Weekly Reading :: 7.20.14

On July 19, 2014, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

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Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayMatthew 7  (Focus on 24-27)
Monday Acts 27  (Focus on 21-26)
TuesdayActs 28  (Focus on 1-6)
Wednesday2 Corinthians 5  (Focus on 15-21)
ThursdayPsalm 119:9-48 (Focus on 11)
FridayProverbs 3 (Focus on 5-8)
SaturdayGalations 5 (Focus on 19-22)

How can I relate to a God who sets sexual boundaries and guidelines that just don’t fit in today’s world?

View this week’s Sermon Notes

Memorize/Reflect:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Prayer Direction:  Thank God for the wonder and beauty of His creation, including both men and women, made in His image! Pray for a clear and biblical understanding of sexuality that honors God. Ask God for strength and self-control so that you might express your sexuality in a way that honors Him and brings you the greatest joy.

“Live It!” Challenge – Guarding My Eyes:
Over the next month, pay close attention to everything you let enter your heart and mind…through your eyes. What do you watch on TV? What kind of movies do you watch? What do you view online? Where do your eyes wander as you walk through a normal day? When you find yourself viewing things that don’t lead to purity and that do not honor God, guard your eyes, cut off the source, and stop viewing these things.

Growth Group Discussion: 

          1. What are some of the attitudes toward sexuality that are changing rapidly in our culture and society? What messages about sexuality are being reinforced by the media?
          2. Read:  Genesis 1:27-28 and 31. God invented sexuality (male and female) as well as sexual intimacy (becoming one flesh). How does God view sexuality? How should we view God’s plan of making men and women and what are ways we can affirm and celebrate God’s gift of sexuality in the church and in Christian homes
          3. Read:  Proverbs 5:15-23. In this passage, the image of fresh water is used to paint a picture of sexuality. Remember, these words were written I a place that was very dry and arid. What warnings are given in Proverbs 5 about our sexuality? Why are these warning important?
          4. What affirmations are given about sexuality in Proverbs 5 and why are they important for us to hear today?
          5. Read:  1 Corinthians 6:12-17. In this passage, the Apostle Paul quotes a saying that was popular in Corinth in the first century… “I have the right to do anything.” He is not affirming this quote, but challenging it. How do you see our culture echoing this same quote when it comes to sexuality today, “I have the right to do anything?”
          6. In this passage, we are taught that our body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord. How can repetitive sexual sin damage our relationship with Jesus? How can our sexual choices change when we see our body as belonging to the Lord?
          7. Read:  1 Corinthians 6:18-20. What are specific and practical ways we can “Flee from sexual immorality?”
          8. What are specific and practical ways we can seek to “honor God with our bodies?”

 

Weekly Reading :: 7.13.14

On July 12, 2014, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

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Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayGenesis 1-2  (God created sexuality)
MondayProverbs 5-6  (Sex as a good gift, with boundaries)
TuesdayProverbs 7  (Warnings about sexual temptation)
WednesdayRomans 1  (The downward spiral of sin)
ThursdayGenesis 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-10 ; Jude 1:7
Friday 1 Corinthians 5-6
Saturday1 Peter 4

How can my pursuit of wealth become faith destroying?

Memorize/Reflect:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

Prayer Direction:  Ask God to open your eyes to any area where lack of contentment is eroding joy in your life. Give thanks for seasons of life when you found contentment even in difficult circumstances. Pray that our Lord would strengthen you to find contentment in whatever situation you are in.

“Live It!” Challenge – A Gratitude Journal:
Gratitude drives out complaint. Each morning this week, begin the day by listing three specific things you are grateful for.

