Ask the Right Question

Shane Baker


Description: ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS (Matthew 21:17-22)Introduction This morning as we continue with our sermon series from the book of Matthew, chapter 21, verses 17-22, I want us to work together, asking the right questions, so that we can learn what God’s Word says in these verses and then figure out what that means for our lives today.1.Who? Jesus, Disciples, Nation of Israel2.What? A miracle for the purpose of teaching3.When? The final week of Jesus’ ministry4.Where? Between Bethany and Jerusalem5.How? Interaction between the teacher and the student6.Why? Application: Strengthen our…. Faith Prayer LifeConclusionWho, What, When, Where, How and Why? As we dug into Matthew 21:17-22 today, these questions helped us to discover what was happening and what we can do to have a stronger faith ourselves. Let’s commit together to improve ourselves, so that we can improve others for the sake of Jesus’ name! - Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life –1.Do you know what the best way for you to learn is? If so, how can you use that knowledge to grow in your faith? If not, commit to finding out and use that knowledge to grow in your faith! 2.What was most interesting to you as we studied this passage? Give examples.3.Why do you think it was so important for Jesus to take every opportunity he had to teach? 4.Jesus wasn’t only talking about the fig tree. He was using it as an illustration. What did the fig tree represent and why would that be important to the disciples?5.In what ways will you work to strengthen your faith this week?6.In what ways will you work to strengthen your prayer life this week?

When Jesus Comes

Ken Gennicks


Description: When Jesus Comes (Matthew 21:12-17)INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel shows us Jesus’ first act after His Triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem. Now in His final week, He cleansed the temple, a very unusual scene. Look what happens When Jesus Comes, and discover what it means When Jesus Comes into our situation today: I. He cleansed the temple (21:12) II. He changed their traditions (21:14-15) III. He clarified that we are tenants (21:13) CONCLUSIONThe things Jesus did in the temple courts that day are the things He wants to do in us:1. God lives in us, the Church gathered (2 Cor. 6:16; I Cor. 12:27)2. God lives in me, a believer (I Cor. 6:19-20)So when Jesus rules in His temple (me) today, He:A.Drives out our dishonesty (21:12)B.Promotes our prayer (21:13)C.Heals our hurts (21:14)D.Wins our worship (21:16)If you’re a Christian, you are God’s temple. Jesus dwells in you. If you ask Him, He will keep you clean and close! Like the song says, When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken; When Jesus comes, the tears are wiped away; He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory, for all is changed when Jesus comes to stay! - Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life –1. Read Matthew 21:12-17. When Jesus entered the temple, what did He find? How did He respond? He only spoke twice, but what was the source of His words? What should we conclude?2. In light of today’s text, when you see something wrong, are you more likely to act without thinking, or think without acting?3. What upset Jesus so much about what He discovered in the temple (see Isaiah 56:3-7)?4. Answer the following TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F Although the merchants had once performed a useful role for out-of-towners, they had now become a stumbling block to worshipers. T F Everyone in the temple praised Jesus. T F Some in the temple were indignant. T F Jesus lost His temper that day in the temple. T F Jesus quoted Scripture twice in the temple that day. T F Jesus wants to do a similar work in me. T F Jesus wants to drive out any dishonesty in me. T F The blind, the lame and the children did not understand who Jesus is. T F God dwells in us only when we are gathered as a body. T F Turning over tables and benches was very shocking. T F Jesus overreacted. T F I may have some things in my life that Jesus may want to turn over. T F The chief priests and teachers of the law saw the wonderful things Jesus did. T F Jesus brought everyone together in unity and harmony that day in the temple. 5. If Jesus were to come into our church family today, would He make any changes? Why, or why not? If so, what would He change?6. If Jesus is given free reign in your life, your heart and your home, what changes will He want to make? Is He at work in you today? Will you invite Him to reign in you today and always?7. In light of today’s Bible study, I will:

Love On The March

Ken Gennicks


Description: Love On The March (Matthew 21:1-11)INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel shows us Love On The March, Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem. Today’s Bible study surfaces and applies the results of the authentic worship of Jesus:I. Authentic worship results in obeying Jesus completely (Mt. 21:1-6)II. Authentic worship results in loving others impartially (Mt. 21:7-8)III. Authentic worship results in praising God wholeheartedly (Mt. 21:9-11)IV.Authentic worship stirs interest in others (Mt. 21:10) CONCLUSIONWe live in an age of disengagement, so what will it look like to obey Jesus completely, love others impartially, praise God wholeheartedly and stir interest in others? The word BELLS is our acrostic for 5 habits of highly missional people:Bless (Generosity): Eat (Hospitality): Listen (Spirit-led): Learn (Christlike): Sent (Missionary): Ask God to set Love On The March in you and through you, by living out these 5 habits of highly missional people, like Jesus! Change the world! Commit yourself today! - Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life -1. Read Matthew 21:1-11. What is this event commonly called? What do we usually call the day these events took place? Why?2. How can we guard against the mentality that worship is merely a one-hour experience on Sundays? How is this kind of thinking so unbiblical?3. Answer the following from today’s Bible study: A. Why does authentic worship result in obeying Jesus completely? B. Why does authentic worship result in loving others impartially? C. Why does authentic worship result in praising God wholeheartedly? D. How does authentic worship stir interest in others?E. If the idea of worshipping God bores me, what are the possible problems? F. Why does a part of us want worship to be limited to a day and place? G. Why will authentic worship impact every area of our lives? 4. Answer the following TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study. “In order to put God’s Love On The March in me and through me”:T F I will bless three people this week, at least one of whom is not a member of our church. T F I will eat with three people this week, at least one of whom is not a member of our church. T F I will spend at least one period of the week listening for the Spirit’s voice. T F I will spend at least one period of the week learning Christ. T F I will journal throughout the week all the ways I alerted others to the universal reign of God through Christ. T F I am not interested in authentic worship and its results. T F I will remain disengaged and disconnected.T F I will commit to these 5 habits of highly missional people in order to more fully embrace Jesus’ ongoing mission here and now. T F I will intentionally use words of affirmation, acts of kindness, or gifts to bless at least three people every week now. T F I am not interested in Christ’s kingdom; I have my own little kingdom to think about.T F Blessing people is personally satisfying.T F Eating with others in fun.T F Listening to the Spirit and learning about Jesus is spiritually enriching.T F Journaling the various ways of alerting others to the reign of God is encouraging. 5. Read the following and seek the Lord’s will: A. Discover Your Mission, by Dave Ferguson B. Right Here Right Now, by Alan Hirsch & Lance Ford C. Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster D. The Five Habits of Highly Missional People, by Michael Frost E. Making Habits, Breaking Habits, by Jeremy Dean 6. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Legacy of a Servant Leader

Blake Canterbury


Description: Legacy of a Servant Leader “Leaders who leave a legacy do so by serving others.” “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NIV) If you want to leave a legacy then you need to serve in these 5 areas: 1. Work hard for others. 2. Care for others. 3. Speak the truth to others. 4. Respect and Honor those who lead you. 5. Lead the way in extreme Godly love to those who lead you. If you by God’s grace serve others in this way, then you will leave a legacy and live a life of peace.

Following the One Who Carried the Cross: Our Problems, Our Solutions

Ken Gennicks


Description: Following the One Who Carried the Cross: Our Problems, Our Solutions (Matthew 20:17-28) INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel brings us to Jesus’ third statement about His death and resurrection: 1: the predictions of His sufferings (20:17-18a) 2: the proportion of His sufferings (20:18b-19a)3: the power of His sufferings (20:19b; Phil 2:9-11)Unfortunately, after this solemn news, some of Jesus’ disciples have a great concern . . . ABOUT THEMSELVES! I. Our problems as Christ-followers (20:20-27)A. We have the problem of pride (20:20)B. We have a people problem (20:24)C. We often have a perception problem (20:22)D. We often have a priority problem (20:26-27) II. Our solutions as Christ-followers (20:26-28; Phil. 2:5f)A. We were created to serve others (Ephesians 2:10)B. It proves that we belong to Christ (Romans 7:4)C. We serve God by serving others (Mt. 25:40; Col. 3:23-24)D. We owe God everything (Romans 12:1)E. It’s the best use of our lives (I Cor. 15:58)F. It makes life meaningful (Mark 8:35)G. Serving will be rewarded for eternity (Jn. 12:26; Mt. 25:21) CONCLUSIONSome day you want to stand before Jesus Christ and hear Him say, Well done good and faithful servant. You were not perfect, but you made your life count for Me! --Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life--1. Read Matthew 20:17-28. Is this the first time Jesus has revealed to His disciples that He will be crucified and raised to life on the third day? How is His detail different now in Matthew 20:18-19? 2. After Jesus explained He would soon be betrayed, condemned, mocked, flogged and crucified (20:17-19), how did His disciples respond to Him in Matthew 20:20-24? What’s the lesson here for us today?3. Carefully read Matthew 20:20-28. Which of these do you serve wholeheartedly?A. My family _____ F. My job/career _____B. My friends _____ G. My body _____C. My back account _____ H. My unfair life _____D. My education _____ I. My church _____E. My house _____ J. Other: _____4. Answer the following TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F In the world, you climb a pyramid and you climb to the top. T F Jesus said, He who serves best, leads best. T F Christian leadership is not about titles, rank or control. T F Respect must be earned, but cannot be demanded. T F As I serve others, my own needs are met.T F As I give my life away in Jesus’ name, my own needs are met.T F Many are miserable because they’ve missed the point of life.T F I can follow Christ and His teachings without serving others.T F Serving is the proof of our identity as members of His family.T F What counts for eternity is giving your life away now.T F Everyone can serve in their own unique way, if they choose.T F If you insist on serving, you’ll always be a leader; but if you insist on leading, you’ll always be a slave. T F Volunteering for humble service makes us more like Jesus. 5. How important to God is our heart as we serve? Why?6. Read James 2:20-26. What is James teaching here and how does it relate to this topic?7. Is it possible that if you’re not serving humbly as a volunteer in some way that you’re not living, just existing? In light of today’s Bible text, what would it look like to follow in Jesus’ steps? 8. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Sitting In The Grumble Seat: The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

Ken Gennicks


Description:INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel brings us to Jesus’ Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, filled with both God’s grace and grumblers! If you don’t know whether this applies to you, the three marks of a grumbler are:1: A grumbler is never satisfied2: A grumbler always has an excuse 3: A grumbler overestimates his own importanceAnd the steps down to the basement of a grumbler in Jesus’ parable are: (1) Observation; (2) Expectation; (3) Consternation; and, (4) Detonation! Study it like this:I. The Proverb (19:30, 20:16)II. The Parable (20:15)III. The PrinciplesA. God initiates salvation (20:1)B. God establishes the terms (20:2, 4-7)C. God continues to call men into His kingdom (20:3-7)D. Workers are still needed today in God’s harvest (20:1-7)E. Don’t watch other workers (20:10-12; John 21:21)F. Guard your heart (20:11; Proverbs 4:23)G. Beware of feeling possessive (20:12)H. God is good and gracious (20:2, 15)I. Time is running out (20:8; John 9:4) CONCLUSIONTake steps to climb out and stay out of the Grumble Seat:1:Thank God for what ou have 2:Don't be distracted b others3:Remember God rewards faithfullness and not productionAs in the Parable, God continues looking for people all day! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. When Peter said to Jesus, We have left everything to follow You! What will there be for us? (Mt. 19:27), Jesus detected a dangerous attitude arising in Peter’s heart, so He told Peter The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Mt. 20:1-16). When we think about how deserving we are, how does this set us up to sit in the grumbler’s seat? 2. Read Matthew 19:27 - 20:16. Why did the workers grumble against the landowner? Was the landowner unfair to them? Why did they feel He was unfair? What does this tell you?3. Carefully read Matthew 20:1-16. What things do you sometimes complain about?A. My family _____ B. My friends _____ C. My back account _____ D. My education _____ E. My house _____F. My job/career _____G. My body _____H. My unfair life _____I. My church _____J. Other: _____ 4. Answer the following TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F I find myself in the Grumbler’s Seat too often.T F I am never distracted from Christ by other people.T F I have a short fuse and am quick to detonate.T F I observe people and they make me angry.T F God is still calling people into His vineyard today.T F I am thankful for what God has given me.T F I have enough.T F God has been more than faithful and generous to me.T F I need to climb out of the grumbler’s basement.T F I will work faithfully in the Lord’s vineyard, come what may.T F I will not be distracted by church politics, personalities, or power-plays, but will keep my eyes on Jesus alone.5. Matthew 20:3 speaks about a group of people literally standing in the marketplace doing nothing. Do you fit into this category with them? If not, what ways are you working in the Master’s vineyard today? Make a list.6. According to this parable, how important to God is our attitudes and our words? If God is the Generous Giver in this parable, and if we are the unworthy recipients, why are we also the complaining workers? How is this inconsistent of us? What is the practical application in your walk with Christ this week? 7. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

A New Way

Casey McCormick


Description: A New Way Matthew 19:16-30 Wrong Question(v.16)Vague Answer(v.17)Better Question(v.18)Detailed Answer(v.18,19)Best Question(v.20)Perfect Answer(v.21)Sad Ending(v.22)Jesus offers: A new way of thinking.(vv.23-25)A new way of living.(vv.13-15, 26)WE MUST FULLY DEPEND ON GOD.A new way of serving.(vv.27-30) —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. It has been said in many different ways, that to get the right answer you have to ask the right question. Think about and discuss some of the questions you have had about your faith. Do you feel these are the right questions?2. What do you need to improve on to follow the interpersonal commandments? What do you need to improve on to follow the rest of the commandment?3. The man in the story had a very sad ending. If you were to face Jesus today, would your ending be similar or different than the rich man?4. How much do you rely on God? Others? Yourself?5. What thoughts or ideas to you have that you believe to be true, but you really don’t know where the support is in the Bible?6. In what areas are you serving the church, community, and God? What is your number one reason why you serve in each of these areas?7. What is the barrier standing most between you and Jesus? What do you need to do today to knock that down? Will you?

