Weekly Reading :: 7.21.13

On July 20, 2013, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayMatthew 22
MondayRevelation 1 
TuesdayRevelation 4
WednesdayRevelation 5
ThursdayJohn 19
FridayJohn 20
SaturdayJohn 21

Memorize/Reflect:  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(Ephesians 4:32)

Prayer Direction:  Thank God for the greatness of His forgiveness toward you. Actually list things (in your heart) that God has forgiven and washed away. Ask God to make you so aware of the greatness of His grace toward you that you long to forgive those who have sinned against you.

“Live It!” Challenge – Start in Your Heart: Think about a person who has wronged you and hurt you. If you are still harboring bitterness and anger toward this person, ask God to begin changing your heart. Don’t begin with trying to show forgiveness on the outside. Instead, start in your heart. Ask God for the ability to forgive. Begin praying for God’s good and grace to fill the life of this other person. Cry out and ask God to help you be set free from carrying anger and hurt any longer.

Small Group Discussion: Do I Really Have to Forgive That Person?

    1. Tell about a person in your life who has been a model of forgiveness, grace, and offering new beginnings to others. What is it about this person that impresses you and reveals that Jesus is alive in them?
    2. Tell about a person you know (without using a name) who has a hard time forgiving others and who harbors anger and resentment. How has this person’s inability to forgive and extend grace impacted their life, relationships, and faith?
    3. Read: Matthew 18:21-35. What do you think Peter is getting at when he asks “How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister…”? Tell about a time when you found yourself growing weary of forgiving or wondering if you could forgive one more time.
    4. When Jesus tells the story we meet a servant who owes a huge amount of money (so much that he could never pay it back). What do you learn about this man as he experiences amazing forgiveness and then has a chance to “Pay it forward” but refuses? How is this man a picture of how we can refuse forgiveness even after God forgives us everything in Jesus?
    5. In this story we also meet a king of offers amazing grace, but at the end of the story, also brings harsh judgment. How does the tone and response of the king change through the story and what do you learn about God, the King of kings through this parable?
    6. What is this story brings you hope and comfort? What causes tension or concern?
    7. What are some of the reasons we give ourselves (and others) for why we refuse to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us? What can we do to navigate past these kinds of excuses and learn to forgive as we have been forgiven in Jesus?

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayMatthew 22
MondayRevelation 1 
TuesdayRevelation 4
WednesdayRevelation 5
ThursdayJohn 19
FridayJohn 20
SaturdayJohn 21

Memorize/Reflect:  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(Ephesians 4:32)

Prayer Direction:  Thank God for the greatness of His forgiveness toward you. Actually list things (in your heart) that God has forgiven and washed away. Ask God to make you so aware of the greatness of His grace toward you that you long to forgive those who have sinned against you.

“Live It!” Challenge – Start in Your Heart: Think about a person who has wronged you and hurt you. If you are still harboring bitterness and anger toward this person, ask God to begin changing your heart. Don’t begin with trying to show forgiveness on the outside. Instead, start in your heart. Ask God for the ability to forgive. Begin praying for God’s good and grace to fill the life of this other person. Cry out and ask God to help you be set free from carrying anger and hurt any longer.

Small Group Discussion: Do I Really Have to Forgive That Person?

    1. Tell about a person in your life who has been a model of forgiveness, grace, and offering new beginnings to others. What is it about this person that impresses you and reveals that Jesus is alive in them?
    2. Tell about a person you know (without using a name) who has a hard time forgiving others and who harbors anger and resentment. How has this person’s inability to forgive and extend grace impacted their life, relationships, and faith?
    3. Read: Matthew 18:21-35. What do you think Peter is getting at when he asks “How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister…”? Tell about a time when you found yourself growing weary of forgiving or wondering if you could forgive one more time.
    4. When Jesus tells the story we meet a servant who owes a huge amount of money (so much that he could never pay it back). What do you learn about this man as he experiences amazing forgiveness and then has a chance to “Pay it forward” but refuses? How is this man a picture of how we can refuse forgiveness even after God forgives us everything in Jesus?
    5. In this story we also meet a king of offers amazing grace, but at the end of the story, also brings harsh judgment. How does the tone and response of the king change through the story and what do you learn about God, the King of kings through this parable?
    6. What is this story brings you hope and comfort? What causes tension or concern?
    7. What are some of the reasons we give ourselves (and others) for why we refuse to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us? What can we do to navigate past these kinds of excuses and learn to forgive as we have been forgiven in Jesus?

