Jun 7, 2015
Arrogant or Confident
Pastor Deric completes our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Arrogant or Confident" from 1 John 5:13-20.

Questions:
Please read 1 John 5:13-20
Ice Breaker: Have you ever had doubts? I can remember being quite fearful and timid as a child. In my case, it was mainly my mother who worked to reassure me and to build confidence in me. It worked, but it was a slow process.

When you’re in a situation where you’re doubting or questioning something, what do you look for and where do you find it?

1. Why is it important for a person to have the assurance of their salvation? (v.13)

2. What does confidence and prayer have to do with one another according to verses 14 and 15?

3. Who is responsible, according to verse 16, to challenge a sinning brother? Describe what mutual exhortation should look like in the local church? (vv.16-18a)

4. Explain the difference it makes when we understand that He protects us. How can you apply this knowledge in your life and ministry today? (vv.18b-19) (also see Mt.28:19c; Lk. 24:49; Jn. 14:16; Acts 1:4,5,8)

5. From this passage, how would you characterize God’s desire and feelings for His people? (vv.20-21)

6. How does this passage help explain the overarching purpose John had in writing this epistle? How does John’s purpose impact your life and ministry?

“He found us when we sought Him not. Then we began to seek Him, and He was pleased to be found by us.”- John Newton
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  • Jun 7, 2015Arrogant or Confident
    Jun 7, 2015
    Arrogant or Confident
    Pastor Deric completes our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Arrogant or Confident" from 1 John 5:13-20.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 5:13-20
    Ice Breaker: Have you ever had doubts? I can remember being quite fearful and timid as a child. In my case, it was mainly my mother who worked to reassure me and to build confidence in me. It worked, but it was a slow process.

    When you’re in a situation where you’re doubting or questioning something, what do you look for and where do you find it?

    1. Why is it important for a person to have the assurance of their salvation? (v.13)

    2. What does confidence and prayer have to do with one another according to verses 14 and 15?

    3. Who is responsible, according to verse 16, to challenge a sinning brother? Describe what mutual exhortation should look like in the local church? (vv.16-18a)

    4. Explain the difference it makes when we understand that He protects us. How can you apply this knowledge in your life and ministry today? (vv.18b-19) (also see Mt.28:19c; Lk. 24:49; Jn. 14:16; Acts 1:4,5,8)

    5. From this passage, how would you characterize God’s desire and feelings for His people? (vv.20-21)

    6. How does this passage help explain the overarching purpose John had in writing this epistle? How does John’s purpose impact your life and ministry?

    “He found us when we sought Him not. Then we began to seek Him, and He was pleased to be found by us.”- John Newton
  • May 31, 2015Be Bold
    May 31, 2015
    Be Bold
    This week is Church Planting Sunday. Our guest speaker Pastor Graeme Melvin from The Meadows Church planted a church just down the road in Streetsville. He will be teaching us from Acts 4:1-22 entitled "Be Bold."

    Questions:

    Please read Acts 3 and Acts 4:1-22
    Ice Breaker: I’ve never been particularly brave or bold. In fact, my natural shyness causes me to hesitate and consider carefully before entering virtually any situation containing unknowns of any kind. I actually find it easy to talk myself out of many of those situations. Unfortunately, that same reluctance to “step out” can have a serious effect on my witness for Jesus.

    How did Jesus model and live out a life of boldness? Give some examples from Scripture.

    1. Acts 3 describes the most recent events leading up to Acts 4:1-22. Describe the nature, demeanour and actions of Peter, John and the disciples in Acts 3. In what ways are these attributes different than how the disciples are described previously in the Gospels?

    2. How does this passage, Acts 4:1-22, describe the role and effect of the Holy Spirit upon Peter, John and the disciples?

    3. Describe and expand upon the reaction of the authorities to what they had seen and heard from the disciples. (vv.13-14) What, if anything, surprised you about their reaction to Peter and John?

    4. How did Peter and John respond to the demands of the authorities in verses 18 to 20 and how would you describe their demeanour through this particular event?

