The Hillcrest Church Podcast
Send Me - “Dangerous Prayers Series”

Send Me - “Dangerous Prayers Series”

November 4, 2019

Send Me
Dangerous Prayers Series
November 3, 2019
Pastor Ernie Wouters

When we pray dangerous prayers, there are at least two things that you can expect to happen…….

Lead to great ____________________________.
Lead to great ____________________________.
Combined = The Great __________________________!
What does it look like to pray a dangerous prayer?
When you pray with these intentions;
- Whole ___________________, mind and soul
- Humble and ______________________ heart
- Full __________________________ of the will, your
will Father, not mine
- Above all else ___________________ His Kingdom

Romans 12:1-3 NIV
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Isaiah – The Lord is _________________________

Isaiah is quoted directly in the NT over ____ times more than any other OT Prophet and he is mentioned by name more than ____ times.

Summary chapters 1 – 6:
1. _________________________ of God’s people
God has had enough
Let us reason – God promises if you just obey
Zion is corrupt

2. God’s universal Reign
A day of reckoning is coming

3. God will remove the ___________________
God will judge
4. A remnant will remain
5. Parable of the vineyard
Produce good fruit
They neglected their roles
Woe to the wicked

Isaiah’s Commission
Isaiah 6:8-10
8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. ______________________me.” 9 And he said, “Yes, go, and tell this
People:
Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
10 “Render the hearts of this people [e]insensitive,
Their ears dull, And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”

Luke 4;18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[f]

Galatians 4:4-5
“But when the fullness of the time came, God _________________
forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” 

1 John 4:9-10
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has ________________________ His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (Atonement) for our sins.”

John 10:11-18,
“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I _________________ down My life for the sheep. ……. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I __________________down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I ___________ it down on My _______________initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”

 

To Be Debt Free - My Greatest Hopes

To Be Debt Free - My Greatest Hopes

October 30, 2019

To Be Debt Free
My Greatest Hopes Series
October 27, 2019

Why do we continue to take on debt?

1. Debt is now considered _________________________.

2. Debt is so____________________________________.

3. Debt was ________________________________to us.

4. Debt is linked to our _________________________________.

5. Debt comes out of ___________________________________.

6. Debt sometimes follows_______________________________.

A debt-free life is____________________________.

 

How do you pay down debt?

1. Don’t ______________________ you can’t___________________.

Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor. (Proverbs 13:7, NLT)

 

2. ________________________ your debt.

Use the Debt Snowball principle.

List out your debts and your _____________________________.

______________________ $200 extra per month.

Pay off the __________________________________ first.

Snowball those payments toward the _______________________.

Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net. (Proverbs 6:5, NLT)

3. Say _________ today, so that you can say __________ tomorrow.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

How satisfied are you with what you have?
How satisfied are you with your car or your clothes?

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6, NIV)

4. As God increases your storehouse continue _________________
_______________________ to the Lord.

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. (2 Corinthians 9:10, NLT)

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. (2 Corinthians 9:11, NLT)

 

Following these six steps can start you down the path of becoming debt free.

  1. Have a Written Plan
    A written plan is an absolute necessity to escape debt’s death grip. This plan’s success depends on your family doing two things: creating an itemized list of all your expenses, in their order of importance. And two, classifying our needs, wants and desires. Here are the differences between the three groupings:
    1. Needs. These are life’s basic necessities. Food, clothing, employment, home, medical coverage all fall into this category.
    2. Wants. Wants involve making choices about the quality of goods we consume: dress clothes versus work clothes, steak versus hamburger, a new car versus a used car.
    3. Desires. These are the goods and choices we make not essential to our survival, safety or well-being.
  1. Determine Essentials for Living
    Eliminate unnecessary living expenditures and look for services around the home that can be done without outside cost. If you hire a cleaning lady, roll up your sleeves and scrub the kitchen yourself or learn handyman skills yourself. Tile and grout your floors, build a deck or paint the house to save costs.

One more important thing to remember: We assume “expenses” are essential only because of the messages our society sends.