Growth Group Discussion: 

      1. In Philippians 4, Paul writes “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”. As you read these words, consider that Paul was imprisoned when he wrote this. Have you ever experienced a season where it was difficult to live contentedly?
      2. It is possible to learn contentment in a season of financial shortage, only to find ourselves wildly discontent in a season of financial health. Contentment is often something we need to learn and relearn. Have you found it more difficult to experience contentment in seasons of difficulty or abundance?
      3. In what ways can comparison erode contentment? Talk about the role social media platforms like Facebook can play in making the battle with comparison more difficult.
      4. In what areas are you most tempted to lose contentment when you compare your life with the lives of others?Home
        Title/Position
        Travel opportunity
        Children/Family
        Abilities
      5. Was there ever a material object that you deeply desired, and finally purchased, only to discover that the delight over the item wore off fairly rapidly? Share your reflections with the group.
      6. In 1 Timothy 6:10 we read that “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Have you witnessed a situation where someone totally lost spiritual focus because of a financial quest? Has this ever happened to you?
      7. In what ways can one discover freedom as contentment is embraced?
      8. Gratitude drives out complaint. Take a moment to express people and items in your life for which you are deeply grateful.
 

Weekly Reading :: 7.6.14

On July 5, 2014, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

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Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayPhilippians 4  (Focus on 4:10-13)
Monday1 Timothy 6  (Focus on 6:6-10)
Tuesday1 Timothy 6  (Focus on 6:17-19)
WednesdayProverbs 30  (Focus on 30:7-9)
ThursdayMatthew 6  (Focus on 6:25-34)
Friday 2 Corinthians 9  (Focus on 9:6-8)
SaturdayProverbs 11 (Focus on 11:24-25)

Can I love and follow Jesus if I still have questions about faith and struggles in my life?

View this week’s Sermon Notes

Memorize/Reflect:
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!.” (Mark 9:24)

Prayer Direction:  Thank God that he welcomes us to come to Him with doubts, fears, and struggles. Ask God to help you overcome fear and doubt as you grow in your faith. Pray for a friend or family member who is resisting coming to Jesus because of their doubts and struggles.

“Live It!” Challenge – Being Honest:
The next time you are talking with someone who does not believe in Jesus because of their doubts, be honest and share a struggle you have and a doubt you still deal with. But, also tell them that you believe in Jesus, love Him, and walk with Him, even with your doubts.

Growth Group Discussion: 

      1. Tell about a doubt or struggle you faced at one point in your faith journey and how God has helped you find answers to your doubt or peace within the struggle.
      2. Read: John 1:23 and 29-30 and Matthew 11:2-3 . What do you learn about John the Baptist through these two passages?
      3. How can a person be confidant of who Jesus is and also still have questions and struggles?
      4. Why is it important that we affirm what we know and are certain of about Jesus as we keep learning more about Him? How has your knowledge of Jesus and trust in him grown over the time you have been a Christian?
      5. Read: Matthew 16:15-16 and 26:70-74. What do you learn about Peter in these two passages?
      6. If someone wanted to scold Peter for his three denials of Jesus, what would you say in defense of Peter? How could he be so confident in one moment and so fickle in another?
      7. What are ways we can declare love for Jesus and confidence in who He is, and still act or speak in ways that make us look like we don’t know Him?
      8. Read: Ephesians 2:4-10 Why is it essential that we embrace grace and know that our salvation is based on God’s goodness and not our good works? Why is it dangerous to think or act like we can be saved by the good things we do?
      9. What is a real struggle you are facing today and how can your group members pray for you and help support you as you walk through this challenging time?

Weekly Reading :: 6.29.14

On June 29, 2014, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

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Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayMatthew 16:13-20 26:31-3526:69-75John 21:15-19 (Peter)
MondayJohn 1:19-42; Matthew 11:1-1914:1-12  (John the Baptist)
TuesdayJohn 11:1-16; John 20 (Thomas)
WednesdayLuke 10:38-42; John 11:17-44  (Mary and Martha)
ThursdayMatthew 17:14-21; 26:14-3526:47-56 (The Disciples)
Friday Matthew 26:36-46; 17:1-13  (Peter, James and John)
Saturday2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10 (The Apostle Paul)

If God is loving, how can He allow evil and suffering in the world?

View this week’s Sermon Notes

Memorize/Reflect:
“For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Prayer Direction:  Ask God to help you to lean on him in times of pain and suffering. Even in the midst of suffering, we can come to God and lament our loss and pain. Continue to thank God for what he has given you amidst your struggles and ask for strength for yourself and others as they traverse this broken world.

“Live It!” Challenge – Great Books:
If you want to grow your ability to have strength through pain and suffering you may want to try reading a few different resources on the topic. For a basic introduction, Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper, or Walking through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. For those of you who want the difficult challenge of looking at it from a philosophical perspective, give God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga or Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft a try.

Growth Group Discussion: 

      1. Tell about a time when you or someone you loved suffered great pain or suffering. How did this season cause you to draw nearer to God or repel you away from Him?
      2. Read: Romans 5:3-5. How have you found the message of this passage to be true in your own life? How has pain and suffering shaped you to be the person you are today?
      3. James, the brother of Jesus, was eventually stoned to death for his beliefs in Christ the Messiah. Read: James 1:2-4. How can we live out this attitude in the midst of pain and suffering?
      4. What are some of the “simple” answers Christians can give to very big question of why pain and suffering exists? Why is this unhelpful and how can we give more thoughtful answers to these questions?
      5. How can we come alongside of people that we love amidst their own personal suffering? What are some ways that people have supported or offended you in times of hurt?
      6. How does Christ’s own suffering give us consolation in the midst of our own struggles? How can you focus on Jesus and his suffering when you are in a time of pain and loss?
      7. What prayer needs do you have in your life right now? Ask your group to share prayer requests and spend time in prayer for one another.

Weekly Reading :: 6.22.14

On June 21, 2014, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

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Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayPsalm 18  (God is our rock and fortress through struggle)
Monday2 Corinthians 2:3-112 Corinthians 7  (Paul talks about suffering)
TuesdayHebrews 2:5-18 (Christ’s sacrifice made complete through suffering)
Wednesday1 Peter 5:1-11; Philippians 1:19-30  (Perseverance through suffering)
ThursdayGenesis 45  (Joseph’s reasons for his past suffering revealed)
FridayJob 1; Job 42  (Job sufferers greatly, but is restored)
SaturdayRevelation 22;  Romans 8:18-30 (Christ will prevail over all suffering)

Isn’t It Enough to Say Jesus Was a Good Man and Teacher?

View this week’s Sermon Notes

Memorize/Reflect:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)

Prayer Direction:  Thank and Praise God for leaving heaven and coming into our world and entering human history in Jesus Christ. Ask for boldness to help other people see and recognize that Jesus is God with us.

“Live It!” Challenge – Practice Makes Perfect:
Take time this week, using your notes from Sunday’s message, to tell someone about the three reasonable responses to what Jesus claimed about himself. Find a Christian who will let you practice on them and tell about the three options you have learned and why a conclusion that Jesus was actually God in human flesh is the only reasonable option.

Growth Group Discussion: 

      1. People who don’t believe Jesus was God in human flesh and who do not embrace Him as Savior have all sorts of theories of who Jesus was. What are some of the ways you have heard non-believing people describe who Jesus was?
      2. Read: Exodus 3:13-15 and John 8:48-59. What name does God give for himself in the Exodus passage and why was this such a critical and memorable time in Israel’s history?
      3. Describe the setting of Jesus’ words in the John 8 passage. Who is present in this conversation, what is going on, and what is the nature of the discussion? In light of this context (and the message of Exodus 3:14), what was Jesus claiming when He said, “I am”?
      4. Read: John 14:1-9. In this passage, Jesus was teaching his closest followers, the disciples. What is Jesus claiming about himself? (There are a number of things) If even one of these claims was not true, what could we conclude about Jesus? If all of these claims were true, how should people respond to Jesus?
      5. Read: Philippians 2:5-11. What does the apostle Paul teach us about Jesus in this passage? If Jesus was just a good man and a moral teacher, what did the apostle Paul say about Jesus that must have been wrong?
      6. Read: John 20:24. How did Jesus respond when Thomas worshipped Him and called Him both “Lord,” and “God”? If Jesus had simply been a great Rabbi, what would the appropriate response have been to Thomas’ words?
      7. In light of all the claims Jesus, Paul, and Thomas made in the passages above, what does the Bible teach about Jesus?
      8. If all these things are true, how should we respond to Jesus each and every day?
 
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