Monday, November 18, 2019

Thank God for Gratitude: Luke 17: 11-19, Ryan Laughlin

                                            Sermon Discussion Questions

          1. Gratitude is good for us. But it can be difficult to cultivate. What are some ways that gratitude gets impeded in our lives?

          2. In the sermon, we heard there are some practical ways to cultivate “gracious gratitude” in our lives as believers. Discuss the following:
               A) We can cultivate true gratitude by “calling out in need.”
               B) We can cultivate true gratitude when we “turn back in wonder.”

               C) We can cultivate true gratitude when we “fall down in worship.”

          3. Sermon quote: “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” G.K. Chesterton (Discuss with the group)
          4. We may not have leprosy like the lepers Jesus healed in this passage, but most likely there is something in our life that makes us feel isolated from others. (Personally reflect on what that could be to yourself. Take a moment to ask God to start healing/restoring that in your life.)

          5. 9 out of 10 lepers from the passage, missed out on thanking the person who healed them. Gracious gratitude is relational. How does this passage inform our approach to be grateful to Christ in our lives?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Why Give? 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 Ryan Laughlin

                                                Sermon Discussion Questions

    1) In these verses, Paul makes it sound like generosity is good for us. Is it? In what ways? How would our culture respond to that idea?

     2) God loves joyful and sacrificial givers. How does that challenge your giving habits?

      3) According to Paul, how does the Gospel motivate us toward generosity?

Quote: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” C.S. Lewis (Discuss with the group)

Prayer focus: Our generous Savior, I desire to be a more joyful giver because You have been a joyful giver with me—and You still are! Inspire our church to use our resources creatively and effectively for service in Your Kingdom. Keep us humble and dependent on You, particularly in this unique season of our church. We look to You for all good things. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Why Ask? Matthew 6:19-24 October 27, 2019 Ryan Laughlin

                                             Sermon Discussion Questions

        1) What is the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer? Which is Jesus describing?in verse 21: our heart’s thermostat or thermometer?

        2) Based on these verses, why does Jesus talk to His disciples about their relationship with money? Why is that relevant to our spiritual health?

       3) How do you balance being financially prudent (paying the bills, saving for college, etc) and being financially generous (sharing wealth, investing in God’s ministry?) How can you improve that balance, in light of these verses?

Quote: “I am convinced that so much of our selfish and unwise spending in an attempt to buy life, to buy the satisfaction that has far eluded us. Eternity reminds us that we cannot buy with our money what only grace can provide.” Paul Tripp (Discuss with the group)

Prayer Focus: Our Gracious God, free my heart from toxic greed and envy. Renew me with a generous heart so that I might be a faithful steward of all You have entrusted to me. Help our church to reflect our love for You with generous lives, that we may reveal to the world the supremacy of the riches we have in Christ. All for Jesus! Amen.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Why This? Psalm 78:1-16 Ryan Laughlin

                                                  Sermon Discussion Questions

     1) What makes cross-generational unity so difficult? How do you struggle to understand and appreciate younger people? Older people?

    2) How does Psalm 78 compel us to overcome generational divisions for the sake of the gospel?

    3) What are some of the ways Covenant Church fosters inter-generational ministry? What is our responsibility to train the next generation for faithful Christian living?

Quote from the bulletin: “Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the gospel in understandable terms.” Francis Schaeffer (Discuss/Reflect with the group)

Prayer focus: Heavenly Father, heal the generational divisions within our own life, including my family. Holy Spirit, grace our church with unity during this season, particularly across generations within our church. May we effectively and faithfully tell the coming generations about all You have done through Jesus Christ. In His Name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Why Flourish? Luke 9:1-17 Ryan Laughlin

                                                         Sermon Discussion Questions

Reflection Questions:

      1) What are some of the cultural challenges you are facing today? Any opposition? Any needs? Doe these challenges present opportunities to share the Gospel?

      2) In this passage, how does Jesus prepare His disciples for the challenge of sharing the Gospel? How does He use Covenant Church to prepare you in similar ways? Are there other exciting ways to have seen God use Covenant to shape and send disciples into the world?

