Fresh Water: The Course of your Life
Pastor Mike Halstead
In his epistle, James takes time to pay special attention to the potential dangers of how we use our speech.
1.What kind of situations may be present in James audience that he takes time to discuss the dangers of the tongue in such great detail?
2.Which of the metaphors that James uses sticks out to you?
3.Why does it seem like James is placing such an emphasis on the tongue as a dangerous part of
1.What kind of consequences can an uncontrolled tongue have on a church body?
2.Have you ever had a time when your speech has had a lasting impact on your life? Share that with the group.
3.Read James 1:19. How would this approach have helped the situation from the previous question? If you didn’t have an example, when is it the most difficult for you to be “slow to speak and quick to listen?”
4.Why is it that we often find it so difficult to apologize?
Praise God for giving us the ability to overcome our tendency to use poisonous words with others. Ask for courage to apologize to those with whom you may need to rebuild bridges that have been burned.
Fishing with Jesus
This week, we’ll take some time to take a look at the first instance of Jesus calling some men to follow Him. While it seems like this story is a pretty simple one, there may be a deeper truth to Simon’s interaction with the Christ then we may notice at first.
Luke 5: 1-11
1.How do you interpret Simon’s tone in verse 5? Does he seem reluctant?
2.Peter was sure that putting out the nets was a waste of time, because of his recent experience in doing so. What is something you have tried in the past that did not meet your expectations, leading to doubt in the future?
3.Why would Simon Peter react the way that he does in verse 8?
4.How do you think Simon, James, and John felt after this miracle took place?
1.What does it mean to go “fishing for men?”
2.How do you imagine you would respond to Jesus asking you to literally drop everything and follow him?
3.Have you ever had a time of doubt in your life that was followed up with a moment of truth? In other words, have you ever felt like Peter, when he told Jesus that fishing was pointless and was quickly shown Jesus’ power? How does that affect you moving forward?
Pray this week that you assumptions about what God can, cannot, will, and will not do are all erased. Ask God to show you your areas of doubt and mistrust. Examine your life and look for areas in which you may be hesitant to trust God because of your past experiences and ask Him to give you an opportunity to change.
The Free Gift That Costs So Much
Speaker: Cash Lowe
April 8th, 2018
This week, we are taking a look at two stories from the last week of Jesus’ ministry on Earth. Both of these stories are well-known, but because of the chapter interruption in between, we often tend to create an artificial disconnection between two moments that happened very close together. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, take time to read Luke 18:25-19:10, doing your best to ignore the chapter and verse designations.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive into these two encounters.
1 Why do you think the beggar used the words “have mercy on me” instead of something more direct, like “heal my eyes?”
2. Why would Jesus’s followers rebuke the beggar?
3. When Jesus asked the beggar what he wanted Him to do, he was in fact asking if he was ready for the entirely different life that would come with the ability to see. His way of living would shift drastically. How is this similar to our experience in encountering Jesus?
1 Tax collectors were included in the category of “sinners” in Jesus’ day. They were cast on the outside of society for their collaboration with the Jewish peoples’ Roman oppressors. Who are people that we might push away in society today?
2. The followers of Jesus had probably spent a good amount of time witnessing the miracles of Jesus, and hearing Him teach. Why do you think they sound indignant when Jesus then decides to stay with Zacchaeus?
3. Reread verse 9-10. To whom do you think was Jesus actually speaking?
1 What parallels do you see between these two stories?
2 The people following Jesus attempted to stop the beggar from Who in our society have you unconsciously decided is not worthy of Jesus’ time or grace?
3 Just like the followers of Jesus in these stories, we often tend to put our own selfish desires above the actual will of Jesus. How do we try to reverse this way of thinking?
Ask God for opportunities to extend an open invitation to know Jesus to people with whom you may have difficult time doing so. Ask for forgiveness for the times you’ve decided that certain people don’t actual deserve to encounter Jesus.
I’m likely not going to be telling you anything you don’t know here, but this past Sunday was Easter, the day when we take special time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Today, we are going to take a look at a passage not commonly read during the Easter holiday: Revelation 5. The book of Revelation is…interesting. Full of colorful imagery and epic scenes of triumph and defeat, it culminates in the return of Jesus to Earth taking his rightful place as King. Let’s take a deeper look.
Lion, Lamb, and Savior
Pastor Mike Halstead
Read through Revelation 5 in its entirety.
1. Who is “the one who sat on the throne?” (Vs. 1)
2. Why would nobody be worthy to break the seals and open the scroll? (Vs. 4)
3. Verse 6 includes describes the Lamb as “looking as if it had been slain.” What is significant about this?
4. The second half of this passage depicts a grand scene of worship, and includes several songs that are sung in praise of the Lamb. What are some songs that you sing that depict the majesty and royalty that our Savior deserves?
1. Why should this passage be significant to us on the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ?
2. It is often the case that we relegate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection to one day of the year- Easter. How do create a habit of celebrating this monumental event year-round?
3. I believe that a major purpose of Easter should be to remind us of the importance of the story of the gospel, which has the possibility of being something we can take for granted. Who will you spread the “good news” of the gospel to as a response to this reminder?
This week, pray that we start to recognize that our Easter celebration should not be kept to a single day of the year. Praise God for his mastery over death and his gracious decision to bring us into eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus.