Jan 10, 2021
Alone with Jesus – Deric Bartlett
This week, Pastor Deric resumes the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Alone with Jesus' based on Mark 4:21-34
 
1. Being alone with Jesus produces spiritual discernment: v. 1-20
2. Being alone with Jesus produces spiritual light: v. 21-25
3. Being alone with Jesus produces faith in God’s plan: v. 26-29
4. Being alone with Jesus expands the kingdom of God on earth. v. 30-33
 
ICEBREAKER: What do you resent paying for most?
 
1.In the broader context, Jesus was speaking of “the secret of the kingdom of God” [Mark 4:11]. How do you think a lit lamp on a lampstand [Mark 4:21] illustrates Jesus and the kingdom of God [cf. Matthew 5:14-16; John 1:4-5; and John 8:12]?
 
2.Jesus’ words, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” [Mark 4:23] are actually a command. He is telling His hearers to “Listen up!” Why, according to Mark 4:24-25, should we listen to Christ and the message of God’s kingdom so attentively? How do we put this into practice [cf. Matthew 10:14; Matthew 17:5; and John 10:7-18]?
 
3.According to Mark 4:26-29, what is humanity’s role in the kingdom of God, and what is God’s role? How does this influence the way you approach ministry today [cf. Matthew 16:18; 2 Corinthians 5:11; and Ephesians 2:19-22]?
 
4.Why do you think Jesus asked His disciples the question of Mark 4:30? Why are earthly illustrations and comparisons so helpful for understanding spiritual truths [cf. Matthew 16:5-12; John 4:13-14; and 2 Timothy 2:3-7]?
 
5.The parable of the mustard seed [Mark 4:31-32] indicated that Jesus’ ministry and the kingdom of God seemed insignificant at first but would eventually expand enormously. Why do you think God starts small to accomplish His great plans [cf. Deuteronomy 7:5-8; 2 Samuel 7:8; Matthew 15:32-39; and 1 Corinthians 1:26-29]?
 
6.Jesus taught the crowds in parables, but to His disciples He gave fuller explanations [Mark 4:33-34]. How does this motivate you to spend more time and energy to be with Jesus and follow Him [cf. Luke 24:25-27; John 16:12-14; and Acts 4:13]?
 
7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
“The goal of sanctification is for God to set apart for Himself a ‘peculiar people’ who are marked by their love for God and a desire for His kingdom – a people who show that as much as they tell it. The Lord wants us to be a people who are a living foretaste of His coming kingdom.” (James Smith)
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  • 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)

  • Nov 15, 2020United in Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Nov 15, 2020
    United in 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 'United in Jesus' based on Mark 3:13-35.
     
    1. We share the same foundation; v. 13-21
    2. We share the same faith; v. 22-30
    3. We share the same family: v. 31-35

     

    ICEBREAKER: Who is the most intelligent or creative person you know?

    1. According to Mark 3:14-15, what were the three main responsibilities Jesus gave His apostles? How do we continue to live out these priorities today [cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 4:13; and Romans 10:14-17]?

    2. What ministry principles do you learn from Jesus’ appointment of His 12 apostles [Mark 3:13-19]? Why do you think Jesus chose these specific individuals [cf. Matthew 4:18-22; John 1:35-51; and 2 Timothy 2:2]?

    3. Jesus’ family members weren’t overly supportive during His earthly ministry [Mark 3:20-21]. Why do you think they struggled to accept their elder Brother, and how does this encourage you when loved ones don’t support your Christian commitment [cf. Matthew 12:46-50; Matthew 13:53-58; and John 7:1-10]?

    4. How did Jesus counter the false allegation that He was casting out demons by Satan’s authority [Mark 3:22-27]? What does this indicate about the state of the religious leaders’ hearts [cf. Acts 19:8-9; Romans 1:21; and Ephesians 4:18]?

    5. In light of the context of Mark 3:28-30, what exactly is the “eternal sin” Jesus mentioned? How likely is it to be committed today [cf. John 12:36-43; 2 Corinthians 3:12-16; and Hebrews 3:12-19]?