Weekly Reading :: 7.14.13

On July 13, 2013, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayMatthew 18
MondayMark 11 
TuesdayMatthew 6
WednesdayColossians 1
Thursday1 John 1
FridayMatthew 26
SaturdayMatthew 27

Memorize/Reflect:  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
(Luke 11:9)

Prayer Direction:  Praise God that Jesus died on the cross and rose again to make it possible for us to have a friendship with God and come to Him with all of our needs, joys, requests and sorrows. Thank God that He does hear your prayers. Even dare to thank God for answering some prayers by saying, “No,” or “Wait.”

“Live It!” Challenge – Record Book: Too often we pray, ask God to do something, and then we forget to thank Him once He moves in a powerful way. Try keeping a record of prayers you lift up in the coming weeks. Write them down and also begin taking note when there are answers to your prayers. How do you see God working? Where has He answered? Be sure to pray and thank God for His powerful hand at work in your life, in our church, and in the world!

Small Group Discussion: Does God Hear My Prayers…and Does He Answer Them?

    1. If you were taught to pray as a child, tell about ways you were taught to pray or even specific prayers you were taught.
    2. How have your prayers and your understanding of prayer changed, developed, and matured over the years?
    3. Read: Luke 11:1-4. What are the elements of the example prayer Jesus used to teach His followers how to pray? Why are each of these elements important in our prayer lives?
    4. Which of these kinds of prayer (in verses 2-4) comes most naturally and which one do you tend to forget or not emphasize as much? What can you do to grow deeper the aspect of your prayer life that seems to get the least focus?
    5. Read: Luke 11:5-13.  What prayer lessons do you learn from Luke 11:5-8? What is Jesus trying to teach us about the heart of God in this parable?
    6. In Luke 11:9-10 it seems like Jesus is telling us that all we have to do is ask of God and we will get everything we ask for. In light of all the Bible teaches about prayer, what would you say to a person that declares, “All you have to do is tell God what you want and He will give it to you…100% of the time! If you don’t get what you ask for, you must lack faith in God.”
    7. Share about a time you lifted up a prayer, God said “No,” and later you were thankful for this answer. What are some reasons God might answer a prayer by saying, “No”?
    8. In Luke 11:11-13 Jesus teaches that an earthly father has the ability and desire to give good gifts. Then He says, “How much more…” when it comes to God’s ability and desire to give good gifts. Tell about some of the good gifts God has given you and how you have experienced His love and grace revealed in answered prayer.

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayMatthew 18
MondayMark 11 
TuesdayMatthew 6
WednesdayColossians 1
Thursday1 John 1
FridayMatthew 26
SaturdayMatthew 27

Memorize/Reflect:  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
(Luke 11:9)

Prayer Direction:  Praise God that Jesus died on the cross and rose again to make it possible for us to have a friendship with God and come to Him with all of our needs, joys, requests and sorrows. Thank God that He does hear your prayers. Even dare to thank God for answering some prayers by saying, “No,” or “Wait.”

“Live It!” Challenge – Record Book: Too often we pray, ask God to do something, and then we forget to thank Him once He moves in a powerful way. Try keeping a record of prayers you lift up in the coming weeks. Write them down and also begin taking note when there are answers to your prayers. How do you see God working? Where has He answered? Be sure to pray and thank God for His powerful hand at work in your life, in our church, and in the world!

Small Group Discussion: Does God Hear My Prayers…and Does He Answer Them?

    1. If you were taught to pray as a child, tell about ways you were taught to pray or even specific prayers you were taught.
    2. How have your prayers and your understanding of prayer changed, developed, and matured over the years?
    3. Read: Luke 11:1-4. What are the elements of the example prayer Jesus used to teach His followers how to pray? Why are each of these elements important in our prayer lives?
    4. Which of these kinds of prayer (in verses 2-4) comes most naturally and which one do you tend to forget or not emphasize as much? What can you do to grow deeper the aspect of your prayer life that seems to get the least focus?
    5. Read: Luke 11:5-13.  What prayer lessons do you learn from Luke 11:5-8? What is Jesus trying to teach us about the heart of God in this parable?
    6. In Luke 11:9-10 it seems like Jesus is telling us that all we have to do is ask of God and we will get everything we ask for. In light of all the Bible teaches about prayer, what would you say to a person that declares, “All you have to do is tell God what you want and He will give it to you…100% of the time! If you don’t get what you ask for, you must lack faith in God.”
    7. Share about a time you lifted up a prayer, God said “No,” and later you were thankful for this answer. What are some reasons God might answer a prayer by saying, “No”?
    8. In Luke 11:11-13 Jesus teaches that an earthly father has the ability and desire to give good gifts. Then He says, “How much more…” when it comes to God’s ability and desire to give good gifts. Tell about some of the good gifts God has given you and how you have experienced His love and grace revealed in answered prayer.

