Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor • September 18, 2022

To the graduates of the wisdom of James…

1) Watch out for the of the slippery slope

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:17

2) Hold your money with for the sake of

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you. – James 5:1-6

3) Challenge your personal paradigm of and

10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. – James 5:10-11

4) Be

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. – James 5:12

5) Pray in with the right

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. – James 5:13-15

6) The most profound testimony to an unbelieving world is how you:

a) Deal with

b) through adversity

The final words from James:
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
– James 5:19-20

Next Steps

James 5:16 says, “Pray for one another, that you may be healed.” But how? On Thursday, September 29 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, we will train and equip you to pray for others so that they may be healed in whatever way God chooses — spiritually, emotionally, or physically. At this training you’ll have an opportunity to learn how to listen and pray in a way that is comfortable and rooted in scripture.

We encourage you to attend this 90 minute workshop taught by Rick and Anne Campbell. The Campbells lead the After-Service Prayer Team and have 40 years of experience in prayer ministry. Sign up today in the Commons or at info.ctk.church.

 

Small Group Questions

  1. What’s your favorite aspect of September? Why?
  2. If you’ve been part of a graduation ceremony, can you remember what the guest speaker said to you? What do you wish they had said to you?
  3. There are many warnings and instructions in the final chapter of James. Read James 5 aloud. Which of the warnings/instructions do you personally need to take to heart right now?
  4. The prayer of faith seems to come with a promise of wellness. What do you do when the prayer of faith is answered with a no? How do you keep the faith in that moment?
  5. We are all prone to wander. What has brought you back from a time of spiritual wandering?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Part 5: Telling It Like It Is  • Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor

James 4:1–10
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
        
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
        “God opposes the proud
                but shows favor to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James is confronting:

Me-centered

Verses: 1–2: What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

Me-centered

Verse 3: When you ask you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives…

Me-centered

Verse 4: You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

So, what do we do?

to God (verse 7a)

the devil (verse 7b)

(verse 8a)

Wash your (verse 8b)

Purify your (verse 8c)

and (verse 9)

yourself (verse 10)

 

When you live your life = Christo-centric

 

Small Group Questions

  1. What’s your favorite season? Why?
  2. Do you enjoy or hate being the center of attention? Why?
  3. Which of the 3 “Me-centered” aspects of life do you struggle with the most? How have you learned to change that dynamic? If you haven’t learned to change it, don’t be afraid to says so, but then listen to the wisdom in other people’s answers.
  4. Read James 4:1–10 out loud. What is God saying to you right now about connecting with him? What needs to happen right now for you to draw near?
  5. In what ways is your life “Christo-centric”? In what ways is it not? Take a few moments and pray for those areas where it is not in alignment with God and draw near to him.
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Part 4: Watch Your Mouth!  • Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor

James 3:1–12
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 
      
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
        All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
        With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and saltwater flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

The sin list attached to your mouth:

  • Gossip
  • Slander
  • Lying
  • Boasting
  • Cursing
  • Swearing
  • Angry words
  • Complaining
  • Innuendo
  • Self-pity

The truth about that weapon in your mouth:

  1. No one does this (verse 2)
  2. It’s small but controlling (verses 3–4)
  3. Acts like a spark that ignites a forest fire (verse 5)
  4. Can corrupt your (verse 6)
  5. Cannot be tamed (verses 7–8)
  6. Is full of poison (verse 8)
  7. Is undeniably (verses 9–12)

If you can’t tame it, how can you control it?

Understand the power of words:

The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18

Changing your character starts with changing your words–practice the .

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” – Proverbs 21:23

Controlling your tongue is a that you will be held accountable for.

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:34–37

Make a conscious choice to speak .

