Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 04.28.12

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MEGA THEMES
The Second Coming of Christ
Kyle Gray
April 28-29, 2012

No Notes

Discussion Questions

  1. Share your thoughts about this weekend’s message. What do you know now that you weren’t aware of before?
  2. Did you feel uncomfortable (or scared) at times during this weekend’s service? When did you feel the most unsettled? Why?
  3. One of the most important things to realize is that there is a difference between the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ. What is the difference?
  4. There are a lot of different views about the Rapture and Tribulation – and unfortunately, there are a lot of preachers out there teaching some weird stuff! What are different viewpoints of the Rapture and the Tribulation?
  5. While we can be intrigued or do an extensive study on End Time events, Jesus also gives us instructions for how we are called to live until these events come to pass. What does Jesus call us to do?
  6. After hearing this weekend’s message what perspective should we strive to keep regarding this topic? Do you think God is prompting you to think or do something differently as a result of this weekend’s message?

 

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 04.21.12

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MEGA THEMES
The Church
Lee Powell
April 21-22, 2012

Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. COLOSSIANS 1:18 (NLT)

Make D___________________ (converts)
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
MATTHEW 28:19

Teach Them How to L___________________.
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.
MATTHEW 28:20

Our Mission
CedarCreek Church exists to help spiritually restless and unchurched people love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

A Life of L___________.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. MATTHEW 22:37
You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! JOHN 5:39

A Life of S___________.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” MATTHEW 20:28
…Do as I have done to you. JOHN 13:15 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. MATTHEW 5:16
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to…do it well…do it gladly… ROMANS 12:6-9

A Life of Telling___________.
…telling people about me everywhere… ACTS 1:8
…if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way… 1 PETER 3:15,16
…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. MATTHEW 5:16 (NIV)

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

Discussion Questions

1. People have a lot of opinions (both positive and negative) about why churches exist. What did you think about church growing up? What impact has the church had on your life in the last five years?

2. We love the fact that so many people love coming to CedarCreek Church every week. However, there is a difference between enjoying the weekend service experience and being a part of the church as Jesus defines our role in the church. What is that difference?

3. Read Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus charges Christ-followers with the task of making disciples (converts) and teaching those converts how to live a life that reflects the character of Christ. What do you think about that?

4. We believe that our CedarCreek mission statement reflects Jesus’ teachings about the role of the church. Discuss how our mission statement reflects the different verses from this weekend’s message.

5. Take the time to answer the three questions Lee shared in this weekend’s message:
a. How does Lee know that he is doing a good job?
b. How do we know that as a church we are doing a good job?
c. How do we know that the CedarCreek staff is doing a good job?

6. Are you a Christ-follower? If so, how can you know if you are doing a good job? While we cannot do anything to earn God’s favor, we are all called to make disciples and teach them how to live. How are you doing in this area?

7. Kari Jobe’s song, “We Are” has a great line: “We are the light of the world, we are the city on a hill…we gotta let the light shine.” What are some of the things we do as a church to let the light of Jesus Christ shine through us? How have you been involved?

8. How have you been challenged to think or act differently as a result of this weekend’s message?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 04.14.12

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MEGA THEMES
The Authority of the Bible
Lee Powell
April 14-15, 2012

 

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. PSALM 119:105

All Scripture is inspired by God … God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

 

The Bible Is U______________ in its…

a. C__________________________

b. C__________________________

c. T__________________________

d. S________________________

e. E_________________ on Lives

 

The Bible is A__________________.

a. H__________________________

b. T___________________ Quality

c. D__________________________of you and I

 

The Bible is I________________.

a. F________________ Prophecy

b. M__________________

c. U__________________

d. A____________________

From the book The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

OT PROPHECY  & NT FULLFILLMENT

Born of a Virgin
Isa 7:14
Matt 1:25

 

Born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2
Matt 2:1-2

 

Anointed by the Spirit
Isa 11:2
Matt 3:16

 

Rides Triumphantly on Donkey
Zech 9:9
John 12:14-15

 

Betrayed By Friend
Ps 41:9
Matt 26:48-49

 

Silent Before Accusers
Isa 53:7
Matt 27:12

 

