Questions for Reflection – November 15, 2020

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Eternal Rewards, Part 3”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. The prospect of future reward can be very encouraging, empowering, and comforting.
How  would the prospect of eternal reward impact:

  • A teen, or 20 something, who is seeking to remain sexually pure?
  • A person who is caring for a spouse or parent who suffers from Alzheimer’s?
  • A parent who is raising a special needs child?
  • Parents who are seeking to be spiritual models for their children?
  • An individual who is considering downsizing their cost of living to make more eternal investments?
  • A young person who wants to follow Jesus despite the poor example of their parents?
  • A person who has long suffered physically with disability or pain?

One thing is certain, all of our struggles in faithfully serving and following Jesus will one day be worth it!

2. Bruce asked: Will every believer experience joy in eternity? And he stated emphatically YES!

  •  Read I John 2:28.  John proposes that it is possible for a Jesus follower to experience shame when Jesus returns. How does that “jive” with Bruce’s statement above? Discuss.
  • After some discussion evaluate Samuel Hoyt’s statement: “To overdo the sorrow aspect of the judgment seat of Christ is to make heaven hell.  To underdo the sorrow aspect is to make faithfulness inconsequential.”

3. Do you feel prepared to stand before the Bema of Christ?
Are there attitudes that should be altered?
Are there habits or patterns of sin that need to be addressed?
Are there areas where you have yet to yield your will to His?

4. List the resources God has graciously provided for you (education, abilities, spiritual gifts, life experiences, positions of influence, finances, opportunities to serve Jesus and others). Then take some time to prayerfully consider how you might better utilize each of those resources for eternal benefit.

5. All of us may be in differing places in our spiritual journey:

  • Some may be in “comeback mode.” Maybe you’ve drifted in your spiritual walk and spent some time off in “the spiritual weeds.”  If so, always remember His arms are ever open wide to you.  Draw near to Him, and he’ll draw near to you (James 4:8). It is never too late to build well, manage well, and run well.
  • Others have maybe enjoyed a series of significant spiritual accomplishments and victories. If so, stay humble, remain faithful, keep your focus on the finish line and continue to exalt Jesus.

6. First Corinthians 10:12 warns us, Let him who thinks he stands, take heed that he does not fall.
Prayerfully read Psalm 139:23-24 and ask God to reveal any hidden issues in your heart.

“We were made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person. Heaven is the place”
– Randy Alcorn

Recommended book for digging deeper into Eternal Rewards:
Going for the Gold by Joe L. Wall

Sneak Peek – Sunday, November 15, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!

I hope some of you have had the opportunity to check out my webpage at brucehess.com

Again, we have uploaded a number of sermon series I’ve done and you can either listen by streaming, listen by downloading the mp3 to your device, or you can read the transcription of the message.  I will soon be uploading the Eternal Rewards series once the transcriptions are completed.  We will also continue to add more and more series and messages from past years.

I’ve received some kind comments about the site being easy to navigate.  I’m always open to suggestions for improvement. If you do visit, please click on “Contact us” and leave a comment (we hope it will be a positive one!). I’m excited to utilize the website to reach more and more folks with teaching from God’s word.  Please pass along the website address to friends and feel free to link it in your social media. Thanks!

This Sunday we will conclude our study of Eternal Rewards with the third and final message. This one was somewhat of a struggle for me as I had SO much I wanted to include.  We hope you find this concluding message beneficial—we will be examining three analogies of the Christian life from Scripture, plus looking at some specific rewards that the Bible highlights.  It will be fun and informative!

A week from Sunday (the 22nd) will be a modified ALL in Sunday (Birth—Pre-K will meet as normal).  Elementary and up will get to enjoy the baptism worship service.  Don’t miss being a part of that Sunday as we celebrate as a church family a number of baptisms.  Indeed, it’s a GREAT celebration we get to experience together!

