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)
  • May 2, 2021Be Strong & Courageous – Max Oates
    May 2, 2021
    Be Strong & Courageous – Max Oates
    Series: One off
    This week, Pastor Max shares a message titled "Be Strong & Courageous" based on Joshua 1 as he says farewell.

    ICEBREAKER: What workers have the worst jobs?

    1. One of the key attributes of leadership is the ability to accurately describe reality. How do you see that principle at work in the LORD’s first sentence of Joshua 1:2? Why was this such a significant statement of reality for the people of Israel [cf. Deuteronomy 32:48-52; Deuteronomy 34:10-12; and Hebrews 3:5]?

    2. What would be required of the people of Israel to experience the fulfillment of God’s promises to them [Joshua 1:2-4]? Consider also Deuteronomy 9:23-24; Deuteronomy 31:7-8; and Hebrew 3:7-19.

    3. Why did the LORD promise His continued presence as the Israelites prepared to enter the land [Joshua 1:5]? How does this encourage you to trust God and obey Him as you face the challenges in your life [cf. Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10; and Hebrews 13:5-6]?

    4. Why do you think the LORD told Joshua to be “strong and courageous” three times in Joshua 1:6, 7, and 9? What was about to happen in their immediate future that necessitated courage? How does this influence your approach to your current situation [1 Samuel 17:41-47; 2 Chronicles 14:9-15; and 2 Chronicles 32:1-8]?

    5. Joshua 1:1-9 is full of commands from the LORD and promises by the LORD. How do God’s promises help us keep His commands [cf. Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; and Colossians 3:1-4]?

    6. What does it look like to meditate on the Word of God day and night [Joshua 1:8]? What does God promise to those who do so [cf. Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 119:9-11; and Colossians 3:16]?

    7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
    “Meditation is simply talking to God about His Word with a desire that your life and those you pray for come into agreement with it.” (William Thrasher)
  • 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 18, 2021Who Is Greatest? – Max Oates
    Apr 18, 2021
    Who Is Greatest? – Max Oates
    This week, Pastor Max continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Who Is Greatest?' based on Mark 9:33-41
     
    1. We have ___________ (v. 33-34)
    2. Jesus has ____________ (v. 35-37)
    3. We may ___________ (v. 38)
    4. Christ will _______________ (v. 39-41)

    ICEBREAKER: What do you wish your phone could do?
     1. Imagine walking among the disciples during their argument over which of them was the greatest [Mark 9:33-34]? What may have prompted the discussion? What does this kind of debate indicate about people’s hearts [cf. Proverbs 16:18; Matthew 23:1-12; and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4]?

    2. Why do you think Jesus reversed cultural norms to promote humble service [Mark 9:35]? What does this indicate about the values that govern His kingdom [cf. Luke 18:9-14; James 4:10; and 1 Peter 3:8]?

    3. What do you know about the nature of children that made one of them a useful illustration for Jesus to correct His disciples [Mark 9:36]? Consider also Matthew 11:25-26; Ephesians 5:1; and Philippians 2:14-16.

    4. What does John’s reaction to the man casting out demons reveal about the individual’s legitimacy and the apostle’s exclusivity [Mark 9:38]? Look up Numbers 11:26-30; Luke 9:51-55; and Philippians 2:25-30 for more insights.

    5. How does this exchange between Jesus and John in Mark 9:38-40 address the tribalism that frequently infects the Christian subculture [cf. John 13:34-35; John 17:20-23; and 1 Corinthians 12:3]?

    6. Why does Jesus promise a reward for simple acts of service such as the giving of a cup of water for His sake [Mark 9:41]? What does this show about His kingdom’s values [cf. Luke 7:44-50; John 13:1-17; and Philippians 2:5-8]?

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

    “The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” (Timothy Keller)







  • 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 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 _______ to recharge your reserves [Mark 6:30-32].
    2. Pray for a ____________ heart for others [Mark 6:33-36].
    3. ______________ your human resources [Mark 6:37-38].
    4. Let your Master do the ______________ [Mark 6:39-44].
    5. Meager resources grow _______________ 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 _______________: 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?
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