Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor

When it comes to the seasons of life,
it’s not a question of , it’s a question of .

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.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Every season you face, no matter how painful or joyful,
will become beautiful in God’s and .

There is a time to plant and time to uproot.
– Ecclesiastes 3:2b

The Truth of Planting
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:7-10

24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. – John 12:24

There is a time to plant and time to uproot.
– Ecclesiastes 3:2b

Four opportunities to uproot:

the soil

The is never released until a .
Therefore, now is the time…

Small Group Questions
  1. Have you ever grown anything? What was it?
  2. Do you have any experience gardening? What is one principle of gardening that has been a life lesson for you?
  3. What are you committed to planting in your soul during this season of life? What are you committed to uprooting from your soul in this season of life?
  4. Read the passage from Galatians 6. How has the truth of this passage shown up in your life both positively and negatively?
  5. Read the last section of the outline about four opportunities to uproot. Which of these four activities are you doing right now in obedience to God’s call in this season of life?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Brian Behrends, Creative Pastor

 

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure…
but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
– Francis Chan

Ecclesiastes 1:2-3
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” “
       says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
       Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
       at which they toil under the sun?

Type your own notes below…

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,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
       a time for war and a time for peace.

Type your own notes below…

John 12:23–27
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
       27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came…’”

Type your own notes below…

Small Group Questions

  1. What’s something that’s seasonal that you especially love? A holiday? A tradition? A product that’s only available part of the year?
  2. Does the fact that it’s only available for a season make it more meaningful or less meaningful to you?
  3. If life happens in seasons, how would you describe the season that you’re in right now?
  4. What’s your 100-year plan? What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to say about you when you’re gone?
  5. What’s a step you can take this week that would put you on that path?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Wendy Powell, Community Outreach Pastor

John 3:1-8
       Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
       
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
       4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!
         5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Luke 11:13
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! 

  • The good gift given by our heavenly Father is the
  • The Holy Spirit was given to help us to God
  • God, through his Spirit, is always the and we

John 14:16-17; 16:13
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

  • The Holy Spirit lives in us, helps us hear God, and into all truth
  • The Spirit is among us
  • The Holy Spirit in each of us and in our midst

Ephesians 2:22
In Jesus you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

  • Our spiritual identity is incomplete until we discover in the family of God

1 Peter 4:10 (The Living Bible)
God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Small Group Questions

  1. What have you been taught about the Holy Spirit?
  2. What questions do you have about the Holy Spirit? Anything in the mystery of God you’re still curious about?
  3. Where do you see evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life and/or in our church?
  4. How do you experience the Holy Spirit? For example, as comforter, guide, teacher, conviction, peace, etc.
  5. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:3-6

A scripture that takes me back…
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. – 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

Every story in the Old Testament finds its hope, fulfillment and realization in the of the New Testament.

1 Corinthians 10 takes me back to the beginning of the Old Testament:

God promises to the people of Israel
But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. – Genesis 15:14 (English Standard Version)

God delivers the Israelites from  
During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. – Exodus 12:31

God saves the Israelites from a hopeless situation on the coast of the  
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:13

God makes a miraculous way of escape “through
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. – Exodus 14:21–22

God calls his people to  
And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. – Exodus 14:31

In the same way for us:

Jesus promises to all who believe
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36

Jesus delivers us from  
I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. – John 8:34
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1

Jesus saves us from a hopeless situation of  
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Jesus makes a miraculous way of escape through  
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. – Ephesians 1:7

Jesus calls us to  
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. – John 14:1

 

Anything that takes you back can also remind you of .

Small Group Questions

  1. Have you ever escaped from a hopeless situation? What happened?
  2. Do you remember how you first heard the story of the crossing the Red Sea? Children’s book? Movie? Just this week? What’s one takeaway about God, Moses, the people of Israel or yourself?
  3. What does the story of God’s deliverance in Exodus teach us about baptism in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4?
  4. In what areas of your life are you still a slave? Confess and ask God for help.
  5. Have you felt the approval of God this week? How did that happen?
  6. How can we pray for you today and throughout the week?

 

1 Corinthians 15:3-10
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Jesus appeared to:

  • Peter (Cephas)
  • His twelve closest friends — “The Twelve”
  • 500+ eyewitnesses
  • James
  • All the apostles
  • Thomas

John 20:24–27
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
       But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
       
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

This is why scars matter…
it’s not to remind us of the but of the that only God can accomplish.

John 20:28–29
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
       
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus his scars so that he could yours.

