2/26 You MUST... take Jesus at His Word


  • THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Feb. 20 - 26,   John 4:43-54,
  • NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Feb. 27 - March 5,  John 5:1-30,

TEXT:  John 4:43-54,

IN A NUTSHELL:  Sometimes we are challenged to “take what we can get” from our requests to God.  We are limited in what we can see.  Realistically it is hard to see something more critical than a dying son, but Jesus calls us to view our crisis from heaven’s perspective.  Then and only then does faith, sin, repentance and hope come into full focus! We must live life taking Jesus at His word.


  • Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.
  • The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
  • It’s one thing to say you believe, something different to “go on your way.”
  • Do you want to see signs or do you long to believe in Jesus?
  • Do you take Jesus at His word or expect Jesus to take you at your word?


  1. Where did Jesus spend the “two days” according to Jn. 4:42-42?

  2. What had some of those Jesus were speaking to seen in Jerusalem at the feast? (Jn. 2:13-23; 3:26; 4:1)

  3. Where was Jesus’ home town? (Lk. 4:16) So he is now going to perform his second miracle (Jn. 4:46-48)

  4. Does Jesus’ response to the Nobleman’s request seem a little short, or maybe even “snarky”? Sort out the intentions and the emotion of both Jesus and the Nobleman surrounding this event. (Jn. 4:1-4; 43-49)

  5. Why do you think the Nobleman “did the math” concerning his son’s healing?

  6. How hard do you think it would have been to leave Jesus just “believing” that it would have been done as he described?


  1. Have you ever had to just trust that God will work it out without any real assurance?

  2. Can you look back on any situation in your life that you would say was significant in helping you believe?

  3. Trying to look at your life from God’s view would you say some spiritual need is in your life that is more important than a  sensational sign to create faith in your life?  

  4. How would you say the “waiting to see God work” is different from the time of looking back and rejoicing for His unquestionable work?


OBJECTIVES: To get the worshipper to look at their life from God’s perspective; the need for faith without a demand for signs.

OUTCOMES: The worshipper will be challenged to look at his/her life from God’s view, God’s concern rather than our earthly needs. This is not easy… a dying son is no trivial issue!



IN A NUTSHELL:  Jesus made a purposeful decision to pass through Samaria in order to have a conversation with a Samaritan woman. This break with social customs of the day had huge ramifications for the people in her village who would get to know Jesus as a result of this encounter. It also speaks truth into our lives as it has for centuries. Jesus wants true worshipers, and real worship happens when we decide to drink of Jesus’ living water and choose to follow Him in obedience for the rest of our lives.   

TEXT:  John 4:1-42,


  • Everything God does is purposeful, even when we don’t realize it in the moment.
  • Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman was unmistakable evidence that His message is for everyone.
  • Jesus forces us to deal with the inside in order for us to brought the point of genuine  worship.
  • True worship MUST be… in spirit and in truth.
  • Our deepest thirst is quenched by drawing from the well of living water offered by Jesus Christ. Our spiritual nourishment is doing His will and accomplishing His work.


  1. Describe what the text say about the Samaritan woman’s spiritual and physical condition when Jesus approaches her.

  2. What does the text say about the lengths Jesus will go to save a lost soul and fulfill His purposes?

  3. How/why does the woman’s attitude and receptiveness toward Jesus change throughout the story?

  4. How is Jesus’ statement in verse 16 a “turning point?”

  5. In your opinion, what does it mean to worship “in spirit and in truth?”

  6. What was the lasting impact of the woman’s response to Christ’s message?

  7. What is Jesus “living water,” and how do we drink of it?

  8. We know that Jesus got hungry and thirsty, but that is not nourishment for Him (v. 32ff). How does He find nourishment and satisfaction?


  1. Is there a time you didn’t sense God’s purpose in the moment but later realized it?

  2. Jesus used different methods for reaching different people. (Think about the different approaches he took when speaking to Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman.) Think about somebody you know who has been uninterested in the gospel. Is there a different approach you could take in trying to reach them?

  3. What cultural taboos do we face that may keep us from talking with sinners about Christ?

  4. Do you thirst for Christ above all, or are there other streams that you sometimes run to seeking satisfaction?


  • To expose what the text reveals about what lengths Jesus will go to accomplish his purposes and to pursue true worshipers. He is not bound by custom or tradition. He is introducing a new way of worship.


  • The worshiper will be challenged to run away from lusts and desires of the flesh and draw from the well of Christ’s living water. The sermon should inspire new commitment in believers’ hearts to put aside anything that entangles us.

  • The worshiper will be challenged once again to view worship as a lifestyle. It’s a holistic experience that involves both thoughts (motivation) and action. We must thirst for the right things and we must find our satisfaction in doing the right things.



  • THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Feb. 12 - 19,    John 4:1-42,
  • NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Feb. 20 - 26,  John 4:43-54

2/12 "You MUST Decrease, He MUST Increase"


  • THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Feb. 6 - 12,   John 3:22-36,
  • NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Feb. 6 - 12,  John 4:43-54,
  • THE FOLLOWING WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Feb. 6 - 12,  John 4:1-42,

TEXT:  John 3:22-36, Matt. 3:1-12, Matt. 11:1-6

IN A NUTSHELL: John the Baptist said, “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”  Imagine going to a wedding where the groomsman can’t figure out why people are all taking pictures of the bride and the groom, asking him to step back out of the picture. Sometimes, while “being the church” it’s easy to get caught up thinking our face and opinions should be more of the focus. But in the Kingdom of God we are not the star, Jesus is, and the joy is about the relationship of Jesus and the church, not our time to shine. And maybe most importantly our station in life, whatever it looks like, is to rejoice in Jesus and His Bride growing together!