I also want to remind everyone of how quickly the Mission Norman Christmas store outreach (to many disadvantaged folks in our community) is coming upon us.  This year’s Shoppe will be more of a drive-up pick-up style store. Collecting gifts for 600 kids is a tall order.  We also will need all sorts of volunteers to make the outreach a success.  Don’t put it off!  Visit wildwoodchurch.org/missionnorman to learn more or to sign up. Let’s keep making a difference right here in our community!

See you Sunday!

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – November 8, 2020

On Sunday, November 8, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Eternal Rewards, Part 2”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. George Whitfield was an English preacher and a significant voice during the first Great Awakening (a spiritual revival during the mid-1700s).  He has been called “the father of modern evangelicalism.” A plaque by his grave cites a quote by him:
After I am dead I desire no other epitaph than this, “Here lies G.W.
What sort of a man he was the Great Day will discover.”

What is the Great Day?  As best you can, what do you think he was really saying?  Discuss.

2. The Bible teaches that Christ could return for you (or call you home via death) at any time.
How much does that truth affect you on a daily basis? How should it affect you?
What needs to change?

3. Bruce cited Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “Therefore, we have as our ambition…to be pleasing to Him.”  A penetrating question for all of us is, am I pleasing God?
— in how I handle my money?
— in my family/marriage relationships?
— in my friendships?
— in my vocational life?
— in how I’m investing my time?
— in serving Jesus and others rather than just myself?

4. On a personal level—is the Holy Spirit convicting you about any of your attitudes or actions (sins of commission)?  Is He convicting you of something that He’s been urging you to do that you have failed to do (sins of omission)?  If so, read 1 John 1:7-9 and take some time to practice 1 John 1:9 before Him.

Sneak Peek – Sunday, November 8, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!

As I write this there are clouds of confusion, consternation and controversy swirling around the aftermath of our national election.  Whatever the outcome of the election we need to remind ourselves that:

Jesus still is the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords.

He still is the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty, who is, who was, and who is to come

He still is far above all rule, authority, power and dominion.

He still holds all things together

He still works all things after the counsel of His will

He still is our Shepherd who restores our soul and leads us in paths of righteousness

He still will never leave us nor forsake us

He still is at work in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.

We still are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise

Jesus still is the way, the truth, and the life

He still is patient, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

He still is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world

He still is rich in mercy and grace

He still is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him

The gospel still is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes

The gift of God still is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

The Bible still is the Word of God, alive and powerful

The tomb still is empty.

We still are to proclaim His name and make Him known among the nations

We still are to let our light shine before others

We still are called to walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.

We still are to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might

We still are ambassadors for Christ, co-workers in God’s service

It is still true—how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news

Let’s not lose focus!

This Sunday we will continue the series on “Eternal Rewards” (which we launched last Sunday) with message #2, where we will zoom in for a closer look at the Bema of Christ.  Don’t miss it!

Bruce

Questions for Reflection – November 1, 2020

On Sunday, November 1, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Eternal Rewards, Part 1”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. How often have you heard teaching on the subject of eternal rewards? Why do you think the subject isn’t addressed more frequently?

2. Some people feel that encouraging a believer to make spiritual life choices with the motive of gaining an eternal reward sounds wrong…sounds mercenary-like. Why do you think that is? How does that idea square with Scripture?

3. Re-read 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. What should we learn from such a passage? Elaborate.

4. CS Lewis said this in Mere Christianity: If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the future world, that they have become so ineffective in this.

Pray that God will deepen your personal focus on the world to come—which, indeed, is our true home.

Sermon Preview for Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!

It sure has been a difficult week.  Nope, not so much Covid-based, as has been the story for a while, but STORM based.  We were among the many that lost power due to the storm. Pastor Mark still is without power on Friday as I write this.  Whenever we lose power, I’m always reminded of how much I take electricity for granted.  Life is SO much better with electricity!

Janet and I also lost a very significant part of our two 50-year-old trees…even more branches down than in the ice storm in December of 2007.  More leaves on the trees this time, thus more for ice to stick to.  Can’t say it’s been a boring week.

