40 Day Marriage Challenge - My Win vs Our Win

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.  - Proverbs 17:14

Here are a couple thoughts from this weeks message. As you read them discuss whether you've found these to be true in your relationships and what are some of the best ways to resolve them. 

  1. Anger based fights (conflict) are always about winning
  2. The problem: for someone to win, someone has to lose
  3. Every time you win, you lose a piece of your partner’s heart
  4. Winning is the quickest way to losing your relationship

Read Ephesians 4:22-27

  1. What if we were to say anger is not invited to our conflict? How would that change the dynamic our your relationships?
  2. Do you believe that any relationship can be healed, no matter how far gone it may seem? 
  3. Do you say the truth in love? v25
  4. How does the S.W.A.T acronym help us fight without anger?  
  • Schedule your next fight
  • Weapons (none allowed)
  • Avoid blame
  •  Treat with respect (1st Peter 3:7)

 

 

40 Day Marriage Challenge- Love and Respect

Read Ephesians 5:21-33 and be looking for you job description in marriage.  

 

  1. What do you see as your job description after reading this passage? 
  2. We know that men and women's are wired differently. Have you noticed that men and women notice different details for the same situation, like a babies name or how much an item is? How have you experienced this in your relationships?
  3. Women, when you see your job description in verse 24 do you agree or believe it brings harmony?
  4. Men, when we read about your job description in verse 25, do you see how your primary provision for your family is spiritual leadership? How has it looked in your life so far to lead in this way?
  5. How does the story in the book of Hosea provide an example of unrelenting forgiveness for us?
  6. Challenge for this week: ask your spouse how they feel most loved. 

40 Day Marriage Challenge: No Competing Just Completing

Welcome to week 2 of the 40 day marriage challenge! What we are doing together and the conversations we’re having have the potential to drastically move our relationships forward. The one that bothers you the most is probably the one that would benefit you the most. Let dig in and have a great conversation.

  1. What if marriage was never intended to make you happy? Is it possible that this mindset could actually set your marriage up for struggle?
  2. When you said you marriage vows... did you actually mean them... or were they based on expectations?
  3. If you're asking your spouse to fulfill your happiness aren't you asking them to do something only God can do? Maybe your perspective is contractual vs covenantal?
  4. God did not create marriage to make you happy. He created marriage to make you holy. What would happen if you stopped trying to fix your spouse and focused on making time together with God the main thing?
  5. Challenge #2: Starting this week, do daily devotions together as a couple
    Pray for each other, It's really hard to be mad at someone you're praying for.

40 Day Marriage Challenge: Compete vs. Complete

To start our marriage series we first must jump back to the beginning to understand where it all went wrong.

Read Genesis 3:16-19

  1. How have the curses declared by God impacted your life or marriage?
  2. How has the desire/rule curse in verse 16 affected you personally?
  3. How have the curses affected your relationship with God?
  4. Do you agree or disagree with the statement "competing love is conditional love"? 

Read Genesis 2:18-25

  1. Here we see God adding to Adam's life with a helper. How has (would) having a helper in your life make you more complete?
  2. Since we are made to help each other why do you believe we compete so much? 
  3. Question to consider:  

    What would a great husband do for his wife? What would a great wife do for her husband? What would a completer do?

1st Peter - Understanding Suffering

Read 1st Peter 4:12-19

  1. What do you think about when you hear the word suffering?
  2. Have you suffered or are you suffering now? Are you willing to share about your suffering?
  3. How do you think our suffering compares to the "fiery ordeal" Peter speaks about in verse 12?
  4. Do you expect suffering? How do you respond when something painful enter your life?
  5. How does verse 14 inform how we should understand suffering?
  6. Pray for each other in the group that are currently suffering as well as remembering those around the world that are siffering for their faith in Christ.

1st Peter 4:1-11 - A Community of Outsiders

“When you live your life fully dedicated to Jesus you will look different, you will be an outsider.”

  1. What does it mean to have a Living Hope as followers of Jesus?
  2. Peter argues that how we live in a broken world matters greatly for eternity and for today, why do you believe he does this and how should you live in light of that?
  3. Thinking back to the story of Cambodian Killing Fields, what would it look like for you to have a perspective on suffering that says, "God make my back stronger."
  4. How has your encounter with God changed you?
  5. What does it mean to be done with sin? Is that you, are you done with Sin? is it undesirable or does it draw you in? Does it have a hold in your life?
  6. Read Galatians 1:10, then share an example of where you have stood up for your convictions and chosen to honor God rather than man?
  7. In reading 1st Peter 4:1-11, how should that impact our thinking about the necessity of evangelism? 
  8. If you are currently suffering in some way, share how you are and prayer together with your group or family regarding that suffering.