  1.  Describe John the Baptist. (Matt. 3:1-12 & Check out the link below… “Online Resources”)
  2. Why did it say John was baptizing at Aenon?
  3.  Who and what condition prompted John’s description of a groomsman rejoicing for the groom’s and bride’s celebration?
  4. John 4:31-34… Who all are the “he’s” in these verses?  It switches around a lot, but if we see this it will tell us a lot about our role in the Kingdom as well.
  5. How does John the Baptist sum up his thoughts regarding a disciple’s relationship to Jesus (John 4:36)
  6.  Is it possible John’s statement I MUST decrease was unique to him alone and not a description of what all disciples should do? (Luke 9:23)


  1. Thinking about John the Baptist’s  circumstances in life, how would you describe your  circumstances and how you can use them to promote the Kingdom's purpose?
  2. How can you use your station in life to help prepare people to meet and turn toward Jesus? 
  3. How do you celebrate Jesus’ relationship to the Bride (the Church?)

OBJECTIVES: To get the worshipper to realize that our call in life is to prepare for, long for and rejoice in Jesus’ and the Church’s relationship to mature. The JOHN intro video talks about what life looks like when you don’t believe in Jesus and what it looks like when you do believe.  When John the baptist believed he fulfilled his role with conviction, he rejoiced as his disciples walk away toward Jesus and finally was martyred for His convictions.

OUTCOMES: For the worshipper to re-imagine their life as it is, however it is, as a supporting role in Jesus’ celebration rather than the one getting all the attention.  Describe your situation, now how can you use it to celebrate Jesus’ relationship with His Church according to His plans, not yours.


  • “The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”  - John 3:29-30
  • John the Baptist’s role was to prepare people to meet Jesus.
  • John the Baptist’s joy was celebrating the blossoming of Jesus’ relationship with His Bride!
  • What is your circumstance in this life? What is your role in His Kingdom?  What about Jesus and His Bride brings you joy?
  • “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” -  John 3:36


2/5 You MUST be Born Again!


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 30- Feb. 5, John 3:1-21 

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Feb. 6 - 12,   John 3:22-36,

TEXT:  John 3:1-21 

IN A NUTSHELL: Nicodemus is more like most of us than we may want to believe.  We grew up studying the Bible. Carved out an early allegiance for God's word, (or at least those verses with which we are familiar) and skeptical of anyone that teaches anything contrary to what seems normal.  But deep inside we want something more... More than just a system of beliefs.  And we can see God working in a few people's lives, but we struggle trying to put the pieces together... Bottom line, unless we are willing to take seriously what Jesus says and follow his commands life just isn't going to make sense. 


1.    Describe everything we can know about Nicodemus' early years. What can we know about Pharisees? About the Sanhedrin?

2.    Notice the beginning (Jn. 1:1 & 21) and the end of our text.  What lesson should be considered concerning those walking around in the dark? 

3.    What did Nicodemus say he had seen about Jesus? What then did Jesus say could not be seen unless one is “born again?”

4.    How are the wind and the spirit similar?

5.    How would you characterize Jesus’ and Nicodemus’ conversation… cordial, critical, awkward, compassionate or cynical?

6.    Does John include around Nicodemus’ story, any discussion related to water, cleansing or baptism? (Jn. 1:33-34; 3:22; 4:1) How about other Scriptures - John 11:10; John 12:35; 1 John 1:6;  1 John 2:11;  2 Corinthians 4:4

7.     According to Scripture as a whole, does being “Born again” seem to be a simple event or a comprehensive journey that begins with “a change of heart?”  


 1. Does today’s Scripture bring to mind any long held convictions that Jesus might challenge you on if you met him some evening taking a walk? J

2.    Objectives:  To help the worshipper identify with the worldview, frustration and openness of Nicodemus. To see Jesus as more than a messiah, but as the "Christ" and our "Lord".

3.    Outcomes: For the worshipper to be able to recognize spiritual arrogance and understand causes of spiritual blindness.  For the worshipper to choose a new level of pursuing Jesus' view of all things and discover a new level of "walking in the light".


  • Many want to enter the Kingdom of God.  Jesus was talking about even seeing the Kingdom.
  • Jesus spoke about the wind, (the spirit)
  • Jesus spoke about the water, (new birth/from above)
  • Jesus spoke about the light, (worldview, Kingdom Loyalty, Lifestyle)
  • If you are not ready to look at and live life from Jesus’ perspective you may be very religious but you will not even see the Kingdom of God.
  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  – John 3:16


1/22 “Zeal for His House”


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 16 - 22,  John 2:13-25,

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 23 - 29,   John 3:1-18,

TEXT: John 2:13-25,

IN A NUTSHELL: John 2 is all about conversion and cleansing. Last week, Doug talked about Jesus’ first miracle, the conversion of water into wine. Now, the last half of chapter 2 is about cleansing. Jesus is not concerned with ritual and routine. The zeal that Jesus had that caused Him to drive out the moneychangers is the same jealous love that He has for us today. He wants to drive out all of the other loves, desires and agendas that keep us from being a clean temple in which He can dwell.


  1. What made Jesus upset when He came into the temple’s outer court?

  2. What was the significance of the outer court, and why shouldn’t it be used to serve the practical purposes of the sacrificial system?

  3. What issue did the Jews raise after Jesus drove out the moneychangers and animals from the temple?

  4. In John 2:17, we find a quotation from Psalm 69: “zeal for your house will consume me.” What’s the significance of the quote, and how is it relevant to our worship today?

  5. Why was Jesus asked for “a sign,” and what was His response when asked?

  6. What was Jesus talking about when he spoke of the temple being destroyed and raised again in three days?

  7. In verses 23-24, why did Jesus not “entrust Himself” to those who believed as a result of seeing the signs?


  1. In what ways do you need to allow Jesus to “clean house?”

  2. What characteristics or attributes of Christ are displayed in today’s text, and in what ways should those be reflected in our own lives?

  3. The text implies that faith should not be based on what signs or miracles we have seen with our eyes. So what is the basis of your faith?

Objective:  To expose how the cleansing of the temple is a display of Christ’s jealous, passionate desire for genuine worship. To emphasize how the account of the cleansing of the temple displays Christ’s diety, authority and omniscience.