    5. Many of us have chosen a life here in the Mississauga area because of a desire for comfort and safety, and though we have largely achieved those goals, we are some of the most over-stressed people in the world. What does this passage have to say about how we can achieve peace in our lives? (vv.18-22)

    6. Do you believe everyone is part of the mission? What are the next steps you must take if you are to boldly love your neighbour?

    “If Jesus became incarnate to live among the ordinary, then what we call ordinary is really special to God.” - Timothy Keller
  • May 24, 2015The Four Witnesses to Eternal Life
    May 24, 2015
    The Four Witnesses to Eternal Life
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The Four Witnesses to Eternal Life" from 1 John 5:6-12.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 5:6-12.
    Ice Breaker: I enjoy mysteries with a truly satisfying ending. Sometimes it’s a surprise twist or a shocking ending, but I especially love it when truth is revealed and confirmed! That John's message here. He’s reminding us about the overwhelming testimony concerning who Jesus Christ is.

    Consider and then discuss, what does “truth" mean to you? How important is truth?

    1. Explain in your own words what we learn from verses 6 to 8 about the trustworthiness of Jesus. (also read 1:2; 4:14 and John 15:26-27)

    2. How seriously should we regard the human testimony about Jesus? What about the Holy Spirit’s testimony? (v.9-10) (see Rom. 8:16)

    3. Where can you find examples of God the Father as a witness to the truth of eternal life? Cite examples from Scripture.

    4. What evidence is the most compelling to you and why?

    5. If the evidence for Jesus’ origin and purpose is so credible, why is there still questioning, doubting and disbelief in the world and even the church?

    “No need to fret about the future, no need to worry about what’s to come, everything to come is held in the hands of the Lord who loves you.” - Paul David Tripp
  • May 17, 2015The Hope of Healing
    May 17, 2015
    The Hope of Healing
    Series: Various
    Pastor Max shares a sermon this week entitled "The Hope of Healing" from James 5:13-20. Questions: Ice Breaker: Describe some of the times God has answered prayers for healing that you are familiar with.  What about times when God has not provided healing?  Why do you think God sometimes intervenes miraculously and other times does not?  Are there any Scriptures that would support your thoughts? 1. Is sin ever a cause of sickness (see v.15-16)?  What are the dangers in answering either yes or no? 2. Why might the Bible be encouraging us to confess our sins to one another, and not just directly to God?  What benefits would come from this?  And what kind of spirit would we have to cultivate in order to be open enough with one another to confess and to hear confessions? 3. Do you ever feel like people in the Bible sound different from you and otherworldly?  And why do you feel that way?  What can we take away from verse seventeen’s description of Elijah? 4. Other than healing, what kinds of things should the Christian be quick to "call the elders of the church" for?  What does the Bible say about the profile and role of an elder? 5. How would you describe the role of healing in Jesus' earthly ministry?  Use Biblical examples to demonstrate the priority, function and impact of healing in Jesus' activities.
  • May 10, 2015A Lifetime of Influence
    May 10, 2015
    A Lifetime of Influence
    Series: Various
    Pastor Deric shares a special Mother's Day sermon entitled "A Lifetime of Influence" from a variety of passages in both the Old and New Testaments. Questions: Ice Breaker: I find it interesting when someone is asked who has had the biggest influence on their life. Sometimes it’s a coach or a close friend, but more often it is a parent, even when an older individual is asked, with family of his or her own. A parent’s influence can stand the test of time. Who has had the biggest influence on your life AND who are you currently pouring your life into? 1. Psalm 139:13-18 When the child is in it's most vulnerable state, a mother nurtures and protects her child. How do David’s expressions of God’s thoughts about us, explain why He would choose a process like a 9 month pregnancy to bring children into this world? 2. Psalm 22:9; 71:6 Describe how these passages confirm the influence mothers have on how children think about God.   3. 2 Timothy 1:5-7 Starting with this passage, describe and expand on the influence of a mother and a grandmother through the years. (see Proverbs 31:1) 4. Proverbs 29:15 What does “a child left to himself” mean, and how can that bring shame to his mother? 5. Genesis 2:18 Describe how this passage addresses how a mother’s influence changes in time and as events in a child's life unfold. 6. Ruth 3:1-5 From this passage, what is it that Naomi has to offer Ruth? How might this be applied to your own current station in life? "Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.” - Billy Graham
  • May 3, 2015Overcoming The World
    May 3, 2015
    Overcoming The World
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Overcoming The World" from 1 John 5:1-5.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 5:1-5.
    Ice Breaker: Sometimes in sports, one side is so overmatched by their opposition, that there would seem to be virtually no way for the 'underdog' to succeed. These are the "David vs. Goliath" moments in athletics that I often find quite intriguing. The outcome is usually predictable, but sometimes…

    Have you ever been faced with a task so great that you couldn’t see any way to achieve success?

    1. What does "believing that Jesus is the Christ" mean and how does it enable a Christian to "overcome the world."? (compare with verse 5 "son of God") 

    2. With this passage in mind, describe how you have been changed by God's love, or how you are responding to His love.

    3. Describe the relationship, as Scripture describes it, between love and obedience.

    4.  What does it mean that God's commandments are not "burdensome" AND how does the fact that God's commandments are not burdensome contribute to the believer overcoming the world?

    5. In light of verses 4-5, how do we explain that so many believers appear to be overcome by the world rather than overcoming the world? 

    “In the end, it is the joy and wonder of the Gospel that will change you permanently. Only that experience sufficiently reprograms the heart.” - Timothy Keller
  • Apr 26, 2015God is Love – Part 2
    Apr 26, 2015
    God is Love – Part 2
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "God is Love-Part 2" from 1 John 4:14-21.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 4:14-21.
    Ice Breaker: Coke. It’s the Real Thing!” That phrase along with the red and white Coca-Cola and Coke label, was one of the most familiar advertising campaigns created. I knew that what I was drinking was the “Real Thing” by the familiar sight and taste.

    What tests can you apply to know that the God you worship is in fact, ‘the real thing?’

    1. How can we know that God the Father sent His Son to be our Saviour? (v. 14; also see Gal. 4:4-6; Jn. 15:26-27; Acts 5:32)

    2. What are the implications we face as Christians, if we rightly understand the Father’s plan, Jesus’ mission, the Holy Spirit’s role and our place in God’s grand plan?

    3. Explain how God’s love gives us a hope for this life we live and for the coming day of judgement? (vv.15-19)

    4. Describe how love for God is modelled in our relationships with our brothers and sisters. (vv.20-21)

    “The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God’s Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.” - Henri Nouwen
  • Apr 19, 2015God is Love – Part 1
    Apr 19, 2015
    God is Love – Part 1
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "God is Love-Part 1" from 1 John 4:7-13.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 4:7-13.
    Ice Breaker: You’ve probably heard the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” It’s maddeningly true! In a number of ways I’m like my own dad and I can even see, and sometimes hear, myself in my boys.

    It’s interesting to think that if we’re “born of God”, shouldn’t we bear a resemblance to our heavenly Father also?

    1. In verse 7, John says that those who love, have been born of God and know God. Describe how “knowing God” changes how you love. (see Matt. 11:25-29; Jn.17:3; 2Peter 1:3-4)

    2. With references to this passage and other Scripture, explain in your own words why you should love.

    3. What does our love say about who we are and what truly matters to us? (v.7; 9-11)

    4. Describe how your life is a testimony to the fact that God’s love sent Jesus to be the Saviour of the world. (v.10)

    5. Describe, with Scripture references, how we are able to show God’s love to other people. (v.11-12)

    “God is love in Himself; God has loved us in Christ; and God continues to love in and through us; these are the reasons why we must love each other.” - John Stott

  • Apr 12, 2015Learn To Discern
    Apr 12, 2015
    Learn To Discern
    Pastor Deric continues our current series in 1 John called "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Learn To Discern" from 1 John 4:1-6.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 4:1-6.
    Ice Breaker: Sometimes I find myself listening to people without really hearing them. Or, sometimes it seems I only hear what I want to hear. My ability to hear has little to do with the importance of the message being communicated and more to do with my own attitude or my state of mind at the time.

