Sermon
Guides

Each week we'll have updated content for our
Adult sermon guides. 

May 2nd Sermon Guides

Sermon Notes: Matt Bradner
Title
: Awaken to New Life (Mary)
Text: John 20:1-18.
Campus: Rivermont

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
John 20:30-31

John’s stories are purposed to ignite belief in Jesus and life in us.

“On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”
John 20:1

“So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!”
John 20:2

What they saw on the cross horrified them. What they didn’t see in the tomb horrified them. Yet in both, God was fulfilling his promises.

The cross and the tomb are reminders that God can be trusted when what we see or don’t see, appears horrific at first glance.


“Peter and the other disciple went out heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first.
Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then, following him, Simon Peter also came. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there.”
John 20:3-6

"The wrapping that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then also went in, saw, and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.”
John 20:7-9

“But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’
‘Because they’ve taken away my Lord,’ she told them, ‘and I don’t know where they’ve put him.’”
John 20:11-13

“Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. ‘Woman,’ Jesus said to her, ‘why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?’
Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, ‘Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ — which means ‘Teacher.’”
John 20:14-16

There is an admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies in Jesus Christ.
~Jonathan Edwards

Jesus is ultimate in power and intimate in person.

“Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. ‘Woman,’ Jesus said to her, ‘why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?’
Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, ‘Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ — which means ‘Teacher.’”
John 20:14-16

Do you need to be reminded that Jesus is all powerful or all personal?

Jesus gives reason to trust and room to talk.


“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge.”
Psalm 62:8

“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord! ‘
And she told them what he had said to her”
John 20:1-18
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Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Awaken to New Life (Mary)
Text: John 20:1-18
Campus: College Hill

Grief is the normal process of reacting to loss.

Mary’s encounter with Jesus doesn’t show us a way out of grief, but it shows us a pathway through grief.


“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
John 20:30-31 (CSB)

“On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!’
At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb.”
John 20:1-3

John often blends multiple stories in order to illustrate a single message.

Who is Mary Magdalene?
  • healed by Jesus from demonic oppression (Luke 8)
  • followers and friend of Jesus
  • financial supporter of Christ’s ministry

“At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first.”
John 20:3-4

“For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.”
John 20:9

“But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.  They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’
’Because they’ve taken away my Lord,’ she told them, ‘and I don’t know where they’ve put him.’”
John 20:11-13

Grief isn’t linear and it doesn’t look the same for everyone.

If you’re grieving:

1) Pay attention to how grief may be affecting you.
2) Be mindful how substances impact you (often make things worse, not better).
3) Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to pursue professional help. (Cindy Lamothe)

If you are a follower of Jesus, bring your grief to him.

"Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus.  ‘Woman,’ Jesus said to her, ‘why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?’
Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, ‘Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’”
John 14-16a

“Woman, why do you weep?”
John 20:15

“She’d never heard a more foolish question in all her life. But his question was not foolish. His question was laughter. His question was the arrival of April after a lifelong winter. By asking her why she wept, he returned Mary to the place of Eve. He returned her to the tears of all humanity. He bid her look one final time upon the question that scarred and scorched a perfect earth with perfect creatures. And with the rising of the sun, he exploded that question into a million fragments. The first question of a Resurrected God destroyed the curse of the original question forever.
This is the Resurrection power of the God-Who-Asks. It is with asking that he introduces himself to us. It is with asking that he invites us to draw closer. God’s open invitation to know him stands before us.”

Cara Murphy, The Inquisitive Christ, pg. 43

“’Don’t cling to me,’ Jesus told her, ‘since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
John 20:17

From this point forward, for the rest of her life, Mary will be journeying with her risen Savior and telling others about him (John 20:17)

Conslusion:

What does it mean to be a Christian?
To be a Christian means, “to be known by Christ, to know Christ, and to make him known.”

Is there a wounded, or broken, part of your life where do you need the healing and empowering presence of Jesus?
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April 18th Sermon Guides

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title:
The Good News of the Gospel
Text: I Corinthians 15:1-11
Campus: Rivermont

Good news > Good advice

“Now, what I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received,on which you have take your stand, and by which you are being saved (healed, rescued), if you hold to the message I preached to you - unless you believed in vain (without thinking it through). For I passed on to you as most important what I also received…”
~St. Paul, 53 A.D.

The resurrected body of Jesus is the evidence that the gospel really is good news.

At what point does the gospel become good news?


“Evangelion (what we call “the gospel” is a Greek word, signifying good, merry, glad and joyful news, that makes a person’s heart glad and makes them sing, dance, and leap for joy.”
~William Tyndale, 1525 A.D.

“unless you have believed in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:2b

Question for Reflection: Has the gospel ever been good news to me?

For whom is the message of Jesus, the gospel, good news?

Those who know they are:

→ Sinners, and in need of a savior.
→ Broken, and in need of healing.
→ Weary, and in need of rest.
→ Lonely, and in need of love.
→ Afraid, and in need of comfort.
→ Ashamed, and in need of forgiveness.
→ Weak, and in need of strength.

Strength is God’s thing. Weakness is ours.

The gospel is aimed at our hearts; at our point of need, our weakness, feelings, and fears.

“While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
Mark 2:15-17.
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Sermon Notes: Nate Taylor
Title
: Arise: Awaken to New Life (Christ)
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Campus: College Hill

“Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.
For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

  1. What is the truth of the gospel?
  2. What is the proof of the gospel?
  3. What is the impact of the gospel?

1. What is the truth of the gospel?
  • Christ Died for our sins
  • Isaiah 53:5-7 “5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. 6We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.”
  • Christ’s presence on the cross was the evidence of a God with unconditional love.
  • Christ’s death on that cross was the symbol of atonement for our sin that would satisfy a Holy God!
  • Christ was Buried
  • Christ was raised on the third day

2. What is the proof of the gospel?
3. What is the impact of the gospel?

When we encounter the real and living Jesus, everything changes.

The good news of the Gospel is that God’s knowledge of our sin doesn’t limit his love and grace for us. It only enhances it.

”The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed”
Luke 4:18

The Good news forces us to admit our need, meets that need with unmerited grace, and sustains us with the strength of Christ through the grace of God.

  1. The Good news forces us to admit our need.
  2. The Good news meets our needs without our effort.
  3. The Good news sustains us and gives us strength through the grace of God.

  • Where are you hiding your need or sin from God?
  • What burden do you need to lay down at the feet of Jesus?
  • What mission do you need to be willing to go on for God to use you?
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April 11th Sermon Guide

Brenton Lehman, Teaching and Discipleship Pastor
Campus
: Rivermont

Our Father who is in heaven, may your name be honored as holy.
May your Kingdom come, and your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer Prompts
Prompt 1:
As we consider the households and people in the neighborhood around us, simply ask Jesus to give us his heart for this neighborhood.

Prompt 2:
Using the Lord's prayer as an example, pray for the Kingdom of God to come, and the will of God to be done, in Lynchburg and here on Daniel's Hill/Lower Rivermont as it is in heaven.

Prompt 3:
Pray for the entire city of Lynchburg, and for those who live in other neighborhoods. Pray that Jesus would bring his peace and life through his people all throughout this city.
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April 4th Sermon Guides

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title:
Resurrection Sunday
Text: Luke 24:1-35
Campus: Rivermont

“When they saw him they worshiped, but some doubted.”
Matthew 28:17

If Jesus really is alive, then it changes everything.

Come and see Jesus.


“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they[a] came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared.”
Luke 24:1

“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.”
Luke 24:2-5a

“’Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ asked the men. ‘He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?’  And they remembered his words.”
Luke 24:5b-8

“Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.”
Luke 24:9-11

“Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place.  And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. But they were prevented from recognizing him.
Then he asked them, ‘What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?’ And they stopped walking and looked discouraged.
The one named Cleopas answered him, ‘Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?’
‘What things?’ he asked them.
So they said to him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people,  and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.’
He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?’
Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther.
But they urged him, ‘Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them. It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.
They said to each other, ‘Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?’
That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, who said, ‘The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!’
Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”
Luke 24:13-35

It’s possible to know a lot about Jesus but still not know him at all, and totally miss the point.

This is the invitation of the resurrected Jesus to all of us today: Come, be with me. Follow me.


  • What imitations of the gospel message are standing in the way of our wholehearted belief and relationship with Jesus?
  • What imitations of the real thing have we as professing Christians bought into, like these people on the road to Emmaus?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-3

“I did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45

“I came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10

“I did not come into the world to judge the world, but to save the world.”
~Jesus of Nazareth (John 3:17)

“Look at me; pay attention. I’m standing at the door and I’m knocking. If you hear my voice, and you open the door, then I will come in and dine with you.”
~Jesus of Nazareth (Revelation 3:20)
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Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Resurrection Sunday
Text: Luke 24:1-35
Campus: College Hill

“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20

Jesus is gentle and lowly; patiently waiting for us to have the courage to open the door.

Christ’s life, death, and, his resurrection are a testament to God’s nearness and dependability.


“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared.”
Luke 24:1 (CSB)

“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.”
Luke 24:2-5a

“’Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ asked the men.  ‘He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?’ And they remembered his words.”
Luke 24:5b-8

The angels anchor the faith of these women in the Word of God and the gospel.

“But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.”
Luke 24:11

The resurrection is connected to the whole story of God.

“Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. But they[d] were prevented from recognizing him.”
Luke 24:13-16

“ ‘What things?’ he asked them.
So they said to him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened.’”
Luke 24:19-21

You can know a lot about Jesus, but still miss the point.

“He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow[f] to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.”
Luke 24:25-27

Jesus anchors our faith in the Word of God and the gospel.

We study the Bible and retell the story of the gospel because God continues to make himself known to us through Christ.


“I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me, and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast.” I came to Jesus as I was, Weary, and worn, and sad; I found in Him a resting-place, And He has made me glad.”
~I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
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March 28th Sermon Guides

Sermon Notes: Preston Burling
Title: Streams in the Wilderness: God’s Glory
Text: Exodus 33:12-22; 34:29-35
Campus: Rivermont

Do you relate to the prodigal heart?
Do you find yourself falling into unhealthy patterns, repent, pursue Jesus, and then fall back into these same patterns again?


Click here to see slide: Map

Our hearts are painfully and deceitfully wicked. They have an infinite appetite for desire.

“Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you have told me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor with me.’ Now if I have indeed found favor with you, please teach me your ways, and I will know you, so that I may find favor with you. Now consider that this nation is your people.” And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” “If your presence does not go,” Moses responded to him, “don’t make us go up from here. How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you unless you go with us? I and your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.” The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory.” He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.”  The Lord said, “Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock, and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen.”
Exodus 33:12-23 (CSB)

  1. For God’s presence to remain with the Israelites (Mediating)
  2. Requesting to know the Lord more fully

“Please, show me your glory”

Click here to see slide: statue

Kāḇôḏ
Meaning: “heaviness or weightiness”
Used figuratively to represent splendor and honor

“For God who said, ’Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

The manifestation of God’s glory comes in the person of Jesus Christ

Stream = Jesus (God’s glory, wrapped in flesh)

“As Moses descended from Mount Sinai—with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands as he descended the mountain—he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone! They were afraid to come near him.  But Moses called out to them, so Aaron and all the leaders of the community returned to him, and Moses spoke to them.  Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he commanded them to do everything the Lord had told him on Mount Sinai.  When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.  But whenever Moses went before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he came out. After he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, and the Israelites would see that Moses’s face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil over his face again until he went to speak with the Lord.”
Exodus 34:29-35

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at[e] the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Are you reflecting God’s glory?

Radiating God’s glory requires intimate proximity and a consistent presence with Jesus.

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Sermon Notes: Jonathan Ignacio
Title
: Streams in the Wilderness: God’s Glory
Text: Exodus 33:12-22
Campus: College Hill

“We tell stories because we’re broken creatures hungering for redemption.”
~Mike Cooper

If God has really given us this story. How we understand it and apply it as our story will influence how we experience the Christian life.

“The Bible presents this world as a divinely made stage for playing out the great story of human history… It’s a theatre above all for the display of God’s glory.”
~Mark Dever

God’s people are never sitting in the audience in the theater of God as spectators but we are active participants in the story God’s unfolding, even today.

Click here to see slide: Moses

““Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you have told me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor with me.’ Now if I have indeed found favor with you, please teach me your ways, and I will know you, so that I may find favor with you. Now consider that this nation is your people.” And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” “If your presence does not go,” Moses responded to him, “don’t make us go up from here. How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you unless you go with us? I and your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.” The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory.” He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.”  The Lord said, “Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock, and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”
Exodus 33:12-22 (CSB)

The favor of God is now given and guaranteed simply by faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

“My presence” in verses 14, 20, & 23 in Hebrew literally means “my face.”

God’s presence literally dwelling in you by His Spirit is unique to Christians today than it was with the people of God in the OT. God is uniquely closer to us now than He was with Israel in the OT. This is the new covenant that Ezekiel 36:37 was speaking of, “I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes.”


“I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.”
Exodus 33:19-20

Click here to see slide: Rocks

Deep down in the human heart, whether we consciously feel it or not, we long to see glory. We were wired for glory.

Every glorious sight in creation is intended to point you to the One who infinitely worthy of your attention. Glory is its own argument.


“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse (or skies) proclaims the work of his hands.”
Psalm 19:1

The Exodus story is our story. Delivering us from the slavery of sin, death, and suffering and leading us in a pilgrimage to the promised land with Jesus as the better and perfect Moses. Leading us to the promised land of the new heaven and new earth.

“The whole story of the Christian life is effectively an exodus story in a different key.”
~Andrew Wilson

“When we hear exodus stories we are listening to variations within the one great Story, a Story that finds its climax in the Great Exodus, as through the Passover sacrifice of his Son, the Father delivers us from the kingdom of Satan, leading us by the Spirit into the new creation.”
~Alastair Roberts

Click here to see slide: sea

Where Moses sought God’s glory. In Jesus we see God’s glory. In Jesus we see the face of God.

“For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

The presence of God is now seen in Jesus the face of glory.

“but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:16-18

Moses radiated a glory that eventually faded. We behold a glory that will never fade because the Spirit of God living in us.
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March 21st Sermon Guides

Sermon Notes: Nate Taylor
Title
: The Rest of God: Streams in the Wilderness
Text: Exodus 16:13-30
Campus: Rivermont

What is your picture of true rest?
 
Accepting and practicing the rest of God is a deliberate act of trust that changes our hearts, and transforms our way of living.

 
 “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each person needs to eat. You may take two quarts per individual, according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’”
Exodus 16:15b-16
 
 “They gathered it every morning. Each gathered as much as he needed to eat, but when the sun grew hot, it melted. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts apiece, and all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He told them, “This is what the Lord has said: ’Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil, and set aside everything left over to be kept until morning.’” So they set it aside until morning as Moses commanded, and it didn’t stink or have maggots in it. “Eat it today”, Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath day to the Lord. Today you won’t find any in the field. For six days you will gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find any. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and instructions? Understand that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he will give you two days worth of bread. Each of you stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.”
Exodus 16:21-30
 
 “So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy for on it he rested from all his work of creation.”
Genesis 2:1-3  
 
God rested because he was finished.
  1. The Sabbath is a day of complete rest. (v.23)
  2. Sabbath is a day set aside to the Lord. (v.23)
  3. Sabbath is a day that requires preparation and a change to the normal pattern of life. (v.23)
  4. Sabbath is not optional (v.28)
  5. Sabbath is a gift from the Lord (v.29)
 
 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20:8

“You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am the Lord who consecrates you. Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people.”
Exodus 31:13-16,  
 
  1. God is trying to change their hearts from self-dependance to dependance on him. 
  1. He is trying to show them that his character can be trusted.
 
“Israel could let the seventh day, even the seventh year, lie fallow because God himself had promised to feed his people. Israel could enter a land called rest precisely because God had prepared her way, giving her cities she did not build, cisterns she did not dig, vineyards she did not plant (referencing Deuteronomy 6:10–15). - Jen Pollock Michel
“The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. So then, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 2:27-28

Keeping the sabbath today is still a part of keeping our covenant with God.
 
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28
 
1.  Have a Sabbath mind and heart.
 
“Any deep change in how we live begins with a deep change in how we think. The biblical word for this is repentance - in Greek, metanoia, a change of mind. Repentance is a ruthless dismantling of old ways of seeing and thinking, and then a diligent and vigilant building of new ones.” 
~Mark Buchanan
 
  1. Do you need to build your trust in God? 
  2. Do you need to lay down your pride? 
 
2. Establish Sabbath ways.
  1. Set aside a 24hr period of time. 
  2. Prepare to make this day set apart to honor God. 
  3. Be intentional about creating room for rest and reliance on God.
 
God didn’t observe the Sabbath because he was tired, he did it because he was finished. We observe the Sabbath because it proves our dependence and trust in God to provide for all of our needs.
 
Just like God the father finished creation, Jesus finished the process of our redemption with his death on the cross.

__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: God’s Rest
Text: Exodus 16:15-30; Exodus 20:8-11
Campus: College Hill

Sabbath is a day of delight; a holy day set aside to rest, feast, and play.

Sabbath is a sign of freedom from the tyranny of this world and a clear display of our affiliation with God.


“Moses told them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each person needs to eat. You may take two quarts per individual, according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’”
Exodus 16:15b-16 (CSB)

“They gathered it every morning. Each gathered as much as he needed to eat, but when the sun grew hot, it melted. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts apiece, and all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He told them, ‘This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil, and set aside everything left over to be kept until morning.’
So they set it aside until morning as Moses commanded, and it didn’t stink or have maggots in it. ‘Eat it today,’ Moses said, ‘because today is a Sabbath to the Lord. Today you won’t find any in the field. For six days you will gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.’
Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find any. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will you refuse to keep my commands and instructions? Understand that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he will give you two days’ worth of bread. Each of you stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested on the seventh day.”
Exodus 16:21-30

God gave us Sabbath in order to set us apart from the world and to sustain us in the wilderness and beyond.

Sabbath basics:

1. Sabbath is a day of complete rest (v. 23)
2. Sabbath is day set aside to the Lord (v. 23)
“…without rest, we miss the rest of God: the rest he invites us to enter more fully so that we might know him more deeply.”
~Mark Buchanan
3. Sabbath is day that requires preparation and a change to our normal patterns of life (v. 23)
4. Sabbath is not optional (v. 28)
The reason why many of us fail to honor the Sabbath, and why we don’t prioritize it in our lives, is because we don’t fully trust God.
5. Sabbath is a gift from the Lord (v. 29)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.”
Exodus 20:8-11

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29

When we choose to practice the Sabbath:
1) We distinguish ourselves from the world and a pace that is unsustainable.

When we choose to practice the Sabbath:
2) We display ourselves as God’s holy people.

When we choose to practice the Sabbath:
3) We learn to delight in God’s rest.

Where do I start?
a. Choose one 24-hour period a week.
b. Prepare in advance.
c. Be open handed, yet intentional
______________________________________________________________________

March 14th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes
View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Session Title: Jesus’ Early Miracles
Bible Passage: Mark 1
Story Point: Jesus’ miracles helped people
Key Passage: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Big Picture Question: What makes people special? People are special because God made us in his own image.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity: Guess Who
Supplies
: None
Describe a job in simple terms and invite children to guess whom you are talking about. You may describe a teacher by saying “someone who helps a class of children learn things.” End the activity by describing Jesus as “the Son of God who came to save us.”
Say: You knew exactly who I was talking about! The people in our Bible story today knew that Jesus was the Son of God by the things He did. Jesus’ miracles helped people and showed that he is the Son of God.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did Jesus do for people who were sick? (He healed them)
  2. When did Jesus go out by Himself to pray? (early in the morning)
  3. Where did Jesus want to go so He could preach more? (nearby villages; throughout the land)
  4. Does Jesus care about people? (Yes!)
  5. What makes people special? (People are special because God made us in His own image)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity: Guess Who
Supplies
: None
Describe a job in simple terms and invite children to guess whom you are talking about. You may describe a teacher by saying “someone who helps a class of children learn things.” End the activity by describing Jesus as “the Son of God who came to save us.”
Say: You knew exactly who I was talking about! The people in our Bible story today knew that Jesus was the Son of God by the things He did. Jesus’ miracles helped people and showed that he is the Son of God.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What is a miracle? (Something that can only be explained by God’s work)
  2. Why did Jesus perform miracles? (because He cared about people and wanted to show He was the Son of God.)
  3. Why were people amazed by the miracles? (it showed that Jesus had power over sickness and evil spirits.)
  4. What makes people special? (People are special because God made us in His own image)

Activity: Healing Tag
Supplies:
Supplies: none
Ask children to spread around the room and pretend to be sick or hurt. Explain that when you or whoever is it tags them, they can stop pretending to be sick or hurt. When they are healed, they may go and heal other people around the room.
Say: Jesus healed many people just by a touch or a word. Jesus’ miracles helped people and showed that He is the Son of God. But large crowds gathered around Him and made it hard for Him to keep teaching. So Jesus often snuck away by Himself so He could pray and travel on. He wanted to tell more people about God’s love.
___________________________________________________________________
Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title
: Loving Relationships in the Wilderness
Text: Exodus 17:8-15, 18:13-18, Numbers 12:1-16
Campus: Rivermont

A family or a community is a group of people who desperately want to love each other, but don’t know how.

“At Rephidim, Amalek came and fought against Israel.“
Exodus 17:8

“Moses said to Joshua, ‘Select some men for us and go fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with God’s staff in my hand.’”
Exodus 17:9

“Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.”
Exodus 17:10

“While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’s hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword.
The Lord then said to Moses, ‘Write this down on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua: I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek under heaven.’
And Moses built an altar and named it, “The Lord Is My Banner.” 
He said, ‘Indeed, my hand is lifted up toward the Lord’s throne. The Lord will be at war with Amalek from generation to generation.’”
Exodus 17:11-16

Loving relationships are necessary, especially in the wilderness.

Check in:

If I am in or have been in a wilderness season, what has been my tendency: to pursue healthy, loving relationships? Or to withdraw from community?

Check in:
Right now, do I feel isolated and alone?
Or do I feel a sense of love and belonging?

Check in:
How has that affected my overall sense of peace and joy?
How has that affected my body? My soul?
Or my love for Jesus and my neighbor? My resilience?

“The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening. When Moses’s father-in-law saw everything he was doing for them he asked, ‘What is this you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?’
Moses replied to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to inquire of God. Whenever they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I make a decision between one man and another. I teach them God’s statutes and laws.’
‘What you’re doing is not good,’ Moses’s father-in-law said to him. ‘You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone.’”
Exodus 18:13-18

Needing help is not being weak, it’s being human. Health, strength, wisdom, and maturity will have us asking for help, acknowledging our limits, and letting people in.

A family or a community is a group of people who desperately want to love each other, but don’t know how.

Loving relationships are necessary, especially in the wilderness. But they are hard.

“Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman).”
Numbers 12:1

“They said, ‘Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does he not also speak through us?’ And the Lord heard it. Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth.
Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, ‘You three come out to the tent of meeting.’ So the three of them went out. Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, he said:
‘Listen to what I say:
If there is a prophet among you from the Lord,
I make myself known to him in a vision;
I speak with him in a dream.
Not so with my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my household.
I speak with him directly,
openly, and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
So why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’
The Lord’s anger burned against them, and he left. As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam’s skin suddenly became diseased, resembling snow. When Aaron turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased and said to Moses, ‘My lord, please don’t hold against us this sin we have so foolishly committed. Please don’t let her be like a dead baby whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.’
Then Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘God, please heal her!’”
Numbers 12:2-13

 “The one who walks with the wise will become wise. But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Proverbs 13:20

Loving relationships are necessary, especially in the wilderness. But they are hard. So we need Jesus.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:7-10
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: God’s Love
Text: Exodus 17:8-13, 18:13-23, 1John 4:7-11
Campus: College Hill

All of God’s people go through seasons of plenty and we all go through seasons of little.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were ready to give up, but God brought someone along to walk with you and encourage you?

God gave us the gift of community and companionship as an expression of his faithful and sustaining love.


