“Everyday Church,” Part 1

Pastor Zach Bearss

October 14, 2018

Questions for Discussion

CONNECT
According to Stuart Murray, “Christendom is the creation and maintenance of a Christian nation by ensuring a close relationship of power between the Christian church and its host culture.” Discuss this statement in light of European history and today in America.

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 1:1-2. “Alien” in the Greek is translated as “parepidemos” which means: 

  • one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives.
  • stranger
  • sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner
  • in the N.T. metaphor, in reference to heaven as the native country, one who sojourns on earth.

Discuss what it meant to be called an alien to the Christians Peter was writing  to in I Peter as well as to us today.

Read I Peter 1:3-4 and Philippians 3:20.  Where is our citizenship located?

APPLY 
Discuss this statement by James Davidson Hunter: “Power now does the work that culture used to do. This is seen in the tendency toward the politicalization of nearly everything…politicalization means that the final arbitrator within most of social life is the coercive power of the state. Our times amply demonstrate that it is far easier to force one’s will upon others through legal and political means than it is to persuade them or negotiate compromise with them…What adds pathos to this situation is the presence of resentment, defined by a combination of anger, envy, hate, rage, and revenge.

Read I John 2:15-17 and I Peter 2:11-17.  Contrast how our behavior should look different in our day to day lives versus the world’s behavior.  How can we practically live this out this week?

PRAY
Pray for one another, that our actions and words this week would reflect that our citizenship is in heaven and not of this world.

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“Everyday Church,” Part 2

Pastor Zach Bearss

October 21, 2018

 

Questions for Discussion

CONNECT
Read Ephesians 2:5-9.  Have several in your group share their spiritual birth story.

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 1:1-25.  Make a list and contrast the things that are imperishable versus those things that are perishable in our lives. (Pay particular attention to I Peter 1:4, 1:7, 1:18, 1:23 as well as 3:4)

Read I Peter 1:6-8.  What is the lasting result of trials in your life?

When we were reborn, God poured out on us many other blessings. Below are just a few listed.  Read through each scripture and briefly discuss.  Can you think of others mentioned in scripture?

HE GAVE US AN IDENTITY THAT IS UNIQUE (Ephesians 4:24)
HE OPENED MY EYES TO THE SPIRITUAL REALM (Matthew 16:17)
HE BROUGHT ME INTO THE LIGHT (2 Corinthians 4:6)
HE CAUSED ME TO GROW (1 Corinthians 3:6)
HE GAVE ME REPENTANCE IN MY HEART (2 Timothy 2:25)

APPLY
Share the current, very real trials in your life. Then allow others to remind  you of His eternal love for you in the midst of these discouragements.  Where can you see God at work in the midst of the trials?

PRAY
Pray for the prayer requests mentioned by your group members during your discussion together, then encourage one another throughout the week.

“Everyday Church,” Part 3

Pastor Zach Bearss

November 11, 2018

SERMON QUESTIONS: I PETER (PART 3): NOV 11, 2018
CONNECT
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how connected are to others that are not Christians, either within your family, your friendships, or your work environment? Do you meet hostility there as a believer?

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 1:13-15. What does it mean to you to  “Be Holy, for I AM Holy?”

Read Leviticus 11:44, 19:2, 20:7. Peter is quoting from the book of Leviticus that we are called to be set apart in every aspect of our daily lives.  Read through the following verses in Leviticus and apply these verses as to where we are to be distinctive today in our culture.
Leviticus 10:3, 32
Leviticus 19: 4
Leviticus 19: 9-10
Leviticus 19:33-34
Leviticus 19:14
Leviticus 19:12-15
Leviticus 19:20-22

Read I Peter 2:9-10.  What is the purpose of holiness?  Is it an end in itself or is it for a higher purpose?

Read through this quote together and discuss John Durham’s thoughts on holiness: “They are to be a people set apart, different from all other people by what they are and are becoming-a display people, a showcase to the world of how being in covenant with God changes a people.” 

APPLY
Read I Peter 2:1-3. Where does God need to continue to work on your inward holiness so that you can go out and be salt and light to the world?  

How can you become more engaged in your community and/or your neighborhood? Are there existing social networks already in place where you can engage or do you need to create that space in your community?

PRAY
Pray for one another that God will send us out into our communities and pray against those barriers that would keep us from doing so.

“Everyday Church,” Part 4

Pastor Tom Dages

November 18, 2018

 

Sermon Questions from Pastor Tom Dages

 

1-Tim Chester and Steve Timmis indicate that the living stones must align themselves with the cornerstone in God’s Temple, what does it mean to align ourselves with Jesus in His Temple?