Beaten and Spat Upon
Isa 50:6
Matt 26:67

 

Cast Lots for Clothing
Ps 22:18
John 19:23-24

 

Crucified With Criminals
Isa 53:12
Mark 15:27

 

Given Vinegar to Drink
Ps 69:21
John 19:28-30

 

Forsaken By God
Ps 22:1
Matt 27:46

 

Pierced For Our Sins
Isa 53:5
John 19:34-35

 

His Bones Will Not Be Broken
Ps 34:20
John 19:33

 

The Day Turns Dark
Amos 8:9
Matt 27:45

 

He Will Rise Again
Ps 118:17-18
Mark 16:6-8

Discussion Questions

1. As you watched the “Man on the Street” interviews where people were asked what they thought about the Bible, could you identify with any of their answers? Which ones?

2. Truth time! What questions do you have about the Bible, but you’ve never wanted to ask? Did you know that you can submit Bible questions online at our CedarCreek.tv website under the “Resources” tab?

3. When you have questions about the Bible (or about how we got the Bible), describe how you usually go about finding the answers? How effective is your approach?

4. During this weekend’s service you watched an interview of Ken Ham, founder of AnswersInGenesis. He addressed the critics who say that the Bible is full of contradictions and that it is just a book written by a bunch of old men. What did you think of Ken’s answers? Did he bring up anything that you hadn’t thought about before?

5. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The verse reminds us that God’s word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. If the Bible is so important for our lives as Christians, then why do we always struggle to set aside time for Bible study?

6. Can you identify a verse(s) in the Bible that has changed or transformed your life? In what ways?

7. Here is this week’s big question: Why should you believe that the Bible is the Word of God? How does knowing that the Bible is the Word of God influence your view of scripture and its priority in your life?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 04.06.12

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EASTER
This is War
Lee Powell
April 6-8, 2012

 

I’m declaring WAR between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers…
GENESIS 3:15 (THE MESSAGE)

 

Primary Battle Ground: The Way of Salvation?

It is Not G_____________ W______________.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. EPHESIANS 2:8,9

 

[A] _______________Your sin(s), repent and ask God for forgiveness.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. ROMANS 3:23

…“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins… ACTS 2:38

 

[B]____________________ that Jesus was crucified, shed His blood for the forgiveness of your sins and was resurrected from the dead.
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” JOHN 6:29

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.” ROMANS 10:9,11

…we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ…ROMANS 5:9

 

[C]_________________yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. COLOSSIANS 2:6,7

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” LUKE 22:42

 

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

Discussion Questions

1. The “war” for your eternity began in the Garden of Eden and continues today. What is at stake?

2. Read Colossians 2:8-9. The writer warns us against falling for “empty philosophies” that sound spiritual, but in actuality, are far from God’s truth. One of the most popular philosophies goes like this: “If I do more good than bad, then God will let me into Heaven.” So, if good deeds don’t make you a Christian, then what does?

3. Read Romans 3:23. The word “sin” has disappeared from our vocabulary, but the sense of guilt over our wrong-doing remains in our hearts and minds. What are some of the excuses that you have used in the past to diminish your guilt over sin? Check any of these that sound familiar:

  • “Well, at least I am better than….”
  • “It’s okay, God loves me – He won’t judge me for this.”
  • “You don’t understand what I have been through…”

4. God knows everything, therefore our sin is no surprise to Him. Yet, why is it so important for us to humbly admit our sins before God and ask for forgiveness?

5. There are lots of people who are familiar with Jesus and the Easter story. However, there is a big difference between KNOWING the story that Jesus Christ came to earth to die on the cross and BELIEVING that Jesus came to die for you. We cannot confuse “knowing” with “believing.” What is the difference between the two?

6. Once you ADMIT your sin and BELIEVE that Jesus Christ came to die for your sins, then you need to COMMIT yourself to God. What are some of the characteristics that define whether or not someone is truly committed to God?Are you committed to God?