“At Rephidim, Amalek came and fought against Israel. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Select some men for us and go fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with God’s staff in my hand.’”
Exodus 17:8-9 (CSB)

“Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’s hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword.”
Exodus 17:10-13

In God’s Kingdom, the people who truly flourish are the ones who humbly acknowledge their limits and invite God and others into their weakness.
  1. Have you come to terms with your humanity?
  2. Who are your people?

“The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening. When Moses’s father-in-law saw everything he was doing for them he asked, ‘What is this you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?’”
Exodus 18:13-14

“’What you’re doing is not good,’ Moses’s father-in-law said to him. ‘You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone.’”
Exodus 18:17-18

“‘Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must do. But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating dishonest profit. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. They should judge the people at all times. Then they can bring you every major case but judge every minor case themselves. In this way you will lighten your load, and they will bear it with you. If you do this, and God so directs you, you will be able to endure, and also all these people will be able to go home satisfied.’”
Exodus 18:20-23

You can’t do life alone.
we’re not designed to do life alone
we have limits.

Three things happen when we invite the right people into our lives:
1. we lighten our load (vv. 18, 22),
2. we put ourselves in a position to endure the challenges we’re facing and the tasks that we’re entrusted with (v. 23),
3. we maximize our capacity to bless others (v. 23).

A “safe” person is someone who:
1. Draws us closer to God.
2. Draws us closer to others.
3. Helps us become the real person God created us to be. (Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend)

Community and companionship is an expression of God’s faithful and sustaining love.

God’s love is the soil which enables us to have healthy, sustainable, and lifegiving relationships.


““Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.”
1 John 4:7-11 (CSB)

  1. Have you come to terms with your humanity?
  2. Who are your people?)
  3. Are you resting in the love of God?
  4. What could it look like for you to welcome God’s love by pressing into loving community?
______________________________________________________________________

March 7th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Session Title: Jesus’ Early Miracles
Bible Passage: Mark 1
Story Point: Jesus’ miracles helped people
Key Passage: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Big Picture Question: What makes people special? People are special because God made us in his own image.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity: Guess Who
Supplies
: None
Describe a job in simple terms and invite children to guess whom you are talking about. You may describe a teacher by saying “someone who helps a class of children learn things.” End the activity by describing Jesus as “the Son of God who came to save us.”
Say: You knew exactly who I was talking about! The people in our Bible story today knew that Jesus was the Son of God by the things He did. Jesus’ miracles helped people and showed that he is the Son of God.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did Jesus do for people who were sick? (He healed them)
  2. When did Jesus go out by Himself to pray? (early in the morning)
  3. Where did Jesus want to go so He could preach more? (nearby villages; throughout the land)
  4. Does Jesus care about people? (Yes!)
  5. What makes people special? (People are special because God made us in His own image)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity: Guess Who
Supplies
: None
Describe a job in simple terms and invite children to guess whom you are talking about. You may describe a teacher by saying “someone who helps a class of children learn things.” End the activity by describing Jesus as “the Son of God who came to save us.”
Say: You knew exactly who I was talking about! The people in our Bible story today knew that Jesus was the Son of God by the things He did. Jesus’ miracles helped people and showed that he is the Son of God.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What is a miracle? (Something that can only be explained by God’s work)
  2. Why did Jesus perform miracles? (because He cared about people and wanted to show He was the Son of God.)
  3. Why were people amazed by the miracles? (it showed that Jesus had power over sickness and evil spirits.)
  4. What makes people special? (People are special because God made us in His own image)

Activity: Healing Tag
Supplies
: Supplies: none
Ask children to spread around the room and pretend to be sick or hurt. Explain that when you or whoever is it tags them, they can stop pretending to be sick or hurt. When they are healed, they may go and heal other people around the room.
Say: Jesus healed many people just by a touch or a word. Jesus’ miracles helped people and showed that He is the Son of God. But large crowds gathered around Him and made it hard for Him to keep teaching. So Jesus often snuck away by Himself so He could pray and travel on. He wanted to tell more people about God’s love.
__________________________________________________________________
Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title
: God’s Provision in the Wilderness
Text: Exodus 15:22-16:35
Campus: Rivermont

In the wilderness places with God, we are formed as free people.

[click here to see image: Leaving Egypt Book cover]

“Every moment beyond the Red Sea reminded the Israelites that now they lived in a completely new reality called freedom - but it didn’t always feel so free...Israel found out that leaving Egypt was not all that easy.
When Israel emerged from Egypt, she wanted freedom, but she wasn’t yet ready for it. Though kept [by God] in the wilderness, she carried the habits and patterns of Egypt in her heart.
In the words of the Russian Orthodox theologian Nicolas Berdyaev, ‘Humanity is in a state of servitude. We frequently do not notice that we are slaves, and sometimes we love it. But humanity also aspires to be set free. It would be a mistake to think that the average person loves freedom. A still greater mistake would be to suppose that freedom is an easy thing. Freedom is a difficult thing’”.
~ Chuck DeGroat, Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places.

In the wilderness, we will be confronted with our need and comforted by God’s provision.

“Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water. 2They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter—that is why it was named Marah. The people grumbled to Moses, ‘What are we going to drink?’  So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he threw it into the water, the water became drinkable.
The Lord made a statute and ordinance for them at Marah, and he tested them there. He said, ‘If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in his sight, pay attention to his commands, and keep all his statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.’
Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy date palms, and they camped there by the water.”
Exodus 15:22-27

Need: → An experienced, real need either brings us into or confronts us in the wilderness (scarcity, financial, emotional, relational, physical, etc).

What are my needs, something for which I need provision? What could the deeper need be in my heart?

 “the Lord … tested them there.”
Exodus 15:25b

Need → Invitation

“He said, ‘If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in his sight, pay attention to his commands, and keep all his statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.’”
Exodus 15:26

 “Obedience is abundance”.
~ Dallas Willard

The way of obedience: A life under the authority and care of God, living out the ways of his good Kingdom.

Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who Heals


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Matthew 5:6

Need → Invitation → Healing

In the wilderness, we will be confronted with our need and comforted by God’s provision.

“If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the scriptures have said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within them.”
John 7:37-38

“I am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again.”
John 6:35
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Tim Geisland
Title
: Streams in the Wilderness: God’s Provision
Text: Exodus 15:22-27; 16:1-12
Campus: College Hill

1. Compassion
2. Guidance
3. Provision
4. Love
5. Rest
6. Glory

In the wilderness places with God, we are formed as free people.


“Every moment beyond the Red Sea reminded the Israelites that now they lived in a completely new reality called freedom - but it didn’t always feel so free...Israel found out that leaving Egypt was not all that easy...
... When the people of Israel emerged from Egypt, they wanted freedom, but they were not yet ready for it. Though kept [by God] in the wilderness, they carried the habits and patterns of Egypt in her heart.”
~ Chuck DeGroat, “Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness”

“'Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?'”
Galatians 4:8-9 NIV

“Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water.”
Exodus 15:22 CSB

“They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter — that is why it was named Marah. The people grumbled to Moses, “What are we going to drink?”
Exodus 15:23

“So, he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he threw it into the water, the water became drinkable.”
Exodus 15:25a

“The Lord made a statute and ordinance for them at Marah, and he tested them there. He said, ‘If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in his sight, pay attention to his commands, and keep all his statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.’”
Exodus 15:25b-26

“Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy date palms, and they camped there by the water.”
Exodus 15:27

Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who Heals.

In the wilderness…
  1. We see our need
  2. God reveals our heart - the deeper need
  3. God invites us to trust Him
  4. God provides healing

Dependence upon God takes practice.

In the wilderness places with God, we are formed as free people.

How unbelievable was it when God said, “throw a tree into the river”, and the bitter water became sweet?

Even more so, how unbelievable is the Love of God toward us in Christ Jesus, that He would be hung on a tree, drink the bitter wine for us, take the penalty for sin that we deserve, conquer death, and invite us to be with him forever?


“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
John 4:7-9 NIV

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’”
John 4:10 NIV

“’Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this “living water”? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’”
John 4:11-12 NIV

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’”
John 4:13-14 NIV

“The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’
He told her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’
‘I have no husband,’ she replied.”
John 4:15-17a NIV

“Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true’
‘Sir,’ the woman said, ’I can see that you are a prophet…’”
John 4:17b-19 NIV

“If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, as the scriptures have said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within them.”
John 7:37-38

“I am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again.”
John 6:35

February 14th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Session Title
: Jesus’ Temptation
Bible Passage: Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4
Story Point: Jesus was tempted and never sinned
Key Passage: John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Big Picture Question: Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity
Supplies
: White board/paper; markers
Encourage children to name things that are sins. Write sins on chart paper or a dry erase board. Offer suggestions as needed. Be sure to include inward sins as well as external behaviors. (List sins in a generic way such as hitting other people instead of Trevor hitting Johnny)
Say: Sin is anything we do, say, or think that goes against God. Sometimes sins hurt other people, sometimes they hurt us, but all sin makes God sad. We all sin. We make wrong choices such as disobeying our parents. We hurt our friends by saying or doing mean things. We think things that are hateful and wrong. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin, but Jesus never sinned. Jesus always did the right thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin. Because Jesus never sinned, God can forgive us for our sin. He can help us say no to sin when we are tempted too.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did the devil tell Jesus to do to the stones? (tell them to become bread)
  2. What did the devil tell Jesus to do on top of the temple? (jump off)
  3. What did the devil tell Jesus to do on the high mountain? (worship him)
  4. Did Jesus do what the devil told Him to do? (no)
  5. Did Jesus sin? (No, Jesus never sinned)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity
Supplies
: White board/paper; markers
Encourage children to name things that are sins. Write sins on chart paper or a dry erase board. Offer suggestions as needed. Be sure to include inward sins as well as external behaviors. (List sins in a generic way such as hitting other people instead of Timmy hitting Johnny)
Say: Sin is anything we do, say, or think that goes against God. Sometimes sins hurt other people, sometimes they hurt us, but all sin makes God sad. We all sin. We make wrong choices such as disobeying our parents. We hurt our friends by saying or doing mean things. We think things that are hateful and wrong. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin, but Jesus never sinned. Jesus always did the right thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin. Because Jesus never sinned, God can forgive us for our sin. He can help us say no to sin when we are tempted too.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did the Devil tell Jesus to do? (turn stones to bread, jump off the temple, worship the devil.)
  2. Did Jesus obey the devil? (no, Jesus was tempted but never sinned)
  3. How was Jesus able to never sin? (He was fully man and fully God.)
  4. Why did Jesus become human? (Jesus became human to rescue sinners.)

Activity: Yes or No
Supplies
: Green sheet of paper; tape; marker
Write yes on a green sheet of paper and no on a red sheet. Tape the two papers on opposite walls. Point out each sign to children. Suggest situations where children should say “yes” and “no”. Suggested situations include when you want to take something that belongs to someone else, when you want to share a toy with a friend, etc. Encourage the children to move to the correct sign to answer. Allow children to take turns suggesting situations.
Say: Sometimes we really want to do something that we know is wrong. We call that being tempted. In our Bible story today, Jesus said no to temptation. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. When given the option, Jesus never sinned! He was perfect.
__________________________________________________________________
Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title
: Life on Mission
Text: Colossians 4:2-6
Campus: Rivermont

Epiphany: Revelation.
God wants to be known.

Our vision for 2021:

Making Jesus Known by practicing:

  • Gospel Transformation
  • Radical Generosity
  • Emotional Health
  • Membership & Belonging
  • Life in Community
  • Life on Mission.

Mission: Latin, “missio” = sent.

“Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.' After saying this, he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"
John 20:21-22

“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”
~Charles Spurgeon

“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should. Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
Colossians 4:2-6 (CSB)

4-2a. - be strongly, firmly devoted, to, make it our posture to endure, always in ... prayer: speaking to and listening to God.
Our fuel for mission is not a passion for mission, to see people come to know Jesus. Our fuel for a life on mission, is a passion for Jesus.

A true movement of the gospel will be the fruit of a movement of the Spirit that first renews the church’s love for Jesus.

4:2b. - Keep awake, eyes wide-open, watching for God in [prayer]

Our public witness is the overflow of our life together in God.

4:3-4. - “At the same time, praying also for us, that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known, speaking as I should.”

We can both know Jesus, and never get to the end of what there is to know of him. He is both Word and Mystery.

4:5. - Live in wisdom among a watching world; always season every word with grace, like salt, so that you might discern how to address each person.

Name(s) of people who don’t know Jesus: Take a moment to pray for them.

Benediction:
We are the people of God, rescued by the Son, and empowered by the Spirit to live on mission in our homes, communities, and world.

We strive to love God, grow in community, and reach out with the love of Christ.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Life on Mission
Text: Colossians 4:2-6
Campus: College Hill

At Gospel Community – we want to know Jesus and make him known in our homes, community, and world.

“Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:14-15 (CSB)

“May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.”
John 17:21

“… so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.”
John 17:24

Jesus Christ’s mission and our mission is to display, and to declare, God’s love to the world.

In Colossians 4:2-6, we’re invited into prayerful, wise, and purposeful life.

“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should. Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
Colossians 4:2-6 (CSB)

Prayer is an act of obedience which activates God’s power in our lives.

God’s people are called to pray with mental alertness.

God’s people pray expectant prayers.

God’s people pray grateful prayers.


“At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should. “
Colossians 4:3-4

As followers of Jesus Christ, our deepest desires and our earnest prayers should be that God would make himself known.

Christians don’t just pray about gospel proclamation; we actively participate in gospel proclamation.


“Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
Colossians 4:5-6

A lack of being with Jesus will amount to a shallow faith which lacks the power of the gospel.

“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
Colossians 4:6 (NLT)

Let’s prioritize the practice of being with Jesus, before we do things for Jesus.

Let’s be intentional with those who are lost.

__________________________________________________________

February 7th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Session Title: Jesus’ Temptation
Bible Passage: Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4
Story Point: Jesus was tempted and never sinned
Key Passage: John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Big Picture Question: Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity
Supplies: White board/paper; markers
Encourage children to name things that are sins. Write sins on chart paper or a dry erase board. Offer suggestions as needed. Be sure to include inward sins as well as external behaviors. (List sins in a generic way such as hitting other people instead of Trevor hitting Johnny)
 Say: Sin is anything we do, say, or think that goes against God. Sometimes sins hurt other people, sometimes they hurt us, but all sin makes God sad. We all sin. We make wrong choices such as disobeying our parents. We hurt our friends by saying or doing mean things. We think things that are hateful and wrong. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin, but Jesus never sinned. Jesus always did the right thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin. Because Jesus never sinned, God can forgive us for our sin. He can help us say no to sin when we are tempted too.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did the devil tell Jesus to do to the stones? (tell them to become bread)
  2. What did the devil tell Jesus to do on top of the temple? (jump off)
  3. What did the devil tell Jesus to do on the high mountain? (worship him)
  4. Did Jesus do what the devil told Him to do? (no)
  5. Did Jesus sin? (No, Jesus never sinned)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity
Supplies: White board/paper; markers
Encourage children to name things that are sins. Write sins on chart paper or a dry erase board. Offer suggestions as needed. Be sure to include inward sins as well as external behaviors. (List sins in a generic way such as hitting other people instead of Timmy hitting Johnny)
Say: Sin is anything we do, say, or think that goes against God. Sometimes sins hurt other people, sometimes they hurt us, but all sin makes God sad. We all sin. We make wrong choices such as disobeying our parents. We hurt our friends by saying or doing mean things. We think things that are hateful and wrong. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin, but Jesus never sinned. Jesus always did the right thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin. Because Jesus never sinned, God can forgive us for our sin. He can help us say no to sin when we are tempted too.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did the Devil tell Jesus to do? (turn stones to bread, jump off the temple, worship the devil.)
  2. Did Jesus obey the devil? (no, Jesus was tempted but never sinned)
  3. How was Jesus able to never sin? (He was fully man and fully God.)
  4. Why did Jesus become human? (Jesus became human to rescue sinners.)

Activity: Yes or No
Supplies
: Green sheet of paper; tape; marker
Write yes on a green sheet of paper and no on a red sheet. Tape the two papers on opposite walls. Point out each sign to children. Suggest situations where children should say “yes” and “no”. Suggested situations include when you want to take something that belongs to someone else, when you want to share a toy with a friend, etc. Encourage the children to move to the correct sign to answer. Allow children to take turns suggesting situations.
Say: Sometimes we really want to do something that we know is wrong. We call that being tempted. In our Bible story today, Jesus said no to temptation. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. When given the option, Jesus never sinned! He was perfect.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Nate Taylor - Executive Pastor
Title:
Making Jesus Known: A Community Formed in Christ
Text: Colossians 3:12-17
Campus: Rivermont

The Church is a Christ-centered family – a diverse community that is committed to Christ, to each other, and to God’s mission in the world.

Church as family, a gospel centered community, is God’s plan for making Jesus known in our world still today.


“Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
Genesis 1:26

What is the primary source of your thinking?
What is feeding into your thoughts and thought process?


“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.”
Colossians 3:12-13

 “Compassion is love in action rooted in a tender heart.”
~ Daniel Akin

Kindness is acting on behalf of one another as if they were truly your own blood.

Humility 
suggests service that may go unnoticed, but without a care for who gets the glory.

Lindemann, a biblical commentator, defines gentleness as, “the power which, in a situation of conflict, enables us to criticize another’s conduct so that they experience it as help and not as condemnation.”

What if we truly sought not to be right, but to be helpful?

Patience is the willingness to tolerate wrongs, and to forgo our right to punish or exact revenge when it is in our power.

These characteristics were designed to be practiced in relationships with one another.

What is in your life that is trying to kill you, but you are allowing it to stay because it has been there so long?
What are you comfortable with that doesn’t fit with the life hidden in Christ?

“Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:14-15

“May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.”
John 17:21

Relationships bring out the tension between the war of our fleshly desires and the response of the new life hidden in Christ.

“Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:16-17

You see, the family of God cannot resist seeking to glorify their father in heaven.

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this EVERYONE will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
John 13:35

Believe in Him
Commit to where you are
Don’t bail when conflict arises


“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:45-47

When we commit to the hard but rewarding work of being a family everything changes.
What God can do with a surrendered church family is unlimited.
He can truly change the world.

__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Jonathan Ignacio
Title
: Making Jesus Known: A Community Formed in Christ
Text: Colossians 3:12-17
Campus: College Hill

“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.
Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:12-17
_____________________________________________________________________

January 31st Sermon Notes

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Session Title
: Jesus’ Temptation
Bible Passage: Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4
Story Point: Jesus was tempted and never sinned
Key Passage: John  3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Big Picture Question: Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity
Supplies
: White board/paper; markers
Encourage children to name things that are sins. Write sins on chart paper or a dry erase board. Offer suggestions as needed. Be sure to include inward sins as well as external behaviors. (List sins in a generic way such as hitting other people instead of Trevor hitting Johnny)
 Say: Sin is anything we do, say, or think that goes against God. Sometimes sins hurt other people, sometimes they hurt us, but all sin makes God sad. We all sin. We make wrong choices such as disobeying our parents. We hurt our friends by saying or doing mean things. We think things that are hateful and wrong. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin, but Jesus never sinned. Jesus always did the right thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin. Because Jesus never sinned, God can forgive us for our sin. He can help us say no to sin when we are tempted too.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did the devil tell Jesus to do to the stones? (tell them to become bread)
  2. What did the devil tell Jesus to do on top of the temple? (jump off)
  3. What did the devil tell Jesus to do on the high mountain? (worship him)
  4. Did Jesus do what the devil told Him to do? (no)
  5. Did Jesus sin? (No, Jesus never sinned)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Activity
Supplies: White board/paper; markers
Encourage children to name things that are sins. Write sins on chart paper or a dry erase board. Offer suggestions as needed. Be sure to include inward sins as well as external behaviors. (List sins in a generic way such as hitting other people instead of Timmy hitting Johnny)
Say: Sin is anything we do, say, or think that goes against God. Sometimes sins hurt other people, sometimes they hurt us, but all sin makes God sad. We all sin. We make wrong choices such as disobeying our parents. We hurt our friends by saying or doing mean things. We think things that are hateful and wrong. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin, but Jesus never sinned. Jesus always did the right thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin. Because Jesus never sinned, God can forgive us for our sin. He can help us say no to sin when we are tempted too.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did the Devil tell Jesus to do? (turn stones to bread, jump off the temple, worship the devil.)
  2. Did Jesus obey the devil? (no, Jesus was tempted but never sinned)
  3. How was Jesus able to never sin? (He was fully man and fully God.)
  4. Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.)

Activity: Yes or No
Supplies
: Green sheet of paper; tape; marker
Write yes on a green sheet of paper and no on a red sheet. Tape the two papers on opposite walls. Point out each sign to children. Suggest situations where children should say “yes” and “no”. Suggested situations include when you want to take something that belongs to someone else, when you want to share a toy with a friend, etc. Encourage the children to move to the correct sign to answer. Allow children to take turns suggesting situations.
Say: Sometimes we really want to do something that we know is wrong. We call that being tempted. In our Bible story today, Jesus said no to temptation. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. When given the option, Jesus never sinned! He was perfect.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes:  Andrew Moroz
Title
: Church as Family
Text: Colossians 1:2, 4:7-17
Campus: Rivermont

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother:
To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”
Colossians 1:1-2 (CSB)

“Tychicus, our dearly loved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and so that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, a faithful and dearly loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin (concerning whom you have received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), and so does Jesus who is called Justus. These alone of the circumcised are my coworkers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. He is always wrestling for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.
Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas send you greetings.
Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her home. After this letter has been read at your gathering, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And tell Archippus, ‘Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it.’”
Colossians 4:7-17

The Church is a Christ-centered family – a diverse community that is committed to Christ, to each other, and to God’s mission in the world.

There is no church without the gospel. And there is no church without gospel-centered community.

The church is a community of people who are set apart by God and identified by the nature of their relationship with him.

1. The church is a diverse family.
2. The church is a family that serves together and each other.
3. The church is a family that prays together.
4. The church is a family that’s connected within local communities, but it’s also a family that’s connected to a broader global community.
5. The church is an accountable family.

Deacon Team = “Care Team”

Membership is a way to help each other identify who’s actually in our church family, and it’s a pathway to belonging.

Our dream
: to be a diverse, Christ-centered, family – committed to Christ, to each other, and to God’s mission in the world.

Next Steps:
1. Connection Class (sign up online or via app),
2. Look out for upcoming information about the Care Team (Deacon Team)
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Church as Family
Text: Colossians 1:2, 4:7-17
Campus: College Hill

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother:
To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”
Colossians 1:1-2; 4:7-17 (CSB)

“Tychicus, our dearly loved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and so that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, a faithful and dearly loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin (concerning whom you have received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), and so does Jesus who is called Justus. These alone of the circumcised are my coworkers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. He is always wrestling for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.
Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas send you greetings.
Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her home.
After this letter has been read at your gathering, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And tell Archippus, ‘Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it.’”
Colossians 4:7-17

The Church is a Christ-centered family – a diverse community that is committed to Christ, to each other, and to God’s mission in the world.

There is no church without the gospel. And there is no church without gospel-centered community.

The church is a community of people who are set apart by God and identified by the nature of their relationship with him.

1. The church is a diverse family.
2. The church is a family that serves together and each other.
3. The church is a family that prays together.
4. The church is a family that’s connected within local communities, but it’s also a family that’s connected to a broader global community.
5. The church is an accountable family.

Deacon Team = “Care Team”

Membership is a way to help each other identify who’s actually in our church family, and it’s a pathway to belonging.

Our dream
: to be a diverse, Christ-centered, family – committed to Christ, to each other, and to God’s mission in the world.

Next Steps:
1. Connection Class (sign up online or via app),
2. Look out for upcoming information about the Care Team (Deacon Team)
_____________________________________________________________________

January 24th Sermon Guides


Kid City

View Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Session Title:  Jesus’ Baptism
Bible Passage: Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3; John 1
Story Point: John baptized Jesus.
Key Passage: John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Big Picture Question: Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Supplies: None
Lead children to line up on one side of the room. Explain that children will walk from one side of the room to the other until they hear you say the word repent. When you say repent, they should turn around and walk the other direction.
Say: Repent means to turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. John told people to repent and be baptized. People listened to John and they started to repent; they were sorry for their sins and asked God to forgive them. Then John baptized them in the Jordan River. Later, John baptized Jesus even though He had never sinned.