Clutter Gone Wild: Are Christians Being Sabotaged by Stuff?

Ken Gennicks


Description: Clutter Gone Wild: Are Christians Being Sabotaged by Stuff? (Matthew 19:13-22) INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel brings us to a man who had everything. Although this man was interested in Jesus, he chose his other stuff, instead. Does our stuff distract us from what matters most? Do piles of clutter affect your spiritual life? What does the Bible say? I. Money as your foeA. Hoarding it (Mk. 10:17-25) B. Wasting it (Jn. 6:12b)C. Exaggerating its importance (I Tim. 6:6-9; Pr. 23:5)D. Envying others who have it (Lk. 12:15)E. Going into debt for it (Pr. 22:7) II. Money as your friendA. Live simply (Phil. 4:11-13; Mt. 6:28-30)B. Handle your money wisely (Mt. 6:33) 1. earning 2. giving 3. savingIII. Lessons to learn A. Who you are is more important that what you haveB. If you have, be careful (I Tim. 6:17-19)C. Be on your guard (Lk. 12:15; Mt. 6:19-21) CONCLUSIONAmericans, it seems, are overwhelmed by our stuff. Garages are so full there’s no room for our cars. Clothing, much of it unworn, explodes out of our closets. Kids’ toys seem to multiply. Would letting go of stuff change our attitude and help clarify our true priorities? The man in today’s text chose his stuff over eternal life. Could your stuff be distracting you from Jesus and His call upon your life? Are you more attached to your stuff, or to Jesus? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Are Christians influenced by our consumerist culture? If so, how? Are you?2. Read Matthew 19:13-22. Why do you suppose over six million copies of a book by Marie Kondo, entitled, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, have sold? Do a lot of us accumulate too much, then have trouble dealing with our junk? Do you need more storage space, or do you need to store less? 3. Carefully read Matthew 19:16-22 again. Today’s Bible study is about a rich man. Where are your riches (try to list them honestly indicating first to tenth)? A. In my family _____ F. In my job/career _____B. In my friends _____ G. In a strong body _____C. In my back account _____ H. In my memories _____D. In my education _____ I. In my church family _____ E. In my Lord Jesus _____ J. Other: _____4. Richard Foster offers ten controlling principles that can lead the Jesus-follower into practical, whole-life stewardship (from his book, Money, Sex and Power):A. Buy things for their __________________, rather than their ___________. B. Reject anything that produces an _____________ in us.C. Develop a habit of _________ __________ ___________.D. Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of ____________ __________.E. Learn to enjoy things without ___________ them.F. Develop a deeper appreciation for _____________.G. Look with a healthy skepticism on all ______ _____ __ ______ ___________ schemes.H. Obey ________ instructions without hesitation or compromise.I. Reject anything that breeds _____________ in others.J. Shun anything that ______________ from following Jesus. 5. In her book, Blessed by Less, Susan Vogt writes that she decided to give away something every day during Lent. It felt so good she kept it up for a whole year. She wrote, I felt addicted to identifying things I no longer needed, but which others did. She now thinks twice about what she really needs to buy. She wrote, Living lightly reminds me that my existence is about more than accumulating possessions and status…Letting go of stuff also changed my attitude toward my possessions and helped me clarify my true priorities. Jesus tells us that if we have two coats, we should give one to someone who has none. So why do so many of us have 25 coats in our overstuffed closets? Are you too attached to your stuff? Has the Clutter Gone Wild? Are Christians Being Sabotaged by Stuff?6. The authors of a book entitled, Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century, warn that trying to manage all the stuff we collect causes levels of stress hormones to shoot up. Is it possible less is more? Is it possible that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Lk. 12:15)? Read the book by Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff.7. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage

Ken Gennicks


Description: Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage (Matthew 19:1-12) INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel brings us to Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage:A. The setting (19:1-2)B. The attack (19:3, 7)C. The answer (19:4-6, 8-9) D. The alternative (19:10-12)God’s plan for marriage is one man, one woman, one lifetime (Mt. 19:4-6). Our culture no longer values biblical marriage, but the Bible says, He who finds a wife finds a good thing (Pr. 18:22): I. Stay together (Genesis 1:27, 31; 2:18; Pr. 5:15-23)A. Before you marry, question your relationship B. Four indicators before marriage: friends, family, finances, faithII. Work together (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12; Mt. 5:28)A. Work to overcome: abuse, addictions, adultery, abandonment -B. Work to resolve and reconcileIII. Grow together (Ephesians 5:21-33; I Cor. 13)A. AppreciationB. ApologyC. AttentionD. Affection IV. Serve together (Galatians 5:13-15; John 13:1-17) CONCLUSIONMarriage was not given by God to become our all-in-all, to save us. If you’re an unhappy single person and you marry, you become an unhappy married person. Only an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior and Friend can satisfy your soul! In Matthew 19, the religious leaders failed in their attempt to trap Jesus, but they will try again. Jesus chose the cross so that you could be forgiven! All of us have sinned. But there is a Savior! --Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life--1. What was (or would be) your mom’s advice about marriage? What about dad’s advice?2. Why were the Pharisees asking Jesus questions (19:3)? What would they gain by tricking Jesus into opposing Moses?3. Carefully read our Bible text again, Matthew 19:1-12, and answer the following: A. Why did Jesus refuse to debate divorce, as the Pharisees wished? B. Why does Jesus focus on marriage instead? C. How is Jesus reversing their trap? D. What was Moses’ real intention in allowing divorce? E. How was this misapplied to support adultery?F. What was Jesus really condemning?G. How might His answer have been different if a divorced person truly seeking God had asked the question?H. How do the disciples see marriage? Why?I. For any of us who arrogantly claim we’ve never committed adultery, why must we read Matthew 5:28?4. Answer TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F Joseph is a great role model for us in Genesis 39 in this matter. T F Job 31:1 is helpful to us today.T F I John 1:9 is every believer’s comfort on this topic.T F Jesus faced temptation so He can help me today (Mt. 3:13-4:11).T F We can establish protections to help us (Pr. 5:15-21).T F As the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus, others will try to trap us today. T F No one can look down their nose at others in this matter (Mt. 5:28).T F We are all sinners who can be saved by God’s grace.T F Jesus forgave a woman taken in the very act of adultery.T F God’s grace is greater than all of our sin. 5. Please seek out the Bible’s overarching teaching regarding sexuality by reading the book by Kevin DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Find confidence and hope in navigating our culture’s shifting landscape by exploring key biblical passages throughout the Bible with this helpful book. 6. How is the Church at least partially responsible for our culture’s confusion related to sexuality today? How could the Church become part of the solution? What price must the Christian and his/her church be willing to pay in order to speak the truth in love on this matter? Are you, personally, willing and ready?7. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Ken Gennicks


Description: The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant: Shouldn’t You Have had Mercy on Your Fellow Servant Just as I had Mercy on You? (Matthew 18:21-35)INTRODUCTIONOur verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel brings us to a familiar text, The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. In this chapter’s context, Jesus has just taught about what to do when a brother sins against you (18:15-20), and next, the Master-Teacher, asks a penetrating question, in v. 33: I. The servant’s debt (18:21-25) II. The Master’s grace (18:26-27)III. The servant’s refusal (18:28-30) IV. The Master’s judgment (18:31-35) CONCLUSIONYou and I are that first man who has had our debt cancelled! The cross strips us of our right to hold an unforgiving spirit. My refusal to forgive imprisons me! Corie ten Boom said, To forgive is to set a prisoner free; and that prisoner . . . is you! Three contrasts in Jesus’ parable apply, the difference:1: between Peter’s number & the Lord’s number (18:21-22);2: between the two debts: $9,600,000 vs. $96 (18:24, 28);3: between the creditors: the Master forgave; the servant refused (18:27-30).Our debts against each other are trivial compared to our debts against God! Relationships get easier in your life when the Gospel gets bigger in your heart! The mark of community is not the absence of conflict, it’s the presence of a reconciling spirit! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Read Matthew 18:15-35. In light of Jesus’ words in all these verses, how much importance does God place on all of your relationships? Why? What is the greatest commandment in the law, according to Matthew 22:36-38? What second command is like it, following in Matthew 22:39-40? What will all this mean for a Christian’s relationships, especially in the context of today’s Bible text, Matthew 18:15-35? 2. Most people in our culture are quick to demand, I’ve got my rights! How will thequestion Jesus asks in Matthew 18:33 be received today, even by us Christians?3. Do you suppose Peter had a special reason for asking how many times he needed to forgive his brother, and if so, what may it have been (Matthew 18:21)? A. ___ He was the type to keep score? B. ___ He couldn’t forgive someone? C. ___ He was easily hurt? D. ___ He was trying to impress Jesus? E. ___ He was just curious? F. ___ Other:4. Answer TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F Until someone apologizes, you don’t have to forgive hem. T F If they've hurt you before, you don’t have to forgive them. T F After forgiving the same person over and over, that’s enough. T F You can’t out-forgive God. T F Relationships get easier in your life when the Gospel gets bigger in your heart. T F Counterintuitively, you should find that taking the high road and being the bigger person makes you feel better than holding a grudge or getting even. T F Holding a grudge is like drinking poison for your mental health. T F If you don’t forgive, God will refigure what you owe Him. T F Unforgivers end up entangled in their own chains. T F Some unforgivers are trying to hold you in an emotional prison cell as an attempt to get even. T F When I’m wronged, I hold the power to free my offender, but I also hold the power to keep him locked up emotionally, relationally, etc. T F If God’s grace has forgiven me all my sin, I can and I will forgive everyone for everything, and I will do so now with the help of His Holy Spirit.5. People in our culture who really feel they’ve been wronged seem to love the text in Matthew 18:15-20, just before this parable. But they don’t like this parable as much! Why do many love 18:15-20, but ignore that 18:21-35 follows it???6. What do you do when you need to forgive someone? What did Jesus say from the cross? What will following Jesus as your Lord and Master look like in your life? 7. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Win Them Over

Casey McCormick


Description: Win Them Over (Matthew 18:15-20) In dealing with sin among Christians, there is a right way and a wrong way, a right motive and a wrong motive, a right outcome and ... an outcome we should not desire. Forgiveness is not in question here. But, how we go about dealing with sin in the church is explained in great detail. Let’s take a look. I. The People (v.15) A. The sinnerB. You II. The Process A. First, meet privatelya.If the problem is solved, STOP and REJOICE!b.If the problem is not solved, move to step 2.B. Second, meet semi-privatelya.If the problem is solved, STOP and REJOICE!b.If the problem is not solved, move to step 3.C. Third, meet publiclya.If the problem is solved, STOP and REJOICE!b.If the problem is not solved, end fellowship, but do NOT give up on the person, ever! III. The Purpose A. Purity in the Church (I Cor. 5:9-13)B. WIN THEM OVER!!! (Mt. 18:15, Gal. 6:1, Js. 5:19-20) —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Think of a time in your life when someone helped you to move away from sin. How did that feel at the time? Looking back, can you see how it may have impacted certain relationships, or your life overall?2. Have you ever had to be the person who talked to someone else about their sin? How difficult was it? Looking back, how did it impact your relationship with that person? How did it change the path they were on?3. If you have never been confronted, or never confronted someone else to “restore that person gently” (Galatians 6:1), ask yourself why that hasn’t happened. Are you approachable? Do you have accountability? Are you looking out for the interest of others? What else?4. Without naming people out loud, can you think of a time when you were turned off by the church because of hypocrisy within? 5. Why do you think many Christians don’t like church discipline (“judging”)? How biblical is the “live and let live” attitude?6. Forgiveness is a must (Matthew 18:21-22). When might you forgive someone, but not take the approach to rebuke and correct the person?

