Digging Deeper

Learn more about the Pastor's message

August 5, 2018

The Pastor's message from Nov 17, 2019 was on 1 Timothy 4 and the sermon was entitled "A Healthy Church has Healthy Spiritual Life.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  We're calling this series "Characteristics of a Healthy Church."Here in this passage, v.8 is the key verse. It says: "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." Paul is saying here that Godliness or being spiritually fit or being spiritually healthy has value for everything that we do. In our sermon we're going to be looking at three things that we need to avoid as individuals and as a church if we want to stay spiritually healthy. Here are the three things we need to avoid: self-deception, self-worship and self-doubt.

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

1.  Have you had anyone close to you that has “departed from the faith”?  What could you have done about it?

2.  What leads peoples to reject what they have been taught and accept something that at one time they thought to be false?

3.  Paul challenges Timothy to “train yourself for godliness.” (4:7) How are you doing this?   What help do you need?

4.  How do you know when you are focused on what is important or when you might be interested in or arguing about pointless?

5.  When Paul challenges Timothy to “let no one despise you for your youth” (4:12)  Why would someone disrespect someone for their

     youth?  What would cause an older person to respect a younger person?  What characteristics does Paul challenge Timothy to develop in order

     to give no one the opportunity to disrespect him simply for being young (he is probably 34-39 years old)?  What is gained with age, what can be

     learned with training?

6.  What does Paul list as the core components of a church service (4:13)?  Why are these important and central?

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The Pastor's message from Oct 27, 2019 was on 1 Timothy 2 and the sermon was entitled "A Healthy Church has Healthy Prayer Life.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  We're calling this series "Characteristics of a Healthy Church." Here in 1 Timothy chapter two, Paul emphasizes the importance of prayer in the life of a local church. If we want to grow and stay Healthy as a church, we have to have a healthy prayer life. Spiritual vibrancy and prayer go hand in hand. That's the context of this passage. When we we gather corporately, when we worship on Sundays, when we study the Word, when we fellowship together, prayer needs to be at the center. A church is only as strong as it's prayer life.

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

1. According to verses 1 & 2, for whom and what should we pray?

2. Read Romans 13:1 and give a reason why you should pray for those in authority over you.

3. Personal Question: According to verse 1, we are urged to make requests, prayers, intercession

     and thanksgiving for others. How might you organize (or re-organize) your prayer life to fulfill

     this admonition from the Lord?

4. Personal Question: From verse 4, what does God want for all mankind? How should you

    respond to verse 4?

5. Why should verses 5 & 6 be of the utmost importance to a follower of Jesus Christ?

6. What does Paul disclose in verse 7 about why he was appointed as an apostle?

7. Thought Question: What does verse 8 ask of all men (mankind)? What do you think it means

     to lift up “holy” hands in prayer?

8. Personal Question: Is there a command, word of instruction or principle found in verses 5-8

    that you can apply to your own life? What is it?

9. Make a list of things mentioned that a woman should do or not do while they worship God.

10. Thought Question: How might the things you listed to answer question 11 also apply to the

      male gender? Or do you think verses 9-11 o nly apply to women?

11. Personal Question: Summarize the main principle being taught in verses 9-11 (keep it short)

      and explain how you should apply it to your life?

 

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The Pastor's message from Oct 20, 2019 was on 1 Timothy 1 and the sermon was entitled "A Healthy Church has Healthy Convictions.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  In this new series we're going to be talking about being spiritually Healthy Christians and having a Healthy Church. In this first message we're going to examine the need to have strong convictions and know what we believe, in order to protect ourselves from those things that would make us "unhealthy" and cause our church to become spiritually sick and weak. 

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

  1. What did Paul instruct Timothy to charge the Ephesians? (3-4)  

  2. What was the purpose of the commandment? (5)  

  3. Why did some turn astray? (6-7)  

  4. Who is the law for? (8-11)  

  5. Into what did God put Paul? (12)  

  6. What was Paul before he became a Christian? (13)  

  7. Who did Christ come into the world to save? (15)  

  8. What two reasons did Paul give as to why he obtained mercy? (13,16)  

  9. What short burst of praise did Paul offer? (17)  

  10. What personal charge did Paul give to Timothy? ( 18-19)  

  11. Who suffered shipwreck concerning their faith? (19-20)  

  12. Why did Paul deliver them to Satan? (20)

 

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The Pastor's message from Oct 13, 2019 was on Psalm 23.  The sermon was entitled "And I Will Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever".  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  Today we wrap up our series on Psalm 23 and we come back to where we started from. We began with the words "The LORD" is my shepherd. We now end with this phrase about dwelling in the house of "The LORD" forever. Yahweh (almighty God) is our divine shepherd. He's our great protector and provider. He's the one leads and guides and refreshes our souls and tables are spread, and heads are anointed and cups run over and mercy pursues us. But now in this last phrase we have the icing on the cake, we are told that we are no longer a guest but we're part of the family. We can sit at His table and and be in His presence and dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

To believe that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever requires faith.  Here are 8 questions on faith to cause you to think

1.  Are there references to faith in the Old Testament?

We might believe that faith is a New Testament belief or doctrine but faith in God has been around as long as the Bible has been written. 

Check out:   Gen 6:9, 22

                      Gen 15:6

                      Heb 11:19

 

2.  Is believing the same thing as faith?

We can believe in something but is that enough?  James answers:

James 2:19

 

3.  Is having faith enough to save us?

 

4.  Why does James write that faith without works is dead?

James 2:17

Eph 2:8-9

Eph 2:10

 

5.   What does the Apostle Paul mean?

Rom 1:17

1 John 3

 

6.   What does the author of Hebrews mean by writing that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:10)?

Refer to Rev 22 

               2 Pet 1:4

 

7.   Why did Jesus say?  What do you need to have faith in?

Matt 9:22

 

8.   Why did Peter’s faith fail him when he was walking on water (Matt 14:31)?

 

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The Pastor's message from Oct 6, 2019 was on Psalm 23 and Psalm 107: 1-8  The sermon was entitled "Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow me"".  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  As we have gone through this series on Psalm 23 we have seen how God as the faithful and diligent shepherd takes care of his sheep. All the benefits that the flock enjoys; contentedness, peace, rest, being well fed and well watered and having safety and security, all of these benefits are the result of the love and care of the shepherd. Now in our phrase this morning, King David sums up all of this in one little statement - Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life! No matter what comes along, the shepherd will take care of him. He has complete faith in the shepherd to meet his every need and calm his every fear.

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

  1.  Who are the redeemed?

  2.  What should they do?

  3.  There are four groups of people and four ways that God intervenes in v. 4, v.10, v.17, v.23 v.6, v.13, v.19,   v.28. Something happened to each group of people so that they are commanded to do what? (See v.8, v.15, v.21, v.31)

Look at each group and answer these questions:

1. What were their circumstances?

2. What was their response to those circumstances?

3. Why did God intervene?

4. What did He do?

5. What would modern-day examples be?

4.  Read verse 43. This verse encourages us to pay attention because there is a lesson here for us to learn.

 

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The Pastor's message from Sept 29, 2019 was on Psalm 23 and the sermon was entitled "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows".  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  The phrase this morning is directly related to David's own personal experience. When the Lord commanded the prophet Samuel to take a horn of oil and anoint David to be king in the place of Saul, it says in 1Sam. 16:13: "And from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. To anoint someone was to set them apart for Godly service. The oil was the outward sign of the inward transforming and empowering work of the Holy Spirit. So what does this mean for us? How are we anointed? When we are saved and born again, we are anointed with the Holy Spirit and we are set apart to serve the good shepherd and to live for Him. If we live up to that calling, our cups will certainly overflow.

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

We will look at the anointing of David from 1 Samuel 16: 4-14

 

  1. Why did Samuel initially think Eliab was the Lord’s anointed? What’s the irony here (see 10:23-24)?

  2. What does verse 7 suggest about the qualities God counts as most important for His servants?

  3. What does it mean that God “looks at the heart” of the individual?

  4. How does the fact that God looks at the heart counter the lie that “I am what I do”?

  5. If David was believing the lie that “I am what I do,” how would he have seen himself?

  6. How does God’s choice of David encourage you in your current stage of life or career?

READ 1 JOHN 3:1-3.

  1. Why was the love of God so amazing to John?

  2. How did John encourage his readers to define themselves?

  3. How is defining yourself as a child of God different than defining yourself by your job title, achievements, or accomplishments?

 

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The Pastor's message from Sept 22, 2019 was on Psalm 23 and the sermon was entitled "You prepare a table before me in the Presence of my Enemies".  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  In this phrase, King David reminds us that the Good Shepherd prepares a table for us and feeds us and provides for us and meets our needs in the midst of our enemies or in the midst of those things in life that attack us. He nourishes us in the midst of our conflict. The table stands for the saving action God has taken to protect us. In the Old Testament the children of Israel came back to the Passover table, in the New Testament Christians come back to communion and the Lord's table. These tables are reminders that God is still saving and protecting and providing for us in spite of our enemies.

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in these scripture passages.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

Psalm 23 is a testament to faith.  Here are 7 good questions on the subject of faith.

1.  Why is it hard to have faith in God?

      Consider the story in Mark 9:18-24 as you think about this question. 

2.  Why are we tempted to add to our faith with our own works?

3.  Does pride interfere with faith?

      Read the story of Elisha and Naaman in (2 Kings 5:11).  Did Naaman’s pride interfere with his being healed?  Why?

4.  What does the Apostle Paul mean by writing “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith” (Rom 1:17)?  This one a bit tough but

      try to think it out.

5.  Paul writes about “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16) but what is this power?

     Read these two verses to help you form your response to this question about the power of God.  2 Cor 5:17 and 1st Corinthians 1:18.

6.  Why do they call grace so amazing?

     The song, “Amazing Grace” gives praise to God for saving wretches like us.  Read Rom 3:10-12 and (Eph 2:1) and (Rom 5:6-10).

7.  Are there references to faith in the Old Testament?

     Answer this considering Noah and Abraham.  Provide another example of a faithful person from the Old Testament

 

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The Pastor's message from Sept 15, 2019 was on Psalm 23 and  supporting scripture of Hebrews 12: 4-11 and the sermon was entitled Thy Rod and Thy Staff Comfort Me.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  In this phrase this morning, we have two pictures here with the rod and staff: protection and correction. The protection idea is easy enough to understand; when a dangerous animal would threaten the flock, the shepherd's job was to ward off a potential attack. A rod or a club would be similar to a weapon like a sling and stone that young David would have used. On the other hand, a staff was used to guide and prod the sheep. When they would wander off the path, the shepherd would use the staff to "encourage" and discipline the sheep to rejoin the safety of the flock. God's Rod and Staff (His protection and correction) brings comfort to us as His people because we know our God is always there to defend us and correct us and guide us along the right path.

 

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

2.  Reread the scripture listed above a couple of times to give you an  to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage.  Either write your answers on paper or copy and paste the

       questions into a word processor and answer them there.

 

  1. 1.  What does verse 4 mean?

  2. 2.  Why does God discipline His sons? What is the purpose? What does this teach us about the nature of discipline?

  3. 3.  In what ways might God discipline us? If we suffer trials or hardships, does that mean we are being disciplined? How can discern whether a

  4.      specific circumstance is discipline or not?

  5. 4.  Can you think of any people in the Bible who experienced discipline from the Lord?

  6. 5.  How should we respond to discipline?

  7. 6.  Since fathers discipline according to what they think is “best,” how can a father have true discernment about this issue?

  8. 7.  What applications does this passage have for parents? How about for children? How about for believers?​

 

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The Pastor's message from Aug 25, 2019 was entitled He Refreshes my soul. He used the scripture passages found in Psalm 23 and Psalm 51.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this From our Scripture reading in Psalm 51: in v.10 it says: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Then in v.12 it says: "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." The phrase from Psalm 23 that we're considering this morning is "He REFRESHES my soul". Other versions say: "He RESTORES my soul." This phrase is in the context of the Good Shepherd leading us to green pastures and quiet waters. He does this to refresh us and restore us and renew us. To restore literally means: "to repair, to renovate, to return to a form condition." Our soul is the deepest part of us, it's our innermost being. Since God is the one who made us, only He can restore us, because only He knows what we truly need. DO YOU NEED SOME RENOVATING AND RESTORING IN YOU SOUL TODAY? ... Go to the Good Shepherd!

 ​1. Before you read Psalm 51, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you into all truth (John 16:13).  We have been using the prayer, Holy Spirit, think through me until your ideas become my ideas, or King David's prayer, Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your law.

 

2. Read Psalm 51 slowly and thoughtfully in at least two translations. As you read and reread, mark any words or phrases that are meaningful to you and put a question mark by anything that you don't understand.

 

3. Write out a verse from this Psalm that you would like to remember.

 

Questions

4. In order to understand the setting for this Psalm, read what lead to David writing it in 2 Samuel 11-12:14. (It's not a boring story!)  Considering David's statement and Nathan's reply in 2 Samuel 12:13, why do you think David found it necessary to compose Psalm 51?

♥ How did David the Psalm-writer, react to God's correction? How do you react to God's correction?

5. What three things does David ask God to do in 51:1-2?  (Some might say there are 4 things that David asks for)   Why did David dare to ask for these things? 51:1

6. What terms does David use to describe himself and his wrongdoing in 51:1-5?

♥ Sin has become an unpopular and little-used word in our culture. What do you think it is and how would you define it?

7. What is David's attitude toward his sin? 51:3-5

♥ How honest are you about your sin? Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10.

♥ Do you ever recall getting your hand "caught in the cookie jar" as a child? An adult? How did you react?

8. What effect (physically, emotionally and spiritually) did David's guilt have on him?

♥ How do you feel when there is unconfessed sin in your life? How does God convince you of your sin?

♥ As Christians, we know we are sinful. Why then, is it so painful to be confronted with a specific sin?

9. Since David's sin involved others, what is the meaning of 51:4 and what does this show us about the nature of sin?

10. If we are born as sinners (51:5), sin must be something more than doing wrong things. What else is it?

See the answer to question 7 and the Heart Question under Question 6

11. According to 51:6, what does David infer to be the opposite of sin and guilt?  Can sin and truth coexist in the heart (your inner being)? Why or why not?

♥ What role does honesty play in our receiving forgiveness and what part does denial play in our remaining guilt?

♥ How would you answer the person who says, "I've never done anything as bad as what David did.

Psalm 51 doesn't really apply to me."

♥ Are you ever tempted to rationalize your sin? How should you view your sin?

♥ Why did David verbalize his sorrow and confession so specifically? What can we learn from his example?

12. David asks to be restored in 51:7-12. What does the word restore imply?

♥ If you put David's requests for restoration in order of importance for yourself, which one would be at the top and why?

13. David doesn't use "forgiveness" in this Psalm. Consider the verses and state the one thing that David seems to most desire. 51:1, 2, 7, 9

How confident is David that God can do this for him? 51:7

Why do you think David places so much value on being clean, not just forgiven?

14. Where, according to 51:6 and 10, does God desire the work of cleansing to begin and what is the significance of this?

15. In Biblical terms, create means to "make something out of nothing" and in Scripture, only God creates. In light of these facts, what is the significance of David's request in 51:10?

16. What, specifically, does Psalm 51 have in common with 1 John 1:9?

♥ How often do we need to make good on God's offer in 1 John 1:9?

♥ Have you ever struggled with a sense that your sin was so great that you could never be fully forgiven?

What hope do you find in David's prayer?

♥ On what basis can you plead and claim God's mercy and forgiveness for your sin? 

17. Why do you think we are sometimes hesitant to confess our sin, even when we know God will forgive and cleanse us?

18. What positive things did David expect God to bring out of his whole ordeal? 51:13-15

♥ What experience have you had with forgiven sin that could help someone else?

♥ How can we help others receive God's grace and return to the Lord?

19. Rephrase Psalm 51:16-17 into contemporary language.

♥ What do you consider a broken and contrite heart to be? What is your experience with this condition?

♥ When are you likely to come to God with an "offering" for sin instead of a broken and contrite heart?  Why?

20. First David says that God does not delight in sacrifices (51:16) and then he says that sacrifices do delight God (51:19). What makes the difference?

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The Pastor's message from Aug 18, 2019 was entitled He Leads Me Beside Still Waters. He used the scripture passages found in Psalm 23 and John 10:27-29.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  We observed last week when the Shepherd took his flock to green pastures he made them lie down and rest. The imagery in our phrase this morning continues the focus on rest. The words "quiet waters" literally mean "waters of rest." The sheep at this point aren't just laying down and resting, they are being lead to quiet waters where they can drink. Our good Shepherd wants to lead us to a place of blessing, a place of trust, a place of confidence, a place where we can rely on Him and focus on Him and be refreshed. As the sheep of His pasture we can be confident that God will lead us to places where we will be refreshed and renewed and encouraged.

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Read the passages listed above:  Psalm 23 and John 10:1-29

 

3.   Answer the questions listed below.

 

John 10:1-29 – Study Questions

1. What does Jesus teach about the life He gives? What words are used to describe it?

2. Why does Jesus give us this life? What does ‘never’ mean?

3. Who can snatch us out of the hand of God? What does [‘no man’] mean? Can we ‘jump’ out of

God’s hand?

4. Is it possible for any true believer to be finally lost?

5. What are the grounds for believing that we are safe in God’s hands?

6. What scriptures would you use to show your understanding of Christian assurance?

7. How could this doctrine be abused?

8. What are we being kept by God for?

9. What does the doctrine of assurance help us with today?

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The Pastor's message from Aug 11, 2019 was entitled To Lie Down in Green Pastures. He used the scripture passages found in Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.  Pastor John summarizes the message with thisThe phrase for this morning is "He makes me lie down in Green Pastures." In Psalm 100 it says that "we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." The picture here is of an ancient shepherd leading his sheep to find fresh green grass everyday. This takes constant effort on the part of the shepherd to find new sources of food for his sheep. Once the sheep eat all the grass in a certain area the shepherd has to move the sheep and all his tents to a new pasture. God is like that. He finds His people spiritual food to graze on daily. But as we mentioned last week, sheep can be stubborn and dumb and prone to wander. That's why sometimes God "makes us lie down" for our own good. The great encouragement  from this little phrase is the truth that God knows exactly what we need and where to take us in order for us to find "Green Pastures."

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Read the passages listed above:  Psalm 23 and Psalm100

 

3.   Answer the questions listed below.

 

1. The word “abad” in Hebrew ( ) can be translated into both “worship” and “serve”. How is it that these two seemingly different definitions can be held together in the same word?

2. What does it mean in today’s world to serve God alone?  What other powers contend for your allegiance or service?

3. We typically think of gratitude when we think of thanksgiving. However, biblical thanksgiving is closely related to worship and sacrifice. How does this change your understanding of how we express thanksgiving to God?

4. When (in what situations or for what acts) do you expect a thank you or acknowledgment of a favour you’ve done?

5- What is the difference between being thankful and giving thanks?

5. This psalm describes us as “sheep.” What is it about sheep that make this analogy so good when describing God’s people? What does our prayer life look like without thanksgiving?

6. Read Colossians 4:2. How does thanksgiving aid or even alter our prayer requests to God?

7. Why is the Lord worthy of praise?

8. Why should the world acknowledge the Lord through praise?

9. How should a person enter God’s house?

10. What message comes through most clearly to you in this psalm?

11. What does this psalm advise us to do?

12. What should motivate us to worship God?

13. What is sincere worship?

14. How could you prepare yourself to praise and thank God the next time you go to church for worship?

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The Pastor's message from August 4, 2019 was entitled I Lack Nothing. He used the scripture passage found in Psalm 23.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this: This phrase "I lack nothing" is really the polar opposite of what most people experience in this life. Other Bible versions say: "I shall not want," or "I shall not be in want." However, most of us go through life feeling like we're "lacking" something or we're constantly "wanting something more." Mark Twain once said: "You don't know what it is you want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so much." This deep down desire is a heart ache that can only be satisfied when we come to know "The Good Shepherd." Phil. 4:19 says: "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Only The Lord being our Shepherd will cause us to say: "I lack nothing."

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Have your Bible handy so you can reread the passage a few times.

 

3.   Using the using the Pastor’s sermon and the Scripture passage mentioned above, consider these questions

 

1.  Who does Jesus say he is in verse 11? How is God described in the Old Testament? Read Psalm 23:1- 3; 80:1; Isaiah 40:11. What is Jesus saying about

     himself when he makes this statement?

a. What does Jesus say the good shepherd does for the sheep? Read John 10:11-15 & 17-18.

b. What is Jesus referring to when he says he lays down his life for the sheep? Have there been similar statements in the book of John? John 1:29; 3:14-15; 8:28.

c. Who is the hired hand that Jesus talks about? What does the hired hand do when the sheep are in danger?

d. How can you show love and devotion to Jesus because he is your good shepherd?

2.  What does Jesus say about sheep in another fold?  Who might Jesus be talking about? Read John 10:16.

a. What is the characteristic of the other sheep that Jesus points out in verse 16?

b. Even though there are sheep from other folds, what does Jesus say about the unity of the sheep as they follow the shepherd? How many flocks? How many shepherds?

3.  How important is it for us to remember that all of Christ’s sheep are part of one flock? How can you and your small group work to create unity

      among Christians? Read Jesus’ prayer in John 17:11.

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The Pastor's message from July 28, 2019 was entitled The Lord is My Shepherd. He used the scripture passage found in Psalm 23.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  We are beginning a new series on the 23rd Psalm. Every week we are going to examine a particular phrase. This week we're going to focus on the first phrase: "The Lord is My Shepherd." King David, the writer of this Psalm was a shepherd himself and later he became known as the "Shepherd King" of Israel. When he describes "The Lord" as his shepherd, we can ask the question: "Who is this Lord and what are his characteristics? Jesus in the New Testament referred to himself as "The Good Shepherd." In this sermon we want to find out why it is so important to understand the implications of "The Lord being my shepherd."

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Have your Bible handy so you can reread the passage a few times.

 

3.   Using the using the Pastor’s sermon and the Scripture passage mentioned above, consider these questions

 

  1. What are some characteristics of sheep?

  2. Do they need a shepherd?

  3. What happens to them if they are left alone?

  4. What are some characteristics of a shepherd?

  5. What are shepherds good at?

  6. Why are they needed?

  7. Who was the author of this Psalm

  8. Using the biblical references below describe how God “groomed” him for is job later in life

    1. 1 Sam 17:34-37

    2. 1 Sam 17:45

    3. Psalms 57, 59, and 142

    4. 2 Sam 18:32-33, Psalm 3

    5. Psalm 37:23-26

 

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The Pastor's message from July 21, 2019 was entitled The Discipline of Evangelism. He used the scripture passage found in 2 Corinthians 5: 11-21.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  As we continue our series on Spiritual Disciplines this morning we come to the Discipline of Evangelism. The root word "Evangel" just means the message. As believers in Jesus Christ we are all given the responsibility to share the message or the gospel with other people. At its most basic level, evangelism is fundamentally about talking to people about Jesus with a view towards seeing them accept Him and serve Him as the Lord of their lives. It is the primary function of a disciple of Jesus Christ, to make disciples and expand the kingdom of God. However, for most of us disciplining ourselves to evangelize is very difficult and unnatural. In this sermon we will learn that sharing our faith becomes so much easier we are walking daily in the presence of God, abiding in His love and wanting to live for Him instead of ourselves.

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Have your Bible handy so you can reread the passage a few times.

 

3.   Using the Pastor’s sermon and the Scripture passage mentioned above, consider these questions

 

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-13. How does the fear of the Lord affect the way we live our lives? What do we know about the terror of the Lord (Matthew 10:24-31)? What should men fear the most? Do we have that fear after coming to Christ (Romans 5:1; Romans 8:1; John 5:24)? Why not?

  2. In verse 11, Paul shifts the focus to how people view us. How are we known to God? How should the fear of God affect the way people know us (2 Corinthians 2:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6)? How does this affect our evangelism?

  3. Where does God place the emphasis in our lives: outward appearance or inward heart (2 Corinthians 5:12; 1 Samuel 16:7)?

  4. Compare 2 Corinthians 5:12 with 1 Peter 3:15. What does it mean to “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts” (2 Corinthians 4:7)? How does this provoke questions on the part of non-believers?

  5. What does he mean that we are of “sound mind” for your sake (2 Corinthians 5:13)? How should we be for the sake of reaching others with the gospel?

  6. Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. How does the love of Christ motivate us? What do we learn about God’s love for the love of Christ (1 John 4:19; 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Peter 1:8)?

  7. What does it mean to say that He died for all (Romans 5:15)? How should this affect the way we look at non-believers?

  8. How should this understanding affect the way that we live? Why can’t we live for ourselves anymore (Romans 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; 1 John 4:9)?

  9. What does Paul mean by “we no longer know anyone according to the flesh?” Why?

  10. What happens whenever a person comes to Christ? What has become new (Ezekiel 36:26; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 8:9-13)?

  11. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. What has God done for us through Jesus Christ? What does reconciliation mean? Why did we need to be reconciled to God?

  12. What has God given us besides reconciliation? Why do you think Paul describes it in this way? What is our responsibility (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)?

  13. How does Paul say God accomplished this reconciliation? Why is Jesus the only way of salvation?

  14. What has God given us so that we might accomplish this ministry of reconciliation (1 Peter 1:23-25)? What does this tell us about the importance of sharing the Word in evangelism?

  15. Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21. What is an ambassador? What is the ambassador’s job? How is being a witness like being an ambassador for Christ?

  16. Should we plead with people to come to faith in Christ? How does God “plead” through us? What is His heart toward those who are lost (Ezekiel 18:31-32; Matthew 23:37; Luke 19:41)?

  17. What did God make Jesus become for our sake? Did he become a sinner or sin? What is the difference? Which is worse?

  18. How does Isaiah 53:4-6 describe what Jesus did for us (also 1 Peter 2:24)?

  19. What else does Jesus do besides taking our sins? What does he make us (Romans 5:19)? How righteous did Paul consider himself (Philippians 3:9)? What do we gain in Christ?

 

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The Pastor's message from July 14, 2019 was entitled The Discipline of Worship. He used the scripture passage found in Revelations chapter 4 and 5.  Pastor John summarizes the message with this:  This week we're going to continue our series on "The Spiritual Disciplines" and today we want to examine "The Discipline of Worship". In recent years in the modern church there has been a lot of controversy and a lot of division over this very issue so it is important for us to understand what true Biblical Worship really is. From our passage this morning we're going to look at three basic truths about worship. First of all, worship is fundamentally about knowing God. Secondly it is fundamentally practical. Thirdly it is fundamentally personal.

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Have your Bible handy because you are going on a biblical treasure hunt!!!

 

3.   Using the biblical references provided below, answer the two questions below

 

What kinds of worship are forbidden?

  • Exodus 20:3-7

  • Romans 1:25.

  • Amos 5:21-26

  • Matthew 4:8-10

  • Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9

  • Matthew 6:1-18

  • Leviticus 10:1-3; John 14:6; Ephesians 3:12

 

How does this relate to worship today? It confronts us with three very important questions:

?  Is the object or focus of our worship the God made known in the Bible, and only this God?

?  Are we approaching him in the one way he has commanded – through Jesus Christ?

?  Is our heart and mind sincere, not just going through an outward form or process?


It also confronts us with two significant challenges for some perceptions in contemporary worship:

1.    The challenge to focus on God whom we are worshiping, and not on the person worshiping.

2.    The challenge to focus on the God we are worshiping and not on the personal or corporate experience of worship.

The purpose of worship in the Bible is not to ‘experience God’, or ‘encounter God’, but to acknowledge and honour God because of who he is. Biblical worship assumes that the worshiper already knows God, and on the basis of that knowledge, worships God.   

 

How did the people of the Bible worship in the verbal sense? What did genuine worship sound like? 

Some answers to this question are:

  • They addressed God, thanking or praising him for who he is and what he has done.

  • They addressed each other, reminding each other of the greatness of God and what he had done for them, and encouraging them to praise and worship him.

  • They personally contemplated God and verbally expressed their knowledge of God, and their confidence in God that was grounded in that knowledge.

 

The first song of praise and worship recorded in the Bible is Moses’ song is Exodus 15:1-18. Together with Miriam’s song in verse 21 these two songs contain each of these three aspects.

From Exodus 15:1-18 and verse 21 identify examples of each of these aspects of praise and worship.

 

  1. Statements addressed directly to God [These normally contain ‘you’ or ‘your’, or ‘thee’ or ‘thy’.

  2. Statements addressing other worshipers exhorting them to praise and/or worship.

  3. Personal affirmative or contemplative statements arising from personal knowledge of God  [These usually contain ‘I’ ‘me’ and/or ‘my’; or, if a group statement, ‘we’, ‘us’ and/or ‘our’.

 

Notice that this song of praise and worship is grounded in objective knowledge of God. Out of the objective knowledge of God comes the personal and corporate verbal expression of praise and worship.

 

A similar grounding of verbal praise and worship in objective knowledge of God is evident in the Psalms.

Read the following Psalms. 
Identify expressions of the three aspects of praise and worship in these Psalms. [Addresses God in terms of what is known of God. Addresses others present telling or reminding them of the truth about God. Personally affirms faith in God on the basis of what is known of God.]

 

 Psalm 8, 18, 23, 29, 47, 95, 98, 100, 111, 116, 146

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The Pastor's message from July 7, 2019 was entitled The Discipline of Stewardship. He used the scripture passage found in Ephesians 5: 15-16 .  Pastor John summarizes the message with this: Usually when people think about the topic of Christian Stewardship, they think about money. But the Scripture speaks about Stewardship as it relates to our entire lives. Biblical Stewardship as a spiritual discipline has the idea of taking good care of everything that God has given us. Wise money management is only one small part of what it means to be a good steward. In basic terms, a steward is supposed to a manager or an administrator who looks after the owner's property. As Christians, God has blessed us with everything we have and it is our responsibility to be good stewards of all that He has given us.

1.  Pray and ask that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the truths in this passage of scripture.

 

2.  Reread the passage Ephesians 5: 15-16 a couple of times to give you an opportunity to absorb its meaning.

 

3.   Using the study questions provided below, focus your thoughts on the scripture passage. 

 

1. Considering all that Paul has said in the context, how should we walk – 5:15? Explain why wisdom is needed in order to walk properly.

2. Check various translations and explain what it means to redeem the time – 5:16. What reason is given why we should do so?

These following questions are more a personal survey of Christian stewardship.  Consider them thoughtfully and honestly and find out areas that you need to be better “stewards.”

Do you believe that you have earned everything you have ... and more?
Was there a time when you felt overwhelmed by thankfulness?
What are your spending habits? Are you compulsive or indecisive? Do you over-control, or do you lack self-control?
Do you ever buy anything so others will envy you?
Do you limit your spending by any other standard than your income?
If you have children at home, what is your example teaching them?
Are self-denial and delayed gratification dirty words for you?
Do you consider yourself a consumer or a caretaker of the earth?
Do you want others to know about your income and spending? Why or why not?
Are you comfortable with your relationship both to God and to money?

4.  Read some good bible commentaries on this passage to see what other bible scholars have to say.

 

©2014 Napanee Baptist Church