|Messy Beginnings||Rusty Wirt||February 17, 2019||Listen|
|In The Meantime||Rusty Wirt||February 24, 2019||Listen|
|Humility||Rusty Wirt||March 10, 2019||Listen|
|Ugly Religion||Rusty Wirt||March 17, 2019||Listen|
|Personal Conflict||Rusty Wirt||March 24, 2019||Listen|
4.07 – The First Passover Meal
TALK IT OUT
1. Read Exodus 12:12, Exodus 20:1-3 and Joshua 24:14. What is the common theme of these passages? Very few people in our culture today worship literal idols as was practiced in the ancient world, but we have developed idols/gods of another kind. What are some of the things people tend to worship today?
2. Read Exodus 12:3-7,13. These verses tell us that God had a plan to rescue the Israelites from slavery to the Egyptians, but that it was going to cost the Israelites something. What was that cost?
3. Read Genesis 22:7-8. Although God would never have allowed Abraham to literally sacrifice Isaac, Abraham’s prophetic statement in verse 8 points toward God’s greater plan to rescue the human race from sin. Now read John 1:29 and John 3:16. According to these passages, how did God plan to rescue us?
4. Read 1 Peter 1:18-21 and Romans 8:31-32. What do these passages tell us about the depth of God’s love for us? In light of what He has done for us through Jesus, would you say God is worthy of our personal trust? Why or why not?
5. At the beginning of this week’s sermon, Pastor Rusty shared several examples of rescue stories. Tell about a situation in which you (or someone you know) was rescued. How did you feel while you were waiting to be rescued? How did you feel after you were rescued? How does this natural experience compare with the spiritual rescue Jesus carried out for you?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Take a few moments to think about the amazing love God displayed by sending Jesus to rescue us. Thank God for some specific things from which He has rescued you personally.
2. Do you find it difficult to trust God at times? What did you learn from this week’s sermon that could help increase your confidence in Him?
4.14 – Jesus’ Last Passover Meal
Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 26:26-28, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Revelation 5:11-13
TALK IT OUT
1. Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. During one of the darkest periods of Jewish history, while the people were living in exile in Babylon, God brought them a message of hope: He was going to make a new covenant with them. According to this passage, how was this new covenant going to be different from the old covenant?
2. Read Romans 5:6-10. Some people believe they have lived too bad of a life and made too many mistakes for God to ever care about them. How does that belief compare to what we read in these verses?
3. The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation states that the elements of Communion actually become the body and blood of Jesus as He literally performs a new sacrifice for sins at every Mass. Read Hebrews 10:1-7,10-12,14. Would you say these verses support or refute this doctrine? Why?
4. Read Exodus 12:14,17 and 13:8-10. What are the Jewish people celebrating when they observe Passover every year? Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 and Colossians 1:13-14. What are followers of Jesus celebrating whenever they take Communion?
5. Read Ephesians 2:8-10 and Matthew 5:14-16. Although the Word of God is clear that we are not rescued because of our good works, our good works do serve a purpose. What is that purpose? Now read Romans 2:23-24. What happens when believers live in a hypocritical manner? Give a few examples of comments you have heard people make regarding Christians they perceive to be hypocrites.
LIVE IT OUT
1. When you take Communion, do you tend to just mindlessly partake of the elements out of habit or do you actually spend time remembering the sacrifice Jesus made and what it means to now be rescued from the weight of your sin?
2. How well would you say that your “walk” matches your “talk”? Are there any areas of your life that could be perceived as hypocritical by unbelievers? Take a few moments to ask God to help you identify those areas and help you make the appropriate changes.
4.21 – God In A Box
Luke 1:1-4, Acts 26:9-18
TALK IT OUT
1. In this week’s message, Pastor Rusty noted that one reason some people have difficulty believing that God exists is that they are trying to accept what are actually misconceptions about God that are not found in Scripture. Give some examples.