 

2-Explain what you think “The Priesthood of All Believers” meant when it arose as part of the Protestant Reformation?

 

3-What does it mean to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ? (V5)

 

4-What two examples of spiritual sacrifices did Pastor Tom use?

 

5-How often do you find yourself renewing your mind and engaging in prayer and fasting?

 

6-What is involved in proclaiming His excellencies?

 

7-Why is learning to abstain from “the passions of the flesh” important for our holy priesthood?

“Everyday Church,” Part 5

Pastor Zach Bearss

November 25, 2018

 

 

SERMON QUESTIONS: I Peter: November 25, 2018
CONNECT
What struck you from either the sermon today or the dedication of our new ministry team, Salt and Light Ministries?

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 2:11-25.  List ways in this passage that the unbelieving world can see our good deeds and glorify God in Heaven.  

Discuss these statements: “Find a need, either spiritually or physically, and meet it, and the church will grow.” and “We do good things, not to get into heaven, but to be a blessing.”

Read Matthew 9:37-38 and Matthew 5:14-16.  Are we each building towards our own kingdoms here on earth or for God’s kingdom?

APPLY
We each have a call (“kaleo” = an invitation) to a temporary assignment to be a blessing and encouragement while living in Buena Vista, Salida, and Leadville.  Explore where that could be in our communities..

We each have a call (“kaleo” = an invitation) to live a different standard than the rest of the world.  What are some good things in our lives that become ultimate things and get in the way of our true calling?

PRAY
Pray for one another that God will show you where He is at work and how you or your small group can join Him there.  Pray for the newly formed Salt and Light Ministry and the 5 organizations they are working with more closely as they represent our  church body: The BV Pregnancy Center, The Arkansas Valley Mission, DPCA, 51:10 Youth Ranch, and The Good News Jail/Prison Ministry.  Pray that we would each represent Jesus well in our communities this week wherever we are involved.

“Everyday Church,” Part 6

Pastor Zach Bearss

January 13, 2019

 

 

SERMON QUESTIONS: EVERYDAY CHURCH: 1 PETER 2:13-19
CONNECT
Has there been a time in your life when you have felt like an alien and a stranger in this world and where our society is today?

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 2:11-12  Why are we as believers to keep our behavior excellent? Discuss these verses in light of this quote by “Everyday Church” by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis:

“The marginalized Christian community is also God’s missionary strategy.  We might imagine greater impact could be had from the center with the ear of the rich and famous and opportunities to exert influence upon the beautiful and powerful.  But God calls us to bring Him glory trough an everyday community of grace.” 

Read I Peter 2: 13-19.  Why are we to submit to human institutions?  Why are we to do good or be a benefactor to our society?

Read Psalm 72:13, Psalm 113:7, Psalm 140:12, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 21:13, Proverbs 28:27.  There are over 200 commands in the Bible regarding the poor.  What should be our attitudes and our actions towards those less fortunate? 

APPLY
Jonathan Edwards (famous American preacher in the early 1700s) wrote that we have 6 responsibilities as Christians.  How can we practically live out each one today?
1. Christians have a responsibility to society beyond the walls of the church.
2. Christians have a responsibility to join forces with non-Christians in the public square to work towards common moral good.
3. Christians need to support their governments but be ready to criticize them when the occasion demands.
4. Christians need to remember that politics is comparatively unimportant in the long run.
5. Christians need to be aware of national pride.
6. Christians should care for the poor.

PRAY
Pray for one another to have a heart of compassion to the world around us and specifically ask how the Lord would like you and your group to become involved in our community and those around us that need the love Christ.

“Everyday Church,” Part 7

Pastor Zach Bearss

January 20, 2019

 

 

SERMON QUESTIONS: EVERYDAY CHURCH: I PETER 2:18-25

ENGAGE
What was one thing that struck you from the sermon or that you learned something new?

CONNECT
Read I Peter 2:18-25. Discuss suffering unjustly versus justly. 

Discuss Christ’s response to suffering unjustly (verses 22-23). Discuss how we are to “follow in His steps” (v. 21)

Peter uses the word suffering 7 times in I Peter.  Read through each and discuss further this theme and the purpose of suffering:  I Peter 2:21, 2;23, 3:14, 3:17, 4:1, 4:15-16, 4:19.

APPLY
Where in your life is the Lord asking you to bear up under a situation versus to go up against an injustice?

Read Matthew 26:36-45.Where in your life are demanding your own will versus God’s will?  How may we follow Christ’s example in discerning God’s will for our lives?

PRAY
Pray for His strength to be able to bear up under the suffering we are currently experiencing, whether it be in our marriages, our singleness, our work, our failing health, our grief, or our standing up for our believe in Christ in today’s society.

