Fall Small Group Lesson Guides

This Fall 2018 there’s another great lineup for our Small Group Ministry!

We will look at God’s plan for His people for eternity.  What happens after we leave this earthly home and move into our eternal dwellings!  What’s the Bible have to say about this?

The Study Guides for this are linked here.   Fall 2018 Group Study Guides pdf

Over eleven weeks from September into November these are the titles of the lessons:

  1. But will God really dwell on earth?
  2. Where are God’s people called to dwell?
  3. But how can sinners dwell in the presence of God?
  4. Buy what means are God’s people delivered to their dwelling?
  5. What are the origins of the church?
  6. The church as the Bride of Christ.
  7. The church as the Building of Christ.
  8. The church as the Body of Christ.
  9. The mission of the church.
  10. Breath of heaven.
  11. Paradise restored!

Make plans to be at every session and share in discovering God’s ultimate blessing for His people.

Prayer Partners

For those of us familiar with the “Crossroads Movement” and “Boston Movement” of the 1970’s and forward, the term “prayer partners” has received a black eye.  I will forgo the details, but the sad truth is that because of abuse of power and misuse of authority many heartbreaking scars and devastated relationships occurred.  The aftermath of which left many otherwise good and spiritually helpful practices with terrible reputations.  Among these practices to fall into disrepute was “prayer partners.”

I suppose that over the past 2000 years, just about everything we believe and do in the Christian faith has been considered dangerous by someone somewhere.   Consider today’s American shift toward embracing homosexual practice as a normal, healthy, morally upright lifestyle.  In light of our new legalization of so called, “gay marriage,” the biblical instruction that condemns such behaviors is considered not just out of touch, but hateful, bigoted and even dangerous. Christians who hold to biblical definitions of sexual moral practice now appear as extremists.  The pressure of culture has a powerful formation element for conformity to its own standards.  Woe to those who resist.

How does one withstand the pressures of ungodly hipster ways?  What mental, emotional and spiritual equipment do those need that would openly move in counter cultural ways?  In a world that sees only shades of gray, how can anyone declare things black or white?

The Bible gives us several examples of God’s servants who stood when all others sat, and who sat when all others stood, even at the risk of their lives.  And they did what they believed was God’s will in the midst of profound persecution.  This they did without pride or for material gain.  But almost all of them did it in company with at least one other person who stood beside them, or at the knowledge that others were in full support of them and in full agreement with them.

Prayer partnership supplies just such a strength.  Jesus sent his disciples out by twos.  Every example of mission work in scripture exhibits this companionship model of two or more.  I know of nothing like it as a source of strength for standing strong in the midst of the storms that blow against godliness and Christian faith.  In Genesis 2 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.”  This, in principle, is the beginning of prayer partnership.  Christ’s instruction to us is a “one another” system where each person is part of the body of Christ and each needs others to function.  Systems that have shaped the world have all been “one another” systems.  All systems have leaders and followers.  The Christian “system” is led by God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God Himself is a unity.  Through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we who believe and become disciples through repentance and baptism into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, are united in Him and led by Him to live for Him, like Him, through Him, and with Him.  Our Christian unity with Christ unites us together by His Spirit through His word with one another.  Our unity in Christ empowers us to life and likeness with God’s own character of holiness.

Today’s worldly pressure is rising against the Christian character of God’s holiness.  We need to recover the equipment God has given us to be able to stand firm in the Lord and walk in His will when it is out of step with everyone around us.

What’s In the Bible for You?

2018 Chronological Bible Reading Schedule

2018 Spring Group Lessons

God has a plan.

His plan includes you.  If you are reading this, you are probably already looking for God’s plan for you.  My guess is that you intentionally opened this site because you are at least curious and maybe seriously seeking what God has in store for you.  I know one thing: God really wants good things for you.

The Bible is the book He has given us to lead us in His plan for us.  This book is beyond extraordinary, it is a God breathed work of divine origin, and it tell us that each one of us is also a God breathed work of divine origin!  We didn’t arrive here by accident.  We’re not simply highly organized matter somehow randomly gathered through time and chance to become living, thinking, responsible beings.  You and I are family!  We all came from one earthly father who was created by God, our Heavenly Father!   That’s how we got here in the first place.  It was good at first, in fact, it was so good that God Himself said that it was “very good.”  But, sadly it didn’t stay that way very long.