    How can you train yourself to really pay attention to the things that are truly important?

    1. In verse 1, John cautions his readers to always test what they hear or are learning. Why do we need to be so diligent in testing what we hear or read? (read Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Pet. 1:1)

    2. With many different ideas being taught about the Bible and who Jesus is, describe and expand on how John says we can be sure to learn the truth about Jesus and His Gospel. (vv.2-3)

    3. In verse 4, John reminds us that we have overcome the world if we live in the Holy Spirit’s power. Expand on that thought, referencing other Scripture. (e.g. Rom. 8:6-11; 2 Cor. 3:16-18; Gal. 5:16-18; 22-26; 1 Thess. 5:19)

    4. Now, reference and apply what this and other Scripture has to say about how we are to listen to the Word of God. (vv.5-6) What are you doing to guard yourself against false teaching?

    “Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.” - Timothy Keller
  • Apr 5, 2015The Love of Christ Controls Us
    Apr 5, 2015
    The Love of Christ Controls Us
    Series: Easter
    Pastor Deric shares a message today from 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 as we celebrate Easter at the Living Arts Centre.
  • Apr 3, 2015From Now On
    Apr 3, 2015
    From Now On
    Series: Various
    Our speaker for Good Friday is Pastor Max Oates. His message is titled "From Now On" from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.
  • Mar 29, 2015Persistent Praying
    Mar 29, 2015
    Persistent Praying
    Series: Prayer
    Pastor Deric concludes our series for our Week of Prayer simply titled "Prayer" with a sermon entitled "Persistent Praying" from Ephesians 6:18-20.

    Questions:
    Please read Ephesians 6:10-20 for help with the context of our passage this week.
    Ice Breaker: There has never been a time in the history of our country when the fervent prayer of God’s people has been as important as it is today. Some might take issue with that statement, but it’s certainly true that our generation needs God’s people to pray!

    When is the best time of the day for you to spend serious time in prayer for ‘the cause of Christ’ and the spiritual well-being of the world, our country, our city, our church, your own friends, co-workers and family?

    1. In the New Testament, Christians are frequently exhorted to pray “at all times” or “without ceasing.” (See Lk. 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1Thess. 5:17) What would that kind of prayer life look like? (v.18)

    2. Paul calls us to be praying “in the Spirit.” How is praying in the Spirit different than simply praying with the Spirit’s help?

    3. Paul differentiates between prayer and supplication in verse 18.  Identify and define the different kinds of prayer found in Scripture. (see Phil. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:1)

    4. In the middle of verse 18, Paul gives us a key to victory over the things that will hinder our ministries. What does Paul tell us that will power us to victory? (also read Neh. 4:9; Mark 13:13; Mark 14:38)

    5. Paul boldly coveted the prayers of others on his behalf. He obviously felt it was mutually beneficial. (v.20) Do you have others praying for you as Paul did? Are you praying boldly for others who need your prayers? Make a list of those who pray for you and another list of the people you pray for.

    “Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this: always obey such an impulse.” - Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Mar 15, 2015That’s Reassuring!
    Mar 15, 2015
    That’s Reassuring!
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "That's Reassuring!" from 1 John 3:19-24.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 3:19-24.
    Ice Breaker: I am an optimist by nature. I tend to “see the glass half full instead of half empty” and I also tend to see the “good” in others. When it comes to myself however, I find it easy to doubt myself.

    What is likely to make you doubt? How do you deal with doubts about your faith?

    1. In verse 19, John says there’s a way I can be sure I’m a Christian. What is it that will reassure my heart? (v.19-20) Revisit and read part of last week’s passage, 1 John 3:16-18. Also read James 2:17.

    2. We all place our faith or confidence in something or someone. When you place your confidence in God, how can you know that you have placed your faith in the right place? Read Psalm 139:1-3; Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 10:29-30; Romans 11:33-34.

