New Love (part 2) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Galatians 6:6-10.  This message was part 2 of the “New Love” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Galatians 6:6-10
  3. Do a quick inventory on your year … in the next 12 months, how many hours do you have?  How many dollars do you expect to receive?  Have you ever thought of these dollars and hours as “seeds” to be planted for the purpose of reaping a particular harvest?
  4. In the message, Pastor Mark mentioned a variety of places we are to invest the resources the Lord has trusted to us.  Were there any areas of emphasis where you are currently lacking enough investment?
  5. Are you giving generously, regularly, and cheerfully to the local church?  Why or why not?  Join in this ministry partnership at wildwoodchurch.org/give
  6. What are some ways you can “do good to all, especially those in the household of faith”?  Any particular opportunities come to mind?
  7. Are you serving your church family regularly and cheerfully?
  8. What field are you primarily “sowing your seeds” in at this point in your life?  Any changes the Lord is prompting you with today?
  9. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

The New Love #2 9.12.21

 

To listen online, use the media player:

 

To watch the service stream, use YouTube online:

 

New Love (part 2) Sermon Preview

Let’s say you own a farm, and it’s time to put seed in the ground.  You drive to the local feed store, and purchase a large quantity of seeds … 60,000 seeds to be exact.   You head home and you put all 60,000 seeds into the ground. What kind of seeds are you planting?  Well, let’s say that 10 of them are seeds to apple trees … and 59,990 of them are seeds to thorn bushes.  

What happens next?

Well, immediately, NOTHING happens next.  The seed lies underground … and is unseen for a season.  You water and fertilize, but for a time no plants are visible.  

While the seeds are underground, you begin to think about the crop you want to enjoy when the harvest comes.  You know that you HATE thorn bushes and you LOVE apples.  You start hoping that when the plants spring up from the ground, you will have LOTS of apples, and virtually NO thorn bushes.  When your friends come over and see your empty but unsown field, they will ask what you are growing this year.  You will proudly say APPLES!  This will be the finest apple orchard in all of East Norman!!  

Then, at the appropriate time for these plants, the seeds will bring forth shoots from the ground … eventually the shoots become stalks, then the stalks become trunks, then trunks begin to look like trees and bushes … and finally the trees and bushes begin to show forth their fruit.  At that point, your field will reveal a sea of thorns, not apples.  Surprise!

Actually, not a surprise.  This should have been expected.  It is simple science.  In this universe, if you sow the seeds of thorn bushes, you do not end up with many apples.

Now, most of you are not farmers.  Most of you would never buy 60,000 seeds of anything.  But you ALL will plant 60,000 “seeds” someplace in the next year.  At least.

  • There are nearly 9,000 hours in the year ahead … where will you “plant” them?
  • If you have a job that makes $51,000 annually … you will invest each of those dollars in something.  

Together, your time and money represent opportunities for growth in the year ahead.  The question is, how will you put them into the ground?  After all, whatever you plant, will also be what you harvest.

If you invest your time and money this year in your flesh, then expect a thorny crop.  However, if you invest your time and money in the Spirit’s work, and love others … you can have a hope of a delicious harvest.

Each day we act … but each day we do not necessarily harvest.  Small decisions today do not immediately reveal their fruit.  Like a seed sown, patience is required to see it bloom.  But eventually all around will see what tree you are actually tapped into.

As Christians, we want lots of Apples … I mean Fruits of the Spirit!  We long to have our friends look on our lives and recognize us as a Spiritually mature person.  You want the vineyard of your life to be the finest in all of East Norman (or wherever you live), and you want your friends, family, and neighbors to be nourished off of the good fruit in your life.  But how does that happen?

It happens by sowing the right seed today.  Where will you plant your 60,000?

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be in part 2 of our “New Love” sermon series as we look at Galatians 6:6-10.  Make plans to join us in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services (or online in the stream!)  Hope to see you there … and bring friends!

New Love (part 1) Sermon Questions, Audio, & Video

On Sunday, September 5, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Galatians 6:1-5.  This message was part 1 of the “New Love” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Galatians 6:1-5
  3. While it is obvious that the Christian is to be loving and helpful to others, it is not always lived out in our everyday experience.  In your experience, have the Christians you have known been marked by the help they have provided to others?   What are some positive or negative examples of your experience in this area?
  4. Has anyone ever challenged you on an area of sin in your life, and that challenge led to Spiritual Growth?  Did the person who challenged you offer any assistance/accountability/help in your growth?
  5. Is there someone in your life right now who could use a gentle and humble hand to help them grow through a difficult season?  What would it look like for you to move close to this person and help “mend their net”?
  6. Is there a person in your life right now that has a heavy burden that you might be able to help “lighten the load”?  What would it look like for YOU to be the vessel by which GOD comforts them in their struggle?
  7. In what ways do you need to be reminded today to continue to “carry your own pack,” taking responsibility for the things the Lord has entrusted to you?
  8. Have you personally trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins?  If not, would you consider doing so today?
  9. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link:

The New Love #1 9.5.21

 

To listen online, use the media player:

 

To watch the stream of the service use YouTube online:

 

New Love (part 1) Sermon Preview

Have you seen the “hotels.com” commercials?  You know the ones with their spokesperson Captain Obvious?  He makes very plain comments about vacation planning … things so obvious, no one should have to say it … but he does anyway.  After making those declarations, some other person in the commercial responds – “Thanks Captain Obvious!”