“Everyday Church,” Part 8

Pastor Zach Bearss

January 27, 2019

 

 

 

SERMON QUESTIONS: EVERYDAY CHURCH: I PETER 3:1-7

CONNECT
Did you learn anything new from the sermon in this passage of I Peter 3:1-7?

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 3:1-7.  The word “be submissive” in I Peter 3:1 is the same word (hypotasso) which is also translated “subject” or submit” used in I Peter 2:13, I Peter 2:18, I Peter 3:22, and I Peter 5:5.  Read these verses and review in what other areas of life submission is practiced.

This Greek word “hypotasso” is also used in the following verses in other books of the Bible.  Read and discuss these verses:  Luke 2:51, Romans 13:1, I Corinthians 15:27-28.

In I Peter 3:1, “be submissive” is ” a voluntary attitude to make a decision to come under and lift up.  Discuss the contrast of Christians freely giving this subjection or submission versus the world’s way of demanding submission. How has this verse been misunderstood and used against women both now and in the past around the world?

I Peter 3:1 references that many of these husbands were non-believing husbands.  Discuss if you have ever witnessed when action spoke louder than words in a marriage between a believing spouse and a non-believing spouse.

I Peter 3:3-4 contrasts physical beauty versus spiritual beauty of women.  Discuss ways the world pressures women to be beautiful on the outside versus what this passage is stating is the real beauty of women.

I Peter 3:7 speaks to the husband’s duty to their wife.  A “weaker vessel” does not mean spiritually or intellectually weaker, but simply physically weaker.  What does it state is the husband’s role?  How can a husband practically live this out in his marriage?

APPLY
Read I Peter 3:8-12. List what our response and behavior should be to one another, whether male or female.

PRAY
Pray for each marriage in the room, that each husband and wife may grow in the love of Christ towards one another.  Pray for each single or child in the room, that that may receive their identity and fullness in Christ and not be judged by the world or by their outward appearances only.  

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained” –C.S. Lewis

“Everyday Church,” Part 9

Pastor Tom Dages

February 3, 2019

 

SERMON QUESTIONS: EVERYDAY CHURCH: PASTOR TOM DAGES: FEB 3, 2019

 

Q-Of the Three members of the Trinity, why is the Holy Spirit often the most neglected? 
Q-How important is possessing doctrinal correctness about the Holy Spirit?  Why? 
 
Q-If a missionary stopped you as He did Dr. Walter Wilson and asked you, “What is the Holy Spirit to you, how would you answer? 
Q-Read John 14:15-18, John 15:26, John 16: 7-15
 
Q-Write down the roles the Holy Spirit plays according to these Scriptures? 
 
Q-The Holy Spirit’s role as our Helper  includes pointing  us to Jesus and the greatness of who He is and what He has done on the cross for us? Describe some of the ways He does this? 
 
Q-Which of the statements made by Pastor Tom about the Holy Spirit was most meaningful to you? 
1-Recognize His greatness
2-Remember where He dwells 
3-Seek His truth messages 
4-Sensitize yourself to His Leadership 
5-Submit to Him over the flesh 
6-pursue His power for the journey of love
 
Q-Which of these statements need the most work in your relationship  with The Holy Spirit?

“Everyday Church,” Part 10

Pete Kuiper

February 10, 2019

 

SERMON QUESTIONS: EVERYDAY CHURCH-JUDGMENT:THE ENEMY OF LOVE: PETE KUIPER: FEB 10, 2019

 

CONNECT
Did you learn anything new or did anything stand out to you in Pete’s sermon on judgment?

ENGAGE
Read Matthew 7:1-2, Galatians 5:13-15, I John 3:14, I John 4:12,
I John 4: 18-19, Romans 14:10.  Discuss these verses in light of this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.  By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

The Greek word for judgment is “krino”, which means “to separate”.  How does our judgment separate us from the love of God and healthy relationships with others? Do you agree with these statements: “to the extent that you judge, you cannot love”? and “to the extent that you judge, you cannot receive love?” 

APPLY
Print off the chart attached in which Judgment is broken into 4 categories: Correctness, Comparison, Criticism, and Control.  Which of the 4 C’s to you most identify with? 

We have a core longing to belong and to be loved by God and by others.  What past wounds are allowing the Enemy an access point to your heart to cause you not to love? Are you willing to allow  the Lord to work on the lies you believe  to justify your judgment because His love covers all of our sins and failures and all of the sins and failures of others?

PRAY
Pray that the Lord will show each one of us this week how to abide in His love and live His love out in a practical way.  Pray for healing of past wounds that hinder us from loving  one another. Ask the Lord that you not have a critical spirit and rush to judgment when you are offended by a situation or another person this week. And pray that our lives will reflect this verse on a daily basis:  “God is love.”