    6. What do you learn about Jesus’ view of the family of God from His comments in Mark 3:31-35 [cf. Matthew 7:21; Luke 11:28, and 1 John 2:17]?

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

    “Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful - Christian community is the final apologetic.” (Francis Schaeffer)

  • Nov 8, 2020Stretch Out Your Hand to Jesus – Deric Bartlett
    Nov 8, 2020
    Stretch Out Your Hand to 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 'Stretch Out your Hand to Jesus' based on Mark 3:1-12.
     
    1. It was an act of faith
    2. It was an act of hope
    3. It was an act of controversy
    4. It was an act of courage

    ICEBREAKER: What is the best event you have attended? What made it so amazing?

    1.How did Jesus’ approach to the man with the withered hand differ from that of the religious leaders [Mark 3:1-5]? What does this tell you about Jesus? Consider also Psalm 37:32; Jeremiah 20:10; and Luke 20:20.

    2.How would you answer Jesus’ question in Mark 3:4? What does this indicate about the ultimate purpose of the Sabbath [cf. Exodus 20:7-11; Isaiah 58:13-14; and John 9:16]?

    3.Notice the intensity of emotion Jesus demonstrated in Mark 3:5. How does this further reveal both the full humanity and full deity of our Lord? Look up Matthew 8:23-27; John 2:13-17; and John 11:32-36 for more insights.

    4.Which was more serious: the withered hand or the hardened heart [Mark 3:3 & 5]? How can a hardened heart be softened [cf. Matthew 13:10-17; Romans 11:25-32; and Ephesians 4:17-24]?

    5.There is a stark contrast recorded between Mark 3:6 and Mark 3:7-8. The religious leaders conspired to destroy Jesus, while both Jews and Gentiles crowded Him. How do you account for these extremes [cf. Matthew 4:23; Matthew 7:28-29; and Mark 11:18]?

    6.What do you conclude about Jesus’ identity from His actions in Mark 3:7-12, as well as from the crowd and demonic reactions to Him [cf. Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:40-41; and Luke 7:18-23]?

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

    “The Pharisees minded what God spoke, but not what He intended. They were busy in the outward work of the hand, but incurious of the affections and choice of the heart. So God was served in the letter, they did not much inquire into His purpose; and therefore they were curious to wash their hands, but cared not to purify their hearts.” (Jeremy Taylor)

  • Nov 1, 2020The Friend of Sinners – Deric Bartlett
    Nov 1, 2020
    The Friend of Sinners – 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 Friend of Sinners' based on Mark 2:1-17.
     
    Jesus targets sinners (v. 1-2)
    Jesus forgives sinners (v. 3-12)
    Jesus calls sinners (v. 13-14)
    Jesus befriends sinners (v. 15-16)
    Jesus heals sinners (v. 17)



    ICEBREAKER:
    If someone came up to you and said “Hey, do that thing you do!”, what thing would pop into your head first?

    1.Using your imagination, picture the scene of four friends letting the paralyzed man down through the roof [Mark 2:3-5]. What did Jesus commend that others in the crowd may have condemned [cf. Genesis 32:24-32; Luke 18:1-8; and Acts 14:21-22]?

    2.Why do you think Jesus first forgave the paralyzed man’s sins instead of healing him [Mark 2:5]? What was the greater need – physical or spiritual healing [cf. Psalm 51:1-4; Luke 7:40-50; and John 5:9-15]?

    3.Were the scribes in Mark 2:7 correct that only God can forgive sins? What does this indicate about who our sins directly offend? What identity claim was Jesus making in this text [cf. Psalm 32:5; Psalm 103:8-14; and John 10:22-33]?

    4.How would you answer Jesus’ question, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? Why? Consider also John 2:11; John 11:4; and John 20:30-31 in your answer.

    5.Why do you think Jesus included Levi, a tax collector, among His 12 disciples [Mark 2:14]? How do you imagine the other disciples felt when Levi was introduced to them and they had to dine in his home with others of his profession [cf. Matthew 11:19; Matthew 21:31-32; and John 4:31-38]?

