September 8, 2019
Come and See - John 1:35-51
Guest Speaker: Rev. Spencer Ewing - Christ the King Presbyterian Church - Philadelphia
September 1, 2019
Hebrews - To Equip You With Everything Good - Hebrews 13:1-16
Take some time to reflect on the application of, “keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters,” as it relates to the original audience as well as Renewal church.
Consider the missional and evangelistic impact of opening your home and table to others.
What are the reasons why culture is obsessed with sex? In what ways have Christians bought into culture’s narrative regarding sex instead of what God teaches us? How can the church cultivate a safe and gracious environment to help others grow in honesty and transparency?
The love of money can manifest through greed, discontent, cheating others etc. If you are consumed with the love of money what fears are at the root of that love? How does the gospel cast out those fears and provide true contentment and fulfillment?
Where has God placed you in a position of authority and leadership (home, business, church, etc.)? Are there people under your influence that are considering the outcome of your life?
The writer of Hebrews instructs us to live in continual praise, good deeds and acts of generosity. Which of these areas are a strength for you? Which is God calling you to grow in?
August 25, 2019
Hebrews - To Equip You With Everything Good - Hebrews 12:18-29
Do you experience the intimacy with God that this passage affirms that we have? If not, what obstacles or barriers might be holding you back?
The writer lists several things that we have “come to,” in 22-24, which truths resonate most? Which are the hardest to comprehend? Which gives you the most joy?
Things in our lives and in our world seem to constantly be shaking. How does knowing that we are part of a “kingdom that cannot be shaken” give you hope, confidence, and peace?
Throughout the Bible, what does a healthy “fear of the Lord” look like? What does an unhealthy fear look like? How can we help each other know and experience the right type?
August 18, 2019
Hebrews - To Equip You With Everything Good - Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Think about times in your life where God has rescued you. When the obstacles ahead seemed to be literally impossible, but God split the seas and made a way for you to move forward against all odds. Reflect and give thanks for the victories in your life.
What plans and purpose has God placed on your mind and heart that seem unattainable at the moment? How might he be calling you to deeper trust and faith and what actions can you take to move towards that call?
What would it look like if we cross examined all things (trials, uncertainties, the future, what is unseen) against what we know to be true of the character of God
Do we live in the present as though the future has already arrived in Christ?
August 11, 2019
Hebrews - To Equip You With Everything Good - Hebrews 11:1-16
What would it look like if we cross examined all things (trials, uncertainties, the future, what is unseen) against what we know to be true of the character of God?
Do we live in the present as though the future has already arrived in Christ?
What is an act of faith in our lives that would be considered as foolishness to people around us?
Where is faith taking you into the unknown? Into greater love for others? Into action?
August 4, 2019
Jesus + Nothing - Colossians 3:1-11
What habits and rhythms have helped set your hearts and minds on Jesus in your life? What new practices would you be willing to incorporate? What habits and thoughts act as a hindrance to your pursuit of Jesus?
Do we embrace the truth that God sees us through the lenses of grace?
Where are you most tempted to find your identity? (ie. is it rooted in your ability, profession, position, family, possessions, lineage etc.)
How are you being continually “renewed in knowledge” after the image of your Creator? What does that look like day to day?
July 28, 2019
Jesus + Nothing - Colossians 2:6-19
What are some tangible outcomes of a life that is yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
“I am the True Vine” This implies that there are false vines that people can find themselves rooted in. What Vine are you making yourself at home in?
What are the religious and irreligious attractions today that attempt (overtly or subversively) to draw Christians away from what they already possess in Jesus? What habits and promises from the Bible can help us combat them?
Have you ever felt the burden of legalism in your Christian experience? Do you ever feel that grace can’t be enough? Have you experienced the freedom that Paul is relaying to the Colossians?
July 21, 2019
Jesus + Nothing - Colossians 1:15-28
If Christ is “before all things,” what does this practically look like in regards to country, ethnicity, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, career, marriage, child rearing etc.?
If Jesus “holds all things together” what are the implications on the devastating effects of climate change, people dying from hunger, disease, disasters and acts of violence?
Since Christ is the head of the church, how can we tangibly submit Renewal church pastors, leadership, brothers and sisters to his guidance and care?
Are there attitudes, longings or worries in your heart that betray your confession that Jesus is King?
As you reflect on Jesus, what has made him more beautiful and glorious to you this week?
July 14, 2019
Jesus + Nothing - Colossians 1:1-14
How does ensuring that gospel indicatives precede gospel imperatives avoid many of the shortfalls of religion? If that pattern helps the Colossians ‘truly understand’ the gospel, how do we make sure we operate from gospel indicatives rather than sheer commands? What habits can we cultivate?
How might cultural shifts affect your perspective of what it means to be a follower of Jesus? Are you shaped more by the culture or the Kingdom?
Who needs to see and hear from you that Christ has rescued you and offers us the most compelling way to live?