Serving Christ with the Humility of a Child

Ken Gennicks


Description: Serving Christ with the Humility of a Child (Matthew 18:1-14)INTRODUCTIONThe first half of today’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel is all about humility; the second half is all about humble service. Biblical humility is not thinking ill of yourself; biblical humility is not thinking of yourself at all! So, we value worship, Bible study, serving, giving, relationships and sharing our faith! But why humble service??? I. The reasons to serve the Lord A. Jesus modeled it (Jn. 13:1-17; Mk. 10:45) B. God commanded it (Eph. 6:7-8) C. The church needs it (Eph. 5:25; I Tim. 3:13)II. The results of serving the Lord A. You are humbled by a connection to God B. You are fulfilled by a connection to ACC C. You are encouraged by a connection to others D. You are rewarded by a connection to the lost E. You are satisfied by a connection to spiritual growthIII. The refusal to serve is detrimental A. Your spiritual muscle doesn’t grow B. The church loses out C. You set yourself up to become negativeCONCLUSIONLike each of us, Jesus’ original disciples needed repeated lessons in humility, so Jesus used a little child as His object lesson! There is no greater joy than humbly serving others in Jesus’ name, as we’ve been gifted to do (I Peter 4:10)! So we value serving because we want to be like Jesus and follow closely in His steps!Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Read Matthew 18:1-14. Why did Jesus use a little child standing among them as an object lesson? What was Jesus, the Master Teacher, trying to help them learn?2. Read John 13:1-17, then rank these qualities in order of importance from 1 to 10 (1 being essential, 10 being unimportant). Then go back and put an * by the qualities you think are your strengths. Discuss your answers with an honest friend and ask their input. A. ___ Unselfish: puts others first B. ___ Caring: uses current life position to serve others C. ___ Courage: willing to take risks D. ___ Task-oriented: sets and reaches goals E. ___ Pragmatic: practical and resourceful F. ___ Tolerant: accepts others’ opinions calmly G. ___ Motivation: able to inspire with confidence H. ___ Flexible: able to change/correct as needed I. ___ Initiative: self-starter J. ___ Other: (you fill in the blank) 3. Answer TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F Jesus used a child as an object lesson to promote the absence of pretense. T F Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to shame them. T F Jesus washed His disciples' feet to teach servanthood. T F God uses my humble service to others to shape me into Jesus’ likeness. T F Relationships get easier in your life when the Gospel gets bigger in your heart. T F Counterintuitively, you should find that taking the high road and being the bigger person makes you feel better than holding a grudge or getting even. T F With 168 hours a week, finding one hour to serve shouldn’t be a problem. T F Humble service starts with my heart, is practiced in my home, and flows into my local church, community, and the world-at-large. T F I would serve in my church but I just don't want to feel tied-down. T F I’m not really old enough or settled enough to commit to serving yet. T F I’ve passed the baton of Christian service on to the next generation now. 4. What does Mark 10:45 tell us if we want to follow in the Lord’s steps? Why?5. In Hans Finzel’s book, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, how do his top three listed mistakes relate to this issue of servanthood? A. The top-down attitude: effective leaders see themselves at the bottom of an inverted triangle B. Putting paperwork before peoplework: people are opportunities, not interruptions C. Absence of affirmation: wildly underestimating the power of affirmation and praise6. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Out of The Mouth Of A Fish

Ken Gennicks


Description: Out of The Mouth Of A Fish (Matthew 17:22-27) INTRODUCTIONToday’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel finds Jesus predicting two fascinating miracles as He instructs and disciples His closest followers. A review of this chapter’s three events teaches us to:A. Listen to the King (17:1-13, especially v. 5) B. Trust the King (17:14-21, especially v. 20)C. Obey the King (17:22-27, there is no v. 28)In Jesus’ day, a temple tax was required of its users to cover the upkeep costs of the temple:I. The payment demanded (17:24-25a) A. Church has always and will always cost somethingB. God’s people are called to respond to the needC. God provides in order for His people to respond II. The principle discussed (17:25b-27a)A. Jesus’ penetrating knowledge (v. 25a)B. Jesus’ awareness of Who He is: the Son of God (v. 25b)C. Jesus’ consideration of others before Himself (v. 27a)D. Jesus’ authority, even over the sea and its inhabitants (v. 27b)E. Jesus’ generosity (v. 27c)III. The provision delivered (17:27b)CONCLUSIONJesus predicted two fascinating miracles in this text, and both took place as He said! So today’s Bible study surfaces three points of practical application:1. Don’t be offensive (v. 27a; I Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5f; Rom. 14:1 - 15:7)2. Don’t sweat it (v. 27b; 6:25f; Ps. 37:25, 50:10; I Pet. 5:7)3. Don’t be slow to obey (there is no v. 28; 2:13-14; Gen. 17:23)Peter’s needs would have gone unmet unless he obeyed! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8)! What are you waiting for??? Obey quickly! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Read Matthew 17:22-27. Jesus is spending less time with the crowds and more time teaching and discipling His small group of followers. Why would He move toward this approach now? What lessons about discipleship should His approach teach us if we want to be discipled and if we want to make disciples? 2. In Matthew 17:24, the temple’s tax-collectors challenge Jesus’ disciples as to whether or not He pays the annual temple tax required of every male, 20 years of age and older (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chron. 24:9; Ne. 10:32). Does your own Bible study to answer the following questions:A. What was this temple tax (Ex. 30:11-16)?B. Why were they required to pay it?C. Approximately how many days’ wages was this tax?D. Why could Jesus legitimately claim exemption from this tax (Mt. 17:25-26)?E. Why did Jesus pay this tax anyway (Mt. 17:27)?F. Why is it wise for a Christ-follower to gladly forgo some freedoms?G. What is at stake when we offend someone (Mt. 17:27) with our freedoms?H. Was it fair to expect people to pay their own way through life (2 Thess. 3:10)?I. Who is responsible for the costs related to where we worship and the people who teach us (Mt. 10:10; Lk. 10:7; I Tim. 5:18)?J. What additional lessons might this temple tax teach us today?3. Answer TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F The disciples were filled with grief after hearing Jesus. T F Jesus was required to pay the temple tax like everyone else. T F Jesus reluctantly and grudgingly payed the temple tax.T F Jesus showed Peter this tax is not only to be paid in full, but willingly and without argument.T F Jesus showed us to gladly forego our freedoms so as not to offend.T F Peter had to fish two days to catch enough to pay this temple tax.T F Today’s text is proof that God is able and generous to provide for His own.T F God provides for me in order for me to provide for others.4. What two miracles did Jesus predict in today’s text, Matthew 17:22-27? What does each miracle tell us about His power? …about His provision?5. In order to apply today’s Bible study to your life this week, what will the follow look like as you live it out:A. Jesus’ generosity: B. Listening to Jesus:C. Refusing to “sweat it”:D. Refusing to be offensive:E. Being quick to obey:F. Putting others before myself:G.Paying my bills on time:H. Trusting God to provide:I. Doing my part and more where I worship:6. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:


Nick VanMeter


Description: Problems Matthew 17:14-21 What are some of your biggest problems in life? Today in our study through the book of Matthew, we surface a story of how a little bit of faith can make a huge impact. Jesus says, “I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed… Nothing would be impossible” 1.Nothing is impossible for those that have faith 2.Invest in your prayer life 3.Practice spiritual disciplines• fasting• bible reading• worship We are reminded throughout the book of Matthew of the disciples’ humanity and Jesus’ divinity. We, like His disciples, will have problems that can cause us to stumble. That is why is vital for us to trust in Jesus and always be pushing to develop our faith. —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— • In Matthew 17:20, Why couldn’t the disciples cast out the demon from the man’s son?• Consider some problems you are currently up against. As threatening as they may seem, pray that God gives you to faith and confidence that can overcome them, in Jesus name. • Read Hebrews 11:1-2; What is faith?• What three things did Jesus say could have helped the disciples heal the man in Matthew 17:14-21? Explain how or why they are necessary.• Jesus said “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Why is prayer AND fasting important?• What is your daily routine? What are you doing to make prayer a priority in your routine? If you aren’t, what are some steps that can be taken to make prayer a priority?• What are spiritual disciplines? What is your favorite spiritual discipline? What is holding you back from practicing spiritual disciplines?

Glory of God

Casey McCormick


Description: Glory of God Matthew 16:28 —17:13 The transfiguration of Jesus is one of the greatest and most magnificent events recorded in the Bible. This morning, I want to share what surrounds this story and how it all points to God’s glory. God’s Glory Predicted (Mt. 16:28) God’s Glory Revealed (Mt. 17:2) God’s Glory Fulfilled (Mt. 17:3) God’s Glory Delivered (Mt. 17:5) God’s Glory Shared (with Jesus) (Mt. 17:8) God’s Glory Shared (with the World) (Mt. 17:9) —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1.In one sentence, who is Jesus? (Don’t worry about covering every detail. Answer in a way that describes why Jesus means so much to you.)2.Who is your support group? Or, who are the people in your life you go to for help, or to share important moments? I’m intentionally not asking who your friends are, because these people may not be your closest friends.3.Close your eyes and imagine God. What does He look like in your mind?4.Describe a “mountain top experience” in your life. Or, when did you feel most intimately connected with Jesus? Have you tried to create that moment again? If so, was it the same or similar to the first time?5.God told Peter (and the other disciples) to listen to Jesus. What teaching or command from Jesus is the hardest to follow? You only have to pick one!6. Which are you more afraid of, dying or Jesus coming back today? (I’m not asking if you want to live to see certain things or people. Only think about the level of fear you have for each.)7. What is one thing you think will be in Heaven, and you are very excited about it?

What a Difference a Day Can Make

Nick VanMeter


Description: What a Difference a Day Can Make Matthew 16:21-27 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Mat. 16:25. Through the book of Matthew, God reveals so much to us as followers of Jesus. Today we look at Peter’s life, his shortcomings and his relationship with Jesus. “Blessed are you, Simon Son of Jonah” (Mt. 16:17) “on the third day be raised to life” (Mt. 16:21) “You are a stumbling block to me” (Mt. 16:23) “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mt. 16:24) What a difference 24 hours made in Peter’s life. One day, being called blessed by Jesus. The next day being rebuked as Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me…” Are we being building blocks or a stumbling blocks? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— •In Matthew 16:21, what does Jesus begin to show His disciples?• Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him (v. 22) for the things He was showing to his disciples (v. 21). What was Jesus’ response to Peter’s rebuke (v. 23)?• Why do you think Jesus told Peter that he was a stumbling block to Him (v. 23)?• Why do you suppose Peter, who had just boldly proclaimed his faith, quickly forgot it? Have you done this? If so, how, and why?• Looking at verse 23, Jesus refers to “things of men.” How would you define this phrase in our present day?• Think about the three things that Jesus said were to be done if a person wants to follow Him (Matthew 16:24). What are those three things and what do they mean?• When Jesus called His disciples, He said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:18, 9:9). What does the life of a person who follows Him look like?• What does it mean in a practical sense to lose our lives so that we can save it (v. 25)?• Explain what deny himself has meant to you? What should it mean?• What is your greatest struggle in surrendering and being more committed to Christ as Lord?


Shane Baker


Description: AIN’T NO GRANDBABIES (Matthew 16:13-20) IntroductionWe all must answer individually a question that was presented to the disciples today in our text. Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 16, verses 13-20. Who do they say I am? (Matthew 16:13) Who do I say I am? (Matthew 16:15-16) Who do I say you are? (Matthew 16:17-19) Who can you tell? (Matthew 16:20) APPLICATION:Who do you say I am?Who do I say you are?Who can you tell?ConclusionNow that we’ve seen how the disciples and Jesus answered the questions that were presented in the text, how will you choose to answer the questions that were placed before you today? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Are there times that you get concerned about what other people think about you? How can this be a good thing? How can this be a bad thing?2. Why did some people think that Jesus was John the Baptist, or Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets?3. What did Peter mean when he said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God?”4. Why wouldn’t Jesus allow the disciples to tell anyone that he was the Messiah?5. If someone approached you on the street and asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?6. Who have you told recently about Jesus?

The Check Engine Light Is On

Shane Baker


Description: THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON (Matthew 16:1-12)IntroductionSometimes in life we have options. We can choose to do this or we can choose to do that. Sometimes the choice has very little significance. Do I want the blue toothbrush or the green one. Sometimes the choice has great significance. Today we will look at Matthew chapter 16 verses 1-12. The people in these verses faced a very significant choice. 1. Ignore the Warning (Matthew 16:1-4)A. Sought a signB. Ignored previous signsC. Were left stranded 2. Heed the Warning (Matthew 16:5-12)A. Heard the warningB. Explored the optionsC. Gathered informationD. Got repairedConclusionThis morning you are faced with a very significant choice. One that has eternal implications. That means the decision you make will matter for the rest of your life here on earth, and forever after you die. We have a huge advantage over the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Disciples in that we have the rest of the story. We have God’s Word, the Bible, and we know that Jesus died, was buried and raised from the dead. The question this morning is, what choice will you make in light of that? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. The Pharisees and Sadducees were set in their ways and weren’t really open to what Jesus had to say. Are there areas in your life where you don’t want to hear what Jesus or the Bible has to say? What are they? 2.Jesus walked away from the Pharisees and Sadducees because they were not willing to hear what he had to say. Are you listening to Jesus (daily)? What is he saying to you?3.Do you ever become worried about where your next “piece of bread” will come from? Why do we sometimes find it so hard to trust God? 4.List the ways that God has provided for you in the past. Now give thanks to Him.5.Jesus warned his disciples about false teaching from the Pharisees and Sadducees. How can we be sure we are not receiving false teaching?6.Have you made a decision to follow Jesus? If not, why are you waiting? If so, who are you bringing with you to heaven?

