April 14, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 26): Live for God's Glory - Tom Gray
Psalm 115, John 3:26-36

  • What stood out from today’s message ?

  • What are those areas in your own life where you struggle with “wanting all the glory”? How do you fight against that in order to give that glory to God and experience joy?

  • How often do you memorize scripture? Do you have a testimony for how memorizing scripture helped you trust the Lord in a certain situation?

  • Tom used the quote to talk about 115:1 - “This is the godly man’s motto and his daily practice.” Do you think this is a good way to think about this verse? How does it help you process all of this?

  • We all have a God-ordained role, that’s been given to us by the Spirit for the common good of the body (1 Corinthians 12). Do you feel like you have a good understanding of your gifting? How have you been able to use that gift? How have you been able to enjoy the gifting of others in the body?

  • The Psalmist focuses on the love and faithfulness of God as reasons to highlight His glory. How do those work together?

  • What does it look like for us to decrease and Christ increase (John 3:30)?

  • Tom described it as Jesus being bigger in our eyes than anything else. It’s a known principle that we become like what we behold. The question for us is what are we focusing on that takes away from Gods glory.

April 7, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 25): God and Godliness at Work - Aaron Crawford
Psalm 111-112

  • What stood out to you today?

  • The Psalmist starts by asking us to consider the works of the Lord. Aaron walked us through verses 4-6 which point to the Exodus, the wilderness, and the conquest of the promised land. What are some other works of God that stand out to you in Scripture? What do those actions or works teach us about God?

  • We were challenged to Remember, Reflect, and Rejoice. So let’s take some time to do that together. Share where the Lord has been acting in your life recently, reflect on what He has been teaching you through it, and how you can celebrate it.

  • Next, the Psalmist challenges us to consider the words of the Lord. What goes through your mind when you hear that the words of the Lord are dependable, eternal, true and unbreakable?

  • What are some words from Scripture that have been meaningful or encouraging to you recently?

  • Aaron talked about the fruit of godliness that comes from fearing the Lord and His words. He said that “godliness is not a burden, but a delight.”
    What has been your experience with this statement? Do you find that living according to God’s word is a burden sometimes? Why do you think we look at it that way?

  • Aaron also highlighted that the person who fears the Lord will live a life that’s noticeable to those around them. The Psalmist focuses on one of the things that will be noticeable is a life of generosity. How have you seen that others? In what ways are you actively looking to be courageously generous in your own life?

  • How does God’s example of generosity (giving Jesus) encourage or model for us how we should be living generously?

March 24, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 24): The Often-Overlooked, Overwhelming Power of Basic Obedience - Tom Gray
Psalm 107

  • What stood out to you from this week’s message?

  • How do you define obedience? Why do you think obedience is so important to God?

  • A lot of this message dealt with pain and our part in it. Tom gave us 3 reasons we may experience pain or pressure. Talk through each one and discuss how you’ve seen these different area in your own life:
    1. Part of a punished culture (like Israel in the wilderness)
    2. Part of being in a broken and sinful world
    3. Part of our own rebellion and sin

  • Tom said that our relationship with God can’t be boiled down to a simple formula. Have you ever tried to view your relationship with God as a formula (basically “do good” = blessing)? What is the danger in living this way?

  • Tom spent some time talking about our problem with rebelling against God’s Word. He spent a few minutes talking through what can happen when we resell against God’s Word. He said we can become:
    1. Blind to the subtle influences of sin and temptations
    2. Bitter to the counsel and wisdom God’s Word provides
    3. We pick or choose what we want to obey
    4. We justify our actions that go against God’s Word
    5. We ignore or don’t seek our Biblical counsel
    How have you experienced these things in your own life? What did you learn from them?

  • Tom said that we need to remember that in Christ we have no condemnation (Romans 8:1), but we can experience a reduction in the fullness of life that God wants us to live when we give in to the temptations around us. Have you ever experienced this principle in your own life?

  • Tom ended by giving 3 areas to think through when it comes to obedience to how God has called us to live. Which of these do you find it hardest to obey in? Why? What can you do to grow in being more obedience here?
    • Money issues
    • Marriage issues
    • Parenting issues

March 17, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 23): Refuge and Fortress - Aaron Crawford
Psalm 91

  • What stood out from today’s message ?

  • What are some things that you have put confidence in that have let you down? How did it all play out?

  • The first blessing this Psalm celebrates is the blessing of God’s presence in our lives. What does it look like for us to dwell in God’s presence today? What does it tell us about God that one of His desires is to dwell with His people?

  • The second blessing is one of God’s protection and deliverance. How do we balance the truth of this blessing with the reality of hardships and suffering we face in this world?