    6.Jesus clearly portrayed and conveyed His earthly mission in Mark 2:15-17. What was His mission, and how does it impact our ministry priorities [cf. Luke 15:3-7; Luke 19:10; and 1 Timothy 1:15]?

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

    “Jesus was a friend of sinners not because He winked at sin, ignored sin, or enjoyed light-hearted revelry with those engaged in immorality. Jesus was a friend of sinners in that He came to save sinners and was very pleased to welcome sinners who were open to the gospel, sorry for their sins, and on their way to putting their faith in Him.” (Kevin DeYoung)

  • Oct 25, 2020Rule Breaker – Brad Lehman
    Oct 25, 2020
    Rule Breaker – Brad Lehman
    This week, Pastor Brad continues the series "The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World" with a message titled 'Rule Breaker' based on Mark 2:18-28.
     
    1. Feast with Jesus [Mark 2:18-22
    2. Be free in Jesus [Mark 2:23-28]
    3. Jesus is the Rule Breaker because He is the Rule Maker.

    ICEBREAKER: How did you get that scar of yours?

    1.What is the purpose of fasting, and how can it be practiced in a spiritually beneficial way [Mark 2:18]? Consider also 2 Chronicles 20:1-4; Ezra 8:21-23; Matthew 6:16-18; and Acts 13:1-3.

    2.Why is the imagery of a bridegroom so significant in the Scriptures [Mark 2:19-20]? How does it inspire hope for your future? Examine also Isaiah 54:5-6; Isaiah 62:4-5; Matthew 22:1-10; and Revelation 19:6-9.

    3.Why was the bridegroom going to be taken away from His followers [Mark 2:20]? Where was He headed [cf. Matthew 20:28; John 10:17-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; and 1 Peter 3:18]?

    4.There was a deliberate contrast between “new” and “old” in Jesus’ two word pictures of patching a garment and pouring wine into wineskins [Mark 2:21-22]. What do you think was Jesus’ point, and what difference does it make [cf. Galatians 4:1-7; Colossians 2:16-23; and Hebrews 10:1-4]?

    5.In Mark 2:25-26, Jesus referred to the story of David eating bread that was set aside for only the priests [1 Samuel 21:1-6]. How does this story demonstrate the intended blessing of the Sabbath [Mark 2:27]? Look at Genesis 2:1-3; Isaiah 58:6-14; and Matthew 12:9-13 for more insights.

    6.What was Jesus claiming when He referred to Himself as “lord even of the Sabbath” [Mark 2:28]? What difference does this make in the life of every disciple [cf. John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; and Hebrews 1:1-4]?

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

    “When Jesus came to earth, demons recognized him, the sick flocked to him, and sinners doused his feet and head with perfume. Meanwhile he offended pious Jews with their strict preconceptions of what God should be like. Their rejection makes me wonder, could religious types be doing just the reverse now? Could we be perpetuating an image of Jesus that fits our pious expectations but does not match the person portrayed so vividly in the Gospels?” (Philip Yancey)

     
  • Oct 18, 2020The Shining City – Deric Bartlett
    Oct 18, 2020
    The Shining City – Deric Bartlett
    Series: One off
    This week, Pastor Deric shares a special message for our 40th anniversary titled 'The Shining City' based on Matthew 5:13-16.
    We are the salt of the earth We are the light of the world We are a city set on a hill
     
    1.Why do you think Jesus employed the metaphor of salt to describe the impact of His disciples on others [Matthew 5:13]? What is it about salt that makes it influential [cf. Job 6:6; 2 Kings 2:19-22; and Colossians 4:5-6]?
     
    2.Jesus listed the qualities of His disciples in His Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. How do these shed light on how a disciple may lose saltiness [Matthew 5:13]? Consider also Ephesians 4:17-24; Hebrews 6:1-6; and 2 Peter 2:17-22.
     
    3.What is it about the properties of light that make it a fitting metaphor for Jesus’ followers [cf. Matthew 5:14]? Examine also John 8:12; Ephesians 5:7-10; and Philippians 2:14-16.
     