Outcomes: The worshipers will understand the significance of the first time Christ “cleaned house” at the temple and be challenged to allow Him to do the same in our own hearts and lives.


  • BIG IDEA:  Jesus turns ___________ ________ what needs to be changed from the ______________ ___________ .
  • KEY QUESTION: How do we need to allow God to “_________ __________” in our lives?
  • Jesus is in the business of ____________ us from anything that __________ or _____________ us from ____________.
  • Jesus _________ to make _________ a ____________ where the Living God can ___________.


1/15 "Time in a Bottle"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 8 - 15,   John 1:26-51,

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 8 - 15,   John 2:13-25,

TEXT: John 2:1-12

IN A NUTSHELL: It is popular to approach Jesus story of “the Water into Wine” as rehearsing the power Jesus has over nature.  Today I want us to notice how people struggle with needs that Jesus can address, and at the moment of need He can meet those needs if we just follow His lead.  The key is spending enough time with Him that we heed His lead.  Jesus was just attending a wedding with the family, you know “doing life,” then Mary asked Jesus for some help with a very embarrassing situation.  Jesus changed his mind spontaneously doing this miracle and the disciples response was to believe, “wanting to spend more time with Him… they believed!


1.      What day is this from Jesus first calling his first disciples to “come and see”?  Jn. 1:35,43; 2:1

2.      Where was Nathanel from? Jn. 21:2 What may have been an attitude between the people of Cana & Nazareth? Jn. 1:46

3.      How specifically did Jesus respond to Mary’s inquiry? Jn. 2:3,4

4.      How might Jesus, being the first born in the family affect the dynamic of this situation?

5.      Is there any indication in this story that Jesus is moving from a “family” priority to “God’s plan” priority? How does Jesus’ mother react to that transition?

6.      So here we have at least 4 disciples that have invested 3 days away from work, maybe family, “hanging” with Jesus, his mother and brothers. Do you think they felt it was worth it?


1.      When was the last time you took one day, let alone three to “hang with Jesus”?

2.      How would you feel if Jesus were your son and responded to your request the way he did to Mary? Remember that by now you knew those in your home town were very skeptical of Jesus (Lk. 4:14-30), and stress was beginning to build between Jesus and his brothers. (John 7:3-5; Mark 3:21)

3.      Can you identify a stressful event or season in your life when in hindsight was an amazing work of God?

4.      Are you paying attention today? What elements of struggle today could be God’s set up to build your faith?

Objective:  To invite the worshipper to look deeper into everyday life to see how God is wanting us to see Him at work, challenging us in everyday situations, building faith in who He is and what He can do. It’s kind of like trying to keep time with Him in a bottle for eternity!

Outcomes: for the worshipper to live in a daily walk with Jesus. To want to see the eternal in our celebrations and our struggles.  He can take our embarrassments and show us eternity… if we are watching.  His gift, our choice!


  • If I could save time in a bottle I would save every day till eternity passes to spend them with you. - Jim Croce, 1973
  •  “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
  •  “Do whatever he tells you.”
  •  This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee… And his disciples believed in him.
  • We all have an opportunity to choose every day whether we will see a crisis or an opportunity.
  • The difference is who we want to spend our time with, who we believe in and what we look for... 


1/8 "Come and See!"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Jan. 1 - 7,  John 1:1-25

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 8 - 15,   John 1:26-51,

(Thanks Justin Morgret for "lending us a hand"!)

TEXT: John 1:26-51; Gen. 28:10-17; Gen. 32:22-28; John 14:12; Col. 1:27

IN A NUTSHELL: Jesus’ life and ministry isn’t just about philosophy or doctrines.  He wants to engage us in real life, challenge us with real evidence, and amaze us with His eternal purpose.   Don’t just ask questions, but come along, take a look, “come and see!” (Jesus seeing telling Nathaniel he saw him under the tree was a “MAJOR” issue for Nathaniel’s faith – the context of this story is fun & very significant).


  1.  What is the "hope of glory", the "greater things than these", symbolized by Jacob's dream of angels ascending and descending from heaven?  Col. 1:27John 14:12Gen. 28:10-17; Rev. 21:1-4
  2. What was the meaning of Jacob's name? Israel's name? Nathaniel's name? 
  3. What was Nathaniel's reaction when he was told about Jesus? Jn. 1:46
  4. What was Nathaniel's reaction when Jesus noted he was a man with no guile? John 1:47-51
  5. How did Jesus and Philip respond to the other disciples inquiries? Jn. 1:39,46


  1.  Do you have a particular Bible character that you have studied and wondered how he could have gotten God's blessing, but you feel that you can't?
  2.  How is "Come and See" different from "Come, listen and contemplate"?
  3.   Think about the last time you were siting somewhere struggling to understand something, contemplating God's purpose in your life... where was that? Do you realize Jesus saw you there and knew your thoughts?  What do you think he might have said to build faith in your life?
  4. While many people fall in fear, in the presence of an angel of God, why do you think Jacob wrestled him and refused to let go until He had blessed him?
  5. Which seems more important to you today, to enjoy the things God has blessed us with, or to be blessed with His presence & participation with His purpose?
  • Objective: To ask the worshipper to assess their faith. Is our faith a system of beliefs, just longing for a blessing? Or is our faith a purposeful relationship, seeking answers, longing for hope, anticipating a Messiah?
  • Outcomes the worshipper should be challenged to realize that God sees us searching, hears our heart’s longings, and wants to show us more!  AND we should inspire others to do the same.


  1. Jesus invitation was “come and see”, not “come and learn”.
  2. Jesus message was “go and live”, not “go and contemplate”.
  3. Is your faith a system of beliefs or a longing for hope, seeking answers and building a relationship?
  4. Is your search for truth based on Scripture and influencing your daily routine?
  5. If Jesus told you He “saw you when you were contemplating major spiritual questions”, how would He have described that place?
  6. If you believe… you will see things greater than these! 