Weekly Reading :: 7.7.13

On July 6, 2013, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayLuke 11
MondayPsalm 116  & Psalm 34
TuesdayJames 4
WednesdayJohn 15
ThursdayJohn 17
FridayMatthew 6
SaturdayMatthew 9

Memorize/Reflect:  “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
(I Timothy 6:6-8)

Prayer Direction:  Gracious Father, I give thanks for the resources you have placed at my disposal. May I find my hope in you and not in my stuff. Please give me a satisfied contented heart, that I might live a life of thankful gratitude.

“Live It!” Challenge: Take a moment to list blessings for which you can be deeply grateful. Do you have access to a public park or a library? Is there a friend you can call if you are deeply discouraged? Mention friends by name as well as beloved family members. List abilities you possess, not overlooking magnificent gifts such as literacy. Include health, the ability to work, and eyesight. Include physical blessings such as meals, clothing, and transportation. Did you eat yesterday? Are you likely to eat tomorrow? Read the list this week and give thanks.

Small Group Discussion: The Challenge of Wealth

    1. Read: Luke 12:13-21 What are ways that Christians in our day and age can become self-righteous and find themselves looking down on others? What can we do to avoid this kind of attitude and behavior?
    2. In Deuteronomy 8, the Israelites are about to leave the desert and enter the Promised Land. This is a massive upgrade. As they prepare for this epic transition, Moses warns:“When you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.Have someone in the group read: Deuteronomy 8:17-18.A powerful prayer for the believer is: “Lord Jesus, if I prosper financially, may I not forget you. May I remember that your good and gracious hand is behind all that I enjoy.” How can praying this way and adopting this attitude lead to spiritual health?
    3. Do you have a bucket list? What are some things on it? Have someone in the group read Proverbs 30:7-9. What two things does Agur desire before he dies? What do you think of Agur’s two requests?
    4. Read: Philippians 4:10-13The apostle Paul wrote: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Tell about a season where you needed to learn contentment. What did you learn during this season?
    5. Read: 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Paul mentions that God provides “everything for our enjoyment.” List some of your deep enjoyments in life.
    6. Read: Psalm 104:10-15The writer of this song uses poetry to reflect on the blessings that God sends to our earth. He includes rain, cattle, oil and bread. If you write a song about the goodness of God in creation, what items would you include?
    7. In I Timothy 6:18, Timothy is instructed to guide the wealthy to “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” How can these behaviors move us toward a humble view of our wealth? What is one good deed of generosity God is calling you to offer?

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayLuke 11
MondayPsalm 116  & Psalm 34
TuesdayJames 4
WednesdayJohn 15
ThursdayJohn 17
FridayMatthew 6
SaturdayMatthew 9

Memorize/Reflect:  “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
(I Timothy 6:6-8)

Prayer Direction:  Gracious Father, I give thanks for the resources you have placed at my disposal. May I find my hope in you and not in my stuff. Please give me a satisfied contented heart, that I might live a life of thankful gratitude.

“Live It!” Challenge: Take a moment to list blessings for which you can be deeply grateful. Do you have access to a public park or a library? Is there a friend you can call if you are deeply discouraged? Mention friends by name as well as beloved family members. List abilities you possess, not overlooking magnificent gifts such as literacy. Include health, the ability to work, and eyesight. Include physical blessings such as meals, clothing, and transportation. Did you eat yesterday? Are you likely to eat tomorrow? Read the list this week and give thanks.