  • Aaron used this quote from Paul David Tripp: “God never promises to keep his children from trouble but promises to use His infinite power to keep His children in trouble.” Discuss what this means and how you’ve experienced this yourself.

  • How did Jesus exemplify this trust in God throughout His wilderness temptations?

  • The last blessing that is celebrated is one of an intimate relationship with God. Look at verses 14-16 again. What stands out to you as characteristics of an intimate relationship with God?

March 3, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 21): God's Lovingkindness - Tom Gray
Psalm 89, 2 Samuel 7

  • What stood out from today’s message ?

  • This sermon was broken into two parts: the way of love and the way of the beloved. Which section impacted you more and why?

  • The Hebrew term “Hesed” means a covenant or faithful love and that God delights in keeping His promises. How do we see that in Scripture? How have you seen it personally?

  • Tom talked about how Gods promises are not just for now, but for eternity as well…even when it doesn’t look like the promises will be fulfilled. How have you seen Gods promises through a delayed timeline, and what did you learn from it?

  • Let’s talk about Jesus for a minute. This covenant is clearly Jesus focused even though David doesn’t know it. What hope do we have because of Jesus’ fulfillment of this covenant?

  • David sets an example of going before Gods presence and sitting before the Lord. Tom also referenced Mary in Luke 10 doing the same thing. Why is this so important and what does this look like for us?

  • Tom said that humility and gratitude are the ingredients for worship. Talk about that for a minute.

February 25, 2024
Love Your Neighbor: SHARE - Tom Gray

  • What comes into your mind when you hear somebody talk about sharing the gospel?

  • Tom used the example of the oasis hospital and how a Christian hospital in a Muslim country started with the simplicity of loving people which has lead to gospel care and gospel conversations. What do you think of this model? Have you seen other similar examples?

  • Why is the heart to share the gospel so important? How did Jesus model this for us?

  • Tom reminded us that the people we talk to have already been pursued by God himself. How does this truth impact how we share the gospel with them?

  • Spend some time practicing with one another, how to share the gospel using the four symbols that Tom gave.
    Reminder the symbols are:
    • Heart - God loves you
    • Division symbol - sin separates you
    • Cross - Jesus saves you
    • Question Mark - Will you trust Jesus?

February 18, 2024
Love Your Neighbor: CARE - Matt Russell

  • What stood out from today’s message ?

  • How would you define the word “care” or what it means to care?

  • What’s the difference between an emotional care and an active caring about something / someone? Can you think of how you’ve seen this play out in your own life?

  • How does 1 John 4:7-11 demonstrate Gods care for humanity?

  • Matt gave us 5 ways to show care. Let’s talk through them:
    • How does prayer show care for others? Have you seen this in action?
    • How does serving show care for others? Have you seen this in action?
    • How does listening with compassion show care for others? Have you seen this in action?
    • How does speaking words of hope show care for others? Have you seen this in action?
    • How does sharing the gospel show care for others? Have you seen this in action?

  • What’s the difference in ulterior and ultimate motives?

  • Do you know of any specific needs of neighbors that you can meet?

February 11, 2024
Love Your Neighbor: PRAY - Tom Gray

  • What stood out from today’s message ?

  • How have you seen the decline of culture in your own areas of the world you live in?

  • Tom talked about distrust leading to disintegration of relationships. Have you experienced any of this personally?

  • Read 2 Chronicles 7:14. God gives a step-by-step plan to His people on what it looks like for revival, both personally and congregationally. What stands out to you about this verse and how it applies to us today?

  • How well do you know your immediate neighbors? Do you know of any specific needs of neighbors that you can pray for or meet?

February 4, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 20): My Favorite Place - Tom Gray
Psalm 84

  • What stood out from today’s passage ?

  • How is Gods presence seen in the following?
    • Tabernacle
    • Temple
    • Jesus (see John 1:14)
    • Believers (See Romans 8:9-11/1 Corinthians 3:16)

  • What does it mean for Gods presence to dwell somewhere?

  • Love for the God of the house brings about a love for the house of God (Spurgeon quote). Talk through this quote as a group. How does it impact you?

  • How has the church been a blessing to you? (Matthew 18:20)

  • How did you come to be a part of Mars Hill?

  • How can the church demonstrate Gods compassion to the world around us represented by verse 3?

  • What does it mean for the church to “be a home?”
    • To you?
    • To your family / kids?

  • The House of God prepares you for living in the world. How?
    What does Paul say about this in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15?

  • How can the Psalmist say that a “lowly job” at Gods house is better than the “highest job” anywhere else?

  • God is described as a sun and a shield (v 11). How do we see this demonstrated in Scripture? What about your own life?

  • Read Matthew 7:7-11. How has God provided for you this week alone?