1/1 JOHN "Don't Miss the Point"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Dec. 19 - 25,   Psalm 128-134

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Jan. 1 - 7,  John 1:1-25

TEXT: John 1:1-25; John 20:30-31

IN A NUTSHELL: Much like today, the second century church believed they were on the brink of a new world.  The gods of Rome were fashionable, and the monotheistic teachings of Judaeo-Christianity were too narrow.  Also common to today, was a tolerance and openness to just about any religion except Christianity. It’s easy to see truths others need to accept and at the same time difficult to see truths we may be tempted to reject.


  1.  What was the purpose of John writing his gospel?
  2. How many times are the words "light" and "life" used in this text? In John's gospel?
  3. What does it mean to "receive Jesus", "to believe in His name"?
  4. How did the world respond to Jesus?
  5. How did Jesus' "own" respond to Him?


  1.  How familiar are you with the story of Jesus?  Would you call yourself "Jesus' own"?  
  2. Looking at your lifestyle and worldview do you seem to love Jesus, His light and life or do you love the idea of "being saved" and excused from consequences?
  • Objectives - To demonstrate man’s tendency to look at surface issues while missing the deep, eternal points in life.  What does it mean to miss the point? The Life & the Light? To provide a framework for reading and studying the Gospel of John this year.    
  • Outcomes For the worshipper to become willing to ask himself/herself: Have I missed the “light and life”?  Is it only the Jews (“his own”) that have rejected Him? For the worshipper to commit to reading the Bible reading plan.


#1 John begins and ends with “testimonies”
#2 Those in the world were created by Him, but they didn’t recognize Him.
#3 Those most familiar with God would not accept Jesus
#4 Not everyone is a child of God… only those who receive him, believe in His name.

10 Signs you may be a Secular Believer ("Playing Christian")

·         10 signs you are a secular believer!

  1.  You make major decisions without first seeking God's will. 
  2. You care more about what others think than what God thinks about you. 
  3. You tend to be led by money not by the Holy Spirit.
  4. You attend church services primarily for friendship. 
  5. You tend to dress, spend money, eat and live like pop culture. 
  6. You want God to be part of your life, not the center of it. 
  7. Your lifestyle is more selfish than selfless, more comfortable than committed, more self-seeking than God seeking. 
  8. Your life has little to no impact on others for the gospel. 
  9. You cannot identify anyone close to you that is closer to God at least in part because of your influence. 
  10.  You do not give serious consideration to how God views the way you spend your money.


12/18 "Baby It's Cold Outside"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Dec. 12-18,    Psalm 120-127

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Dec. 19 - 25,   Psalm 128-134

  1. TEXT: Ps. 69; Jn. 2:17; 15:25; Rom. 15:3; Mt. 27:48; Acts 1:20

IN A NUTSHELL: Much of life is a battle of choices made keeping an eye on that which is most important.  Some people see only opportunities to enjoy the present while others see opportunities to promote goodness and redeem the lost. Difficult times, broken relationships and misunderstandings can be used by God to build our faith and create hope for an amazing future.  Prophecy is for faith!


  1.  Looking through Psalm 69 list statements that communicate:

    1. ...reasons the author is discouraged, in pain or fearful.

    2. ...specific requests for God to do something.

    3. ...statements, recollections, or proclamations of hope, faith or encouragement.

  2. What do the Gospel quotes/references from Ps. 69 say about Jesus?

  3. How should we view broken relationships or hurtful circumstances in light of the Christmas message of "redemption"? Rom. 15:25; Acts 1:20


  1.  What can you do today to prepare your mind and heart to focus on redemption and selflessness rather than selfishness this holiday? 
  2. Skim over Psalm 69, don't over think it. Do any of the verses help focus you? energize you? resonate with what you anticipate experiencing this Christmas season?
  3. Based on your answer to the question above write a prayer on a post card and place it on your "go to spot"!


Objective - To help the worshipper see through a Psalm and it's Gospel fulfillment in Jesus that many of today's struggles may be tied to a disposition of selfishness. The Christmas season is a reminder and our opportunity to focus on redemption, selflessness not selfishness.  


Outcomes The worshipper should look at the anticipation of Christmas season through the eyes of redemption rather than they eyes of just more anemic celebrations. The worshipper will write a prayer to help them focus away from selfishness and toward selflessness this seaon.


  • "They hated me without a cause" Ps. 69:4 & Jn. 15:25

  • "Zeal for your house has consumed me." Ps. 69:9 & Jn. 2:17

  • Much of life is a battle with choices made keeping an eye on that which is most important.

  • This Christmas season look to celebrate opportunities for redemption more than an endless list of anemic parties.


12/11 "The Greatest Gift, the Darkest Night, the Brightest Dawn!"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Dec. 5-11,    Psalm 73-74

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Dec. 12-18,    Psalm 120-127


TEXT: Psalm 22; Mt. 27:31-48; Mk. 15:16-20; Jn. 19:34; 20:23-25; Lk. 2:

IN A NUTSHELL: The Greatest gift is the one not deserved, the darkest night is the one where we can’t see, the brightest dawn is the one when God says, “Look!”


1. What OT pictures of Jesus crucifixion are seen in the NT accounts?  Psalm 22; Mt. 27:31-48; Mk. 15:16-20; Jn. 19:34; 20:23-25;

2. Describe in a couple sentences the point of Psalm 22 from King David’s perspective.

3. What is the benefit of having statements written in 1,000 BC being “fulfilled” in 33 AD and then recorded for truth seekers in 60AD?

4. To which one of the individuals in the Christmas story do you most relate?  Why?


1. What was the most meaningful gift you have ever received on Christmas?  What made it so significant?

2.  What was the “darkest” Christmas you have ever experienced?  How did God “show up”?

3. What redemptive work of God do you need to “look” at today?


Objective - Psalm 22 is about David's fear & faith and fulfilled in Christ's death and resurrection.  The worshiper is being called to look past this life's fears to see God's sovereignty and his gift of redemption. 


