled 'Decrees and doxologies' based on Luke 2:1-14.
     
    1. He came at the perfect time (v. 1-3) 
    2. He came to join his earthly family (v. 4-5) 
    3. He came in humility & obscurity (v. 6-8) 
    4. He came as Saviour & Messiah (v. 9-14)


    ICEBREAKER:
    What pets did you have growing up?

    1.Why do you think God permitted Caesar Augustus’ disruptive decree to uproot Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to send them 150 km south to Bethlehem [Luke 2:1-5]? Consider 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 2 Samuel 7:12-13; and Micah 5:2 as well.

    2.Why does David’s name appear twice in Luke 2:4 and again in Luke 2:11? What is the significance of this link to Mary’s Baby [cf. Isaiah 9:6-7; Acts 13:22-23; and Romans 1:1-3]?

    3.Jesus’ birth recorded in Luke 2:7 is actually related without much drama. The small town of Bethlehem was likely packed by those returning to be registered, leaving Joseph and Mary to fend for themselves. Every detail conveys how mundane and humble the birth was. How does this lowliness impact your awe of Jesus [cf. Isaiah 53:2; 2 Corinthians 8:9; and Philippians 2:5-8]?

    4.Why do you think shepherds were the first to hear the good news of the Saviour’s birth [Luke 2:8]? Why does God favour the inclusion of the humble in His plans rather than the great [cf. 1 Samuel 16:11; Psalm 78:70-72; and 1 Corinthians 1:26-29]?

    5.What do you learn about the newborn Baby from the angel’s message to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-11? Examine also John 4:39-42; Acts 2:36; and 1 John 4:14.

    6.What do you note about the priority of worship from the heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds [Luke 2:13-14]? Consult Psalm 103:20-22; Isaiah 6:1-4; and Revelation 4-5 as well.

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

    “So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.” (Ann Voskamp)

  • Dec 13, 2020A Wake Up Call from Heaven – Deric Bartlett
    Dec 13, 2020
    A Wake Up Call from Heaven – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "Christmas Visits" with a message titled 'A Wake Up Call from Heaven' based on Matthew 1:18-25
     

    1.    Wake up to the gift of your life (v. 18)   

    2.    Wake up to the complexity of your life (v. 19-20)

    3.    Wake up to the mystery of your life (v. 20) 

    4.    Wake up to the purpose of your life (v. 20-25)

    ICEBREAKER: What is the most annoying machine you must deal with regularly?

    1.Imagine the encounter between Mary and Joseph when she revealed her pregnancy [Matthew 1:18]. Why does God appear to interfere in our most cherished plans [cf. Jonah 4:1-11; Acts 9:1-9; and Philippians 1:12-14]?

    2.Crises reveal character. How did Joseph’s handling of Mary’s news show the kind of person he was [Matthew 1:19] How does his example inspire you to respond to the crises in your life today [cf. Romans 5:3-5; James 1:12; and 2 Peter 1:5-8]?

    3.Joseph’s life had suddenly become complicated. How did the angel’s message assuage his fears and reassure him God was in control with a plan [Matthew 1:20-21]? Consider also Genesis 50:15-21; Matthew 28:5-10; and Mark 5:35-36 for further insights.

    4.Meditate on Jesus’ mission as revealed in His Name [Matthew 1:21], knowing it is the same as the Old Testament “Joshua”, which means “The LORD saves.” How would Jesus accomplish His mission [cf. John 1:29; Acts 4:12; Colossians 1:18; and 1 Timothy 2:5-6]?

    5.How do the prophecies of Jesus’ First Advent [Matthew 1:22-23; cf. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 9:6-7; and Micah 5:2] give you confidence as you look forward to His promised Second Advent [cf. Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Peter 3:4-13; and Revelation 22:20]?

    6.How does the Name “Emmanuel” – God with us – bring you peace and strengthen your heart during these difficult days of uncertainty and unrest [Matthew 1:23]? Reflect also on Matthew 28:20; John 1:14; and Hebrews 2:14-18 for more encouragement.

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

    “Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendour.” (Charles Spurgeon)

  • Dec 6, 2020A JOY-filled Christmas Visit – Deric Bartlett
    Dec 6, 2020
    A JOY-filled Christmas Visit – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "Christmas Visits" with a message titled 'A JOY-filled Christmas Visit' based on Luke 1:39-45
     
    1. JOY in community (v. 39-40)
    2. JOY in the Holy Spirit (v. 41) 
    3. JOY in the Good News (v. 42-43)
    4. JOY in His presence (v. 41, 44) 
    5. JOY in believing (v. 45)

    ICEBREAKER: What is the best pair of shoes you have owned?

    1.What news prompted Mary to make the 3-day journey to the hill country town in Judah [Luke 1:39]? How did the report of Elizbeth’s pregnancy [Luke 1:36-37] encourage Mary’s faith [cf. Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; and Matthew 19:26]?

    2.What did the baby’s leap in Elizabeth’s womb signify [Luke 1:41]? How did this foreshadow the child’s future [cf. Matthew 11:7-14; Luke 1:13-17; and John 1:6-8]?