What About You? Who Do You Say I Am?

Ken Gennicks


Description:INTRODUCTIONToday’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel is a bird’s-eye-view of Matthew 16:1-28, called, a chapter-sermon, where we look first at the big picture, before going back to study the individual parts more closely. The chapter’s key verse is Matthew 16:15 when Jesus asks the crucial questions, What about you? Who do you say I am?, as the chapter surfaces four levels of faith: I. No faith: testing Christ (16:1-4) II. Little faith: misunderstanding Christ (16:5-12)III. Saving faith: confessing Christ (16:13-20; Jas. 2:14-26)IV. Serving faith: following Christ (16:21-28) CONCLUSIONThis key question in the middle of Matthew 16, Who do you say I am?, is Jesus’ ultimate litmus test for every heart, with eternity in the balance, requiring four things of every person:1. Serious evaluation (16:13-14)2. Personal confession (16:16)3. Personal commitment (16:24)4. Risk-taking (16:25-26)But what about you?, Jesus is asking today. Who do you say I am??? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Read Matthew 16:1-28. This chapter is easily divided into four parts. What is the main thing happening in each part of this chapter (write your thoughts below):A. Matthew 16:1-4 B. Matthew 16:5-12 C. Matthew 16:13-20D. Matthew 16:21-28 2. What does Jesus mean by saying, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Mt. 16:24)?A. Following Jesus is no rose gardenB. It’s gonna cost you everything to follow HimC. The Christian life is not for the half-heartedD. Partial commitment is too little E. Dying to self is required to follow Christ F. Shape up or ship out G. If you’re saving your life for yourself, think again H. Merely professing you believe is not enough I. Other: 3. Answer TRUE or FALSE: Peter got so upset when Jesus explained the cross (Mt. 16:21-22) because:T F he didn’t understand God’s plan to save us.T F he didn’t want Jesus to suffer.T F he didn’t want to suffer.T F he didn’t want to lose his leader. T F he was just acting tough.T F he was arrogant, stubborn and out-spoken.T F his faith was shallow and immature. T F he wanted to die on the cross instead of Jesus. 4. How important is it that we answer Jesus’ question correctly, Who do you say I am (Mt. 16:15)? Why? How do you answer this question, personally? 5. For you, what would taking the next step in your walk with Christ mean? A. Working on the basics: prayer, Bible reading, etc.B. Participating in a disciple group with accountability, etc.C. Deeper commitment to serving the people in my lifeD. Making my confession of faith and being baptizedE. Practicing greater self-discipline in my speech, spending & eatingF. Sharing my faith in more active waysG. Finding my place of work & service in the local churchH. Generously giving back part of what I earn regularlyI. Serving as a teacher, deacon, elder, etc., as the Lord leads 6. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Seven Loaves & A Few Small Fish

Ken Gennicks


Description: “Seven Loaves & A Few Small Fish” (Matthew 15:29-39)INTRODUCTIONToday’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel reveals that the God of Scripture is a God of compassion. He feels people’s pain and He seeks to help! When faced with thousands of people in need, Jesus turned to His disciples and asked them, What do you have in your hand? He asks the same question of each of us today, What do you have in your hand?, as we, too, are surrounded by people in need. What do you have in your hand? And here we learn that: I. Jesus’ power is unrivaled (15:30-31. 36) II. His disciples can be slow learners (15:33; 14:31-20) III. His disciples need to rely on His resources (15:33-34) IV. God’s resources are never diminished or exhausted (15:36) V. His servants and their possessions are useful (15:32a, 36b) VI. God gives generously (15:37-37) VII. Spiritual investments bring God’s returns (34, 37; 2 Cor. 9:6) VII. Jesus’ compassion is limitless (15:32; Galatians 6:10)CONCLUSIONJesus has compassion for all our needs: daily, lifetime, eternal! What do you have in your hand? Jesus wants to meet the needs of others through you and your resources! He proved His love for you on a cross! Give Him all that you have! Give Him all that you are! He sufficient for you, now and forever! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Read Matthew 15:29-39. In today’s familiar Bible text, there are 4,000 hungry men, along with their families, looking for something to eat! If they turned to youfor help, how would it make you feel? A. Delighted D. Compassion B. Oh no! E. Not responsible C. Anger F. Defeated G. Overwhelmed H. Prayerful I. Other: 2. When Jesus asked His disciples, How many loaves do you have? (Mt. 15:34), what was He asking His disciples to do? A. Take inventory of their resources B. Stop thinking of their own needs and interests C. Be glad to share what they possessed D. See how impossible it really was E. Start with what they had F. Trust that He has a plan G. Observe His power and figure out Who He is H. Think about Who gave them what they already possessed3. Answer TRUE or FALSE: T F What I possess is nobody’s business but mine. T F Jesus challenges us to use what we have to serve others. T F The disciples were quick to believe and slow to doubt. T F The disciples volunteered their possessions before being asked. T F I have the right to keep all that I possess to myself. T F When our resources are lacking, He is sufficient for us. T F If He could feed 5,000, He will take care of me. T F He is the Bread of Life and meets all my needs. T F What I possess can be used by Him if I am willing. T F He takes what I give and returns the blessing to me. T F Many loved Him only for the free lunch He provided. T F I should recognize what’s in my hand and dedicate it to His use.4. Ken listed eight lessons for Jesus’ disciples from this experience. Which lesson did you already know best? Which one are you still learning? Why?5. Jesus’ question, How many loaves do you have?, reminds us that each of us has something to contribute to the needs of those around us through the local church (I Peter 4:9-10). How does that make you feel? Describe the contribution you’re currently making through your local church.6. How does your life indicate today that you believe God gives generously? A. C. B. D.7. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

A Faith That Won’t Give Up

Ken Gennicks


Description: A Faith That Won’t Give Up (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30) INTRODUCTIONIn today’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel, a foreign woman from a different faith approached Jesus. She exhibited the characteristics of A Faith That Won’t Give Up:I.The woman’s problem (15:22c) II. The woman’s petition (15:23-27)A. The reason she came (15:22c)B. The reason she cried (15:22b)C. The reason she called (Mark 7:25)III. The woman’s persistence (15:23-27)A. She had to overcome race (15:21)B. She had to overcome religion (15:21-22a, 23)C. She had to overcome racism (15:23)D. She had to overcome rejection (15:23-26)E. She had to overcome reality (15:22-27)IV. The woman’s prize (15:28)A. By faith, she came to Jesus B. By faith, she overcame barriersC. By faith, she persistedD. By faith, she worshiped JesusE. By faith, she brought Jesus’ healing to her homeCONCLUSIONThis unnamed, foreign woman from a different faith background shows us that A Faith That Won’t Give Up is:1. Repentant (15:22) 4. Respectful (15:26-27)2. Reverent (15:23) 5. Rewarded (15:28)3. Relentless (15:23-27)Don’t be like Jesus’ original disciples in this text who wanted to send her away (15:23)! Instead, apply today’s Bible study to people around you who need Him, like this: Engage, Enquire, Edify, and Encourage! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Read Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30. Both Matthew and Mark are telling the same story as they saw it, as God’s Holy Spirit led them to record it. Do you see any differences in the two versions? List them below. How is this helpful?A. B. C. 2. One of God’s greatest gifts is the gift of family! What was this woman’s problem that drove her to Jesus, in Matthew 15:21-28? What things were not in her favor?A. B. C. D. 3. What did this woman do right that makes her a good role model for us?A. B. C. D. E. 4. Today’s Bible study surfaces the characteristics A Faith That Won’t Give Up. Which characteristic do you admire most about this kind of faith? Why? How does your faith compare?5. A weak faith may take you to heaven, but it doesn’t serve you very well on earth. List several actions a person could take in order to enjoy a stronger faith muscle.A. D.B. E.C. F.Which of these will you commit to pursuing and practicing? If you want to excel in the practices that build a strong faith muscle, read Richard J. Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. It’s life-changing! 6. Are there people around us today, like this woman in Matthew 15, who need Jesus, but face many obstacles in getting to Him? Unlike Jesus’ disciples in Matthew 15, Ken suggested four ways you should help them. Which way is your strength? Which way needs the most work in you? How will you take action now?7. The foreign, unnamed woman in today’s study brought Jesus’ healing into her home, by faith. What is it in your life that needs Jesus’ healing touch today? Will you persist in prayer and faith as you seek Him? 8. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Pictures of Jesus; Pictures of Dad

Ken, Casey, Nick, and Shane


Description: “Pictures of Jesus; Pictures of Dad” (Matthew 14:34 - 15:20)INTRODUCTIONIn today’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel, the Bible text paints four pictures of Jesus that could also describe some of the roles of a Christlike dad: I. Christ: The Compassionate Helper (14:34-36/Ken) …Dads: serve your family (Jn. 13:2-17) II. Christ: The Challenging Teacher (15:1-9/Casey) …Dads: support your family (Eph. 6:4) III. Christ: The Careful Leader (15:10-14/Nick) …Dads: shepherd your family (Col. 3:21) IV. Christ: The Correcting Mentor (15:15-20/Shane) …Dads: show your family (Heb. 12:7-11) CONCLUSIONLeading a family is the toughest job a man can ever have, according Dave Ramsey, Christian teacher and author. The home and the family is the ultimate proving ground for faith, truth and love. So let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:2)! Let’s give thanks to God today for the gift of Dads, Moms, children and family! May Christ be glorified in us all! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Read Matthew 14:34-15:20. Make a list of the various pictures of Jesus you can see from these verses: A. D. B. E. C. F.2. One of God’s greatest gifts is the gift of family! Think until you can list at least ten reasons in writing to be thankful to God for your family: A. F. B. G. C. H. D. I. E. J.3. God also provides His Church as a family for each of us. Think until you can list at least ten reasons in writing to be thankful to God for your church family: A. F. B. G. C. H. D. I. E. J.4. Today’s Bible study surfaced four pictures of Jesus and compared them to some of the roles of a godly dad. Why do you suppose Dave Ramsey said, Leading a family is the toughest job a man can ever have? Do you agree, or disagree? Why?5. How is the home and the family the ultimate proving ground for our faith, and for Christian living, in general? 6. The most common word to describe God in the Bible is the word, Father! Why would we do well to remember this on Father’s Day today?7. Take a moment to complete a list of your family members or relatives; then, beside each one, write out some better ways to demonstrate your love to each:_________:_________________________________________________:__________________________________________________:__________________________________________________:__________________________________________________:__________________________________________________:__________________________________________. 8. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Why Worship the One Who Walks On Water

Ken Gennicks


Description:INTRODUCTIONIn today’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel, the story of Jesus walking on water unfolds in six parts: A. The arrangements (14:22-24)B. The approach (14:25) C. The alarm (14:26) D. The assurance (14:27)E. The attempt (14:28-31)F. The awe (14:32-33)Jesus demonstrated five poofs that He is the Son of God, prompting the disciples’ faith, confession and worship:I. Proof of His divine authority (14:22-23)II. Proof of His divine knowledge (14:24-25)III. Proof of His divine protection (14:26-27)IV. Proof of His divine love (14:28-31)V. Proof of His divine power (14:32) CONCLUSIONThis experience of Jesus’ disciples in the storm can be an encouragement to us when we go through the storms of life. In the storm, because He is the Son of God, we can rest on these assurances:1. He brought me here2. He is praying for me3. He will come to me4. He will help me grow5. He will see me through Five unmistakable proofs led them to faith, confession, worship, and assurance, saying, Truly You are the Son of God (14:33)! May we come to the same conclusions today! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Read Matthew 14:22-33. If you had been in the boat with the disciples when they saw someone walking on water, what would you have said?A. I think I at too many anchoviesD. Absolutely nothingB. Where’s Jesus? E. Let me out of here!C. I’m seeing things F. How does He do that?2. What did Jesus mean when He called out, Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid?A. Get yourself together B. Yoo-hoo! It’s only Me C. Relax…and believe in MeD. You’re surprised? You just saw me feed 5,000 people!3. If you had been Peter, how would you have responded when Jesus invited you to come?A. Fainted on the spot D. Said, I’ll go secondB. Jumped at the chance E. Asked to think about itC. Asked for some guarantees F. Other:4. Where do you feel that God is inviting you to get out of the boat right now?A. In my job/career/school…trying something riskyB. In my family…reconciling & renewing a relationship C. In my spiritual walk…putting God firstD. In my future planning…doing what I’ve been afraid to tryE. In my serving…finding my place of service in my church 5. What does God need to do to get you out of the safety and comfort of your boat?A. Give me a push D. Give me a lot of support peopleB. Assure me it’s okay to fail E. Get out of the boat with meC. Be very gentle with me F. Ain’t gonna happen6. Our Bible study today surfaced five proofs that inspired the disciples to believe, confess and worship Jesus! Which of the five inspires you most? Why?7. Ken concluded our study with five assurances we can rest on in times of storms. Which assurance do you most need to rest in right now? Why?8. If the disciples had already seen Jesus calm a storm when He was in the boat with them (Mt. 8:23-27), and if they had just watched Jesus feed 5,000 (Mt. 14:13-21), shouldn’t they have been ready to trust Him in this storm? How are we like them? What have you seen Him do in your life that should prompt you to trust Him more?9. How might Jesus have been tempted by His mounting popularity (Jn. 6:15)? Why do you think He wanted to pray alone (Mt. 14:23)? How is His example and practice good for us to follow today? Will you follow in His steps now?10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

A Fish Story

Shane Baker


Description: A FISH STORY (Matthew 14:13-21)IntroductionThis is an amazing story! In fact, this story is so amazing that not just one author in the Bible recorded the story, not just two authors in the Bible recorded this story, but all four authors of the first four books of the New Testament record this story. 1. Get Alone (Matthew 14:13)2. Get To Where Jesus Is (Matthew 14:14)3. Get Ready (to be used by God) (Matthew 14:17)4. Get Serious About Obedience (Matthew 14:18-19)ConclusionWhat is God saying to you today? Do you need to put your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior today? Do you need to get more serious about the commitment that you have already made to Jesus? Do you need to get serious about obeying God and allowing Him to use you for His kingdom? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Tell about a time when God showed up in your life in a big way…2. How often do you get alone and spend time with Jesus? Do you feel this is enough time and do you need to spend more time alone with God? What do you need to do to make this happen?3. The crowd sought out Jesus. Do the places you go and the people you spend a majority of your time with reflect the lifestyle of a Christ follower?4. In what ways have you prepared yourself to be used by God?5. In what area or areas of your life do you need to be more obedient to Christ?6. What decision or decisions do you need to make today in order to live a life that is pleasing to God?

My Story. My Life. My Impact.

Casey McCormick


Description: My Story. My Life. My Impact. Matthew 14:1-14 Who might I become? 1. Herod the tetrarch:a coward (3-5)2. John the Baptist:a voice for God (4-5)3. Herodias:a manipulator (8-11)4. people:a good citizen (5)5. daughter of Herodias:a victim (6-8)6. guests:a bad citizen (9-10)7. John’s disciples:a true friend (12)8. Jesus:a child of God (13-14) Bottom Line: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life— 1. Life is full of slow changes. Life can also change suddenly. We can be the cause of change, or it may happen without our doing. While hearing today’s sermon, did you remember any big changes in your life? What things changed for the good? The bad? For those people with a lot of life experience, how can you help someone going through change today? 2. When someone stands up to an oppressor, even when they are at risk, we call that courage. John the Baptist showed great courage. Can you think of a time when you could have done something similar? Did you? 3. There is a similar story to today’s story about two men named Nathan (prophet) and David (king). READ II Samuel 12:1-16. Although there was a lot of bad that came out of this story, why did David have a much better legacy than Herod? 4. Think of a bad decision you made, that you probably would not have made except for the people around you. Are you still putting yourself around people who may put that same pressure on you? 5. Who are you now, and who do you want to become? What changes (goals, people, disciplines) do you need to make today to become that person? 6. When have you been a victim of someone else’s poor decision? What we can do to limit or reduce the poor decisions around us? (will be answered in sermon) What steps can you take right now?

The Worst Homecoming Ever: Not Many Miracles for Nazareth

Ken Gennicks


Description:The Worst Homecoming Ever:Not Many Miracles for Nazareth (Matthew 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6)INTRODUCTIONIn today’s verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus returns to His hometown, Nazareth, where He learned to eat, walk and work, and where He prepared for His public ministry. When He began His ministry, the religious people of Nazareth tried to kill Him (Luke 4), but Jesus goes home one last time to try to reach them with the Gospel, yet:I. Unbelief strikes home (Mt. 13:53-54; Mk. 6:1; I Tim. 3:12)II. Unbelief shoots down the unexplainable (Mt. 13:54-56 Mk. 6:2-3)A. Where did Jesus get this wisdom? (Mt. 13:54)B. Where did Jesus get this power? (Mt. 13:54)C. Isn’t Jesus merely a common carpenter? (Mt. 13:55)D. Isn’t Jesus illegitimate? (Mk. 6:3)E. Isn’t Jesus merely an ordinary man who grew up here? (Mt. 13:55-56)F. What makes Him think He has this authority? (Mt 13:56-57)III. Unbelief stumbles over Jesus as Savior (Mt. 13:57; Mk. 6:3-4)IV. Unbelief squelches God’s blessing (Mt. 13:58; Mk. 6:5-6)CONCLUSIONThere are only two recorded instances of Jesus being amazed: (1) Jesus was amazed at the faith of a Roman centurion (Luke 7:9); and, (2) He was amazed at the lack of faith of the people here in His hometown, Nazareth. Which category of belief is Jesus amazed to see in your life today?1. They were amazed; that’s not enough!2. They were angry; that’s a trap!3. They took action; that’s better than being neutral!4. Jesus comes back to give second chances!5. We never know which chance will be our last!6. Is Jesus amazed at your belief, or at your unbelief? —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Read Matthew 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6. What had happened to Jesus earlier in this town of Nazareth (see Luke 4:28-29)? Why didn’t Jesus avoid this place now? Why would He ever go back??? What does this tell you about Jesus?2. “Familiarity breeds contempt” applies not only to hometown prophets, but possibly to any of us who grew up “always knowing Jesus.” What does this text teach about assuming we know all about Jesus?3. The religious people were first amazed at Jesus, then angry at Him! Have you ever been angry at God? What’s the danger of trusting and following our emotions? What’s more trustworthy than our emotions? 4. The religious people shot down anything they couldn’t explain by asking a barrage of challenging, cynical questions, in Matthew 13:54-56. List in your own words all the questions they asked. How were they trying to diminish Jesus with all of these pointed questions? How do we sometimes do the same?5. Read Matthew 13:58 and Mark 6:5. What relation does our faith have to Jesus’ ability to be at work? Why does He look for faith?6. The people were amazed at Jesus. Why isn’t that enough?7. The Bible only tells us twice that Jesus was ever amazed by anything. Read each text and explain why He was amazed in your own words:A. Luke 7:9:B. Mark 6:6:C. Do you suppose Jesus has ever been amazed at your faith, or lack of it? Why? When? Explain. How about now?8. In Matthew 13:57, the religious people were offended. Do you suppose we are all too easily offended today? Why is that? How could we guard against it, and overcome it? Why does this matter?9. Jesus returned to Nazareth in today’s text in spite of how they had treated Him earlier? Why should this give us hope? What does it tell you about Jesus? But this was Jesus’ last trip to Nazareth, so what should this also tell us???10. In light of today’s Bible study, I will:

Mothers Day 2017

Staff and wives


Description: Mother’s Day Wisdom (Matthew 12:46-50; James 3:17) INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. Into today’s text, when Jesus’ mother and brothers came to came to see Him, Jesus said, My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice (Luke 8:21). For Mother’s Day and Child Dedication, consider what James wrote to the Church at large, and how his words apply to life in the family today, too:I. Godly parents are pure (James 3:17/Shane)II. Godly parents are peace lovers (James 3:17/Lorna)III. Godly parents are considerate (James 3:17/Nick)IV. Godly parents are submissive (James 3:17/Ellen)V. Godly parents are merciful (James 3:17/Casey)VI.Godly parents are fruitful (James 3:17/Jen)VII. Godly parents are impartial (James 3:17/Sarah)VIII. Godly parents are sincere (James 3:17/Ken) CONCLUSIONGod’s Word is a storehouse of wisdom for families, parents, children, and churches alike! And Jesus reminds us that whoever hears His Word and puts it into practice is part of His family! —Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life—1. Why do you suppose Mother’s Day is such a favorite Sunday in the life of a church family? Think back to your favorite Mother’s Day. Why was it so special?2. Read Matthew 12:46-50. How would you describe Jesus’ relationship with His mother from this Bible text? Read the way Mark presented it in his Gospel, in Mark 3:31-35. Read the way Luke presented it in his Gospel in Luke 8:19-21. What conclusions can you make by comparing these three Gospel accounts?3. Was Jesus being disrespectful to His mother when He asked the question of Matthew 12:48? Why, or why not?4. Today’s Mother’s Day sermon surfaces eight qualities of godly parents. Which of these eight qualities did you see most often in your parents? What difference did this probably make in your earlier years? Why?5. Jesus says in Matthew 12:46-50 that a person who follows Him will have many mothers. What did He mean? How is this possible? Make a list of people that God has brought into your life as “godly mothers”. How could you repay them today for their kindnesses toward you?6. James 3:17 can apply to any individual, or to any group of people, such as parents. List other groups that it will apply to, such as godly employees, etc. 7. Which of the eight godly qualities is your greatest strength? Which one is your greatest weakness? How could you and the Lord make progress in this now?8.Please pray all week for all of the young, growing families who have participated in our parent-child dedication services today on Mother’s Day Sunday. Ask God how He could use you to be a blessing to these young families, and then take the action step to connect, bless and encourage! 9. Honor your mother today by thanking God for her in prayer, even if she’s in heaven! Count your blessings and become a thankful person, thus honoring God on Mother’s Day! 10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

The Kingdom of Heaven

Casey McCormick


Description: The Kingdom of Heaven Matthew 13:31-35, 44-52 The kingdom of heaven is like ... A mustard seed It grows outward. (vv.31-32) Yeast It grows inward. (v. 33) Treasure It's worth everything. (v.44) A merchant It wants you. (vv.45-46) A Net It's for the righteous. (vv.47-50) An owner It has a job for you. (vv.51-52) Challenge: Pray this prayer throughout the week ... your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6: 10 Applying Today's Sermon to Your Life 1 . Which of the 6 parables in this sermon has the most meaning to you? Which one is the hardest to accept, to the point of it making a difference in your life? 2.What type of ministry (church, child sponsorship, homeless shelter, etc.) have you seen lead to the biggest outward growth? 3.What type of ministry have you seen lead to the most inward growth? If the two answers are different, which need do you believe is greater? Why? 4.What have you given up to experience more of the "kingdom of heaven" right now? How challenging was it? Did it seem to payoff? 5.Which person has done the most loving thing in your life? (This could be hard, because you may not even know what they did for you.) If you can come up with someone, what impact did their love have in your life? 6.The kingdom of heaven wants you, and it is for the righteous. You have been given an opportunity to be a part of it. Knowing all of this, how seriously will you take your responsibility of sharing it with others? Who will you share this with this week? 7.Read the prayer from the challenge in the sermon. What are we really praying when we pray this prayer?