Small Group Discussion: The Challenge of Wealth

    1. Read: Luke 12:13-21 What are ways that Christians in our day and age can become self-righteous and find themselves looking down on others? What can we do to avoid this kind of attitude and behavior?
    2. In Deuteronomy 8, the Israelites are about to leave the desert and enter the Promised Land. This is a massive upgrade. As they prepare for this epic transition, Moses warns:“When you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.Have someone in the group read: Deuteronomy 8:17-18.A powerful prayer for the believer is: “Lord Jesus, if I prosper financially, may I not forget you. May I remember that your good and gracious hand is behind all that I enjoy.” How can praying this way and adopting this attitude lead to spiritual health?
    3. Do you have a bucket list? What are some things on it? Have someone in the group read Proverbs 30:7-9. What two things does Agur desire before he dies? What do you think of Agur’s two requests?
    4. Read: Philippians 4:10-13The apostle Paul wrote: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Tell about a season where you needed to learn contentment. What did you learn during this season?
    5. Read: 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Paul mentions that God provides “everything for our enjoyment.” List some of your deep enjoyments in life.
    6. Read: Psalm 104:10-15The writer of this song uses poetry to reflect on the blessings that God sends to our earth. He includes rain, cattle, oil and bread. If you write a song about the goodness of God in creation, what items would you include?
    7. In I Timothy 6:18, Timothy is instructed to guide the wealthy to “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” How can these behaviors move us toward a humble view of our wealth? What is one good deed of generosity God is calling you to offer?

Weekly Reading :: 6.30.13

On June 29, 2013, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayLuke 12 (focus on verses 13-21)
Monday1 Timothy 6  (focus on verses 6-10, 17-19)
TuesdayPhilippians 4 (focus on verses 10-13)
WednesdayDeuteronomy 8 (focus on verses 6-18)
ThursdayPsalm 104 (focus on verses 10-15)
FridayProverbs 30 (focus on verses 7-9)
SaturdayRevelation 3 (focus on verses 14-22)

Memorize/Reflect:  “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable”
(Luke 18:9)

Prayer Direction:  Lord, teach me humility and help me see myself as I really am. Open my eyes to see my frailties, sins, struggles, and deep need for your grace.

“Live It!” Challenge: Take time to identify a person (or group of people) who you tend to look down on. This will take humility and a very honest heart. Then, watch yourself through this week. Why do you “feel superior” to this person? Reflect on how God sees them and seek to see this person through the eyes of Jesus.

Small Group Discussion: Do You Know the Condition of Your Own Heart?

    1. Read: Luke 18:9-14 What are ways that Christians in our day and age can become self-righteous and find themselves looking down on others? What can we do to avoid this kind of attitude and behavior?
    2. Describe the Pharisee’s general attitude about himself. Why is this a dangerous way to look at ourselves? What causes us to adopt a superior attitude?
    3. Describe the Pharisee’s outlook on others who he saw as “less spiritual” than he was. How does an attitude like this impact the way a person sees and treats others?
    4. Tell about a time you caught yourself taking a self-righteous attitude toward someone else. What did you do to change the way you viewed this other person?
    5. Read: Luke 18:9-14 Describe the attitude and actions of the tax collector as he prayed. What does this teach you about the condition of his heart?
    6. Tell about a time when you were profoundly aware of your sin, brokenness, and need of God’s mercy and grace. How did you express this sense of need and brokenness to God? What happened in your heart as you told God of your need for His grace and forgiveness?
    7. Read: Luke 18:9-14 Jesus calls us to “humble ourselves” rather than exalt ourselves. What does it mean to “humble ourselves”? What are specific ways we can do this?
    8. What does it look like when we are “exalting” ourselves? How can we self-identify when this is happening and fight against it?

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayLuke 12 (focus on verses 13-21)
Monday1 Timothy 6  (focus on verses 6-10, 17-19)
TuesdayPhilippians 4 (focus on verses 10-13)
WednesdayDeuteronomy 8 (focus on verses 6-18)
ThursdayPsalm 104 (focus on verses 10-15)
FridayProverbs 30 (focus on verses 7-9)
SaturdayRevelation 3 (focus on verses 14-22)

Memorize/Reflect:  “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable”
(Luke 18:9)

Prayer Direction:  Lord, teach me humility and help me see myself as I really am. Open my eyes to see my frailties, sins, struggles, and deep need for your grace.

“Live It!” Challenge: Take time to identify a person (or group of people) who you tend to look down on. This will take humility and a very honest heart. Then, watch yourself through this week. Why do you “feel superior” to this person? Reflect on how God sees them and seek to see this person through the eyes of Jesus.

Small Group Discussion: Do You Know the Condition of Your Own Heart?