  • Read Hebrews 10:24-25. What are believers commanded to do? Why do you think so many people find this difficult?

January 28, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 19): In the Wilderness - Tom Gray
Psalm 63

  • What stood out from today’s passage ?

  • What do you take from David’s emphasis on seeking God?

  • We get the idea that David is in a desperate place (v. 1, 9-10). How does desperation enhance the need for us to depend on or seek God?

  • How can our personal wilderness experiences be a good thing? Do you have an example of how this has played out in your life?

  • How does the Bible answer the 4 Questions we all face?
    • Origin?
    • Meaning?
    • Morality?
    • Destiny?

  • Have you had a moment when the duty of studying Gods word became a delight to you?

  • What’s the difference between knowing God and clinging to Him? Tom described it as being a disciple not an admirer.

  • Why do you think worship is a natural outcome of seeking and knowing God?

January 21, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 18): Justice Behind the Scenes - Aaron Crawford
Psalm 82

  • Aaron started his message talking about the uncomfortable feelings some people have toward the supernatural side of the Bible. What did you grow up thinking or being told about the spiritual realm? Has anything changed in how you view it today?

  • Aaron made it very clear that even though there are various spiritual beings (and mysteries surrounding them) that God is without question in charge over all of them. What does that teach us about God and even how He sovereignly runs both the natural and supernatural worlds?
    If you need the verses Aaron used, they are: Psalms 58:1-2, 86:8-9, 96:4 & 136:1-2

  • One main focus of Psalm 82 is to remind us that the world is full of sin and injustice, yet one day God will make all things right in His perfect, just timing. Do you have a hard time balancing those two things? What is difficult about it? Is there anything that makes it easier to accept?

  • Aaron said “Biblical justice is defined by God’s character.” What did he mean by this? How do you see that displayed in Scripture?

  • Can you give some examples of how Jesus was the personification of justice in the Gospels?

  • Aaron also spent some time reminding us that there are rebellious spiritual forces, or as Paul calls them - rulers, powers and authorities, who are opposed to God’s plans of justice and righteousness. Despite the reality of these supernatural forces, Aaron reminded us of our hope in the Messiah, Jesus, who has disarmed these powers. However they are still at work in the world (Ephesians 6:11-12). How do we handle our day to day life in the midst of this reality? Read Ephesians 6:10-18 for a lot of clues…

  • The end of Psalm 82 culminates in a prayer for God to redeem the nations, something that the work of Christ has made a reality. What is our role in helping this process? What are we (as a group) currently doing to take the hope of the Messiah to the nations?

January 14, 2024
Lyrics for Life (pt. 17): God Only - Tom Gray
Psalm 62

  • What stood out from today’s passage ?

  • Tom started with the quote: “The person who has Jesus and everything has nothing more than the one who has Jesus and nothing." Discuss this quote. How have you seen this play out in your life or in your family?

  • How has God met some of your needs recently? Have you learned anything from that?

  • Why do you think we are tempted to let people or things try to meet our needs?

  • Read 1 Timothy 6:17. What is the command in this verse? What are we to do with the blessings God has provided for us?

  • God is the source of all provisions, but oftentimes He distributes them through other people. Can you think of a time when that happened in your life? Did you take the time to thank God for that provision?

  • Read James 1:16-17. What are ways we can thank God for all of these provisions?

  • Tom warned about 3 ways we can minimize God as our source.
    Which of these ways do you fall into most often?
    How can we guard against these traps?
    • Demoting the weight of scripture
    • Elevating the natural over supernatural
    • Separating the secular from the sacred

  • Why do you think God is “slow” in responding? How have you experienced Gods “slowness” in your life?

  • Think about your life before God was “yours.” What are some of the biggest differences you notice? What does that show you?

December 10, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 12): Never Afraid - Tom Gray
Psalm 46

  • What stood out from today’s passage ?

  • Tom said that with God in charge, everything is "Over before it starts (v 8-10)." What did He mean by this? Is this encouraging to you?

  • Do you think there is a call to action when we are told to “not be afraid” or is it a wait-and-see mentality?

  • How does Gods glory factor into this Psalm? How does that focus change our perspective?

  • Read Mark 4:35-41, and focus on Jesus words to "be still." What were the disciples concerned about? What was Jesus concerned about?

  • How would we answer Jesus' question? Why are we still afraid? What’s the difference in being afraid and being controlled by fear?

  • How does peace affect our view of troubling times?

  • Can we be still in our own strength or do we need God to still us?

  • Each section of this Psalm calls us to look to God (1, 4,8) even when things are collapsing. Why do you think that is the command?

  • How is God's heart for the nations seen in His victory over them?