Bible Story Questions
  1. Where did John the Baptist live? (In the wilderness)
  2. What did John do when people said they were sorry for their sins? (He baptized them in the Jordan River.)
  3. What did Jesus ask John to do (baptize Him)
  4. What happened when John baptized Jesus? (the sky opened, and Jesus saw God’s Spirit coming down on Him like a dove. Then God’s voice came from heaven. “This is my son,” the voice said, “I love Him, and I am very happy with Him!”)
  5. Why did Jesus become human? (Jesus became human to rescue sinners.)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Supplies: None
Lead children to line up on one side of the room. Explain that children will walk from one side of the room to the other until they hear you say the word repent. When you say repent, they should turn around and walk the other direction.
Say: Repent means to turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. John told people to repent and be baptized. People listened to John and they started to repent; they were sorry for their sins and asked God to forgive them. Then John baptized them in the Jordan River. Later, John baptized Jesus even though He had never sinned.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did John do when people said they were sorry for their sins? (He baptized them in the Jordan River.)
  2. What happened when John baptized Jesus? (the sky opened, and Jesus saw God’s Spirit coming down on Him like a dove. Then God’s voice came from heaven. “This is my son,” the voice said, “I love Him, and I am very happy with Him!”)
  3. Why did Jesus become human? (Jesus became human to rescue sinners.)

Activity Choice: Drawing Jesus’ baptism
Supplies
: Paper and drawing supplies
Give each of the children a piece of construction paper. Instruct the children to draw the scene of Jesus’ baptism step by step (Draw water, land, people on the land, John the Baptist, Jesus, a dove from Heaven).
Say: John taught and preached. Many people came to hear him. When the people said they were sorry for their sins and asked God to forgive them, John baptized them. John was surprised when Jesus asked to be baptized, but John baptized Jesus. Then God’s Spirit came down on Jesus like a dove. God’s voice came from Heaven. “This is My Son. I love Him, and I am very happy with Him!” John knew Jesus was God’s son.
 _________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Nate Taylor - Executive Pastor
Title
: Making Jesus Known: Hidden in Christ
Text: Colossians 3:1-12
Campus: Rivermont.
 
What are you thinking about?

The average human will have about 6,200 thoughts per day.

If you are awake for 16 hours and sleeping for 8, that during your waking hours you average 387.5 thoughts per hour, or 6.5 thoughts per minute, or 1 thought every 9.23 seconds.

What is the primary source of your thinking? What is feeding into your thoughts and thought process?

“So, if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Colossians 3:1-4 (CSB)

“We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4b-5

As we pursue Christ and the heavenly, we are becoming ever more transformed into his image. We are being sanctified, set apart to live a different type of life.

When we are hidden in Christ, we begin to see the world and ourselves differently.

When we trust that we can see ourselves differently, that gives us permission to take a hard look at what is beneath the surface of our thoughts and actions.


“Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices.”
Colossians 3:5-9

We MUST put our earthly nature to death. The things of this earth are no longer in control, we have been raised with Christ.

What are the sources of deadly thinking in your life?

What is in your life that is trying to kill you, but you are allowing it to stay because it has been there so long? What are you comfortable with that doesn’t fit with the life hidden in Christ?

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,”
Colossians 3:9-12

The new self is in the new family of Jesus that breaks down barriers of race, nationality, class, culture and ethnicity.
When the weeds of sin and death begin to grow, we extricate them, and we water the flowers, and the fruit of a life hidden in Christ.

In Christ we can look below the surface of our lives with his strength, let him take our old self, and replace every part of it with the newness we find in him.


“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!”
Psalm 139:23

  • Where is there the evidence of some of the old self growing like a weed that needs to be plucked out?
  • Where is there evidence of the fruit of Christ that needs to be cultivated, and watered and grown?

There is nothing in you that Christ has not dealt with, and that he doesn’t already know about. There is nothing in you he has not defeated.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Preston Burling
Title
: Epiphany: Live in Christ
Text: Colossians 3:1-12
Campus: College Hill

“So, if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them.  But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.
In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,”
Colossians 3:1-12 (CSB)

Click here to see Appalachian Trail photo
Click here to see Mount Everest photo

Believers exist for the one in whom the true fullness of treasures, knowledge and wisdom can be found, Christ and Christ alone.

Three Sections:
“Put on” (verses 1-4)
“Put off” (verses 5-9)
“Put on” (verses 10-12)

“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Colossians 3:1-4

1. In Christ, earth is viewed through a heavenly lens.

The Christian life is one spent with the mind placed in the heavenlies with Christ, but our feet planted on the ground.
Every moment of our lives here on earth receives guidance and direction from Christ, who is in heaven.

2. In Christ, the lens of heaven prescribes slaying the earthly

“Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.”
~John Owen

“Murder sin with pleasure”
~Richard Chin

Since Jesus took such severe measures to conquer sin for mankind, we must take severe measures to do the same in our own lives.

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
Colossians 4:6

3. In Christ, Believers strive for the things of God.

A believer’s Identity “in Christ”:

I am justified
I am free
I am adopted
I am secure
I am unfinished

“I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6

Christ + Nothing = Everything

1. Do I believe I have been raised to new life in Christ?
If so, then
2. What earthly things do I need to “put off” and what heavenly things do I need to “put on” so that I may live my life more fully in Christ?

____________________________________________________________


January 17th Sermon Guides

KidsCity

Click here to watch our Kid City video that corresponds to this sermon guide. https://vimeo.com/showcase/7960320

Session Title: Jesus as a Child
Bible passage: Matthew 2; Luke 2
Story point: Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan.
Key passage: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Big Picture Question: Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human. 

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: None
Look around the classroom and choose an item. Describe the item to preschoolers, mentioning its color and shape. Give additional clues and ask a child if he knows where the item is. Guide him to walk over and point to the item. Allow children to take turns describing items and guessing where each item is. Be prepared to offer assistance as needed.
Say: When Jesus was 12 years old, He went with his parents, Mary and Joseph, to Jerusalem. After the celebration, Mary and Joseph started traveling home with a large group of people. Later, they discovered Jesus was not with them! They did not know where He was. Later, they found out that He was in the temple learning from the teacher. Jesus said that the Temple was His Father’s house! Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan.

Bible Story Questions
1. Why did Jesus’ family travel to Jerusalem? (For a special celebration called Passover)
2. How old was Jesus in today’s story? (12 years old)
3. What did Mary and Joseph realize after they were on their way home to Nazareth? (Jesus was not with them; they couldn’t find Jesus.)
4. Where did Mary and Joseph find Jesus? (the temple)
5. Why did Jesus stay at the temple (to listen to the teachers and ask questions, to be in His Father’s house)
6. Is Jesus God or a human? (Jesus is both fully God and fully human)

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: None
Look around the classroom and choose an item. Describe the item to preschoolers, mentioning its color and shape. Give additional clues and ask a child if he knows where the item is. Guide him to walk over and point to the item. Allow children to take turns describing items and guessing where each item is. Be prepared to offer assistance as needed.
Say: When Jesus was 12 years old, He went with his parents, Mary and Joseph, to Jerusalem. After the celebration, Mary and Joseph started traveling home with a large group of people. Later, they discovered Jesus was not with them! They did not know where He was. Later, they found out that He was in the temple learning from the teacher. Jesus said that the Temple was His Father’s house! Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan.

Bible Story Questions
  1. In what ways does the Bible say Jesus grew when He was a young boy? (Strength, wisdom, and filled with God’s grace)
  2. Why were Jesus and His parents, Mary and Joseph, in Jerusalem? (To celebrate a Jewish holiday, Passover)
  3. Where did Mary and Joseph find Jesus after they lost him and what was He doing? (in the temple; learning from the teachers)
  4. Why did Jesus come to Earth? (To do His Father’s plan)

Activity: Hide and Seek
Supplies: None
Pick one person in the family to be the “finder.” Have the “finder” countdown from ten while the rest of the family hides in the house. When the “finder” has finished counting, they can look around the room to see where everyone was hiding. Repeat and let others have a turn at being the “finder.”
Say: Mary and Joseph couldn’t find Jesus ANYWHERE on their way back from Jerusalem! But Jesus said that they should have known all along that He was going to be in His Father’s house. Jesus was sent on Earth to do God’s plan, and He knew that even when he was a young boy!
_______________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Making Jesus Known: Radical Generosity 
Text: Colossians 1:24-2:3, Revelation 3:15-22
Campus: Rivermont

Epiphany is all about the way that God reveals himself to us through Jesus Christ, and it’s a season of intentional gospel proclamation.

Paul confronts materialism by challenging the Colossian Christians to look beyond this physical world and to pursue the enduring wealth of knowing Christ.


“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for his body, that is, the church.”
Colossians 1:24 (CSB)

“God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:27

Our peace and satisfaction aren’t dependent on outward materialistic superiority but is the fruit of inward transformation.

“I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.”
Colossians 1:29

“For I want you to know how greatly I am struggling for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person.  I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ.  In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:1-3

Paul wanted followers of Jesus:
1) to be encouraged,
2) to be united in love,
3) having a complete knowledge of Christ.

Knowing Christ breaks the grasp of materialism in our lives.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.  I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.’  ‘To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.’  ‘Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
Revelation 3:15-22

The Christians in Laodicea had prioritized their wealth and their medicine, but that’s not the right currency for lasting satisfaction and peace.

In what ways are we like Laodicea?
How have we misdirected our faith or misplaced our hope?
When God convicts our hearts, where do we turn?

Jesus offered to cover their shame with His righteousness (v. 18).
Jesus offers intimacy and satisfaction (v. 20).
Jesus doesn’t just want us to feast with him but to be satisfied by him.

At GCC, we want to prioritize and worship Jesus – by practicing silence and solitude and pursuing radical generosity.

What if you adopted those two practices this year?

___________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Making Jesus Known: Radical Generosity 
Text: Colossians 1:24-2:3, Revelation 3:15-22
Campus: College Hill

Epiphany is all about the way that God reveals himself to us through Jesus Christ, and it’s a season of intentional gospel proclamation.

Paul confronts materialism by challenging the Colossian Christians to look beyond this physical world and to pursue the enduring wealth of knowing Christ.


“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for his body, that is, the church.”
Colossians 1:24 (CSB)

“God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:27

Our peace and satisfaction aren’t dependent on outward materialistic superiority but is the fruit of inward transformation.

“I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.”
Colossians 1:29

“For I want you to know how greatly I am struggling for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person.  I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ.  In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:1-3

Paul wanted followers of Jesus: 
1) to be encouraged,
2) to be united in love,
3) having a complete knowledge of Christ.

Knowing Christ breaks the grasp of materialism in our lives.


“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.  I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.’  ‘To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.’  ‘Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
Revelation 3:15-22

The Christians in Laodicea had prioritized their wealth and their medicine, but that’s not the right currency for lasting satisfaction and peace.

In what ways are we like Laodicea?

How have we misdirected our faith or misplaced our hope?
When God convicts our hearts, where do we turn?

Jesus offered to cover their shame with His righteousness (v. 18).
Jesus offers intimacy and satisfaction (v. 20).
Jesus doesn’t just want us to feast with him but to be satisfied by him.

At GCC, we want to prioritize and worship Jesus – by practicing silence and solitude and pursuing radical generosity.

What if you adopted those two practices this year?

___________________________________________

January 10th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Title
: Jesus Was Dedicated
Bible Passage: Luke 2
Story Point: Simeon and Anna worshipped Jesus
Key Passage: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Big Picture Question: Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human.  

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity:

Supplies: None
Gather preschoolers together. Suggest a simple action, such as run in place, pat your head, or wave to a friend. Instruct them to wait to begin moving until a signal is given. Watch a clock as children anticipate beginning to move. Build excitement and finally give the signal for the boys and girls to move. Continue playing and emphasize the waiting, pre-movement time.
Say: Simeon and Anna waited a long time to meet Jesus. God promised Simeon that he would not die until he saw the Savior had been born. Simeon and Anna worshiped Jesus and told others the good news.

Bible Story Questions:
  1. Where did Jesus’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, take Him to obey God’s rules? (the temple)
  2. What promise did God make to Simeon? ( Simeon would not die until he saw the Messiah, Jesus)
  3. What did Simeon say it would be like for Mary to be Jesus’ mother? (very good, but very hard)
  4. Is Jesus God or a human? (Jesus is both fully God and fully human)

Activity: Coloring
Supplies: Paper and coloring utensils
Draw a picture of Simeon celebrating Jesus being born!
Say: People waited for Jesus to be born for so long! They were so excited when they realized the savior was finally here! Jesus was sent to the world as fully God and fully Human to save us from our sin.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity:
Supplies
: Paper and Pen
Write out each word of the passage and then erase one word at a time. Try to have the kids remember the blanks in the passages as you erase them.
Say: The Bible says that Jesus was with God from the beginning and that He was God!

Bible Story Questions:
  1. Where did Jesus’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, take Him to obey God’s rules? (the temple)
  2. What promise did God make to Simeon? ( Simeon would not die until he saw the Messiah, Jesus)
  3. What did Simeon say it would be like for Mary to be Jesus’ mother? (very good, but very hard)
  4. Is Jesus God or a human? (Jesus is both fully God and fully human)

Activity: Coloring
Supplies
: Paper and coloring utensils
Draw a picture of Simeon celebrating Jesus being born!
Say: People waited for Jesus to be born for so long! They were so excited when they realized the savior was finally here! Jesus was sent to the world as fully God and fully Human to save us from our sin.
___________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes:  Andrew Moroz
Title
: Making Jesus Known: Gospel Transformation
Text: Colossians 1:9-20
Campus: Rivermont

God gave us his gospel and the Church to be a vehicle for discipleship and transformation.
 
“...discipleship means being an apprentice of Jesus in our daily existence.”
“...a disciple is simply someone who has decided to be with another person…in order to learn to do what that person does, or to become what that person is.”
 
~Dallas Willard
 
Epiphany: comes from a Greek word which points to an act of revealing, unveiling, or appearing.
 
Jesus is God in the flesh; Sovereign leader over all creation and our enduring hope in life and death.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Colossians 1:15-20 (CSB)

1. Jesus is the visible expression of God (vv. 15, 19)
2. Jesus is the head of the Church (v. 18)
3. Jesus is God’s instrument of redemption and peace (vv. 19-20)
 
Our vision: life transformation through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We desire: 
Personal transformation.
Corporate transformation.
Global transformation.

“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.”
Colossians 1:9-12 (CSB)

What does gospel transformation look like? 
* People are filled with the knowledge of God’s will, displaying divine wisdom and understanding (v. 9).
* People are living lives that are pleasing to God, bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God (v. 10).
* People are experiencing God’s supernatural presence and strength in every season and every circumstance (v. 11).

We want this Epiphany season to be accompanied by deep gospel transformation and by stories of life change. 

info@gospelcc.org
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: JESUS/EPIPHANY - Gospel Transformation
Text: Colossians 1:15-20, 9-13
Campus: College Hill

God gave us his gospel and the Church to be a vehicle for discipleship and transformation.
 
“...discipleship means being an apprentice of Jesus in our daily existence.”
“...a disciple is simply someone who has decided to be with another person…in order to learn to do what that person does, or to become what that person is.”

~Dallas Willard

Epiphany: comes from a Greek word which points to an act of revealing, unveiling, or appearing.

Jesus is God in the flesh; Sovereign leader over all creation and our enduring hope in life and death.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Colossians 1:15-20 (CSB)

1. Jesus is the visible expression of God (vv. 15, 19)
2. Jesus is the head of the Church (v. 18)
3. Jesus is God’s instrument of redemption and peace (vv. 19-20)

Our vision: life transformation through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We desire:
Personal transformation.
Corporate transformation.
Global transformation.

“For this reason, also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.”
Colossians 1:9-12 (CSB)

What does gospel transformation look like?
*People are filled with the knowledge of God’s will, displaying divine wisdom and understanding (v. 9).
*People are living lives that are pleasing to God, bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God (v. 10).
*People are experiencing God’s supernatural presence and strength in every season and every circumstance (v. 11).
We want this Epiphany season to be accompanied by deep gospel transformation and by stories of life change.
 
Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done.
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
as we forgive the sins of others.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the Kingdom,
and the glory, and the power.
Amen.

December 27th Sermon Guides

 
Sermon Notes: Preston Burling
Title: The Spirit’s Movement in Community
Text: Matthew 18:18-20
Campus: Rivermont

Disruption and Direction 
 
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.”
Matthew 18:18-20

Take notice of God’s discerning voice that rises in the midst of Godly community?

Graduated Responsibility: “To whom much is given, much is required”

We have the same responsibility that the disciples had to be keenly aware of how the Spirit of the living God is moving among us.

Take notice of God’s voice that rises in the midst of Godly community.

It’s not us that affects heaven, but it’s heaven that affects us, and in light of that, heaven’s effects must be discerned from the Father’s will.

In one sense: This text is about the sacred space cultivated when brothers and sisters in Christ enter into a deep, discerning, and prayerful space that seeks understanding and agreement on what God is doing in their midst.

Disruption is an interruption in our thought patterns and our safe emotional ruts. It causes an unplanned deviation from our expected daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly habits.

The routines of our life train our inner character, but routines can sometimes lead to unthinking ways and God’s Spirit wants to disrupt these unthinking ways in our lives.

Direction is God hovering over the chaos of our life and calling forth steps on a different course. It’s that timely help we need on the pathway forward.”

A Kairos moment is a disruption of time when the Kingdom of God comes near to us and elicits a response. It’s a disruptive moment that calls us to respond to God’s invitation.

We cannot fully discern God’s missional activity in our lives in isolation.

We need to recover the expectation that God is going to meet us in our active relationships with other believers.

Communal Sense of Direction > Individual Sense of Direction
Communio
n: What is the Spirit doing in me?
Community: What is the Spirit doing around me?
Co-Mission: What is the Spirit doing through me?
Next Step: What is our response?
REFLECT, RECORD & RESPOND

______________________________________________________________________
Sermon Notes: Austin Whiteheart
Title
: True Rest
Text: Psalm 62
Campus: College Hill

What do I find rest and security in?

Our souls crave the true rest that only God can provide, but the world has endless, counterfeit alternatives which will never truly satisfy our soul.

True rest and security for our soul can only be found in God.

Psalm 62 shows us how to rest in God alone when we are tired, beaten down, and tempted to find rest in counterfeit alternatives.

“I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. How long will you threaten a man? Will all of you attack as if he were a leaning wall or a tottering fence? They only plan to bring him down from his high position. They take pleasure in lying; they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Selah.
Common people are only a vapor; important people, an illusion. Together on a scale, they weigh less than a vapor. Place no trust in oppression or false hope in robbery. If wealth increases, don’t set your heart on it. God has spoken once; I have heard this twice: strength belongs to God, and faithful love belongs to you, Lord. For you repay each according to his works.”
Psalm 62

“I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. “
Psalm 62:1-2

Rest = confidence, security, and hope in God

“How long will you threaten a man? Will all of you attack as if he were a leaning wall or a tottering fence? They only plan to bring him down from his high position. They take pleasure in lying; they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly.”
Psalm 62:3-4

Are the sources where you found rest and security gone?

“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. “
Psalm 62:5-6

Take command of your thoughts

“My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge.”
Psalm 62:7-8

“16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; 17 the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you… 26 the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.”
John 14:16-17, 26

He is the source of our strength. He is our refuge. Our salvation in Him and the Spirit working in us gives us power to command our thoughts.

Common people are only a vapor; important people, an illusion. Together on a scale, they weigh less than a vapor. Place no trust in oppression or false hope in robbery. If wealth increases, don’t set your heart on it.

Psalm 62:9-10

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.”
James 4:13-14

“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

When we rest in God alone, we have an eternal security that no earthly means can provide.

Where am I finding my rest and security right now?

“God has spoken once; I have heard this twice:
strength belongs to God, and faithful love belongs to you, Lord. For you repay each according to his works.
Psalm 62:11-12

These truths are the fuel for our rest in God. God is strong enough to be our foundation, God is faithful in His love to us, and He is perfectly just in all He does.

Be rooted in Christ.

“The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Romans 3:22-26

Only Christ is strong enough to save and sustain us. Only Christ has the perfect, faithful love needed to sacrifice Himself on the cross to save us. And only Christ is perfectly just to declare the guilty as innocent through His blood.
Am I rooted in Christ?

Am I currently finding rest and security in God alone?

If not, what false-securities am I trusting in?

What thoughts or actions do I need to take?

December 24th Sermon Guide

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title
: Christ
Text: Luke 2:1-5, Matthew 2:1-6, 16-18.
Congregation: Rivermont & College Hill

Hope
Peace
Joy
Love


“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.”
Luke 2:1-6

Bethlehem: Bet + Lechem = place of bread/provision

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.’
When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.
‘In Bethlehem of Judea,’ they told him, ‘because this is what was written by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: Because out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Matthew 2:1-6

“Then Herod, when he realized that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men. Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
Matthew 2:16-18


Click to see pictures: The Wall in Bethlehem (1)
The Wall in Bethlehem (2)
The Wall in Bethlehem (3)

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ ‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26

December 20th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE. 

Lesson Overview
Bible PassageMatthew 1:18-25
Story Point: God sent Jesus to us to save us from our sins because God loves us and wanted to save us from our sins!
Key Passage: Matthew 1:21 - She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: Paper and pen or pencil
Write: out the verse, read it together pointing to the words if you kids are still learning to read. Then say the verse together normally and then in silly voices (robo voices, deep voices, let your child suggest some). Say the verse 3 or 4 times.
Say: Jesus was sent to earth to save us from our sins. God loved us enough to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did God do to show us that He loves us? (He sent His son Jesus to save us from our sins.)
  2. Why did Joseph decide to marry Mary? (An angel visited him in a dream and told him to marry her and to name her baby Jesus.)
  3. Besides coming to Earth as a baby, what did Jesus to do show us his love for God and for us? (He died on the cross so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life.)
  4. How are you going to show love for other people during this Christmas season? (Share your toys, help with cleaning up, don’t fight are all good things to do. Ask your siblings or parents how you can show them love.)

Activity: Coloring
Supplies: Paper and coloring utensils
Draw a picture of something nice you can do to show love to others.
Say: I Jesus came to earth as a baby and then grew up and lived a perfect life before dying on the cross and then resurrecting. He told us to love one another. So, let’s honor Him and show each other love!

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: Paper and Pen
Write: out each word of the passage and then erase one word at a time.
Say: Paul encourages us in these verses to love others and be devoted to them. He tells us to stick to what is good and completely dislike what is evil and not good.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What did God do to show us that He loves us? (He sent His son Jesus to save us from our sins.)
  2. Why did Joseph decide to marry Mary? (An angel visited him in a dream and told him to marry her and to name her baby Jesus.)
  3. What does Immanuel mean? (It means God with us. When Jesus left Heaven he was still 100% God and 100% man.)
  4. Why do we celebrate Jesus coming down to earth? Why did he have to come down to earth? (John 3:16 says that God loved the world and so He sent us His only Son, to save us from our sins.)
  5. Besides coming to Earth as a baby, what did Jesus to do show us his love for God and for us? (He died on the cross so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life.He took the punishment of our sin so we could be saved!)
  6. How are you going to show love for other people during this Christmas season? (Share your toys, help with cleaning up, don’t fight are all good things to do. Ask your siblings or parents how you can show them love.)

Activity: The kindness game
Supplies: Paper, tape and writing utensils
If your kids are old enough - Everyone tape a piece of paper to their back, then have everyone go around the room and write something nice or something that they love about that person. At the end read the nice things that were written about you.
Say: Sometimes, love looks like saying nice things to one another. Jesus came to earth as a baby and then grew up and lived a perfect life before dying on the cross and then resurrecting. He told us to love one another. So, let’s honor Him and show each other love!
__________________________________________________________________

Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Advent Week 3: Love

Intro/Overview
This Sunday begins week 3 of the advent season. This season is marked by joyful and eager anticipation of Christ’s return. Not only do we, as His people, wait for His return, but we also celebrate His first coming over 2,000 years ago. Christ was born a baby, in the flesh, fully God and fully man. The incarnation of Christ has incredible implications for those that believe, it is foundational to our faith.

