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?

#priorities - Haggai 2

Read Haggai 2

  1.  In verses 1-9 we see a warning that Pastor Mike referred to as "This is not that" meaning we tend to get stuck in a preference battle or may think things of the past are better than current things. Where in your life or maybe even how you view the church have you seen yourself get stuck on your preferences?
  2. In verses 10-19 we see a reminder to stay focused on our walk with God and a warning that Proximity to or contact with a holy thing doesn’t automatically make you holy. Are there ways in which you may have allowed yourself to drift in your walk or allowed yourself to believe that works of some sort are a reasonable replacement to your active walk with God?
  3. In verses 20-23 we see that with God we have a glorious future but we have to finish in Him. What are some things that you look forward to in you eternal future with Him? 

#priorities - Haggai 1

When we neglect God's priorities for the sake of our own, we may find ourselves caught in an empty pursuit. But when we realign our priorities to match His we find the fulfillment we long for. 

Read Haggai 1:1-15

  1. Pastor Mike made the comment that our priorities are linked to our values. What are some priorities in your life?
  2. No look at where you spend your time and financial resources, do they show you that you have different priorities? Why or why not?
  3. Read Matthew 6:25-33, How does this help shape what your priorities should be?
  4. 150 years from now will you still believe you had the correct things prioritized in your life? 

Imago Dei: Family, Pay It Forward

What is the purpose of the family?  What does God have to say about raising the next generation?  Pastor Nate speaks from Eph 6 and Deut 6 in this final talk in the Imago Dei series.

Read Ephesians 5:22 - 6:3

  1. What do you believe it means to cultivate a marriage centered home?
  2. What are some ways that a child centered home can ruin a marriage?
  3. Pastor Nate said kids have a responsibility in the home... to Obey and Honor. How does that parallel our relationship with God as His kids?
  4. We also heard that parents have a responsibility in the home... to Teach, Nurture, Love, Coach and Model. What are some ways that you do that in your home or maybe with others in your life?

 

Imago Dei: The Gift Of Sex

This week we dig in to a topic that could be fraught with baggage for many people but be reminded that God loves us and forgives us even when we sin.

Instead of questions this week we'll have more general discussion points that could flow freely as you work through them. As you ponder them, consider what scripture has to say about each point as well as try to discern how you have agreed to disagreed in your thoughts and actions up to this point in time. 

Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-7:5

  1. The Gift of sex: God is for sex, He created your body for sex, He created your body for sex in marriage
  2. Honor God with your body: if you're not married... say NO to sex, if you are married... say YES to sex
  3. Honor each other: serve your spouse by meeting his/her needs, communicate your needs and desires, don't use sex as a lever to manipulate one another
  4. Biblical reasons to have sex in marriage: pleasure, children, oneness, knowlegde, comfort, protection
  5. Biblical reasons to NOT have sex: physically separated, illness, childbirth, working through a problem

Imago Dei: Holy Together

  1. Today we discuss how marriage is more for our holiness then our happiness. How can you change the focus of your marriage from happiness to holiness? 
  2. Our true happiness can only be found in Christ yet sometimes we put our happiness in our marriage or family. What expectations do you have for your spouse that they fail to fulfill and how should those expectations be placed on God instead?
  3. What part of your marriage should you see as being a model for God's relationship with us?
  4. How do you need to find God's heart for your spouse? 

Imago Dei : Better Together

 Today as we continue our study of Imago Dei (image of God) we see how God uses the creation of Eve to complete this in humanity, but soon this is broken by sin and now we compete as a result. But God as a loving father works to restore us to Him and each other.

  1. Read Genesis 2:18-25 Male and Female are better together according to scripture. How do you think they better reflect Gods image together?
  2. Read Genesis 3:14-19 We see the image of God broken in Genesis. How has this impacted humanity and the world around us?
  3. How have you seen this change over time?
  4. Read Ephesians 5:22-33 The Gospel is the good news that unites us to God and has the power to restore our relationships. How do you see the Gospel portrayed in this passage?
  5. Is there anything in this passage you find uncomfortable or counter cultural?
  6. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Here we see Solomons ancient wisdom telling us that we are better together and you may find this in sharp contrast to today's current wisdom. In what ways does this reflect the heart of God for his people to be in community and relationship with each other?

Imago Dei: The Feminie Heart - Hurdles & Redemption

  1. Kaitlyn and Amy asked the question, "What does it mean to be a woman?" and they shared some of the ideas they have heard, what stood out to you and what do you believe it means to be a woman?

  2. Read Genesis 1:26-31 and then talk about how you see Women being created for Relationship, Leadership, and Responsibility?

  3. How do you see the roles of men and women being portrayed in our culture today and how does that align or not align with scripture?

  4. Read Genesis 2:18-31 and discuss what Nate described as the term "Helper" from the Hebrew word "ezer", what does this word mean and how do you see it working itself out in your life?

  5. Discuss how Genesis 3:1-16 caused brokenness in femininity through sin, what were the results of Eve's sin?

  6. Thinking about how God is redeeming femininity, reflect for a moment on Ephesians 2:1-5. How does this passage encourage you in your walk and as you views other in your life? 

  7. For Women: How can you embrace who God designed you to be in your life?

  8. For Men: How can you support the women in your life in the process of embracing God's design?

Imago Dei: The Masculine Heart - Hurdles & Redemption

What does it mean to be a man? Our culture is not really not clear today. And when does a boy become a man? Most cultures have had a mile-marker that highlight the moment that the tribe/family/community considers a boy to be a man, but not ours. Let's look to Scripture to see what God says about the meaning of being a man.

