The Hillcrest Church Podcast
Focus Your Desires:  Gaining Wisdom Series

Focus Your Desires: Gaining Wisdom Series

January 14, 2020

Focus Your Desires - Outline

Gaining Wisdom

January 12, 2020

 

 What do you want for your life?

 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! (1 Kings 3:11–12, NLT)

 

 Sometimes it feels like we are on a quest to find something we have lost yet we don’t know how to search for it.

 

And yet Proverbs tells us that there is no end to that kind of searching…

 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied. (Proverbs 27:20, NLT)

Solomon is saying, the deepest longings that you have in your life cannot be met by anything in this world.

 

No person, place, or relationship can meet your deepest desires.

 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it. (Proverbs 8:11, NLT)

 

There is a moral component to our desires.

 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted. (Proverbs 10:24, NLT)

 

Our desires can trap us.

 The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. (Proverbs 11:6, NIV)

  

There are three common desires that can trap us.

 First, is the desire for approval.

 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. (Proverbs 29:25, NLT)

 

 How do I know if this is an area of struggle for me?

  1.  You are overly sensitive to criticism.
  2.  You are willing to compromise your values.
  3.  You worry what others think.
  4.  You can’t say no.

 

For some of us, people have become too big and God has become too small.

 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. (Proverbs 29:25, NLT)

 

Paul said,

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. (Galatians 1:10, NLT)

  

Second, there is the desire for pleasure in its various forms.

 Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich. (Proverbs 21:17, NLT)

 

Third, there is the desire for control.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6, NIV)

  

Is there something in your life that you are struggling to control right now?

 Let God control what He can control.

 

What do you want for your life?

 

Digging Deeper

Further study for individuals and small groups

 

When you were a kid, you probably had dreams about your future. What is the first dream or wish or hope that you remember having?

 

Read Proverbs 27:20.

Give some examples of situations where desire begins and it could possibly never be satisfied.

 

Read Proverbs 10:24.

Is having desires a negative thing?

How do our desires have a moral component?

 

Read Proverbs 11:6.

Give examples in which unfaithfulness may cause a person to be ensnared by their own lusts –11:5,6.

How does righteousness deliver people from these problems?

 

Read Proverbs 8:11.

What does this have to say about the best source of our desires?

How does wisdom help to focus our desires?

Think of some real-life examples.

 

Read Proverbs 29:25.

How is fearing the opinions of people a trap?

Is there any way in which concern for the opinions of others might be beneficial? Is there a balance here?

 

Read Proverbs 21:17.

Describe how you think the desire for pleasure ultimately leads people into poverty. Is it true all the time? Is there a balance to this statement?

 

How does focusing our desires lead to God’s best in our life?

Is there one desire you have in your life that you have been thinking about changing or controlling better or perhaps removing from your life?

What is one thing you can do this week that would help you toward that goal?

Wise Paths:  Gaining Wisdom Series

Wise Paths: Gaining Wisdom Series

January 7, 2020

Wise Paths - Outline
Gaining Wisdom
January 5, 2020

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:13–17, NIV)

What path are you on?
Where is the path taking you?

Nothing ______________________ ever comes easily.

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. (Proverbs 4:10–11, NIV)

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. (Proverbs 4:14–15, NIV)

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. (Proverbs 4:20–22, NIV)

All of us are walking down certain paths.

Each path has a ______________________________ destination.

Wise paths lead to a ___________________________________.

How do you walk in wise paths?

1. Store wise words in your heart and mind.

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. (Proverbs 3:1, NLT)

2. Walk with ___________________________.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20, NIV)

3. Start __________________________.

If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. (Proverbs 3:1–2, NLT)

4. Ask God to _____________________________.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5–6, NLT)

In your ______________________________…

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. (Proverbs 3:9–10, NLT)

In accepting ___________________ and _____________________…

 

My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11–12, NLT)

 

In your day to day __________________________…

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. (Proverbs 3:21–22, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper
A deeper study for individuals and small groups.

What is wisdom (in your own words)?

Read Proverbs 2:6.
Where does wisdom originate?

How is wisdom acquired...
what is necessary on our part (Read 1:7; 9:10)?
Explain.

 

Does having wisdom guarantee we will live by wisdom?
What else does wisdom need besides knowledge?

