Winter 2014…fyi

Beginning Sunday, January 5th, our sermon series for the new year is called “Tell Me a Story: a look at the Parables of Jesus.” Giving our attention to how Jesus instructed his disciples will surely be an enriching and challenging study.

Our Shore Life Group will begin again on Tuesday, January 14th. Join us each Tuesday at 6:30pm at the McDaniel House for Bible study, fellowship, and prayer. We are beginning a new study through the various Bible passages that teach us the Names of God. You may join the study at any point.

The date for our next after-church meal is February 23rd. We’ll talk about the details as we get closer to the date.

 

As always, you can direct any feedback or questions to Pastor Kyle here.

Small Group Recap for week of 10.28.2012

Last week we finished reading the book of 2 Thessalonians. Here is the summary of chapter 3 interacting with our 3 questions:

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

Verse 3 tells us that God is faithful. This specifically is talking about his answer to prayer for protection from the evil one when the work of God is opposed. But more generally, God is faithful to keep his promises. What he has said he will do. Whether in relation to prayer or salvation, God is faithful.

(2) What does it teach about me?

Verse one teaches that we need people to pray for us. There will be things that make it difficult for us to accomplish the work God has for us, but God is faithful to answer these prayers for his work to progress in us. If we are at a place in our lives spiritually where we seemed to be plateaued, prayer is a vital component of continual growth. And, this is not just us praying, but others praying for us. The same is true in the church, we will not see growth at SCC, spiritually, numerically, or otherwise, unless we are praying. Nothing of eternal significance is ever accomplished without prayer.

 

In our diligence to live for God we can grow weary in doing good (verse 13). We need to warn and encourage one another as brothers and sisters so that we do not grow weary. This is not a license to confront everyone we know about how we perceive sin in their lives, because this implies a deep and meaningful relationship, like between two family members. Without the context of a deep relationship, correction and sometimes even encouragement has the opposite effect and it offends. Without relationship, addressing sin in a person’s life is often “judging” rather than encouraging.

 

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

Verse 6 is a warning to keep away from a brother who has nothing to occupy his time. Everyone should work to earn a living, if anyone refuses to do this, then they should not be provided for. This isn’t talking about our modern welfare system although there may be some application here, this is talking about people within the church body Any who refuse to work should be encouraged to do so.

Some traditions have interpreted verses 13-15 in such a way that it leads to a practice called shunning. People will behave like the other person does not exist. Is this not treating such a person as an enemy though? Treating like brother means addressing the matters so that repentance is brought forth. Shame is to lead to repentance not hatred.

What insights do you have that are not mentioned in this summary?

Small Group Recap for the Week of 10.21.12

This week in the SCC Small Groups we took a look at 2 Thessalonians 2. This isn’t an easy passage to understand, but here is a summary of what we talked about:

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

This chapter overall is about Jesus’ return. This is the primary truth we learn here and even if we have difficulty understanding some of what we read here, we can be confident in this truth.

In verses 1-2 the Apostle Paul warns believers not to be deceived into believing that Jesus has already come. He proceeds from there to talk about the “Man of Lawlessness” coming and opposing God by setting himself up as God.  Verse 7 goes on to say that the “mystery of Lawlessness” is already at work. Verse 10 says people will believe this lawlessness because they refuse to love truth. So, in verse 11, since they reject God, he sends them delusion so they believe the falsehood they desire and they are condemned in their rejection of the truth in seeking pleasure in unrighteousness.

(2) What does it teach about me?

We should give thanks that God brought us to belief in the Gospel. And in these truths and traditions we should stand firm (verses 13-15). In verses 16-17 we see that God loves us, has given us eternal comfort, hope, grace. He does this to ground us in the “work  and word” of the Gospel.

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

Different “End Times” perspectives interpret this in different ways. In spite of varying interpretations of this passage, I think there is an application we can agree on: don’t be deceived, love the truth. Rather than speculating on Jesus’ return, the rise of the anti-Christ and other end times circumstances, we should find hope in the coming of our Lord and in the True Gospel that proclaims his life, death, resurrection, and return. This perspective is given in verses 16-17.

 

Small Group Recap for the Week of 10.14.12

2 Thessalonians 1

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

In verse 6, the Bible gives a very important principle to understand during times of suffering such as the one the Thessalonian church was undergoing: God is just. The result of God’s justness is, “He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are trouble”. Verse 7 points to the day when Jesus will return as a reason to live with hope even in suffering. Verses 8 and 9 may seem harsh, but the Scripture says those who reject Jesus will be judged and punished.

(2) What does it teach about me?

Verse 10 tells us that those who believe in the Gospel will not face the judgment that those who have rejected Jesus will. Verse 11 is a reminder of the importance of prayer in the life of the church, especially in times of persecution or suffering.

