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.
  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

  • Feb 22, 2015What Do You See?
    Feb 22, 2015
    What Do You See?
    Series: Various
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "What Do You See?" from 1 John 3:1-3. Questions: Please read 1 John 3:1-3. Ice Breaker: This passage is just a little glimpse into the immeasurable love that God has for you and me! His capacity to love is beyond anything we can imagine, and the depth of His love for each of us is virtually unfathomable. I have been somewhat shocked at my capacity to love my family. Not that they don’t deserve my love… they do! They are all amazing and each of them bring me incredible amounts of joy and pleasure! My astonishment is that my love grows as my family has grown. I thought my heart would burst when I first met my wife-to-be! Now, two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandkids later, I manage to love them ALL beyond description! Do you ever “wonder” at being loved by God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe?  Explain. 1. The expression John used to describe God’s love in verse 1 can be understood to mean “other-worldly” or “foreign to this world.” How would you describe the love of God to a person, Christian or not? How is it that so many people in this world miss out on God’s amazing love? Could this explain why people reject the church as well? (see John 1:1-10; Col. 3:1–3) 2. What images and/or feelings come to mind when John describes you as one of “God’s children?” What kind of life will it be for God’s children here on earth? (see John 16:33; Rom. 8:18-39; 12:9-21) 3. What does John mean when he says at the end of verse 2, “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is”? Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18) When will this happen? (read Titus 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 4:16-17) 4. What does it mean to “hope in Christ”?  How does this affect your daily life? (See Rom. 8:17) 5. What are the practical implications of this passage for you and your life right now? Does anything need to change in how you think about God? What about your thoughts of meeting Jesus face-to-face? “We’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.” -- Timothy Keller
  • Feb 15, 2015Signs of the Times
    Feb 15, 2015
    Signs of the Times
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Signs of the Times" from 1 John 2:18-29.

    Please read 1 John 2:18-29.
    Ice Breaker: It’s difficult, and really not safe to try to read a map and drive a car at the same time. There are even laws and fines for “distracted driving” now! Modern GPS driven TomTom or Garmin devices should also only be carefully viewed and studied when the car is fully stopped. Likewise as a Christian, it’s difficult and even dangerous to live life at modern speeds, trying to “figure it out” while we navigate through it. We really need to stop and take the time to study God’s Word. Read it. Pray through it. Meditate on it. Talk about what it says with others and then what it means in terms of how we need to live our lives in the fast paced world of today.

    How are you doing at taking time to study God’s Word? Is it a priority to you or are you just trying to “catch a glimpse” as you hurtle through your week?

    1. Who are the antichrists John is talking about and where is this opposition coming from? (v.18-19) How is John able to identify them? What is their purpose or plan?

    2. What examples of similar opposition do you see in the world around you today? Give examples.

    3. What is it that protects us from being deceived by those in opposition to the Gospel? (v.18-21) What is it about them that’s so dangerous? (v.21)

    4. In the face of these times and the prospect that the end is closer than ever, how are we to live? How do you approach each day, each week? (v.20-25)

    5. How would you describe your understanding of John’s direction to “abide in Him?” As stated in verse 29, how are we to be able to identify Christians? How does this fit with those who profess to have knowledge to share with us?

    “We find ourselves fighting the Bible’s entire story line if we do not recognize our deepest need is to be reconciled to God.” -- D.A. Carson
  • Feb 8, 2015Do Not Love the World
    Feb 8, 2015
    Do Not Love the World
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Do Not Love the World" from 1 John 2:15-17.

    Please read 1 John 2:15-17.
    Ice Breaker: I love to eat! With a few notable exceptions, I’ll eat just about anything! Food appeals to me on so many levels. It looks good, smells good and, most often, tastes great! Unfortunately, some of it isn’t good for me. The food I eat seems to be fighting against my desire to keep my body in a good, healthy condition.

    This seems like a pretty good illustration concerning my battle with my desire for “the world” too. What are some of the “things in the world” that tug at your heart? Where does this unhealthy desire most often start?

    1. What does John mean when he says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world?” What would be “the things in the world?” What things do you struggle to let go of?

    2. What are the “things” in the world? What is the ultimate damage that can be done to us? (see James 4:4; Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13)

    3.Consider the scope and the power of the love of God. What response does this incredible love of God demand from us? How do the things of the world compare to God?

    4. John mentions another reason for us to focus on the will of God, instead of the things of the world in verse 17. What is his reasoning and why should it appeal to the Christian?

    5. Explain and discuss the thinking and behaviour that contributes to the degeneration of Godly attitudes and values? What practical measures are you taking to guard yourself and your family from this?

    6. As Jesus has sent us “into the world” (John 17:18), how are we going to be able to influence the world without being swallowed up by the world?

    “Worldliness is not so much a matter of activity as attitude… [It] not only affects your response to the love of God; it also affects your response to the will of God.”  --Warren Wiersbe
  • Feb 1, 2015The NEW Commandment is actually VERY OLD
    Feb 1, 2015
    The NEW Commandment is actually VERY OLD
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The NEW Commandment is Actually VERY OLD" from 1 John 2:7-14.

    Please read 1 John 2:7-14.
    Ice Breaker: I enjoy watching TV detective shows. I don’t like to be restricted to the network’s schedule, so we get shows on dvd, to watch when we want. The “who-done-it” part is fun, but I particularly enjoy being able to watch every episode, to witness the process of how each character develops. Then, how the relationships between the characters grow as part of the seasons’ storyline. Some of the characters are close friends, others not so much. Inevitably, there’s team-building, deeper friendship and probably a romance growing somewhere!

    How seriously do you value the relationships in your life? Are you taking time to build new relationships, taking the time to invest in and deepen those existing relationships?

    1. In verse 7, John begins to single out one of God’s commands that we are required to keep. In what way is John writing about something old, and in what way is he writing about something new? Why must our understanding contain both? (see Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5; John 13:34-35)

    2. John returns to the illustration he used in chapter one, contrasting darkness and light. Discuss the meaning of light and darkness in verses 8 to 11. What shows you are walking in the light and not in darkness?

    3. How important are relationships to you? Do you have a relationship problem with another person or persons? According to this passage, what can you do to resolve the problem and restore the relationship?

    4. John comes on with a very strong accusation in verse 11. What does John mean when he says, “… whoever hates his brother is in the darkness…?” How might you describe the spiritual condition of someone who “hates his brother?”

    5. Where are there opportunities to build new, meaningful relationships in your life? What are some practical things you can do to begin building this kind of relationship with a person? What might need to change in you for this to happen?

    “Everyone says they want community and deep friendship. However, because it takes accountability and commitment, we run the other way.” - Timothy Keller
  • Jan 25, 2015We Have An Advocate With God the Father
    Jan 25, 2015
    We Have An Advocate With God the Father
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "We Have An Advocate With God the Father" from 1 John 2:1-6.

    Please read 1 John 2:1-6.
    1. Have you ever had the need for someone to speak for you or speak on your behalf? Maybe it was an agent, a lawyer or simply an expert in a particular field. In my case, my confidence in the agent’s ability to speak accurately for me, was founded on my understanding of his expertise in his field and his knowledge of who I am and what my wishes were.

    Here in 1 John 2:1, John explains that we have an advocate speaking on our behalf to the Father. His name is Jesus. How confident are you in your advocate and why? Describe how it feels to know that Jesus is your advocate?

    2. What is it about your “walk” that necessitates your need for an advocate? What is it about Jesus and His nature that makes Him the greatest possible advocate for you? Search for Scriptures to support your answer.

    3. At the very root of the matter, what aspect of the nature of God the Father and Jesus His Son, brought about Jesus becoming the “propitiation for our sins?"  (see John 3:16; 15:13; Romans 5:8) We verify what we believe by how we act. How then are we to act, if we say that we love Jesus as our Lord and Saviour?

