Church and Religion
Daniel 1
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Acts 4:1-22 We Cannot But Speak Summary: There are times in the Christian life when we will be treated badly because of our love for Jesus and witness for Him. That might take different forms: We may be laughed at, or people try to silence us. In some cases there can be real danger. Some Christians have been arrested or even killed for seeking to tell people about Jesus. But today letís learn from the book of Acts about such tough times. Even when people resist the truth of the Gospel, Godís Word is not imprisoned! Outline: 1. Have hope, because Godís Word is unchained 2. Have conviction, because Jesusí name is the only power for salvation 3. Have courage, because when hostility rises, we must obey God rather than men Verse: Acts 4:12 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.Ē Discussion Questions: 1. Where do you see opposition to the Gospel in the world? In your own sphere? When are you most tempted to remain silent instead of speak to people about the saving power of Jesus? 2. How does Peter speak about the exclusivity of the Gospel in his defense? (See 4:12). Why is this so hard for people to hear today? How can we speak with love and truth about this when people ask ďArenít there many sincere paths to heaven?Ē 3. How can this passage give you encouragement this week to speak about Jesus to people?
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Are You Afraid? - Romans 8:18-30
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Hope for Restoration Acts 3:-11-26 Summary: Remember last week when God used Peter to heal a man whose legs didnít work? It was an amazing miracle. But it wasnít Peterís power - it was Jesusí power. And it was a little preview for us: one day God will do away with all sickness and sin and all the ways our bodies and our world donít work right. What a day that will be! Letís listen in and think more about it: Outline: 1. A promised Savior heals our true sickness 2. A call to repentance 3. A promise of relief and restoration Verse: Acts 3:13a The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus... Discussion Questions: 1. What about Peterís sermon helps you to understand the flow of the Bibleís story? Why does Peter show the people that all the prophets have ďproclaimed this days?Ē What is the heart of that story? 2. What does Peter promise that God will do for those who repent (v. 19-21)? What does he mean by ďtimes of refreshingĒ and the ďrestoring of all things?Ē Why are those so important to his hearers? How does it relate to the miracle they have just witnessed? 3. How does the hope of refreshing and final restoration help you today?
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Walking and Leaping and Praising God Acts 3:1-10 Summary: Our God is mighty and powerful and good! Today we get to see a picture of his goodness and might as he gives Peter the power to heal a man who cannot walk. The manís response is perfect! He gets up and walks and leaps and praises God!! I think we might do the same if we were him. But we have reason to jump for joy and praise God too! Letís think about it: Outline 1. A better gift 2. A powerful name 3. A perfect response Verse: Acts 3:8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. Discussion Questions: 1. Why is it important to see that the disciples were at the temple during the hour of prayer? 2. Should should this story lead us to expect miracles like this today? Why or why not? What was the original purpose of this miracle? 3. Why was it perfect for this man to respond as he did? What about Jesusí might and goodness and power might move you to the same response?
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Life in the Family of Faith Acts 2:42-47 Summary: Do you know what it means to be devoted to something or someone? When someone gets married, they promise to be devoted to their spouse - meaning they are glad to love only that person and give time and effort to their marriage. When the early church in Acts learned and believed in Jesus and saw all He had done for them, they were devoted to a whole new life of devotion. What does it look like to be devoted to Jesus? Letís look and see: Outline: 1. A learning church 2. A worshipping church 3. A loving church 4. A praying church 5. A magnetic church Verse: Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostlesí teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Discussion questions: ∑1. What are the characteristics of the early Christians in Acts 2:42-47? What was the result in their community? What was the result in their witness? 2. What parts of the early churchís life in this passage was unique to them? Why? What things do we share in common with them today? What is different about our context? 3. What would it look like for YOU to have a life devoted to Jesus? How does that compare to the devotion of the early church, and how might this text shape our own devotion? 4. Read Mark 10:45 and Philippians 2:1-11. How does the work of Christ shape our life together?