As we continue to celebrate Christ and the advent season, the theme for this week is love. Love is a unique and yet complex emotion. As human beings our love is often conditional and wavering, it fluctuates depending on our circumstances. Yet, God’s love is perfect, complete, and ultimate. And He demonstrated His incredible love for humanity by sending His perfect, righteous, and only Son to die for the sins of many.

In Matthew chapter 1 we find the story of Joseph and Mary. Joseph is set to wed Mary, however, he finds out that his fiancé, Mary, is already with child. Because Joseph is a loving and godly man, he decided to divorce Mary quietly so he would not shame her or her family. However, the Lord (via a dream) speaks to Joseph, and what he learns is that she isn’t just carrying any child, the child in her womb has been conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Joseph had to trust God and believe that promise that his bride-to-be was indeed carrying the Savior of the world. If Joseph didn’t love and trust God (and Mary), that would have made things really difficult. This gave Joseph a unique opportunity to love abs care Mary. In the same way God has shown His love for us. In fact, in an even more powerful and unique way.

We are all sinners that have turned from God. When reading through the Scriptures, we find that as God’s people we have rebelled against Him time and time again. But even when we are faithless, He is faithful and His love is steadfast and eternal. He has shown His love for humanity in the most glorious way, but sending Christ Jesus to save and redeem us.

Discussion Questions
Read Matthew 1:18-25
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. What is your definition of love? What are some ways that we can show love to others, and how has God shown His love for us? 
  2. Considering the situation, it would have been really easy for Joseph to walk away. How was Joseph able to care for Mary through this situation? What was his motivation? 
  3. The text in Matthew 1 tells us that this child (Jesus) would be a savior to his people. How has Christ saved us? What does that mean for those that believe? 

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? How can you show Christ to your extended (and immediate) family during the holiday season? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title: Love
Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Campus: Rivermont

In the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus, the love of God is revealed to us. In Christ, God is saying - I see you, I know you, and I love you.

“An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:”
Matthew 1:1

“ So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, fourteen generations.”
Matthew 1:17.

“The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’
When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.”
Matthew 1:18-25

ABRAHAM, SARAI, AND HAGAR

“He said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?’
She replied, ‘I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.’
The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her authority.’ The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count.’
The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘You have conceived and will have a son. You will name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your cry of affliction.’
So she named the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are El-roi,’ for she said, ‘In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?’”
Genesis 16:8-11, 13.

El-Roi

JUDAH AND TAMAR

RAHAB-RUTH


Our God is named El-Roi: God Who Sees Me. He knows us, the parts that no one else does. And still - he moves toward us in love.

Hesed


“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. “
Hebrews 4:12

“No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.”
Hebrews 4:13

“God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

When the gospel’s brand of love defines us, we are free.

“This is how we know what love is: that Christ laid his life down for us…”
1 John 3:16

“We should also lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters.”
1 John 3:16

“ Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Love
Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Campus: College Hill

What are some of the greatest love stories that have ever been told?

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” –
John 3:16

“An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Aram, Aram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered King David, David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife
Matthew 1:1-6 (CSB)

Matthew helps us to see the congruency of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

hesed: usually translated as faithful, or steadfast, love.
Hesed always involves an interpersonal relationship.
Hesed is never merely an abstract feeling of goodwill but always entails practical action on behalf of another.
Hesed is enduring.

1) Abraham to David (vv. 2-6)
God never gave up on his promise to Abraham and he continued to further his Kingdom through his dysfunctional family.

2) David to exile (vv. 6-11)
“David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,”
Matthew 1:6b

3) Exile to Christ (vv. 11-16)
“A pronouncement:
The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.
‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord.”
Malachi 1:1-2a

“’For look, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,’ says the Lord of Armies, ‘not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,’ says the Lord of Armies.”
Malachi 4:1-3

“The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So, her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.’
When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.”
Matthew 1:18-25 (CSB)

Observations:
A humble and miraculous conception.
The fulfillment of promises.
Transformational love.
How do you need to respond to this love?
We are seen, fully known and fully loved by God.
_____________________________________________________________________

December 13th Sermon Guides

Kid City

Click here to watch our Kid City video that corresponds to this sermon guide. https://vimeo.com/showcase/7026436

Bible passage: Luke 1: 46-55 & Psalm 16:11
Story point: Mary had great joy because she was carrying Jesus, God’s Son!
Key passage: Psalm 16:11 - "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies
: Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, Psalm 16:11, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Then take a ball and pass it around and whoever has the ball must say the next word until the verse is complete.
Say: Being in the presence of God, brings us more joy than anything else can. We get tired of toys, our favorite food changes over time, but God’s love remains the same.

Bible Story Questions
Read
Luke 1:46-55

  1. What does Joy mean? What is something or someone that brings you joy? (Joy is a feeling of happiness. Something or someone that brings you joy is someone who makes you feel warm and good inside. Maybe your friends, your pets, a special toy you have, maybe looking at Christmas lights with your family or eating a yummy cake.)
  2. What brought Mary joy? (She rejoiced in the Lord, she didn’t rejoice in what she would receive or in her circumstance. She recognized that God keeps His promises.)
  3. What is the greatest gift of all time? (Jesus, His love and friendship is the best present anyone can ever receive! He brings joy that cannot compare to any pretty princess dress, a new playstation or the prettiest Christmas tree.)

Activity
Supplies: Paper, pencil, drawing utensils/crayons
Say: Draw a picture or write a list of things that bring you joy and how God has brought you joy.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies
: Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, Psalm 16:11, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Then take a ball and pass it around and whoever has the ball must say the next word until the verse is complete.
Say: Being in the presence of God, brings us more joy than anything else can. We get tired of toys, our favorite food changes over time, but God’s love remains the same.

Bible Story Questions
Read
Luke 1:46-55

  1. What does Joy mean? What is something or someone that brings you joy? (Joy is a feeling of happiness. Something or someone that brings you joy is someone who makes you feel warm and good inside. Maybe your friends, your pets, a special toy you have, maybe looking at Christmas lights with your family or eating a yummy cake.)
  2. What brought Mary joy? (She rejoiced in the Lord, she didn’t rejoice in what she would receive or in her circumstance. She recognized that God keeps His promises.)
  3. What is the greatest gift of all time? (Jesus, His love and friendship is the best present anyone can ever receive! He brings joy that cannot compare to any pretty princess dress, a new playstation or the prettiest Christmas tree.)

Activity
Supplies
: Pencils/paper, Drawing utensils, crayons
Say: Draw a picture or write a list of things that bring you joy and how God has brought you joy.
________________________
Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture
: Luke 1:46-55
Advent Week 3: Joy

Intro/Overview
The holiday season is filled with great excitement and celebration. We look forward to decorating our homes, spending time with our families and friends, having time off work/school, and of course giving and receiving gifts from our loved ones. This Christmas season is filled with joy. However, as followers of Christ, our joy isn’t limited to the holiday season, material possessions, or earthly circumstances. We have reason to rejoice always.

In Luke chapter 1, we find the story of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. Both women are expecting babies (Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist, and of course Mary would give birth to Jesus Christ, the Son of God), so they have reason to rejoice. Earlier in Luke chapter 1, Mary had been visited by an angel of the Lord. The angel told her that she had found favor with God, and that the Lord was with her. This angel even promised her that she would conceive a child and by the power of the Holy Spirit. And of course, this isn’t just any child, but this child would be the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Of course, Mary decides to visit her cousin Elizabeth and share this wonderful and miraculous news. Elizabeth was aware of the Holy Spirit and the power of God being upon Mary. She knew of the Savior in Mary’s womb, in fact, the child Elizabeth was carrying leaped when Mary entered her home! Elizabeth then tells Mary that she is blessed because of this and blessed because she has believed the promises of God.

Following this encounter, Mary immediately gives praise to the Lord. She is overcome by His grace and His faithfulness to fulfill His promise. In verse 47, Mary says “my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” Mary has great joy in God because she has found favor with Him and He has been faithful to keep His promise. God has taken a lowly, ordinary, and humble young woman and allowed her to carry the Savior of the world. While this is certainly incredible, it is important that we don’t miss the application of this text.

Yes, Mary, an ordinary, humble young woman had found favor with God, but we too, as the people of God, those chosen by Him have also found favor with God. We too have reason to rejoice as lowly, ordinary, people. That God of all creation, the Maker of heaven and earth sent his only Son to live, die, and resurrect for our redemption. For those that believe in Christ Jesus, we are saved, we are forgiven, and we also have found favor with God. This is the reason that we rejoice at ALL times, not just during the holiday season. What we have in Christ is an eternal, unwavering, legitimate joy. This is different from what the world offers us, and different from what the world considers joy. It isn’t about presents, it is about the greatest gift in all of existence, Christ Jesus, the perfect Son of God.

Discussion Questions
Read
Luke 1:46-55
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. The theme for the second week of advent is joy. How would you define the word joy?
  2. What brings you the greatest amount of joy? It could be any number of things: gifts, video games, sports, school, relationships, etc. (make sure you are honest about this!). 
  3. Mary (the mother of Jesus) is given the great responsibility of carrying and caring for the Messiah, the Savior of the world, Christ Jesus. As a young woman, she rejoices in this blessing greatly. How can we rejoice in God consistently?
  4. During the Christmas/advent season, we celebrate with great joy. As believers, what is it that Jesus has done that allows us to rejoice so greatly? What has His life, death, and resurrection accomplished for us? 
  5. How does joy in God/Christ differ from the joy that the world offers?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation. 

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? How can you show Christ to your extended (and immediate) family during the holiday season? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title
: Joy
Text: Luke 1:46-55
Campus: Rivermont

“Ultimate happiness is really just about enjoying life.” — Tony Hsieh

Deep and lasting joy cannot be bought, manipulated, or wished into existence.

Advent is a season on the church calendar which annually points us to the source of lasting joy and ultimate happiness.


Joy is found in humble obedience, in promises fulfilled, in the character of God, in the presence of God, and in the person of Jesus.

Joy is found in the shadow of our disappointments and broken dreams—and even in our doubts and confusion.

“And Mary said:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, because he has looked with favor on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him.
He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud because of the thoughts of their hearts;
he has toppled the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he spoke to our ancestors.’”

Luke 1:46-55 (CSB)

Gabriel's announcement to Mary was surprising and confusing.

“I am the Lord’s servant…May it be done to me according to your word.”
Luke 1:38

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
Luke 1:45

Mary chose faith over fear.

Joy can be found in the shadow of our disappointments and broken dreams; it can be found in the midst of pain and confusion because joy is found in Jesus, who is God WITH us.

Who did she understand God to be? Why is she praising Him?
  1. Mary saw God as her Savior (v. 47)
  2. God takes notice of the lowly and does great things in their lives (vv. 48-49)
  3. God is both holy and merciful (vv. 49-50)
  4. In Christ, God would display his might and power by reversing the world’s value system (vv. 51-53)
“He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he spoke to our ancestors.”
Luke 1:54-55
5) God fulfills his promises (vv. 54-55)

When you experience something surprising or disappointing, are you still able to respond with joyful praise?

We will never be able to respond the way that Mary did if we don’t tether ourselves to Scripture–the written word; and to Jesus—the living Word.

________________________

Sermon Notes: Matt Bradner
Title
: Joy
Text: Luke 1:46-55
Campus: College Hill

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!
And Mary said:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, because he has looked with favor on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him.
He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud because of the thoughts of their hearts;
he has toppled the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he spoke to our ancestors.’”

Luke 1:45-55

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you.
In his love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17
________________________

December 6th Sermon Guides

Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture: Luke 1:67-79
Advent Week 2: Peace

Intro/Overview
This Sunday marks the second week of our advent season. Initially we talked about the meaning of advent, and wow this season is marked by our eager anticipation of Christ’s return. The theme for the first Sunday of advent is hope. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a great hope and assurance, one that is steadfast and eternal. The hope that we have in Christ is unlike the hope we have in things of this world. With Christ, we don’t have to wonder or doubt, instead, our hope is certain and unwavering.

As we enter week 2 of our advent season, the theme for this week is peace. Peace should be a constant familiar reality for those in Christ. Yet, in a world full of sin, and death, chaos and trials, it is easy for us to become overwhelmed and lose our sense of peace. For believers, it is important that we understand the two-fold meaning of the word peace.

Luke chapter 1 sets the stage for the birth of Jesus and follows the story of the birth of John the Baptist. After the wife of Zechariah gives birth to a baby boy, it is evident to all the people that this baby is blessed/special. Zechariah, who was previously unable to talk, prophesies about this baby boy and says that he will clear the way for the coming of the Lord. Zechariah also informs his hearers that God has provided redemption and salvation for His people and has been incredibly merciful and compassionate to the nation of Israel. This great redemption and salvation of course is realized in and through Jesus. Finally at the end of chapter 1, Zechariah says that God will guide His people to the way of peace (verse 79).

The Bible says that (because of our sin) we were born as enemies of God, but because of Christ, we are now at peace with God (Romans 5:1). But what is this peace that comes from God? First of all, peace is no longer being at war with holy Creator God. We are no longer His enemies, but now we are His children. What a glorious reality! Second, peace (biblically speaking) is a sense of assurance, rest, and serenity (spiritually speaking). Because of the finished work of Christ and the redemption He has assured for those who believe, we can live each day with a great sense of peace as we eagerly await eternity with our King.
For believers, we know that Christ holds us fast and keeps us secure. It is the Lord that preserves us. This should be a great comfort to every believer; a reality that we celebrate and embrace daily, not simply during the advent season.

Discussion Questions
Read Luke 1:67-79
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. The theme for the second week of advent is peace. How would you define the word peace?
  2. The world is such a busy and chaotic place, so much so that we often become incredibly stressed and overwhelmed. What brings you peace in your moments of anxiety?
  3. Through Christ Jesus we have incredible peace. Peace, in a biblical context, has two meanings. What is the two-fold meaning of God’s peace?
  4. How does God’s peace differ from the world’s peace?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? How can you show Christ to your extended (and immediate) family during the holiday season? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
_____________________________________

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Text: 
Luke 1:67-79 (CSB)
Title: 
Peace
Congregation: 
Rivermont

“Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and provided redemption for his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,  just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets in ancient times;
salvation from our enemies and from the hand of those who hate us.
He has dealt mercifully with our ancestors and remembered his holy covenant—the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant that we, having been rescued from the hand of our enemies, would serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness in his presence all our days.
And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.“
Luke 1:67-79

Click Here to see the Image: Kellogg-Briand Pact

שָׁלוֹם‎ - “shalom‎”, peace

In what ways do I need peace?

Where do I tend to go to find a sense of peace?


“Zechariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.”
Luke 1:18

How might Jesus be inviting us into a quiet, still, and unhurried pace of life?

Being with God in silence and stillness transforms our hearts from doubting to delighting.


“Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and provided redemption for his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,  just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets in ancient times;“
Luke 1:67-70

“Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and provided redemption for his people.”
“Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:68, 78-79

“Afterward he was on his way to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. Just as he neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the town was also with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, ‘Don’t weep.’ Then he came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And he said, ‘Young man, I tell you, get up!’
The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Then fear came over everyone, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us,’ and ‘God has visited his people.”
Luke 7:11-16

“to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.’”
Luke 1:77

Christ himself is our peace (Eph. 2:14)

Repentance is the practice of the peaceful.

In what ways do I need peace? Where do I tend to go to find a sense of peace?
_______________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title: 
Peace
Text: 
Luke 1:67-79
Campus: 
College Hill

Advent helps us to slow down and to focus on something lasting, eternal, and true.

Advent holds pain and promise in tension.

Peace is found in the tension of the already, and not yet; it’s found in the fulfillment of God’s promises and in our anticipation of our eternal reality.


“Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and provided redemption for his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets in ancient times; salvation from our enemies and from the hand of those who hate us.
He has dealt mercifully with our ancestors and remembered his holy covenant—the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant that we, having been rescued from the hand of our enemies, would serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness in his presence all our days.
And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit us to shine  on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.“
Luke 1:67-79 (CSB)

The Story of God: Creation. Fall. Redemption. Restoration.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed.”
Genesis 1:1-2, 31a

Shalom (peace, wholeness) was shattered in Genesis chapter three.

God’s justice is not absent of grace.


“Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis  12:1-3

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.”
Deuteronomy  18:15

Partial obedience is disobedience.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.”
Isaiah 9:2

Three Overarching Reasons for Praise (Luke 1:67-79):
1) God has not forgotten his people (vv. 68-69)
2) God rescues and heals his people (vv. 69-71)
3) God has fulfilled, and is fulfilling, his promises to his people (vv. 69-73)

Salvation is healing.

The purpose of God’s salvation is not simply to make our lives temporarily better—or to keep us out of hell—but for us to serve him in holiness (Luke 1:74-75)

Healing and peace is found when we tether ourselves to Jesus.
 
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”
Ephesians  2:4-5 (CSB)

We can welcome peace (Christ) through:
1) Repentance and
2) Praise
_______________________________________



November 29th Sermon Guides

KidsCity

Click here to watch our Kid City video that corresponds to this sermon guide. https://vimeo.com/showcase/7026436

Bible passage: Luke 2:25-32
Story point: HOPE - We can have hope in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Key passage: Luke 2:26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, Luke 2:26, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Erase or cross out one word at a time until the verse is memorized.
Say: Simeon had been promised by God through the Holy Spirit that he would live to see Jesus. Throughout his life he was patient, did what was right, and held on to hope, knowing God would keep His promise. In the next verses we will see that God was true to His promise, and Simeon met Jesus.

Bible Story Questions
Read Luke 2:25 - 32 and listen to Mr. Brandon’s lesson
  1. Who was Simeon? (He was an Israelite who lived a righteous life. God has promised him that he would meet Jesus.)
  2. Do you think that Simeon waited for a short or a long time? (The Bible doesn’t tell us how old Simeon was, and it doesn’t tell us how long he waited, but we know that he waited and did not give up. He trusted in God and in God’s promises.)
  3. What is something that we Christians hope for? (Our hope is in Jesus Christ. It is knowing that he lived, died, and rose again and that one day, we Christians will be in heaven with him.

Activity: Hope Potato (Hot Potato)
Supplies: A ball, or potato, or anything to pass around in a circle.
Pass around the item chosen, and play some Christmas music, whoever ends up with the item at the end, say something that gives you hope.
Ex. The hope you have in Jesus as our savior, hope in a wonderful Christmas season because we love each other.
Say: Simeon waited years for Jesus, we are so blessed to have been born in a time where we don’t have to wait for Him, He has already come! Go throughout this week remembering the great hope we have in Jesus.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, Luke 2:26, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Erase or cross out one word at a time until the verse is memorized.
Say: Simeon had been promised by God through the Holy Spirit that he would live to see Jesus. Throughout his life he was patient, did what was right, and held on to hope, knowing God would keep His promise. In the next verses we will see that God was true to His promise, and Simeon met Jesus.

Bible Story Questions
Read Luke 2:25 - 32 and listen to Mr. Brandon’s lesson
  1. Who was Simeon? (He was an Israelite who lived a righteous life. God has promised him that he would meet Jesus.)
  2. Do you think that Simeon waited for a short or a long time? (The Bible doesn’t tell us how old Simeon was, and it doesn’t tell us how long he waited, but we know that he waited and did not give up. He trusted in God and in God’s promises.)
  3. What is something that we Christians hope for? (Our hope is in Jesus Christ. It is knowing that he lived, died, and rose again and that one day, we Christians will be in heaven with him.)

Activity: Hope Potato (Hot Potato)
Supplies: A ball, or potato, or anything to pass around in a circle.
Pass around the item chosen, and play some Christmas music, whoever ends up with the item at the end, say something that gives you hope.
Ex. The hope you have in Jesus as our savior, hope in a wonderful Christmas season because we love each other.
Say: Simeon waited years for Jesus, we are so blessed to have been born in a time where we don’t have to wait for Him, He has already come! Go throughout this week remembering the great hope we have in Jesus!
____
Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture: Luke 2:25-32
Advent Week 1: Hope

Intro/Overview
Well, it's official, the holiday season is upon us. This is such a wonderful (and busy) time of year. We are all so excited to decorate our homes, make plans with friends and family, take time away from work, shop for loved ones, etc. There is so much to be done and so much to look forward to at this time of year. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a hope that transcends any holiday; we anticipate something so much greater than any present can offer us.

This week marks the beginning of the Advent season. The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” For Christians, the advent season marks the birth of Christ (His first coming) but during this season we also eagerly await the second coming of Jesus. This first Sunday of Advent means hope. Hope is really synonymous with the Christian faith. As sinful human beings that are destined for death and destruction, we are utterly hopeless apart from Christ Jesus. However, He has given us reason to believe and to hope.

In Luke chapter 2, we find the birth of Jesus Christ recorded. The nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, had been waiting for this promised Messiah. God sent His prophets and given the people His written word and foretold of the Savior to come. He had promised them deliverance and salvation through His chosen One. Thankfully, God is a God that keeps His promises!! So here in Luke chapter 2, we find a man named Simeon who had been told by God that he would not die before seeing the Savior. So, upon hearing of Jesus’ birth and seeing Him in the temple, Simeon knew that God had again stayed true to His word. Simeon takes the child Jesus in his arms and blesses Him, knowing that He is fulfillment of God’s promises and the hope of His people.

There are a lot of things that we can place our hope in. Some of us hope in money, for some of us it is our family/friends, for others we hope in our performance or the way that others view us. If we consider Christmas time, a lot of us are hoping for what we will receive on Christmas morning. But as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, our hope is ultimately in Him. This hope isn’t simply tied to a certain time of year, or any of our earthly circumstances, we are hopeful and assured of what Christ has accomplished for us through His life, death, and resurrection. And as His people, we eagerly await His second coming, when His glory is revealed to all of creation. He is our Hope.

Discussion Questions
Read Luke 2:25-32
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. This Sunday marks the beginning of the advent season. The word advent means “coming” or “arrival.” As Christians, what are we anticipating or waiting for during the advent season?
  2. The theme for this first Sunday is hope. What are some things that you hope for consistently? Are these things that line up with the will and word of God?
  3. As Christians, our hope is in Christ Jesus. How is hoping in Him different from hoping in the things of the world?
  4. How can you live out this hope consistently? Are there some people in your life that you can share this hope with?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? How can you show Christ to your extended (and immediate) family during the holiday season? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
_____
Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title
: Hope: The Spirit of Advent
Text: Luke 2:25-35
Campus: Rivermont

Image 1 - Click Here
Image 2: Light and Dark - Click Here
Image 3: God and Humanity - Click Here
Image 4: Slavery in Egypt - Click Here

How long, O God?

Image 5: Sinai_Epiphany - Click Here

How long, O God?

Image 6: Exile - Click Here

How long, O Lord?

“How long, Lord?
Will you forget us forever?
How long will you hide your face from us?
How long will we store up anxious concerns within us, agony in our minds every day?
How long will our enemies dominate us?
Consider us and answer, Lord our God. Restore brightness to our eyes; otherwise we will sleep in death. Our enemies are saying, “We have triumphed over them,” and our foes are rejoicing because we are trembling.
But we have trusted in your faithful love; our hearts will rejoice in your deliverance in the past. We will sing to the Lord because you have treated us generously. So, we will wait on you.”
Psalm 13

“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, “
Luke 2:25-27

“Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,
Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.
For my eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2:28-32

“Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary, ‘Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed—and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts[d] of many hearts may be revealed.’”
Luke 2:34-35

Where are you?
Who told you?
What have you done?


Where are you? Am I dislocated from God, in some way estranged from him?
Who told you? What voices other than God’s have I been listening to?
What have you done? What have we done with Jesus? God in the flesh? Who is he to me? Is it time to stop admiring (or rejecting) him from afar?

The story of Advent means - Jesus has come close to us. Will we not also come near to him?