    4.Why would a city set atop a hill be an apt description of a follower of Jesus [Matthew 5:14]? Look up Psalm 48; Zechariah 8:1-8; and Hebrews 11:13-16 as well.
     
    5.According to Jesus, what is the role of “good works” [Matthew 5:16]? Are they necessary for salvation, or necessary as a result of salvation [cf. Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:4-8, 14; and 1 Peter 2:11-12]?
     
    6.What does it mean to “give glory to your Father in heaven” [Matthew 5:16]? How do we ensure God receives glory [cf. Daniel 4:34-37; Matthew 9:1-8; and Revelation 4:9-11]?
     
    7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
     
     
    “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” (John Piper)
  • Oct 11, 2020The Lord & The Leper – Deric Bartlett
    Oct 11, 2020
    The Lord & The Leper – 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 Lord & The Leper' based on Mark 1:35-45.
     
    1. Prayer is a priority to Jesus: v. 35 
    2. Preaching is the passion of Jesus: v. 36-39 
    3. Restoration is the power of Jesus: v. 40-45
     
    ICEBREAKER: Do you have a regular, daily time of prayer? Is there a particular time or place that you pray? 1. Some general patterns seem to emerge regarding Jesus’ personal habits in verse 35. Also read Mark 6:46 and 14:32. What can we learn from this verse that might be beneficial to our own patterns in life? 2. What can we discover about the leper’s attitude by his posture towards Jesus in verse 40? 3. What was Jesus risking by responding to the man the way He did? What can we learn about Jesus’ nature from this encounter described in verses 40 to 41? 4. This encounter gives us a graphic illustration of Jesus’ mission on earth. Read Galatians 3:13-14 as well, and then in your own words, describe Jesus’ mission. What word would we commonly use to describe the “mission” of Jesus? 5. Jesus’ response and charge to the man in verses 43 and 44 was somewhat surprising. What was His response and why might Jesus have instructed him in this way? Why would Jesus instruct him to show himself to the priest? (Read Deuteronomy 24:8; Leviticus 14:2-4) 6. By disobeying Jesus’ instructions to “say nothing to anyone”, how did the man complicate Jesus’ plans? How do you identify with the man’s reaction and response? In what ways do we do the very same thing today? 7. What did you find particularly helpful or challenging about the message this week?
    “Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word.” J.I. Packer
  • Oct 4, 2020Astonished by Jesus! – Deric Bartlett
    Oct 4, 2020
    Astonished by 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 'Astonished by Jesus!' based on Mark 1:21-34.
     
    1. Astonished by His teaching (21-22,27)
    2. Astonished by His mission (v. 23-26)
    3. Astonished by His care (v. 29-31) 
    4. Astonished by His capacity (v. 32-34) 

    ICEBREAKER:

    What is your favourite food combination?

    1.Mark’s Gospel informs us that Jesus taught “as one who had authority” [Mark 1:22]. What do you think that meant, and what difference does that make to you [cf. Matthew 5:21-48; Matthew 7:28-29; and Mark 11:27-33]?

    2.What do you learn about Jesus’ identity from His encounter with the man with the unclean spirit [Mark 1:23-27]? Consult also Acts 2:22; 1 Corinthians 15:24-27; and Colossians 2:15.

    3.Jesus frequently confronted the demonic world during His earthly ministry [Mark 1:23-27]. Christians can be guilty of fascination, fear, or failing to take demons seriously. What is a biblically balanced approach to the demonic world? Consider also 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 6:10-20; and Revelation 20:1-10.

    4.What do you observe about the early disciples’ lives from Mark 1:29-31 that demonstrates how ordinary they were [cf. Luke 5:10; John 1:40-42; and 1 Corinthians 9:5]?

    5.Why do you think Jesus prohibited the unclean spirits from speaking about Him [Mark 1:34]? Examine Matthew 8:29; Luke 4:33-36; and Luke 4:41 for more insights.

    6.What was the purpose of Jesus’ healing ministry [Mark 1:34]? What did it indicate about His identity and mission [cf. Isaiah 53:4-5; Isaiah 61:1-3; and Matthew 8:1-4]?

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

    “(Jesus’) authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us no other choice.” (John Stott)