    3.  Think Before Buying
         If your family is in debt, evaluate every purchase (see Proverbs 24:3).

    1. Is it a necessity? Have I assessed whether it is a need, a want, or a desire?
    2. Does the purchase reflect my Christian ethics? (For example, certain magazines on the market do not reflect Christian ethics.) Can I continue to subscribe to magazines or belong to book, CD, or movie clubs while I owe others?

                    - Is this the best possible buy I can get, or am I purchasing only because I have this credit card?

                    - Is it a highly depreciate item? Am I buying something that will devalue quickly?   (Swimming pools, boats, and sports cars fall into this                                    category.)

                    - Does it require costly upkeep?

  1. Cut up the credit cards
    If you are in debt from the misuse of credit cards, stop – totally stop – using it. Cut up the cards and mail them back to their respective companies and ask them not to send you any more. Include in your letter the plan for paying that credit card debt back and commit yourself to buying solely on a cash basis.

While handing out the green for your purchases engrain new attitudes in your daily spending. After all, you’ll have to sacrifice some of the wants and desires in life to break free from debt; otherwise, you will continue to borrow and only get deeper into bondage.

  1. Practice Saving
    Practice saving money on a regular basis. This includes those who are in debt. Even if it is only $5 a month, develop a discipline of saving. This does not mean you should store up a large amount of money while failing to pay your creditors, but one of the best habits a young couple can develop is to save a small amount on a regular basis.
  2. Get God involved in your finances through Tithing.
    Tithing is always difficult to start doing but reaps huge rewards over time. Tithing says to God, “I am putting you first in my finances.” And when we honor the Lord first in our finances, He somehow finds a way to take care of the rest.

Tithing is really God’s gift to you. I have heard so many people tell story after story that when they committed to involve the Lord by honoring Him first through tithing, a shift in their financial situation began to occur. It is a proven principle that works.

To Finish The Race Well - My Greatest Hopes

To Finish The Race Well - My Greatest Hopes

October 23, 2019

To Finish the Race Well - Outline
My Greatest Hopes
October 20, 2019

It doesn’t matter how you ____________________; it matters how you_______________________.

The Christian life isn’t a _________________________, it’s a________________________________.

Joshua 14 – Caleb

So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God.’ (Joshua 14:6–9, NLT)

Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then.

So give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.” (Joshua 14:10–12, NLT)

At the end of his life, Caleb is ___________________________
_________________________in the promises of God.

What does it mean for you to finish well?

Write out your own list:

______________ _________________ ________________.

 

Three ways that you can finish well.

 

1. Find people who will ____________________________________.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, (Hebrews 12:1a, NLT)

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. (Hebrews 11:39–40, NLT)

…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1, NLT)

Who are the people surrounding you right now?

…are they _____________________________________?
…are they ______________________ about running the race?

 

2. Throw off everything that ________________________________.

…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up…

what are the things that are ___________________________
_________________________________ right now?

what are the ______________________that you have become _______________________________with?

 

3. Know ________________________________and have ________________________________for getting there.

… let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

The target is ___________________________.

What are your eyes fixed on these days?

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. (2 Corinthians 4:16, NLT)

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT)

Jesus had a strategy.

He focused on _______________________.

Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

He endured through the ______________________________.

Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. (Hebrews 12:1–4, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper

A deeper study for individuals and small groups

Looking back on your life, who are some people who lived lives of faith? How has their story motivated you?

Read Hebrews 12:1-4.

Fix your eyes…
Do you find it hard or easy to focus on one thing at a time?
How do you focus on what is important and necessary?

Throw off what hinders.
What does Hebrews say we are to throw off here?
What kind of things hinder people in their walk with Jesus?
What kind of things are pulling your attention away right now?

Endurance.
Look back on Jesus life.
Think about some examples of opposition and persecution that Jesus endured. Find these situations in your Bible and read the verses.

What did Jesus do in the face of opposition in these situations?
How did he handle it?
What can you learn from him?

Give an example of a time that Jesus was weary. Find it in your Bible.

How did Jesus handle those situations? What did he do?
What can you learn from him?

Fix your eyes on Jesus.
How does your life exemplify a life of faith?
What are some practical ways to focus on Jesus and develop a life of faith? Discuss.

 

To Be Healthy - My Greatest Hopes Series

To Be Healthy - My Greatest Hopes Series

October 16, 2019

To Be Healthy - Outline
My Greatest Hopes Series
October 13, 2019

What does it mean to be healthy?