    3.What does it mean when someone is “filled with the Spirit” [Luke 1:41]? Is it a legitimate experience? Is it limited to certain special believers, or all believers [cf. Acts 6:5; Acts 11:23-24; and Ephesians 5:18-21]?

    4.What does Elizabeth’s question in Luke 1:43 indicate about her character, as well as her understanding of the true identity of Mary’s Child [John 20:28; Romans 12:3; and Philippians 2:3]?

    5.Why do you think joy was linked to the arrival of Christ [Luke 1:44]? Why is joy lacking in our world, and how does Jesus inspire it [cf. Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 2:10-14; and Luke 24:38-41]?

    6.What is the connection between believing the Word of God and being blessed by God [Luke 1:45]? Consider Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-2; and James 1:22-25 for more insights.

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

    “The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’” [Elisabeth Elliot]

  • Nov 29, 2020The Visit That Changed the World – Deric Bartlett
    Nov 29, 2020
    The Visit That Changed the World – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric starts the series "Christmas Visits" with a message titled 'The Visit That Changed the World' based on Luke 1:26 -38
     
    1. Guess who’s coming to dinner?  v. 26-30
    2. Dining with the King: v. 29-30
    3. Motherhood and eternal life: v. 31-33
    4. Accepting the impossible by faith. V. 34-38

    ICEBREAKER: Would you ever try space tourism if you had the money for it?

    1. Why was it important for Luke to record that Joseph was a descendant of David [Luke 1:27]? Examine Matthew 22:41-45; Luke 2:8-14; and 2 Timothy 2:8-10 for more insights.

    2. How do you understand the angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary, “O favoured one” [Luke 1:28]? Was she a bestower of grace, or was she a recipient of grace? What is the difference [cf. John 1:16; Romans 1:5; Ephesians 1:6]?

    3. What do you learn about the Baby Boy to be born to Mary from Gabriel’s description in Luke 1:31-33 [cf. Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 1:21; and Acts 2:29-36]?

    4. The Virgin Birth announced in Luke 1:34-35 is a core teaching of Christianity. How would you explain it to a skeptical friend? Why was it necessary for Jesus to be born in this way [cf. Matthew 1:18-23; Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 4:14-15; and Hebrews 7:26-28]?

    5. What are the implications of Jesus bearing the title the “Son of God” [Luke 1:35]? Why is this critical to our salvation [cf. Matthew 14:33; John 1:49; and John 20:30-31]?

    6. Mary’s response to the angelic announcement is exemplary [Luke 1:38]. What do you learn about her, and how does she serve as a model to believers today [cf. John 14:21; James 4:7-10; and 1 Peter 5:6-7]?

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

    “[The virgin birth] graphically shows that salvation comes “from above” and that the source of our hope and confidence lies in the living God who entered into human history in the historical figure of Jesus Christ. The virgin birth marks off the origin of Christ from the human race just as his end is marked off by the resurrection.” (Donald Bloesch)

     
     
  • Nov 22, 2020Spiritual Farming 101 – Deric Bartlett
    Nov 22, 2020
    Spiritual Farming 101 – Deric Bartlett
    This week, Pastor Deric continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Spiritual Farming 101' based on Mark 4:1-20

    1. Plant the imperishable seed  
    2. Work the invisible field of souls
    3. Reap the bounty of the abundant life


    ICEBREAKER:
    What wastes the most time in your day-to-day life?

    1. Why do you think Jesus used stories drawn from everyday life to communicate spiritual truths [Mark 4:1-9]? Why would agricultural metaphors speak powerfully to His audience? What do we learn from Jesus’ approach to help us communicate to our generation [cf. Matthew 4:18-20; John 6:35; and John 8:12]?

    2. According to Mark 4:10-12, what was the purpose of Jesus’ parables for His disciples, and then “for those outside” [cf. Matthew 11:25-27; Romans 16:25-27; and Colossians 1:24-27]?

    3. In Jesus’ parable, the sower and the seed remain consistent [Mark 4:14]. How does this impact how we go about our Christian mission in the world today [cf. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 5:17-20; and Acts 8:4]?

    4. Jesus affirmed the reality of Satan and that he aggressively opposes the work of God [Mark 4:15]. How does this affect our approach to sharing God’s Word [cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:10-20, and 1 Peter 5:8]?

    5. Jesus listed, in Mark 4:16-19, some of the reasons people fall away from following Him. What are these reasons, and how can we address them [cf. Psalm 1:3; John 15:18-20; and 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19]?

    6. The quality of the soil is the one changing factor in this parable of Jesus. How do you know God’s Word has fallen on good soil? What would that evidence look like [cf. John 15:1-11; Galatians 5:22-23; and Colossians 1:3-12]?

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

    “It is of no use for any of you to try to be soul-winners if you are not bearing fruit in your own lives. How can you serve the Lord with your lips if you do not serve Him with your lives? How can you preach His gospel with your tongues, when with hands, feet, and heart you are preaching the devil’s gospel, and setting up an antichrist by your practical unholiness?” (Charles Spurgeon)