Outcomes The worshipper should leave planning some gift or event  through which they can pass on to the next generation a story the story of Christmas redemption in their life. see vss. 30-31


  • My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Ps. 22:1 & Mt. 27:47
  • “He trusts in the Lord… let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Ps. 22:8 &  Mt. 27:43
  • “They pierce my hands and my feet.” Ps. 22:16 & Jn. 20:23
  • “They divide my clothes and cast lots for my garment.” Ps 22:18 & Jn. 20:23-24
  • “The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! - Ps. 22:26
  • Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that  He has done it.”  - Ps. 22:30-31


12/4 "CHRISTmas for all Nations"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Nov. 28- Dec. 4,  Psalm 137-139

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Dec. 5-11,    Psalm 73-74

TEXT: Psalm 2; Luke 4:18-19

IN A NUTSHELL: Joy to the world … the gospel in both Old & New… the good news is to all the world not just you!


  1. Psalm 2 - How is Jesus (The Anointed One) regarded by God? by Kings of other nations?  by those that are lost?  by those that seek refuge in Him?
  2. How did Jesus describe his work as he announced to His people that he was the Messiah? Luke 4:18-19
  3. How many different ways does God say in the Old Testament that His intention was to save the world not just the Jews? Gen. 12:3; Ps. 22:27; Is. 42:4; 49:6; 56:3,6; 60:1-3; Jer. 16:19-21; Zec. 2:11; Mal. 1:11 
  4. What key points of the gospel are described in both the Old and New Testaments? Rom. 3:23 & Is. 64:6; Rom. 6:23 & Is. 59:2; 1 Pet. 2:24 & Lev. 17:11;  Heb. 8:6 & Jer. 31:31-34; Jn. 3:16 & Dan. 12:2


  1. Have you ever heard of a "Messianic Psalm"?  How might this Psalm help you have a more accurate view of the Christmas season?
  2. Consider introducing a Christmas tradition from a foreign nation into this years celebration... 
  3. How many of the key elements of the Gospel found in both the Old and New Testaments are you comfortable explaining to someone new? 


Objective - Pluralism says all faiths are equal. The Bible says God is Sovereign over all Nations, and the Joy of redemption is for all nations. The Gospel is age old, found in both the Old and Testaments. The Christmas traditions of many cultures reflect shadows of the story of Jesus’ birth.



Outcomes: The worshipper should leave respectful of how transcendent the message of CHRISTmas is around the world.  It’s not about YOU! Many foreign traditions and pagan religions reflect on the need for new life, redemption and giving gifts out of love. 


  • Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? - Psalm 2:1  
  • Blessed are all who take refuge in Him - Psalm 2:12  
  • Salvation is offered to the “ends of the earth” - Gen. 12:3; Ps. 22:27; Is. 42:4; 49:6; 56:3,6; 60:1-3; Jer. 16:19-21; Zec. 2:11; Mal. 1:11  -
  • The gospel is in both the Old & New Testaments - Rom. 3:23 & Is. 64:6; Rom. 6:23 & Is. 59:2; 1 Pet. 2:24 & Lev. 17:11;  Heb. 8:6 & Jer. 31:31-34; Jn. 3:16 & Dan. 12:2


11/27 Missionaries aren't Super-human... they're just learning to dance!"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Nov. 21 -27,   2 Thessalonians 3

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Nov. 28- Dec. 4,  Psalm 137-139


TEXTS: 1 Thess. 4:1-12;  Rom. 7:15-251 Cor. 15:9Eph. 3:8; 1 Tim. 1:15

IN A NUTSHELL:Realistic expectations from the sending church. Normal struggles and ups and downs, plus the added stress of living in a foreign culture. No minister or missionary can be strong in every area. Dynamic speaker, great administrator, deeply relational or financial wizard are sometimes unrealistic expectations of missionaries. We must resist the temptation to play the comparison game.

Sanctification: Inspired by God’s Grace, informed by God’s Word, prompted by God’s Spirit, led by Jesus, followed by You. (The cutting away of the invaluable to become the most valuable.)


  1. What words and phrases are in today's Scriptures that indicate spiritual growth should be progressive?
  2. What are the consequences of ignoring our opportunity to "walk to please God"?
  3. What are some of the specific ways we are not to live now that we are Christians?
  4. How did Paul  describe his inward battle with sin? 
  5. How are we delivered from this "body of death?"


  1. Do you tend to expect more out of missionaries/ministers than you do yourself?
  2. Have you notice a greater awareness of sin in your life through the years? 
  3. What are some things God is trying to get you to stop looking at?
  4. What would it mean for you to "look into God's eyes" and avoid looking over your shoulder?


Objectives: To explain the meaning and significance of the concept “sanctification”.  To cut through the theology to inspire the worshipper to long for “more and more.”  To learn how to grow! To learn how to leave the old life behind.  Maybe most importantly to be reminded that WE ARE, WITH GOD’S HELP, TO DESIRE TO LEAVE THE OLD LIFE BEHIND!


Outcomes: The worshipper should see a Scriptural foundation for always growing spiritually based upon grace, not on a list of rules. They should learn how to be realistic about their expectations for themselves and for others, and yet still personally strive for and encourage others to be their best.  To “Dance like there’s no yesterday”, to look in the eyes of Jesus rather than looking over their shoulder. 