The spirit of Advent: Waiting in Hope

The people of God in waiting, are to be fervent in prayer, filled with the Holy Spirit, and marked by hope. Because prayer is the practice of the hopeful.
_____
Sermon Notes: Preston Burling
Title:
Advent: Hope in Christ
Text: Luke 2:25-32
Campus: College Hill

Image: The Seasons - Click Here

This calendar becomes a powerful tool for discipleship. A tool that is going to help us both Remember and Retell the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, ‘Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised.  For my eyes have seen your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples — a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel.’”
Luke 2:25-32

This morning, what are you placing your hope in?

We often tend to place hopes in things that offer us safety and security

Hope bridges the gap between where you are now and where you will experience peace.

We need hope in Christ now in a way that will sustain us beyond the Christmas season.

What if our seasons here on earth become moments that propel us into a deeper, more grounded, and relentless hope in a future Kingdom?

  1. That Jesus’ has come, God incarnate, to call his people into a new Kingdom.

  1. That Jesus’ has come, God incarnate, to call his people into a new Kingdom.
  2. A triumphal coming of our king is coming, once and for all, to redeem his saints for all-time.

  1. Simeon is a common Jewish man without an extraordinary story
  2. Simeon, an un-extraordinary man by worldly terms, was meant to represent common Israel in their hope that awaited the coming of the extraordinary - the Messiah.
  3. Comfort endures when our hope is realized
  4. The anticipation of our hope is complete in the person of Jesus

“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, ‘Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised.’”
Luke 2:26-29

5. Simeon’s hope was complete yet anticipatory of the future Salvation of God’s people

What kind of work do we need to let the Spirit do in our hearts in order to allow our material hopes to be properly submitted to our ultimate hope in Christ?

May the Spirit drive us to a comforting hope in the object of our faith - Jesus Christ.

____

November 22nd Sermon Guides

Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture:
1 Peter 5:7-14
Peter’s Final Encouragement: Firm in the Faith

Intro/Overview
So, as we have studied through the first letter of the Apostle Peter, we have found him writing to believers in exile and consistently instructing them and encouraging them to live with great faith and to lead lives of humility, hope, and holiness. Peter has done an excellent job of continuously preaching the Gospel and pointing us towards Jesus. Peter has not only encouraged the body of Christ, but he has spent time instructing and exhorting the elders and leaders within the body of Christ as well. The purpose of this letter is to remind us of our purpose and our responsibility to live holy and set apart from the world; to demonstrate the supremacy and majesty of Christ by the way that we live. As Peter ends this letter, he exhorts these believers to lean and depend on God, and to flee from temptation.

In chapter 5, verse 7, Peter says that we can cast all of our anxieties on him [Christ]. Now this would imply that anxiety and fear are consistent with the human experience, in other words it is to be expected. However, as the people of God, we have our own anxieties and fears associated with following Christ. If you recall, this letter is being written to exiles, and they more than likely faced a lot of hostility and persecution. This undoubtedly leads to anxiety, hesitation and fear. But Peter reminds his readers to cast all of their burdens and concerns upon Him [Christ Jesus], why? Because He cares for His people. What a great comfort to know that we have such a loving and caring heavenly Father (and He demonstrates that love/care in the most incredible way, the cross).

Peter then warns his readers, as he reminds them of the great adversary they face in Satan. He says be “sober-minded (v. 8),” the devil is on the prowl like a lion searching for those that he can devour. That is a constant reality, one we must never neglect or overlook. Satan seeks to sift us like wheat (Luke 22:31). But Peter encourages believers to resist the devil and stand firm in the faith. It is only through faith in Christ that we are delivered and victorious. It is not based upon our own strength and ability, but succeeding in fleeing temptation is only by the gift of grace and power of the Spirit.

Finally Peter tells us that this is suffering, and that this is the life of every believer. In verse 9 he says that suffering is the experience for Chrisitians throughout the world. In other words, we can expect suffering and tribulation if we are going to live for Jesus. However, we are compelled to live for Him because of the glory that awaits us. In verse 10 Peter says that it is God who will restore, confirm, and strengthen us. This is a great reminder of that God that we serve and belong to. As those living in “exile,” even in the year 2020, we will be tempted and we will face trials. As His people, we must be totally dependent upon God at every moment in order to stand firm in our faith.

Discussion Questions
Read 1 Peter 5:7-14
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. The letter of 1 Peter has been full of some wonderful instruction and encouragement. What are some of the major themes that you have taken away from 1 Peter?
  2. In verse 7, Peter tells believers to cast all of their anxieties on God. What are some things that make you anxious? Have you taken these burdens and fears to God?
  3. We are told to be sober-minded and alert, constantly aware of Satan who is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. In what ways have you felt tempted? And how can we be successful in resisting temptation?
  4. Suffering is to be expected for the life of the believer. In what ways are Christians suffering around the world? Have you experienced suffering in any way because of your faith?
  5. What is it that motivates us to endure suffering (look at verse 10)?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title:
Peaceful, Non-Anxious Presence
Text: 1 Peter 5:6-14 (CSB)
Campus: Rivermont

Faithfulness to Jesus in exile means being a peaceful, non-anxious presence in highly anxious spaces.

“ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time,”
1 Peter 5:6.

  1. Be humble.

Proximity to Jesus breeds humility and a peace, or contentment, with who we are. So we’re relieved of the stress and anxiety of needing to prove or defend ourselves.

“casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:7

2. Cast your anxieties on God.

Followers of Jesus are set apart in that our peaceful non-anxious presence is found in the person of Jesus.

3. Slow down & pay attention.

4. Resist and stand firm by practicing faith.


“Resist him, firm in the faith”
1 Peter 5:9a.

In the practice of humbling myself instead of defending myself God meets me and he transforms me. He is my peace; he is my relief from anxiety.

“knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.”
1 Peter 5:9b.

Suffering is the way our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls remember pain.

5. Remember the Gospel in the midst of suffering.

“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.  To him be dominion forever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:10-11.

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
1 Peter 5:4

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus is not just forgiving our sins, but freeing us from our sin and its effects.

“Through Silvanus, a faithful brother (as I consider him), I have written to you briefly in order to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”
1 Peter 5:12-14.

The peace of Christ is tethered to being in loving fellowship with other followers of Jesus.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Text
: 1 Peter 5:6-14 (CSB)
Campus: College Hill

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.  To him be dominion forever.  Amen. Through Silvanus, a faithful brother (as I consider him), I have written to you briefly in order to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ."
1 Peter 5:6-14 (CSB)

Peter is giving Christian exiles tools to endure, and overcome, the various challenges to our faith.

1) Warning: recognize and resist the enemy (vv. 8-9a)
2) Encouragement: continually rest in the sufficiency of God’s grace (vv. 10-11)
3) Observation: in order to endure, we must press into, healthy, gospel-centered community with other imperfect Christians (vv. 9b, 12-14)

1) Warning: recognize and resist the enemy (vv. 8-9a)

“Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith,”
1 Peter 5:8-9a

How does the Bible describe the enemy?
He is a cunning deceiver (2 Cor. 11:3)
He is the “father of all lies” (John 8:44)
He is the slanderer (Rev. 13:6)
He is the tempter (Matt. 4:3)
He is the destroyer (Rev. 9:11)
He is a thief who comes to kill and destroy (John 10:10)
He is a murderer (John 8:44)
He is the “evil one” (Matt. 13:19)
He is the “accuser of the brothers” (Rev. 12:10)
He is the ruler of the darkness (Eph. 6:12)
He blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4);
He is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)
He is lawless (2 Thess. 2:8-9)
He masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14)
He is clever (2 Cor. 2:11)
He is a roaring lion looking for anyone he can devour (1 Pet. 5:8).

When we humbly continue to trust God, believing that he truly cares for us, we silence the lies of the evil one.
When we faithfully practice the teachings of Jesus, and live out the way of Jesus, there’s no room for the enemy to sink his teeth into us.

2) Encouragement: continually rest in the sufficiency of God’s grace (vv. 10-11); grace which is evident in God’s calling, presence and promises.

“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:10-11

The one who called us by his grace will also enable us, by his grace, to persevere until the end.
We rest in the sufficiency of God’s grace because God is not absent from our trouble, he’s powerful over all of creation, and he will see us through.

3) Observation: in order to endure, we must press into, healthy, gospel-centered community with other imperfect Christians (vv. 9b, 12-14)

One of the ways that the true grace of God is manifest in our lives is through the imperfect Christians around us.

Consider:
-How might I need to expose, and call out, the work of the enemy?
-Where do I need to apply God’s grace to myself and others?
-Am I pressing into gospel-centered community?
__________________________________________________________________

November 15th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview:
Bible Passage: 1 Peter 5:5-7
Story Point: 
We need to act with humility and obey those that are in positions of authority over us.
Key Passage: 
1 Peter 5:5b Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies
: Paper and pencil
Practice saying the verse a few times to start. Then take turns writing the verse with each person only writing one word of the verse at a time. Move the paper in a circle to complete the verse as a family.
Say: We need to wrap ourselves in humility so that we can better follow Jesus’ example.

Bible Story Questions:
  1. What does being “humble” mean? (Mr. Brandon explains being humble as not seeing yourself as better.)
  2. How can we act humbly? (We can act humbly by obeying our parents, sharing with our brothers and sisters. When we put the needs of others above our own, we are acting humbly.)
  3. Our verse talks about clothing or wrapping ourselves with humility, how can we do that? (Wrapping ourselves in humility is making it a part of everything that we do. Thinking of others and their needs, and listening is a great way to be humble.)
  4. Who is the greatest example of humility? Why, what are some things He did? (Jesus. Remind the kids that He came to Earth, left the perfection of Heaven, to become a man, in order to glorify God by living a perfect life and then dying on the cross to save us.)
  5. Talk about some different ways you can show humility this week.

Activity: Simon Says
Supplies:
Space
Say: Listening is super important when it comes to playing Simon Says and when it comes to humility. If we are carefully listening we can obey better and can hear what others need. Listening carefully shows others that we care about them, and that is a humble thing to do.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity

Supplies: Paper and pencil
Practice saying the verse a few times to start. Then take turns writing the verse with each person only writing one word of the verse at a time. Move the paper in a circle to complete the verse as a family.
Say: We had to work together to write this verse as a family. Our key verse tells us that everyone who is led by the Spirit of God becomes God’s children. God loves when his children work together to bring Him praise.

Bible Story Questions
  1. What does being “humble” mean? (Mr. Brandon explains being humble as not seeing yourself as better.)
  2. How can we act humbly? (We can act humbly by obeying our parents, sharing with our brothers and sisters. When we put the needs of others above our own, we are acting humbly.)
  3. Our verse talks about clothing or wrapping ourselves with humility, how can we do that? (Wrapping ourselves in humility is making it a part of everything that we do. Thinking of others and their needs, and listening is a great way to be humble.)
  4. Who is the greatest example of humility? Why, what are some things He did? (Jesus. Remind the kids that He came to Earth, left the perfection of Heaven, to become a man, in order to glorify God by living a perfect life and then dying on the cross to save us.)
  5. Talk about some different ways you can show humility this week.

Activity: Simon Says
Supplies:
Space
Say: Listening is super important when it comes to playing Simon Says and when it comes to humility. If we are carefully listening, we can obey better and can hear what others need. Listening carefully shows others that we care about them, and that is a humble thing to do
__________________________________________________________________

Gospel Student Ministry
Scripture: 
1 Peter 5:5-9
Christian, Clothe Yourself in Humility


Intro/Overview
Honestly, humility does not come easily. There is just something about human beings, something in our DNA that makes humbling ourselves incredibly difficult at times. It feels counterintuitive, it goes against our very nature, and quite frankly, we just don’t like it. But as the people of God, He clearly calls for humility to be one of our attributes; a prominent characteristic for followers of Christ. Here is 1 Peter 5, Peter reminds those believers in exile to live with great humility.

He begins by telling the younger men to subject themselves to the leadership of the elders within the church (verse 5). This is really a call to submit to authority. Again, this doesn’t come easily or naturally to us as sinful and rebellious human beings. But God has called and established the elders/leaders in the church for a reason. And just as we submit to God and His authority, as the body of Christ and His people we must subject ourselves to the appropriate authorities that are in place over us. This will not happen apart from the work of the Holy Spirit and an incredible amount of humility.

This is why Peter says, to “clothe yourselves with humility.” As Christians, humility should be central to who we are. If we look to Christ Jesus and the example He set for us, we can’t help but be moved by His incredible display of humility. Here, Peter says that we should clothe ourselves in humility. This means that all that we are and do should exemplify a humble disposition. Think about wrapping yourself in a robe, a gown, or towel. That garment covers you and really engulfs you. If we think of humility in this way, it really begins to infiltrate every area of our lives.

Peter also reminds believers why it is so important to consistently demonstrate humility. He says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Here, he paraphrases part of Proverbs 3:34 by saying God gives grace to the humble. Let’s focus on the first half of that statement, “God opposes the proud.” This should really stop us in our tracks and make us stand up and pay attention. The reason humility is so important, is because God is in opposition to those that are proud; He is against those that lack humility. In our flesh, apart from Christ and His redeeming work, this is who we all are, opponents of God. If you ever wonder whether or not you are in fellowship with Creator God and whether or not you have been regenerated, truly consider your heart and the level of humility you do or do not consistently display. God may oppose the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. This is glorious news! God has shown His amazing grace in the most evident and powerful way, by sending Christ Jesus to pay for the sins of wicked and rebellious people. That should be enough to humble the proudest individual.

Peter ends this section by telling us that most importantly, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. As the great Creator, and our redeemer, we should be humble before Him. Apart from His saving grace and mercy, we are doomed, destined for death and destruction as objects of His wrath. But in His great love for us, He put forth Christ as a substitute for our sins to secure eternal life and forgiveness all for His glory and our good. Furthermore, Peter says that those that are humbled, God will exalt at the proper time. This a Kingdom principle, that Christ Himself taught His disciples (see Luke 14:7-11).

Discussion Questions
Read
1 Peter 5:5-9
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. Peter says there must be submission. As members of the church we are to subject ourselves to the leadership and authority of elders. Why is submitting to authority so difficult? Do you have a hard time with authority? Maybe certain people?
  2. We are told to clothe ourselves in humility. How would you define the word humility and where have you seen it in action? What does it mean to clothe ourselves in humility and why is this so important for the life of the believer?
  3. Verse 5 says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Why would God be in opposition to the proud? And does it mean for God to give/show us grace?
  4. For those that do humble themselves before God, He will exalt them at the appropriate time. Does the Bible tell us anything about God’s plan to exalt believers? If so, what do we know about this? How does He plan to exalt those who belong to Him?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
__________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Preston Burling
Title: 
Faith in Exile
Text: 
1 Peter 5:5-7
Campus: 
Rivermont

Three Imperatives:
  1. Be subject to the elders
  2. Clothe yourselves in humility
  3. Humble yourselves

Humility is not thinking less of yourself. Rather, in light of God, thinking more significantly of those around you, in order that you are so captivated and motivated to love and care for those around you.

“In the same way, you who are younger; be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.”
1 Peter 5:5a (CSB)

1. Humility is the clothing that identifies us.
Your attitude, your language, your demeanor, and the very presence that is carried with you are seasoned with that of an eager servanthood.
Humility is found in the shadow that follows God’s presence.

“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5b (CSB)

  1. Humility is the clothing that identifies us.
  2. Humility is not something we do; it is an emptiness to be pursued in order to be full of grace.
  3. Humility is about being more, by emptying yourself—to become a fountain of God’s overflowing grace to the world around you.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time.”
1 Peter 5:6 (CSB)

  1. Humility is the clothing that identifies us.
  2. Humility is not something we do; it is an emptiness to be pursued in order to be full of grace.
  3. Humility trusts in God’s sovereign power over outcomes.

Humility doesn’t seek another’s affirmation, sacrificing exultation from Christ.
-Rather-
It willingly submits to one another—not considering their affirmation—while waiting upon God’s exultation.

“Casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:7 (CSB)

  1. Humility is the clothing that identifies us.
  2. Humility is not something we do; it is an emptiness to be pursued in order to be full of grace.
  3. Humility trusts in God’s sovereign power over outcomes.
  4. Humility demonstrates trust by casting our anxieties on the Lord.

Identify the sources of pride that are keeping you from pressing into this glorious virtue of humility.
-Then-
Empty yourself and set up boundaries that will help you be firmly saturated in the fullness of God’s grace.
_______________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Text:
1 Peter 5:5-7
Campus: 
College Hill

“I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory about to be revealed: Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud
but gives grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.”
Read 1 Pet. 5:1-7 (CSB).

Godly Elders: shepherd God’s church willingly, serve eagerly, and are an example to the church.

Elders are to live in such a way that everyone around them knows the chief Shepherd (Jesus) and knows that He’s coming back (v. 4).

“I, _________, understand my role as a ___Lead/Local_____ Elder and the responsibilities that are assigned to me by Christ and my fellow elders. Without any hesitation, I commit to fulfilling my role to the best of my ability. I submit myself to Christ and to my fellow elders. I will cheerfully follow Christ, love my family, and serve my church. I will faithfully pursue humility and seek to lead in a way that glorifies Christ and benefits His church. I will not abuse my authority or neglect my responsibilities. If at any point – I am no longer capable, or my fellow elders feel that I am incapable of fulfilling my responsibilities – I will step down graciously, discreetly, and un-contentiously.”

Humility is a reflection of God’s presence in our lives; it helps us to rightly engage with each other and to deal with our burdens in a Christ-like manner.

Those who are in positions of spiritual authority are stewards of that authority and their authority is meant to magnify Christ.

Those who are in a position of submission shouldn’t resist godly spiritual authority.

“All you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”
1 Peter 5:5b

Humility is the clothing that helps to identify every Christian.

Humility prioritizes God, and the needs of others, above self.

“God resists…”
1 Peter 5:5c

Pride is putting self above God and others.
God lavishly bestows his favor on those who acknowledge their need for him.

“ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7

When our cares are many, and our burdens are heavy, our response should be one of humble trust.

Humble ourselves BY casting our cares on the Lord.

Incessant worry exposes where we’re failing to trust God.

Followers of Jesus humble themselves by casting their cares and anxieties on the Lord.

God invites us to fear him, but not as a way to manipulate us but to liberate us.

Three spiritual practices for anxious souls:
  1. Fasting (from news media/social media)
  2. Feasting (on the Lord)
  3. Serving (look for opportunities at home, church, community)
___________________________________________________________________

November 8th Sermon Guides

Kids City

Click here to watch our Kid City video that corresponds to this sermon guide. https://vimeo.com/showcase/7026436

Bible passage: 1 Peter 5:1-4
Story point: Prepare and have the right tool for the battle against sin
Key passage: 1 Peter 5:2 "Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve."

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write:  the key passage, 1 Peter 5:2, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Then cut or rip the paper to separate the words. Have the kids put the passage in order and hold a thumbs up when they’re done. Time the kids and challenge them to beat their time.
Say: Think about the kind of the friends and leaders you want in your life. Think of people who are leading because they love God and want to serve Him. When we become leaders, we should do it to help others and bring God glory.

Bible Story Questions
  1. Can you think of two things that Mr. Trevor said to describe elders? (Mr. Trevor said elders are in positions of authority, they are leaders, and they are faithful.)
  2. What does Peter tell the elders of the church? (He tells them to be shepherds of the church because they want to serve.)
  3. Why are elders compared to shepherds? (A good shepherd is someone who looks after his sheep and serves his sheep well. Our elders should be seeking to serve God and others.)
  4. How should elders use their power? (They should guide us and protect us and help us obey God.)

Activity:
Supplies: Draw a picture of you being a good leader.
Say: What did you draw? What do you think are important things to do as leaders?

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, 1 Peter 5:2, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Then cut or rip the paper to separate the words. Have the kids put the passage in order and hold a thumbs up when they’re done. Time the kids and challenge them to beat their time.
Say: Think about the kind of the friends and leaders you want in your life. Think of people who are leading because they love God and want to serve Him. When we become leaders, we should do it to help others and bring God glory.

Bible Story Questions
  1. Can you think of two things that Mr. Trevor said to describe elders? (Mr. Trevor said elders are in positions of authority, they are leaders, and they are faithful.)
  2. What does Peter tell the elders of the church? (He tells them to be shepherds of the church because they want to serve.)
  3. Why are elders compared to shepherds? (A good shepherd is someone who looks after his sheep and serves his sheep well. Our elders should be seeking to serve God and others.)
  4. How should elders use their power? (They should guide us and protect us and help us obey God.)
  5. How can you be a good leader in your friend group? (Open discussion. You should be pointing each other closer to God and to glorifying him through obedience.)

Activity:
Supplies: Draw a picture or list out some leadership qualities that you think are important.
Say: Why did you choose those qualities? What qualities do you see in yourself that would make you a good leader?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GSM Notes
Scripture: 1 Peter 5:1-4
The Calling and Responsibility of an Elder

Intro/Overview
Leading a church is an incredible responsibility, one not to be taken lightly. God has established His church, the bride of Christ for His own glory and praise. And although Christ Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father, He has not left His people to fend for themselves. Instead, He has called, equipped, and entrusted certain individuals to lead His church, to care for His bride. Pastors and elders have this great responsibility of shepherding the people of God. This means they must lead, teach, and care for the church consistently. Again, keeping watch over the souls of human beings is a great calling, so it must be done with great care and integrity.

In 1 Peter chapter 5, the apostle Peter encourages those that are called to care for the flock, specifically elders within the church. But Peter begins by establishing his own authority as an elder among the people of God. As one who actually walked with Jesus, sat under His teaching, and was given the mission to teach and proclaim the Gospel, Peter was established as an apostle and leader within the body of believers. He first challenges elders not to lead from a place of compulsion but instead to lead “willingly as God would have you (verse 2).” This means there is indeed a right and a wrong way to lead the people of God.

Peter says not to serve the body because we feel forced, but rather serve and care for God’s people willingly. In other words, elders should serve because they want to, not because they have to. That makes all the difference in the world, the heart and motivation behind our serving of others. Peter expands on this a little bit more and says that elders/shepherds shouldn’t lead when they are motivated by greed or money. Unfortunately, this is a reality that Peter encountered in his day, and it is reality in 2020 as well. There are many individuals who get involved in the ministry only for financial reasons. But the word of God is clear, we should not lead and care for the people of God because we received some sort of financial gain. Greed can not be the motivation for our serving.

After challenging the motivation of elders, Peter says in verse 3 that elders are not to lord it over those under their care, but instead to “be examples to the flock.” This means the way that elders (and pastors, church leaders) lead those within the church must be appropriate. They must not abuse their authority or be domineering as those leading and caring for the people of God. Godly leaders show genuine care, compassion, and tenderness for their flock. Elders and pastors must be a Christ-like example to those that they lead.

Finally, Peter reminds those that lead within the body of Christ of the most glorious reality. He says those who are faithful to God will receive an unfading crown of Glory, when the chief Shepherd returns. This chief Shepherd is Christ Jesus. For those that have been called and purposed to lead His bride, that is a great calling and responsibility. And if you remain faithful in that calling, on the day that Christ’s glory is revealed to the world, you too will receive and share in that glory as well.

Discussion Questions
Read
1 Peter 5:1-4
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. In this section of chapter 5 Peter is addressing elders within the church. What are the qualifications of an elder (see 1 Timothy 3)? Why are these particular qualifications/attributes so important?
  2. What is the job of an elder/pastor? What makes their duty or task different from the rest of the congregation?
  3. What does it mean to lead out of compulsion? What does it mean to lead willingly? Are there moments in your life where you lead and serve with the wrong motivations?
  4. In chapter 4, Peter reminds those elders/leaders of the crown of glory that awaits them. This is our motivation to serve faithfully. What motivates you most? Is it the glory of God? Is the sacrificial love of Jesus? (this is a great place to really examine your heart and your motivations)

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title: Exilic Eldership
Text: 1 Peter 5:1-4 (My own translation)
Campus: Rivermont

“Absolutely nothing is more important in a church family than the DNA of the leadership culture. The healthiest churches I know are those that are led by pastors and elders who are captured by the gospel, smitten with Jesus, and transformed by God's grace.”

~Scotty Smith

The character and culture of a local church is not likely to exceed that of its leaders.