7. People hesitate to make a commitment to follow Christ because of fear. Some fear turning into a “Jesus Freak” while others worry about lifestyle changes or loss of control. If you have yet to make a commitment to Christ, what is stopping you? What will it take for you to deal with those fears or concerns?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 03.31.12

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HAPPY HOUR
Last Call
Lee Powell
March 31 & April 1, 2012

 

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. JAMES 4:14

SAY…

I’M S________________________.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. ROMANS 12:18

I F_____________________________ you.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. COLOSSIANS 3:13

I L________________________ you. …
Love your neighbor as yourself. MATTHEW 19:19

I A____________________________ you.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. HEBREWS 10:24

 

DO…

Make a K_____________________________ C_________________________________. …
“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. MATTHEW 9:37

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ MATTHEW 25:23

…a living sacrifice…ROMANS 12:1 (NIV)

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. MATTHEW 6:33

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

Discussion Questions

1. If you died tomorrow, how do you want people to remember you? Is that answer the same or different from how people are likely to remember you? Where do you need to make adjustments so that how you want to be remembered and how you will actually be remembered match up?

2. Remember this great quote from Steve Jobs: “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” In a powerful interview, Jyl DuShane spoke about how cancer impacted her life. Even though we don’t like to talk about death, how can facing our immortality be a motivational and positive influence in our lives?

3. During this weekend’s message, Lee challenged us to think about important things we need to say before it is too late. Do you need to say one of the following statements to someone: “I’m sorry,” “I forgive you,” “I love you,” or “I appreciate you.”

4. It seems so easy to just say important words that can improve or heal our relationships. However, our tongues often get tripped up and we just remain silent. How many of you wished that someone in your life would have said those words, but didn’t. How can you do things differently- especially if you are a Christ-follower?

5. One day, every one of us will appear before God and He will ask us what we have done with the life He gave to us. If you appeared before God ten minutes from now, what would you say about how you’ve used the life God has given to you?

6. Rick Warren points out that we have three options in life: We can spend our lives, waste our lives or invest our lives. Author Bob Buford, author of HalfTime, created a self-check list for us to use to gauge whether or not we are building a legacy AND suggestions for us to consider. How are you doing? Rate your involvement in each option:
1 = no involvement to 5 = high involvement

____ Volunteer: Donate substantial time and energy to a kingdom cause or ministry.

____ Donor: Contribute financial resources to a kingdom cause or ministry.

____ Business as Ministry: Use your business to accomplish kingdom work.

____ Partner: Team up as a silent partner with someone involved full-time in a kingdom cause and resource that individual in whatever ways to produce results.

____ Board Member: Provide expertise and support to non-profit organizations committed to a kingdom cause.

____ Parallel Career: Take on major responsibility in a kingdom cause, even as you continue to carry out your vocational commitments.

____ Career Change: Serve full-time in a kingdom cause or ministry.

____ Social Entrepreneur: Start and build a new non-profit organization to fulfill a kingdom cause or unmet need in an innovative way. What would it mean for you to leave a “kingdom contribution?”

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 03.24.12

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HAPPY HOUR
Friends Nite Out
Lee Powell
March 24 & 25, 2012

 

GOD’S DREAM:

Rich C_______________________ with Him and E________________O_______________________.
His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure. EPHESIANS 1:5

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. JOHN 13:34,35

 

THE DREAM KILLER:

We are A______ A_______________________ .
For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these vile things come from within…MARK 7:21-23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. ROMANS 3:23

 

THE DREAM FULFILLED:

The G________________ Rule.
Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. MATTHEW 7:12 NLT

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. PHILIPPIANS 2:3

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. COLOSSIANS 3:13

D_______________________
… All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. ACTS 2:42


Parts of today’s message taken from John Ortberg’s book, “Everybody is Normal, Until You Get to Know Them.”

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

Discussion Questions

1. What is the difference between being in community with a group of committed Christ-followers and just hanging out with a group of people (whether they are Christian or not)?

2. Read John 13:34-35. God’s dream is that we FIRST have rich community with HIM and then, secondly (and simultaneously) have rich community with others. Are you currently experiencing the type of community that Jesus is describing in John 13:34-35?

3. Remember the porcupine illustration? Lee talked about how our different “quills” like anger, jealously, selfishness or impatience can have a negative impact on our relationships with each other. What is your “quill” and how has it impacted your close relationships and what do you need to do in order to “pull in” that quill?

4. John Ortberg wrote a book titled, “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them.” The truth is that we are all abnormal in some way – yet, we are always surprised and disappointed at each other’s quirks and failures. How well do you handle yourself when those close to you disappoint or fail you?

5. At CedarCreek, we believe that groups (LifeGroups, New Christian LifeGroups or Life Support) are the place for spiritual growth to happen. Our groups are places for Christians to grow, encourage and serve each other.

1. If you are in a group, share a significant experience that you’ve had in that group (even if it isn’t your current group).

2. If you aren’t in a group, why have you not joined one OR have you had a bad experience in a previous group that you need to resolve?

6. Read Acts 2:42,44-46. Notice how all of the Christians were totally devoted to community? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when it comes to the mega-question: “Am I devoted to Christ-Centered community?”

1. Am I experiencing the Bible (reading and discussing scripture) with other Christ-followers?

2. Am I sharing my life experiences – both good and bad – with people I trust to care about me, pray for me and hold me accountable to living according to God’s truth?

3. Am I regularly getting together with other Christ-followers to share meals and spending time together and getting to know each other?

4. Am I sharing prayer together regularly with other Christ-followers?

7. What is your next step to living out God’s dream for rich Christ-Centered community in your life?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 03.17.12

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HAPPY HOUR
Down Time
Lee Powell
March 17 & 18, 2012

 

Put the Big Rocks In F_____________________ .
…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. MATTHEW 6:33 (NIV)

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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. PROVERBS 3:5-8

 

Keep Your Tank F__________________ .
A relaxed attitude lengthens life…PROVERBS 14:30

…but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. EXODUS 20:10

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. LUKE 5:16

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11

 

Give Up on the M________________ of a B___________________ Life.
But all your feverish plans are to no avail because you never ask God for help. ISAIAH 22:11

All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. JOHN 9:4

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few.” MATTHEW 9:37

…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. JOHN 16:33

 

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

Discussion Questions

1. When is life the busiest or most chaotic for you? Is there ever a time when your life is not moving non-stop?

2. In Psalm 55:1-8, the scriptural writer laments over his chaotic life and desperately wants to fly away like a dove. What is it that you want to escape from in life? If you could escape, where would you go?

3. What are your five “big rocks” that currently prioritize your time and resources? How do you feel about that list? Can you think of a “big rock” that you are leaving out OR are giving lip-service to, but not really following through on?

4. Busyness actually “drains” our inner tanks, so it is important for us to purposefully make time in our schedule to refill our tanks. Answer the following:

a. What physical activities replenish you and make you feel energized?

b. What relational activities replenish you and make you feel energized?

c. What spiritual activities replenish you and make you feel energized?

5. Matthew 6:33 says we are to prioritize living for God first and then out of our relationship with God will come the rest of our priorities. Considering where you are in your spiritual journey, what kinds of things do you think God wants you to prioritize? How are you doing in those areas?

6. Living a balanced life is a complete myth because life often contains one unplanned event after another. In fact, John 16:33 says that we will have many troubles in this life, but we can have hope in Jesus Christ. After listening to this weekend’s message, how have you been challenged to think differently about the topic of “Down Time” and prioritizing your life?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 03.10.12

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GOD SERIES
GOD: Sends
Lee Powell
March 10 & 11, 2012

 

God sent J_____________________ into the World.
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. JOHN 3:17

 

Jesus sends U_______ into the world.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” ACTS 1:8

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” MATTHEW 28:19,20

 

Today we are being S________________ out, to invite people back.
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” JOHN 4:28,29

So the people came strewing from the village to see him…many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because (of what) the woman had said…JOHN 4:30-39

…he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe….they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” JOHN 4:40-42

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

Discussion Questions

1. Who are you going to invite to church? Why do you want to invite them and what will you share about your experience at CedarCreek?

2. You saw video interviews of people who came to CedarCreek and their lives were dramatically changed as a result. Discuss how you initially came to CedarCreek Church and the people that you have invited since attending. Share any cool stories you may have.