The Bible tells us (within a couple of pages) what our first human father and mother did that ruined things.  Our problems began with a bad decision based on a lie.  God had warned against it, but instead of trusting the words of God, our original mother and father listened to a lying snake, literally.  God called their disobedience to His word “sin,” and sin is deadly.  We’ve been haunted with sin ever since.  Sin separates us from God.  This separation brings death because God is the very source and sustainer of all life.  Without God, life would not and could not exist.

The Bible is God’s book that tells us who God is, where we came from, what our problems are and how God brings us back to Himself.  The Bible tells the story.

This year, our church family is reading through the Bible in a unique way.  It’s called a “Chronological Bible,” meaning that all the books and events within the Bible are organized in chronological order (see the above link for a reading schedule).  The Bible is a collection of 66 books or documents organized more by topic than by chronology.  The Bible includes history, law, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, romance, biography and letters. There are proverbs, songs, parables, personal letters, general letters, narratives, covenants and other literary styles within its pages.

Starting January 7, 2018 small groups will begin meeting here at the church building and in homes of members to share what we’ve discovered in each week’s readings.  (See the above link for the lesson guides).

This year as we read through the Bible together, we’ll be focusing on GOD’S SAVING MISSION.  God is our creator, and He is also our Savior.  This is one of the central themes of all the Bible.  God so loved us, He gave us His Son to save us from our sins and bring us to Himself and together as a family in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Won’t you join us?  You can get a Bible that’s organized chronologically.  We are using the One Year Chronological Bible for our readings

(click underlined above for a link to see one online).

Also, you can listen to this on your smartphone, tablet or computer, if you have the “YouVersion” app.  It is free and you just search for “Chronological bible” on your app to get two our three different options for this.

(click underlined above for a link to download YouVersion).

 

 

2018 Spring Group lesson guide

This year is our SAVING MISSION year!

We’re reading through the Bible in chronological order using the One Year Chronological Bible.  If you would like to read along with us, using your own Bible here’s a link to the reading schedule:

2018 Chronological Reading Schedule

Also, beginning on January 7, 2018 we will start our Small Groups up again!  In our groups we will be discussing our SAVING MISSION looking at God’s Word together and seeking to become a SAVING church family for God’s glory!

Here’s a link to the first six lessons:

2018 Spring Group Lessons

We are a kingdom family!

Seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness is clearly the first item of our mission!  Jesus began His ministry preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  This echoes John the Baptist’s same message.  In fact, Jesus will say in Matthew 24:14 that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

In Acts 1 we learn that during the 40 days after Jesus was raised but before He ascended, Jesus spoke with His disciples about the kingdom of God.  They wondered if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel!  Jesus didn’t answer this, but promised they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they would be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.  This message of the kingdom was to be spread everywhere!

In Acts 8 Philip went to Samaria and in verse 12 we read: “When they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”  Then in Acts 14 after starting churches in Lystra, Iconic and Antioch, we read about how Paul and Barnabas (vs 22) strengthened the churches and encouraged them to remain true to the faith saying, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”

Here we see that even though the kingdom was established on Pentecost, we must remain faithful and be willing to endure hardships before we can enter the kingdom of God.  In Acts 19 we read about how Paul went to Ephesus and in verse 8 it says: “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.”  Some years later, Paul gathered with the elders of the church at Ephesus and said, (Acts 20:25) “Now, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.”  As we finish the book of Acts in chapter 28, Paul is in Rome under arrest as a prisoner awaiting trial before Caesar.  There we read in verse 23: from morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  Finally, in the last verse of Acts (28:31) we read: Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, what’s impressive to me is that instead of preaching the four spiritual laws, or the scheme of redemption, or the Roman road to heaven, or some other modern method of evangelism, THEY PROCLAIMED THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Perhaps we’d do well to follow this lead and do the same.  Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…  Maybe we should preach first the same.

To do this, we must know what it is.

2017 Group Discussion Guides

Fall Small Groups begin September 10!  Closer to God and closer together is our mission as we share God’s word, prayer and fellowship.  God’s plan for His people continues as we begin part five of our Fall Group Ministry: From the First Commission to the Great Commission.  We’ll be in the gospels together sharing Jesus and our lives in Him.