December 3, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 11): Never Ashamed - Tom Gray
Psalm 31

  • How do we balance being imperfect people yet not being a hypocrite by trying to hide our failures?

  • Why is shame and guilt so crippling to us?

  • Worrying about how we appear to others can be a big factor in our guilt or shame. Why do you think we put so much value in others evaluation of us?

  • As Christians, the world definitely views us in certain ways. How do we live unashamed of the Gospel and its truth in our day to day lives around those who are lost?

  • Read Luke 8:17 and Hebrews 4:12-13 together. How does accountability of how we live factor in everything we are discussing today?

  • Tom mentioned the importance of confessing the reality of our sins even though we are fully known by God. How does confessing our sins play into the removal of shame and guilt?

  • Vulnerability is a scary word yet those who have truly experienced it (like with a spouse or a mentor) understand the benefit and health that comes with it. How has vulnerability affected your life? How should knowing the we are completely vulnerable and exposed to the Lord change our relationship with Him?

  • Tom ended by encouraging us to live freely by fully trusting God. We have committed our selves to Him. What does living like this look like for you this week?

November 26, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 10): Escaping the Pit of Despair - Aaron Crawford
Psalm 42-43

  • This psalm is really focused on the emotions and feelings of the writer. What stood out to you the most from this message?

  • Let’s read Psalm 42:1-4 again, and discuss “The Drought” the writer is facing. Have you ever felt like you were in a spiritual drought? What brought you out of it and what did God teach you through it?

  • Aaron mentioned two “thirst quenchers” from these verses: fellowship with God (and His Word) and fellowship with others. How are those helpful in spiritually dry seasons?

  • Aaron talked about how life groups can serve to be a station for both of these things. How has this group helped or supported you during difficult or dry times?

  • Lets read verses 5-11 now and talk about the author’s feelings of despair. As Aaron pointed out, these are very real feelings that many people feel, but the important thing to focus on is how we respond to these feelings. What does the psalmist do in these moments of despair?

  • What does it look like to preach to ourselves?

  • The first big thing Aaron said was to replace our thoughts with His truth. What does this look like? What are some truths from Scripture that you cling to in difficult times?

  • The second thing was focusing on the hope of our future. Lets read Psalm 43. Where does the author’s hope lie? What does he specifically point to?

  • What is one big thing you are taking away from this Psalm that will help you moving forward?

November 5, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 8): Is He Your Shepherd? - Matt Russell
Psalm 23

  • What other titles or descriptions of God stand out to you? What do they teach us about Him?

  • What is the significance of God as shepherd? Why are we considered “sheep”?

  • We NEED a shepherd. How have you experienced the Good Shepherd leading or protecting you in your life?

  • Read Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:11-13. How does God as our Shepherd lead to our contentment?

  • Matt focused on “having exactly what we need” in the Shepherd. How is this different from getting what we want?

  • Matt talked about out misperception of “green pastures” and what it meant for a shepherd to lead the sheep to nourishment. The shepherd would literally lead them to what they needed. How does that play out in our relationship with God?

  • All of these verses culminate in one purpose at the end of verse 3: For His Name. How does God acting as a Good Shepherd for us bring glory to His name?

  • What are some dark valleys you have walked through? Looking back, how did the Good Shepherd guide you through it?

  • Matt said that real courage is “knowing and remembering who is with us” in the tough times. What are steps we can do to help us remember the Shepherd now that will benefit us in the hard times?

  • The psalm ends with us being brought into the Shepherds house and welcomed into His family (v. 5-6). What are the blessings associated with Gods family in these verses?

  • Matt made a great point that these things are promised “in the presence of our enemies” not the absence of them. What does that look like for us today?

October 29, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 7): Forsaken - Tom Gray
Psalm 22

  • Today was a longer Psalm and there was a lot to cover. What stood out to you today?

  • What do you think God wants to teach us in moments of loneliness? What have you learned in those moments in your own life?

  • What’s the difference in crying out to God and crying out to MY God?

  • What are the reference points in your own life of Gods faithfulness?

  • Tom made a great point that our suffering is temporary but “temporary could mean our entire earthly lives.” How do we process that?

  • Go back through the Psalm and identify all the verses that point to Jesus. What is the purpose of David (through the Holy Spirit) writing like this way before it happened to Jesus?

  • What are the thing that make us stand in awe of Jesus?

October 22, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 6): Talk to Me, God - Tom Gray
Psalm 19

  • Communication. This word has a lot of strings attached to it, especially in how we relate with other people. Can you think of a time where there was a lack of (or poor) communication that impacted your life in some way? On the flip side, can you think of examples were good communication was helpful in some way?