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Lord and Christ Acts 2:14-41 Summary: Have you ever had doubts or wondered if all this stuff about Jesus is really true? All of us struggle with doubt at times. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, many people did not believe, so Peter explained to them that the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, and the resurrection of Jesus both proved that Jesus is Lord and Savior! Today, if you doubt, letís listen to Godís word for help: Outline: 1. The gift of the Holy Spirit is proof that Jesus is Christ 2. The resurrection is proof that Jesus is the Christ 3. What shall we do? Call on the name of Jesus, repent and be baptized. Verse: Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.Ē Questions: 1. Do you struggle with doubt about the truth of the Bible and Christianity? What doubts do you have? How did Peterís sermon in Acts 2 address peopleís doubts about the coming of the Holy Spirit? 2. How does Peter seek to persuade people about the truth of Jesusí identity as the Messiah? How does he use the Old Testament Scriptures in his sermon? How might this help us in our own doubts? 3. Peter was speaking to Jews who believed their Old Testaments. How might this translate into our culture today, as we seek to show Christ to unbelievers? How is it different, or similar?
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Acts 2:1-13 Pentecostal Fire Summary: Today we get to learn about one of the most amazing days in the history of Godís people: the day of Pentecost, when God sent the power of His Holy Spirit upon his church. The question is, what happened that day, and what does it mean for us today? Letís find out: Outline: The Day of Pentecost brought: 1. Godís presence with His people 3. The breaking of an ancient curse 4. Power to complete the mission Verse: Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, ďRepent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Discussion questions: 1. Why did God send His Spirit on the day of Pentecost? What did it produce? What was the significance of the Spirit coming in wind and fire? Why was it significant that they believers began speaking in tongues? 2. Should we expect that the events of Pentecost should or do still happen today? Why or why not? Why might this be a unique, unrepeatable event? 3. How does the Day of Pentecost show you the faithfulness of Jesus (see 2:22-33) to complete his mission and care for his church?
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Acts 2:1-13 Pentecostal Fire Summary: Today we get to learn about one of the most amazing days in the history of Godís people: the day of Pentecost, when God sent the power of His Holy Spirit upon his church. The question is, what happened that day, and what does it mean for us today? Letís find out: Outline: The Day of Pentecost was: 1. The dawn of a new creation 2. The dawn of a new Exodus 3. The breaking of an ancient curse 4. Should we expect Pentecost today? Verse: Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, ďRepent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Discussion questions: 1. Why did God send His Spirit on the day of Pentecost? What did it produce? What was the significance of the Spirit coming in wind and fire? Why was it significant that they believers began speaking in tongues? 2. Should we expect that the events of Pentecost should or do still happen today? Why or why not? Why might this be a unique, unrepeatable event? 3. How does the Day of Pentecost show you the faithfulness of Jesus (see 2:22-33) to complete his mission and care for his church?
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Text: Isaiah 49:13-16 Title: Will God forget? The Context: Salvation and Suffering The Cry: Have you forgotten me? The Cross: Godís hopeful answer Memory Verse: Isaiah 49:15-16a Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my handsÖ Summary: Have you ever been forgotten by your parents at school, church or the store? It is really scary! I can remember when I got lost in a store and I was all alone and I felt like there was no hope. I remember a time when I forgot one of my kids at school. When I pulled up there was a feeling of failure and my child felt betrayed. Israel was in a similar place as I was and my child was, they were taken away into captivity and were wondering did God forget us? There are some times when we feel like God has left us alone as well. But God tells Israel and us that He will never forget us, in fact he has engraved us on his hands. These hands are the hands of Christ, you are engraved on the hands of Christ! He will never forget you. This Sunday we will hear about Jesusí love for us that gives us hope.
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1 Corinthians 15:1-10
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Text: 2 Corinthians 5:21 Title: Christ our Righteousness Our Contribution to our righteousness Christís Contribution to our righteousness Our response to being made righteous Questions for discussion 1) What does it mean that Christ became sin who knew no sin? 2) In what ways do you still try and contribute good works to your salvation? What sort of good works does this Sundayís message call us to do? 3) How will you, your family, your community group change in response to this Sundayís message? Summary for the kids bulletin: Do you wonder if you are good enough for God to love you? Do you ever wonder if you are following the rules enough for God to let you into heaven? Does that make you nervous? This Sunday we are going to hear from Godís word the amazing truth that Jesus became sin so that we donít have to earn our way into heaven. That is truly good news, Godís love for you does not and will not change because Jesus gives you His perfect righteousness. Memory Verse: 2 Cor. 5:21 - For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God
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The Power of Jesus' Resurrection Philippians 3:7-11 Summary: Today is that great day when all Godís people remember and celebrate that Jesus is risen from the dead. He is Risen indeed! Sometimes you might wonder why it is so important that Jesus rose from the dead. What does that do for us? Today, letís listen to find out: Outline: What does it mean to know the power of Jesusí resurrection in your life? 1. Resurrection power to save us 2. Resurrection power to change us 3. Resurrection power to raise us from the dead Verse: Matthew 28:5-6 ďDo not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Discussion Questions: 1. Why is it so important that Jesus rose from the dead? What does Paul tell us here? See also 1 Corinthians 15:12-23 for more on this. 2. How does Jesusí resurrection give us power for new life today? See Romans 6:1-14 for more. 3. How might you be pursuing ďself-salvationĒ or
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We celebrate the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. We call this day Palm Sunday because the people were waving and laying palm branches in His path.
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Acts 1:12-26 The Lord Provides Leaders Summary: From the earliest days of the church, God has cared for His people. Even in one of the darkest moments, when Judas betrayed Jesus, God was still working out his plan! Today we will see that God cared for his church to provide a new leader to replace Judas. God also calls us to obey Him and trust that He will never give up on His church! Let think about this more: Outline: 1. The marks of a dependent church 2. The rise of faithful leaders 3. The provision of a faithful God Discussion Questions: 1. What does this passage tell us about the priorities for Godís church? How do they show their dependence on God? How can prayer deepen your own dependence? 2. Why is it significant to see Jesus mother and brothers together with the disciples? 3. How does this passage show us the provision of God for the health of His church? How can this help you this week? Memory verse: All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
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The Acts of the Risen Christ Acts 1:1-11 Summary: Today in church we start reading and studying the book of Acts. Some of the great stories of Jesus building His church are in this wonderful book! Today we will see Jesus promise His little band of followers that He will send the Spirit to give them power for the mission to take His Gospel to all the world. Though Jesus ascended to heaven, He will never abandon us! Letís think about it: Outline: The story of Acts will show us that: 1. The risen Jesus is reigning and ruling today 2. The Holy Spirit is at work in the church 3. Jesus has given us a mission to complete 4. Jesus is creating a worldwide people 5. We can have certainty and hope Verse: Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.Ē
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The Lord commands His people to be content with what they have. Achan coveted and took things out of Jericho. Find these words from the book of Joshua.
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The Lord commands His people to be content with what they have. Achan coveted and took things out of Jericho. Find these words from the book of Joshua.
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2 Corinthians 5:11-21 The Cross is the Power for Missions Summary: Have you ever wondered why we often say it is so important that we tell people about the saving power of Jesus? Maybe you have friends who arenít Christians, but they seem to be nice people. Why should we tell them? We all need to be reconciled to God, and He does this only by Jesusí death on the cross. And He gives the church (thatís all of us!) the joy of being his workers on earth, telling people the good news of what Jesus has done. Letís think about it: Outline: 1. The judgment and love of Christ motivates our mission 2. The cross of Christ is the power of our message 3. God invites us to participate in His Gospel mission Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Discussion Questions: 1. How does the future judgment motivate our mission as a church church? According to Paul, how does the love of Christ compel us in our mission? 2. How was Paul an ambassador for Christ? How might that apply to us today, even though we are not apostles like him? 3. How can you participate in Godís mission at home? Around the world?
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Sermon Text: Psalm 77 Sermon Title: Meditating in Prayer on the Deeds and Silence of God Outline: 1) Distinctions for Israel from the thinking of the world 2) Distress for the Believer 3) Deliverance from the Distress Summary: Sometimes when life is very hard, we can be tempted to think that God has forgotten us. Psalm 77 shows us a man named Asaph who struggled with this. How did God help him? Letís listen in as he remembers Godís powerful deliverance through the Red Sea and takes comfort that God will not forget His people. Verse: Psalm 77:13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? Discussion questions: 1. How does Psalm 77 describe his distress? What words might you use to describe trials you experience? 2. Have you ever felt like God has forgotten to be gracious (vv.8-9)? Why? How does the psalm writer help his own soul with this struggle? How can this help you? 3. How has Godís deliverance in vv 14-20 been accomplished even more powerfully for us today?
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