    3. How do you know God will hear and answer your prayers? (vv.21-22) Read 1 John 5:14; John 14:13; 16:23,26; John 15:7,16.

    4. What commands must we obey if we are to be fruitful in prayer? Read John 15:9-10.

    5. How can you know the Holy Spirit lives in you? (v.24) Read Romans 8: 14-17; 1 John 4:2,7; 5:3.

    “Truth can only characterize the behaviour of those whose very character originates in the truth, so that it is by our loving others ‘in truth’, that we know that we ourselves belong to it.”- John Stott
  • Mar 8, 2015Love Can’t Be Faked
    Mar 8, 2015
    Love Can’t Be Faked
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Love Can't Be Faked" from 1 John 3:11-18.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 3:11-18.
    Ice Breaker: We hear a lot about love in the media and the world around us. It seems that love referred to these days is an emotion that leads to selfish actions. Here in this passage, John refers to love as motivation for selfless action. Communion is our regular remembrance of the supreme example of love in a selfless action. Jesus Christ demonstrated His love for you and me in His willing, personal sacrifice on the Cross.

    When was the last time you put love into real action? How about love in action that didn’t directly benefit you?

    1. Jesus is the great example of how “we should love one another” in verse 11. What have you learned from Jesus’ example and what is it about His example of love that is so compelling?

    2. What is it that identifies believers and sets them apart from the rest of the world? (v.12-15)  How will the world identify you as a Christian?

    3. In verse 15, John seems to be echoing Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 5:21-22. John obviously takes Jesus’ lesson seriously. How would you explain this lesson to a brother that hating your brother is the same as murder?

    4. John used Jesus and Cain as contrasting examples of the “love/hate spectrum” and now Jesus is our example of how far we should be willing to go regarding our love for our brothers. (v.16) What would this kind of love, a willingness to die for someone else, look like in our church today?

    5. While kind, encouraging, loving words are certainly valuable and important, John says that words alone are not enough. We need to also love “in deed and in truth.” (v.18) What are some ways we try to love without giving or really caring, and how could we turn them around into truly caring gifts of love?

    “He hath loved us before the foundation of the world, a love so ancient it cannot have been born of any human cause.” -- Charles Spurgeon

  • Mar 1, 2015The Whole Truth About Sin
    Mar 1, 2015
    The Whole Truth About Sin
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The Whole Truth About Sin" from 1 John 3:4-10.

    Questions:
    Please read 1 John 3:4-10.
    Ice Breaker: It’s interesting to observe young children. I remember a family function where a group of adult family members watched our 2 year old grand-daughter walk over to the pantry, grab a treat without asking permission and then walk carefully back through the kitchen with her eyes closed! We were all there to see it, but she obviously believed if she had her eyes closed, we couldn’t see her! As foolish as this sounds, isn’t this how we often look at the sin in our lives? If we ignore or disregard it, maybe God won’t “see” it.

    Are you taking a “closed eye” approach to the sin in your life? What do you think will have to happen before you’ll do something about that sin?

    1. Explain and discuss the kind of thinking that leads us into the lawless life of sin that John is talking about in verse 4? Where does the characteristic of lawlessness come from? What are the consequences of a lawless life?

    2. According to John in verse 5, what is the answer to lawlessness? How is it that sinners are able to resist sin? (vv.5-6)

    3. How do you reconcile the command to practice righteous living with sin in your life? Do you just live with it? Does it create tension in you? (see Rom. 7:15)

    4. How is it that we are able to live a righteous life? (see v.9) Are you experiencing victory over sin and living in righteousness? (see Rom. 6:1-2,15,22; 7:21-25)

    5. What are four points that help define the true nature of sin? (see sermon notes)

    6. John Stott says, we have either “divine or diabolical parentage.” How will the world recognize where your parentage comes from, and who you follow? (Eph.4:21-24)

    “God is at work in the worst of times. He is at work doing a thousand things no one can see but Him.” -- John Piper