"A Living Advent"
Pastor Michael Morris
December 13th, 2020
1. Read Luke 1:26-38. Discuss what Mary must have felt inside as she heard Gabriel inform her that she had been chosen to bring the Savior into the world. Identify the emotions she must have felt surrounding her age, background, marital status, and religious standing in her community.
2. What feelings do you experience when you consider God’s plan for your life to impact others for Him and the Kingdom? How would you characterize your sense of adequacy and expertise to take on such a mission?
3. Discuss your experience when you opened your heart in confession and invited Christ into your life. What has your experience been like having God be an active presence in your daily life since your salvation encounter? How have you nurtured your relationship with Him that has led to growth in your faith and Christian living?
4. Take a few minutes and identify the people in your life you are closest to. You will most likely list your immediate family and friends. As you identify the people who are in close relational proximity to you, can you see how you could continue outward identifying people who you have various degrees of relational connectedness with? All the people in your life whom you have any degree of relationship with collectively form your missional network.
5. God came into the world through the life of a humble, faithful, and willing servant named Mary. The possibility of eternal hope was realized through her willingness to say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” What could God do in their lives through the relational connections you develop with the people in your missional network?
6. Brainstorm for a few minutes of the ways in which you could intentionally cultivate and nurture personal relationship with the people in your missional network.
"How's Your Hearing?"
Pastor Kaye Kolde
January 10th, 2021
1. Think of some sayings you’ve heard or grew up with that use visual imagery to make a point? What about some you’ve heard that never made much sense to you? (Here’s one I never hear people say anymore: “like a cat on a hot tin roof,” but it gives a real image if you think about it.) What other sayings of Jesus that use a good visual to teach us come to mind?
2. Read Matthew 13:1-12. How does Jesus make a point similar what we learned about the parable of talents last week? Is the outcome about God’s heart or ours? Why?
3. Read through v. 17. Pastor Kaye said that many people have called this a parable about parables. What does that mean, and how does it relate to “hearing”? If you’ve been taught this parable before, what did you take away as the main point? What do you think about the idea that Jesus gives his main point in v. 16-17 regarding how we receive the Word?
4. Read v. 18-23. Where do you see yourself in those descriptions of receptivity to the Word? Where are you most likely to have a struggle or temptation that impacts the effect or fruitfulness of the truth continuously growing in you?
5. We constantly refresh and reinvigorate our connection with God through confession, repentance and cleansing. Pray together confessing what prevents even greater fruitfulness in you/our church, and ask God to show you wonderful things in His Word and help you respond obediently.