    1. Read: Luke 18:9-14 What are ways that Christians in our day and age can become self-righteous and find themselves looking down on others? What can we do to avoid this kind of attitude and behavior?
    2. Describe the Pharisee’s general attitude about himself. Why is this a dangerous way to look at ourselves? What causes us to adopt a superior attitude?
    3. Describe the Pharisee’s outlook on others who he saw as “less spiritual” than he was. How does an attitude like this impact the way a person sees and treats others?
    4. Tell about a time you caught yourself taking a self-righteous attitude toward someone else. What did you do to change the way you viewed this other person?
    5. Read: Luke 18:9-14 Describe the attitude and actions of the tax collector as he prayed. What does this teach you about the condition of his heart?
    6. Tell about a time when you were profoundly aware of your sin, brokenness, and need of God’s mercy and grace. How did you express this sense of need and brokenness to God? What happened in your heart as you told God of your need for His grace and forgiveness?
    7. Read: Luke 18:9-14 Jesus calls us to “humble ourselves” rather than exalt ourselves. What does it mean to “humble ourselves”? What are specific ways we can do this?
    8. What does it look like when we are “exalting” ourselves? How can we self-identify when this is happening and fight against it?

Weekly Reading :: 6.23.13

On June 22, 2013, in Featured-Auto, Weekly Reading, by Shoreline

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayLuke 18
MondayPsalm 18 
TuesdayPsalm 147
WednesdayPsalm 149 & James 4
ThursdayIsaiah 1
FridayIsaiah 2
SaturdayMatthew 23

Memorize/Reflect:  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
(Matthew 25:37-40)

Prayer Direction:  Thank the Lord for His love for all people, and ask Him to give you a heart for the world. That is, ask Him to shape your heart in such a way that you see people as He sees them!

“Live It!” Challenge – Ministering to the Hurting of Your World: On the church web site are opportunities for you to be involved in ministering to the hurting of our world. Check it out and get involved!

Small Group Discussion: Am I a Christian?

    1. Read: Matthew 24:42-44 Are you ready, today, for the return of Jesus? Why or why not?
    2. What do you believe is going to happen to you when you die (or when Christ returns)? On a scale of 1% to 100%, how sure are you of your eternal destination? Explain the percentage you chose.
    3. Read: Ephesians 2:8-10 How would you describe the relationship between “works” and “faith?”
    4. How would you respond to someone who says, “I know I’m going to heaven because I have given a lot of money to the poor and have volunteered time to serve the homeless!”?
    5. Read: John 15:1-8 Explain, in your own words, the point Jesus is making in the analogy of the vine. What do you think it means to “remain in Jesus?”
    6. What does the story of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31ff.) tell us about how God views people in need? In what way do you think caring for others is caring for Jesus?
    7. How would you describe your general attitude toward people in need (for example, indifference, critical, sympathetic, empathetic, etc.)? How is your attitude different than the perspective of Jesus? Explain.
    8. What opportunities currently exist for you to serve the hurting and needy in your…

• Community?
• Church?
• World?

Reading Plan for next week’s message

SundayLuke 18
MondayPsalm 18 
TuesdayPsalm 147
WednesdayPsalm 149 & James 4
ThursdayIsaiah 1
FridayIsaiah 2
SaturdayMatthew 23

Memorize/Reflect:  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
(Matthew 25:37-40)

Prayer Direction:  Thank the Lord for His love for all people, and ask Him to give you a heart for the world. That is, ask Him to shape your heart in such a way that you see people as He sees them!

“Live It!” Challenge – Ministering to the Hurting of Your World: On the church web site are opportunities for you to be involved in ministering to the hurting of our world. Check it out and get involved!

Small Group Discussion: Am I a Christian?

    1. Read: Matthew 24:42-44 Are you ready, today, for the return of Jesus? Why or why not?
    2. What do you believe is going to happen to you when you die (or when Christ returns)? On a scale of 1% to 100%, how sure are you of your eternal destination? Explain the percentage you chose.
    3. Read: Ephesians 2:8-10 How would you describe the relationship between “works” and “faith?”
    4. How would you respond to someone who says, “I know I’m going to heaven because I have given a lot of money to the poor and have volunteered time to serve the homeless!”?
    5. Read: John 15:1-8 Explain, in your own words, the point Jesus is making in the analogy of the vine. What do you think it means to “remain in Jesus?”
    6. What does the story of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31ff.) tell us about how God views people in need? In what way do you think caring for others is caring for Jesus?
    7. How would you describe your general attitude toward people in need (for example, indifference, critical, sympathetic, empathetic, etc.)? How is your attitude different than the perspective of Jesus? Explain.
    8. What opportunities currently exist for you to serve the hurting and needy in your…

• Community?
• Church?
• World?

Page 10 of 51« First...89101112...203040...Last »

Our mission is to help as many people
as possible become totally committed
to Jesus Christ!