This Is God…Who Are You?

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 1:5-7

This is God…Who are you_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John chapter 1. Then, read verses 1-7 two or three times.
  • What is John’s stated desire for the readers in 1 John 1:3? What do verses 5-7 teach us about experiencing John’s purpose in verse 3?
  • John uses the metaphor “light” in this section. Study John’s use of these words in 1 John and the gospel of John. What does it mean that “God is light”? How does that explain “darkness”?  You can look here if you need help.
  • If someone said “walking in the light” means you don’t sin, how would you respond?
  • How would you know you are “walking in the light”? How about in darkness?

Spiritual Exercise: Waling in the light means at least making choices in your day which respond to God’s leading and heart. This week, as often as you can, pray “Lord, help me to walk in the light as you are in the light.” What steps is God wanting you to make with Him? What steps of faith is He calling you to take with His presence helping you?

 

A Message From A Father Of The Faith

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 1:1-4

A Message From A Father Of The Faith_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John chapter 1. Then, read verses 1-4 two or three times.
  • Write down five observations from 1 John 1:1-4.
  • What seems to be John’s emphasis in this passage? Consider the situation Paul warns about in Ephesus in Acts 20:28-35.
  • Study the word “life” (zoe) at biblehub.com. How does this idea of life add meaning to John’s intended purposes (“that you may have fellowship with us”/ “that our joy may be complete”)?
  • What encourages you from these verses? What challenges you?

Spiritual Exercise: John writes as a “spiritual father” to those who know the gospel, are trusting the gospel, and may be facing temptation to doubt or leave the essentials of the gospel. His testimony is powerful to give credibility to the message. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to either 1) write a letter to someone sharing some of your testimony to encourage them in their walk with Jesus or 2) pray with a friend who shares “fellowship” with you as a Christian but may have different beliefs on the non-essentials of the faith.

Worship Shaken Not Stirred

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Isaiah 6:1-8

Worship Shaken Not Stirred_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Isaiah 6 two or three times. What words or phrases stand out to you?
  • How dose God’s revelation in Isaiah 6 challenge some of our culture’s assumptions about God and human goodness? Read Ephesians 2:1-16. What are parallel themes?
  • Isaiah was given this vision “during the year King Uzziah died”. The emphasis is upon the historic circumstances. What do you suppose the relationship was between the timing and the content of Isaiah’s vision?
  • Read Revelation 1, 4-5. These are visions of the resurrection Christ written for us to realize His preeminence and position over all creation. Where do you need to see this vision in your life circumstances?
  • Jesus taught the Holy Spirit moves as freely as the wind (John 3). We can’t corral the Holy Spirit, yet we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to encounter God. Would you commit to pray every Sunday morning for the next 6 months: 1) “God, show yourself to me as I come to worship you… Encounter me” and  2) “God, show yourself to your people when we gather to worship you… Shake us.” How will you remind yourself?

 

Encountering Christ

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Acts 2:41-47

Encountering Christ_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Acts 2:41-47 three of four times.
  • Read John 6:25-51. Who is involved in this passage?
  • According to Jesus, what was motivating the people looking for Jesus? How do you see this reflected in the 1 Corinthians 11 passage?
  • What was the purpose of the “bread from heaven” given to the people in the wilderness? How does Jesus bring the meaning of this “bread from heaven” to its fullness?
  • Paul warns the church in Corinth not to take the Lord’s Supper lightly, but rather to realize the gravity of this meal. What are some ways you could take the bread and juice in an “unworthy” manner?
  • What is the difference between being “unworthy to take” and “taking in an unworthy manner”? How does the significance of the meal itself address this distinction?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Set a reminder on your phone, or write one in your day planner, for the Saturday before our next communion Sunday (3/2).  Think about how you could take some extra time that Saturday night (or Sunday morning) to intentionally prepare to encounter Jesus at His table and let Him minister life and grace to you.