Read 9:1; 1:2-6.
Someone has suggested seven pillars which uphold wisdom.
Explain each of these pillars and describe what each contributes to wisdom:
∑Understanding –
∑Knowledge –
∑Prudence –
∑Shrewdness –
∑Instruction –
∑Discretion –
∑Perception –

Who can benefit most from the wisdom contained within this book... the simple and inexperienced or the mature (cf. 1:4-5)?

Read Proverbs 3:13-18; 8:32-36.
List some of the rewards of wisdom

Is the wise person the one who knows it all, or the one who knows they do not know it all (3:5-7; 13:1; 26:12)?

The wise person knows how to acquire wisdom in anything.
Along with God’s help, where else do they turn (13:20; 10:8)?

Elaborate on the importance of the Divine wisdom, which is related in the book of Proverbs, to our personal lives.
Compare any New Testament references to wisdom that you can find.

 

The Baby We Need:  The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

The Baby We Need: The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

December 30, 2019

The Baby We Need - Outline
The Jesus I Wish You Knew
December 29, 2019

The mystery of Christmas is found primarily in the _______________
of the baby in the manger.

Who is Jesus?
a. It is an _________________________ question.
b. It is an _________________________ question.
c. It is an _________________________ question.
d. It is a __________________________ question.

Here is what John said about this baby.

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:1–14, NLT)

He is the _________________________ of God.

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. (John 1:1–2, NLT)

John is clearly saying that Jesus was God.

Did Jesus ever say he was God?

Jesus described himself as ________________________ to God.

So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. (John 5:16–18, NLT)

Jesus uses the _______________________________ about himself that God does.

The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple. (John 8:57–59, NLT)

The __________________________________________of the disciples was that Jesus was God.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. (John 20:27–28, NLT)

 

He is the ___________________________ of Life.

God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. (John 1:3–4, NLT)

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:15–17, NLT)

He is the _____________________________ of the World.

John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:8–9, NLT)

He is the _____________________________ of Glory.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:14, NLT)

The decision we need to make.

___________________________ Him.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. (John 1:10–11, NLT)

__________________________ Him.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. (John 1:12–13, NLT)

 

Is Jesus Enough?  The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

Is Jesus Enough? The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

December 23, 2019

                                    Series: The Jesus I Wish You Knew
                                    Is Jesus Enough? — Matthew 1:18-25
                                    Pastor Jamie McDonald

1. He is Fully ______________________.
a. A ________________________ of King David.
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David,
the son of Abraham . (Matthew 1:1; see Luke 1:32)
b. ________________________ with brokenness.
i. _____________________ within his own family.
Tamar (v.3), Rahab ... Ruth (v.5), Bathsheba ... (v.6)
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His
mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before
they came together, she was found to be pregnant through
the Holy Spirit . (v.18)
ii. The “_________________________ son.”
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?…” And they took offense at him.
(Matthew 13:55-57; see Luke 3:23)
iii. A family of _________________ means.
Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the
Lord … and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the
Law of the Lord: “ a pair of doves or two young pigeons .”
(Luke 2:22-24; see Leviticus 12:8)
iv. Lived for a time as a ___________________.
...an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,”
he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt .
(Matthew 2:13)

c. Willingly ___________________ himself.
Who, being in very nature God , did not consider equality with
God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made
himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant , being
made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a
man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even
death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
2. He is Fully ______________________.
a. From the ______________ _______________.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared
to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be
afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived
in her is from the Holy Spirit . (v.20; see Luke 1:34-35)
b. Name means “________ __________ __________.”
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name
Jesus , because he will save his people from their sins.” ( v.21a)
c. Without ___________.
...from their sins.” (v.21b)
Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? (John 8:46a)
d. Declared sins __________________.
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat...right in
front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “ Friend, your
sins are forgiven. ” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law
began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks
blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? Jesus knew
what they were thinking... ”But I want you to know that the Son
of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins .” So he said to
the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go
home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he
had been lying on and went home praising God. (Luke 5:18-25)

e. The God who appeared to _____________.
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day ;
he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” they
said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “Very truly I tell you,”
Jesus answered, “ before Abraham was born, I am! ” At this,
they picked up stones to stone him... (John 8:56-59)
God said to Moses, “I am who I am . This is what you are to
say to the Israelites: ‘ I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)
f. Received _________________ as God.
“Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and
put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to
him, “ My Lord and my God! ” (John 20:27-28)

“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son
of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him
up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you
can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come
with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He
has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” - C.S. Lewis

3. He is God ___________ ___________.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the
prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they
will call him Immanuel ” (which means “ God with us ”).
(Matthew 1:22-23; see Isaiah 7:14).
a. True in _________________ day.
“...before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose
the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.
The L ORD will bring... the king of Assyria .” (Isaiah 7:16-17)
“[The Assyrian king’s] outspread wings will cover the breadth of
your land, Immanuel !... but it will not stand, for God is with us .”
(Isaiah 8:8, 10)

b. Fulfilled on that first ____________________.
... in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations , by the
Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan… For to us a child is born , to
us a son is given , and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God ,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:1b, 6)
c. He has ________________ been with his people.
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Judges, Gideon, Samuel Saul,
David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah. (Genesis 26:3;
28:15; 48:21; Exodus 3:12; Joshua 1:9; Judges 2:18; 6:12-16; 1
Samuel 3:19; 10:7; 18:12-14; 1 Chronicles 28:20; 2 Chronicles
15:2; 17:3; 2 Kings 18:7)
d. He is now _______________ every believer.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth . The
world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows
him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you .
(John 14:16-17)
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My
Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our
home with them.” (John 14:23)
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God , and
the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(2 Corinthians 13:14)
“... I am with you always , to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20b)
Conclusion
“Jesus: If you’re real… _________________ yourself to me.”
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my
voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person,
and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Is Jesus Good?  The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

Is Jesus Good? The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

December 18, 2019

Is Jesus Good?
The Jesus I Wish You Knew
December 15, 2019

How can we make sense of what we see?
A) There is a ___________ + B) __________________ things are happening = C) God is _____________ good
OR
A) If God is __________ + B) _________________ things are happening = C) God must not ________________

I’m going to believe in God because bad things ______________ happen to __________ people.

Christianity started because something ________________ happened to ____________.

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17, NIV)
God does not have a _________________ over your life.
God gives us _______________________.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)

You cannot view God in light of your ____________________. You have to view your ______________________ in light of who __________________.

He is ________, and I am _________.

We are living in the ___________ and longing for ______________.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

The God who never lets bad things happen to good people, ____________________________________.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 ESV)

A) There is a ____________ + B) ______________ things happen + C) _____________ AND us = D) God is _________________.

Jesus is _____________.

Is Jesus OK With Me?  The Jesus I Wish You Knew

Is Jesus OK With Me? The Jesus I Wish You Knew

December 10, 2019

Is Jesus ok with me? - Outline
The Jesus I Wish You Knew
December 8, 2019

How do you label yourself?

Is Jesus ok with me?

No matter who you ________or what you______________________.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (Romans 3:22, NLT)

How do I _____________________to that? What do I _______with it?
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (Romans 3:22, NLT)

Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:24, NLT)

____________________ from your _______________________.

_________________ ____________ to take away your ________.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23, NLT)

When we compare ourselves to __________________________, we all __________________________.

As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.
(Romans 3:10, NLT)

No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”
(Romans 3:11-12, NLT)

This strikes us as a ________________________________at first glance, but in the long run of life it turns out to be a___________.

Sin has a ______________________effect with _____________.

Sin has a ________________effect with____________________.

This is the Jesus I wish you knew.
He takes away your ____________________.
He takes away your ____________________.
He pays your _________________________.
He completely _______________________________ your sin.

Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:24, NLT)

For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:25a, NLT)

How do I get this? How does it become truly mine?

_________________________ your faith in Jesus Christ.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (Romans 3:22, NLT)

Focus the ________________of ____________________toward Jesus Christ.

We are made _____________with God through _________________.

Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. (Romans 3:27, NLT)

 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NLT)
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.
Amen.

 

Digging Deeper
A study for individuals or small groups

Read 1 John 4:7-21 (God Loving us)
Why – accordingly to 1 John 4:7-21 – is God to be considered the ultimate authority on love?
What does it mean to you to know that God lavishly loves you?

How is God’s love to be understood as both sacrificial and undeserved? (Be sure to check your thoughts against what is said in 1 John 4.)

Why is God’s love so reliable?
How does he demonstrate it?
What is the implication for our lives?

While we can be daunted by the standard set by God when it comes to love, how does he help us to love him and others more?

How does God’s love compare to the human expression of love?

Us Loving God
What is the best way to respond to God’s love?

Why do you think that some people have such a hard time accepting God’s love? Can we help them to more easily receive this gift?
How can we ask God to help us in our ability to love?