“Everyday Church,” Part 11

Pastor Zach Bearss

February 17, 2019

 

EVERYDAY CHURCH: I PETER 3:8: FEB 17, 2019
CONNECT
Were you raised in a family that allowed you to express your emotions and feelings or not?  As an adult has that changed or is it the same for you?

ENGAGE
Read I Peter 3:8-9 several times, each time answering the following questions:

  • What is Peter “summing up” in the context of I Peter 1-3?
  • Who is it being written to in the context of I Peter 1-3?
  • What are the 5 things we are commanded to do in I Peter 3:8-9?

Use a English or Greek dictionary online or pull one and English or Greek dictionary from your  bookshelf and read the definitions for the 5 things we are commanded to do:  unity (harmonious), sympathy, brotherhood,  tender heart (kind hearted), humble, and blessing. Do you see a correlation of these commands and how we are supposed to feel, not just do?

How can the actions of repentance, meditating on God’s word, and asking God to give you a tender heart for each situation help you to carry out what He is asking us to do in these verses?

APPLY
“Christians are comfortable with commands to act: ‘Feed the poor.’ ‘Care for the widows and orphans.’ ‘Don’t steal.’ ‘Provide for your family.’ They may be difficult; we may not want to obey them. But at least we understand commands to act. But how do we obey commands to feel? I don’t feel like loving my enemy. I don’t feel humble in my work, or cheerful in my giving, or sympathetic to the shortcomings of other believers.  And yet, the Bible everywhere commands that we feel certain ways. So how do we obey the commands to feel if they seem out of our power?”–John Piper

PRAY
Pray for one another that our hearts would be humbled and that we each would not think more highly of ourselves just as Christ demonstrated this in His own life.  Ask Him to change our hard-hearted feelings in at least one area of each of our lives.

“Everyday Church,” Part 12

Pastor Zach Bearss

February 24, 2019

 

EVERYDAY CHURCH: 1 PETER 3:10-15

CONNECT: Describe an experience with verbally sharing your faith, or wanting to.
  What led to the need to share?
  What was the process like?
  What was the outcome?

ENGAGE:
  Read 1 Peter 3:10-15 aloud.
1 – What would you say is the dominant theme?
2 – What are two primary reasons we don’t “give a defense for the hope within us?
3 – What characteristics of God does Peter point to that encourages us?
4 – “Each person has a gospel”  Discuss what this means. 

APPLY:
1 – What are some situations that open the door for us to share the gospel?
2 – Who in your life might be in a place to be open to hearing your story of hope?

PRAY:
Pray for one another to have boldness and to speak with the assurance of God. Pray for those who would “have ears to hear”, that the true gospel would have power and meaning.

“Everyday Church,” Part 13

Pastor Zach Bearss

March 3, 2019

 

EVERYDAY CHURCH: 1 PETER 4:12-19: MARCH 3, 2019

CONNECT
Discuss a time in your life when you have questioned God’s goodness asked “Why me?” or “Where are you, God?” during a time of suffering.

ENGAGE
Read together I Peter 4:12-19 and discuss these 3 points in light of this scripture:

  1. God uses our sufferings for His purposes
  2. Suffering points us beyond ourselves
  3. There is a blessing in our suffering.

Choose one or two  of the quotes below and discuss these quotes on suffering.

APPLY
Discuss the example of Christ’s sufferings in the book of I Peter from verses 2:21-23, 4:1-2, and 5:1.

Discuss what our response should be to suffering in light of being a follower of Christ from the book of I Peter in these verses: 1:6-7, 3:14-17, 4:12-16,19, 5:6-9.

What is the promise we are given about suffering? I Peter 5:10

PRAY
Pray against  any root of bitterness in our lives and when we have not entrusted ourselves to God by faith in both past and present sufferings. Pray for each of us to be more empathetic and understanding of others around us who are suffering. Pray for the Lord to work out what was meant for evil to be turned to good for His glory.

_____________________________________________________________
“I have come to see that pain and pleasure come to us not as opposites but as Siamese twins, strangely joined and intertwined.  Nearly all my memories of acute happiness, in fact, involve some element of pain or struggle”.  –Paul Brand

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he as some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my justice–was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark.” —C.S. Lewis

“I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing around his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of this world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away.  And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me!  He laid aside his immunity to pain.  He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us.  Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. ‘The cross of Christ…is God’s only self-justification in such a world as ours…The other gods were strong; but thou was weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak. And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.” —John Stott

“The Great King keeps His finest wine in the cellar of affliction.”–Samuel Rutherford

Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rich pearls.” —Charles Spurgeon