Monday, May 28, 2018

You Asked for It - Why is It Sometimes So Hard To Follow Jesus?

Answering the Top Questions that YOU asked about faith last Easter.

Digging Deeper into the Bible’s Teaching on Hardship

Benefits We Experience from Following Jesus:
1. Assurance of Eternal, Abundant Life (John 3:16, John 10:10)
2. Increased peace, strength and guidance (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6-7, James 1:5)
3. A God-anchored sense of self-worth & identity (Ephesians 2:8-10)
4.A sense of family & community (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
5. Knowing you are part of something larger than yourself (Matthew 16:18)
6. Miraculous intervention (sometimes) (James 5:14-16)

Factors That Make Life Harder:
1. Elevated conscience - You care more. (James 4:17, 1 Timothy 3:9)
2. God’s discipline/ training - Hardship God allows for your benefit. (Hebrews 12:7-11)
Why - Jesus invites you to come and die to yourself. (Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24)
3. Spiritual Resistance - There is an enemy who will do anything he can to cause you to pull away from God, God’s people and God’s work. (1 Peter 5:8, Ephesian 6:10-18, James 4:7-8)

Questions to Discuss:
How have you found yourself caring more as the result of your relationship with Jesus? How? What about?
How have you experienced God’s discipline/ training in your life? What did it result in?
How have you experienced spiritual resistance? How do you stand firm against the enemy’s attacks?
What truths do you especially want to remember the next time you experience hardship?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

You Asked For It - What Happens When We Go to Heaven?

Answering the Top Questions that YOU asked about faith last Easter. Starting with the most frequently asked category of question.

Digging Deeper into the Bible’s Teaching on Heaven

Key Verses to Study:

  • Genesis 1 & 2 - What the earth was like before sin.
  • Revelation 21 & 22 - What the New Heaven and the New Earth will be like after God restores everything.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:8‭-‬10 - Being absent from the body. Jesus’ judgment.
  • Hebrews 12:1 - The great cloud of witnesses.
  • Luke 6:21 - Laughter in heaven.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13‭-‬18 - Meeting Jesus at His return.
  • 1 Timothy 2:3‭-‬6, 2 Peter 3:9 - God’s desire for all to know Him.
  • Psalm 16:11 - God the source of eternal pleasure.
  • Matthew 25:31‭-‬32 - Jesus’ judgment of the world.
  • Revelation 20:11-15 - The “Great White Throne” judgment.

Another Recommended Resource:
Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Questions to Ask:

  • Jesus’ assurance of life with Him and each other after death gave His followers great courage in the face of hardship.
  • How has Jesus’ teachings on heaven affected you?
  • What assumptions about heaven do you have that have been challenged by deeper bible study?
  • What are YOU looking forward to about heaven?
  • What are your questions or concerns about heaven?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Celebrating Women of Faith

Why we affirm women in ministry.

Women and Spiritual Leadership - Where is It Written?

Two Passages That Prohibit Female Leadership:
1 Corinthians 14:33-35
1 Timothy 2:11-12

Celebrated Female Leaders of the Old Testament:
Exodus 15 - Miriam the Prophet and Worship Leader
Judges 4-5 - Deborah the Judge
2 Chronicles 34 - Huldah the Prophet

How Jesus Treated Women:
As disciples: Mary of Bethany - Luke 10:38-42
As missionaries: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome - Mark 16:1-8

Celebrated Female Leadership in the Early Church:
As Potential Prophets - Acts 2:17-18
Tabitha the Disciple - Acts 9:36
Phoebe the Deacon - Romans 16:1
Junia the Apostle - Romans 16:7