    4. In verse four we are told that if we know Him, we are to keep His commandments, keep His Word. What is John talking about here? (Titus 1:16) What does it mean to “know Him?" (see John 15:4-5; 17:3; 1 John 5:20) What are the consequences of knowing God?

    5. In verse six it says we are "to walk in the same way in which He walked.” How is your “walk” going? How serious are you about being obedient to this command? What steps can we take to learn to walk as Jesus walked? What needs to change in you in order for that to happen? 

    “His wrath is averted not by any external gift, but by His own self-giving to die the death of sinners. This is the means He has Himself contrived by which to turn His own wrath away.” - John Stott
  • Jan 18, 2015The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!
    Jan 18, 2015
    The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!
    Pastor Deric continues our current series "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "The One Thing Worse Than Being Spiritually Blind!" from 1 John 1:5-10.

    Please read 1 John 1:5-10.
    1. I’m guessing most, if not all of you, have tried to walk through a room in the inky, pitch black darkness of night. Even a tiny flashlight will help us avoid the dangers of stubbed toes or worse! How does this simple analogy compare to living in this dark world, following God and the light of His Word?

    2. In verse five, John states that, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” Begin by reading Psalm 56:13; 119:105; Isaiah 2:5; Matthew 5:14-16; John 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Ephesians 5:8-14; Revelation 16:10-11; 21:23-25; 22:5. Compare and contrast the images you can find for “light” and “darkness.”

    3. What does this and the other passages you’ve read say about why we are we so prone to live in the “darkness” of the world? What are the benefits of walking in the light of God? Is there anything that scares you about the light of God? What would that be?

    4. We recognize that light is better than darkness and we want to walk in the light, but it’s going to be a battle. What things do you see in this passage that would be important for you do to remain walking in the light? (also see Ephesians 6:11-18)

    5. Confessing our sin to God in prayer is our opportunity for a reality check. How accurately are you able to access the state of sin in your life? (vv. 8-10) We “deceive ourselves” if we believe we do not sin. Are you serious about dealing with sin? What are some other practical ways you can be certain you are dealing with all of the sin in your life?

    “Heaven’s great harbour of refuge is prayer, and the moment a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with all sail.”  -- Charles Spurgeon
  • Jan 11, 2015Created for Relationship with God
    Jan 11, 2015
    Created for Relationship with God
    Pastor Deric continues a new series entitled "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "Created for Relationship with God" from 1 John 1:1-4.

    Please read 1 John 1:1-4.
    1. John dives right in to his letter with some important truths about Jesus and his personal experience with Him (vv.1-3). What does this tell you about John, his heart, his motivation and attitude writing this epistle? Also read and discuss John 20:26-29 and Luke 24:39. How does this change how you read or study this passage?
    2. What is it that John is insistent about in these opening verses? What errors, both then and now, could John be addressing with his line of reasoning?
    3. Do you believe that Jesus lived as a human being on this earth? What is it that convinces you of this belief?
    4. Write down your own definition of Christian fellowship. With whom do you have this fellowship? What does this mean in your life? Read Philippians 1:5 and Revelation 3:20 regarding this fellowship. Find other passages that support this same theme.

    5. As stated in verses three and four, what is the end result that will make John’s joy complete? Read John 15 where he also refers to joy in his ministry and life.

    6. The proclamation of the Gospel is obviously important to John (see John 21:24-25). How important is it to you? Has your life been changed by the Gospel? Can you explain the Gospel in your own words, in a few short sentences? What are you doing to advance the Gospel?
    “We live around the truth of the Gospel, but never quite get it. So the key to spiritual renewal is the continual rediscovery of the Gospel.” - Timothy Keller
  • Jan 4, 2015What I KNOW For Sure
    Jan 4, 2015
    What I KNOW For Sure
    Pastor Deric starts a new series entitled "Walking in the Light" with a sermon entitled "What I KNOW For Sure" from the Book of 1 John.