Click below for the Discussion Guides:

Fall 2017 Small Group Lessons

Our Seeking, Saving, Serving Mission Song

This is my amateur songwriter’s attempt to make our mission statement into something that might stick in our churches memory.  Hopefully the kids can pick up on the message and carry it forward.

Our SEEKING, SAVING SERVING Mission Song

We are called by the Father
to become like Christ, His Son.
We are born by His Spirit
and He gives us this mission:

To be: SEEKING the kingdom of God and His righteousness (x3)
SEEKING our King in hope.

To be: SAVING the lost by His grace as we share His word (x 3)
SAVING by grace through faith.

To be: SERVING like Him with His love as His hands and feet (x 3)
SERVING like Him with love.

We are God’s chosen people
we are now His royal priests
we are God’s holy nation
and our mission has not ceased!

We are:
SEEKING the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
SAVING the lost by His grace as we share His word.
SERVING like Him with His love as His hands and feet.
This is our mission song.

Three Year Plan 2017-2019

Seeking, Saving, Serving: our mission and a three year plan of growth in it.

Outline:
1. God’s rule and righteousness, our Seeking Mission, 2017 theme and Gen. – Rev. Bible reading plan.
2. Sin and Redemption, our Saving Mission, 2018 theme and Chronological Bible reading plan.
3. God’s love and ours, our Serving Mission, 2019 theme and One Year Bible (Old Testament, Psalm/Proverbs, and New Testament) reading plan.

1. God’s rule and righteousness, a Seeking Mission: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…

This is our theme for 2017. These are the words of our Lord calling us into God’s provision of everything that we need. (See Matt. 6:19-34). Keeping the main thing the main thing has always been a challenge in this world of competing voices. Making sure that God’s kingdom and righteousness are the highest priority of our lives in every aspect of out lives is not an easy task. It IS the greatest work we can do and the highest target we can live for in this life. Seeking God’s rule and righteousness first and above all else clarifies and guides us on our journey and eliminates and disqualifies lessor, lower pursuits. Those who take this seriously may be accused of being extremists. One look at Jesus on the cross and we are reminded of what a high price has been paid by our King who fully gave Himself to the rule and righteousness of God. This is not to be taken lightly. God has a kingdom and Christ is our King. He deserves all we can give. He has earned our salvation for us, paid the way for us to enter eternal glory, and the Father has given us His only begotten Son as a sacrifice. To take this lightly is to mock its worth. We know better than that. We must see that He calls us to a higher longing, better living, fuller meaning, greater mission, wiser direction, sweeter blessing, freer, stronger, richer, surer, longer lasting benefits than anything this world offers.

While the path we will walk as we seek God’s rule and righteousness is filled with risks and ridicule, the reward for walking it is infinitely greater by comparison.

This will be our first year in a three year series plan where we read through the entire Bible each year. In 2017 we read from Genesis to Revelation looking for God’s word concerning God’s kingdom and righteousness. Our group ministry and Summer Series will all be built around this theme and our journey through the Bible together. Reading schedules will be provided and posted so that every member can participate. The Sunday morning sermons will follow the readings and give insights and applications from the week’s reading schedule. We will listen to the voice of God from cover to cover attuning our ears toward what God says about His rule and righteousness. What could be more worthy of our time and attention than that?

2. Sin and Redemption, a Saving Mission: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…

This year’s theme will be “Sin and Redemption.” In 2018, Lord willing, we will read through the Bible again, but this time chronologically looking for what God says about sin and redemption. Reading chronologically will put the kings and prophets and Psalms into perspective in the Old Testament, and the gospels, Acts and the letters in chronological perspective in the New Testament. Our focus as we read through God’s word again in 2018 will be on the saving work of God for us and our part in sharing it with others.
As people who seek first God’s rule and righteousness as we live in this world, we are called to share His saving grace with those who are lost in sin and make disciples where ever we go. This saving mission gives us a job to do as we live under God’s rule and pursue God’s righteousness. Our King commissions us to declare the saving gospel message and the praise of His glorious grace before a lost and dying world.

This year’s reading of God’s word will show us how from the fall of man into sin in the very first chapters of the Bible, God has had a plan to redeem us from sin, a saving plan that demonstrates His love and grace through sacrifice and suffering. We are given God’s overview of human history and a saving view of Himself as our Savior and Redeemer. From cover to cover we will hear and see the gracious and mighty works of God as well as the sinful, fallen nature of man.