  • Psalm 19 is focused on how God communicates with us. Tom broke it down into general revelation (vs. 1-6) and special or specific revelation (7-14). What is the difference between those two types of revelation and why are both important and necessary?

  • Let's start with General Revelation. Read verses 1-6 together. How do we reconcile verses 1-2 which talk about creation telling about God, to verses 3-4 which tell us that no words are used by creation?

  • David uses an early example of the intelligent designer / designer argument in these verses. This is still used today, yet as Tom reminded us, there are some people who will reject what is right in front of them. Have you had any experience with people like this? What did you do?

  • Tom said something along the lines of "rejection of this general revelation reflects the idolatry of man wanting to be their own god."
    Read Romans 1:18-25. How does Paul describe this? What is the outcome for those who reject what God has shown them?

  • General revelation and special revelation have to work hand in hand with each other. General revelation points to God, while special revelation teaches us about this God and His desire for us to be a part of His family. Read Romans 10:12-18 How does Paul describe the importance of both types of revelation in these verses? What is the outcome of both working together?

  • Going back to Psalm 19, read verses 7-14 together. What stands out to you about special revelation in these verses?

  • This part of the Psalm reads like a bunch of proverbs. Short, simple statements of truth all saying the same thing, just in different ways. What does David say is the result of holding closely to God's Word?

  • Tom ended by saying that Psalm 19 tells us how we are to approach God's Word:
    • Teachably - vs 11
    • Obediently - vs. 11
    • Humbly - vs. 12-13
    • Prayerfully - Vs. 12-13
    • Transparently - vs. 12-14
      Walk through each of these together and discuss how each of these are beneficial to our walk with God

  • They (God's word) are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb (Ps. 19:10). What is David communicating about God's word here? How have you experienced God's Word acting like this in your own life?

October 15, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 5): With God... - Tom Gray
Psalm 16-18

  • What sticks out to you about Peter and Paul using this passage from Psalm 16 in the book of Acts?

  • Psalm 16 points to the resurrection and the gospel. What does that show us about Gods word and the hope of the gospel?

  • How do we balance both the eternal (v. 10-11) and present (v. 5-6) prospects that Tom talked about today?

  • How do we handles suffering with these prospects in mind?

  • What does it mean that the Lord is our portion (v. 5)?
    How does that compare to Psalm 17:14-15?

  • How do you experience the protection of the Lord in your own life?

  • How can Gods answer of “NO” act as protection?

  • What does it mean for something to be “the apple of your eye?”
    So what does it teach us when David calls us the apple of Gods eye?

  • Psalm 16:11 says we have the path of life. What is that path?

  • How do we continually stick to the path when the visibility may not be as clear as we would like?

October 8, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 4): A Short Catechism - Tom Gray
Psalm 14-15

  • How are songs helpful in us remembering things?
    How does this correlate with the Psalms or even our modern worship songs?

  • Who can live with God according to 14:1-3 and 15:1-2?

  • If chapter 14 presents a problem, and chapter 15 presents a solution, then who can fully live up to what is required in chapter 15?
    Who will live up to it? (Jesus!)

  • How does this passage point to the gospel?
    See 2 Corinthians 5:21 and then re-read Psalm 15:1-2 again. How does this change our standing?

  • Tom described it as “acceptance based performance” over a “performance based acceptance.” What is the difference in those two titles? How is this reflected in our new life in Christ?

  • Tom ended with the practical steps to living this out. So talk through what each of these look like in our everyday lives:
    • Walk in purity / integrity
    • Doing what is right
    • Speaking truth
    • Does not slander / criticize
    • Love our neighbors
    • Never shame /embarrass others
    • Call out those who despise God
    • Honor those who fear God
    • Keep our word
    • Give generouslyCan’t be bought

  • Which of those things in the list do you find the most challenging or difficult?

  • This is not meant to be a legalistic list (or question) but what steps can we take to help us improve in our weaker areas?

October 1, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 3): Majestic Worship - Aaron Crawford
Psalm 8

  • How would you define the word "worship"?

  • What are ways we can "worship" outside of singing?

  • Read Psalm 8. When you think about creation and all that God has made, what are the things that stand out to you the most that point towards the Creator?

  • Aaron pointed to the theme of God loving to choose and use the weak to display His strength. What are some biblical examples of this?
    How have you seen God's strength demonstrated in your own weaknesses?

  • What are some small things that diminish our capacity to be captivated by  the greatness and glory of God?

  • Aaron said that the Hebrew term for glory encompasses both honor and a heaviness and should be viewed as "abounding in honor and reverence, almost to a degree that is terrifying." What do you think about this way of describing God's glory? (Remember, Aaron used the illustration of a hydraulic press machine)

  • When we say man is made in God's image, what does that mean to you?
    How would you describe this to someone who isn't a Christian?

  • Aaron brought up the paradox that David seems to be wrestling with in Psalm 8: feeling insignificant or small in light of all creation, yet we are immensely loved and crowned with dignity and glory by our Creator.
    How do you process this paradox?

  • Lastly, David ends this psalm by focusing on worship through our vocation as divine image bearers. How does our vocation (God's representative and co-ruler on earth) look different today than it did in Genesis 2?

  • How is work a form of worship?

  • What are some ways that we can slow down and ponder creation (which should lead us to worship) this week?

September 24, 2023
Abraham's Test - Dr. Stephen George
Genesis 22

  • What is the difference between a test and a temptation?

  • Read Genesis 22:1-3. What is God testing Abraham for? Why is Abraham trusting God here so important?

  • Read Deuteronomy 8:2-6. Abraham was an early example of what trusting God should look like, but by the time we get to Deuteronomy, the Israelite people have failed to follow his example. What is the reason given in this passage for the time of testing the people went through?

  • Stephen mentioned a few things that testing does:
    • Reveals what we know
    • Reveals who we are
    • Reveals our level of obedience
    • Reveals God's goodness and love
      How can testing reveal things about us? Can you think of an example you'd like to share where you saw this in your own life? How is God's love and goodness revealed in testing?

  • This story is clearly a very early pre-cursor to what God would ultimately do for us with His Son. Read the following verses and discuss how God's love is shown:
    • Romans 5:8
    • Romans 8:38-39
    • Ephesians 2:1-6
    • Titus 3:3-7
    • 1 John 4:7-11

  • The phrase "Here I am" appears three times in this passage (v. 1, 7, 11). Stephen talked about how this phrase communicated that Abraham was "ready and waiting" for the next step, even when he had no idea what it would be. Think about your own life, is this an easy or difficult posture to have? Why? How has God used uncertainty in your own life to strengthen your trust in Him?

  • Read Hebrews 11:17-19. Stephen talked about Abraham's hope in the promises of God and how that was a key part of his obedience during the uncertainty. Thousands of years later, and that's still a great example for us to remember in our own lives! What are those promises of God, from Scripture, that you cling to in the uncertain moments of your life?

  • Read Genesis 22:11-14. In what ways have you seen the Lord work or show up in your life that has caused you to trust Him?

  • Stephen ended by encouraging us with the phrase "blessings follow obedience." This was not shared as a formula for success or a way to manipulate God into blessing us, but rather a reminder of the importance of following God even when it doesn't make sense in the moment. As you think back on your life, and maybe even some of the examples you shared today, how have you seen God's blessings on your life because of your obedience / trust in Him?

September 17, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 2) - Tom Gray
Psalm 2

  • Read Psalm 2:1-3. How do we see the nations or the peoples work against God today?

  • The people's biggest opposition in these verses is the authority of God as King. Why do you think we tend to push back against authority? What is this passage really telling us about those who are against God?

  • Read Luke 19:11-15, 26-27. What was the point of the parable Jesus was telling? How does this parable connect to Psalm 2?

  • Read 1 John 2:22-23. How does this passage tie into Psalm 2? How have you seen this play out in our world today?

  • Read Psalm 2:4-9. The central point of this Psalm is the ultimate and total enthronement of The Lord's Anointed One. What differences do you see in the Anointed One compared to the kings and rulers in verses 1-3?

  • How does God respond to the rebellion against His authority and King?

  • Tom talked briefly about "secular humanism" and the idea of "the individual is king." How have you seen this in our world today? Why do you think this is such an intriguing way for people to live?

  • Tom also defined the word "Begotten." Do you remember what he said it meant? It means "specially sent." According to Psalm 2 what was Jesus begotten to do (v.8-9)?

  • Tom used the last two verses to point to some responses we should consider. Walk through each of these and talk about what it means for us to do these four things:
    • Be wise and understand
    • Be warned and changed
    • Serve and work
    • Rejoice with trembling

September 10, 2023
Lyrics for Life (pt. 1) - Tom Gray
Psalm 1

  • Our lives are full of choices. Some are small and others are incredibly large and important. What typically goes into your decision making process?

  • Read Psalm 1 (have someone read verses 1-3, and another read 4-6). This is a well-known Psalm and it's split into two parts that describes two types of people. What stands out to you the most after reading this Psalm?

  • What is the choice that the Psalmist lays before us in this chapter? What is the outcome of each choice?

  • Tom spent some time talking about things that the righteous do, contrasted with the things they don't do. These ancient truths are just as applicable to us today. Let's start with verse 1:
    • What does it look like for someone to walk under the influence of the ungodly in todays culture?
    • What does it look like to stand with sinners?
    • What doe sit look like to sit with scoffers?

