Questions for Reflection: Sunday, July 28, 2019

On Sunday, July 28, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “CORE Truth: We Live by Faith!” from Hebrews 11. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. God works mysteriously. Remember the different life outcomes of Jim Elliot and his brother Bert? Reflect for a moment on how God has worked differently in your life compared to others. What insight do we gain from those differences?

2. God speaks these words to Isaiah in Isaiah 55:8-9:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

How does that divine perspective give us insight into why it is necessary for us to live by faith?

3. Bruce stated that the verb “believe” (pisteuo in the original text) includes what concepts/ideas? In other words, what does it really mean to believe?

4. It is so very easy and natural to keep on our focus on circumstances and life in this world. What can help us to better focus on our heavenly country, our eternal inheritance?

5. Hebrews 4:16 clearly emphasizes that we should approach our High Priest and the Throne of Grace boldly, with deep confidence. Why is it that we are seemingly so slow to pray?

6. Review Romans 8:11. Do we really believe what it says? That the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will energize us since He dwells in us? What keeps us from experiencing the Spirit’s power in our life?

7. If you have listened to all four parts of the Core Truth series, what spiritual lesson has stood out most to you?

8. Take some time to worship the Lord and thank Him for His greatness, His wisdom, His strength and His grace.

Sneak Peek – Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hello Wildwood Family!

 

Last week I lead off with the statement: Wow.  It’s hot.  This week I can say:  Wow. We’ve had a nice break from the extreme heat.  Aren’t you glad?  Send a word of thanks to the Heavenly Father for that refreshment!

 

I have been thinking this week of Paul’s words to the followers of Jesus in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. He encourages us there to remember to pray for those in government authority over us so that we might lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

 

There’s been a lot of wackiness going on in our government and culture recently.  Let’s remember to pray about it.  We don’t want to hear Him tell us one day: Well, there would have been less wackiness, but I didn’t hear from you about it (You do not have, because you do not ask, James 4:2b).  Lord, less wackiness PLEASE!

 

Lisa Goering has been faithfully serving at Wildwood in many roles over the last few years, most recently helping to coordinate our local outreach and helping to lead our A-Team on Sunday mornings.  Well, God has called Lisa to take a job at Roosevelt Elementary here in Norman working with children with special needs. The Goering family isn’t going anywhere, it’s just that Lisa will be investing her time at Roosevelt.

 

This Sunday after the 11:00 service we will have a reception in the Gathering Hall for Lisa.  Be sure to drop by and thank her for her excellent and faithful service to our church family. I am confident she will still find ways to serve around Wildwood.

 

Also Sunday we will conclude our month-long series on Core Truth.  The final core truth we will examine is the truth that We Live by Faith.  Multiple times the Bible tells us, The just shall live by faith.  We will be mining in Hebrews 11 on Sunday (the great faith chapter).  I encourage you to read it before Sunday.

 

Hope you have a great rest of the week!

 

See you on Sunday (Lord willing)!!

 

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – Sundau, July 21, 2019

Questions for Reflection

God Passionately Cares for me!

Luke 15: 11-32

 

 

  1. Someone has said: There is power in story. Why is it that relating a story often carries with it greater impact than simply stating facts?

 

  1. Charles Dickens called the parable of the Prodigal son, The greatest short story ever. In your estimation, why would he conclude that?

 

  1. What are some of your favorite parts of the story? Elaborate.

 

  1. The message title was: God passionately cares for me! Why is it we often doubt that?

 

  1. Bruce said, “Self-indulgence always leads to disaster.” Why is that true?

 

6. Bruce mentioned three steps on the road back.  They all began with “R.”  What were they?

 

  1. The Pharisees were an intriguing group. What was their fatal flaw?

 

  1. Do you know a “prodigal” (someone in your family or circle of friends who has stepped away from Jesus)? Take some time to pray that God might “make them hungry;” that they might “come to the end of their rope” and return to their spiritual Father.

 

  1. Read out loud and reflect on the following verse:

The Lord your God is with you

He is mighty to save

He will take great delight in you

He will quiet you with His love

He will rejoice over you with singing            Zephaniah 3:17   (NIV)

 

In prayer, thank Jesus for passionately caring for you.

Sermon Preview for July 21, 2019

Hello Wildwood Family!

Wow.  It’s hot.  I just stepped back into the offices after taking a short walk around Wildwood’s outer campus on the sidewalk path.  The ground is cracked in many places.  According to several weather stations, the heat index at this moment is 109 degrees. Yikes.

While all that heat is blazing outside, the energy has been bursting inside as Pine Cove Camp in City has been popping.  We are thankful for the Pine Cove team and we pray that all the children who are attending not only have fun but that they would also grow deeper in their knowledge of Jesus.

This Sunday will be part 3 in the series Core Truth. The message title is “God Passionately Cares for You!”  Our text this week is what many have called “The Greatest Short Story Ever.”  It is the moving story of the Prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32.  Since the story covers so many verses, I’m encouraging everyone to read the story at least two times before Sunday.  The story alternates between a focus on the younger brother, to the father, to the elder brother.  You might remind yourself of the context of this parable by looking at Luke 15:1-10.

While Scripture tells us that God cares for and loves us, that truth takes on a different perspective in the drama of this story. The younger son represents those who, as Isaiah says, have gone astray like sheep, each has turned to his own way. The father represents God who passionately cares.  The elder brother is a picture of the Pharisees, those who are self-righteous, judgmental and arrogant, folks who resent that God reaches out in grace and mercy to those in need.  This is a great passage!