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Small Group Questions

  1. How did you celebrate Easter this year?
  2. Do you have any scars? What’s the story behind one of them?
  3. Read 1 Corinthians 15 out loud. What impacts you about the people Jesus chose to personally see that he was alive?
  4. From your perspective, why do scars matter to Jesus?
  5. Thomas needed proof to believe. What proof did you need to begin following Jesus?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…

Colossians 1:15–18 
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 

Ephesians 1:18–20
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…

3 Things God Wants You to Know

  1. You’ve been called to .
  2. His glorious inheritance is .
  3. His power is .

2 Corinthians 12:9–10
9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Your personal notes:

Small Group Questions

  1. Is it easy or difficult for you to ask people for help? What about God? What do you think that says about you?
  2. Have you ever thought about the fact that you are God’s inheritance? Does that change the way you understand his heart towards you?
  3. Practically, what do you think it means to boast about our weakness?
  4. What’s an area in your life that you need to invite God into so you can access more of His power?
  5. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

1 Samuel 14:1–14

1 One day Jonathan, son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.
       
2 Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, 3 among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.
       
4 On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh. 5 One cliff stood to the north toward Micmash, the other to the south toward Geba.
       6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
       7 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
       
8 Jonathan said, “Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands.”
       11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost.
       
“Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”
       12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
       
So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel.”
       13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

A Story of Four Hearts

1. A heart — the Philistines

There is only one answer for a defiant heart:

 

2. A heart — King Saul

There is only answer for a distant heart:

 

3. A heart — the armor-bearer

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

 

4. A heart — Jonathan

A desperate heart never presumes on

A desperate heart is willing to do the and the

A desperate heart will go till

A desperate heart fears nothing but

 

Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the L
ORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.

– JOEL 2:13

Small Group Questions

  1. Do you or your family have any Easter traditions? What are they?
  2. Name someone in your life who has your back. How did they prove to be someone you could always count on?
  3. Read the scripture again, out loud. Which heart do you have in this present moment? Why?
  4. What does it mean to have a heart that is desperate for God? How does Jonathan’s heart show his connection to God?
  5. Read Joel 2:13 out loud. In what ways do you need to return to God today?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

1 Samuel 23:1-14

       When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” 2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
       The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.
       3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
       4 Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah.
       7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has handed him over to me, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” 8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
       9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.” 10 David said, “O LORD, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, God of Israel, tell your servant.”
       And the LORD said, “He will.”
       12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”
       And the LORD said, “They will.”
       13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
       14 David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.

The truth about “your” decisions:

  • Godly decisions will force you to examine your (1 Samuel 19-22)
  • Godly decisions demand a godly (verse 2)
  • Godly decisions always encounter (verse 3)
  • Godly decisions are rarely or (verse 5)
  • Godly decisions will expose you to (verse 11)
  • Godly decisions are accompanied by God’s (verse 14)

 

Your notes:

Small Group Questions

  1. What are your plans for Easter?
  2. How do you go about making decisions? What are your criteria for a good decision?
  3. How often do you “inquire of the Lord”? What is important enough to bring to Jesus?
  4. When asking God a question, how do you know if it is him that is answering?
  5. Read the 1 Samuel 23 passage again out loud. What is God saying to you about your decisions right now?
  6. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

The Two-fold Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:17-20

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

One more fold:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
        Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  – John 20:19-21

The Father sent Jesus:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5-8

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. – John 2:23–25

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25-28

Just as Jesus was sent,
we are all sent to follow in his footsteps.

Small Group Questions

  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go?
  2. Read the three-fold Great Commission out loud. What phrases stick out to you? What is God saying to you through His word?
  3. Jesus was sent humbly, relationally, and sacrificially. Can you think of examples in your own life where he has met you in these three ways?
  4. God is sending all of us into different parts of the world. How can you model the direction of Jesus (humbly, relational, and sacrificial) at work or within your family this week?
  5. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?

 

The Two-fold Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

The Call: (while you are going…)

The Mission:

The Promise:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

The Who: You will be my —testify!

In Belize, as eyewitnesses of the gospel of Jesus, we also witnessed:

      • Depth of human compassion
      • Onset of godly hope
      • Joy of transformation


The Where
is not — in, and in all, and to the ends!

For a follower of Jesus,
participation in The Great Commission is not .
It is a biblical .

Small Group Questions

  1. If you could fly anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
  2. Where have you seen the hope of Jesus in the past week?
  3. How have you actively participated in the Great Commission in the past year?
  4. How would you describe the process of making disciples?
  5. How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?