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

Greater Than (Part 2) Sermon Audio/Video and Questions

On Sunday, June 21, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Philippians 3:1-16.  This message was part 2 in the “Greater Than” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to this sermon for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also see the sermon audio and video to listen to/watch, download or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Philippians 3:1-16
  3. If you were to tell your life story, what are the 2-4 things that someone would HAVE to know about you to understand your story?
  4. Paul found his personal resume was a LOSS compared to the surpassing VALUE of knowing Jesus.  Paul was saying that all the things in his life (good and bad) do not compare at all to the magnitude of knowing Jesus Christ.  To what degree can you make a similar statement about your own life?  To you, is Jesus greater than all else?
  5. Challenges and difficulties in our life are an invitation to get to know Jesus more (as we fellowship with Him in the midst of our suffering).  Has there been a tough time in your life where you have gotten to know Jesus better and depended upon Him deeper because of the challenges you were facing?
  6. To what degree are you tempted to “look back” in your life (either to revel in the good or wallow in the bad)?  To what degree in life are you tempted to look around and compare yourself to others?  How would pressing on toward Jesus allow you to continue to grow in the midst of a hard season of life?
  7. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to the message offline, click the link:

Greater Than #2 6.21.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video, watch the YouTube video:

 

Greater Than (part 2) Preview

Big and small … tall and short … expensive and cheap … all these terms are relative; they require a standard to determine their meaning.

How do I know something is big?  Well, I compare it to something else, and that comparison determines the scale.  If the scale is comparing an elephant to an ant, then the elephant is big and the ant is small.  BUT, if I am comparing an ant to an atom, then the ant is big and the atom is small.

How do I know something is tall?  Well, I compare it to something else, and that comparison determines the yardstick.  Compared to my son, I am tall … while compared to Shaquille O’Neil, I am short.

How do I know something is expensive?  Well, I compare it to something else, and that comparison determines the value.  Compared to the biggest house in Norman, my house is modest … but compared to where the majority world lives, I live in a mansion.

I share these examples today to set the stage for part 2 of our “Greater Than” series this Sunday at Wildwood.  This week we will be looking at Philippians 3:1-16.  In these verses, the Apostle Paul tells us that compared to the value of knowing Christ, everything else in his life is loss.  Paul is saying that the blessings he has known based on his nationality, religion, work ethic, family, etc. are absolutely NOTHING compared to knowing Christ.  Paul had spent the first long season of his life comparing his achievements against his past performance and the performance of his friends … therefore somethings were “wins” and others were “losses.”  But after Paul came to know Jesus Christ, the scale shifted.  Instead of comparing the events of his life to each other, he compared them to Christ, and found them ALL worthless compared to the One who was WORTHY.

All of us need to hear Paul’s reflection on this topic, because all of us are tempted to find our worth in what we do.  But there is a better yardstick for us to measure our lives by … not so much what we do, but Who we follow.  Join us Sunday in our 8AM (outside), 9:30 and 11:00AM (inside) or 9:30AM livestream – wildwoodchurch.org/live – as we explore this further.  See you Sunday!

Greater Than (part 1) Sermon Questions, Audio, Video

On Sunday, June 14, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Philippians 1:18b-26.  This message was part 1 in the “Greater Than” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the sermon for personal reflection or group discussion.  Also, you will find the sermon audio/video and slides to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Philippians 1:18b-26
  3. What are some of the tough circumstances you are facing right now?  Do you find it difficult to have joy in light of the difficulties you are dealing with?  Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever had a time when someone prayed for you and it was a great encouragement?  Describe that time?  Who are you praying for right now?
  5. What are your thoughts about death?  Are you scared to die?  Why or why not?  In what way could it be considered “gain” to die (if you know Jesus)?  Have you trusted in Christ for your life after death?
  6. How would you answer the question, “To me, to live is ____________?”
  7. What would it look like for your life to be about glorifying Jesus and serving others?  What changes would you need to make in your life?
  8. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

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

Greater Than #1 6.14.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the video stream of the worship service, access YouTube video below:

Greater Than (part 1) preview

This spring has been a time of loss, hasn’t it?  What we thought we had in February has been exchanged for something different over the past 90 days.  

  • Some of you have lost loved ones to disease … and lost the chance to mourn them in a memorial service.
  • Some of you have lost your job amidst a pandemic.
  • Some of you have lost savings as your income froze for months and you hope it will soon thaw out.
  • Some of you lost the notion that “all is well” in our country … as racial unrest, political differences, and demands for change have forced hard conversations everywhere we turn.
  • Some of you lost sleep over the stress of the moment.
  • Some of you lost your graduation ceremony.
  • Some of you lost your dream wedding with all your friends in attendance.
  • Some of you lost your mind, yelling at the TV over current news developments.

And on, and on, and on it goes.  This spring has been a time of loss.  BUT, what if there is something gained in the midst of this time?  What if God is doing something great in this moment, through all these trials?  What if the uncertainty of this spring leads you to a certain understanding of your eternity in Christ?  What if …

What if what we gain in this moment is GREATER THAN what we lost?