Well, this week’s Sunday could be one of those commercials.

This Sunday’s message:

“Christians should help other people.”

Hearing this, someone, somewhere will be shouting out:  

“THANKS PASTOR OBVIOUS!”  

But before you stay home to watch a sermon from a different church with a much more complicated sermon … let me ask you a few questions.

  • If we are to help people HOW do we help them?  Sure we can think of SOME ways we are to help, but are we thinking of helping in ALL the ways Jesus calls us to help?
  • Are there some people who are the “helpers” while others are the “helped” or is it more complicated that that?  After all, in our culture, strangely, people are being put in castes (of sorts).  If you are one in need of “help” you will always be in need of “help” and you bear no responsibility.  If you are able to be a “helper” you always must be a “helper” and you can never do too much.  Does this modern concept jive with what Jesus says in best?

These questions (and answers) maybe are not quite so obvious.  But we need to know what God thinks about these questions!  This Sunday, we will look to unpack the statement “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” as we look at Galatians 6:1-5 in part 1 of our new series “The New Love” at Wildwood Community Church.  Hope you can join us in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 service (or online in the stream during the 9:45 hour CDT click here to access)  Make plans to be there … and bring friends.  

Not to be too obvious … but I’d love to worship with you on Sunday, September 5.

New Power (Part 4) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, August 29, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Galatians 5:19-26.  This message was part 4 in the “New Power” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the sermon for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Galatians 5:19-26
  3. What are some examples of your ability to identify somethings “true colors” by the “fruits” it produced?  
  4. As we saw last week in Galatians 5:17, a battle rages inside every Christian between competing desires:  the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit.  Think of your personal experiences in life.  Where have you been negatively impacted by OTHERS works of the flesh?  Where have you been positively impacted by OTHERS fruits of the Spirit?
  5. If you were to ask those who know you best, what “fruit” are they picking from your life?  Are you producing more “works of the flesh” or “fruits of the Spirit”?
  6. What fleshly acts/temptations/desires do you need to nail down tight in your life right now?
  7. What are the next few steps the Spirit is leading you to take in obedience to Him?
  8. Pray for the Lord to empower you as you nail down tight certain behaviors and begin walk upright following Him.
  9. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link below:

The New Power #4 8.29.21

 

To listen online, use the media player:

 

To watch the stream, use YouTube online:

 

New Power (part 4) Sermon Preview

I am no botanist.  I cannot look at a tree from a reasonable distance and tell the difference between an elm and an oak … a sweet gum and a sycamore.  They all simply can be described as “tree” in my book.  While this may be technically accurate, it does not tell the whole story.

Even my untrained eye, however, can differentiate certain trees as I get closer.  I identify a sweet gum tree by looking at the God-forsaken prickly cones it produces.  I can tell something is an oak if I see an acorn.  And don’t even get me started about apple trees (or any fruit tree for that matter) … when the fruit is on the vine, the tree reveals its true colors.

None of us are God.  None of us see the inside of people’s souls.  We do not know what is fully going on inside a person from a distance.  Therefore, we cannot tell what someone really believes and who is their ultimate authority, just by looking at their outside.  After all, people of all different belief systems have different skin colors, hair colors, heights, weights, and speak different languages.  From a distance, we all just look like “people.”  While this is technically accurate, it does not tell the whole story.

Even to our non-divine eyes, however, we can differentiate between people the closer we get.  Who people really are, who they really follow, and what they ultimately believe becomes evident the closer we get to someone.  And … for the Christian who is trusting in the Holy Spirit and living in obedience following Jesus, there is a definite difference in the appearance of their life.  

At least there should be.

That is the argument Paul makes in Galatians 5:19-26.  Most people live for people … more accurately, most people live for themselves … but not the people who are following Jesus Christ and empowered by His Spirit.  If we are following Him, we are NOT living for ourselves, but we are living our lives for Christ AND AS A RESULT, living our lives in service to others.

If we are following Jesus, and dependent upon the Spirit, our lives will produce certain “fruits” that will nourish and bless those around us.  And in so doing they will reveal who we really follow.

Join us this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church as we wrap up our “New Power” sermon series by looking at the end of Galatians 5 in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services (or online in the stream – beginning at 9:45 CDT on August 29 at this link).  Hope to see you there as we reflect on these crucial verses together.