3. This weekend, Lee shared the number of lives that can be impacted over a 10-year period of time when just one person invites another person to church. Our new series, Happy Hour, is designed to appeal to those who are not currently attending church. How will you address those who might not agree with our strategy to attract unchurched people to church?

4. The Samaritan woman shared her experience with Christ to draw others to Him – even though she didn’t know much about Him. List some ways that you can invite people to church or share your story even if you may not know a lot about the Bible or God.

5. Matthew 5:16 says that “we have to let our lights shine before men.” This means that as Christ-followers, we should speak and live in a way that draws people to Christ. How are you doing in that regard? What do you need to do differently?

6. If God has given us the mission to tell the world about Christ, what are some of the reasons why people shy away from embracing the mission of sharing their faith? Which of the reasons are true for you? How can you overcome those barriers?

7. We are responsible to share the Good News of Christ with others – that’s the mission God calls Christ-followers to live out. Yet, we don’t always prioritize that mission. How can we create an urgency that compels us to risk personal comfort in order to share the gospel message with someone who doesn’t know Christ?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 03.03.12

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GOD SERIES
GOD: Transforms
Barb Roose
March 3 & 4, 2012

Spiritual Transformation:
Process where we die to sin, self and society in order to profoundly love God and people.

 

God transforms your F____________________________.
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

For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:9-10

 

God transforms your M_________________________.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ROMANS 12:1-2

 

COMMITMENT > TRANSFORMATION > REVELATION

 

God hands shape your L____________________________.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:7-10

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” ST. AUGUSTINE

All Scripture is from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted.

Discussion Questions

1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that when we come to faith in Christ we become a new creation because God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within us. What was your life like before coming to faith in Christ?

2. There are a lot of Christians who are frustrated because they don’t see God doing much in their lives or they struggle with obedience to what God has called them to do. How are you doing when it comes to your spiritual growth?

3. Romans 12:1-2 outlines the process of spiritual transformation. First, we commit ourselves to God. Next, God transforms our thinking. Finally, God reveals His will for our lives. How would you describe your personal spiritual transformation? In what ways have you seen God transforming your life?

4. When Saul was transformed by God, the early Christians were skeptical of his conversion because it seemed so radical. Why is it easier for us to believe that God can save someone from hell but we don’t believe that God can truly transform a life?

5. God transforms our thinking through a variety of different ways, but one of the most important ways is through the Bible. Share a verse or two that has had a profound impact on your spiritual growth.

6. God applies pressure to different areas of our lives to shape and mold us for His glory. Describe how God has used different circumstances to grow you up spiritually. What would you say to someone who is going through one of those experiences?

Living It Out – Message Notes and Discussion Questions for the weekend of 02.25.12

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GOD SERIES
GOD: Speaks
Ben Snyder
February 25 & 26, 2012

God Speaks:
God chose to reveal himself through words. Why is it that so many people struggle hearing Him?

When God speaks He….

C_________________ Us – free us from empty/purposeless living.

 EXODUS 3

God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 1 THESSALONIANS 4:7

T_________________ Us – free us from unhealthy beliefs and behaviors.

EXODUS 19

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. HEBREWS 4:12

C_________________ Us – free us from anxiety and discouragement.

1 KINGS 19

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. JOHN 8:31-32 (ESV)

Sometimes God is speaking, we just choose to ignore what he has said to us. However, when we listen and obey, no matter how that feels at the time, it brings freedom.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1.  What are the various ways you have experienced God speaking, if ever?

2.  Think of one of your favorite famous people. Got them in mind? If you were to hear that they had a special message specifically for you – how would you respond? Why is it so difficult to have the same response for God?

3.  Where is your “Mt Sinai” – that sacred time set aside to hear from God? If you do not have one, what do you need to arrange to set that up as a regular occurrence in your life?

4.  When you read the Bible, how do you prepare yourself to hear God speak to you? What adjustments would help focus your time you spend reading to hear from Him?

5.  What “opportunity” has God been prompting you to do lately?

6.  What unhealthy behavior do you sense God is seeking to free you from in your life?

7.   What passages do you turn to when you feel anxious or discouraged to hear God’s whisper?