For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:10-12

The potential goodness of a controlled tongue:

  • Blessing
  • Encouragement
  • Truth-telling
  • Expressed wisdom
  • Humility
  • Wholesome talk
  • Words of life

Next Steps

Scripture says we should consider what a great forest is set on fire by such a small spark, and we’ve all seen this play out countless times on social media. We’ve all seen the division and brokenness words can create in our lives. So, this week we want to intentionally use our words and platforms to show the world something different—to build people up instead of breaking them down.

Here’s how it works. Look back at the outcomes in the section above (The potential goodness of a controlled tongue). This week, our challenge for you is to pick ONE of these outcomes and share a picture on social media of someone who lives it out, and describe how in the caption. Tag your picture with the hashtag #ctkspeaklove so others can find it and be encouraged together.

Small Group Questions

  1. What is one part of the fall season that you are looking forward to?
  2. Has your mouth every gotten you in trouble? Share!
  3. Look back at the “sin list” that’s attached to your mouth. Which one has caused the most damage in or to your life?
  4. Look at the “virtue list” (the potential goodness of a controlled tongue) that is attached to your mouth. Which one has produced the most benefit in or to your life?
  5. Have you ever experienced any victory in taming your tongue? What did God help you to do?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Part 3: It’s The Least I Could DoBrian Behrends, Creative Pastor

James 2:14
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
Your notes…

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Your notes…

James 2:2-4
2  Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Your notes…

James 2:14-17
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

THE MESSAGE (MSG)
Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
Your notes…

James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
Your notes…

John 12:1-3
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Your notes…

Next Steps

This week, your challenge is to show up and serve one of our community partners. We’ve carefully and prayerfully chosen these partners because they care about the things God cares about, and they care with an expertise and commitment that we value. Our partners believe they can make a difference for good, and they’ve done the hard work to put their belief into action. Now you an opportunity to come alongside them. 

Do you want your faith in Jesus to have an impact in our community? Will you do something—small or big—to help that happen? If your answer is “Yes, I will,” all you need to do is…

  • Go to ctkserves.org
  • Click on Serve Our Partners to check out upcoming tours and service projects
  • Choose one… and show up!
  • Need help figuring out a good fit? We have volunteers in the Commons today to help you. Stop by one of the pub tables and let them know you’re willing to serve.  

As well, you’re invited to donate to the Blue Skies for Children shoe drive. Look for details at the display in the Commons or at ctkserves.org/shoedrive. Our goal is 100 pairs of new shoes sizes 7-11 (50 pairs for girls, 50 pairs for boys).

Small Group Questions

  1. Is it your natural tendency to give God your best or just enough to get by? Why do you think that is?
  2. If it’s not the thought that counts, what’s one way you can begin to create the habit of follow-through in your life?
  3. What’s one thing in your life that you want to do but haven’t had the will to?
  4. How would you define the relationship between faith and works? Why does it matter so much in our lives?
  5. What’s one way you can put your faith into action this week?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Part 2: There’s No ShortcutBrian Behrends, Creative Pastor

Sanctification: The process of learning to love loved and live lived.

James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Your notes:

Proverbs 24:16
For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Your notes:

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Your notes:

James 1:19 NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…

James 1:19 ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers…

Your notes:

James 1:22–25
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, 24 after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Your notes:

Zechariah 4:10
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…

Next Steps

If you want to express your faith in action, the only way to start is to start. The only way to do is to do. The only way to serve is to serve. And Zechariah reminds us that there is nothing wrong with a small beginning.

This week, we’re challenging you to find a place to serve in your church—no matter how small the commitment might be. To get started, go to serve.ctk.church. There you’ll find more than a dozen areas where your skills, interests, and willingness could benefit your church and people who are finding their way to Jesus through our ministries. You can explore options there on your own and respond, or you we can help you get started after the service today. Look for our volunteers in the Commons.

If you prefer a paper response form, those are also available in the Commons today. You can fill one out and drop it off at the reception desk any time the church is open.

