Apply: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

June 27, 2010

This morning we came to the end of our Community of Grace series.  In our closing sermon we found that a community of grace is always amazed by grace.  We studied 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 where Paul reminds this church that God chooses unlikely people and He does this so that His grace is magnified and He receives all the glory.  Paul does this by exhorting them to consider their lives prior to their conversion in order to rescue them from the pride that they had drifted into and to relocate them in a place of humility and amazement at the grace of God.  We also looked at some of the consequences when grace is no longer amazing.  You can download or listen to the sermon here. We hope that these questions will serve you as you apply this to your life.  We also trust that God will continue to help us to be amazed by grace in the weeks, months, and years to come!

1)  Why does Paul draw the Corinthians attention back to their life before Christ and who they were?

2)  Why does God choose unlikely people for His kingdom?  How would you describe your “unlikeliness” prior to your salvation?  How does thinking about who you were before you were saved help you to stay amazed by grace?

3)  We discussed 5 things that can happen when grace is no longer amazing.  Which of these did you resonate with? How does staying amazed by grace prevent these temptations?

4)  How will you seek to stay amazed by grace every day?  How can we help one another to do the same?

Thanks for being a community of grace – ever seeking to keep the gospel at the center of all that we are and all that we do.  We are grateful for you!

Eric


Tomorrow Morning at SGC

June 26, 2010

Good evening!  Weather.com says it’s 87 degrees right now (8:15 p.m.) but feels like 95!  I hope you’ve found a way to stay cool today (and this week).  We look forward to gathering tomorrow morning as a church.  If you are planning to visit, we look forward to meeting you and hope you are blessed by the Lord at our service.  For all who can come, we have a prayer meeting for our service at 9:00 in the Spurgeon Room.  This group has faithfully met for years praying for God to bless our time together.  Please join us if you can.

Our meeting will start at 10:00 with a time of singing.  Last week we studied the story of the 10 lepers and the response of the 1.  It will be wonderful to put into practice our own joyful thanksgiving for all the Jesus has done for us.  We also have a Baby Dedication tomorrow morning where parents in our church will have an opportunity to dedicate their children to the Lord and ask for His blessing and help in their parenting.  Our sermon will be the last in our Community of Grace series.  Finally, we will close our time with an opportunity for prayer and ministry and will dismiss to the lobby for a cup of coffee.

We look forward to seeing you Lord willing,

Eric


Apply: Luke 17:11-19

June 21, 2010

Yesterday we continued our Community of Grace series where we learned that a community of grace is full of grateful people.  We learned this as we studied the story of the 10 lepers found in Luke 17.  Jesus had mercy on these ten men and gave them their lives back, and instead of the story ending there it continues with the report that only one – a Samaritan – came back to give thanks.  As Jesus asks a series of questions in response to this, we get a glimpse into what matters to Him.  He cares that we express thanks for mercy received.  Since gratefulness is a response, the more we see what Christ has done to save and heal us, the more our hearts will respond – quickly, passionately and spontaneously, like the Samaritan leper.  You can download or listen to the sermon here.  We hope these few questions will help you apply God’s word to your life.

1)  How does this story show us that gratefulness for mercy received matters to Jesus?

2)  Why does it not make sense to make “gratefulness” something to get better at or something to put on the checklist? What is the key to growing in gratefulness?

3)  What are ways that you can daily grow in seeing and understanding what Jesus did for you?  How do you know when grace isn’t amazing anymore?  How can we prevent this from happening?

Thanks for being a church that loves Jesus, that loves the gospel and that loves to express your gratefulness to Him again and again!

Eric


Tomorrow Morning at SGC

June 19, 2010

Good afternoon!

I hope you are having a great day.  This morning’s Father / Son Wiffleball Tournament was a lot of fun, lots of heat, lots of laughs but not lots of winners! Only one team per division took the prize, but we had a great time together.

We are looking forward to gathering as a church tomorrow morning.  Our Sunday morning prayer team will meet at 9:00 in the Spurgeon Room.  All are welcome to join us as we pray for God to pour out His grace on us during our service.  We will begin at 10:00 with a time of singing.  Jordan Smith will be leading us and we are planning to celebrate communion tomorrow morning during worship.  Also, we are looking forward to honoring all the dads this Fathers Day and we do have a prize to give away as well.  While only one will win, we hope that all the dads will be encouraged and blessed tomorrow.  Our sermon will continue in the Community of Grace series and will focus on the theme of gratefulness.

After our service we will be available to pray for anyone in need and will dismiss to the lobby for a cup of coffee.

Have a great night and we’ll see you in the morning, Lord willing!

Eric


Apply: Luke 15:11-32

June 14, 2010

This morning we looked at a parable that Jesus told about a father who had two sons.  One son was rebellious and left home to engage in an ungodly lifestyle.  The other son remained and pursued outward obedience.  Both sons had their issues, even though they were different. What is clear is that the father loved them both, he pursued them both and he showed mercy to them both.  Jesus is pointing to God’s great love for sinners.  This parable gives us another picture of life in the church —- A community of grace pursues others with mercy. You can listen to the message here.

Here are some questions that we pray will serve you as you endeavor to apply this particular message.

1.  What kinds of thoughts go through your mind when you’re encountering a family member, a friend or an acquaintance, who is struggling with a besetting sin?

2.  What kinds of situations or what kinds of people present a challenge to you, in extending mercy?

3.  Who in your life is currently “far off” that you’re looking for?  Take time to pray for that person.

4.  What kind of thoughts do you have when you see someone else being blessed by God?

5.  Do you have a “mercy regulator” that you employ when someone is asking you for forgiveness?

6.  Who do you tend to identify with more:  the father or the older son?  Why?

We can take hope in the fact that God continues to pursue us each day, as his children.  He is working in our lives in such a way that we are becoming more like Jesus Christ.  If you’ve identified with anything in this message then that is a sign that God is in the process of change!  And don’t worry, God will give you opportunities this week to show mercy to someone.

Have a grace-filled week!

Brett


Apply: James 2:1-13

June 7, 2010

Hello my beloved church family,

What a blessing it was to worship together yesterday! We continued in our message series titled “Community of Grace” and had the privilege of being addressed by God’s word in James chapter 2 verses 1-13. The main point we drew out of the text was “In a community of grace partiality/favoritism is unacceptable.” We also learned that the kind of partiality James had in mind could be defined as “making judgments about people based on external factors and treating them differently based on those judgments”.

We trust these questions will serve you in further contemplating and obeying the truths presented in this section of scripture.

1)  Prior to the message, how much thought had you given to the fact that God is totally impartial and that believers are called to imitate him in this area of his character?

2)  What are your initial thoughts and reaction when the idea is presented that partiality/favoritism exist either in your life or in our church community? How do (or don’t) these thoughts and reactions align with the doctrine of sin?

3)  What mere external factors, positive or negative in your mind, tempt you to make judgments about others and may subsequently effect your treatment of them?

4)  God has chosen to honor many among the poor, needy, weak, lowly and despised of the world (James 2:5,Psalm 12:5, 1Cor 1:26-31) by making them rich in faith and heirs of his kingdom. In what ways does our culture dishonor those God has chosen to honor and how can the church be counter-cultural in this area?

5)  In James 2:13 James writes;For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

In what specific area of your life is the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ most evident? How should His mercy inform how you extended mercy to others?

I pray that you are fully aware of God’s abundant and sufficient mercy towards you in Christ Jesus. May we strive to imitate God in his total impartiality.

I love you all,

Kirk