  • What an Elder is
  • Who Elders lead
  • How Elders lead
  • What Elders do
  • And why that matters

“Therefore, I strongly urge the elders among you [pastors, spiritual leaders of the church], as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory that is to be revealed...”
1 Peter 5:1

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care”
1 Peter 5:2

“Leadership is stewardship. It is temporary, and you’re accountable.”

Character matters more than gifting.


“You can learn from another person’s knowledge but you can lead from someone else’s wisdom.”
~David Brooks

“serving as overseers”
1 Peter 5:2

I can’t love you and use you at the same time.

In the Kingdom of God, you’ve got to die in order to lead.


“not because you have to but because you want to.”
1 Peter 5:2

“not greedy for money, but wholeheartedly.”
1 Peter 5:2

“Not lording it over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock”
1 Peter 5:3

IMAGE: CLICK HERE

“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
1 Peter 5:4

Glory for spiritual leaders comes not by success, numbers, growth, or fame, but by humble service and sacrificial love.

“Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.”
Hebrews 13:7

“Listen to your spiritual leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief and groans, for this would be of no benefit to you.”
Hebrews 13:17
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 1st Sermon Guides

Kids City

Click here to watch our Kid City video that corresponds to this sermon guide. https://vimeo.com/showcase/7026436

Bible passage: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Story point: We can expect to suffer as Christians, however, suffering for Jesus is a good thing.
Key passage: 1 Peter 4: 12-13 “Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed.”

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity
Supplies:
Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, 1 Peter 4:12-13, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Have the kids try to memorize these 2 verses. Help and encourage them by offering some sort of treat or incentive for memorizing this verse.
Say: Jesus promised His disciples that they would face hard times (see John 16:33), and that is true for every person that wants to follow Him. But if we suffer well and continue to honor Jesus, we will be glorified with Him whenever He returns.

Bible Story Questions
  1. Verse 12 says we shouldn’t be surprised when trials and hard times come our way. Why should we expect this as followers of Jesus? (Because the world is opposed to God (see Romans 1) and the things of God. As God’s people, those who represent Him, we will face opposition from the world as well. When we read through the Bible, we see how the disciples faced great persecution because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)
  2. Suffering for Jesus is actually a good thing. Now, this may seem really odd, so how is this possible? (When we continue to follow Jesus, even when it is hard, this brings God great glory. All of the disciples and followers that were killed because of Jesus have now entered heaven and the presence of God with great honor (if you have time, read the story of Stephen from Acts 7).
  3. Here in verse 15 Peter says not to suffer as one that does evil (like a thief or murderer, etc.). How is suffering as Christian different than suffering as an evildoer? (Suffering for doing evil is deserved. The punishment and persecution you face is a result of doing evil. However, as believers in Jesus Christ, our suffering leads to a great reward and brings honor rather than shame.)
  4. Peter ends this section of chapter 4 by telling us to entrust ourselves to God while we suffer, because this is part of His will. How can we trust God even in the middle of our difficult times? (By remembering that God is a loving Father that cares for all His children. God uses all things, even our hard times, for His glory and for our good. (See Romans 8:28).

Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pencil, drawing utensils - Have your children write or draw some ways in which they can suffer well for the glory of God. Talk through some scenarios that allow for Christian suffering.
Say: Jesus is the ultimate example of suffering for the glory of God. Although He was perfect and sinless, He was nailed to the cross and killed for our forgiveness. When we are facing hard times, let Jesus be the example that we follow.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: 
Paper, pen/pencil
Write: the key passage, 1 Peter 4:12-19, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Have the kids try to memorize these 2 verses. Help and encourage them by offering some sort of treat or incentive for memorizing this verse.
Say: Jesus promised His disciples that they would face hard times (see John 16:33), and that is true for every person that wants to follow Him. But if we suffer well and continue to honor Jesus, we will be glorified with Him whenever He returns.

Bible Story Questions
  1. Verse 12 says we shouldn’t be surprised when trials and hard times come our way. Why should we expect this as followers of Jesus? (Because the world is opposed to God (see Romans 1) and the things of God. As God’s people, those who represent Him, we will face opposition from the world as well. When we read through the Bible, we see how the disciples faced great persecution because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)
  2. Suffering for Jesus is actually a good thing. Now, this may seem really odd, so how is this possible? (When we continue to follow Jesus, even when it is hard, this brings God great glory. All of the disciples and followers that were killed because of Jesus have now entered heaven and the presence of God with great honor (if you have time, read the story of Stephen from Acts 7).
  3. Here in verse 15 Peter says not to suffer as one that does evil (like a thief or murderer, etc.). How is suffering as Christian different than suffering as an evildoer? (Suffering for doing evil is deserved. The punishment and persecution you face is a result of doing evil. However, as believers in Jesus Christ, our suffering leads to a great reward and brings honor rather than shame.)
  4. Peter ends this section of chapter 4 by telling us to entrust ourselves to God while we suffer, because this is part of His will. How can we trust God even in the middle of our difficult times? (By remembering that God is a loving Father that cares for all His children. God uses all things, even our hard times, for His glory and for our good. (See Romans 8:28)

Activity:
Supplies: Pencils/paper - Write out some ways that we suffer here in this life (for example, if we steal we go to jail, if we fall, we get hurt, we can get sick, etc.). Now, write/discuss some ways in which we can use suffering for the glory of God and to point people to Jesus.
Say: Jesus is the suffering servant. He suffered death on the cross, satisfying the will of God for His glory and our good. If we suffer well for the name of Jesus, we are simply following the example that Jesus has set for us.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GSM Notes
Scripture
: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Expect Suffering, for the Glory of God

Intro/Overview
As believers in Jesus Christ, we can expect to face difficult times. In fact, hard times are expected as a result of living in a fallen and broken world. However, the Bible tells us that we should not be surprised when difficulty comes our way, especially as a result of our allegiance to Christ. In 1 Peter chapter 4, the apostle Peter reminds his readers of this reality. He tells this group of exiles that suffering, and persecution are not unusual, quite the contrary, they are to be expected.

Instead of facing these difficult times with bitterness and grumbling, we are told to rejoice. Now this certainly seems like an incredible contradiction. How in the world are we going to rejoice in our sufferings? Peter says to rejoice because we are sharing in the suffering of Christ Jesus, our Savior. This is a radically different concept than anything that the world will teach you. When we suffer for doing well, we are actually blessed; this is a good thing. This is a good and glorious thing because we are sharing in the sufferings of Jesus. The reality is this: we are never more like Christ than when we are suffering for the sake of righteousness.

Peter reminds his readers again here of an important distinction between righteous suffering and suffering for wrongdoing. In verse 15 he says, “Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler.” So, we know that suffering comes when we do evil, there are consequences and punishment associated with our wrongdoings. But Peter says to the people of God, don’t suffer for that. Instead he says to suffer as Christians, for the sake and name of Christ Jesus. Again, this is a truly blessed thing (for more on that, read Matthew 5:10-12).

Finally, Peter ends chapter 4 by reminding us that we can trust God even in our suffering, for this too is His will. This is often overlooked by many Christians; we forget that God is sovereign and totally in control of all things. So, because of this reality, and because He is a loving heavenly Father, we can entrust ourselves to Him, continue to pursue His will and do good even in the face of suffering and adversity. Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. That means even our suffering, trials, and persecution are part of His good plan.

Discussion Questions
Read:
1 Peter 4:12-19
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. Verse 12 tells us that we can expect fiery ordeals, so we should not be surprised by difficult times. Why would we as followers of Christ be expected to face so much tribulation? What is it about following Jesus that leads us to difficulty?
  2. Peter tells this group of exiles that suffering for doing well is actually a good thing. This is so counter-cultural, and really counter-intuitive. In what ways (specifically) can we suffer for the glory of God? (discuss some examples or scenarios)
  3. Here in verse 15, Peter warns this group of believers not to suffer for doing evil, like a thief, or murderer, or meddler, etc. We know that there are natural consequences for sin/evil deeds. How is suffering in this way different than suffering for Jesus?
  4. When we suffer for doing good, this is all part of the will of God (verse 19). It is even in these moments of difficulty that we can entrust ourselves to God. How can we trust Him in these dark and difficult times? What motivates us to do this?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Title:
1 Peter 4:12-19 (Guided Prayer & Worship)
Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Congregation: Rivermont

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you.”
1 Peter 4:12

“Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. “
1 Peter 4:13

“So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.”
1 Peter 4:19

“For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17

Prayers for Commitment and Surrender
  • Repentance: Expose our idols
  • Surrender: Jesus, help us to follow you wherever you lead, no matter the cost.

“If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name.”
1 Peter 4:14-16.

There is a joy that will always remain just out of reach if we are unwilling to name and carry that pain to Jesus.

Prayer Prompts
  • Name the pain: In what ways have you suffered? In what ways are you suffering?
  • Pray for those who are suffering physically, spiritually, or emotionally in our church family.

Open Doors USA—in just the last year:
  • Over 260 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution
  • 2,983 Christians killed for their faith
  • 9,488 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
  • 3,711 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, or imprisoned

“Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.”
Hebrews 13:3

Corporate Prayer
  • Pray for protection, encouragement, and healing
  • Pray for justice and peace
  • Pray for freedom from oppression and freedom to follow Jesus
  • Pray for revival and awakening
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Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Title:
1 Peter 4:12-19 (Guided Prayer & Worship)
Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Congregation: College Hill

We all suffer in different ways, and some of us suffer for our faith.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you.”
Read 1 Pet. 4:12 (CSB)

Christians rejoice in the midst of suffering because:
  • We don’t suffer in vain.
  • Our suffering is not indefinite (v. 13).
  • There’s a unique blessing that is extended toward those who suffer for Christ, and God is uniquely present with those who suffer for their faith (v. 14).

“Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name.””
Read 1 Pet. 12:15-16

“So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.”
Read 1 Pet. 12:19

Christians can suffer well, and bear fruit, by fully entrusting ourselves to God.

Prayers of commitment and surrender.

When we follow Jesus in our context, we do put ourselves in positions where we might be misunderstood.

Not all of our suffering is the result of obeying the Lord, but we all suffer while being obedient.

In what ways have you suffered? In what ways are you suffering?

Prayer prompts:
-Jesus, help us to count the cost of following you.
-Help us to be faithful and obedient, even when it’s hard.
-Pray for the challenges that are named, and that are represented in our church and community.
-Pray for those who are suffering physically, spiritually, or emotionally in our church family.

“Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.” - Heb. 13:3

Corporate prayer
Prayer prompts:
-Pray for protection, encouragement, and healing.
-Pray for justice and peace.
-Pray for freedom from oppression and freedom to follow Jesus.

1 Peter 4:12-19, The Message
“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
 If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!
If good people barely make it, What’s in store for the bad?
So, if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.”
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October 25th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview
Bible Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Story Point: Be prepared for Christ’s return and love one another constantly.
Key Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-8. “The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity
Supplies
: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the verse:  1 Peter 4:7-8, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Have the kids try to memorize these 2 verses. Help and encourage them by offering some sort of treat or incentive for memorizing this verse.
Say: Jesus has promised us that He will return one day, so we must be prepared and constantly watching/waiting for Him. He commands us, during that time, to love each other, that is how we show the world that we belong to Him.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 4:7-11
  1. Verse 7 says to “be alert and sober-minded.” What do you think this means? (This means that we must be focused on God and honoring Jesus, not distracted, or pulled away by the things of this world. Also, talk about what it means to wait and watch for Jesus’ return patiently and joyfully.)
  2. Love covers a multitude of sins. How has love covered our sins? (God, in His great love for us, sent His only Son Jesus to die so that our sins would be covered and forgiven.)
  3. What does it mean to be hospitable? And what are some ways we can be hospitable to our family/siblings/friends/neighbors? (Being hospitable simply means to welcome people and care for their needs. When we open our home and provide for people, even those that are different from us, we are being hospitable.)
  4. We want to glorify God in everything that we do. How can we do this? (Verse 11 says that it is through Christ Jesus that God is glorified. So, if we show honor and praise to Jesus, God is glorified in that.)

Activity
Supplies:  Paper, pencil, drawing utensils - Have your children write the names of some people in their lives that they can show hospitality towards (siblings, friends, neighbors, etc.). Next, have them write or draw some things they can do to show hospitality.
Say: God has welcomed us (hospitality) by allowing us as sinful people to be His children, part of His family, and members of His eternal Kingdom.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity
Supplies
: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the verse: 1 Peter 4:7-8, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Have the kids try to memorize these two verses. Help and encourage them by offering some sort of treat or incentive for memorizing this verse.
Say: Jesus has promised us that He will return one day, so we must be prepared and constantly watching/waiting for Him. He commands us, during that time, to love each other, that is how we show the world that we belong to Him.
Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 4:7-11
  1. Verse 7 says to “be alert and sober-minded.” What do you think this means? (This means that we must be focused on God and honoring Jesus, not distracted, or pulled away by the things of this world. Also, discuss what it means to be prepared for Jesus’ return.)
  2. Love covers a multitude of sins. How has love covered our sins? (God, in His great love for us, sent His only Son Jesus to die so that our sins would be covered and forgiven.)
  3. What does it mean to be hospitable? And what are some ways we can be hospitable to our family/siblings/friends/neighbors? (Being hospitable simply means to welcome people and care for their needs. When we open our home and provide for people, even those that are different from us, we are being hospitable.)
  4. We want to glorify God in everything that we do. How can we do this? (Verse 11 says that it is through Christ Jesus that God is glorified. So, if we show honor and praise to Jesus, God is glorified in that.)

Activity
Supplies
: Pencils/paper - Have them write down the names of certain people in their lives that they can show hospitality and love towards. (Also, have them share some ways that they haven’t always succeeded at this. Are there times where you could’ve been more loving?). Write and/or draw some ways you can be hospitable towards people.
Say: God is the most gracious and loving Host. He has welcomed us as sinful and rebellious people into His family (read John 1:12), that is an incredible demonstration of his hospitality.
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Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture: 
1 Peter 4:7-11
Loving and Radical Hospitality


Intro/Overview

As the people of God, we have an assured inheritance and an eternal glory that awaits us. While our destiny is certain, we can also be certain that Christ will return for His bride one day (see Matt. 24:44, Heb. 9:28, Rev. 1:7, 22:12). Until then, as His people, we are to consistently watch and wait for His return. Peter writes to a group of exiles to remind them of this reality. In 1 Peter 4:7, he tells them the end of time is near (really, no man knows when Jesus will return, for He will come as a thief in the night). And because of this, Peter says that this group of believers should be “alert and sober-minded.” As God’s people we should be joyfully and eagerly awaiting Christ’s return.

After reminding us to be alert and sober-minded, Peter says that above all things, we are to love one another. This is not a new teaching or something that followers of Christ are unfamiliar with. Jesus taught His disciples to love one another, in fact, He says that people will know that you are disciples of Christ by the way that you love each other (see John 13). Here Peter says in verse 8 that “love covers a multitude of sins.” What an incredible reminder for the people of God. God the Father, in His great love for us, sent Jesus Christ to die so that our sins would be forgiven and covered by His blood.

Peter then begins to tell us how we can show our love for each other. In verse 9 he writes “be hospitable to one another.” The way that we welcome and care for each other says a lot about Christ and our relationship with Him. Hospitality was a big part of the Jewish culture, and people took a lot of pride in being known as a good host. God Himself is the most gracious and loving host. He demonstrates unmatched hospitality by allowing sinful, rebellious people to have a seat at His table and place among His kingdom. This reality is what compels us to be hospitable to one another. And it is in this, that God is glorified.

Peter ends this section by pointing his readers to Christ Jesus. In verse 11 he says that “God is glorified through Christ Jesus in everything.” That is our goal and our purpose as Christians. We worship, exalt, and magnify the name of Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God. And it is through our devotion and praise of Him, that we ultimately glorify Creator God.

Discussion Questions
Read: 
1 Peter 4:7-11
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. In verse 7, Peter says that the end of all things is near, and because of this, we must “be alert and sober-minded.” What does it mean to be alert and sober-minded?
  2. We are told that love covers a multitude of sins. In what way has God’s love covered our sins? And how can we consistently demonstrate this for one another?
  3. Hospitality should be common amongst the people of God. However, we don’t always succeed in this area. How has God been hospitable towards us? Name some people in your life that you can be hospitable towards (siblings, friends, neighbors, etc.). Also, discuss some tangible ways of showing hospitality.
  4. Finally, verse 11 says that God is glorified in/through Christ Jesus. How can we bring glory to God through Jesus?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sermon Notes: Andrew Moroz
Text: 
I Peter 4:7-11
Campus: 
Rivermont

Jesus consistently leads us toward unrestrained surrender while the culture encourages unrestrained behavior.

To be a Christian means that we live and love in such a way that Christ is made known, and God is glorified in everything we do.


“The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:7-11 (CSB)

The primary purpose of our lives and our Christianity is to love God, love people, and to glorify God in everything.

“The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer.”
1 Peter 4:7

Any pain, discomfort, or discouragement we currently experience is not going to last forever.

Prayer shows our utter dependence on God and gives him an opportunity to glorify himself.

God doesn’t always give us what we want, or what we ask for, but he always uses prayer to help us discern, and align ourselves with, his will.


“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8

One of the ways that we glorify God, and make him known, is seen in our commitment to sacrificial love.

The gospel calls us to love beyond politeness, pretense, and political correctness.

What are we really telling the world about Jesus?


“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.”
1 Peter 4:10

Hospitality is one of the ways we make Christ known in our world.

“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words;"
1 Peter 4:10-11a

By serving others, we help them to experience the tangible presence and grace of God.

“…if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:11b

Christian’s live and love in such a way that Christ is made known, and God is glorified in everything we do.

A hunger for God’s presence and glory leads us to cultivate a life of prayer which overflows into a life of love.

God’s love →  Primary motivator of our hospitality and generous stewardship

The Spirit of God is prompting us to go deeper.

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Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
The New Family Of Jesus
Text: 
1 Peter 4:7-11
Campus: 
College Hill

“Home is the place that when you have have to go there, they have to take you in.” ~Robert Frost

God designed the new family of Jesus to be one of the most compelling demonstrations of the power of the gospel and the glory of God that the world around can see.

“The end of all things is near,”
1 Peter 4:7a

“Jesus began to preach, saying, The Kingdom of God has come near! Repent and believe in this gospel!”
Mark 1:15

“so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever! Amen.”
1 Peter 4:11c

The glory of God = the weight of the fullness of who God is on display.

“Now if I have indeed found favor with you, please teach me your ways, and I will know you, so that I may find favor with you. Now consider that this nation is your people.”
14 And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 “If your presence does not go,” Moses responded to him, “don’t make us go up from here.
16 How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you unless you go with us? I and your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.”
17 The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory.”
19 He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.”
21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock,
22 and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
23 Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen.”
Exodus 33:13-23.

“ The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. “
1 Peter 4:7

A hunger for the glory and presence of God, leads to a praying life.

A hunger for the presence and glory of God, for the weight of who he is on display in us and through to the world, makes us a praying people.

And this kind of awake, alert, passionate, glory-soaked prayer overflows in a life of love.


“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8

God’s glorious love shows up in how we Welcome on another, speak to one another, and serve one another.

“Be hospitable to one another without complaining.”
1 Peter 4:9

“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.”
1 Peter 4:10

“If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words;”
1 Peter 4:11a

“If anyone serves, let it be from the strength that God provides.”
1 Peter 4:11b

God designed the new family of Jesus to be one of the most compelling demonstrations of the power of the gospel and the glory of God that the world around can see.
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October 18th Sermon Guides

KID CITY NOTES

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson Overview:
Bible Passage: 1 Peter 4:1-6
Story Point: Prepare and have the right tool for the battle against sin
Key Passage: 1 Peter 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity
Supplies: paper; pen/pencil
Write the key passage: 1 Peter 4:1, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Then cut or rip the paper to separate the words. Have the kids put the passage in order and hold a thumbs up when they’re done. Time the kids and challenge them to beat their time.
Say: Christ died on the cross for us, that we might live and not sin. We need to arm ourselves for the glory of God.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 4:1-6
1. What did Mr. Brandon say it means to “arm ourselves”? (To be ready or prepared with the right weapons for battle or the right tools. In reading this passage we need to arm ourselves with the Word of God. )
2. What did Mr. Brandon say our greatest weapon is? (Mr. Brandon says it is our mind. But first, we need to have our mentality in a place that is ready to do what is right and to go through hard times for the glory of God.)
3. If you are living for Jesus what can you expect? (You can expect others to be surprised and ask questions and sometimes they might even be rude to you because you are choosing to do what is right and honor God.)
4. What does Ephesians say we should arm ourselves with? (With the Bible which is our sword.)

Activity:
Supplies: Paper and drawing utensils - Read over Ephesians 6:10-18 draw a picture of yourself in the full armor of God.
Say: Talk about what they chose to arm themselves with and why.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity

Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the verse: 1 Peter 4:1, on a piece of paper to read with the kids. Then cut or rip the paper to separate the words. Have the kids put the passage in order and hold a thumbs up when they’re done. Time the kids and challenge them to beat their time.
Say: Christ died on the cross for us, that we might live and not sin. We need to arm ourselves for the glory of God.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 4:1-6
1. What did Mr. Brandon say it means to “arm ourselves”? (To be ready or prepared with the right weapons for battle or the right tools. In reading this passage we need to arm ourselves with the Word of God. )
2. What did Mr. Brandon say our greatest weapon is? (Mr. Brandon says it is our mind. But first, we need to have our mentality in a place that is ready to do what is right and to go through hard times for the glory of God.)
3. If you are living for Jesus what can you expect? (You can expect others to be surprised and ask questions and sometimes they might even be rude to you because you are choosing to do what is right and honor God.)
4. What does Ephesians say we should arm ourselves with? (With the Bible which is our sword.)

Activity:
Supplies
: Paper and drawing utensils - Read over Ephesians 6:10-18 draw a picture of yourself in the full armor of God.
Say: Talk about what they chose to arm themselves with and why.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GOSPEL STUDENT MINISTRY NOTES
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:1-6
Obediently Following Christ: Suffering in the Flesh

Intro/Overview
There are so many things fighting for our attention these days. Whether it be social media, entertainment, politics, people, etc., we are constantly bombarded and having to battle all the things that are attempting to pull us in different directions. As Christians, as the people of God, Christ has given us a particular mission. We are to be devoted to His divine purpose, and that is glorifying Him and making Him known throughout all of creation. God has made His plan evident and given us an example to follow through His perfect Son, Christ Jesus.

As Peter is writing to those believers in exile, he reminds them of Christ Jesus, the suffering servant, and he challenges this group to have the same mindset as Christ. This means that we must be committed to the mission of glorifying God and making disciples. And this mission is going to require us to live differently, to be holy and set apart. Rather than being overcome by our flesh and our earthly desires, we must be committed to live for God rather than simply seeking to please and satisfy ourselves. Our motivation to live for God rather than man is Christ Jesus Himself. He suffered in the flesh (v.1), for each of us, setting us free and reconciling us to God, leaving an example for us to follow.

This kind of devotion will require us to have the right mindset. If we look at the current culture, it is one that is self-centered, self-seeking, the dominant message is to do whatever pleases you. We are constantly encouraged to give in to every temptation. But as Christians, we are called to something greater; we are called to sacrifice and die to self for the glory of God. Again, this is going to take a massive shift in our thinking/mindset. Not only that, but this kind of radical living will inevitably lead to suffering and ridicule. If you suffer for doing right (which Peter has talked about a lot), and still move forward in obedience despite that suffering, you have made clear your break from sin. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you won’t ever sin, but sin isn’t dominating you, the old has gone and you are a new creation in Christ.

Peter continues his letter by reminding his readers of the importance of time, particularly how they used to spend it, and how they should spend their time now that they have been purchased by the blood of Christ. In verse 3, he essentially says that we have already spent enough time living in the flesh and giving in to our sin. Prior to knowing Jesus, we all lived in sin, we were dead in our trespasses and cut off from God. Peter tells this group of believers that they have lived like the world long enough. As the people of God, we have put off the old and put on the new, and this evidenced by how we make use of our time.

Again, you will be slandered for this change of behavior (v.4). This commitment to Christ will lead to persecution/suffering. However, those that persecute you for obedience to God will ultimately face judgment. In fact, we will all stand before God and be judged accordingly. Peter says that is why the Gospel was preached to those who are now dead (v.6). We are all dead spiritually apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Unless God Himself intervenes for us, we have no hope on the day of judgment. We are desperately in need, which is why we are devoted to living in holiness and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to ALL people.

Discussion Questions
Read: 1 Peter 4:1-6
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. This text tells us that Christ suffered in the flesh. We know that this is referring to His physical death by crucifixion. How can we follow Jesus’ example here? What are some ways that we too can suffer for the glory of God?
  2. Peter tells the exiles to have “the same understanding (v.1).” What was the mindset that Jesus had? And how can we arm ourselves with the same mindset that Jesus had?
  3. As Christians we constantly battle with sin. Daily we struggle to overcome temptations and the desires of the world. Identify some of the temptations and desires that may be ruling you currently. How can you overcome those stumbling blocks?
  4. Inevitably, turning from the world and living for Christ is going to lead to persecution. Peter writes here that we have used enough time living for the world, we must commit ourselves to living for Christ. How are you using your time? Are you devoted to making Christ known and battling your sin and the desires of the flesh? If not, why? What do you need in order to move forward and make the best use of your time?

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SERMON NOTES: Brenton Lehman
Christ, Culture, & Compromise
Text
: 1 Peter 4:1-6 (CSB)
Campus: Rivermont

  • Christ
  • Culture
  • Compromise

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same understanding …”
1 Peter 4:1a

“… because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin— in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.”
1 Peter 4:1b-2.

The way of Jesus is the way of unrestrained surrender: there’s nothing I won’t give up to follow Jesus.

Am I willing to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter the cost?


“ For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry.”
1 Peter 4:3

Then the way of Culture is unrestrained behavior - there’s nothing I won’t do to get to my culture’s vision of the Good Life.

“They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of sin-sick living. And they slander you.”
1 Peter 4:4

Consumer Christianity uses Jesus to sanctify our idolatry.

“They will give an account to the one who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.”
1 Peter 4:5

“For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit according to God’s standards.”
1 Peter 4:6

  • Is there one way or another that you most identify with right now?

  • Am I willing to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter the cost? If not, What is holding me back from going all-in with Jesus?

October 11th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson overview:Sunday, October 11
Bible passage:1 Peter 3:13-22

Story point:We should be nice to others always, no matter how they treat us.
Key Passage:1 Peter 3:15 - But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage:  1 Peter 3:15, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Practice it several times, then when you feel comfortable pass a ball around and say the verse while passing around a ball. Whoever has the ball should say the next word.
Say: People might disagree with us about a lot of different things, and they may not always treat us the way we want them to, but we should always treat others and speak to others with gentleness and respect.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 3:13-22
  1. Why does Peter tell us to speak gently and do what is right when others have been mean to us? (Help the kids see that we should always choose to do what is right. Peter tells us that we need to respect others and do the will of God. People were not always nice to Jesus, they did not always treat Him fairly, but He loved them enough to die on the cross for their sins! We should follow His example and do what is right.)
  2. Has anyone ever been mean to you? How did that make you feel? Have you ever been mean to someone else? (We have all been hurt and we have probably all hurt other people. So, we need to do our best to be kind to others. It doesn’t feel good to be teased or bullied, so let’s remember to treat other kids at our school and our siblings as our very best friends.)
  3. How are some ways that you can treat others nicely? (Remind the kids that we know that we should treat others the way that we want to be treated. It is always nice to says something nice about someone’s clothes or to encourage one another while playing at recess.)


Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, Pen/Pencil
Write the key passage: 1 Peter 3:15, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Practice it several times, then when you feel comfortable pass a ball around and say the verse while passing around a ball. Whoever has the ball should say the next word. When you can, write the verse out on a piece of paper.
Say: People might disagree with us about a lot of different things, and they may not always treat us the way we want them to, but we should always treat others and speak to others with gentleness and respect.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 3:13-22
  1. Why does Peter tell us to speak gently and do what is right when others have been mean to us? (Help the kids see that we should always choose to do what is right. Peter tells us that we need to respect others and do the will of God. People were not always nice to Jesus, they did not always treat Him fairly, but He loved them enough to die on the cross for their sins! We should follow His example and do what is right.)
  2. What does it mean to be gentle? (To be gentle means to be very kind. When you pet a puppy or play with or touch a baby you have to be very gentle. You can’t be rough! So, that is how we are supposed to treat each other and talk to each other.)
  3. Has anyone ever been mean to you? How did that make you feel? Have you ever been mean to someone else? (We have all been hurt and we have probably all hurt other people. So, we need to do our best to be kind to others. It doesn’t feel good to be teased or bullied, so let’s remember to treat other kids at our school and our siblings as our very best friends.)
  4. How are some ways that you can treat others nicely? (Remind the kids that we know that we should treat others the way that we want to be treated. It is always nice to says something nice about someone’s clothes or to encourage one another while playing at recess.

Activity: Scavenger Hunt
Supplies: Items around your house or yard
Go around your house and find 3 items that you think are gentle or soft then find 3 items that are rough or hard.
Soft items might be a blanket, cotton balls, stuffed animals, pillow.
Hard items might be a toy car, a lego, a book.

If you had to pick the gentle item or the hard item to snuggle with what would you choose? The soft item! Soft toys, like our favorite teddy bear or blanket help us feel safe and good. We love cuddling those things! We want to make sure the words we use and the things we do make others feel safe and comfortable with us! We want to use kind words that are welcoming. Even when others aren’t nice, we need to be nice to them.
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Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture
: 1 Peter 3:13-22
Suffering Well for the Glory of God

Intro/Overview
As a result of the fall, suffering is to be expected. And the suffering manifests itself in a lot of different ways. Whether it is through sickness and disease, pain, trauma, or ultimately death. Suffering a reality when living on this side of eternity. As believers, as the people of God, how do we respond to suffering? Especially when we feel it is undeserved?

In 1 Peter chapter 3, the apostle Peter is writing to a group of believers currently in exile. He reminds them to continuously live as a people set apart for the glory of God. He tells them to do good even in the face of adversity, and in verse 13, he says that people won’t generally persecute you or harm you if you are committed to doing good at all times. However, even if you do face persecution for your good/righteous behavior it is really a blessing. Think about how counterintuitive and counter-cultural that really is. Peter reminds his readers to keep their minds focused on Christ Jesus, the suffering servant.

Peter also reminds believers to be ready. We must be ready to defend the hope that is inside of each of us. But Peter makes sure to tell this group of exiles that even the way that they defend their hope matters. He says to do it with gentleness and respect (v. 15). Conducting ourselves in a God-honoring, Christ-like manner at all times is what we are called to do as the people of God. This is an incredibly important point, especially as we wrestle through some of the political and racial tensions that are currently plaguing our country. The way that we interact with and respond to others (especially those that don’t agree or even mistreat us) says a lot about our relationship with Christ. Peter knew it was necessary to point those exiles to their external behavior and how important it is to conduct ourselves accordingly at all times.

Finally, we are reminded of the most important truth or reality of the Christian walk: suffering well is really following the example of Christ Jesus. In verse 18 Peter says that Christ also suffered as the righteous for the unrighteous. Christ, the perfect, spotless, son of God was persecuted, ridiculed and crucified for all of the good that He did. In fact, He was crucified and killed to save and redeem His very accusers. He endured suffering for the glory that awaited Him and ultimately for the glory of God. That is the kind of radical kindness and peace that we are to pursue with others. As the people of God, we are to endure suffering even if it comes on account of our good deeds.

Discussion Questions
Read 1 Peter 3:13-22
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. What is your view of suffering? Share some examples of how you may have suffered unjustly in your lifetime. How did you respond?
  2. Peter tells us to continue to do good even when we are mistreated, because this is a blessed thing. Can you think of some times in your life where you were able to do this?
  3. As Christians, we have a blessed hope in Christ Jesus. Here, Peter tells us that we should be ready to defend that hope at all times. How can we gently and respectfully defend ourselves?
  4. When we suffer for doing well, this really makes us just like Christ. In what way has Christ suffered unjustly, and what does that mean for us as believers?

As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
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Sermon Notes: Brenton Lehman
Nothing to Lose, Nothing to Prove
Text:
1 Peter 3:13-22
Campus: Rivermont

Do I know Jesus? Are there ways in which I have settled for knowing only things about him?

Jesus, I want to know you more.


“Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good?”
1 Peter 3:13

 “But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed.”
1 Peter 3:14a

 “Do not fear what they fear or be intimidated”
1 Peter 3:14b

2019 Top 5 Fears. (click here)

What is it that I fear?

 “But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy”
1 Peter 3:15a

Awe in the presence of the real Jesus is more powerful than fear of people or circumstances.

To help overcome fear in highly anxious times, make space to be with Jesus.

 “Ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”
1 Peter 3:15b

To be with Jesus is to be transformed by his perfect love, which drives out fear, settles our hearts, and makes us peaceful, non-anxious people.

“Yet do this with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused,[a] those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.”
1 Peter 3:16

Our gentleness, respect, and humble integrity is what will dismantle the hostility in this world.

“For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
1 Peter 3:17

No matter how high the stakes, followers of Jesus, rooted deeply in him, can be a peaceful, non-anxious presence and model a curious and attractive hope.

The good news of the gospel: In Jesus, we have nothing to lose and nothing to prove.

Abiding in Jesus produces the fruit of a peaceful, non-anxious, differentiated, and surprisingly hopeful life even in highly anxious and even unjust circumstances.


 “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God.”
1 Peter 3:18a

 “He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit”
1 Peter 3:18b

“in which[a] he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people[b]—were saved through water.”
1 Peter 3:19-20

By his death, Jesus is our reconciliation to God and our redemption from sin, and by his resurrection, he is our victory over sin and death now and in the age to come.

“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not as the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge[a] of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”
1 Peter 3:21

Baptism (click here)

“who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.”
1 Peter 3:22

With the real Jesus, the good news of the gospel is that we have nothing to lose and nothing to prove.

October 4th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE.

Lesson overview:Sunday, October 4
Bible passage:1 Peter 3:8-12
Story point:We need to see and pursue peace.
Key Passage:1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.



Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage:1 Peter 3:9 on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you.
Say: Peter calls us to live in peace and unity with one another. We are to love others and to bless others.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 3:8-12
  1. What does it look like to treat others well? (Discuss how you like being treated and how you should treat others).
  2. Do you know what retaliate means? When someone mistreats us what should we do? (Retaliate means to hurt or mistreat others because they hurt us. Peter tells us to seek peace. When someone does something to us, we need to forgive.)
  3. How can we bless and care for others? (Forgiving others blesses them, doing good blesses others. Imitating Christ is a way that we can bless others.)

Activity: Hang Man
Supplies: Paper & Pencils or a Whiteboard
Play several rounds of Hang Man, choose words that help reinforce how we should treat one another.

Olderer Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage: 1 Peter 3:9 on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you.
Say: Peter calls us to live in peace and unity with one another. We are to love others and to bless 0thers.

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 3:8-12
  1. What does it look like to treat others well? (Discuss how you like being treated and how you should treat others).
  2. Do you know what retaliate means? When someone mistreats us what should we do? (Retaliate means to hurt or mistreat others because they hurt us. Peter tells us to seek peace. When someone does something to us, we need to forgive.)
  3. How can we bless and care for others? (Forgiving others blesses them, doing good blesses others. Imitating Christ is a way that we can  bless others.)

Activity: Hang Man
Supplies: Paper & Pencils or a Whiteboard
Play several rounds of Hang Man, choose words that help reinforce how we should treat one another.

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Gospel Student Ministries Notes
Scripture
: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Doing Good in the Face of Adversity

Intro/Overview 
It can be really hard to be nice to people all the time. Even when people aren’t intentionally doing something to harm or wrong you, if you spend enough time with someone, they will eventually aggravate you in some way (I think a lot of us figured this out during quarantine with our families). So, how do we respond when people don’t just aggravate or frustrate us, but they mistreat us? How do we react to evil, suffering, and persecution?

Naturally, as sinful people operating in our flesh, we retaliate. When someone harms or wrongs us, our desire is revenge. We feel that justice isn’t served until we reciprocate. But as the people of God, we are to live by a different standard. God calls His people to do good towards others at all times. Even when people present you with evil, we are to bless them continuously.

In 1 Peter 3, the apostle Peter is writing a group of exiles continuously encouraging them to live in such a way that God is glorified. Here he reminds them (and us) of the importance of unity and brotherly love (v. 8). As the people of God, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must pursue unity amongst believers. It is important for us to build on the foundation of the Gospel message, and be unified in this truth. Remembering the abundant grace and forgiveness we have received in and through Christ is what compels us to repay people with good even though they deserve evil.

Peter says we have been called to this life of humility and sacrifice. When we continue to do good and bless even those that persecute us, we are simply following the example of Christ. Jesus came to bring peace where there was conflict. As sinful people, born in opposition to God, we were His enemies, destined for death and destruction. But by the blood of Christ we are now at peace with God Romans 5:1 tells us. Just God Himself made peace with us, as the people of God we are to seek and pursue peace (v.11), especially with those that have wronged us. Suffering for doing well, doing good for the sake of others is how we show Christ to the world.

Discussion Questions
Read 1 Peter 3:8-12
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. Peter begins this section of his letter by telling his readers to be unified, tender hearted, and to show love and sympathy towards one another. Why is this so important to this idea of suffering for the sake of righteousness?
  2. Can you think of a time where you repaid someone for what they did to you? What could you have done instead of retaliating?
  3. As God’s people we are told to seek peace continuously. How can we do this (what compels us)? And how does this show people Christ/the Gospel?
  4. The face of the Lord is upon the righteous. However, we know that in our own strength, we have no righteousness of our own. So how can one be counted among the righteous? Is it simply by doing good? Praying a lot? Etc.

As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.


Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
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Sermon Notes: Preston Burling
Title:
Faith in Exile
Text: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Campus: Rivermont

 “American Christians have softened their practice and their sudden and quick decline raises questions for urgent implications.”  ~Barna Group

Jerusalem Perspective vs Exilic Perspective: Click here for picture

Saint Benedict: Click here for picture 

“Christians today are on the losing side of the culture, right now, we are going to have to start seeing ourselves as a people in exile to move forward… If we continue to live in the world as if nothing has changed, or is wrong, we are at risk of losing our faith.” ~Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option.

“Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.
For the one who wants to love life
and to see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit,
and let him turn away from evil
and do what is good.
Let him seek peace and pursue it,
because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against
those who do what is evil.”
1 Peter 3:8-12 (CSB)

Why these five adjectives?
Like-minded, sympathetic, love one another, compassionate, humble
  1. It’s these characteristics that root the Christian community in being a place of refuge and support, for the exilic disciple of Jesus
There is no chasm too deep, too wide or too high that the cross of Jesus doesn’t eclipse.

Why these five adjectives?
Like-minded, sympathetic, love one another, compassionate, humble
  1. It’s these characteristic that root the Christian community in being a place of refuge and support, for the exilic disciple of Jesus
  2. These five adjectives will help reinforce Christian cohesion within the church family, ultimately preparing us to stand firm in the midst of adversity and hostility.

Like-mindedness
  1. Cohesion within the community of faith
  2. Subverts cohesion to the world around us
Like-mindedness comes from our commonality “under one Lord”, it is the mind and Spirit of Christ that we share.
“differentiation is understanding yourself in a way in which you remain connected to people, yet your reactions or behaviors are determined by others. It’s the ability to be calm and consistent in what you think and feel, not demanding or even forcing others to think and be the same way.” ~Pete Scazerro
Our Pursuit to be like-minded should subvert our tendency to dig chasms between brothers and sisters and Christ.

Sympathetic
Love One another
Compassionate
Humble


“not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 3:9 (CSB)

As the family of God, as you sojourn in this foreign land, you too will be delivered in due time because of your affliction that you experience from your faith in God.

We are called to live out this inherited blessing to both one another and to the outside world. We bless because we have been blessed.
The most powerful tool for social change is going to come in the way that we “bless others.”

It is very difficult to give blessing when we haven’t understood and experienced the blessing given to us by the Lord.

Question for reflection:
Do I truly believe in the eternal blessing of inheritance that God has promised me? If no, then what is Jesus asking me to do right now? If yes, then does my life model a blessing to the family of God and to the watching world?


September 27th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking 
HERE.

Lesson overview:Sunday, September 27, 2020
Bible passage:1 Peter 3:1-7
Story point:It is better when we love, honor and respect each other. God made us different for a reason!
Key Passage:1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy and brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
          Supplies: 
Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage, 1 Peter 3:8, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Then take a ball and pass it around and whoever has the ball must say the next word until the verse is complete.
         Say: God made men and women to be husband and wives. Husbands and wives each have different roles, but they are called to love and respect one another. God wants us to love and respect all others.

Bible Story Questions:
1.  Why should we care about this passage about husbands and wives? (Because all boys have friends that are girls and all boys have friends that are girls. Mr. Trevor even said that some of you might get married, so it is good to learn how to treat other people with respect.)
2.  Do you know what honor means? (It means respecting, treating them well, and caring about their feelings. In the book of Romans we are told to “outdo one another in showing honor.” We are supposed to care about other people and their feelings and making sure we are caring about them. )
3.  How can you honor others? (Parents, discuss different ways to care about others - sharing, complementing, helping, being kind.)
 
4.  Who did God create in His image? (Boys and girls are both made in His image. Even those boys and girls are different, both boys and girls show us parts of God’s character. So, we need to be glad that we are different because we can see more of who God is in some of our differences!)
 
Activity: Paper Chains
     Supplies
: Strips of Paper, and glue or tape, pen
On strips of paper write down the different things that make you feel respected and loved. Ex. Playing nicely, sharing, cleaning up together, using kind words. Hang up your paper chain so you can see throughout the week different ways we can show our family members love and respect.
      Say: God has created everyone in His image. We need to love and respect others.

Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
     Supplies - Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage,1 Peter 3:8, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Then take a ball and pass it around and whoever has the ball must say the next word until the verse is complete.
     Say - God made men and women to be husband and wives. Husbands and wives each have different roles, but they are called to love and respect one another. God wants us to love and respect all others.

Bible Story Questions:
1.  Why should we care about this passage about husbands and wives? (Because all boys have friends that are girls and all boys have friends that are girls. Mr. Trevor even said that some of you might get married, so it is good to learn how to treat other people with respect.)
2.  Do you know what honor means? (It means respecting, treating them well, and caring about their feelings. In the book of Romans we are told to “outdo one another in showing honor.” We are supposed to care about other people and their feelings and making sure we are caring about them. )
3.  How can you honor others? (Parents, discuss different ways to care about others - sharing, complementing, helping, being kind.)
4.  Who did God create in His image? (Boys and girls are both made in His image. Even those boys and girls are different, both boys and girls show us parts of God’s character. So, we need to be glad that we are different because we can see more of who God is in some of our differences!)

Activity: Paper Chains
     Supplies: Strips of Paper, and glue or tape, pen
On strips of paper write down the different things that make you feel respected and loved. Ex. Playing nicely, sharing, cleaning up together, using kind words. Hang up your paper chain so you can see throughout the week different ways we can show our family members love and respect.
      Say: God has created everyone in His image. We need to love and respect others.

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Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture:
1 Peter 3:1-7
Honorable Submission Through the Covenant of Marriage

Intro/Overview
We can learn a lot from marriage, particularly a Christ-centered, God-honoring marriage. The institution of marriage is a sacred covenant not only between a man and a woman, but also the God that created them. This union is meant to represent the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church. A godly, and Biblical marriage should be a living and breathing demonstration of the Gospel message. Husbands and wives should be continuously showing one another grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love as they point one another to Jesus. However, this can be incredibly difficult when you consider that every marriage consists of two sinful people, and even in some cases, this is made more difficult when one individual is a believer and the other is not.

In the 1 Peter 3, Peter, as he is writing to the exiles, reminds his readers of the importance of godly and holy conduct (a theme throughout this letter). But here in chapter 3, Peter shifts his focus to believing husbands and wives. He begins by telling wives to submit to their husbands, even the ones that aren’t believers. This can be incredibly difficult. Submitting to authority is difficult in itself, but that can become even more frustrating when you’re asked to submit to someone you don’t agree with. Peter points out something really helpful here and really essential to the Christian life. He says in verse 1, that wives can win over their husbands without a word, simply by their reverent and godly behavior.

Peter then goes on to say, in verse 7, that husbands should live with their wives “in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor.” I think it’s important to have the right idea of the word “weaker” that is used here. Now, this does not mean that women are of any lesser value, importance, or intelligence than men. While women are fully equal to men as image bearers of God and heirs to the kingdom, because they are physically weaker, men have a duty to protect, provide, and care for their wives.

The main idea here is simple: the way that we treat each other matters. The way that we respond to those that mistreat us or don’t agree with us, or don’t believe what we believe, essentially makes a statement about Jesus and our actions/conduct have a massive impact on others. Respond to others graciously and humbly, especially when they least deserve it, is how we can be a living demonstration of the Gospel. This goes beyond the covenant of marriage, as we have the opportunity to show Christ to people daily, in all of our earthly relationships.

Discussion Questions
Read 1 Peter 3:1-7
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. Why is godly conduct so important? What does your conduct/behavior say about your relationship with Jesus?
  2. Within the covenant of marriage, husbands and wives have the opportunity to point each other to Christ daily. However, we can also do this in other relationships as well. Name some people in your life that you are in relationship with, that you could demonstrate the Gospel for more consistently. 
  3. How can you use your conduct and your response to conflict/confrontation to point people to Jesus? 
  4. What is our motivation for being understanding, forgiving, gracious to people especially when they least deserve it?

As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.


Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sermon Notes
Text: 1 Peter 3:1-7
Campus: Rivermont

In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by the way their wives live
2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives.
3 Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes,
4 but rather what is inside the heart[a]—the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
5 For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also adorned themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands,
6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and do not fear any intimidation.
7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.







September 20th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE


Lesson overview:

Sunday, September 20

Bible passage:

1 Peter 2:12-25

Story point:

We need to do what is right and respect the authority. Peter tells us that they have been put over us for a reason. 

Key Passage:

1 Peter 2:15 "For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people."



Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity: 

Supplies - Paper, pen/pencil

Write the key passage, 1 Peter 2:15, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Then, roll it up and have the kids close their eyes. Hide the paper somewhere in the room for them to find. As they get closer to the verse, say “warmer.” As they get farther away from the verse say “colder” until they find the verse. Read it together when it’s found            

Say - God has put certain leaders and authorities over us, and our job is to submit to those authorities and do good. If we do good, then people can’t hold anything against us because we did what was good even in difficult circumstances. 

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 2:12-25


1. What does authority mean? Can you name 3 authorities over you? (Authorities are those people that are put in positions of leadership over you. Parents, teachers, police officers, governors, and the president are all examples.)


2. Pastor Brandon talks about verse 14, what does this verse and Pastor Brandon say about those in a position of authority?  (Leaders have been put in these positions to encourage doing good and to punish bad behavior. In verse 14 it says that  the authority is there to encourage doing good )


3. When you do good and face hardship or tough times whose example are you following? (You are following the example of Jesus.)

Activity: Simon Says

      Supplies: None

Play several rounds of Simon Says. Let the winner be the next Simon. Play several rounds. 

      Say: In Simon says, we practice listening to Simon. When he says something, we do it. It takes practice to be obedient. Sometimes it can be hard, but obeying the authorities in our lives, like our parents is very important. They care about us and want the best for us. 


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Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture: John 17:14-19
The Word of Truth

 
Intro/Overview 
What is truth? This is such an incredibly crucial question, especially at a time like this. It is no secret that our world is currently divided on a lot of issues. Being an election year, take for example, the two presidential candidates. Whenever you turn on your television, you are immediately overwhelmed by these campaign ads. In these promotions, it is usually one candidate attempting to make themself look better by smearing their opponent. These campaigns are consistently full of accusations and assault the character of the candidates to persuade people to vote one way or the other. But how can we know what is true, and what is not?