Small Group Questions

  1. What area of your life do you most want to change right now?
  2. When’s the last time you asked God for wisdom? How did God answer that prayer?
  3. Does knowing that you’re loved change the way you receive the very direct challenges in the book of James? How?
  4. What do you think is the main reason you don’t take action in your life?
  5. Do you sense God inviting you to do something this week? What is it?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Part 1: Lock and Load!  
Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor

 

The Primary Question of the Book of James
I know you want to, but will you?

The Writer: The apostle James = the brother of Jesus =

Who is James writing to? The Diaspora = Jewish people among the nations

The Key Truth of James 1:2-16

and are no respecter of persons!

Trials and temptations are !
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3

The Key Encouragement of James 1:2-16
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (vs. 12)

The Practical Wisdom of James James 1:19–26
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
       22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
       26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

When you face trials and temptations, as a follower of Jesus you are to:

  1. your ears (verse 19)
  2. your mouth (verse 19)
  3. anger appropriately (verse 20)
  4. the trash (verse 21)
  5. the Word (verse 22) which:

and (verses 23-25)

Straight Talk from James

What’s comes when you face the pressure of life head-on.

You can be as religious as you want, but “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

Next Steps

To do what God’s word says, we have to know what God’s word says. The short, practical Book of James in the Bible is a great place to start, so we’re challenging everyone to read through it this week.

Do that in any way that works for you—using an online/mobile version of the Bible, or with a printed edition. You can find the daily readings at ctk.church/james, and we’ll also give you reminders via our Facebook and Instagram.

If you don’t have a Bible, we have a free one for you out in the Commons. It’s yours to keep. The Book of James starts on page 567 in that version.

Small Group Questions

  1. What does the perfect summer evening look like to you?
  2. What kind of relationship do you have with your siblings? What do you imagine the relationship between Jesus and his brother James looked like?
  3. Public reading of scripture is one of our spiritual practices, so read James 1 out loud. What is God saying to you through his word? What stands out?
  4. Which of the five responses to trials and temptations in the outline is the most difficult for you? Why, and what can you do to work on it this week?
  5. We’ve heard James’ wisdom for facing trails and temptations, and there are practical ways to respond. I know you want to, but will you?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Pastors Grant Fisbhook & Julie Burleson

Our final focus:
There is a time for war and a time for peace.

War: the waging of armed conflict against an enemy
Peace: harmonious relations and freedom from disputes; an absence of war

War is a regrettable reality in a .

God used war for two purposes (Deuteronomy 20, Numbers 31, Joshua 8, Isaiah 13)

  1. To territory set apart for use
  2. To eliminate

The example of King Uzziah from 2 Chronicles 26

He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (vs. 4)
He sought God, and God gave him success (vs. 5)
He went to war (vs. 6)
He built defensive towers and fortified them (vs. 9)
He built a well-trained army (vs. 11)
He accumulated weapons (vs. 14)
He made machines that shot arrows and hurled large stones (vs. 15)
…but after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. (vs. 16)

Piety is not , and ruins everything.

The tension within Solomon’s family: 1 Chronicles 22:5–10

 

As believers, we engage in a every day. (2 Corinthians 10:3–5, Ephesians 6:11–18)

A Time for Peace

Peace = – wholeness, health, security, well-being, salvation

Peace is a wholeness

Where can we experience peace? 

  • In our
  • Inside

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

We can be people who bring peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9 

 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18

We have what we need to bring peace

…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. – Ephesians 6:15

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace… Galatians 5:22

God gives us the peace we need

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. – 1 Thessalonians 3:16 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Small Group Questions

  1. What is your primary way of coping with a heat wave?
  2. Read the whole story of Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26. What’s the primary lesson you take away from his life?
  3. What is your personal perspective on war? Did this message affect that view in any way?
  4. What are some ways we can bring peace to others? Is there something practical you can do this week to be a person of peace?
  5. Are there parts of your life where you need God’s peace to guard your heart and mind?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Grant Fisbhook, Lead Teaching Pastor

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under the sun:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, 
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, 
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, 
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,  
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, 
a time for war and a time for peace.