11/20 A Cross-Cultural Mindset


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  Nov. 14-20,   2 Thessalonians 2

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    Nov. 21 -27,   2 Thessalonians 3

TEXTS: 1 Thess. 1: 6-10; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:6-8 

ICE BREAKER: Can you describe the last time you found yourself in a situation that  made you feel VERY outside your comfort zone.  What led up to your being there?  Did you experience joy or fear?                                                                                                      

IN A NUTSHELL: If we are not focused on reaching the lost at home, we will find ourselves losing interest in our missions as well. One feeds the other. Evangelism and missions spurs growth in both. Truly embracing the gospel means our mindset yields to God's mindset, our culture and other cultures give way to a "Godly culture." (bulletin blanks)

  • A desire to imitate Godly leaders 
  • Joy amidst affliction
  • Stories of faith actions/commitments sound beyond our boarders
  • Hospitality freely offered to God's people who serve outside of our boarders
  • Idols are identified, "repented" of and left behind.
  • Love for, confidence in and anticipation of the resurrected Jesus dominates
  • An awareness of wrath for sin and grace for the forgiven is obvious  


  1. What kind of emotions do you sense in the Thessalonian passage?   1 Thess. 1: 6-10

  2. What does the Holy Spirit and joy have to do with each other according to these passages?  Lk. 1:41-45; 10:21; Heb. 1:9; Acts 13:25; 1 Pet. 4:13-14
  3. On the basis of what authority are we commissioned to go?  Matt. 28:18-20 What does this tell us about whose "culture" is to become the pattern and guide for the new community?

  4. What did Jesus say we were to do as we would go to all nations? Based on these instructions being by His authority, how do you imagine our ignoring some facets of these instructions will be received?

  5. What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would empower his disciples to become? Acts 1:6-8

  6. What did the disciples tend to focus on and then what did Jesus want them to focus on?


  1. Which seems more attractive to Christians today, end times projections or being a witness to the redemptive work of God?

  2. How would you rate the level of various "Godly culture" indicators in your life? (see the bulletin blanks above)

  3. Which comes first, making disciples or baptizing them? What/who helped to make you a disciple?  Who baptized you?  Who are you praying for to help them become a disciple of Jesus? Who are you hoping to baptize?  

  4. What are some of the most important commands of Jesus' that should be passed on to those to whom you are witnessing?  

Small Pieces BIG Picture

Objectives -  to help the worshipper identify key connection points of cross cultural changes that take place when the Gospel is more than "buzz words."   It's not just entry points of baptism or church membership that reveal success for the gospel.  There are cultural changes at the deepest level. 

Outcomes - The worshipper should leave the sermon with a prayer list of what God needs to show them about our "idolatry" and a "to-do list" of what they need to ask God to help them change in their culture.


11/6 “Jesus Name in a World of Hatred”


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Oct.  31- Nov. 6,   1 Thessalonians 5

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    Nov. 7 -13,  2 Thessalonians 1

TEXTS:  John 15:18-19John 16:332 Thess. 1:3-9Acts 17:5-91 Peter 4:12-19    



List as many things in life that you have looked forward to at a distance, but had to endure difficulties to reach.  How did an assurance of faith, a confidence and hope affect your ability to "hold on" until you had reached your long awaited goal?

IN A NUTSHELL:   Jesus said in this life we would have trouble.  He also said that if we are his disciples that we would be hated just as he was hated.  It goes against the "American dream" to be grateful for persecution. Today we are urged to campaign for religious freedom. But the Bible says, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." - 1 Peter 4:12-13


  1.  What is the “evidence” that one is worthy of the kingdom of God?  2 Thess. 1:3-5
  2.  Why was Paul thanking God for the Thessalonians?
  3.  What kinds of persecution had the Thessalonians suffered?
  4. What would Jesus bring to those that had suffered?  When?
  5. What would God bring to those that caused afflictions on the believers?
  6. Why should suffering not surprise us?
  1. How might gratitude carry through some level of suffering you are enduring today?
  2. How can those that live under daily danger of persecution or even death find anything for which they might be grateful?
  3. How can you or your family encourage someone that lives in persecution?

Small Pieces BIG Picture

Objectives - to help believers to understand how gratitude and persecution are related.  For Paul's relationship with the Thessalonians and Peter's example to the Saints to help us look past suffering to see the Savior and his  glory revealed!

Outcomes - that the worshipper becomes inspired, committed  and equipped to

Pray for...
1.  Hearts that remain steadfast...
2.  Eyes that see past...
3.  Brothers that need strength
4.  Neighbors that need Christ


10/23 Answering God's Call


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Oct.  17-23,   1 Thessalonians 3


NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    Oct.  24-30,   1 Thessalonians 4

TEXTS: I Cor. 16; 2 Cor. 11:23-28 2 Cor. 7:5-7, I Cor. 16, Acts 13, Matt. 28:19


  • 2 Cor. 7:5-7 Support those serving by __________ ____________ and _________ them.

  • I Cor. 16 Sacrifice by setting aside a ____ of _______ each week.

  • Acts 13 Send those who have been called to a ___________ work.

  • 2 Cor. 11:23-28 Surrender by _________  _____________ God leads.

  • Matt. 28:19 We are all called to GO and make ___________.  Will you answer the call?


(Where would you like to travel before you die? If there was a missionary you would like to visit and encourage, who would it be?)

IN A NUTSHELL:   (Everyone is called to go. Whether locally or globally, we need to obey God's call to Go Make Disciples. And in regards to cross cultural missions we need to Support, Send, Sacrifice or Surrender.)


  1. Read 2 Cor. 7:5-7. What are ways Paul was encouraged? How did Timothy's visit help Paul? 
  2. Read I Cor. 16:1-4. What was Paul's instruction about how to support missionary work? What principle is there for us? 
  3. Read I Cor. 16:5-24 What was Paul's purpose in writing this part of his letter? How do you stay connected to our missionaries?
  4. Read Ac. 13. What was happening before God called Saul and Barnabas to go to a specific work?
  5. What was the response of those other leaders and teachers when God called Barnabas and Saul?
  6. Read 2 Cor. 11:23-28. What are some things that Paul experienced because of obeying God's call to go?
  7. Matt 28:18-20 is called the great commission. In verse 19, what are the ongoing actions that Jesus is commanding?