Do you struggle with the idea that we are to love God with our complete selves? Do you hold back anything from God? Do you feel vulnerable opening your heart so wide to him?

Why do you think the world is much more comfortable in thinking about love as a noun, rather than a verb?

Application
How would you tell a friend about the gift of God’s love?

Is Jesus Necessary?  The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

Is Jesus Necessary? The Jesus I Wish You Knew Series

December 2, 2019

Is Jesus Necessary? - Outline

The Jesus I Wish You Knew

December 1, 2019

 

We should have forgotten about Jesus long ago.

     Yet Jesus is lodged in our collective psyche.

     Why?

 

Peter argues that Jesus is necessary to our life as human beings.

 

Peter gives us at least six reasons why Jesus is necessary.

 

  1. There is a part of you that is dead inside. (1:3)

        So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:7, NLT)

 

  1. There is a longing for God deep within your soul. (1:9)

        My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart

        and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2, NIV)

 

  1. You are imprisoned by something. (1:18-20)

Empty life.

     A ransom needed to be paid.

    “Redemption.”

 

  1. All of this was because of sin. (1:22)

        When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death,

        so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (Romans 5:12, NLT)

 

  1. We were not a people. (2:10a)

        Once you had no identity as a people; (1 Peter 2:10a, NLT)

  

  1. We had received no mercy. (2:10b)

        Once you received no mercy; (1 Peter 2:10b, NLT)

 

This is the Jesus I wish you knew.

 

He never sinned.

     He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.

     He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. (1 Peter 2:22–23, NLT)

 

He personally carried our sins on the cross.

      He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross… (1 Peter 2:24a, NLT)

 

So that we can be dead to sin.

     …so that we can be dead to sin… (1 Peter 2:24b, NLT)

 

So that we can be alive to what is right.

     …and live for what is right. (1 Peter 2:24b, NLT)

 

By his wounds you were healed.

     By his wounds you are healed. (1 Peter 2:24c, NLT)

 

You now have a place to call home.

     Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to

     your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25, NLT)

 

 

Digging Deeper
A deeper study for individuals and small groups.

Think about or discuss a challenging or difficult situation that you are facing in your life right now.

Read 1 Peter 2:18-21.
Who is Peter addressing in this passage?
What is he asking these Christians to do?
It sounds like a difficult thing to ask. What would our modern world say about what Paul is asking these people to do?
What do you think about Paul’s advice?
How does it apply to us today?

Peter uses the situation from verses 18-21 to transition into a closing summary for all that he has said in the first three chapters.

Read 1 Peter 2:22-25.
What did Jesus not do?
What is the theological significance of this?
What is the practical significance of this?

How did Jesus address the injustice of suffering?
Jesus did not speak our against those who spoke against him.
Give some examples of this from the crucifixion narratives in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

Who did Jesus entrust his life to while he was being threatened?
How does that help you in the midst of a difficult situation you might be facing right now.

Read 1 Peter 2:22-25 again.
What do these verses say about our identity in Christ and what Jesus has done for us?
List out what Jesus has done.
Think about or discuss which one is most significant to you right now.

Take some time to pray and thank Jesus for what he has done for you.

Bless Me - Dangerous Prayers Series

Bless Me - Dangerous Prayers Series

November 27, 2019

Lord Bless Me - Outline
Dangerous Prayers
November 24, 2019

 

What “Lord Bless Me” is not:

1. God’s guarantee of ______________________________________ and ___________________________________________.

God promises to provide for our daily bread.
God promises that He will bless __________________________
of financial resources.

2. God’s guarantee that we will not face ____________________ and _______________________________.

God bragged on Job but he still ___________________________.
Jesus said blessed are you when people __________________you.

“Lord Bless Me” is really about the _________________________
________________________ that God wants to give to us.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Ephesians 1:3, NLT)

1. The blessing of ____________________________.

God decided in advance ______________________________into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5, NLT)

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when ___________________
_____________as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15, NLT)

 

2. The blessing of ________________________________.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and _______________________________ in his eyes. (Ephesians 1:4, NLT)

3. The blessing of ___________________________.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased _________
______________________with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (Ephesians 1:7, NLT)

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6, NLT)

4. The blessing of _________________________________.
So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. (Ephesians 1:6, NLT)

He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:8, NLT)

There is a difference between _________________________ grace and ___________________________________ grace.

__________________ Grace falls on_______________________.

____________________Grace is available only for believers.

 

5. The blessing of God’s __________________________________.

And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. (Ephesians 1:13, NLT)

How do I get all of these spiritual blessings?

You have to be ______________________________.

v.3 “with Christ”
v.5 “through Christ”
v.7 “through Christ”
v.13 “believed in Christ”

Are you in Christ and is Christ in you?

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

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 4:17–18, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper
A study for individuals and small groups.

Describe a time in your life where you felt blessed by God. What did that time mean to you? How did it help your faith?

Read Ephesians 1:1-3.
What are the two ways Paul describes these Christians at Ephesus?
What do they mean?
What does it mean to be “faithful in Christ” (v.1)? Does it refer more to our coming to believe in Christ or our growing in our belief in Him or both?

What is a spiritual blessing (v.3)?
How does it differ from a material blessing?

Read Ephesians 1:4-14.
List out the spiritual blessings that you find in this passage.

What does it mean that God chose us?
When you think of God choosing you what does that mean to you?
Is the example of adoption helpful? Why or why not?

What does it mean to be forgiven and made holy?

What does it mean to you that you have freedom in Christ?
What do you think it meant to Paul when he wrote this verse?

What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit as a seal of God’s promise?
Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence?
How does he speak to you?
Share about a time when the Holy Spirit impressed himself clearly on your heart or mind in some way. (i.e., he warned you about something, he spoke to you about an issue in your life, he gave you guidance…)

Do all of these spiritual blessings ever go away?
How has understanding these spiritual blessings helped you in your life up to this point

Change Me - “Dangerous Prayers Series”

Change Me - “Dangerous Prayers Series”

November 20, 2019

Change Me - Outline
Dangerous Prayers
November 17, 2019

There are many times in the Scriptures where God changed or has promised to help a person change.

As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God __________________Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. (1 Samuel 10:9, NIV)

And I will give you a new_____________________, and I will put a new ____________________________ in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT)

At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be _______________ into a different person. (1 Samuel 10:6, NLT)

Jesus Christ can change your life in the best of possible ways.

The story of the Lame Man

Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. (John 5:1–2, NLT)

Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. (John 5:3, NLT)

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” (John 5:5-6, NLT)

Jesus knew that this would not be an _____________________ ___________________________ for him.

With every change there is something we are ______________ _________ and new __________________________ahead of us.

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” (John 5:7, NLT)

This man is living with _____________________________.

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! (John 5:8–9, NLT)

The change that you want is found _____________in Jesus Christ.

Here are three ways you can start to see change in your life with the help of Jesus.

1. Get up. Jesus says to this man, “_______________________!”

Whenever Jesus healed someone, often he would have them do an action: a _____________________________________________.

2. Decide that there is no going back. Jesus said, “_______________
_________________________.”

Anyone here need to ________________________________?

3. Take it step by step. Jesus said, “_________________________.”

a. Be aware of what you are doing wrong.
b. Stop _____________________________ others.
c. Put some ____________________________ in place.
d. Find other people to hold you accountable.
e. Be near to and rely on the ___________________________of
__________________________.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

What is the old that is gone?

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.

Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19–21, NLT)

But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14, NLT)

a pastoral warning:
Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7, NLT)

a pastoral encouragement:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

 

Digging Deeper
A deeper study for individuals and small groups

Do you find it easy to make changes in your life, or is it hard for you?
What kind of changes are difficult?

Read John 5:1-3. Would a good Jew be found at this pool with the sick? Why or why not? What does the fact that Jesus was at the pool talking with a sick person tell you about the priorities of Jesus?

Read John 5:4-6. What did Jesus ask the man? Was this a silly question? What was Jesus’ purpose in asking this specific question?

Read John 5:7. How did the man answer Jesus’ question? Do you think the man really wanted to be healed?

If the man did want to be healed, how would his healing affect his life? What kind of changes would he have to make as a result of being healed?

Do you know people who do not want to be healed or make difficult changes in their life? What would you tell them about the benefit of being healed and making changes?

Read John 5:8. What three commands does Jesus give this man as he heals him? Did the invalid man have a choice in the healing? When Jesus sees the man in the Temple, what does he say to the man? (Verse 14)

When the healing takes place, does the man respond with belief in Jesus, or thank Jesus, or praise to God? How does the man respond when he learns that Jesus is the one who had healed him? (Verse 15)

What do you think is the overall message of this passage when you take it as a whole? What is this passage saying to you today?

 

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.”

 

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