2. It has been said that a God small enough to be completely understood by our finite minds would be too small to be able to truly fulfill the role of a real God. Would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
3. Read John 3:16-17 and Romans 8:31-32. Historian John Dickson says, “I can trust [God] with all the other stuff because I know what His heart is like. His heart is like someone who would give Himself for me.” Do you consider the fact that Jesus gave His life for you to be sufficient evidence as to His overall trustworthiness? Why or why not?
4. Read Luke 1:1-4. How does this passage refute the claim made by some people that the Gospels are simply a collection of “fairy tales” about Jesus?
5. Read Acts 26:9-20 and 1 Timothy 1:12-16. In these passages, how does Paul describe his life as an unbeliever? What was God’s response to Paul when he was in that state? How does Paul’s example give you hope regarding your own relationship with God?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Are there any areas of your life in which you think your concept of God has been too small? Ask Him to help you see Him with fresh eyes in those areas.
2. Who do you know that needs to be rescued by Jesus? Take a few moments to ask God to open their eyes and their heart to Him. Then pray for an opportunity to share His love with them this week.
4.28 – Be Reconciled
Matthew 5:21-24, 43-47
TALK IT OUT
1. In this week’s message, Pastor Rusty talked about several different groups of people within the church in Jesus’ day that often found themselves in conflict with one another. What similarities would you say there are between those groups and different groups of people within the church today?
2. “Whenever conflict arises, just ignore it and it will eventually go away.” In light of this week’s message, would you say this statement is true or false? Explain.
3. Read Matthew 5:21-22. In this passage, Jesus refers to the dangerous nature of unresolved emotional conflict. Now read Proverbs 12:18, 15:1, 17:19a, 29:22 and 2 Timothy 2:23-24. What do these verses tell us regarding emotional conflict and how to avoid it?
4. Read Matthew 5:23-24, 43-47 and 1 John 4:7-11, 19-21. As Pastor Rusty stated in his message, our relationship with God is influenced by our relationship with people and our relationship with people is influenced by our relationship with God. What do these passages reveal to us about the effects of those two relationships upon each other?
5. Read Colossians 3:13-14. These verses tell us that we are to forgive others as the Lord has forgiven us. Now read Psalm 103:12 and Isaiah 43:25. How would you describe the Lord’s forgiveness of us? Are there any limits or restrictions He has placed on that forgiveness? What does that tell us about how our forgiveness of others should look?
LIVE IT OUT
1. How often do you find yourself slipping into an I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong mindset when you interact with people? Do you always have to be “the winner” whenever there is a conflict? Take a few moments to ask God to help you develop a less confrontational attitude in your relationships.
2. Do you have any existing conflicts that have been left unresolved? Is there anyone you need to apologize to? Write down that name (or names). Set aside time to reach out to them this week to pursue reconciliation in your relationship.
5.12 – A Better Way To Argue
TALK IT OUT
1. In this week’s message, Pastor Rusty stated that when emotions run high, communication often runs low. Give an example of this from your own life.
2. Certain topics tend to quickly escalate into emotional arguments. What topics do you personally find difficult to talk about without getting emotional?
3. Read Acts 15:2-3. When a disagreement arose among the believers in Antioch, the church sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles and elders about it face-to-face. In today’s world, what are some of the advantages of face-to-face discussions over other forms of communication (such as email, texts, social media, etc.)? Why do you think people tend to avoid face-to-face discussions?
4. Read Acts 15:4-12 and Acts 7:54-58. Describe the differences in how these two conflicts played out. Which type of confrontation is more likely to result in conflict resolution? Why?
5. Read Acts 15:15-18. One of the recurring truths presented in this series is that unresolved conflict keeps us from the “better work.” According to this passage, what is that better work?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Think of the last time you were involved in a disagreement in which emotions ran high. Write down two things you could do differently the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.
2. Think of someone with whom you often seem to disagree with on a particular topic. Take a few moments to ask God to help you have a more welcoming attitude toward them in future conversations.