Jesus’ Parable of the Weeds

Ken Gennicks


Description: Jesus’ Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. Today, Jesus’ Parable of the Weeds, the second of eight parables in this chapter, is one of the most practical parables Jesus ever told. The pictures within this parable were familiar to the people of Galilee who heard it for the first time. Jesus explained His kingdom will not be pure: I. Information in the parable (13:24-30) A. The diligence of a sower (13:24) B. The discovery by the sower (13:25-28) C. The dilemma of the sower (13:29) D. The decision of the sower (13:30) II. Interpretation of the parable (13:36-34) A. The sower is Christ (13:36-37) B. The enemy is the devil (13:39a) C. The field is the world (13:38a) D. The good seed is believers (13:38b) E. The weeds are unbelievers (13:38c) F. The harvest is the end of the age (13:39b) G. The reapers are angels (13: 39c-41) H. The granary is heaven (13:43) I. The furnace is hell (13:42)III. Insights from the parable (13:24-30, 36-43)A. There is always a hostile power in the world, seeking and waiting to destroy the good seed B. It is very hard to distinguish between those who are in the kingdom from those who are notC. The kingdom will not be pure, but we must not be so quick with our judgmentsD. Judgment does come in the endE. The only Person with the right to judge is GodCONCLUSIONSadly, many excuse themselves from the kingdom because of the weeds they find here. So this parable is a warning not to judge people at all, and it is a warning that in the end there comes the judgment of God. Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. How would you define or describe a parable? Why did Jesus, the Master Teacher, often use parables to communicate (see Matthew 13:11-17)?2. Someone defined a parable as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. What earthly story did Jesus use in Matthew 13:24-30? What heavenly meaning does it illustrate? What’s the value of Jesus’ own interpretation of His parable for us (13:36-43)?3. Read Matthew 13:24-30. A. Why would someone actually sow weeds into somebody’s wheat field? What does this picture in this parable? B. How hard is it to distinguish between some types of similar plants? What’s the point from this parable?C. How disappointing is it to know that the wheat field will not be perfect? Why did Jesus want us to know this now?D. Knowing that it is not our job to try to uproot all the weeds right now, does this make you glad, or mad? Content, or disillusioned? Explain. 4. Why do you think Jesus used this illustration to explain his kingdom?5. What do we make of people who live like judgement will never come? What does this parable say about it? 6. Ken surfaced five insights from our study of this parable. What additional insights could you add to our list now? 7. Why is it so hard to distinguish wheat from weeds? Do you judge people accordingly? Is that right of you? Are you able to read a person’s heart? Does God need your help to be the Judge?8. How would you describe the diligence of the sower in this parable? What does this tell us about Jesus? How should this effect us if we want to be like Jesus?9. Because Jesus taught that hell is a real place, why should we take Him seriously?10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Jesus’ Parable of the Sower

Ken Gennicks


Description: Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23; 2 Corinthians 9:6) INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. Today’s text, Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, reveals so much insight for our daily walk with Christ. The three parts of this parable are the sower, the seed and the soils. The sower and the seed are the same throughout the parable, but four kinds of soils represent four kinds of people today, prompting us to: I. Sow generously (2 Corinthians 9:6) II. Anticipate difficulties (Matthew 13:3-7, 18-22)A. Closed soil/heart/church (13:3-4, 19)B. Crowded soil/heart/church (13:5-6, 20-21)C. Cluttered soil/heart/church (13:7, 22)D. Committed soil/heart/church (13:8, 23)III. Reap the harvest (Matthew 13:8, 23) CONCLUSIONYou will never reap a harvest if you never plant a seed. Every believer is the sower. Our seed is the Gospel, and each of us fits into one category of the four soils. Which soil type (people group) have you been most like?1. No-growth people (13:4, 19)2. Shallow-growth people (13:5-6, 20-21)3. Stunted-growth people (13:7, 22)4. Full-growth people (13:8, 23)Our hearts must be like well-cultivated ground, ready and receptive to receive the Word of God. God’s Word counsels us regarding our hearts and churches, saying, Break up your unplowed ground, for it is time to seek the Lord (Hosea 10:12). Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. How would you define or describe a parable? Why did Jesus, the Master Teacher, often use parables to communicate (see Matthew 13:11-17)?2. Someone defined a parable as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. What earthly story did Jesus use in Matthew 13:1-23? What heavenly meaning does it illustrate? Explain how an earthly story from 2,000 years ago still speaks so clearly today in such a timeless way.3. Read Matthew 13:1-23. If you had been in the crowd when Jesus shared this parable, how would have felt (circle your answer)?A. What’s He saying? B. Wonder which soil I am?C. Is He saying something to me?D. Who does He think He is?4. Why do you think Jesus used this illustration to explain how people receive His message?A. He was sick and tired of people tagging along and doing nothing.B. They were sitting in a wheat field.C. Everybody would understand sowing seeds throughout the centuries.D. He deliberately wanted to keep some people in the dark.5. What is the crop that the seed is supposed to produce? A. Wheat B. The lifestyle of Jesus C. New converts to the faithD. Spirituality E. Other: 6. Was there a period in your past when you were stronger spiritually than you are today? How do you account for the change? How could you grow stronger again now? How can a person do as the prophet Hosea advised, Break up your unplowed ground , for it is time to seek the Lord (Hosea 10:12)? 7. What may have hardened your heart over time? What things sometimes crowd out the Gospel and living for Jesus in your life today?8. Today’s parable suggests that 3/4 of the Gospel seeds we sow will not bear fruit to maturity. Does this statistic discourage you from sowing, or does it prompt you to sow all the more? Why do some respond one way to this, and some another?9. If you take 2 Corinthians 9:6 seriously for the next 30 days, what will that look like? Which of the four soils are you most like today? Will you do Hosea 10:12 now?10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

What Matters Most to Me?

Casey McCormick


Description: What Matters Most to Me? Matthew 12:38-45 What do I care about?1. Jesus’ reputation or mine?2. God blessing me or me blessing God?3. An effective life or a good life? I do NOT care about:1. Being honored. (v. 38)2. Being blessed. (vv.39-42)3. Being good. (vv.43-45) I care about: 1. Making Jesus’ name great. (John 3:30)2. Being a blessing. (Ephesians 2:8-10)3. Walking by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) Bottom Line I care about Jesus because He cares about me. (I John 4:19) Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life 1. Last week, the sermon was about controlling your tongue. How well have you been applying that to your life?2. What matters most to you? What do you care about? 3. Read Matthew 12:38-45.A. What stands out to you in this passage?B. What is something that is either new or fresh?C. What questions do you have? (It may be best to find the answers before you continue.)4. At this point in your life, do you believe that your faith in Jesus has been more beneficial to you or to others? Who has benefited greatly because of your faith?5. How much time and energy do you spend trying to be good? How might you better spend that time?6. How might being honored, blessed, and good be a good thing for Jesus? Read John 1:6-8 to find the answer.7. When are you most reminded that Jesus loves you? (Bible study, Church, while serving, while watching TV, etc.) Once you figure it out, make a decision and plan to do more of that.8. In preparation for Easter, spend some time this week reading Matthew 26-28.

Getting God’s Grip on My Tongue

Ken Gennicks


Description: Getting God’s Grip on My Tongue (Matthew 12:22-24, 34-37; Book of Proverbs) INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. When the Pharisees make accusations against Jesus, He reveals that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word we have spoken. The Book of Proverbs uses the words tongue, lips, mouth and words 150 times, valuable wisdom and guidance: I. Wrong uses of my tongueA. Deceitful flattery (Pr. 26:24, 28)B. Gossip (Pr. 16:28; 26:20)C. Angry words (Pr. 29:11, 22)D. Bragging (Pr. 27:2)E. Lies (Pr. 6:16-19) II. Right uses of my tongueA. Encouragement (Pr. 12:25; 16:24)B. Teaching, witnessing, comforting (Pr. 13:14; 11:30)C. Sound advice, wise counsel (Pr. 12:15; 15:7)D. Rebuke, correction, spiritual exhortation (Pr. 27:5-6) III. Questions to ask before I speakA. Is it true?B. Is it confidential?C. Is it kind?D. Is it necessary?E. Is it my story to tell? CONCLUSIONWords reveal the condition of our heart. Jesus said, Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Mt. 12:34). So this is really a heart-matter, and only Jesus can change a heart! God honors the person who daily yields their tongue to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Trust and honor Him always with your words and with all your life! Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. Read Matthew 12:22-24, 34-37. What did Jesus teach about the importance of our words, especially in verses 36-37? What are your thoughts about this?2. The Book of Proverbs uses the words tongue, lips, mouth and words 150 times. Why would a book of wisdom literature like the Proverbs say so much about this? Read through the 31 chapters of the Proverbs and try to find as many as possible.3. Use a concordance to look up Bible references for the words: tongue, words, mouth and gossip. Now read 2 Timothy 2:16, 24 and James 3:2-12. Jesus says, From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Mt. 12:34), and someone else said, The tongue is the ambassador of the heart. Explain how this is true.4. How do you use your words? Ask an honest, trusted to friend to help you see this area of your life more objectively by rating your words as follows: My words are kind and gracious. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 My words are unkind and sharp. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 My words are encouraging. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 My words are not so helpful to others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 My words bless and appreciate. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 My words complain and critique. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5. Make two lists: how words can be used for good, then how they can be misused: Misused: For Good: A. A.B. B.C. C.D. D.E. E.F. F.6. Read I Thessalonians 4:11-12. Write out these verses and post them on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, over your kitchen sink, in your car, in your locker, and at your office. Why is it helpful to commit these verses to memory? 7. Ken suggested five questions to ask yourself before you speak. Why are these helpful? Which one do you personally need to keep before you more often? Why?8. What words spoken to you in your childhood or early life can you still recall today that had a high impact on you, some for good, and some that are painful? What’s the value of keeping this in mind every day?9. One positive, New Testament command is to Greet one another, because your words have power. Are you obeying this command every day, every Sunday?10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

The Greatness of Jesus: Lord of the Sabbath

Ken Gennicks


Description:The Greatness of Jesus: Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14) INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. Today’s text marks a major turning point in Jesus’ ministry when His own people reject Him and His teaching: I. The incident (12:1)II. The indictment (12:2)III. The instruction (12:3-8)A. God’s Sabbath did not restrict deeds of necessity (12:3-4)B. God’s Sabbath did not restrict service to God (12:5-6)C. God’s Sabbath did not restrict acts of mercy (12:7-8)IV. The illustration (12:9-13) V. The insurrection (12:14) CONCLUSIONThe Greatness of Jesus is seen here in His authority to overrule laws concerning the Sabbath, particularly as interpreted by the Pharisees, the religious elite (12:6, 8):1. The religious elite had twisted God’s Sabbath blessing into a Sabbath burden2. There is no Sabbath rest besides Jesus, so Christians are not required to obey Sabbath laws (Col. 2:16-17; Gal. 4:9-10; Rom. 14:5-6; I John 5:3)3. By resting in Christ for salvation, we fulfill the Sabbath requirement (Mt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:9-10)4. We should follow a healthy cycle of work and rest 5. Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and restless is our heart until it rests in Thee! Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. How would you describe the attitude of the religious people in Matthew 12:2? Do you know anybody with this attitude? How often is this attitude in your heart? Why? How damaging is this attitude today? What’s the solution?2. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F God’s Sabbath did not restrict deeds of necessity (12:3-4).T F God’s Sabbath did not restrict service to God (12:5-6).T F God’s Sabbath did not restrict acts of mercy (12:7-8, 13).T F The only true rest is found in walking with Christ.T F The religious elite had twisted God’s Word.T F Resting on the Sabbath was a picture of resting in Christ.T F Jesus attended public worship every week (Lk. 4:16). T F Christians must obey the Sabbath rules.T F Witnessing a miracle changed everyone’s heart (Mt. 12:13-14).T F What began in Matthew 12:14 ended on the cross.T F Jesus is greater than the temple and the Sabbath. T F There are no valuable Sabbath principles for us today. T F Religious people today never twist Scripture like the Pharisees.3. In Matthew 12:3-4, what is the point about David in regard to the Sabbath (I Sam. 21:1-6)?4. How had the Pharisees neglected the meaning of, I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Mt. 12:7; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8)? What will the same mistake look like if we make it today?5. What does Jesus imply by His claim in Mt. 12:8? How do the Pharisees react?6. How is the Pharisees’ question in Mt. 12:10 a trap for Jesus? 7. What does Jesus say and do to show that He is the authoritative interpreter of the law, greater than the temple, greater than the Sabbath, and ultimately God Himself (Mt. 12:6, 8, 13)? How is this text about The Greatness of Jesus?8. If people today could only see something tangible, a miracle, they would believe, right? If so, how do explain the Pharisees’ response to seeing a miracle in Mt. 12:13-14? If faith doesn’t come by seeing tangible miracles, how does it come (Rom. 10:17)?9. Can any amount of religious ritual bring rest to the soul? How can we explain to everyone that rest for the soul is only found in a relationship with Christ? How many times does the word, rest, appear in Mt. 11:28-30? Why? 10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Jesus’ Personal Invitation: Come To Me

Ken Gennicks


Description: Jesus’ Personal Invitation: Come To Me (Matthew 11:28-30)INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel, and today we come to a wonderful Bible text! If you are weary or burdened, feel like you’re running on empty, accept Jesus’ Personal Invitation today, and find rest for your soul: I. Come to Me (11:28) A. Come on His terms B. Come as you are C. Come immediately II. Take My Yoke (11:29) A. Connection: Be with Me B. Direction: Follow Me C. Cooperation: Work with Me III. Learn from Me (11:29-30) A. We find rest once we learn the yoke’s on us (v. 29a) B. We find rest once we learn the yoke’s on Him (v. 29b) C. We find rest once we learn that no one gets tired of a really good yoke. (v. 30)CONCLUSIONSomeone said: Know Jesus, know peace; no Jesus, no peace. If you’re walking with Jesus but running on empty, weary or anxious, try some practical steps:1. Be sure to take one day off every week.2. Practice a daily quiet time.3. Listen to uplifting Christian music, or a Bible teacher.4. Enjoy a hobby that has nothing to do with your assigned responsibilities.5. Get into a healthy group.6. Take a mission trip with a church group.7. Occasionally take a long break from your routine.8. Get some exercise regularly.Wait on the Lord and He will meet you there! (Is. 40:31) Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. When is the last time you felt weary or burdened? What caused it? How did you handle it all?2. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F A real Christian never feels inner turmoil. T F No one with authentic faith would struggle with grief or confusion. T F Sincere faith is never discouraged, and never knows anxiety. T F The only true, lasting peace is in walking with Christ. T F Hard times can prompt us to pray and seek the Lord. T F Trouble can bring humility and keep us from pride. T F Testing usually deepens us spiritually. T F Taking a day off every week is part of the solution. T F Physical exercise and exertion can help. T F Listening to Christian music can relieve anxiety. T F Developing one or two close, trusted friends is helpful. T F A mission trip with a church group changes our perspective. T F A break from your routine can be a lifesaver. 3. Read Isaiah 40:31. How is this verse helpful in today’s discussion?4. Read Matthew 11:28-30. Which of the three verses do you like best? Why? Underline these verses in your Bible and commit them to memory now.5. How often do you feel weary, anxious, or burned out? Why?6. Ken concluded with eight practical ideas for overcoming weariness, anxiety and burnout. Which of these are you willing to try this week? How could these practical ideas bring you peace and rest?7. If you aren’t walking with Jesus right now, what’s keeping you from coming to Him on His terms, just as you are, immediately?8. What is pictured by the yoke, in today’s Bible text? How is the picture helpful when we are yoked with Christ Himself?9. Jesus’ Personal Invitation here, in Matthew 11:28-30, contains three commands. List each now and explain how you plan to obey, or to disobey. Explain. 10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