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28, NLT)

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ (Mark 12:29–30, NLT)

To be healthy involves paying attention to four areas of your life:
Your _________________________.
Your _________________________.
Your _________________________.
Your _________________________.

These areas are all part of your _______________________________.

I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. (Psalm 84:2, NLT)

 

The great challenge of being healthy is that __________is going to be a part of your ___________________________________.

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (Romans 5:12, NLT)

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. (1 Peter 2:11, NLT)

Practical ways to live a healthy life.

1. Fix your ____________________on what is__________________.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8, NLT)

Our brains are wired to filter out _____________________for us.

Your mind is looking for the _______________________that you have ____________________________to look for.

 

It is possible to cooperate with God _______________________the way you think.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)

 

2. ____________________________ with your body.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1, NLT)

 

You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:13, NLT)

 

3. Spend time _______________________________ in your soul.

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Mark 8:34–37, NLT)

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:19, NLT)

4. ___________________________is the key to your _____________.

With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever, for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death. (Psalm 86:12–13, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper
Deeper study for individuals and small groups

Why is it important for us to offer thanks and express gratitude to God?

[read Psalm 50:23 after your discussion]

Read the following passages on thankfulness and discuss these questions:

What situation was this person in?
Why did this person choose to thank God?
What was the result of being thankful? (if a result is given)

2 Samuel 22:49-51
1 Chronicles 16:34-36
Psalm 138:7-8
Psalm 139:14
Isaiah 21:1 (for the context) and Isaiah 25:1
Matthew 15:36-37
Luke 17:12-17
Romans 6:16-18
1 Corinthians 15:56-58

What is one thing God spoke to you about as you read these passages?

At this point in your life, how easy do you find it to be thankful?

What could you do to express your gratitude to God regularly?
Here are some ideas:
Create a Gratitude List of things you are thankful for.
Write a Thank You letter to God, concentrating on simply thanking Him rather than making requests.

What are you thankful for?
Take some time as a group to praise God and practice thankfulness

 

To Do Something Significant With My Life:  My Greatest Hopes Series

To Do Something Significant With My Life: My Greatest Hopes Series

October 8, 2019

To Do Something Significant with my Life - Outline
My Greatest Hopes Series
October 6, 2019

 

What makes a great life?

 

The three F’s.
F_______________________
F_______________________
F_______________________

____________________________________the world.

 

Jesus gave us a _________________________to measure greatness.

Jesus never _____________________ the desire for greatness.
But he _________________________ how greatness is measured.

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” (Matthew 18:1, NLT)

Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. “What is your request?” he asked. She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.” (Matthew 20:20–21, NLT)

 

Great ___________________ do great things: Greatness is about ______________________________.

What are the two qualities that you would like to be known for?

 

 

The first measurement of greatness is:______________________.

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18:2–4, NLT)

1. Greatness is about humility before _______________________.

I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

2. Greatness is about humility before ____________________.

So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Some practical advice on humility.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3–4, NLT)

Ask _____________________________.
Get ___________________________of yourself.
____________________________for humility.

 

The second measure of greatness is:________________________.

But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26–28, NLT)

 

Jesus measured greatness in terms of _______________________ not ______________________________.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5–11, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper
A study for individuals and small groups

What are the two qualities that you would like to be known for in your life?

Read Matthew 18:1-11.
What question did the disciples ask and what was Jesus answer?
What kind of attitude do you think the disciples question reveals?
What does their question say about them?

What two qualities does Jesus mention in response?

What is the link between repentance and having a child-like attitude before God?
What is the link between humility and being like a child?

CS Lewis said: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.”

What do you think about this definition of humility?
How does it compare to Paul’s definition in Philippians 2:3-4?

Read Matthew 20:20-28.
What did the mother ask for?
What did Jesus seem to think of that idea?
How did the other disciples respond when they found out?

How did Jesus sum up his life in verse 28?

Read Philippians 3:5-11.
Discuss what Jesus gave up in order to come and be a servant.

There are three practical ways to practise humility. 1. Ask questions. 2. Get outside of yourself. 3. Pray for humility.