  1. Discuss ways you could stay connected to our missionaries and missions in order to show support and friendship while they are so far away from us. What do you think of being on a Go Team? (Sign up on the 5th Sunday and be a part
  2. Consider how you could financially support both the church who gives to missions, and also the missions directly. 
  3. Discuss how God calls people to a specific work as opposed to a general call of reaching people for Christ. How does that work? Think of those who have answered a call to a specific work. What is God calling the rest of us to do?
  4. Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything God calls you to do? Are you willing to experience discomfort, hunger, eat strange foods, suffer persecution and violence, ask for prayer and financial support, endure long hours on a plane or on a crowded bus, live a great distance from your family and friends? Compare those things to the price Jesus paid for your salvation. Compare the cost to the rewards of heaven, salvation and reaching the lost for Jesus.
  5. What part of God's call to go are you obeying? Who are you praying for? When was the last time you shared your faith? When was the last baptism you were involved in? Who is growing closer to Jesus because of you?


10/16 "Surviving Financial Struggles"

TEXTS:  1 Corinthians 9 & 16; Philippians 4; 1 Thessalonians 2

  1. The church is   lethargic   with regard to global outreach. The numbers don't lie.
  2. Paul is an example of   tent-maker   missions. (1 Thess. 2)
  3. Like many missionaries, we need to learn the   secret   of   contentment  . (Phil. 4)
  4. Statistically, the Church has   3,000   times the   financial   resources and   9,000   times the   manpower   needed to reach the whole world.
  5. 1 Corinthians 9: "Do we have no   right   to   eat   and   drink  ?  Do we have no   right   to take along a believing   wife  ...?"
  6. Paul calls giving "charis" -- a   grace      freely   given. (1 Cor. 16)


IN A NUTSHELL: Christians have enough funds to reach the lost world, but we are lethargic about supporting global outreach.  This has led to those serving on the field experiencing constant financial struggle. Instead of focusing all their energy on their task of winning the lost, they are faced with financial worry. The amazing thing is that most missionaries have learned the secret of contentment, and they still accomplish much despite the lack of support. In America, maybe we need to also learn the secret of contentment and reprioritize our financial lives so that we can fulfill the great commission as a goer or a sender.    

  • The Sermon Objectives

    • Share the facts about current giving to global outreach and what could happen if Christians actually gave at least 10%.

    • Demonstrate various financial struggles faced by current missionaries working globally.

    • The worshipers should have a new or clearer understanding of what it means to be content. Contentment and reliance on God is demonstrated by many missionaries in a way that is foreign to many Americans who want things “right now.”

  • The Sermon Outcomes

    • The worshiper will be compelled to re-prioritize their financial life and to be content with less “stuff” so that more global outreach can happen.

    • Some of our regular attendees decide to begin supporting a new missionary, sponsor a child, etc.


  1. In 1 Thessalonians 2, how does Paul say he survives and has resources for ministry?  Is this method realistic for all parts of the world?  Why or why not?
  2. What is the "secret of contentment?" (Philippians 4)  How have you witnessed contentment in the lives of missionaries you know?  How are you learning to be content in your own life?
  3. How does 1 Corinthians 9 apply to missionaries on the field around the globe today?
  4. What does 1 Corinthians 16 say about stewardship, and how does this apply to global outreach?  What's the value in having a personal relationship and not just a financial relationship with missionaries?


  1. Can you name a few TLCC missions that are supported through our general fund?
  2. Do you communicate with any missions on a regular basis, pray for them, and support them?  Please consider how you might become involved in a "GO Team" in the coming months, supporting and encouraging one of our missions.
  3. How are you currently involved in Global Outreach? Have you considered the next steps you (individually), your family, or your CARE group can take to become more involved goers or senders?
  4. If you learned to be more content with what you have, how could your involvement in global outreach expand beyond what you do now?


10/9 "Encouraging One Another (at a distance)"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   October 3-9 ,  1 Thessalonians  1

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    October 10-16 ,   1 Thessalonians 2


Bulletin Blanks

“Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.”  - 1 Thess. 3:1-2


“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and…has been made known to all nations…to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”  - Rom. 16:25-27



IN A NUTSHELLEncouraging others, especially at a distance is difficult, “out of sight / out of mind” makes it tough!  How did the Apostle Paul manage? Having a common purpose, struggling through similar conflicts, anticipating the next get-together can all make a difference.  There are some people and reactions that work against the unity of God’s Kingdom, but the bottom line is celebrating God’s work through faith and faithfulness must be everyone’s top priority.

 TEXTS  I Thess. 3, Rom. 16, I Pet. 2:11  


1.    1 Thess. 3:1-5 – What were the things that made the Apostle Paul worry about the believers he could not be with?

2.    1 Thess. 3:6-13What were the specific things about the believers at Thessalonica that encouraged Paul?

3.    Rom. 16:1-16  List the names and significant things Paul recalled about those people?

4.    Rom. 16:17-27 If encouragement creates a sense of togetherness and a common cause, what are some things that can cause division in the body?


5.    What are some struggles or concerns that might cause you to worry about anyone of our missionaries, their family, or their ministry?

6.    Does Paul’s list in Romans 16:1-16 remind you of some people that have done similar things for which you could express gratitude and encouragement?

7.    How did Mike & Jennifer’s thoughts inspire you to want to encourage any or one of our missionaries?

8.    Would your family or CARE group be interested in “organizing a table” at our “G.O. Nite” (10/27)?



Sermon Objectives: 

  • The worshipper should be able to identify more closely with how the Apostle Paul felt about those he encouraged at a distance. There are some "roots" of living hopes, fears realizing opportunities for growth and loss that create a desire to "keep in touch".  The worshipper will be challenged to identify with those hopes, fears and act upon those opportunities by adopting a mission, missionary and/or missionary family.
  • So many names, memories, and accomplishments are recalled by Paul with gratitude and intentional prayer, the worshipper should be inspired to learn a new standard of judging success in our Global Outreach efforts.


Sermon Outcomes: 

  • The worshipper will assess their methods and motives for encouraging others, specifically those that they are not able to see often, or with whom they are not able to spend much time.   
  • This week, the priority is for the worshipper to give serious consideration to "adopting" a missionary and or their family.  Seeking out common threads of interests and matching resources to similar needs and passions for ministry. 
  • We will introduce the concept of G.O. Nite (11/27), & G.O. Teams in effort to recruit people to make our first G.O. Nite a success.



10/2 Global Outreach- "Measuring Success"



THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS   Sept. 26- Oct. 2, Acts 17

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    October 3-9 ,  1 Thessalonians  1



IN A NUTSHELL: It is so easy to just keep doing what you are used to doing.  But God doesn't win the world that way. The New Testament Church didn't grow that way.  Go where you have never gone before, do what you have never done before.  Measure Global Outreach success by more than baptisms and numbers. Pray for success and s-t-r-e-t-c-h!


TEXT – Acts 17:1-8; 1 Thess. 1; Acts 11:1-3; 19-28;  Rom. 15:20, I Cor. 1:23



  1. What did the Apostles do when they heard the Gentiles were responding to the Gospel?

  2. How did the church of Antioch spread the gospel differently than the Judean church?

  3. What happened when Paul took the gospel to Thessalonica?  How did those in Thessalonica respond?

  4.  How did Paul seek to measure success in his plan to reach out with the gospel?

  5. How did Paul suggest the Jews and the Gentiles would typically respond to the gospel?


  1. Did anyone go out of their way to share the gospel with you?

  2. Do you go out of your way to share the gospel with anyone else?
  3. How would you measure a church or mission as successful? 


Sermon Objectives: 

  • The worshipper should have a more clear understanding of a need for intentionality to “reach out” beyond our normal routine.  

  • The stories in the Scripture texts illustrate man’s tendency to judge success by how many people we know come to believe in what we believe.  That is not God’s measure.  He goes (and takes us with Him) outside our comfort zones to reach people much different than ourselves. 

  • The worshipper will learn a new standard of judging success in our Global Outreach efforts.


Sermon Outcomes: 

  • The worshipper will go to the east foyer and get acquainted with our Global Outreach area. The worshipper will identify how they have tended to G.O. only to people/areas within their comfort zone but then decide to develop a plan to reach out further.  

  • This week, the priority is for the worshipper to commit to engage in this series, to seek out resources that are and will be made available, to begin to pray for success that TLCC (including themselves)  will learn better ways to do “Global Outreach”


9/25 "My Feet Almost Stumbled"


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    September 19 - 25  Psalm 55-56

NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    Sept. 26- Oct. 2, Acts 17

IN A NUTSHELL: it's easy to loose our bearings in life. The bad seems to get away with everything and the good never seem to get ahead. BUT when we look at life with "eternal eyes" the mind rests, the heart finds peace and the next generation has a chance to excel!  Ps. Many young people("the next generation") has been betrayed because their parents didn't speak with an eternal focus!

TEXT – Psalm 73John 1:9-13


  1. How does the Psalmist describe the wicked? 

  2. When does the Psalmist say he began to understand life?

  3. How had the Psalmist almost betrayed the next generation?

  4. How does the Psalmist describe himself when he was "embittered" toward God?

  5. How does the Psalmist resolve his spiritual crisis of doubt?

  6. What does it mean today to "go into the sanctuary of God"? John 1:9-13



  1. Is there anyone that you have had a tendency to envy?

  2. How do you speak to your children with an eternal focus?

  3. When is the last time you came to church and you sensed an awareness of doom for the wicked and hope for the faithful?

  4. How might this Psalm help you process the negatives of this life and the hope for the future?

  5. The Psalmists wrote you songs...what enables you to sing those songs, to make them your own? 


Sermon Objectives: for the worshipper to understand how "entering God's sanctuary"  affects our way of thinking, worshipping, living and truly enables us to "sing the songs" they have written for us.


Sermon Outcomes: That more worshippers will decide to truly "sing the songs" these Psalmists have written for us not just listen to others sing them.  That the generation to follow us will not be "betrayed" but rather equipped to excel spiritually. 


9/18 The Church has Left the Building! 3pm at the Moberly Aqua Center

Here’s a list of items for your volunteers to do:

1. Paint fencing and poles at 4H building with white paint. We have paint,

rollers, brushes, paint trays and liners. There is a hose and water for clean

up near by. (Estm’d amount-12- 20 body’s)

2. Trash and limb pick-up at Fox, Beuth, and Tannehill Parks. I’ll provide trash

bags and set out flags for limb and branch disposal/piles to be made at.

(Estm’d amount-15- 20 body’s)

3. Seal coat Shelter #6 up rights/or posts (it is behind Lions Shelter) with

“Flood” sealant. This is a clear coat/waterproofer for CCA treated wood

that has not been painted. (Estm’d amount-1- 2 body’s).

4. Have them rake loose sticks/limbs from disc golf course in the wooded

areas only on the west side of park, behind Rodeo Arena to 4H building.

(Estm’d amount-10- 20 body’s).

5. We have a canoe to use if someone would be willing to pick up trash from

waters edge in Rothwell Lake and Beuth Pond. (Estm’d amount-1- 3 body’s).

6. Have someone(s) with weed eaters to go along walking paths to weed eat

and/or remove brush from pathways from spillway boat drop-off area,

along the water’s edge to disc golf course. We already have cut down many

trees and such along the way. (Estm’d amount-5- 10 body’s).

7. Pick-up limbs and sticks off Holman road back toward Deer Pond. I’ll have

flags out to locate where to make pile of brush to later burn. It will be in a

ditch up and away from wooden area and clear above. (Estm’d amount-10-

20 body’s).

8. Weed eat tall weeds that are ate the back-side loop of the old pool area,

next to Candy Cane, and/or rip-rap area at Candy Cane, and rip-rap area by

Conservation Bathhouse and ADA dock (bath house slightly north of Candy