Do you have the Thanksgiving tradition, to converse around the dinner table and each say something you’re thankful for from the past year? Take some time to do this as a group. What is something you’re thankful for from the past year? How do you see that God was involved?
Our sign committee (Caroline Wiens, Gayle Frame, and Verna Guenther) put this message on the church sign last week… “Being thankful is not for a day, it’s a lifestyle.”
What do you think this means?
If it’s true that being thankful is not for a day but it’s a lifestyle… then the follow up question should be, “why”? Why should it be a lifestyle? On Thanksgiving Sunday, Pastor Jeremy talked about thanksgiving in the language of mission. Read Psalm 67 together, then get into answering the “why”.
Pastor Jeremy discussed 4 elements to this passage.
Walk through Psalm 67 with these in mind. How does the Psalm give body to each point? How do these together answer the question implied by our sign committee… WHY should thanksgiving not be just a day but a lifestyle for a Christian?
This week Pastor Matt opened God’s word to Deuteronomy 6:4-9 in order to turn our attention to the importance of intergenerational relationships in our church family. Read this together as you begin.
If you feel comfortable, share two brief stories with your group. First, what is something those older than you would say about you, or a story they would love to tell about you?
What is a story those younger than you would love to share about your life? These are better if they’re embarrassing!
In raising children who love the Lord, Pastor Matt called our attention to 4 things. He noted that these four things were listed as the major factors contributing to children continuing to walk with the Lord through their teen and young adult years.
These four elements were:
Take some time to talk through these four points from a different perspective though… not as parents of specific children, but as parents to those in God’s family who are children.
Pastor Matt suggested 7 ways to continue building intergenerational relationships. He called these “practical ideas for a sticky church”:
For each point, how could you pursue this better individually, and as a group?
Also, take some time to just list some of the intergenerational points of connection, service, and programing you are aware of at Ness. (Hint, Sundays count!)
What is the point of all this? A good passage to read to close your discussion is Psalm 145 in its entirety.
How does a healthy church community proclaim the good news of Jesus?
This Sunday was the final piece in our series on the high priestly prayer of Jesus from John 17.
Pastor Jeremy pointed our attention to the difference which often exists between what we desire, and what is good for us. We've all walked through this personally, and certainly with our children if we're parents.
Share an experience which highlights this from your own life.
When you consider heaven, what do you picture?
What did you picture of heaven when you were a kid?
What changed your expectations?
Are streets of gold and a mansion enough to change you actions here and now? What about perfect relational harmony? Perhaps
Pastor Jeremy paraphrased John Owen when he said “For a change to take place, what you love must change.” He suggested that it is in contemplating Christ that this change begins to happen in us. In what ways do you contemplate Christ? How have you been changed by him? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in this?
Read 2 Cor. 3:12-18 for a window into this process.
Here are 5 Truths about love.
How have you felt a longing toward each of these things?
How do you understand and feel Christ is the only one able to fulfill these longings? Keep in mind, understanding and feeling something are different. We understand with our mind, we feel with our emotions. Should we need to wait for heaven to be able to experience real change?
September 23, 2019
This past week we witnessed the Baptisms of seven people. It was incredible to hear what God has done in and through each life to bring them to the point of baptism.
This week reflect on your stories. We had started this last week and just wanted to give appropriate time for everyone. If everyone has shared already, this week is an excellent opportunity to talk about your own baptism.
When were you baptized? Why did you choose that time? What were the factors in your life at the time that led you to choose baptism? What did baptism mean to you then? Has your understanding of it grown over the years? Has your baptism served as a milestone for your faith, an event for you to look back on and reflect?
For further discussion, look at these passages on baptism together if you have time. For each, consider your own understanding and motivation in baptism. What can you learn from these verses? How does each passage glorify God? (Definition: God’s Glory is his holiness made manifest.)
1 Corinthians 12:13
1 Peter 3:18-22
The Theme of Water as an instrument of purification:
2 Kings 5:1-19
How do you reconcile the theme of purification with your own baptism?
Does contemplating God’s purpose in water judgement, purification and obedience in baptism lead you to deep worship? This is not easy to understand, but it is worth it!
Timothy Brindle writes (or more accurately, raps);
“Saving us from the lake of fire, Yahweh Jehovah
Who was baptized in the Jordan River
A redemptive historic picture of his death for the sinner
The dove descended on him, this is fact Christian
Mark 10:38 he called his death a baptism
'Cause the only way he's saving us from hell
Is to be baptized by wrath and to take it on himself
The point I bring is that upon the anointed King
End time judgment fell for all who are joined to him
Plus the reason I discuss this
Is 'cause the Bible says the flood's a preview of the final judgment
Just as Egyptians were cast into the sea
The wicked will be in the lake with gnashing of teeth
Thus your baptism is a water judgment
That's either pointing to all that God the Son did
Or to fall away and to disregard your sonship
Means your baptism points to your awful punishment”
Well it’s been many months since we posted to sermon questions. The main reason for this is because our sermon questions are actually intended to be used as the main course of discussion in the Ness Baptist Life Groups which meet mid-week. Every Monday afternoon we will be posting 3 to 4 questions intended to take the sermon deeper through discussion with each other.
The mission of our Life Groups at Ness is a 3 fold progression.
First, to Disciple Up. This means that we are in this together, being formed by God’s word The Bible, and discovering it’s truth in the context of Christian community. Together we are growing to submit every area of life to the lordship and presence of Jesus Christ. To be a Christian is to be formed by Christ each day in the mess of real life, not just in an idyllic, disconnected, bubble. We need God’s word and each other for this to happen.
Second, to Reach Out. If we are growing to submit every area of life to the lordship and presence of Jesus, then it should show. It should show in our relationships with each other, in how we love our neighbours, and how we connect with our larger community. We should regularly and honestly ask ourselves this question: If I were to disappear tomorrow, would my neighbours care? Would my neighbourhood notice? Would my city be different? Are we open to having new people in the group each week… a byproduct of actually reaching out!
Third, to Send Forth. Once we have reached our and made a difference together, how do we commission others in our Life Group to go and start something new? Are there any among you who feel called to lead a Life Group? What is our path as leaders toward replacing ourselves? We want to disciple people up, so that they will reach out, so we can then send them forth, and start the whole thing over again… but new!
This week, take turns sharing your faith story. Get to know each other! If you know this about each other already, do a deep review of your summer and talk about how God has worked in you and through you since May.
If you still have time, talk through the three points of our mission which are written above. What do you think of these? Does your group exist for these reasons? If so, how to you see these (disciple, reach, send) expressed? How can you as a group express them better? Where do we see these imperatives at work in Scripture?
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