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)
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  • 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)