Which one of these (or think of your own) would you like to put into practise this week?

Seeds and Soils:  God’s Invitation Series

Seeds and Soils: God’s Invitation Series

October 2, 2019

Seeds and Soils - Outline
September 29, 2019

The parable of the soils. (Mark 4:3-9)

The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. (Mark 4:14, NLT)

The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and__________________
_____________. (Mark 4:15, NLT)

The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. (Mark 4:16-17, NLT)

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the ___________________ of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. (Mark 4:18–19, NLT)

And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Mark 4:20, NLT)

 

Which soil represents where you are at right now?

And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Mark 4:20, NLT)

This is the_______________ , the_______________________.

 

What are the barriers to Christian growth?

1. The Barrier of ___________________________ .

The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and _______________ ______________. (Mark 4:15, NLT)

How do we learn to navigate through ______________________?

Many Christians are content with a pre-_________________ faith.
Develop a post-_____________________ faith
Learn to filter out your _____________________________ doubt.
Learn to navigate through your _____________________ doubts.

2. The Barrier of __________________ and___________________.

The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. (Mark 4:16-17, NLT)

Develop a ___________________________that can navigate persecution and problems.

God’s________________________.
God will work ___________________________ for good.
This too shall ___________________________.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1–4, NLT)

There are no______________________________________.

 

3. The Barrier of____________________, ___________________ and ______________________.

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. (Mark 4:18–19, NLT)

Ask yourself some tough questions about ___________________and ________________________.
How much is ________________________?
Do I really __________________this?
Do my possessions ___________or do I _______my possessions?
Do I ___________________________ above the things I own?

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:20–21, NIV)

What does my ___________________________ say that I value?
Is it ______________________ it?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24, NIV)

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21, NIV)

 

Food, Feasts and Excuses:  God’s Invitation Series

Food, Feasts and Excuses: God’s Invitation Series

September 26, 2019

Food, Feasts and Excuses - Outline
September 22, 2019

What is the best meal that you ever had?

This _________________________________that we are invited into is a lot like being invited to a ________________________________.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” (Revelation 19:9, NLT)

Jesus said the ______________________________is like a great feast.

What will eternity look like?
1. God will live _______________________________.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.

2. There will be ______________________ for the ____________
and ___________________________of this life.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

3. There will be __________________________ for all who are there.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End.

4. We will experience all of ____________________________of God.

To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:3–7, NLT)

 

One man, listening to Jesus said:

Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” (Luke 14:15, NLT)

Jesus challenges some of his _______________________________:

Who is going to be there?
Who is going to be invited?

Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ (Luke 14:16–18, NLT)

Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ (Luke 14:19, NLT)

Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ (Luke 14:20, NLT)

“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ (Luke 14:21, NLT)

After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. (Luke 14:22–23, NLT)

For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’ ” (Luke 14:24, NLT)

Two things that will cause people to miss the feast God is inviting them into.

1. “I just don’t have ________________________.”

What is ________________________ you from joining the feast?

When will there be a _________________________ time?

 

2. “I feel like I don’t _______________________________ .”

____________________ is the time to come to the table.

Jesus says,
They are on my _______________________________ and I want you to _______________________________to the feast.

We need to open up our eyes to the least of these: the ______________________________________________.

The master says, “there is still__________________________.”

Do we believe that there is still _________________ for more?

 

Digging Deeper
Study for individuals and small groups

Read Luke 14:15-24.

The people who have been invited to the dinner make excuses for not attending.
Do we believe their excuses? Why, or why not?
What are some of the reasons people might make excuses for not attending a social function like this?
What do those reasons tell us about these invited guests?
About their relationship with the host?

Of the three different groups of people invited to the dinner – the original guests, the “poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame,” and the people in the roads and lanes – who do we feel closest to? Why?

Who would feel most blessed at the dinner, do we think? Why?
Who has the most positive relationship with the host? Why?
What does this mean for us, do we think? Why?

Jesus tells this story after someone says “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

Is this story an “answer” or “response” to that statement, do we think?
What kind of an answer is it?
Is Jesus agreeing with the statement, disagreeing, qualifying … what do we think? Why do we think that?