Again, Lord willing, a reading plan will be provided for all our members and our groups and Summer Series will present on this Saving theme. The Sunday morning sermons will also cover the week’s readings with lessons and applications from the scriptures. We will be looking for and listening to the voice of God concerning our sin and His redeeming work to save us, and our call to come follow in the way of life.

3. God’s love and ours, a Serving Mission: If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Year three, 2019, Lord willing, completes our final year in this three year series focusing on the Serving Mission of the church. This year’s through the Bible reading will be with the One Year Bible plan where we have an Old Testament, Psalm/Proverb, and New Testament reading for each day. This unique reading plan keeps us connected with God’s word on three levels every day. More like the modern multi tasking style, we will listen to God’s voice in scripture and see His servant heart from start to finish.

The serving mission in Christ brings it all together. Seeking, saving, and serving are all of one cloth woven into one way of life in God’s word. We seek God’s rule and righteousness and share God’s saving grace as we serve Him and others in Christ.

The Bible reveals the meaning, power and goal of a serving faith in God. Nothing demonstrates God’s attractive character like loving service in the name of Jesus Christ. This forms the magnetic nature of the people of God. Everyone desires to be loved. God, who is love, designed us to develop best under His nurture and discipline. God’s loving service to us is not always soft and gentle, but it always works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes.

When we see that throughout the Bible how God, our King, has reached out to save and serve us and then how He sent Jesus, the suffering servant to die for us, it is overwhelming. There is nothing else on this earth that comes close to this. There is a place for those who reject God as King, Savior and Servant. There is also a place for those who follow in His footsteps.

This three year plan engages us in God’s word and our mission in ways that can strengthen our faith, hope and love like nothing else! Hearing the entire word of God in our homes over and over again is sure to have an impact for good. Imagine growing up in a home where the Bible is part of every day life. What if TV, worldly music and entertainment and unspiritual conversation in the home of every Christian family were replaced by seeking the kingdom of God, learning about sin and redemption, discovering the servant heart of God and how we are called to be like Him. What if hearing the Bible became more important than hearing the news or watching sports? What might God do with a church that did these things? There’s one way to find out!

Let’s dedicate ourselves to this three year plan and see what God will do. It will be hard. There will be times when things just won’t work out to do the reading. There will be a thousand reasons to give up. Let us not grow weary in doing good, for we will reap a good harvest if we do not give up. There’s no doubt that this would be difficult. But there is also no doubt that it will do you great good.

Bible Jeopardy game questions with answers

QUESTIONS FOR GAME NIGHT

Genesis and the Patriarchs:

What are the names of Adam and Eve’s three sons that the Bible records for us? Cain, Abel, Seth
How many children does the Bible tell us that Noah had? Three
Who was Abraham’s nephew that traveled with him until they became too rich to live together? Lot
Name six of Jacob’s 12 sons. Ruben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Ashur, Isacar, Zebulon, Joseph and Benjamin.
Which son of Jacob became an ancestor of Jesus? Judah

How many dreams did Joseph have that he told to his brothers and they hated him for it? Two
Which of Joseph’s brothers tried to rescue him from the others? Ruben
What blessing did Jacob receive from the man (angel) he wrestled with all night? The name: Israel
How many dreams did Pharaoh have that Joseph interpreted for him? Two
In who’s sack did they find Joseph’s cup when Joseph sent his men after his brothers before he revealed his identity to them? Benjamin’s

Final Jeopardy Question on Patriarchs – how many years old was Methuselah when he died? 969

Moses and the Law:

Who gave Moses his name? Pharaoh’s daughter
What was the first thing the voice from the burning bush told Moses to do? Take off your shoes, for the ground you are standing on is holy.
What was the last of the 10 plagues against Egypt? Death of the first born
What were the first three of the ten commandments? You shall have no other gods before Me, you shall not worship any graven images, you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
What piece of furniture was in the Most Holy place in the Tabernacle? The Ark of the Covenant (or The Ark of God)

