Sink or Stand (part 5) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, September 9, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 15:32-16:12.  This message was the fifth and final part in the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below you will find a series of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 15:32-16:12
  3. What limitations do you (or others you know) put on God today?  (i.e. God can’t _________ or God won’t __________?
  4. In this passage, Jesus demonstrates that He wants the disciples to be His ministers of grace, even among people considered “outsiders.”  Who is someone in your life that God wants you to serve or love that you have been ignoring or neglecting in some way?
  5. There is a danger in the Legalism of the Pharisees, the Liberalism of the Sadducees, and the “Littleism” of the Disciples.  Which of these 3 sinkholes to faith are you most afflicted by today?
  6. What would it look like for you to stand in great faith in your great God today in your life? 
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sink or Stand (part 5) Sermon Preview

I remember as a kid buying my first pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes.  The “jumpman” is all the rage in the Sooner nation today, but back then, Jordan was just a rookie playing for a mediocre Chicago Bulls team fighting to make the playoffs.  As a 12 year old, though, I didn’t care.  I thought that if those red, white, and black basketball shoes could help him fly through the air of the Boston Garden, surely they could help me dominate on the playground. 

Interestingly enough, I bought the shoes, but still could not dunk (shocking, I know, to those of you who know me.)  So I moved on to imitating other traits of his “Airness,” even sticking my tongue out as I played.  Sadly, all this got me was a lifelong scar down the middle of my tongue when I accidentally bit through it after taking a charge in a pickup game.  One scar, no 60 point stat sheets. 

I even wore Jordan’s #23 on my middle school basketball team, but still was not a step quicker!  As a middle schooler I was learning a valuable lesson . . . the key to Jordan’s success was not the shoes (“You money, its gotta be the shoes!), the tongue, or the number . . . it was Him!  I could not secure his power apart from his presence.

Now, I say all this because as I look at Matthew 15:32 – 16:12, I see the disciples struggling with a similar issue.  Jesus’ disciples desperately wanted Jesus’ power, but they were tempted to look for it in a number of things or locations, instead of in Him.  As they did so, they missed the obvious point.  They could not secure His power apart from His presence.  No matter where they went, no matter how much they had or didn’t have, they would always have what they needed IN HIM. 

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will conclude our “Sink or Stand” sermon series by looking at Jesus’ feeding the 4,000.  We can’t wait to gather for worship, celebrate the Lord’s supper, and look into this section of God’s Word together.  See you then in our 9:45 or 11:00 services.

Sink or Stand (part 4) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, September 2, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 15:21-28.  This message was part 4 of the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below you will find the audio from this sermon to listen to, download or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

Sink or Stand #4 09.02.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

 

Sink or Stand (part 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, September 2, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Matthew 15:21-28.  This message was part 4 in the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below are a series of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 15:21-28
  3. To what degree do you see “entitled” attitudes in our world today?  To what degree do you see an “entitled” attitude in yourself?
  4. For many reasons (noted in the message today) the Canaanite woman had virtually no argument for why Jesus should help her.  What are some of the things we may want to cling to as to why we think God “should” help us?  Have you ever stopped to think that you are as “argument-less” as this Canaanite woman?
  5. If you were to characterize your faith in Jesus right now . . .  is it more like the Faithless Pharisees, Peter’s “little faith,” or the Canaanite woman’s “great faith”?  Why do you answer the way you do?
  6. In this passage the woman demonstrates her faith by leaving her former ways, coming to Jesus, humbly worshipping Him, and persisting in belief (even when things were hard).  Of these things mentioned, what is something the Lord is challenging you to do as you grow your faith in Him?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sink or Stand (part 4) Preview

In today’s day and age, there is a lot of talk about “entitlement.”  Entitlement is a buzz word that is used in sociology textbooks, political stump speeches, post-game press conferences, leadership podcasts, and parenting books.  Though the word may be used to mean different things, at its core, entitlement could be defined this way (according to dictionary.com):

“the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment”

Political candidates talk about “entitlements” . . . services people come to expect from their government.  College coaches talk about “entitled attitudes” among star players who expect to play all the time regardless of how hard they practice.  Older generations talk of younger generations being “entitled” because they expect to live an opulent life early, without “paying their dues.”

Though many people talk about how OTHERS are entitled, I have yet to meet the person who wants to be “entitled.”  No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I will try to be more entitled today!” So, what is the foundation of an un-entitled life?  In Matthew 15:21-28, we see a woman become the epitome of an un-entitlement as she interacts with Jesus over the demon oppression of her daughter. 