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

Often the idea of God judging people doesn’t sit well with people. This is an area where we must continue to affirm the truth of Scripture even if we have difficulty understanding how a loving God is also a God who punishes. It is helpful to realize that the occasion of this letter is a time of great persecution of this church. Many were being arrested, beaten, and even killed because of their faith. God loves, so he doesn’t let evil go unpunished. If he didn’t oppose evil, would he be loving? As difficult as this is for many to understand, our prayer should be that of verse 12: may God be glorified in us.

Small Group Recap for the Week of 10.7.12 – 1 Thessalonians 5

1 Thessalonians 5

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

The “Day of the Lord” will come unexpectedly (verse 2). Jesus died for us so we could live with him. Whether we live or die, we will live with him (verse 10). God is faithful and will answer prayer (verse 24)

(2) What does it teach about me?

I am a child of the light, a child of the day (verse 5). Faith and love are my breastplate, protecting my heart. The hope of salvation is my helmet, guarding my mind (verse 8). We will not experience God’s wrath, but salvation in Jesus (verse 9).

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

There are several point of practical instruction in this chapter. It’s important to understand these things in light of God’s grace. These things don’t earn us his favor, but if we have accepted his grace and understood the Gospel, then the character of our lives should resemble in an increasing manner what is found in these instructions. Here is a list of questions related to these instructions:

  • Am I alert and self-controlled? In other words is my conduct pointing to Jesus’ coming (Verse 6)?
  • Do I have faith, hope, and love? Am I practicing them (Verse 8)?
  • Am I encouraging others and building others up(verse 11)?
  • Do I hold in high regard those who encourage and teach me (Verse 13)?
  • Am I living in peace with others (verse 13)?
  • Am I joyful always (verse 16)?
  • Am I praying continually (verse 17)?
  • Do I give thanks in all circumstances (verse 18)?
  • Am I sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit in my life or do I quench it (Verse 19)?
  • I should not treat prophecies with contempt, but I also should test them to make sure they are genuine (verse 20-21).
  • Do I avoid every kind of evil (verse 22)?
  • Am I idle? Am I timid? Am I helping the weak? Am I patient with everyone (verse 14)?
  • Have I paid back wrong for wrong or have I been kind (verse 15)?
  • Is my conduct blameless (verse 23)? Note that it doesn’t say sinless, but points to Christ-like Character.

Small Group Recap for the week of 9.30.12 – 1 Thessalonians 4

This week, our Small Groups at SCC read and discussed 1 Thessalonians 4. Here are some summary thoughts in regards to the three questions we ask:

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

  • God reveals his will to us, it isn’t something hidden that we need to find out. Verse 3 says he desires sanctification (holiness) for his people.
  • Jesus died and rose again. He will bring those who have “fallen asleep” in him (verse 14). In some places, the New Testament refers to the death of the Believer as “Sleep”. We close our eyes to this world to be awakened when the Lord restores his creation including giving us resurrected and glorified bodies.
  • Verse 16 tells us that Jesus will come again and when he does the dead will rise.

(2) What does it teach about me?

  • Verse 1 shows us those who are mature in their walk with Christ serve as examples to other believers in how to “walk and please God”.
  • God’s will for us is sanctification. This means holiness; that sin does not rule over us in thoughts or actions. This passage is speaking about sexual sin in particular. Self-control is to be practiced. Sexual sin involves more than one person, so God sees when someone wrongs another in this way and he will call them to account. In verse 8, it says that if we disregard the command to be sexually pure, we haven’t disregarded man’s rules, but we have disregarded God himself (Verses 3-8).
  • Verses 3-8 warn against impurity in our relationships but verses 9-10 describe the opposite: brotherly love. Love is to govern our relationships with one another and this type of love is always increasing.
  • Our lives are not to be characterized by meddling or idleness, but walking properly before those outside the church (verses 11-12)
  • The Bible gives us a reason to hope when facing the death of a loved one or even our own. Jesus was raised and so will we be raised. The day will come when Jesus will return and we will either see the resurrection or be raised ourselves. The knowledge of our resurrection is based on Jesus’ resurrection. We are to encourage one another with this knowledge (verses 13-18)

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

  • Does the way I live my life serve as an example for others one how to walk with the Lord and please God (verse 1)?
  • Am I living a life that is increasing in holiness? Am I living in a pattern of sexual purity and self-control (Verses 3-8)?
  • Are my relationships characterized by brotherly love? Or impurity on one side or indifference on the other side (Verses 9-10)?
  • Am I walking properly before those outside the church (Verses 11-12)?
  • Do I understand the resurrection in such a way that it allows me to encourage others (Verses 13-18)?

What insights did you have?