What point do we think Jesus is trying to make here? Why do we think that?

(More personal)
Are there ways we resemble these guests?
What are they?
What are the possible implications of that similarity?

 

Sons and Daughters:  God’s Invitation Series

Sons and Daughters: God’s Invitation Series

September 16, 2019

Sons and Daughters – Outline
September 15, 2019

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story:

“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. (Luke 15:11–12, NLT)

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.

About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. (Luke 15:13–16, NLT)

1. Be patient with God’s timing.

 

“When he finally came to his senses,

2. It’s never too late to stop and make the right decision.

 he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” ’ (Luke 15:17–19, NLT)

 

3. The phrase “I am no longer worthy” can cut two ways.

In a healthy sense, like the prodigal son, it can drive us toward God.

 

The lens of condemnation, says…

I am no longer saveable.
I am no longer loveable.

 

The lens of conviction, says…

yes, you have blown it.
but, Jesus has made a way for you.
the Father is ready to receive you.

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. (Luke 15:20, NLT)

4. The son comes home with a repentant heart.

His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ (Luke 15:21, NLT)

 

Four things we learn about God in this story.

1. God delights in you.

2. God’s love for you never ends.

Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3, NLT)

Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. (Psalm 89:2, NLT)

3. God’s love always has your best interest at heart.

4. God’s love forgives and restores.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. (John 15:9, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper –
Study for Individuals and Small Groups

Read the passage out loud as a group. (Luke 15:11-32)

Focus on the Younger Son (vv. 11-20)
What is your opinion about the younger son? Why does he want to leave home?
Is he the kind of person you would like to be with? to manage your money?
What stages does the boy go through? What causes him to come to his senses? What was his attitude like when he returns to his father?

Focus on the Father (vv. 21-25)
Do you think the father understood what was likely to happen when he gave the younger son his inheritance? Why do you think he did it?
What do you think he did while his son was away? How do you think he felt?
The father saw the son returning while he was still a long way off - do you think that this was by chance? How does the father treat the son on his return? What is the father’s primary attitude toward his son?

Focus on the Older Son (vv. 25-32)
How does the older son feel about the return of his younger brother?
Do you think the father loves the younger son more? Why or why not?
Do you think the older brother is justified in his behavior? Why or why not? What does the father want for the older son? What are the results of the older son’s resentment? What other options does the older son have?

Discussion Questions:
• Which son do you identify with? Why?
• Whom does the father represent in the story?
• Whom do the sons represent?
• Why do you think is the main point of Jesus’ story?
• What kind of behaviour pleases God the most?
• What kind of person needs to hear this story the most?
• What lessons did you learn from the story that you can apply to your own life?

God’s Invitation:  Coins and Sheep

God’s Invitation: Coins and Sheep

September 9, 2019

Coins and Sheep - Outline
September 8th, 2019

The parables of Luke 15 show us what God cares about most: ______________ _________________.

He _________________ them.
He wants to have a __________________ relationship with them.

1. Finding lost people gives God great joy.

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?

And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’

In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! (Luke 15:3–7, NLT)

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’

In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (Luke 15:8–10, NLT)

2. Jesus spoke these parables in response to ____________________
________________________.

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! (Luke 15:1–2, NLT)

3. Jesus cares about __________ __________more than anything else.

Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?

Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it?

4. God’s primary motivation is_____________________.

The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD!

The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. (Exodus 34:6–7a, NLT)

5. God has ______ _______________of categories of people who are _______________________ from the kingdom.

So, who is on your list?

[This doesn’t mean that God _________________ _____________.]

But I do not excuse the guilty. (Exodus 34:7a, NLT)

6. Jesus is saying when someone is lost God will go to ___________
________________________to rescue them.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16–17, NLT)

 

[The Additional Study Guide notes for individuals and groups will be back starting next week!]

What you need…when you need a Godly heritage

What you need…when you need a Godly heritage

September 6, 2019

When you need a Godly heritage
September 1, 2019
Yusuf Mohammed

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

1. Leave a legacy of ____________________ that relies on God alone.

9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:9-10
2. Create an atmosphere of _______________________________.
7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
Genesis 12:7
1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

3. Remove _________________ and stay focused on ______________.
1” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:1-3