Against all odds, this woman kneels before Jesus, and demonstrates the foundation of how followers of Jesus can STAND in His presence forever.  If last Sunday’s message showed how we sink in our traditions, this week we will stand upon the waves of humility with a Canaanite woman, and be encouraged and challenged by her example and the grace of our God. 

See you Sunday at Wildwood in our 9:45 or 11:00 service as we are in part 4 of our “Sink or Stand” sermon series.

Sink or Stand (part 3) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, August 26, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 15:1-20.  This message was part 3 in the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below is the audio related to the message to listen to online, download, or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

Sink or Stand #3 08.26.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

 

Sink or Stand (part 3) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, August 26, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 15:1-20.  This message was part 3 of the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 15:1-20
  3. What are some of the human traditions that you have seen take priority over what God has declared in the Bible?
  4. In what way do you find a sense of “self-righteousness” in you based on your religious adherence to a human tradition?
  5. What would it look like to truly relate to God out of a pure heart, not just a religious responsibility?  What would it look like to sing, serve, study, and obey “from the heart”? 
  6. Jesus offers us a “new heart” when we trust in Him.  Have you trusted in Him?  How have you seen your desires change after trusting in Jesus?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sink or Stand (part 3) Sermon Preview

Imagine you have decided to buy a house.  Not having an excess of resources, you decide you need to secure the best deal possible.  Having only $100,000 to spend, you begin your search at an auction for foreclosed on properties.  As you enter the meeting room where the auction will take place, you encounter an Arabian Lamp.  You rub the lamp, and (to your great surprise) a Genie pops out of the lamp and promises to give you one wish related to your home purchase:  you can either have a house that looks perfect outside (but no clue what the interior of the house might be), or you can have a house that is perfect inside (but you have no clue what the exterior looks like).  Which would you choose?

While this deal is imaginary (and a bit far-fetched), it illustrates a powerful point.  Most would probably rather have a home with immaculate “insides” (while taking our chances with the outside), than have a perfect “outside” and a questionable inside.  Why?  Well, what good is a home with a perfect white picket fence if the plumbing does not work?  What point is a house painted in the latest fashionable color if the electricity is messed up?  What value is a house with nice shade trees in the front yard if the heat and air conditioning don’t warm or cool?  Certain things on the inside simply (should) take priority over certain things on the outside.

However, this is not always the case, is it?  Superficial evaluations are performed all the time on everything from political candidates to club membership to job interviews to prom dates to (sometimes even) home purchases. . . discarding what is inside in preference to what is “outside” . . . and this exchange often leads to disastrous results.

In Matthew 15:1-20, Jesus is confronted by a group of religious leaders who made a living out of “picking the outside over the inside” – the Pharisees.  This group of people rejected Jesus because they did not like His “outside.”  Jesus directly challenged these folks by talking about the over-riding value of the inside in God’s economy. 

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:45 and 11:00 services, I will be preaching part 3 in our “Sink or Stand” sermon series, looking at a time when the Pharisees sank before Jesus due to their insistence on their exterior traditions to the neglect of a repentant heart.  Join us this week as we are encouraged not to sink ourselves into religious self-righteousness as we follow Jesus together.  See you Sunday!

Sink or Stand (part 2) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, August 19, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Matthew 14:22-33.  This message was part 2 of the “Sink or Stand” sermon series and focused on the event of Jesus walking on the water.  Below is the audio from this sermon to listen to online, download or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

Sink or Stand #2 08.19.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

Sink or Stand (part 2) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, August 19, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 14:22-33.  This message was part 2 in the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for group discussion or personal reflection.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 14:22-33
  3. Have you ever felt isolated from others and God because of your circumstances?  Can you relate at all to what the disciples might have been feeling while on the Sea of Galilee straining against the wind and waves?
  4. Does it encourage you to know that Jesus is aware of your situation and is praying for you?  Why or why not?
  5. What does it mean today that Jesus is “with us always?”  Any idea what that might mean for us today?
  6. What are the “waves” that Jesus is calling you onto today?  How can you keep your eyes fixed on Him as you walk upon the waves?
  7. The only One who can be with you always and empower you for the life you were created for is the God who created you.  Remembering that, take a moment and express your worship to Jesus Christ for who He is!
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.