I’m excited to launch a new study this week entitled, Eternal Rewards.  From my observation the idea of eternal rewards in a believer’s life is often a neglected or unexplored biblical truth. What does the Bible say about eternal rewards and how should we live in light of that?  I’ve been planning this short series for a while so I’m looking forward to it.  I hope you are too.

I want to remind you of two things: First, we “fall back” this Saturday night so we get that extra hour of rest [ theoretically 😉 ].  Second, our Christmas outreach to the less fortunate via the Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe is directly ahead.  That ministry can’t happen without adequate volunteers to serve (and some of our regular volunteers are unable to serve due to Covid issues).  Please visit wildwoodchurch.org/missionnorman to volunteer and help staff this year’s outreach ministry.  There are a number of different roles to fill. Many people in our community will be grateful for your help.

See you on Sunday!

Bruce

Sermon Questions – July 5, 2020

On Sunday morning, July 5, 2020, Student Pastor Abe Mahner’s message is “How Long, O Lord? Part 2” from Psalm 86. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Why is it important to remember God’s promises when we lament?
  2. What is difficult about holding on to God’s promises in times of pain and hardship?
  3. How are David’s laments different than how you express sadness to God?
  4. In what ways have you seen God be person, the creator, sovereign, and faithful?
  5. How can Psalm 86 help you lament this week?

Sermon Preview – July 5, 2020

Have you ever wondered if you should express to God how you are actually feeling? Have you ever been hurt, felt pain, or been confused by what is happening in your life? Last week we began a two-week mini-series on lament called “How Long O LORD?”. “What is lament?”, you may ask. Great question! Lament is the biblical practice of expressing our pain and hardship to God. Pastor Kevin Choate lead us into Psalm 13 and shared a practical blueprint for lamenting. It was a fantastic message and I would encourage you go listen to it if you have not yet.

This week, we are continuing our conversation on lament as we step into Psalm 86. David is praying to God, relying on who God has promised himself to be, and crying out to God trusting he will act. David does not run to resolve the pain himself. David doesn’t run to distract himself from the pain. David doesn’t turn away from God. David DOES run directly into the arms of our personal, sovereign, faithful, Creator God and asks Him to “incline” his ear. Have you ever had a prayer like that? We are going to dive into David’s prayer and use it to help us understand how we can honestly present our hurts to God, while still holding fast to His promises.

We hope that you all have a wonderful July 4th weekend and we look forward to seeing you all at 8 am, 9:30 am, or 11 am on Sunday whether that is in-person or online!

Abe Mahner

Student Pastor

Sermon Questions – June 28, 2020

On Sunday morning, June 28, 2019, College Pastor Kevin Choate’s message is “How Long, O Lord? Part 1” from Psalm 13. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Why is trusting in God so important to lament?
  2. What are some things in your life that need to be lamented?
  3. Have you been complaining to others or God more? Why?

Sermon Preview – June 28, 2020

This is something that can combine us all together. Since March of 2020, all of our lives have been changed drastically. We can look and see that there are things around us now that are completely different than what they were just a few short months ago (though it might feel like ages ago).

We have all experienced, seen, or shared in some level of pain or suffering. Whether it’s job loss, the loss of a loved one, or pain and strife on display on the news, one thing is certain – we can all relate to the idea of “pain”. In the past three months, we can probably look back on a certain moment, day, or conversation that revealed how deep those feelings were. Those feelings are real. They’re not only real, but the effects of that pain is real.

So what’s next? In the aftermath of pain and suffering, what can we do?

Lament is a word that is not used often in our western culture, especially in our “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” culture. Grinding it out, rubbing some dirt on it… these may be phrases of which we’re all too familiar. Could it be that God gave us a blueprint in how to deal with our pain and the pain of others?

Lament is how you live between hard experiences and God’s promises. Join us this Sunday to explore Psalm 13 and the biblical blueprint for how to deal with pain.

 

Kevin Choate

College Pastor