1st Peter - Suffering As An Outsider

  1. Read 1st Peter 3:8-12, Do you find it hard to not grow an outer shell as you progress through life? If so how has God spoken with you to break it down?
  2. What are some ways you protect yourself from repaying evil with evil?
  3. Read 1st Peter 3:13-17, Have you experienced someone being curious about your faith because of how you've weathered the storms of life?
  4. Our 7 day challenge is to be ready to share the hope you have because of Jesus? What is your answer?
  5. Read 1st Peter 3:18-22, And now for some fun with a couple controversial topics. What do you think Peter is saying in verse 19 when he says Jesus made proclamation to "imprisoned spirits"?
  6. What do you think Peter means in verse 21 when he says "baptism... now saves you"?

1st Peter - Life Isn't Fair

Read 1st Peter 2:11-3:7

  1. We all know life isn't fair but as christians we are still called to live holy lives in spite of how we feel about our circumstances. What is one way in which you find yourself focused on your circumstances and not your savior?
  2. Do you have a ruler or governing authority in your life that you struggle with? Does this keep you from living fully for Christ or have you found a way to live for Him in spite of this situation?
  3. We may not think much about masters or slaves in our life but taking a cue from this passage we could see that as our job or someone or something that employs us or has financial control over us. Are you in a situation where you have to bear down under pressure for the sake of your faith in your job?
  4. How does chapter 3 verses 1-7 land with you personally? Does this passage offend you? What is a way that you believe this passage applies in your life?

1st Peter - From The Outside Looking In

  1. Read 1st Peter 2:1-12
  2. This passage ends with Peter calling us away from sin and in to the family of God, but often we forget who's we are. Do you ever wonder if you measure up for God?
  3. What makes you most insecure and what do you think that says about how you understand your identity in Christ?
  4. Pastor Nate said "Your identity determines you security". Do you believe you're secure in Christ?
  5. What do you think of when you see that you are part of a royal priesthood in verse 9?
  6. Again in verse 9 we are told that we are chosen by God. Do you find comfort in that fact?
  7. What would look different in your life if you truly had a Jesus-centered identity?

1st Peter - Living On The Outside, Keith Ferrin

  1. What do you think of when you hear the phrase “be holy because I am holy?” Is that even possible?
  2. What is one step/decision/habit you could take when it comes to being “internally-minded?”
  3. What is one step/decision/habit you could take when it comes to being “externally-minded?”
  4. What is one step/decision/habit you could take when it comes to being “eternally-minded?”
  5. What stood out to you as you simply heard the letter of 1 Peter?

1st Peter - Living Out Our Faith In A Foreign Land

The first Christ-followers lived in a time/place that was hostile to their faith. Peter (yes, that Peter) was a leader who wrote words of wisdom and encouragement to Christians in a foreign land.

Read 1st Peter 1:1-12

  1. As a christian do you feel like an outsider in a foreign land? If so why, and how long have you felt this way?
  2. Sometimes the circumstances in society or life can rise up and cause us to forget how big and good our God is. In those moments when we are so focused on our circumstances which of these do you find yourself most prone to?
    1. Challenges to your faith
    2. Your joy being stolen
    3. God's glory is eclipsed by circumstances
  3. In Christ we have an inheritance that is eternal and focusing on that is a way to help shift our perspective from our circumstances to our Living Hope in Jesus. Nate shared 3 ways that looking ahead enables this shift. Which one of these is God working with you on this week?
    1. Your faith being proven or improved
    2. Increased joy
    3. God revealing His glory to you in a new way
  4.  As christians we don't have to be influenced by this world but sometimes it is hard with what we put in front of ourselves. Which of these ways below would help you have a Living Hope this week?
    1. Changing time spent on news/social media vs prayer/scripture
    2. Finding a way to encourage someone
    3. Finding a way to serve someone
    4. Share your hope in Jesus with someone
       

Legacy - State of the Church

Inheritance is the STUFF we leave behind, Legacy is the IMPACT we leave behind. -Pastor Nate

Read 2 Corinthians 5:13-17

  1. As we reflect on 20 years of God's faithfulness to the work He's doing through us at Cascade, what has been the most impactful part of Cascade's ministry to you so far?
  2. How do you believe you have been a part of ministering to others during your time at Cascade?
  3. Pastor Nate had 4 points as he discussed what it mean to live because Jesus died for us. How do these points influence you and your next season of ministry at Cascade?
    1. We don't live for ourselves
    2. We live with abandon
    3. We are a new creation
    4. We are being changed 
  4. Let us focus on transformation and ask "God what is next me?"

 

Legacy - Live Generously

This week we look at some of the urban legends we hear for what it means to live generously. Maybe these urban legends are new to you or maybe you've heard these before.  Please spend some time discussing each one and see where you fit in. Maybe the Holy Spirit has something to say to you as you consider these urban legends. 