1. Which tribe of Israel camped closest to the Tabernacle in the wilderness wanderings? Levi
2. What were the names of Aaron’s two sons that died for offering unauthorized fire? Nadab and Abihu
3. What animal did Moses make out of bronze and hang on a pole for Israel to look at? A serpent
4. Moses and Aaron were from what tribe? Levi
5. How long was Moses on the Mountain when he received the 10 commandments from God? 40 Days

Final Jeopardy Question on Moses and the Law – Where is Moses’ grave? No one knows (Somewhere in Moab)

Joshua, Judges and Ruth:

What did God and the Leaders of Israel tell Joshua to have when he took the leadership? Courage (be strong and courageous)
What Canaanite city did Israel conquer first? Jericho
How many spies did Rahab hide? Two
Who was the left handed Judge that killed the fat king, Eglon? Ehud
What judge made a rash vow to God that cost his daughter’s life? Jephthah

What is the name of Boaz and Ruth’s son? Obed
2. Name the only woman judge? Deborah
3. Which judge went into battle against a multitude of Midianites with only 300 men? Gideon
4. As recorded in the book of Judges, which tribe of Israel was almost wiped out by the other tribes because they defended one of their wicked cities? Benjamin
5. What is the name of Ruth’s mother-in-law? Naomi

Final Jeopardy Question on Joshua, Judges and Ruth – What was the name of the woman that drove a tent peg through Sisera’s head? Jael

United Kingdom:

What was Saul’s father’s name? Kish
What was David’s father’s name? Jesse
Who anointed both Saul and David as king? Samuel
What two shepherd stories did David tell Saul to convince him that the Lord could deliver Goliath into his hand? The lion and the bear
When Saul was pursuing David to kill him, what did David do with Saul’s garment while Saul was in a cave? Cut off the corner of it

Who was the leader over Saul’s army? Abner
Who was the leader over David’s army? Joab
Which son of Saul was made King over Israel after Saul’s death, and reigned two years before David was king over all Israel? Ishbosheth
What is the name of the crippled son of Jonathan who David brought to live in the palace and eat at his table? Mephibosheth
What was the name of David and Bathsheba’s son who reigned after David? Solomon

Final Jeopardy Question on United Kingdom: Joab, Abishi and Asahel were always called by David the sons of who? Sons of Zeruah Or, Which books of the Bible are attributed to Solomon? Three: Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes

Northern Kingdom:

Who was the first king of the Northern Kingdom who set up golden calves in Dan and caused Israel to sin? Jeroboam
Who were the two most famous Northern Kingdom prophets (mentioned in the end of 1 Kings and the beginning of 2 Kings)? Elijah and Elisha
Who was the king of the Northern kingdom when Elijah had the contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? Ahab
Who was Ahab’s wife? Jezebel
What kind of spirit did the Lord send into the false prophets to convince Ahab to go into battle to his death? A lying spirit

Who was the commander of the army of Aram who had leprosy and after dipping seven times in the Jordan river, God cured him? Naaman
Who told the eunuchs of Jezebel to throw her down from the window to her death? Jehu
How was Elijah taken up to heaven? Chariots of fire
Who’s vineyard did Ahab want, and that Jezebel had killed so he could take it? Naboth
How long did it not rain after Elijah prayed that the rain cease? Three and a half years

Final Jeopardy Question on Northern Kingdom: How many of the Northern Kings remained faithful to God? None
Southern Kingdom:

Who was the king when the kingdom of Israel was divided into norther and southern kingdoms? Rehoboam
Who was the only queen of Judah who was the daughter of Jezebel? Athaliah
Who was the hidden king who Jehoiada the priest protected and installed as king of Judah when he was only eight years old? Joash
Who was the son of Ahaz that became king of Judah and was one of the best kings? Hezekiah
Which king of Judah, son of Hezekiah, sinned so badly that the Lord decided to send them into exile? Manasseh

Who was the king of Judah when the Northern Kingdom was wiped out by Assyria? Hezekiah
What great event occurred during the reign of Josiah as they were repairing the temple? The book of the Law was found
Which king of Judah did Pharaoh Neco kill? Josiah
Who was king during the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple by Babylon? Zedekiah
Where did the people of Judah flee after their governor Gedaliah was killed? Egypt

Final Jeopardy Question for Southern Kingdom: Which prophet prophesied Sennacherib’s fall during the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem under Hezekiah’s reign? Isaiah