    Please read the book of 1 John.
    1. How does John say we can know the truth? What false beliefs threaten the church today? How do you know you understand the truth? What is the evidence in your life that would lead others to say you know the truth?

    2. Is “doing good” the same thing as righteousness? Explain your answer. How does God view our righteousness? (see Is.64:6). What is your motivation in doing righteous acts? When is God pleased with our righteousness?

    3. I believe John was awe-struck by the reality of “what we are!” (3:1-2). What does the significance of being one of God’s children mean to you? How does that significance change the way you live? (see Rom. 8:17).

    4. Describe the relationship between love and obedience. How do you know that God loves you? What is your response to that knowledge? Why does God require obedience from us?

    5. If we know and understand the truth, why are we tempted to ignore the truth? What are the consequences of giving in to temptation? How do you overcome that temptation?

    6. Do you ever doubt your salvation? Why? What relieves your doubts? Where do you find assurance in Scripture?

    “Because in Jesus God became human, He is not only the God on the other side of the chasm, He is the bridge over the gap.” - Timothy Keller

  • Dec 23, 2014LIttle is Much When God is in It
    Dec 23, 2014
    LIttle is Much When God is in It
    Series: Various
    This week Pastor Deric share a special message from Isaiah 60:22 entitled "Little is Much When God is in It (facing your feelings of futility)." Questions: Please read the whole chapter of Isaiah 60. 1. To begin, God says through Isaiah that the least shall become a clan. Can you recall such a promise in Scripture? (see Gen 17). What does this say about God and his plans for the world? Where do you see yourself in His plans? In what way are you engaged in His plan? 2. God has all the resources of the world, and beyond, at His disposal. Why would He choose to use people to work out His plan? 3. The second part of this verse begins with God saying, "I am the Lord.” This is a simple statement with many implications attached to it. List some of the implications in this statement, and the significance of this on the people of Isaiah’s time, and for us now. 4. It happens according to His timing. Swiftly, but within His timetable! Is there any sense of urgency in your approach to joining the Lord in His work? How do you work out the dichotomy of "urgency and patience" in serving? 5. There is an ultimate grand purpose in everything God undertakes. Do you know His grand purpose? How does this week's passage fit into this? How are you fitting into His purpose? What changes in your attitude, worldview and life must take place in order for you to enter into His grand purpose? “The greatest threat to Christmas this year is not consumerism or Santa, but our own overfamiliarity with the most stunning story ever told." -- Matt Smethurst
  • Dec 21, 2014The Generous God of Christmas
    Dec 21, 2014
    The Generous God of Christmas
    Pastor Deric concludes our Christmas sermon series entitled "A Generous Christmas" with a sermon entitled "The Generous God of Christmas" from Romans 8:31-39.

    In order to get a greater grasp of the context for our passage this week, read Romans 8:26-39 several times.
    1. After reading verse thirty one, how do you respond to how God feels about you? Do you have a sense of shame, or a guilty conscience about things that you have been forgiven? What must you do in order to get past that?
    2. Does what you do, or how you live, match your position of righteousness? Are there currently practices in your life that you do not believe are led by the Holy Spirit?  What do you need to do to live as you ought to? What is the evidence of having one’s mind set on what the Spirit desires for us?
    3. Considering what God gave up for us (v.32), what are you willing to “give up” in order to live for Him and grow in your love and service for Him?

    4. As an adopted member of the family of God, how do you evaluate your contribution as a family member? What are the strongholds that you need to surrender to contribute more?

    5. Paul calls us to live as “more than conquerors (v.37).” What does that mean on a day-to-day level as opposed to an eternal level? What are some of the threats you face that are preventing you from experiencing God’s power and love like this?

    6. In the light of all of these promises of God, what do you fear and why? How can we overcome our fears?

    “The Christian life is essentially life in the Spirit, that is to say, a life that is animated, sustained, directed and enriched by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, true Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, indeed impossible.”  --John Stott