There are so many political, social, and even theological issues that are causing friction amongst us. The world has its own version of truth, and even as individuals we have a truth that is convenient for each of us. And while we each hold our own individual opinions/beliefs, how can we find truth? The reality is there is only one real, legitimate, objective truth, and the Scriptures are clear in pointing us toward God’s word as the truth. In fact, the word “truth” appears in the Bible more times 200 times. Understanding truth is certainly important as the people of God.

In John chapter 17, moments before He is betrayed and arrested, Jesus prays for His disciples. He goes before God the Father on their behalf, praying that God would keep them, strengthen them, and care for them as they continue to live His mission is a fallen and broken world. Jesus also prays for their sanctification on two occasions (v. 17 & v. 19). The idea of sanctification is setting apart something for a particular use. As believers we are set apart to serve the Lord and as we grow (and we are sanctified), we have a growing desire to obey God’s commands and walk in holiness.

But here, Jesus prays for specific sanctification, He prays that God would sanctify them “in the truth (v.17).” And again in verse 19 He prays “that they also may be sanctified in truth.” This is so important, especially when we consider the current social and cultural pressures that we are facing. We must be saturated with the truth of God’s word. His written and revealed word has given us the truth about Christ the Son, and it is the Scriptures that inform the way that we view all of the things that we are seeing happening in our world today. It is God’s desire that we know and cling to the truth. As believers we must not be swayed or persuaded by the world and its empty ideologies. Instead, we must be sanctified in the truth, God’s truth.

Discussion Questions 
Read John 17:14-19
Reflect on these verses


These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.

  1. What is your definition of truth? Where do you turn to seek truth? 
  2. In 2020, there is a lot of pressure to conform to your own version of truth. How does the world’s “truth” differ from God’s truth?
  3. Why is it so important for us to have an accurate and biblical understanding of truth? 

As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus. 

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation. 


Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission? 
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time. 


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Sermon Notes, September 20, 2020
"Submission and Suffering in Exile"
Text: 
1 Peter 2:11-25
Campus: 
Rivermont

“Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul.”
1 Peter 2:11

Image: Exilic Discipleship

https://storage.snappages.site/MK36D3/assets/images/3204774_1398x710_2500.png


“Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits.”
1 Peter 2:12.

“Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
1 Peter 2:13-17.

“For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good.”
1 Peter 2:15.

“Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves.”
1 Peter 2:16.

“Household slaves, submit to your masters with all reverence not only to the good and gentle ones but also to the cruel. For it brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.
For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth;  when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:18-24.

What Peter and the whole Bible teaches, if we take it seriously, is that every human being, slave or free, male or female, are equal in dignity, value, and worth.

“He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth;  when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:22-24.

Christ suffered unjustly for us, in love, to bring about our healing, our freedom. This is the good news of our new and living hope - no unearned suffering or submission to any unjust authority can steal our freedom, our peace, our joy. Not in Jesus. He understands it, bore up under it willingly, and overcame it, and his is the victory.

September 13th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE


Lesson overview:

Sunday, September 13

Bible passage:

1 Peter 2:12-25

Story point:

We need to do what is right and respect the authority. Peter tells us that they have been put over us for a reason. 

Key Passage:

1 Peter 2:15 "For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people."



Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity: 

Supplies - Paper, pen/pencil

Write the key passage, 1 Peter 2:15, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Then, roll it up and have the kids close their eyes. Hide the paper somewhere in the room for them to find. As they get closer to the verse, say “warmer.” As they get farther away from the verse say “colder” until they find the verse. Read it together when it’s found            

Say - God has put certain leaders and authorities over us, and our job is to submit to those authorities and do good. If we do good, then people can’t hold anything against us because we did what was good even in difficult circumstances. 

Bible Story Questions: Read 1 Peter 2:12-25


1. What does authority mean? Can you name 3 authorities over you? (Authorities are those people that are put in positions of leadership over you. Parents, teachers, police officers, governors, and the president are all examples.)


2. Pastor Brandon talks about verse 14, what does this verse and Pastor Brandon say about those in a position of authority?  (Leaders have been put in these positions to encourage doing good and to punish bad behavior. In verse 14 it says that  the authority is there to encourage doing good )


3. When you do good and face hardship or tough times whose example are you following? (You are following the example of Jesus.)

Activity: Simon Says

      Supplies: None

Play several rounds of Simon Says. Let the winner be the next Simon. Play several rounds. 

      Say: In Simon says, we practice listening to Simon. When he says something, we do it. It takes practice to be obedient. Sometimes it can be hard, but obeying the authorities in our lives, like our parents is very important. They care about us and want the best for us. 


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Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Sunday September 13th GSM Notes
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:12-25
Submission and Authority

Intro/Overview
Submission is hard. It has been that way from the very beginning of time. If we go back to Genesis 3, and the fall of man, we find that Adam and Eve failed to submit to God’s authority and obey His command. It is in the nature of man to demand his own way. Submission becomes increasingly difficult when you disagree with those in authority over you. It is one thing to submit to those who share the same perspective, but submitting to those you aren’t in agreement with is nearly impossible, in our flesh.

In 1 Peter 2, the apostle writes to a group of believers that have been scattered about; they are in exile in different parts of the continent. As a result, they are under the rule of some foreign authorities. Obviously, there will be a difference of opinion between those that follow Christ and those that govern the world. But here in chapter 2, Peter does not tell these believers to fight against these authorities, and he doesn’t tell them to riot or promote civil disobedience. Instead, Peter reminds them to submit to their authority figures, “for the Lord’s sake (verse 13).”

Romans 13 tells us that every human institution, all governments, rulers, and any other authorities have been put in place by God (who is the ultimate authority!). We are reminded to keep our conduct honorable and appropriate at all times, even when we are under the rule of authorities that we don’t agree with. Considering the current political landscape, this hits pretty close to home, and is a timely reminder for many people. In maintaining peace and living lives of holiness and obedience, God is glorified. Not only that, Peter tells us that when we continue to do good, under the rule of those who are seemingly in opposition to us, we silence our critics (1 Peter 2:15).

Peter continues to expound upon this idea of enduring suffering and submitting to authority for the glory of God, by pointing us to the suffering Servant, Christ Jesus. When we suffer for doing good and endure those momentary afflictions, it is a good and gracious thing in the sight of the Lord (1 Peter 2:19). Peter says that when we do this, we are simply following the example that Christ has set for us. Jesus, who is the perfect, sinless, Son of God endured the pain of the cross, though He had done no wrong. On the cross, Jesus bore the weight of our sins, so that we would die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). Let this be what compels us to live in peace and submission to those in authority over us, imitating Christ Jesus.

Discussion Questions
Read 1 Peter 2:12-25
Reflect on these verses

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. God has instituted every form of authority, whether it be government, rulers, kings, etc. Because God is the ultimate authority, we are to submit to those human institutions. What are some of the authority figures in your life? 
  2. It can be difficult to submit when we disagree. Have you found it hard to joyfully submit to some of those authorities in your own life? Why? (Maybe name some of the ways these human institutions have been unjust)
  3. Suffering under unjust conditions is glorifying to God. In His sight, this is a good and glorious thing. In what ways can we continue to submit obediently even when we don’t agree or we are facing difficulties? (What motivates us to do this?)
  4. Peter ends chapter 2 by pointing us back to Jesus. He says that Christ did not repay evil for evil, that even though He was the perfect, sinless Son of God, He suffered and endured the cross for the glory of God. Knowing what Christ has done for you, (and the selfless, sacrificial way that He did), how does this impact the way that you live and view the authorities in your own life? 


As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:

  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission? 
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time. 

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Sermon Notes, September 13, 2020
"The Way of the Kingdom"
Text: Matthew 22:15-20
Campus: Rivermont


Telos: ultimate object or aim

Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.”

Mark 1:14-15

Matthew 22:15-17

Key question: What is the way of Jesus when facing complex questions in highly anxious times?

How do I react when I’m confronted with a perspective that disagrees with my own on an issue of great importance to me?

If the intention of the question is to identify places of division, If that’s the posture, then maybe I don’t engage, at least not on those terms.

Am I asking questions about complex issues with genuine curiosity and humility—looking for places of agreement and oneness—or and I looking for places of division?

Matthew 21:24-27

Am I prepared to walk away if it isn’t the right time or place to engage a complex issue?

Before I engage, have I accepted that reality, I may end up being misunderstood or misinterpreted?

“So Christians are pushed toward two main options [in a two party political system]. One is to withdraw and try to be apolitical. The second is to assimilate and fully adopt one party’s whole package in order to have your place at the table. Neither of these options is valid…"

 [The way of Jesus will] inevitably require us to participate in political process.

If we experience exclusion and even persecution for doing so, we are assured that God is with us (Matthew 5:10-11) and that some will still see our “good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

If we are only offensive or only attractive to the world and not both, we can be sure we are failing to live as we ought.

The Gospel gives us the resources to love people who reject both our beliefs and us personally.

"Christians should think of how God rescued them. He did it not by taking power but by coming to earth, losing glory and power, serving and dying on a cross. How did Jesus save? Not with a sword but with nails in his hands.”
-Dr. Timothy Keller, "How do Christians Fit in a Two-Party System? They Don’t." Published in the New York Times.


Matthew 22:19-21.

Image: First Century Denarius

Q: Where have I been unwilling to see an issue from another’s perspective, until they feel respected & understood (even if I still disagree)?

Q: Where have I been unwilling to see an issue from another’s perspective, until they feel respected & understood (even if I still disagree)?

Q: What might that say about my heart?

  1. Cultivate Diverse Community
  1. Practice Silence & Solitude
  1. Read, Study, and Meditate on the Scriptures


September 6th Sermon Guides

Kid City Notes

View all Kid City lesson videos by clicking HERE

Lesson overview:

Sunday, September 6

Bible passage:

Matthew 28:16-20

Story point:

God gave you and me a message that we get to share with the whole world. As disciples of Christ, we get to tell others of Christ’s love, that he died for us, and that we can have a relationship with him. 

Key Passage:

Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 



Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity: 

          Supplies: Paper and pencil

Write out the words of the key passage on a piece of paper. Practice it several times, then have then choose one word at a time to erase. 

          Say: Before Jesus ascended (went up) to heaven, he gave his disciples, and us a job, and that job is to share the Gospel. He told us to go and tell others about His love for us. 

Bible Story Questions: 


  1. Do you know what a disciple is?? (A disciple is a follower. We are all followers of Jesus. So, we are Jesus’ disciples. )

 

  1. Why do you think it is important to tell others about Jesus? (Jesus loves us, he came to earth to die for us just so we could have a relationship with him. That is some great news, and it is important to share good news. When something great happens, like we get a present or we win a game we celebrate and tell everyone. Jesus’ love for us and salvation is the very best news there can ever be!)


  1. What are some examples of things that disciples do? (In the book of John we are told by Jesus that others will know we are his disciples by our love for others. Parents, talk for a few minutes about things that make us disciples.)


Activity Choice:  Show and Tell 

Have the kids tell us 3-4 reasons why they love this item, and why they picked it for show and tell. 

      Supplies: Something you love or are very proud of! (If you are in church, draw a picture of this). 

      Say-  Isn’t it great to share about things we love? We were all so excited to tell one another about our favorite toy, or game and we loved sharing it with each other. God loves us so much and he shared his son, Jesus, with us. Now, it is our turn to share Jesus’ love with others.  



Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills

Key Passage Activity: 

          Supplies: Paper and pencil

Write out the words of the key passage on a piece of paper. Practice it several times, then have then choose one word at a time to erase. 

          Say: Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he gave his disciples, and us a commandment is to share the Gospel. He told us to go and tell others about His love for us.

Bible Story Questions:


  1. Do you know what a disciple is?? (A disciple is a follower. We are all followers of Jesus. So, we are Jesus’ disciples. )

 

  1. Why do you think it is important to tell others about Jesus? (Jesus loves us, he came to earth to die for us just so we could have a relationship with him. That is some great news, and it is important to share good news. When something great happens, like we get a present or we win a game we celebrate and tell everyone. Jesus’ love for us and salvation is the very best news there can ever be!)


  1. What are some examples of things that disciples do? (In the book of John we are told by Jesus that others will know we are his disciples by our love for others. Parents, talk for a few minutes about things that make us disciples.)

Activity Choice:  Show and Tell 

Have the kids tell us 3-4 reasons why they love this item, and why they picked it for show and tell. 

      Supplies: Something you love or are very proud of! (If you are in church, draw a picture of this). 

      Say-  Isn’t it great to share about things we love? We were all so excited to tell one another about our favorite toy, or game and we loved sharing it with each other. God loves us so much and he shared his son, Jesus, with us. Now, it is our turn to share Jesus’ love with others.  


______________________________________________________________________________________

Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Sunday September 6th GSM Notes
Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20
The Great Commission

Intro/Overview:
If you’ve ever watched any kind of spy movie/television show, then you know how exciting those programs can be. I think about films like Mission Impossible, all of the James Bond films, the Jason Bourne trilogy starring Matt Damon, just to name a few. These movies and shows always begin with the main character being given some kind of mission to complete. And this mission usually involves risking their life and going through some pretty treacherous circumstances. The risk that these individuals are willing to take, and the dangerous circumstances they endure really show just how important the mission is.

The truth is, as followers of Christ, we too have been given an incredible mission to carry out. In Matthew chapter 28, Jesus stands before his disciples after He has resurrected from the dead, and pronounces that He has all authority in heaven and on earth (28:18). With the authority that He has, Jesus gives His followers a mission. He instructs them to go out into the world, among the nations and make disciples. He tells them to teach people His words/commandments and show them what it means to follow Christ.

Just as it was the mission of the 11 disciples, it is the mission that has been entrusted to all believers. For everyone that claims to be a follower of Christ, this Great Commission from Matthew 28 is central to the life of the Christian. This should really inform all that we do, and impact the way that we live. Because this mission is so important, it has eternal meaning and is truly life or death, we should be willing to risk it all and endure the most difficult circumstances in order to make Christ known.

For many of us, we want to own this mission, but we do not know how. A lot of Christians feel unequipped, and going out into the world to tell people about Jesus feels incredibly intimidating. Just as a secret agent would have to train in order to accomplish the mission before him, we too must be trained and equipped for this mission. As the people of God, we are to consistently turn to His word and be reliant upon His Spirit to lead us as we attempt to bring His message of salvation to the world. Though this mission can be difficult, and could cost us friends, family members, jobs, and even our lives (depending on where you reside), it is totally worth it. This is an eternally important mission that Christ has given to us.

Discussion Questions
Read Matthew 28:16-20
Reflect on these verses:

These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
  1. What is the Great Commission? What does this mean for us as believers, and how is this played out practically in our world today? 
  2. Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection. They had seen Him crucified and killed, yet He rose again. How does His life/death/resurrection help us to live His mission?
  3. Agents usually train for their missions. We see them train their physical bodies and they also train their minds to be sharp and prepared for the task ahead. In what ways can we train ourselves to be ready for the mission God has given us? 
  4. Jesus says that His disciples will teach others to observe all that He has commanded. What are somethings that Jesus has commanded of us, and how can we teach others about these commandments? 


As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.

End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.

Parents:

  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission? 
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time. 

__________________________________________________________________________________

Adult Notes


August 30th SERMON GUIDES

Kid City Notes

Lesson overview:
Bible passage: Genesis 12, 17 & 21
Story point: God promised Abraham that he would has as many children as there are stars in the sky, and Abraham believed Him, but it would take over 20 years! Abraham had to learn to be patient, and trust that God’s timing was best.
Key passage: Genesis 15:6 “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

Younger Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage: Genesis 15:6, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Erase one word at a time as you continue practicing it. Erase 3-5 words.
Say: Abraham’s faith and patience that God would give him a son was credited to his righteousness. It is not easy to wait but being patient honors God. Abraham didn’t always make the right choices, but after 20 years, he didn’t give up, he continued to trust and believe in God’s promises.
Bible Story Questions:
1. Who was Abraham? (He was the husband of Sarah, and the father of Isaac. When he was in his 70s God promised to give him a son that would lead to a great nation. But he and his wife were already very old when God made this promise. But he still believed in God and in God’s promises.)
2. Are you very patient? How can you be more patient? (I am not very patient, but trusting in God, and praying helps me remember to trust God and to rest in Him.)
3. Why was Abraham considered righteous for being patient? (He trusted God and obeyed him. He spent years waiting on God, because he had faith in God’s promises and knew that God would fulfill those promises. Even when it seemed impossible, he still trusted and obeyed. He did not always do the right thing, he made mistakes, but he still tried to honor God and trusted in His promise.)
Activity: The Patience Game
Supplies: Stopwatch
Have your kids sit down on the couch/floor. Tell them you are going to see who can sit on the couch/floor for 1 minute. As soon as they think 1 minute has passed, they should stand up. Whoever stands closest to 1 minute wins. If they haven’t stood up after one minute, note who was closest to 1 minute, they are the winner, not the person who sat the longest. Play several rounds.
Say: One minute seemed like a long time right? Sometimes when you are doing something really fun a minute can go so fast! But other times one minute can seem like forever, especially if you are waiting for something. Do you remember how long Abraham and Sarah waited for their son Isaac? It was about 25 years! Can you imagine waiting that long? Waiting for school to start again after just 5 months has been really hard for some of us, and I know most of us are really anxious and excited to return to school and see all our friends again. But if it isn’t our time yet, let’s thank God for giving us friends that we love, a good school where we can learn, and so many other activities we can’t wait to enjoy again. I know this time has been hard, but we at KidCity are praying for you all.
Older Kids: Bible Story Review & Bible Skills
Key Passage Activity:
Supplies: Paper, pen/pencil
Write the key passage: Genesis 15:6, on a piece of paper and have the kids repeat it after you. Erase one word at a time as you continue practicing it. Erase 5-7 words.
Say: Abraham’s faith and patience that God would give him a son was credited to his righteousness. It is not easy to wait but being patient honors God. Abraham didn’t always make the right choices, but after 20 years, he didn’t give up, he continued to trust and believe in God’s promises.
Bible Story Questions:
1. Who was Abraham? (He was the husband of Sarah, and the father of Isaac. When he was in his 70s God promised to give him a son that would lead to a great nation. But he and his wife were already very old when God made this promise. But he still believed in God and in God’s promises.)
2.  Are you very patient? How can you be more patient? (I am not very patient, but trusting in God, and praying helps me remember to trust God and to rest in Him.)
3.  What does it mean to be righteous? Why was Abraham considered righteous for being patient? (A righteous person is a person who is morally right. They do what is right by obeying God and obeying Him. Abraham trusted God and obeyed him. He spent years waiting on God, because he had faith in God’s promises and knew that God would fulfill those promises. Even when it seemed impossible, he still trusted and obeyed. He did not always do the right thing, he made mistakes, but he still tried to honor God and trusted in His promise.)
Activity: The Patience Game
Supplies: Stopwatch
Have your kids sit down on the couch/floor. Tell them you are going to see who can sit on the couch/floor for 1 minute. As soon as they think 1 minute has passed, they should stand up. Whoever stands closest to 1 minute wins. If they haven’t stood up after one minute, note who was closest to 1 minute, they are the winner, not the person who sat the longest. Play several rounds.
Say: One minute seemed like a long time right? Sometimes when you are doing something really fun a minute can go so fast! But other times one minute can seem like forever, especially if you are waiting for something. Do you remember how long Abraham and Sarah waited for their son Isaac? It was about 25 years! Can you imagine waiting that long? Waiting for school to start again after just 5 months has been really hard for some of us, and I know most of us are really anxious and excited to return to school and see all our friends again. But if it isn’t our time yet, let’s thank God for giving us friends that we love, a good school where we can learn, and so many other activities we can’t wait to enjoy again. I know this time has been hard, but we at KidCity are praying for you all.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gospel Student Ministry Notes
Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34
Do Not be Anxious
Intro/Overview
As human beings, we have this incredible tendency to worry about things. I think that is one of the many things that separates us from God. He is infinite and all-knowing, so the future is no mystery to Him. However, as finite, limited human beings, we are constantly obsessing and what the future holds. We often wonder what tomorrow or next month, or even next year will bring. As the people of God, those that belong to this loving, almighty, and glorious God, we can take great comfort in knowing that He cares for us, and He will provide for His own.
In Matthew 6, Jesus addresses this idea of anxiety and fear that often overwhelms us. Jesus, in no uncertain terms, tells us not to be anxious about our lives. Now, this is easier said than done. I mean, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, we are steadily approaching an election that has divided our country, and we can’t forget all of the racial tensions that have plagued our country this year. On top of all of that, we have parents/students/families trying to figure out what to do about school. This is a really difficult time for a lot of people and there is no doubt that many of us are anxious about what is to come.
Jesus was totally aware that His disciples and those that followed Him were dealing with feelings of anxiety and fear. That had legitimate needs: food, clothing, shelter, etc. So this anxiousness that they were carrying was very real. However, Jesus calms their fears by telling them that God is the great provider. He provides for the smallest of details, for example, flowers, grass, birds of the air. So, if He makes sure they are all cared for, won’t He care for His own children in powerful and incredible ways?
Jesus says in verse 32, that our Heavenly Father knows all of your needs. So He instructs His followers to seek the kingdom of God first, rather than be so concerned about all of these other things, because your heavenly Father knows your need and He will provide these things for you. It is a great comfort to know that we belong to a God who cares.
There will be many moments over the next several days, weeks, and months to come where we feel overwhelmed by anxiety. It is in those moments that we must remember that God sees and knows exactly what we need and exactly how we are feeling. And not only does He know, but He also cares. Remember the words of our Lord Jesus “do not be anxious…your Heavenly Father knows your need.”
Discussion Questions
Read Matthew 6:25-34
Reflect on these verses
These questions are meant to generate conversations with your students.
1. There is no doubt that this is a difficult time for a lot of people, especially as students are heading back to school. What are you currently anxious about? (Name some things verbally/out loud that you are struggling with that are making you feel anxious)
2. Jesus mentions faith in verse 30. What is the correlation between faith and anxiety? Is this something that you have seen/experienced personally? What helps your faith to grow versus what shakes your faith?
3. Jesus tells us not to be anxious because our Father knows what we need. He also tells us to seek the Kingdom of God first. What does that mean? How can we seek the Kingdom of God daily?
4. This idea of worry and doubt plague us constantly. How can we overcome these feelings?
As Christians, our hope and our confidence should ultimately rest in Christ Jesus.
End your time together by praying as a family. Pray specifically for the things that you’ve discussed (and confessed), pray for each other, and pray for our world as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and the racial and political tensions currently facing our nation.
Parents:
  • Consider ways to leverage the time that you have with your students. How can you utilize this time to help them see Jesus/own the mission?
  • In what ways can you love/serve your neighbors? Think of some practical (and safe!) ways that you and your student(s) can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time.
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Adults Notes
Jesus Above Every Other Name
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:10-19, 22-24, 2:1-5, 3:4-11, 21-4:2, 4:6b (CSB)
“Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.”
1 Corinthians 1:10
“For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by members of Chloe’s people, that there is rivalry among you. What I am saying is this: One of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to Christ.’”
1 Corinthians 1:11-12
“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name?”
1 Corinthians 1:13
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.”
1 Corinthians: 1:17
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent.”
1 Corinthians 1:18-19
“For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.”
1 Corinthians 1:22-23
“Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God,”
1 Corinthians 1:24
“So that…none of you will be arrogant, favoring one person over another.”
1 Corinthians 4:6b
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“The good news of the gospel is this: “We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than
we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in
Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”
~ Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
“When I came to you, brothers and sisters, announcing the mystery of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom.”
1 Corinthians 2:1
“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
1 Corinthians 2:2
“I came to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.”
1 Corinthians 2:3
“My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,”
1 Corinthians 2:4
“so that your faith might not be based on human wisdom but on God’s power.”
1 Corinthians 2:5
“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So, then, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
“According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one is to be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:10-11
“So let no one boast in human leaders, for everything is yours—whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come—everything is yours, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God
4 A person should think of us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God. In this regard, it is required that managers be found faithful.”
1 Corinthians 3:21-4:2