Responding Negatively to Christ

Shane Baker


Description: Responding Negatively to Christ (Matthew 11:16-24)IntroductionSometimes in life we see something, but the way that we see it, is not the way that someone else sees it. And sometimes we are so convinced that we are right, that we are unwilling to see it any other way.1.Jesus Reveals How Some People Respond to Him.Criticism - Nope, you’re wrong.2.Jesus Reveals a Second Way People Respond to Him.Indifference - They couldn’t care less.3.Jesus Reveals How We Should Respond to Him.John 14:6 - John 5:24 - John 3:16-18 - Luke 10:25-28 - ConclusionPeople, the message of Christ is a matter of life and death, and you better take it seriously. This is not something to take lightly or to play around with or to take chances with. You are either all in, or all out. Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life 1. Are you good at listening to other’s thoughts and ideas or is it usually your way or the highway?2. What might be the benefit of listening to others’ ideas?3. What was the problem of the people in Korazin, Bethsaida and Sodom? And what was the result of their problem?4. Why do you think the people of these cities were indifferent to the message of Christ?5. Are you currently responding negatively to Christ through your actions…sins?6. What changes need to be brought about in your life so that you are responding positively to Christ?

John the Baptist Imprisoned: Why Trouble?”

Ken Gennicks


Description: John the Baptist Imprisoned: Why Trouble? (Matthew 11:1-3, 11a)INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. In Matthew 11, John the Baptist is imprisoned for his preaching. And although John had a strong, fiery faith, suffering and trouble, over time, had taken its toll. Even strong faith will be tested! But why??? Why trouble? 1. To encourage us to pray (Psalm 50:1) 2. To keep us from pride (2 Cor. 12:7) 3. To deepen us spiritually (Romans 5:3-4) 4. To advance the Gospel (Philippians 1:12) 5. To focus our attention on God (Psalm 77:2) 6. To help us see that God is wiser (Job 23:10; I Pet. 1:7) 7. To bring praise and glory to God (John 11:4)CONCLUSIONIn heaven God will banish all sorrow for those who have trusted Christ! But in the meantime, trouble can make us stronger and shape us into the likeness of Jesus! And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)! Give us faith to trust You, Lord! Have Your way in me, today! Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. What is it about the suffering of John the Baptist that can help us today? Why?2. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F Strong faith never wavers, doubts, or asks questions. T F No one with authentic faith would struggle with grief or confusion. T F Sincere faith is never discouraged, and never knows anxiety. T F A true Christian never experiences inner turmoil. T F Hard times can prompt us to pray and seek the Lord. T F Trouble can bring humility and keep us from pride. T F Testing usually deepens us spiritually. T F Suffering prepares us to serve others more effectively. T F Trials might help focus our attention on God. T F Pain can make us better, or bitter. T F Affliction is gold in the making for the child of God. T F God wants our company more than He wants our comfort. T F God can use our pain to shape us to be like Jesus.3. If a disciple’s goal is to be like Jesus, what can suffering do to help?4. Read Romans 5:3-5. Do you think a person is more apt to grow closer to God during times of ease, or during times of strain? Why? How is it for you?5. John the Baptist’s faith was strong and fiery, yet when trouble came and stayed, John experienced questions, confusion, and even doubt. Why is it helpful for us to know this and remember it? How can it help us?6. How is it possible that one person suffers and grows stronger, while another person suffers the same but falters? Explain your answer.7. Underline Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4 in your Bible. What’s the value of memorizing Bible texts like these?8. Old Testament Job suffered terribly. Underline Job 23:10 and commit it to memory. How is suffering gold in the making for the child of God? Compare I Peter 1:7.9. Although suffering was never in God’s original plan, listing the benefits of suffering can bring some meaning to it all. Ken listed seven potential benefits from Scripture. Which benefit have you most experienced from your troubles? Which benefit have you experienced least? Could you add an eighth benefit to our list? Or a ninth, tenth, and so on?10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

A Sheep and a Shepherd

Casey McCormick


Description: A Sheep and a Shepherd Matthew 10:16-23Why does Jesus send us out “like sheep among wolves”? (v.16)1.It’s the example set by Jesus.2.It’s the way to follow Jesus. (John 10:4)3.It tests our faith in Jesus. 4.It’s the way to Eternal Life. (John 10:9)5.It’s the way to a fulfilling life (John 10:10)What might the “wolves” look like?1.The Religious (v.17)2.The Government (v.18)3.Our Family (v.21)How do we live like “sheep”?1.Be wise like a snake, and innocent like a dove. (v.16)2.A sheep trusts in The Shepherd for help. (vv.19-20)3.A sheep doesn’t give up. (v.22)4.A sheep values its own life, in a way to give it to The Shepherd, and others. (v.23) The most important decision a sheep can make is to follow The Shepherd. (John 10: 14, 15) Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus? How is it different now than it was 5 years ago?2.How has Jesus been a Shepherd to you?3.Think of a time you felt very weak, or vulnerable. How did you rely on Jesus in that time? If you didn’t, how would you rely on Him if put in that situation again?4.Jesus is not asking you to do more than He did. Jesus was sent to Earth and was very vulnerable, as discussed in the sermon. Read Hebrews 4:14-16. How might you understand this idea better after hearing today’s sermon?5.When have you been attacked by “wolves” in the form of:a.the religious?b.the government?c.your family?6.Being a sheep, or a disciple of Jesus, may present many challenges and forms of persecution. How does Jesus guide us to avoid persecution? (Matthew 10:16, 23a)7.Who is the person you most want to share Jesus with? What has held you back from doing so up to this point in time?a.After reading about the urgency in Matthew 10:23b, what step will you take to share the Gospel with that person this week?

Jesus & John the Baptist: Why Baptism?

Ken Gennicks


Description: Jesus & John the Baptist: Why Baptism? (Matthew 11:1-6)INTRODUCTIONOur sermon series is a verse-by-verse study of Matthew’s Gospel. Today, in Matthew 11, we meet the colorful John the Baptist, and wonder, Why Baptism? 1. Because of Jesus’ practice (Mark 1:9-11) 2. Because of Jesus’ procedure for making disciples (Mt. 28:18-20) 3. Because of the NT church’s pattern (Acts 2:37-41; 8:12, 36; 9:18) 4. Because of what it pictures (Romans 6:3-4) 5. Because of the Apostles’ proclamation (Col. 2:12) 6. Because it is a promise we make to God (Hebrews 11:6) 7. Because its intention was to produce unity and harmony through a common experience (Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 4:4) 8. Because baptism evokes humility over our pride (2 Kings 5) 9. Because the Greek word is precise (Mark 1:9-11; Acts 2:37-38)10. Because of the process of starting over again (I Peter 3:20-22; John 3:5)CONCLUSIONBaptism is a public expression of our faith in Jesus Christ! Our old man dies and is buried in the watery grave of baptism, like Jesus’ death, then comes up out of the water, like His resurrection, to walk this new life with God! Few teachings have as many Bible references as baptism. Study them and ask God to lead you. Today, from the Bible, we have answered, Why Baptism? We conclude by asking, Why not baptism? Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life 1. What comes to mind when you hear the name of John the Baptist? Why?2. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F John the Baptist is a good example for us to emulate. T F John the Baptist had some unusual characteristics. T F John the Baptist wanted to increase above Jesus. T F Like John, we must decrease so Jesus can increase. T F John suffered with doubts but brought them to Jesus. T F John's faith was never tested in prison. T F John was a fiery orator who lacked humility. T F It is possible to be confident and humble at the same time.3. If a disciple’s goal is to be like Jesus, what will Mark 1:9-11 prompt?4. What two things does Jesus command us to do in order to make disciples, in Matthew 28:18-20?5. What common theme do you see in the New Testament church’s practice when you read Acts 2:37-41; 8:12, 36; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15, 30-33; and 22:16? Why not make the Bible our standard for faith and practice in our lives and churches in every regard today?6. In 2 Kings 5, a proud man named Naaman resisted washing in the River Jordan as instructed by God’s prophet, Elisha. Why was Naaman resistant? Who or what helped him overcome his reluctance? How can we see ourselves or others like us in this man, Naaman, today, when it comes to Christian baptism?7. Why do we all need the opportunity to start over again (John 3:1-5)?8. John the Baptist was totally committed to pointing others to Jesus. What price did he willingly pay for this commitment? How would you rate your own commitment to doing this? Why?9. List the ways that your life points others to Jesus right now. Be specific. What changes could you make to better point others to Jesus? Make a list. Would you be willing to take an action step and start doing some of the things you listed now? Discuss and pray about it with a friend this week. Get started now.10. In light to today’s Bible study, I will:

The Marks of Christ’s Disciple

Ken Gennicks


Description: The Marks of Christ’s Disciple Matthew 10:24-42INTRODUCTIONAs we study through Matthew’s Gospel, in today’s Bible text Jesus reveals the Job Description for His disciples, identifying six marks of true discipleship: I. A disciple imitates his Master (10:24-25)II. A disciple isn’t worried about the world (10:26-31)III. A disciple openly confesses Christ before the world (10:32-33)IV. A disciple’s first relationship is with Christ (10:34-37)V. A disciple offers his own life (10:38-39)VI. A disciple will be richly rewarded (10:40-42)CONCLUSIONToday Jesus calls all who will follow Him to make disciples of all the nations, across the street and across the sea, by baptizing them and teaching to observe all that He has commanded (Mt. 28:19)! Disciple-making is the central work of the people of Christ’s church, and it is a two-fold process: (1) reaching the lost for Christ; and, (2) helping them grow in His knowledge and likeness! Each one of us should make sure that we are being discipled in our faith so we can heed Christ’s call to make disciples! May our lives be marked by true discipleship today and always, according to Jesus in Matthew 10! Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life 1. If you had made your own list of the marks of Christ’s disciple before you had heard today’s sermon, how would your list read? Write out your best six guesses. How does your list compare and contrast with what we’ve surfaced from today’s Bible Study?2. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F When discipleship makes me uncomfortable, I should ask myself how uncomfortable the rugged timber of the cross must have felt upon Jesus’ bloody back as He bore it through the streets of Jerusalem.T F Today’s Christian world may have fallen into an easier, unbiblical, believism that doesn’t require much from church-goers.T F Personally, I’m not interested in anything more than occasionally attending a nice church that meets all my needs.T F I reject the idea that Christ requires anything of me.T F Jesus’ words are everything to me: life, blessing and peace.T F I will follow Him no matter where or when He calls.T F I will serve Him by humbly serving others in His name.T F I am not looking for my reward in this world, but in heaven.T F I’m not into the temporary trappings and comfort this world offers.T F My goal is to share my faith, explain the Gospel and make disciples.T F I am committed to studying, learning, growing, going, teaching and doing whatever it takes to make disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ.T F I am not worried or afraid of what tomorrow might bring; my hope is in the Lord alone, and He is sufficient for me.3. Consider God’s call and process of making disciples by reading:A. Matthew 10:2-4, 24-42B. Matthew 28:16-20C. Genesis 12:1D. Isaiah 6:1-9a4. How do songs like these speak to today’s study about discipleship from Matthew 10? A. Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. B.I gave My life for thee; what hast thou given for Me? C.O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise! D.Jesus is tenderly calling today. 5. After studying Jesus’ words from Matthew 10, I will:

