Sermon Questions – 3/15/2020

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Avoiding the Pitfall of Failure” from Matthew 26:30-35; 69-75. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

  1. Failure is a part of life. What well-known failure pops into your mind when you think of the whole topic of failure?
  2. We all have personally failed at one time or another. Share about a time when you experienced a failure. Elaborate.
  3. Why do we commonly fear failure so much?
  4. What missteps did Peter make that contributed to his personal failure? [we mentioned three]
  5. Jesus gave a warning to the disciples before they came face-to-face with the potential of failure. Think of some warnings given to us that surface in the New Testament. Elaborate on why you think God has issued such a warning.
  6. Bruce said, “Pride mushrooms in an environment of comparison.” Expand on what you think that means.
  7. One principle that surfaces from our passage is the idea, “pray up or trip up.” Review through the suggested core prayers that Bruce listed:

Lead me               Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:18

Teach me             John 14:26; 16:13

Use me                Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11

Strengthen me   Ephesians 1:18-20; 3:20

Embolden me     Philippians 1:20; Ephesians 6:19

8. “His grace and mercy are greater than our failures.” Take time to give Him thanks!

Sneak Peek – 3/15/2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

Wow, it has been wild out there with all the talk and gyrations related to the Coronavirus.  I have no idea where all this is going, but wherever it leads, our God is still fully in charge.  Aren’t you thankful?  Knowing the shepherd is always there with us and always guiding and leading is SO comforting.  Thank Him for loving and caring for you the way He does!!

Talk of the Coronavirus surfaces all kinds of questions.  Be sure to check a subpage on our website  wildwoodchurch.org/health to learn more about both precautions Wildwood is taking and any scheduling adjustments that might arise.  Pray for God’s clear leading on the responses that would be wise for us to implement as a church in the days ahead.

How many of us have experienced personal failure on one level or another?  Yep, ALL of us.  What makes us vulnerable to failure?  What preventative steps can we take to minimize the potential for personal failure?  Those and other perspectives will be our focus on Sunday as we examine the infamous failure of Peter in denying Jesus in Matthew 26.

We will be continuing the Defeating Death series Mark has been leading in Matthew.  I would encourage you to read Matthew 26:30-35 and 26:69-75 before Sunday.  My message is entitled, “Avoiding the Pitfall of Failure.”  Come and join us as we seek to learn truth that can help us more effectively steer around the prospects of personal failure.

 

See you Sunday!!

Bruce

Easter Sunday 2019 Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 21, 2019, I preached the Easter Sunday message at Wildwood Community Church.  This message was based on John 20:1-18.  Below you will see the audio from the sermon to listen to online, download, or share.

 

To listen offline, click on the link below to download:

Easter Sunday 4.21.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the livestream, visit the Facebook live feed by clicking here.

 

Easter 2019 Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 21, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on John 20:1-18.  The message focused on the fact that Easter is not the end . . . but the beginning!  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read John 20:1-18
  3. Have you ever “buried” something that eventually “sprang back to life”?  (i.e. a sports team, musical act, your career, etc.)
  4. What signs do you see in John 20 that Mary, John, and Peter thought that the first Easter was “THE END”?
  5. Jesus’ resurrection transforms the “end” into the “beginning.”  Have you (or does someone you know) think of Jesus as simply a part of your/their history (not their present or future)?
  6. Jesus’ resurrection transforms the “end” into the “beginning.”  In what ways are you tempted to think that it is not “worth it” to follow Jesus?  How does the resurrection encourage you today?
  7. Jesus’ resurrection transforms the “end” into the “beginning.”  What sins in your life do you struggle to think that Jesus can actually forgive?  How does Jesus interactions with Peter after the resurrection encourage you today?
  8. Jesus’ resurrection transforms the “end” into the “beginning.”  How does this encourage you concerning loved ones you know who have already died (or are dying)?  How does it encourage you regarding death for yourself?
  9. Jesus knows your name and He is calling you to believe in Him.  Are you trusting Jesus for your salvation today?
  10. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Easter Weekend Preview

Last night I put in some work to usher “spring” into our home’s exterior. 

I began by pulling weeds in the yard and flower beds.  (I cannot seem to grow a bush underneath our bedroom window, but by golly, I can sure grow weeds and clover!)

Once the garden was clean, I began spreading mulch over all the flower beds.  Once again, I was amazed at what $3.18 per bag can accomplish!  

With this (now clean) canvas, my wife put flowers in hanging baskets and in pots by the front door.  Suddenly, the front of our house had come alive . . . just in time for Easter!  I really do love this time of year.

While I was doing these tasks, my mind was thinking about bigger things.  I was reflecting on this Holy Week of remembrances and celebrations — Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  

On Good Friday, we remember that Jesus came to “clean the garden” of our lives.  On our own, we cannot grow even a “bush” of righteousness, but the weeds of sin blanket our lives.  Jesus came to gather up all those sins, and the punishment those sins deserve, and have them die with Him on the cross.  In an amazing transaction, not only are the wages of our sin pulled out from the ground of our life, but also the righteousness of God in Jesus is spread over our souls – hiding us in Him.  Isn’t it amazing what grace can accomplish?

Then on Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Jesus’ resurrection not only demonstrates His authority over death, but it also makes it possible for His fruit to blossom by the doors of our lives!  On the clean canvas that His death provides, His resurrection flowers love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our souls!  

I do not mean to be trite with this analogy.  It really moved me last night, so I wanted to share it with you.  I also wanted to invite you to worship with me and our church family at Wildwood Community Church this Easter season.  We have several opportunities to do so:

Good Friday Service

  • Friday, April 19
  • Two identical Services: 6:00 & 7:30 PM
  • Reflect on Jesus march to the cross where He laid His life down for you and me.  Scripture reading, music, communion.  No children’s ministry running — all join in this worship service.

Easter Sunday Services

  • Sunday, April 21
  • Three Identical Services:  8:30, 9:45, 11:00 AM
  • If you are able to join us at the 8:30 service, we would love to have you come join us at that time!  Full children’s ministry and Adult groups running during the 9:45 and 11:00 services.  Student Ministry (6th – 12th grade) meeting during the 9:45 hour.  We will sing and celebrate the resurrection this day, and look at how Jesus has something to do with our past, our present, and our future.  See you Sunday!

Palm Sunday 2019 Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, I preached a sermon on Matthew 21:1-11 at Wildwood Community Church.  This message was on Palm Sunday.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to, download, or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

Palm Sunday 4.14.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the Facebook Livestream, click here.

 

Palm Sunday 2019 – Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 14, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message for Palm Sunday.  This message focused on Matthew 21:1-11.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 21:1-11
  3. What are some of the most memorable things to you about Palm Sundays (or Easter weekends) that you have experienced in your life?
  4. On the first Palm Sunday, the people of Jerusalem were most intrigued by the PERSON at the center of it all – Jesus Christ.  Matthew 21:11 tells us what the crowds in Jerusalem were thinking about Jesus on that first Palm Sunday.  What stands out to you from their description (as well as the exposition of their descriptions from the message today)?  In what ways do you hear the same descriptions of Jesus TODAY, 2,000 years later?
  5. Jesus is more than just a prophet from Nazareth, as we were reminded today.  What are some of the prophecies you see Jesus fulfilling as He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?  How do these fulfillments challenge you to rethink or add to your understanding of who Jesus is?
  6. Jesus is the King of Kings and the Savior of the World.  What are some of the implications of these truths for you today?
  7. Complete these sentences:  “It He is the King (and MY KING), then ___________.”  “If He is the Savior (and MY SAVIOR), then __________.”
  8. C.S. Lewis famously said that only 3 options exist for our assessment of who Jesus is.  We can either say He is a lunatic, a liar, or Lord.  How would you answer Lewis’s “multiple choice” question?
  9. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Palm Sunday Preview

What makes Easter so special for you?  Is it time with family?  Egg hunts?  Easter bunnies?  Time with friends?  A special meal?  Going to church in your finest spring attire?  All of those things may hold special significance for you, but for followers of Jesus, Easter is far more than those things . . . it is the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection that secures our forgiveness and our hope for eternity!  While there are many things that we may associate with Easter, we cannot (or at least should not) leave Jesus out!

Now, I write this just a few days before Palm Sunday.  So, let me ask you . . . what makes Palm Sunday, Palm Sunday?  Is it the donkey?  The waving of palm branches?  The singing?  The penultimate moment of the Easter season?  What is it?  Certainly all of these things play a part, but what makes Palm Sunday so special is JESUS CHRIST.

In Matthew 21:1-11, we see the historical record of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on that first “Palm Sunday.”  Yes, He was riding a donkey.  Yes, people were waving palm branches.  Yes, they were singing Psalm 118 all around Him.  Yes, it was simply days before Jesus’ arrest and death and resurrection . . . but if we only look at the PARTS of this story, we miss the most important thing — the PERSON of Jesus Christ.  Matthew makes this clear when he describes the effect of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as the people of the city ask, “WHO is this? (Matthew 21:10)”  They were not asking, what was He riding?  Or what were we waving?  Or what was the soundtrack?  They wanted to know WHO caused such a stir.

This Palm Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we are going to look at Matthew 21:1-11 together and seek to answer the question, “Who is this Jesus, who set the city astir?”  See you Sunday in our 9:45 or 11:00 services. 

Easter 2018 Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 1, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Luke 24:1-12 and Colossians 2:6-15.  This message was a part of our Easter services for this year.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to online or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download the audio:

Easter 04.01.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

Easter 2018 Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 1, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a message based on Luke 24:1-12 and Colossians 2:6-15.  This was the Easter Sunday sermon for this year.  Below you will find a set of questions related to this message for further reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Luke 24:1-12 and Colossians 2:6-15
  3. The historical events remembered this weekend (the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ) have been called the most significant events in the history of the world.  In what way do you think that is true?  What questions does this statement bring to your mind?
  4. What makes Jesus’ death and resurrection unique?  (After all, Stephen was also martyred, yet we do not have a holiday for him . . . and Lazarus was also resurrected, yet we don’t have a day on the calendar called “Lazarus’ Re-Birthday.”)
  5. According to Colossians 2:12a, 13b-15, the death of Jesus accomplished something very important for us.  What is it?  Think of your past for a moment.  What sin that you have committed “haunts” you still today?  How do these verses indicate Jesus deals with our guilt and sin?
  6. According to Colossians 2:6-13a, Jesus’ resurrection sets us up to live a “new life” today.  In what way is your life different because you know Jesus?  In what ways are you still going back to the “tomb” of your previous life instead of living (with Christ) the resurrected life He provides?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.