  • How can we guard ourselves from falling into the trap of verse 1?

  • Verse 2 gives us the better path that the blessed person chooses. What does it mean to be delighted or to delight in something or someone?
    How does that description tie into our view of God's Word?

  • The word meditation gets tied to new-ageism today, but at it's core, it's a word that simply means to intentionally reflect on something. What does meditating on God's Word look like for you?

  • Tom gave the helpful tool of : Read, Remember, Reflect, and Respond
    Walk through those steps together. Which ones are easier or harder for you to put into practice?

  • Read James 1:22-24. How does this passage tie into Psalm 1:2?

  • Verse 3 tells us that the righteous will be like a strong tree that does what it was created to do. There is a little echo of Eden in this verse. How does living in the righteousness of Psalm 1 reflect God's plan for humanity pre-fall?

  • Verses 4-6 focus on the wicked. This way is the opposite of the righteous. What does the psalmist say is waiting for those who choose this path?

  • Compare the tree imagery of the righteous (v. 3) with the chaff imagery of the wicked (v.4). What is noticeable there?

  • To close, verse 2 seems like the hinge point. Living in verse 2 gives us the wisdom to handle verse 1. The lifestyle of verse 2 is described in verse 3. Verse 2 is, as we said earlier, the opposite of verses 4-5. So if verse 2 is the hinge point, as we leave today, what are some intentional steps we can take to live in verse 2 this week?

September 3, 2023
Posture - Steve Kyle
Exodus 3:1-14

  • What fights for our attention on a daily basis?

  • What are the things that try to take our attention off of God?

  • What are some ways God got peoples attention in Scripture?
    • Read Luke 5:1-11
    • Read Acts 9:1-9

  • Why do you think God chooses to speak through things like disruptions, loss, pain, other people?

  • How has God used these things in your life? What do you think He was trying to tell you in that circumstance?

  • Steve said “God doesn’t do coincidences”. I love that quote. What does this statement mean to you?

  • Steve used the Greek word “sykyria” to describe what occurs by Gods provision. How does Gods sovereignty/provision work in relation with what we call coincidences?

  • Read Matthew 6:25-30. What does this passage teach us about God's provision?

  • Steve said "there are no unimportant events to God" and that in times of hardship "our posture should be one of trust." Do you find it hard to trust God in the "big things?" Why or why not?

  • Our heart reflects our spiritual posture. Steve said that weight can impact our posture. What weights do we tend to allow to affect our spiritual posture
    • Read Hebrews 12:1-2. What are we told to do with the weight in these verses?
  • Steve ended by saying that in order to have healthy spiritual posture we need to exercise our core which comes about by practicing spiritual disciplines.
    • What are some of these things?
    • How have you seen them help you in your own life?

August 27, 2023
Finding Greatness - Tom Gray

  • How does the world define "greatness"?

  • Let's look at what Jesus says about greatness:
    • Matthew 5:1-12
    • Matthew 5:19
    • Matthew 18:1-4
    • Matthew 23:10-12

  • How does Jesus define greatness in these verses?

  • Why do we seem to be drawn to people who we perceive as “more” than us? (famous, gifted, successful, richer)

  • The danger comes when we move from admiring someone to idolizing them. There's a famous quote that says "Idols are good things that have become the best things". What are the repercussions of making something an idol in our life?

  • Tom spent some time talking about Michael Jordan as the GOAT. The greatest of all time. Did you know that Jesus actually tells us who the GOAT is?
    • Read Matthew 11:10-11
    • Who is the GOAT according to Jesus and why do you think he earned this title?

  • Tom showed the "Be like Mike" commercial and went on to say that our goal should be to "Be like Jesus"
    • Read Philippians 2:1-5
    • What attitudes and actions does Paul point to that reflects Christ?

  • As we think about this idea of greatness, I think a change of perspective is incredibly important. We need to have an eternal perspective and not a temporary perspective.
    • A temporary perspective can weigh us down, overwhelm us, and get us distracted from God. An eternal perspective helps keep things in line.
    • Read Romans 8:16-18 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
    • What is produced in us by maintaining an eternal perspective?

  • So, what are you worshipping today? What are some of those things or areas of your life that threaten to dethrone God as the ultimate priority in your life?
    • How do we battle that temptation?

August 20, 2023
Finding Success - Tom Gray

  • How does the world define success?
    What areas are you temped to finding “meaning in success?”

  • What does “winning” as a follower of Christ look like?

  • Let’s Take a look at these examples from Scripture and discuss:
    • Luke 6:46-49 - What does success look like according to Jesus here?
    • Philippians 3:12-14 - Paul talks about winning here. What is Paul’s goal (hint: it’s at the very end of the passage)
    • Numbers 20:1-12 - was Moses successful with the people? What about in they eyes of The Lord? Do you think it was worth it?