New Power (part 3) Sermon Questions, Audio & VIdeo

On Sunday, August 22, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Galatians 5:16-18.  This message was part 3 of the “New Power” sermon series.  Below you will see a set of questions related to this message 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 Galatians 5:16-18
  3. Tell the story of how you came to follow Jesus?  As you have followed Him, have you experienced times of “camp highs” followed by “lows”?  How does this passage help you understand these dynamics?
  4. In what way do you relate to the language of a “battle” being waged inside you between the desires of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh?
  5. How does remembering the presence of the flesh impact the way you live out your “freedom in Christ” and your expectations as you relate to others in the world?
  6. Who is leading you (in your decision making) most often?  Your flesh or the Spirit?
  7. Which direction are you walking (or which direction is your life headed)?  Do you need to/want to stop, turn around and go a different path?
  8. Are you relying on the Spirit to guide you day by day?  What would that practically look like in your life?
  9. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link:

The New Power #3 8.22.21

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the stream, use YouTube online:

 

New Power (part 3) Sermon Preview

I love Christian camps, retreats, and other big events. Sometimes we need to simply step away from our “normal” in order for what really matters to gain clarity. Like volume sliders on an audio mixing board, sometimes we need to turn down everyday demands in order to turn up the volume on the Gospel message so we can more clearly hear it … God often uses camps and big events to tune our hearts to sing His grace.
 
I know many who have placed their faith in Christ or decided to renew their relationship with Him while at camp or on a retreat. Those mountaintop highs help propel many people toward our Savior.
 
Sadly, though, there is a postscript to the camp story for several. After walking the aisle at church camp, being baptized on their first Sunday back in town, and listening to KLove throughout the rest of July and early August, a number of others drift back into their old way of life by mid-September.
 
Maybe that is the story of someone you know. Maybe that is your story. Or maybe, the TIMING of that story doesn’t describe you, but the TRAJECTORY of the story does. Maybe you once followed Jesus, but now not so much. The loss of fervor you have experienced took more than a few months, but over a few years, you have drifted away from Him. You were fired up for Jesus in college, but have grown cold today.
 
Well, in Galatians 5:16-18, the Apostle Paul talks about why people who begin with Jesus might end up drifting away from a life following Him. But … even more importantly … Paul highlights in these verses how we can renew the spark and grow once again in our relationship with Jesus. These verses describe the New Power we have in Christ to overcome the wayward drift so many experience.
 
Join us this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service (or online on the stream beginning at 9:45CDT Sunday, August 22), as we are in week 3 of our “New Power” sermon series. Even if you missed the first two parts of this series, you don’t want to miss this week’s message, as it covers some of the most important verses in the Bible for our Christian lives. See you Sunday … and bring friends!

New Power (part 2) Sermon Preview

I want to be honest with you for a moment.  I have written and rewritten a preview for this Sunday’s message 5 times already today. That is not an exaggeration.  But each time I delete it and start over.  This is not because I find this passage hard to understand.  The passage is actually straight forward and self evident.

I have struggled to write the preview today, because there is so much I want to say about these three verses, that it is hard to boil it down to one illustration!

So, rather than me giving you my words today, I want to just give you the words of Galatians 5:13-15 … the three verses I will be preaching from on Sunday.  Read them.  Read them again.  Read them again.  Memorize them.  Meditate on them.  Ask the Spirit to bring them into a reality in your life and in mine … then come Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 and let’s talk about them together at Wildwood Community Church.  Or if you are not able to join us in person, join us online at 9:45 (or anytime after) at wildwoodchurch.org/live .  Read these verses printed below, and I’ll see you Sunday, August 15!

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” – Galatians 5:13-15

New Power (part 1) Sermon Audio, Video, and Questions

On Sunday, August 8, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Galatians 5:1-12.  This message was part 1 of the “New Power” sermon series. Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find sermon audio and video to listen to/watch, download or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Galatians 5:1-12
  3. What are some “new” products you have interacted with that were TRULY “new”?  Can you think of anything “new” that really is just a slightly different VERSION of something old?
  4. In what way is the Gospel of Jesus Christ bringing in something really NEW (based on your understanding of Scripture, as well as our study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians?)
  5. What are some of the “one more things” that people want to add onto the Gospel in our culture today?  Paul is clear that salvation is through faith in Jesus alone … what are some things people want to say salvation is through faith in Jesus alone PLUS ________?
  6. Which path have you chosen?  The Jesus only path, or the Jesus PLUS path?
  7. The Holy Spirit  has come into the lives of ALL believers!  Take a moment and PRAISE GOD for this provision!
  8. For those who have placed their faith in Christ, they are WAITING for something amazing.  In your understanding, what do Christians have to look forward to in the future?
  9. While we are waiting, we are to work out our faith in love for one another.  Where does your love need a “workout” today?
  10. 10.What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link:

The New Power #1 8.8.21

 

To listen online, use the media player:

 

To watch the service, use YouTube stream online: