We Deal With Sun

• February 21st, 2018

Main Point: We have to be honest about our problem with sin and we have to deal with it.
Takeaway: Dealing with sin from a place of love and grace is a mark of a healthy church.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Have you ever had to have a difficult conversation with someone about a sinful issue? How
did that go? What went well and what might you do differently today?

2. The context of the 1 st Corinthian church was different from the context of the church today.
How does that affect the steps Paul directs the church to take? How can we apply those
principles to the church of today?

3. Do you think there is a time when it is best to completely separate from someone who
persists in sin? How would you know when that is the right thing to do?

4. Paul says he doesn’t judge those outside the church (1 Corinthians 5:12-13), but it seems
that in the modern church we often pay more attention to outsiders than we do insiders. Why do
you think we do that?

Table Discussion Question — How do you take it when someone speaks to you about an issue
of yours? How can we learn to be less defensive and more receptive to what others have to say
to us?

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We Are One Team

• February 14th, 2018

Main Point: The church is God’s Team for accomplishing his purposes in the world
Takeaway: God has a place for you on his team, and a purpose for your life

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1.  What teams have you been a part of over your lifetime?  Consider sports teams, work teams, school clubs, etc.  Even the family is a kind of team.  What were the best parts of being on those teams?  What were the most difficult parts?
  1.  What have you experienced as sources of division in the church at large?  What divisions do you think were warranted and which ones do you think were unnecessary?
  1.  Do you think the church today is still prone to personality cults, or are there more significant points of tension that you see?  Where does jealousy and quarreling come up in the church?  How have you seen this damage the witness of the church for Christ?
  1.  How can we as teammates better accomplish God’s purposes of spreading the good news of Jesus in the way we serve together?  What needs to be true about our behaviors, thoughts, attitudes and motivations, if we are to be mature teammates?

Table Discussion Question — Everyone on a team contributes something of value.  What qualities do you possess that make a positive contribution to the teams you are on and how can you use those qualities to serve Jesus?

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Healing Words

• February 6th, 2018
Main Point: Wise people recognize the power of healing words. 
Takeaway: Be someone who constantly seeks unity, not division, with your words. 
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Discussion Questions
  1. What is your background and upbringing as it pertains to racial diversity?
  2. Do you believe that racial reconciliation is a gospel issue? Why or why not? 
  3. When you examine your words and life do you find any traces of prejudice? If so, how can you address those immediately? 
  4. Is there a time that, after looking back, you wish that you had sought to understand rather than to judge? 
  5. Table Discussion Question: Do you use your words to unite or divide? How can you intentionally seek to grow in this area? 
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Hurtful Words

• January 31st, 2018

Main Point: Wise people recognize the power of words and avoid causing or harboring hurt.
Takeaway: Consider the source of hurtful words and respond according to God’s Word.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What are some hurtful words that you remember, recent and not-so-recent? How did your stance, situationally and/or spiritually, affect how you received those words?
  1. The words we say to ourselves can have a powerful effect on our everyday lives and relationships. In what ways could your self-talk be improved? What are some strategies for doing so? 
  1. Proverbs 11:9 indicates that words can be destructive, “but through knowledge the righteous escape.” What kind of knowledge is needed to escape the effects of hurtful words?
  1. Read Hebrews 12:1-3. This passage describes Jesus as the ultimate example of someone who endured hurtful words and actions for a higher purpose. How can Jesus’ perseverance inspire us to rise above difficult circumstances?

Table Discussion Question — What category of hurtful words offends you most: Insults? Gossip? Lying? How about silence, “the cold shoulder”? Why do you consider that form of hurtful communication so troubling? How can you respond in a godly way next time you encounter it?

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Hopeful Words

• January 24th, 2018

Main Point: Wise people recognize the power of hopeful words
Takeaway: Let God’s words of hope encourage and strengthen you

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What is the difference between biblical hope and wishful thinking (like, “I hope that Spring comes early this year!”)? 
  1. Proverbs 13:12 draws a connection between hope and health. Talk about that – what is the relationship between those two things and how have you experienced it?
  1. How can placing our hope in God lead us to be encouraged and strengthened? (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) 
  1. Martin Luther made this statement: “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” What do you think he means? How does 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 relate to this?

Table Discussion Question — Would you describe yourself as an optimist, a pessimist, a cynic or a realist? How does your faith in Christ speak to that?

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Honest Words

• January 15th, 2018

Main Point: Wise people recognize the power of honest words
Takeaway: Seek to be known for your honesty
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Lying is so common we have various other words that denote it. Words like “fibbing”, or “alternative facts”. What other words or phrases can you think of? Are there differences in meaning between them? (For example, what’s the difference between lying and fibbing?)
  2. Satan is called the “Father of lies” by Jesus (John 8:44). How does Satan utilize lies in an attempt to damage our relationship with God?
  1. Is it possible to be completely honest all of the time? How can we be honest people, and not unnecessarily hurt people’s feelings or seem callous?
  1. Jesus calls himself “The Truth” and says he sends us his Holy Spirit who is referred to many times in the New Testament as “The Spirit of Truth” (John 16:13, for example). How has your relationship with Jesus helped you to become a more honest person?

Table Discussion Question — Can you remember a lie you told as a child? Why do you think you told that lie? Was it out of guilt, or fear, or in order to get something you didn’t deserve? Or was there another reason?

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Helpful Words

• January 9th, 2018

Main Point: Wise people recognize the power that words have, and they use them carefully.
Takeaway: If what you are about to say isn’t helpful, then it also isn’t necessary. 
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Discussion Questions 
Is your natural tendency to be more of a talker or a listener? 
Do you agree that words have the power of life and death? How cognizant are you of the power of your words?
Which area do you need to focus on more? Sharing the good things that you’re thinking, or not sharing all of the bad things that you’re thinking? 
Are you conflict-allergic, conflict-driven, or somewhere in the middle? Would your spouse, or best friend, agree with your assessment? 
Table Discussion Question — What are some ways that you can consciously strive to only say things that are helpful?

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Three Simple Rules - A Vision for 2018

• January 4th, 2018

Memory Verse: John 15:8 - This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Takeaway: Let’s determine to follow these three simple rules in 2018, God helping us.

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Mighty God

• January 2nd, 2018

Scripture: Isaiah 9:6 - “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.”

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Wonderful Counselor

• December 20th, 2017

Main Point: When looking for the help we need to navigate life we need to look to Jesus first.  
Takeaway: Look to Jesus as your forever-faithful, forever-present, forever-truthful, forever-loving confidant, advisor and Savior.
(Suggested Memory Verse) – Isaiah 9:6 - 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.

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Questions 

  1. Imagine entering Jesus’ office and sitting down across from him to have a conversation about what’s on your mind. What would you want to talk about today? 
  1. What qualities would you say go into making a good counselor? Which of those qualities do you have? How do you see them exhibited by Jesus?
  2. Pastor and author Timothy Keller has said, ““All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out the changes that understanding creates in your heart.” What’s your take on that? How does a deeper understanding of our salvation, and living that out, change us?

Table Discussion Question — Read Psalm 16, and then look again at verse 11. How is God bringing you joy today? What is he teaching you about how to live?

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