July 7, 2019
You Are Not Able to Do It Alone - Exodus 18
Guest Speaker: Rev. Spencer Ewing - Christ the King Presbyterian Church - Philadelphia
June 30, 2019
The Cost of Following Jesus - 1 Kings 19:15-21; Luke 9:51-62
How many times have you seen God work in powerful ways in your life and yet fail to trust his promises for the future? If willing, share examples.
What does it look like to live with an openness to the call of God (personally, vocationally) today?
Consider all the influences in your life, which people have passed the mantle of faith to you, and have you and are you currently doing the same for someone else?
Have you ever had to leave behind what you’ve known in order to head in an entirely new direction?
June 16, 2019
The Holy Trinity - Three In One - John 16:12-15; Romans 5:1-5
How does worship of the Triune God propel you to deepen in your love and awareness of God, greater love for those around you and participate in what God is doing around you?
In what ways can our experiences and relationship with God give us stories and language to offer hope to an anxious world?
How might the distinctiveness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit help shape your prayers and encouragement to others?
What practices help cultivate alertness to the truth of the Trinity in your life? How might that awareness affect your daily perspective and relationships?
June 2, 2019
Behold, I Am Coming Soon - John 17:20-26; Revelation 22:12-21
John has an underlying message of Empire and oppression in Revelation. There is the kingdom of this present age and there is the heavenly kingdom. Which Kingdom do you serve?
Jesus says that Christians would be known for our love. In what ways might your love be distinct from the world? How does love and unity with believers showcase your allegiance to Jesus?
The audience of Revelation had a choice: to serve Domitian (world) or Jesus. Which King do you follow and serve?
John does not bash Domitian. He directs our attention to someone far better. Likewise, how might you (or the church community) direct attention to Jesus without intentionally building hostility with the world?
May 26, 2019
Behold, I Am Making All Things New - John 5:1-9; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
In what areas of life are you seemingly at a standstill, feeling trapped or helpless? Why? And How does the gospel address what you are facing?
How have your experiences both good and bad (the conditioning process) helped you endure the journey to which God has called you?
Take time to reflect on the ways in which you and I are complicit in the forces that cause death, mourning, crying and pain. The power of these images invite us to renounce the holds these forces have on our lives as we follow Jesus here and now.
May 12, 2019
My Sheep Listen to My Voice; I Know Them, and They Follow Me - John 10:22-30
Every day you and I are overwhelmed with different voices, telling you who you are, what you should buy, who you ought to be. How do we discern what voice to listen to? Whose voice are you listening to?
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Do you listen for the voice of Jesus? If his voice leads us to Gethsemane or deep surrender, will you obey?
Jesus’ actions in this passage enraged his opponents. Like Jesus, what does a voice of truth look like in today’s pluralistic culture? How might our actions and words communicate that Jesus is Lord in 2019?
May 5, 2019
Miraculous Catch of Fish - John 21:1-19
Imagine yourself as one of the disciples on the boat. What goals or ambitions have you been grinding away at and not progressing anywhere? Listen for his still voice, hear and obey it.
Imagine Jesus at a charcoal fire, asking you “_______, do you love me more than these?”
When was the last time you allowed yourself to be wholly surprised by God?
What failures of your life might God be calling you to revisit so that he can transform them to showcase his healing and redemption?
April 28, 2019
Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and Yet Have Believed - John 20:19-31
If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.
– T. Keller
How does the Resurrection shape your thinking and living? How does it shape the way you see people, work and progress?
How are you modelling and displaying the power and hope of the Resurrection in your life within your sphere of influence?
The Scriptures teach “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” How does being a child of God tangibly impact our fears in daily life?
April 21, 2019
He Is Risen! - Mark 16:1-8
Imagine the emotions and self-dialogue that prevented the women from telling others? What barriers prevent you from sharing the news?
What fear(s) is God calling you to overcome because something else is more important than fear?
Just like Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, what grave might Jesus be calling you out of today?
How has the gospel transformed your life? What are the “resurrection stories” in your life? What are the “resurrection stories” of people around you?
April 14, 2019
Who Did you Expect? - Matthew 21:1-15
In what ways does following the way of Jesus confront and pull against our daily posture, practices and habits in our lives?
What expectations regarding the kind of King Jesus is might actually hinder us (and others) from greater intimacy and faithful emulating of Jesus Christ?
What if you are always taught that Jesus will bring you great monetary wealth and physical health and suddenly you get cancer and lose your job? What then?
If we had been among the crowd in Jerusalem that day, and had heard that these two processions (Pontius Pilate and Jesus) were passing by, which would we have chosen to follow?
April 7, 2019
A Different Script - Romans 8:5-14
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, those controlled by the Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. What drives your imagination?
What motivates you in your daily pattern? What does this look like at (home, work, relationships, family, church etc.)?
What do you consider to be your source of wisdom, values and authority? Do they line up with the patterns of this world or the patterns of Jesus’ life?
March 24, 2019
Jesus Learned Obedience - Hebrews 5:4-10
Is it always appropriate to pray (for ourselves and for others) for deliverance from suffering? If not, how can we properly evaluate our emotions or know what to pray for?
Because Jesus experienced the full extent of our pain and sorrow, how can this affect the way we experience suffering in our own lives?
In what ways has your suffering, the very things which threatened to break you, become a source of healing and wholeness for others?
March 17, 2019
Building on a Solid Foundation - Luke 6:39-49
Consider the ways in which we are being led by culture / society / advertisements? How does this shape our character and where does this guidance lead us?
Are you more accustomed to identifying specks in other people’s eyes that you are unable to see the log in your own?
Are we more focused on accomplishment and ambition than the strength of our inner character and integrity?
When the adversities of life seem unrelenting, where does our hope come from?
Are we building our house (life) with no foundation?
March 10, 2019
Godliness has Value for All Things - 1 Timothy 4:6-10
As you train yourself to be godly, what might need to be stripped away (this Lent season) in order to pursue the goal without hindrance?
Jesus lived a sinless life of servanthood while never appearing to be in a rush. How can we live with the same posture and care for others with the demands of modern life?
What area of ‘train yourself to be godly’ requires the most attention in your life this season? Consider a plan (devotional, Bible reading plan, spiritual discipline) that you can incorporate today.
March 3, 2019
How Can I Forgive? - Matthew 18:21-35
Guest Speaker: Pastor Jeff Jantzi - The Gathering Ottawa
In what ways have you personally experienced God’s forgiveness and mercy in your life?
Who is God calling you to forgive? Why?
What has made forgiving that person so difficult for you?
What is the next step that you sense God inviting you to take as you learn to walk in forgiveness?
February 24, 2019
The Liturgy of the Ordinary - Mark 1:9-11 and Mark 14:22-25
Guest Speaker: Father Stephen Silverthorne - Parish Priest of the Good Shepherd Anglican Church
God took on a human body and didn’t shed this body even when He ascended back into heaven. What does this tell us about the importance God gives our bodies?
What habits can you take on to make you more aware of Christ’s presence in the everyday task of caring for bodies—yours and those you have responsibility for?
This message talked about some of the ways in which communion teaches us to receive grace from God. How can you better prepare yourself to receive communion each week? What habits can you take on which will open your heart to being transformed when you gather for worship?
February 17, 2019
Finding God in Seasons of Darkness - 1 Kings 19:1-18
What are some negative outcomes in measuring the Christian life based on your current feelings and emotions?
God provided for Elijah’s direct needs at the right time. What is a miracle and how can we train ourselves in recognizing God’s miraculous work in our day to day lives?
Elijah suffered from despair, fear, failure and exhaustion. What principles can we learn from this passage in order to demonstrate compassion on brothers/sisters who may be experiencing the same?
In Elijah’s experience, spiritual and emotional well-being did not instantaneously appear. Why does God not always bring immediate emotional healing?
How can God use you as a ‘messenger’ in the lives of the people around you?
February 10, 2019
A Living Sacrifice - Romans 12:1-2
The challenge of a living sacrifice is the ability to crawl off the altar. In what ways are you tempted to exempt yourself from the teachings and life that Jesus modelled?
If you are what you love, then consider what you are consuming daily. What are you dedicated and passionate about? What podcasts or authors are you subscribed to? Are you able to process this information through the lens of the gospel?
When we look at the life of Jesus, what habits demonstrated his priorities and how he offered his life and mind for God’s glory? In what ways can we emulate these practices today?
January 27, 2019
The Pains of Childbirth Until Christ is Formed in You - Galatians 4:8-20
Many forces whisper to us and lie that we would rather be enslaved to them again. What temptations (money, sex, power, comfort, racial identity, social desirability etc.) attempt to seduce you away from true freedom in Christ?
What attributes of healthy relationships are modelled in this passage? what can we draw from Galatians 4:12-14, 19-20 and apply to our life in the church and outside?
Take inventory of the various aspects of your life and how they overlap. The Holy Spirit can reveal and expose our areas in need of growth - is there anything in these areas that enslaves you?
January 20, 2019
The Truth will Set you Free - John 8:31-47
In your daily work and life at home, what does it look like to dwell in/hold to Jesus’ teaching and example? What would an apprenticeship with Jesus entail in your workplace?
If you feel as though you are being held captive by habitual sin, what truth(s) can you cling to? What resources (Scripture, people, Holy Spirit etc.) might help you overcome enslavement? What does being “free indeed” mean?
What are some ways you might be tempted to evade / selectively ignore the teachings of Jesus?
January 13, 2019
The Need for Self-Discipline - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
What might the Christian life (your life) look like with the same level of daily commitment and determination of an elite athlete?
Are there people in your life that you are pouring into in such a way that you can consider them your joy and crown?
When it comes to the Christian life, what strict training might the Holy Spirit highlight in this season of your life?
Discipline is the key to implementing practices in our lives (Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, giving, serving, sharing good news). Take some time to create specific plans/goals in your spiritual formation.
January 6, 2019
Make Every Effort - 2 Peter 1:3-11
What is your idea of the “good life”? What drives and motivates your daily actions?
Peter tells us that God has provided us all we need to thrive and participate in his divine nature, what ‘additions’ to your faith require your ongoing vigilance?
What practices can you incorporate into your life in order to be more open to how God desires to change your character and desires?