  • Can you think of other biblical examples of “success” ? Why were these deemed successful?

  • Now read Hebrews 11:32-12:2
    What does that convey?

  • Tom spent some time talking about rewards of choosing Christ. Read these passages and discuss what rewards are available to us:
    • John 4:13-14
    • John 11:25-26
    • Romans 8:1
    • Romans 8:10-11
    • 1 Peter 1:3-4
    • 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

  • How would we convey “Winning = Jesus” to a lost world?

August 13, 2023
Finding Meaning (In My Story) - Tom Gray

  • What’s your favorite story?

  • What kind of interactions have you had with Relativism (relative truth)?

  • As a group, talk through these different elements of THE Story
    • Backstory: God (King) - Love
    • Inciting incident - Rebellion (sin)
    • Rising Action - The Old Testament / Gospels
    • Climax - The Cross (it is finished) and The Empty Tomb - 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
    • Falling Action - Church history to now - Matthew 28:19-20
    • Resolution - Revelation 11:15 / 21-22

  • What has been your backstory? Inciting incidents? Rising Actions? (This is basically half of your testimony…)

  • How do we take this story of hope to the world?

  • As we actively think through this, what are some common "hang-ups" people might have as we share the story? How would we address those?

August 6, 2023
Seeking - Tom Gray
Luke 19:10

  • Have you ever lost something important? What went through your mind, how did you feel?

  • This main verse appears at the end of the Zaccheus story in Luke 19. Read Luke 15:1-7. How do these two passages connect with each other?

  • Tom focused on these 3 words:
    • Seek- actively search to find
    • Save - to rescue from destruction
    • Lost - perishing, being destroyed
      How can we communicate these factors to those outside the church?

  • Think back to the Two pictures Tom showed. What did they convey to you? How did the two pictures differ?

  • We are dead apart from Christ. Read the following verses and discuss how these factor into the gospel:
    • The enemy (John 10:10)
    • The world (1 John 2:15-17)
    • Ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-5)

  • Jesus mission has been passed to us (Great Comission) (reconciliation of 2 Cor. 5:18) and Tom brought it home by giving us Homework.
    • Talk to God (for laborers - Matt. 9:37-38 / boldness - Acts 4:29 / open doors - Col. 4:3)
    • Talk to people (witnesses - Acts 1:8)
      • Our story - Testimony
      • The story - Gospel
      • Any story - Scripture
      • Give an invitation for more
        How can you practice these things in your own spheres of influence over the next month?

July 30, 2023
Amazing - Tom Gray
Mark 16:1-8

  • The key word in this week’s sermon was “amazing.” What comes to your mind when you hear this word? What are some amazing things you’ve seen or been a part of in your own life?

  • Mark uses this term “amazed” multiple times (2:12, 9:15, 10:24, 15:5) in his gospel account. Every one of these examples have the people interacting with or watching Jesus and leaving in amazement. Why do you think that seems to be the common response to Jesus?

  • Tom started by looking at the women who went to Jesus’ tomb. He said they were women of faith, devotion and action. How were these things demonstrated in the passage today?

  • Tom taught that these women, with their actions of buying spices for burial and everything that came with the process, were incredible pictures of sacrifice. What are things in your own life that you have willingly sacrificed in relation to Jesus?

  • The statement was made that “the women planned on doing what in their own strength they couldn’t make happen.” How has this been evident in your own life...Where has God led you where you knew it was beyond your power or control and so you had to rely on Him?

  • Tom said that "hopeless circumstances are not hopeless in Christ’s hands.” How has Christ turned the hopelessness to hope in your life?

  • “The stone wasn’t rolled away to let Jesus out, but to let us in.” How do we balance a need to “see it to believe it” with faith (believing without seeing) in our walks with Him?

  • Tom ended with our amazing significance. Our mission is to go and tell others what Jesus has done. Think about your life and the spheres of influence you currently have. Where are the open doors for you to share Christ?

July 23, 2023
Run to God Our Refuge - Jeremy Abernathy
Psalm 91:1-2

  • What are some unexpected conditions that have popped up in your life?

  • What are the things we are tempted to run to when these conditions arise in our lives?

  • What is a refuge? What does it mean that God is our refuge?

  • What are the components “to dwell” somewhere? How does this connect to the verses from today?

  • Why do we tend to view suffering as “broken promises” from God?

  • To be in the shadow of something, you have to be near a bigger object. How do you dwell in the shadow of the Almighty?

  • Read John 17:13-21. How does Jesus describe abiding in this shadow of the Almighty?