Several other key things are happening Sunday. It is small group Sunday—if you are interested in getting relationally connected, be sure to stop by the Fellowship Center at 11:00am.  Also, baptism classes will be held this Sunday.  For more info on that go to wildwoodchurch.org/baptism

See you Sunday!

Bruce

Core Truth: God is Always There! – Questions for Reflection, July 14, 2019

Sermon - Bible App

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “CORE Truth: God is Always There!” from Psalm 139. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

  1. Share if you have had a favorite comic strip over the years and tell why you enjoyed it so much.
  2. Bruce pointed out that life has numerous valleys, many of which are dark places with imposing shadows. Reflect on and share about a dark valley that you experienced and how God helped you through it.
  3. Linus’ line in the message’s highlighted Peanuts cartoon is: Sound Theology has a way of doing that (taking a load off of one’s mind). Why is that true?
  4. What is the difference between omnipresence and pantheism?
  5. Remember the repeating phrase from multiple passages: He will not fail you or forsake you ? Why do you think God repeats that statement so often? What are some ways that the author of Hebrews adds depth to it in Hebrews 13:5?
  6. The core truths that God knows me and He is always there when knit together underscore God’s providence in your life and mine. Yet, we can oftentimes feel abandoned by God. Why?
  7. It is exciting to ponder that no matter what happens in the future God has already been there. How best can we remind ourselves of that truth?
  8. Core Truth helps to invigorate and strengthen our worship. Spend some time worshipping God either through prayer or song.

Sermon Preview – July 14, 2019

Sermon - Bible App

If you are an NBA fan—and especially a OKC Thunder fan—the last few days have been highly disorienting.  “This is so disappointing”    “I never saw this coming”   “What do we do now?”   Those kind of reactions aren’t unlike reactions we often have when adversity and difficulty comes our way.

This is where Core Truth comes into play.  This Sunday we will continue our Core Truth series with the second installment. Last week we examined the Core Truth from Psalm 139 that God Knows Me! He knows all about me.  He meticulously designed me.  Sunday we will mine another Core Truth from Psalm 139:7-12; 17-18—God is Always There!

The Core Truth that God is Always There is a true major theme in Scripture. Life has many valleys and some of them are dark places with imposing shadows.  Come Sunday as probe deeply this wonderful core truth, along with looking closely at some profound reality that grows from it.  It will be encouraging!!

Please continue to pray for our 176 high schoolers and middle schoolers who are at camp until Sunday afternoon.  Pray that each of them grows deeply in their knowledge of Jesus.

See you Sunday!

Bruce

Core Truth: God Knows Me – Sermon Questions

On Sunday, July 7, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message at Wildwood Community Church in Norman, OK was “CORE Truth: God knows Me” from Psalm 139. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. Read Psalm 139:1-6; 13-16

2. From your younger years share about an arena where you often compared yourself to others in a negative way.

3. Truth be admitted, from time-to-time we all struggle with feelings of insignificance or inferiority. Share some current arena where you at times feel inadequate.

4. Why is that we commonly lose sight of Core Truths that God has designed to strengthen and encourage us?

5. God knows all about you! He knows our every movement, every motivation; He knows all of our quirks and warts. Yet He desires to have a deep relationship with us. List some ways that this truth encourages you.

6. God meticulously designed you…you are His workmanship, His masterpiece. Why is it we frequently view ourselves in negative ways?

7. God gave each of us a unique fingerprint and unique DNA. That is a picture of His plan from the womb to use you as His servant to leave a unique imprint on others. Reflect on some ways that God has shaped you for ministry throughout your life.

8. Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you more deeply how He designed you to serve others.

Sermon Preview – Sunday, July 7, 2019

 

Hello Wildwood Family!

I hope you will have some time to be refreshed over this extended July 4th holiday weekend! In the month of July, we will be presenting a 4 part series of messages entitled, CORE truth. While there are numerous CORE truths we could explore we will only be examining four. The first two involve Psalm 139, one of my favorite Psalms.

Have you ever struggled with comparing yourself to others or found yourself feeling insignificant or inferior? Sure, we’ve all been there more often than maybe we’d like to admit. Well, if you’ve found yourself residing in that world, this week’s message is for you.

We will be diving into Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16. The message title is, “God knows you!” When you step back and reflect, that is truly an amazing truth. Come and enjoy a rich time in God’s Word.

Just a reminder, Sunday the 7th is a “full all in” Sunday. There will be no children’s ministry (our children’s staff is getting a very rare break), nor will there be any student or adult ministry. We will ALL gather in one of our two worship services at either 9:45 or 11 am.

Hope to see you Sunday!!

Bruce

New Creation Ambassadors: The Old is Gone, The New has Come – Sermon Questions

On Sunday, June 30, 2019, Care Pastor John Abernethy’s message at Wildwood Community Church in Norman, OK was “New Creation Ambassadors: The Old Has Gone, The New Has Come” from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection. If you have questions or comments, feel free to email John at john@wildwoodchurch.org

Sermon Questions:

1. Pray

2. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

3. Verse 17 is a powerful truth about our new life in Christ! Why is it encouraging and powerful to know “the old has gone?”

4. What does it mean to be reconciled to God. How does that happen?

5. Reflect on Jesus’ death one the cross for you. He was “made sin,” having God’s wrath poured out on Him for you! Have you ever accepted that payment that was made in your place?

6. Imputed means “credited.” Verse 21 describes 2 imputations-your sin to Christ and what is the second one? Given that truth, how does God “see” Christians?

7. Give the definition of an ambassador. Now give a definition of being an Ambassador for Christ. How are you doing at representing your King?

8. What is one particular truth or application you took away from this message?