Our focus for today:
There is a time to love, and a time to hate.

 

Now is the time to love what God loves:

God loves (John 3:16)
God loves people who are from Him.  (Romans 5:8)
God loves people who Him. (Proverbs 8:17)
God loves those who choose the .  (Psalm 146:8, Proverbs 15:9)
God loves a .  (2 Corinthians 9:7)
God loves those who Him.  (Psalm 103:11, Deuteronomy 7:9)
God loves those who fairly. (Psalm 37:28, Deuteronomy 32:4)

 

Now is the time to hate what God hates:
     There are six things the Lord hates,
          seven that are detestable to him:
              haughty ,
                  a lying ,
                     that shed innocent blood
                          a that devises wicked schemes,
                               that are quick to rush into evil,
                                    a false  who pours out lies
                                         and a person who stirs up in the community.
                                            Proverbs 6:16-19

 

The Questions:
Do I love what God loves?
Do I hate what God hates?

 

 

Small Group Questions

  1. What do you love? What do you hate? Why?
  2. Look at the list of what God loves. Do you struggle aligning with God’s heart on any of the list above?
  3. Look at the list of what God hates. Do you struggle with any of the sins on God’s list?
  4. The word “hate” is a strong word. Why do you believe God chose that word to assign to these seven sins?
  5. What is one way you can join God in his passion for both lists this coming week?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor

Hello.

I’m Grant.

Our scripture for today says….

There is a time to be silent.

Let’s practice.

Before we begin…does silence make you uncomfortable?

It doesn’t have to.

Take a breath.

Thank God for that breath.

It’s a gift.

God gave you life and breath today.

God is here.

God is near.

Be still,

and know,

He is God.

Let’s take 60 seconds

One minute to rest, focus or be thankful

I will keep the time, so you don’t have to….

60 precious seconds

Begin.

 

Now is the Time

A time to be silent and a time to speak

 

When it is Time :

The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.
The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are
a snare to their very lives.
Proverbs 18:6-7

The :

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:37

The :

Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying,
“Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” And while He
was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate
said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He
answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
Matthew 27:11-14

The :

Therefore, the prudent man keeps quiet in such times,
for the times are evil.
Amos 5:13

When it is Time

Watch your words both in and (Proverbs 10:19)

your words (Proverbs 18:21)

Wisely ask for (from God! – 1 John :14)

Wisely offer an (I Peter 3:15, Colossians 4:6, Proverbs 15:23, Proverbs 12:6)

We are called to speak out (Isaiah 1:17 and I Peter 3:15)

There is a Time to Speak:

Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
Isaiah 58:1

Why is this ?

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36-37

Small Group Questions

  1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far?
  2. Given a choice, would you rather speak or be silent? Why?
  3. Take some time and review all of the scriptures above. What is God saying to you?
  4. Read Matthew 12:36-37. How would you define an “empty word”?
  5. What do you need to keep silent on? What do you need to speak out on?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Brian Behrends, Creative Pastor

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything, 
         and a season for every activity under the sun:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, 
         a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, 
         a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
         a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
         a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, 
         a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, 
         a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, 
         a time for war and a time for peace.

John 16:33
“In this world you WILL have trouble.”

Notes

James 1:2
Count it all joy, my brothers, WHEN you meet trials of various kinds.

Notes

Matthew 12:13
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.

Notes

“Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”
– Andy Stanley

Small Group Questions

  1. What’s something in your life that was way harder than you thought it would be?
  2. What would it look like for you to embrace the hard (tearing) instead of simply waiting for life to get easier?
  3. Is there something in this season you’ve had to grieve? How have you invited God into that process?
  4. We live in a culture where we just buy new things when old things break. Has that affected the way you approach brokenness?
  5. How are you going to actively pursue mending in your life this week? Personally? Relationally?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?