Have you heard these before? Do you believe them? What does scripture say about them?

  1. Urban Legend #1 “If I am generous with my TIME and MONEY I won’t have enough for myself.” see Acts 2:42-47

  2. Urban Legend #2
    “Once I get _________________ then I will be generous .” see David's Response in 2 Samuel 24:24

  3. Urban Legend #3
    “The church is just after my time and money” 

  4. Urban Legend #4
    “My generosity of time and resources should come out of my abundance.” see Acts 4:32-35

Legacy- Love People

  1. Think back to last week's message about Loving God, what do remember about the idea of living a God-Centered Life?
  2. Re-Read, Mark 12:29-30, what does Jesus say and how does that relate to Loving God and Loving People?
  3. How did we define what a Legacy is this week?
  4. Read aloud, John 13:33-35, what is Jesus' new command to the disciples?
  5. How does that command impact the Gospel of Jesus?
  6. Whose legacy are you apart of and what was the road they paved for you?
  7. What is the legacy you are building today look like, and how do you know?
  8. Whose name did you write on your Love People card and what are the three ways you will choose to love them this week?

Legacy - Love God

We all leave something behind. The stuff we leave is divided up through a last will and testament. But what about the actual impact we leave? That's part of our LEGACY! At Cascade, we believe God has given clear focus to living a life that really makes a difference.

  1. Read Mark 12:28-30 Do you Love the Lord your God? What would you say is that state of your relationship with Him?
  2. If you feel far from God do you know how to reach out to Him for comfort? Read John 15:1-17
  3. Do you trust God's word that He loves you and wants a relationship with you?
  4. Here is a prayer of encouragement. Read it out loud if you like! “Father, this year I am yours. I see how you love me and I want to love you right back. Please make my life fruitful. Increase my joy, deepen my love and keep me close to your heart. I want to please you this year no matter what else happens in my life. AMEN”

Old Testament Overview

In preparation for reading through the Bible in 2017, Pastor Nate teaches a high-level overview of the purpose and content of the Old Testament. All of Scripture tells God's rescue story!

  1. Have you ever read through the Old Testament? If not, what do you think is holding you back?
  2. What are some things about the Old Testament that surprise you?
  3. Do you have a favorite book or story in the Old Testament? What and why?
  4. Have you ever felt like the Old Testament is less relevant than the New Testament?
  5. Would we as a group consider reading through the Old Testament together?

Christmas Future

  1. For our talk of Christmas Future we are looking at our need for hope. We start in Leviticus 25:10 seeing how God gave His people a reset year called Jubilee. How does understanding the year of Jubilee give you hope?
  2. While the Old Testament community had a Jubilee year we see Jesus quoting Isaiah in Luke 4:14-21 and fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 61 thereby announcing a Jubilee age, that He is the Messiah. Do you have hope in Jesus as your jubilee?
  3. Pastor Nate showed us 4 ways that Jesus is our Jubilee. How are these Good News for you in the current season?
    1. He offers Forgiveness, 1 John 1:9
    2. He offers Freedom, John 8:36
    3. He offers Restoration, Matthew 17:11
    4. He offers Faith and Hope, 1 John 5:4

Christmas Time, Past Present Future - Voice of Shame or Redemption

  1. If the Ghost of Christmas Past came to you tonight; what mistakes would he remind you of?
  2. What part of the cycle of brokenness does the enemy use to hold you captive?
  3. Do you find yourself trapped by silence?  Who do you have in your life that you trust to be transparent with?
  4. The voice of redemption starts by revealing the weight of our sin?  How is this different from worldly sorrow?
  5. What happens in your heart when you discover that you are not alone in your sin?
  6. How does it feel to know God can redeem and use your past for the kingdom of God?  How could this play out in your life?
  7. What will it take to convince you that you can truly come into the throne room of God and follow His voice?  Do you trust that He isn't finished with your story?

ONE: More - Person Of Peace

  1. When you think of the Person of Peace as someone who is hospitable to you and cares for you, yet they do not yet know Jesus as their Savior... who comes to mind?
  2. When you think about the Harvest being plentiful and the workers being few... how do you feel about that?
  3. As you assess your life how are you actively joining the Lord in his Harvest?
  4. If it is God's job to win people to salvation in him why does he also provide a place of service for us in that process?

ONE: More - What If We Each Could Reach Just One?

  1. When you think of the people in your life who you can influence for Jesus what keeps you from investing in them?
  2. When you think of getting someone to “Church,” do you think of the church as a location or do you think of yourself as the “Church"?
  3. If you are the Church what does that mean in your neighborhood, your workplace and your family?
  4. How will you challenge yourself to invest in your ONE this year?