How to Work Effectively for Christ

Ken Gennicks


Description: How to Work Effectively for Christ (Matthew 10:5-15) INTRODUCTIONAs we study through Matthew’s Gospel, today’s Bible text surfaces seven timeless principles for effectively serving Christ:I. We remember we are sent by Christ Himself (10:5a)II.We have a central objective: seek the lost (10:5b-6)III. We have a clear responsibility: preach Christ’s kingdom (10:7-8a)IV. We have a confident faith: God is faithful (10:8b-10)V. We have a settled commitment: stay satisfied in Christ (10:11)VI. We concentrate on the receptive (10:12-13a)VII. We intentionally overlook poor treatment (10:13b-15) CONCLUSIONIt’s possible to work hard and be ineffective. We must not only work hard, but work wisely and follow Christ’s timeless principles. We want our work for Christ to be effective because, indeed, His work on our behalf was so effective at Calvary: our sins were nailed to His cross and we are forgiven! How do you apply today’s Bible study?1. Meet needs (10:8a)2. Freely give (10:8b)3. Trust God for support (10:9-10)4. Leave the results with God (10:15)5. Deliver the message (10:7)Follow Jesus’ teaching and enjoy effectiveness as His disciple, resulting in peace, joy and fruitfulness in the Lord! Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life 1. Read Matthew 10:5-15. What did Jesus do before sending out His disciples (the answer is summed up in the first seven words of Matthew 10:1)?2. Why is it essential to remember that Jesus is our Divine Sender, in Matthew 10:5a, and that we have not sent ourselves?3. What will happen to a believer and his church if they overlook their central objective is to reach the lost and make disciples for Christ (10:5-6a)4. Why should a disciple and his church intentionally maintain Christ-centered preaching, teaching, singing, and living? What happens when we don’t?5. How important is to believe that where God guides, He provides (10:8b-10)?6. After Jesus sent them out (10:5a), He told them to stay (10:11). Do these two commands contradict themselves? Why, or why not? What did Jesus mean? What’s the application for us as we serve Him today?7. Why did Jesus tell His disciples to focus on those who are receptive (10:12-13a)?8. Should we expect poor treatment and plan in advance to overlook it (10:13b-15)? What’s the advantage if we expect it and plan to overlook it? What’s the danger of not expecting it and planning to overlook it?9. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study:T F I can apply today’s Bible study by meeting needs around me.T F I will follow Jesus’ teaching closely by giving freely.T F I will live with confidence in God’s provision.T F If we don’t see good results, we haven’t done a good job.T F Needs around me are not my responsibility.T F I refuse to overlook and forgive poor treatment. T F I am satisfied to stay put and serve Christ joyfully where He places me.10. There is discussion among Bible students as to which supernatural apostolic credentials were restricted to the original apostles: heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons, freely give (10:8-9), etc. Like the noble Bereans who searched the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 15:11), let us do the same! Dig deeper by studying a book by John MacArthur, Strange Fire, and listen at Grace To You Ministries ( In light of today’s study, I will:

Biographies of the Twelve: Judas Iscariot

Shane Baker


Description: Biographies of the Twelve: Judas Iscariot (Matthew 10:4) IntroductionAs we study Matthew’s Gospel, we’re doing a biographical sketch of the original twelve disciples, surfacing some helpful lessons about our own discipleship. Today we’ll take a look at the final disciple, Judas Iscariot. Judas Called by Jesus (Matthew 10:1-4) Judas Called the Devil. (John 6:70-71) Judas at Lazarus’ House (John 12:4) Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16) Judas at the Passover Meal (John 13:1-5, 12, 21-27) Judas Aided in Jesus’ Arrest (John 18:1-6; Matthew 26:47-50) Judas Hangs Himself (Matthew 27:1-5) Application:We may fool each other, but we won’t fool Jesus. OK to be BrokenOK to be PersecutedOK to be You ConclusionWe have limited time left on this earth and we better get more concerned with being a light for Jesus and spreading the Gospel than we are with living for ourselves. If there is something we learn from the life of Judas Iscariot, it’s that we shouldn’t live our life in the way that he lived his. Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. Do you think that Judas’ reason for following Christ was the same as the other disciples in the beginning? Why or why not? (Matthew 10:1-4)2. In John 12 when they were at Lazarus’ house, do you think Judas was truly concerned about helping the poor, or do you think he had other motives?3.How is it possible to be so close to Christ and yet remain selfish? See Matthew 26:14-16.4. Why do you think Judas asked if he would be the one to betray Jesus at the Passover meal when he already knew he would be the one?5. Why is it significant that Judas handed Jesus over to the authorities in John 18:1-6 or Matthew 26:47-50 with a kiss?6. How will the study of the disciple Judas change your life?

Biographies of the Twelve: James, Son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas (Not Iscariot)

Shane Baker


Description: Biographies of the Twelve: James, Son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas (Not Iscariot) (Matthew 10:3-4) IntroductionAs we study Matthew’s Gospel, we’re doing a biographical sketch of the original twelve disciples, surfacing some helpful lessons about our own discipleship. Today we’ll take a look into the lives of James, Son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas (Not Iscariot). Listed as Disciples of Jesus (Matthew 10:3-4) Lived with Jesus Lost Their Lives for Jesus Application: Find Jesus Fight the Good Fight Finish Well ConclusionThese past several weeks we have been studying the lives of the disciples of Jesus. However, if we look at the Bible as a whole, the amount that was written about these men is very small. Even when they are being talked about, the focus was not on them…the focus was always Jesus! Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life 1. Which of the 11 disciples that we have studied do you feel like you relate to the most? Why?2. Why do you think that Jesus called ordinary men to be his disciples instead of priests or government officials?3. Would you be willing to lay down your life for Jesus’ name?4. Tell us the story of when Jesus became the Lord and Savior of your life?5. What are you currently doing to strengthen your relationship with Christ?6. What does it mean to you when you hear the phrase “finish well for Christ”?

The Doubted (Matthew) & The Doubter (Thomas)

Casey McCormick


Description:The Doubted (Matthew) & The Doubter (Thomas) The Doubters of Matthew1. The Religious2. The Sinners3. HimselfThe Doubts of Thomas 1. He doubted Jesus’ power. (John 11:16) 2. He doubted Jesus’ plan. (John 14:5,6) 3. He doubted his own peers. (John 20:25) If Matthew was the Doubted and Thomas was the Doubter, then Jesus is the Believer and the Believed. The Belief of Jesus 1. Jesus believed in Matthew by saying “Follow Me”. 2. Jesus helped Thomas to believe by proving Himself. Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1. Do you feel more like Matthew or Thomas? Explain.2. In what setting do you feel most comfortable? Who are some people you feel most comfortable being around?3. In what setting do you feel least comfortable? Who are some people you feel least comfortable being around?4. Have your answers to #1 and #2 changed in the last 5 years? 10 years? 30 years?5. How often do you doubt yourself? What reasons cause you to do this?6. Who is the person who believed in you the most? What impact did their belief have on you?7. What are some things that have caused the most doubt in your life? Have you found answers? If not, do you feel like you still need to find them?8. How might you give non-Christians a reason to doubt your faith? In what ways do you need to grow as a disciple of Jesus?9. Can you think of someone who you may be able to encourage, or help them grow in their faith?10. What do you desire from Jesus this year? How might He help you in your faith? (As you seek, don’t limit yourself to your own thoughts, but instead, seek His thoughts through the Bible.)


Casey McCormick


Description: Nathanael John 1:43-51What do we learn about Nathanael?1. Nathanael was seeking (vv.43-45)2. Nathanael studied the Old Testament (v.45)3. Nathanael was a normal person (vv.46-48)4. Nathanael had faith after meeting Jesus (vv.49-51)What do we learn about Jesus?1. Jesus is the seeker (vv.43-45)2. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament (v.45)3. Jesus knows the heart of a normal person (vv.46-48)4. Jesus is the only reason for our faith (vv.49-51)This Bible text is so much more about Jesus than it is about Nathanael. Applying Today’s Sermon to Your Life1.Of the 12 Disciples we have studied so far (Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, and now Nathanael), who do you feel you relate to the most? Who is the most inspiring or has the best story that you can remember?2.How were you introduced to Jesus? How do you feel your has your faith grown since? 3.Nathanael had a good friend (Philip) tell him about Jesus? Who have you told about Jesus? Think of one person who you will share Jesus with this month.4.Nathanael knew the Bible going into this story. What books of the Bible do you feel you need to learn more about to have a stronger understanding? Consider joining the church in our Bible reading plan beginning tomorrow.5.Nathanael had some prejudice feelings towards Nazareth, and possibly Jesus. Can you think of a person you had prejudice feelings about because of age, race, gender, hometown, etc. BUT, your feelings completely changed after you got to know that person?6.Life can present many challenges. At times, we may find very little good. How does Philip present Jesus in John 1:45? How does the way he presents Jesus give us hope?7.How do you feel that God can use you most in 2017? Pray about it. Talk about it. Go after it!

A Christmas Alphabet

Ken Gennicks


Description: A Christmas Alphabet (Matthew 2; Luke 1-2; Revelation 1:8) INTRODUCTIONCelebrate Christmas Day by worshiping Jesus, The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Rev. 1:8)! Surface the all-encompassing message of Christ by letting each letter of our alphabet remind us of the true meaning:A N B O C P D Q E R F S G T H U I V J W K X L Y M Z CONCLUSIONOn Christmas morning, the final Sunday of 2016, let the all-encompassing Christ cleanse and control you, from A to Z! --Applying Today’s Sermon--1. Read the Christmas story at home today from Luke 1-2, Matthew 2, and Revelation 1:8. What stands out to you from this story on Christmas Day?2. Have some fun making up your own Christmas alphabet without using any of the words from today’s Bible study! But you must add a Bible reference beside each one! Brainstorm together and make this a fun, family activity: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 3. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F Christ’s call encompasses every area of my life. T F Jesus is either Lord of everything, or He isn’t Lord at all. T F It’s enough to remember Jesus at Christmas and Easter. T F This last Sunday of 2016 is time to recommit myself to Christ. T F The cross reminds us why He came. T F Like Mary, I say YES to God’s call upon my life now. T F Today I count my blessings and I am thankful to God. 4. In light of today’s study, I will:

Mary's Response to the Christmas Angel

Ken Gennicks


Description: Mary’s Response to the Christmas Angel (Luke 1:26-38) We take a break from our study of Matthew’s Gospel today to examine and apply a favorite Christmas text from Luke’s Gospel, when the angel Gabriel visited Mary in Nazareth. As Mary answered God’s call with simple faith and total commitment, may we follow her example with this prayer for our Christmas season and the New Year ahead: I am the Lord’s servant; may it be to me as you have said (1:38). I. Possess my THOUGHTS, O Lord! (Phil. 4:8; Col. 3:1-3; 2 Cor. 10:5)II. Possess my SPENDING, O Lord! (Lk. 12:15; Pr. 3:9-10; Pr. 27:23-24)III. Possess my EYES, O Lord! (Job 31:1; I John 2:16; Pr. 27:20)IV. Possess my EARS, O Lord! (Rom. 10:17; Mk. 4:13-20; Rev. 2:7,11)V. Possess my TONGUE, O Lord! (Jas. 3:2; 4:11-12; Philemon6; Eph. 5:19)VI. Possess my FEET, O Lord! (Jas. 1:22; I Pet. 4:10; Mk. 10:45; Eph. 2:10)CONCLUSIONLet Mary’s prayer in Luke 1:38 guide you to pray likewise throughout this season and the year ahead: I am totally Yours, Lord, and I acknowledge You as the Owner and Operator of my life, exclusively Your possession! Draw near to God by using the 2017 Monthly Prayer Guide and the 2017 Bible Reading Plan in your bulletin today. Extend the Prayer Guide to include your other personal issues. May Mary’s Response to the Christmas Angel become our response to God’s call and claim upon our lives and our churches today and always! Applying Today’s Sermon1. Mary’s initial reaction to the angel was:a. fear b. confusion c. doubtd. faith e. concern f. curiosity g. gladness h. other: 2. After this encounter with the angel, how did Mary see herself?a. ascending to the throne b. as a lowly servantc. as a surrogate motherd. as an ordinary person 3. One way I can bring the Savior into the world right now is to: a. talk about my relationship to Christ with others b. help those in need around me c. do everything in a spirit of joy and gratitude d. guard my mouth against gossip and complaining e. work with honesty and integrity at school and work f. celebrate God’s love in worship with other believers g. persuade my family and community to observe God’s ways 4. TRUE or FALSE from today’s Bible study: T F My though-life is no big deal to God. T F God doesn’t care how I spend my money. T F What I look at is my own business. T F What I listen to does not impact my faith. T F Everybody lies so it’s no big deal. T F I’m busy so God doesn’t expect me to help anyone. T F Staying inside my comfort zone is no big deal to God. T F My life is not my own to do with as I please. T F Like mary, I will answer God’s call upon my life now. T F My life belongs to God and other, and it’s not my own 5. My biggest concern about bringing Christ into my world is:a. I’m not sure if Christ has entered my worldb. I don’t know enough about Himc. I never know what to sayd. I’m not sure I’m ready for people’s reactione. my own life does not always reflect God’s waysf. it may require some major changes in my own life 6. If I were to pray daily like Mary prayed, I would have to extend Ken’s suggested outline for my prayers, asking God to possess my:a. relationshipsb. eating habitsc. hardened heart d. marriage e. professional lifef. other: 7. In light of today’s study, I will: Notes will be added later