  1. In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Paul says to "act like men" assuming that we'll know what that means, but do we? Discuss some of the things culture says a man is and then reflect on how scripture sees what it means to be a man.
  2. In Genesis 1:26-28 we see mankind made in the image of God so the tell us a bit about the meaning and role of a man according to scripture.
    1. How do you see men as created for relationship in this text?
    2. How do you see men as created for leadership in this text?
    3. How do you see men as created for responsibility in this text?
  3. In Genesis 3:1-13 we see the unfolding of the fall of mankind.
    1. In verse 6 we see that Adam was with Eve. What do you think is the significance of this?
    2. In verse 12 we see Adam blaming Eve for his sin. How do you think these two events in v6 and v12 have affected the rest of mankind?
  4. Reflect for a moment on Ephesians 2:1-5. How does this passage encourage you in your walk and as you views other in your life? Is anyone beyond the reach of God?
  5. Pray 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 over the men in your group and that we would see the redemption of biblical manhood in our church and society.

 

Imago Dei: In His Image

Our culture is always shifting. Society tells us who we should be as men and women, but its message keeps changing. But, the Bible teaches us exactly who we are—men and women created equally but uniquely. God’s beautiful design for us is true and perfect, leading to joy and fulfillment.

Read Psalm 8:3-8, 139:13-16 & Genesis 1:26-28

  1. What spoke to you/stood out to you/resonated with you from today’s message? 
  2. Before today, when you heard “created in God’s image”, what did it mean to you? 
  3. Why is the creation of humanity different from the rest of God’s creation? What are some clues to this reality?
  4. What are some ways that our culture devalues or minimizes human life? Abortion, racism, classism, ageism, etc. Have you been personally involved or impacted by any of these? This could be with you as the object (the one being devalued) or the as the subject (the one doing the devaluing). 
  5. As a believer with a solid understanding of “Imago Dei”, how should this impact the way we live our lives? We would see and treat others as the valuable, beautiful creation of God, regardless of anything else (e.g. race, appearance, class, contribution, age, beliefs, etc.). 

The Unlikely | Samson: Selfish Grace

Today we close the series out with the story of Samson.  Unlike the other Judges, Samson was a likely leader.  Samson was graced with good looks, charisma, strength, and a supernatural calling to bring about God's purpose.  However, he used all of these things for his own purpose and glory.  Samson was the most likely Judge.  But the likely often make themselves king.  And when we become king we find out how unlikely we really are.  Lets learn today from Samson's negative example.  What does it take to live an unlikely life?


1.  As you read the story of Samson what stands out to you?  Does it surprise you to see him make so many mistakes?

2.  Why do you think God allowed him to continue and strengthened him for the fights?

3.  How was Samson blessed and how did he use those blessings?

4.  Read Titus 2:11-12

    What impact has God's grace had on your life?  Do you feel that it has produced holiness in your life?

5.  What is the difference between Grace being defined by it's benifits v.s. Grace being defined by it's great cost?

6.  How does the example of Saving Private Ryan compare to our response to God's grace?

7.  When we understand how unworthy we are of God's grace, when we understand the great cost of Amazing Grace, when we make our lives more about God and less about ourselves; then we begin to live an unlikely life.  What does it look like to live a life in response to God's grace?

The Unlikely | Gideon: Weakness Made Strong

  1.      God knows our weakness before He  ever calls us. Do you ever try to talk yourself out of usefulness for God? Where do you feel weak?
  2. Do you have something in your life where God is asking you to clean house? Be encouraged to deal with your sin courageously and trust God for the outcome. 
  3. Do you ever second guess God because you cannot see the outcome? Remember the battle is the Lords, He just asks you to show up.  

The Unlikely | Jephthah

 

  1. How are the people around you pushing you toward or away from an honest, life filled relationship with God?
  2. When you think about your leadership, what strengths would you like to build on?
  3. How have you written people off who have disappointed you and how can you begin to forgive again?

The Unlikely | Ehud & Eglon: God Uses the Unlikely

Have you ever shared your testimony with your family? Have you told them how you came to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, maybe this week you can do that!

  1. Who did God use to show himself to you?
  2. How have you counted yourself out from being a part of his plan?
  3. What specifically can you do to become more open to being used by God?
  4. Are you limiting God by counting yourself out of his plan for your life?
  5. If you have chosen to follow Jesus, he desires to use you to help bring people back to him. Are you willing to allow yourself to be used by him or are you limiting God?

This week, I want to challenge you to ask yourself about where you have counted yourself out and tell a friend or a pastor about it, commit to yourself and more importantly to God that you will allow yourself to be an Unlikely, to be a person who is used by God.

The Unlikely | An Unlikely King

The Unlikely | An Unlikely King

  1. Who or what do you put your trust in?
  2. Who or what is the "Likely King" in your life? 
  3. How is Jesus an "Unlikely King?"
  4. How can you trust in Jesus more this week?  What will you do?

Joe's Playlist | Salvation

Today we wrap up our series, Joe's Playlist, in Genesis 46-50 with the theme of Salvation and we see this reinforced in a passage we've been referring back to in Acts 7:9-10 "  ...But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles..." At the end of Joseph's story Gods wins and that is important for us to remember as well in the middle of our own story. 

 

  1. The road of life is long and winding but we have our hope in God and know that in the end he wins. What are ways you remind yourself of that and continue to live with integrity?
  2. In Genesis 50 Joseph's brothers become afraid of him after their father dies because they fear he may not have really forgiven them. Do you still hold on to unforgiveness? Is there someone in your life that may be afraid of your unforgiveness? 
  3. What fear do you have that keeps your eyes from seeing God working? Is it the political climate in our nation? Ask God to remind you that our human leaders are not more powerful than our good God and Father. 
  4. What are some ways you can live beyond yourself as a disciple is Jesus and encouragement to the world?