 

Making Connections

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Acts 2:41-47

Making Connections_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Acts 2:41-47 three or four times.
  • In Acts 2:42, what were the Christians continually working at in their lives? Is there one of these areas you need to recommit to consistently practicing?
  • What do you thing about the principle: Something you have to open up eyes to help people hear the gospel?
  • What is one action you can take this week to become more involved in reaching those who do not know Jesus?
  • Jesus’ ministry includes word and deed, proclamation and demonstration, as the means of bringing people to a new relationship with God. The church is now the Body of Christ, so how should our mission be shaped by “word” and “deed”? How do we help people be saved and see God (c.f. Acts 16; 1 John 4:12)?
  • Spiritual Exercise: In prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you toward either a place to serve those outside the church, or to specific people in your life who do not yet trust Jesus as their Savior. Respond in obedient faith and pray that God would give you open doors to talk about Jesus and opportunities to show God’s love.

Making Connections

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Acts 2:41-47

Making Connections_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Acts 2:41-47 three or four times.
  • In Acts 2:42, what were the Christians continually working at in their lives? Is there one of these areas you need to recommit to consistently practicing?
  • Luke uses the Greek word koinonia to describe the first century church. Study this word, often translated “fellowship” or “partnership” at studylight.org or biblehub.org. What is something you learned about being in koinonia?
  • Think about and expand on this statement: It is impossible to love the Christian life in isolation from other Christians. True? False? Why?
  • Jesus’ ministry included word and deed, proclamation and demonstration, as the means of bringing people to a new relationship with God. The church is now the Body of Christ, so how should our mission be shaped by “word” and “deed”? How do we help people be saved and see God (c.f. Acts 16; 1 John 4:12)?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Pray that the Holy Spirit would draw you to put into practice in your life this week one of the following exhortations to koinonia: Romans 12:10, 16; 14:13; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:19,21; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians  4:18; 5:11,15.

 

We Are Many On Mission

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Pastor Steve Thomas

Psalm 78:1-7

We Are Many On Mission_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read Psalm 78:1-7 a few times and skim the entire psalm one time.
  • What words make an impression on you? How come?
  • What do you think is the purpose of the psalmist? Who is he addressing?
  • Focus on Psalm 78:7. Why is this verse significant? What does it look like for someone to “put their hope in God”?
  • Our vision statement calls us to help people connect to Jesus. How have you experienced someone helping you connect with Jesus in the past?
  • What is a story you think of from the Gospels where someone connected with Jesus? Why do you love this story?
  • Spiritual Exercise: Pray that God would put a person on your heart, someone who fits the idea of “next generation” for you. Ask the Lord to give you a Bible verse or story to share with them to encourage their putting their hope in God. If appropriate, share a story of God’s work in your life to encourage them.

 

Toning (Not Tuning) Our Worship

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Toning (not tuning) our worship_Sermon Notes

Spiritual Act of Worship

Reflect and pray for a day or more on these commands. Determine which of the three you believe God is asking you to focus on at this time in your life?

For the next ______ months I will focus on ___________________________.

  • Look up verses which use this word (rejoice, pray, give thanks). Many Bibles have a key word index in the back. Read through the verses waiting for one to speak to you. Write it down. Memorize it. Try doing this once a week.
  • Write a memorable short prayer expressing your desire to grow in obedience to the command you mentioned above. Pray it throughout your day.
  • These commands represent part of “God’s will” for believers. How can you avoid legalistic thinking and resentful duty obedience in keeping them? What must stay at the forefront of your thinking? (c.f. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5; 5:23-24)
  • How would obeying this command impact your life?
  • Brainstorm ways to keep fresh and active in pursuit of greater obedience to this goal. (Resources. People. Goals. Retreats. Etc.)
  • What is your plan to begin each morning remembering to “practice”
    this command? What will you do to keep aware of this command throughout your day?
  • If you want, consider separating 2019 into thirds. Use each third to focus on developing obedience to one of the three commands.