Relationship Status (part 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon that was part 4 in the “Relationship Status” series.  This message focused on a “third option” couples can embrace when they experience challenges in their marriage.  Below you will find a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Have you personally (or have you known friends) who have experienced a great challenge in their marriage, and the only options assumed where stay married and be unhappy or get divorced and start over?  What are the biggest obstacles you see to the “third option” mentioned today (building the marriage you want with the person you are committed to)?
  3. In what ways is marriage harder than you expected it to be (if you are married)?  In what ways do you think the biblical passages on marriage in Matthew 19:1-12 and Ephesians 5:22-33 show marriage to be hard?
  4. What are some of the ways you have seen your personal sinfulness come out during your married life (if you are married)?
  5. How does God’s grace, demonstrated through the finished work of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit, give you hope in the midst of your marriage (if married) or for your future married (if single and hope to one day be married)?
  6. What are some ways that you can start building today for the marriage you want tomorrow?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To sign up for the “Art of Marriage” Event held April 6-7 at Wildwood Community Church, click here.

Relationship Status (part 4) Preview

As a Pastor, I often have the privilege of interacting with people in the most vulnerable moments of their lives:  birth, death, surgery, disaster, marriage, divorce, etc.  In these moments together with people I am always deeply humbled to have a front row seat to what is happening.  By God’s grace, it is always my hope to help lessen the load of grief in prayer or multiply the joy shared in those moments. 

Over the years, I have had the privilege of walking alongside a number of people who were struggling in their marriage.  The details of their experiences are different, but the arc of the story is often similar:  after some underlying problems were left unaddressed, __________ happened (affair, pornography addiction, physical altercation, something awful said, etc.), and now the couple is considering abandoning the relationship.

When couples are faced with these circumstances, they often think they have two choices:

  1. Remain married in a marriage they hate.
  2. Get divorced and start over.

At one level, this makes sense.  In the theater of much of human experience, these are the two most common options.  Be miserable in your marriage, or have hope in a new one.  Given these options, it is not surprising what many people would choose to do.

The problem with these options, however, are their failure to take into account God’s resurrection power.  If God can:

  • Part the Red Sea
  • Give sight to the blind
  • Raise Jesus from the dead
  • Forgive us from ALL our sins

AND, if this same God is at work in me . . .

THEN, we should have hope for a third option:

3)  The marriage you want with the person you committed to.

This third options is only possible through the miracle of life change.  It requires God’s grace made manifest in both forgiveness and empowerment to Christ-like behavior.  Jesus said of marriage, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Matthew 19:6)”  Given this kind of commitment, followers of Jesus Christ who are married have a lifetime’s worth of incentive to see this third option built into a reality.

Gary Thomas says of marriage, “A good marriage isn’t something you find; it’s something you make, and you have to keep on making it. Just as importantly (and herein lies the hope), you can also begin remaking it at any stage.”

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be talking about making (or remaking) your marriage into the marriage you want with the person you committed to (when you said “I do.”)

Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 as we will be wrapping up our “Relationship Status” series.  See you then!

Relationship Status (week 3) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message (together with Pastor Bruce Hess) where we answered a variety of questions related to Divorce, Remarriage, and Expressions of Sexuality – all from the Biblical perspective.   This message was part 3 in the “Relationship Status” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Relationship Status #3 2.25.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

Also, to access the position paper on Marriage, Family, Divorce, and Sexuality, click here.

Relationship Status (Week 3) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon (alongside Bruce Hess) focused on a number of questions related to divorce, remarriage, and human sexuality.  This message was part 3 in the “Relationship Status” series.  Below are a set of questions related to this message for further reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. When you think of the topics of divorce and remarriage, what questions do you have?  Do you think that the Bible is a reliable source of information about how to navigate these topics?
  3. What stands out to you most about what the Bible teaches about divorce and remarriage?
  4. In what ways have your eyes or your appetite misled you in the past?  How does this interact with Genesis 3:1-ff. and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden?
  5. In what way have you seen sexual sin be BAD for people?  For yourself?
  6. Isaiah 53:6 states that “All have gone astray” on one topic or another.  This reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Yet God has placed the “iniquity of us all on Him (Jesus).”  Have you trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of your sin?  If so, how does this truth provide freedom for you in light of the topic discussed in this morning’s message?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

Also, to access the Wildwood position paper on Marriage, Family, Divorce, and Sexuality, click here.

Relationship Status (part 3) Preview

When you think of the geography of the United States, you imagine a mass of land stretching from the Redwood Forest to the gulf stream waters and from California to the New York island.  That’s right, this land was made for you and me! But, when we think of the United States as only its outline, we miss a lot of things in the middle . . . including us here in Oklahoma!  To effectively describe our country, we need to look at more than just its edges.

Over the past two weeks at Wildwood, we have painted the edges of our relationship status.  Two weeks ago, I led us in a discussion of singleness from a biblical perspective.  Last week, Bruce guided us as we looked at the topic of marriage from God’s point of view.  Together, these two messages have painted the coastlands of relationships.  But what about everything in between?  We probably still have questions about divorce, remarriage, and the rapidly shifting grounds of human sexual expression.  What does the Bible have to say about those things?

This Sunday at Wildwood, as we continue our “Relationship Status” series, we will be asking these questions “in between the edges of singleness and marriage.”  The message this week will be a bit different in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 services.  Pastor Bruce and I will both be on stage going back and forth addressing a number of questions, attempting to show what the Bible has to say about each.  We would love to have you join us!

Know that Bruce and I are both aware that some of the subject matters we will be addressing may be too sensitive for little ears.  Though we will be respectful and not crass in our discussions, the subject matter is mature, and those who are considering bringing small children into the worship service this week may want to take advantage of our children’s ministry (running during the 9:45 and 11:00 services).  This will be a sermon that might be rated “PG-13” for its more mature themes, so we invite you to plan accordingly. 

As always, our aim on Sunday mornings is to lift up the name of Christ together.  We will do that in song, in prayer, in giving, in fellowship, AND by turning to Jesus to answer some of the more difficult (and personal) questions facing us in our culture today.  We look forward to seeing you this weekend at Wildwood Community Church!

Relationship Status: Single (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, February 11, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on 1 Corinthian 7:6-8, 32-38 (and other NT passages.)  This message was part 1 of the “Relationship Status” series and focused on what the Bible says about being single.  Below you will find the audio from this sermon to listen to or share online.

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

Relationship Status: Single

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

Relationship Status: Single (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, I preached a sermon at Wildwood Community Church.  This message was part one of the “Relationship Status” series and focused on what the Bible teaches about being single.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Paul describes being single as a gift.  In what way do you think that is true?  What do you think Paul meant by that?
  3. In what way do you see the circumstances the Lord has placed in your life as a “gift”?
  4. How do you see the truth of the Gospel displayed in the lives of those who are single?
  5. Different aspects of the Gospel shine clearly through each of our lives.  How do you see the truth of the Gospel being revealed in your life?
  6. Who are you investing your life in right now?  What spiritual legacy are you leaving behind?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Relationship Status (Series Preview)

On my facebook page, about 3/4 of the way down the “about me” panel, is a small heart next to the words “married to Kimberly.”  Mark Zuckerberg correctly has ascertained that my relationship status is a part of what defines me. 

I have been married longer than I’ve had an email address, so my status online has never included “single.”  I can only imagine the stress dating in a  .com age creates (can you say “facebook official”?).  However, this is part of today’s culture, and I have great respect for my friends who are currently navigating these waters.

Further, it is more complicated today than ever before to talk about relationships, marriage and sexuality.  Last summer I was on the OU campus and saw students at an event wearing name tags that included a spot for students to declare their preferred pronoun (regardless of gender).  We are living in a brand new age. 

As followers of Christ, how do we navigate the questions of singleness, marriage, and everything in between?  Over the next 4 weeks at Wildwood Community Church Pastor Bruce Hess and I will be preaching a new series on these topics – called “Relationship Status.”  In this series we will be covering:

  • February 11 – Relationship Status:  Single (Mark Robinson preaching)
  • February 18 – Relationship Status:  Married (Bruce Hess preaching)
  • February 25 – Relationship Status:  Questions “in Between” (Mark Robinson & Bruce Hess)
  • March 4 – Relationship Status: The marriage you want with the person you are committed to (Mark Robinson preaching)

NOTE:  The content of the February 25 message may be best suited for people Middle School aged or older, as we will be tackling some questions of sexuality in the service.  Think of this as a “PG” rated sermon.  If you have a question you would like Pastor Bruce or I to address in this sermon, please let us know by submitting your question via the confidential form found at wildwoodchurch.org/relationshipstatus

Hope to see you this Sunday as we look at being Single from a Christian perspective.  Three services this weekend:  8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 AM.

For the Next Generation (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Psalm 145:4.  This message was the fourth and final part of the “FOR” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to or share.

 

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

For Next Generation

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

For the Next Generation (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 145:4.  This message was part 4 in the “FOR” series and focused on what it means to be “FOR the Next Generation.”  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Psalm 145:4
  3. What have you learned about God from the generation that preceded you?
  4. From a strategic perspective, why is ministry to the Next Generation important?
  5. Who is someone you know whose passion in their relationship with God is so real that it inspires you to pursue God more?
  6. What is one thing that you have seen God do in your life in the last year that you can share with one other person this week?
  7. How does this Psalm and this message encourage you to invest your life in the Next Generation?  What is one thing you can do to apply this message this week?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from these passages/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.