This is the question we are going to be asking the next two weeks at Wildwood Community Church as we look at two passages from Paul’s letter to his friends at the church in Philippi.  In the midst of a time of great personal loss (arrest, imprisonment, impending martyrdom, etc.) Paul says that he “will  rejoice” (Philippians 1:18).  How could he rejoice in a time of great trouble?  Well, he explains that in this letter.  

  • In Philippians 1:18-26, he describes how his understanding of life (and death) allow him to GAIN JOY, even if he LOSES HIS LIFE.  
  • In Philippians 3:1-16, he describes how he can GAIN JOY, by deepening His relationship with Jesus, even if he LOSES RELIANCE ON HIS RESUME.

Over the next two Sundays at Wildwood, we will look at those two passages together to see how we can also have JOY in the midst of this season of loss.  After all, what we gain in Christ is far GREATER THAN what we lose.  

Hope to see you this Sunday, June 14, in one of our 4 morning worship opportunities:

  • 8:00AM – Outside in-person service in Wildwood’s back parking lot (by Children’s building)
  • 9:30AM – Indoor in-person service in Wildwood’s worship center
  • 9:30AM – Livestream online at wildwoodchurch.org/live
  • 11:00AM – Indoor in-person service in Wildwood’s worship center

Please join us Sunday in one of our “All-In” worship services!  No children, student, or adult classes meeting on site, but worship services for the entire family!  See you Sunday and bring friends!

Questions for Reflection – Sunday, June 7, 2020

On Sunday, June 7, 2020, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Singing in the storm, Part 2” it is Part 5 of our current sermon series Anchored. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.

1. In 3:17 Habakkuk expresses what great adversity would look like in an agrarian society. How might you re-word verse 17 to reflect your world?

2. Bruce quoted Harlan Betz who said:  Singing in the storm does not indicate ignorance of the storm; it indicates confidence in God.  Why is that true?

3. What passages from Scripture help you to trust the Lord in turbulent times? Share why.

4. Trusting the Lord can be viewed by some as complete passivity.  How is trusting the Lord by faith different from mere passivity?

5. Habakkuk makes an amazing declaration in 3:17-18. What factors enabled him to take that stance?

6. There is an incredible statement of honesty and transparency in 3:16.  Share or reflect on a time when you may have experienced similar feelings.

7. Through the study of Habakkuk how have you grown spiritually?  What has God taught you?

8. One day…
What is unexplained                               Will be explained
What is lacking                                         Will be made full
What hurts                                                Will be healed
Injustice                                                     Will be fully rectified
Our faith during the dark times            Will be rewarded generously

Express some praise to God for these truths.

9.  Bruce said, Whenever we begin to doubt God’s love we should be drawn back to Romans 5:8.  Take a few moments to memorize that verse.

10.  Explore the website: fathersloveletter.com.  Alert some of your friends to it.  Praise our Heavenly Father for His overwhelming love.

Sneak Peek – June 7, 2020

Hey Wildwood Family!!

There is a real live spiritual opposer of all that God desires to do. We know of him by the name Satan (which literally means adversary). This adversary has been wildly at work over the last week.  He seeks to destroy marriages, churches, communities, individual lives and relationships, and yes, even the church itself. What should be our first response?

One of our most effective weapons against him and his demonic army is prayer. In Ephesians 6 Paul addresses our spiritual battle and in verse 18 exhorts us, With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit.  Paul goes on in 1 Timothy 2 to urge us to make entreaties, prayers, and petitions on behalf of all—especially for those in authority. Part of the aim is for everyone to experience the opportunity to lead a quiet and tranquil life.

If there ever was a time to pray for our leaders, our police forces, for people of every ethnic background, for peace and tranquility, now is the time.  Please take some time over the next two days to invest time in prayer for these things.  We all know there is a lot of pain and deep emotion, and yes, some demonic activity seeking to drive people apart through conflict, dissension and violence.  The ultimate aim remains the same which is God’s core desire:  that all people may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

Our service plan remains the same for this Sunday, but we will be announcing changes beginning the next Sunday June 14.  So, this Sunday we will have our online only streaming church service which will be live at 9:30 am (although you can access it after 9:30 anytime).  Go to wildwoodchurch.org/live to access it.

Also, we are again planning an outside in-person worship service at 11am (same music and message) in our southeast parking by the children’s building.  This is a “bring your own lawn chair/folding chair” outdoor gathering.  Weather-wise it will be sunny and quite warm on Sunday so bring a hat or some sun protection.

This Sunday we will conclude our Anchored series from the book of Habakkuk with “Singing in the Storm pt. 2.”  Our final section (3:16-19) includes some of the most startling and intriguing verses in all of Scripture.  Read those verses before Sunday and let’s learn what God has to teach us from the 2600-year-old book of Habakkuk!

Hope to “see” you Sunday, either in person at 11 am or via online at 9:30 am

 

Bruce