      3) Where has Jesus sent you to represent Him? How does your ‘being sent’ change your perspective about the purpose of your life? About the purpose of our church?

      4) Sermon quote: “You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you there. Wherever you are, God has put you there. He has a purpose in your being there. Christ, who dwells in you, has something He wants to do through you, wherever you are. Believe this, and go in His grace, and love and power.” Dick Halverson (Reflect on this quote and discuss with the group)

Prayer focus: Lord, prepare me to serve You faithfully as I face daily challenges. Grant me compassion for people who need the Gospel and courage to share the Gospel with them in word and deed. By Your sovereign grace, continue to use Covenant to shape and send Christians into our city and around the world for the glory of Your Name. AMEN.


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

When the Gospel Broke Into Europe Acts 16:16-40, Rev Mark Meynell

                                                          Sermon Discussion Questions

            1) Read over the text one time. Who were the main characters in this narrative? What were they saying/doing throughout this narrative?

          2) In this narrative, we see different ways that power can be used/displayed. What are the wrong ways we see power displayed? What are the life-giving/godly ways we see power displayed in this text?

          3) How do Paul and Silas respond to the “cruel power of darkness” throughout the text. Who is his source in responding to this darkness? Paul had interest in a different power.

         4) In the sermon we heard about Bob Edens who had been blind for 51 years, then after a surgery was able to see for the first time. “I didn’t know yellow, could be so yellow!” (When describing seeing colors for the first time) This is somewhat like the feeling we have when we become believers, like we are “seeing” for the first time. How has the radical nature of the gospel changed your life and “opened your eyes” differently to the world around you? (Can reflect quietly if needed)

        5) Sermon quote: “God is a truer friend than we have ever known.” Discuss what this means to you with the group. Have you had experience with this in your own life? Do we think of God as being on our side/friend?

      6) How does the work of Christ and our union in Christ as believers shape the way we see God, ourselves, others and His world around us?


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

“The Good Life” Matthew 5:1-12, Rev Greg Meyer

The Beatitudes have a present reality, but future reality too. General idea of what a Christian should look like! This is what life in a covenant should look like) sermon quote

                                                        Sermon Discussion Questions

1) Actors go all out to prepare for a role. (Ie: gain weight, learn a language, etc) Imagine you have done things to prepare for a part in a movie and have been practicing and practicing for the role. But you show up to the set, only to find out that you had the wrong script.
We prep our whole lives towards a happy ending, bc that is what we think will lead us to something true/good. We are people who love and act out of that love. Reflect on this example from the sermon for a minute on your own. Ask yourself, “What role am in practicing for? What is my “script” I go on when I am pursuing the good life? (Leaders: Leave a few minutes for silent reflection) 

2) (Group discussion) When we think of the “good life” what does that entail? Financial security, married with 2 kids, our team winning the pennant? These are not “bad” in and of themselves. Jesus has a version of the good life too. Sometimes our version of the good life is in tension/opposition with what Jesus is wanting. Discuss with the group members. 

3) Read through Matthew 5: 1-12 again.
      Be curious with the vision of Jesus. He might be offering something better than the good life we have in mind. Do we believe Jesus’ message of this is what the good life looks like? Discuss with the group. 
4) There are 3 qualities the text talks about that believers should possess: What are they?
These 3 qualities are all driven by the core longing that we “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” What does that practically look like in our lives?

5) There are 4 activities commended in this text that Jesus talks about. Can you identify those with your group?

6) Reflect on what God has done in your life already. We are works in progress. Be thankful for that!

7) What are some of our rhythms and desires that are different than the beatitudes? (Ex:Over work, over sport, over consume, checkout in social media, under rest, under community.) Follow your gaze. What do you daydream about? Would you like to share with your group?

8) What are ways that we can mature/exercise our kingdom palette? (Ex: worshipping on Sundays)

9) Beatitudes are in the context of grace. Jesus embodied them and He bringing them to us. He is the bridge we need to have the good life He is teaching about. We cannot live them out on our own.
The beatitudes are His call to receive this grace! We can move into it with boldness, because He is going with us. How does this reality of this truth make you feel? Is it encouraging?