The Amazing Faith of An Outsider (Mark 7:24-30)

indexAs we looked at the interaction between Jesus and a gentile mom in Mark 7:24-30, we saw that the main focus was not on the incredible miracle Jesus performed (delivering her daughter from a demon), but was instead on her amazing faith. For Jesus, her simple, profound faith was a breath of fresh air that “dramatically contrasted with the hardened unbelief of the Pharisees and scribes, and even outshined the understanding of the disciples” (R. Kent Hughes).

How does our faith compare with hers? Listen…

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion from Mark 7:24-30

UntitledWhen our Community Groups get together, one of the things they do is to talk through the sermon from that weekend, with a goal of application and life transformation. Yesterday, we jumped back into our Gospel of Mark series, Jesus the Servant King. Our passage was Mark 7:24-30, and the sermon titled The Amazing Faith of An Outsider.

To help you prepare for the time of worship in the word, we’re beginning to send these questions out before the worship service. Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare your heart for worship; 2) prepare for Community Group; and/or 3) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Introductory Question

  • Can you think of a time when someone unlikely did some thing completely unexpected?

Reflection Questions

  • Read the passage together…General thoughts and/or observations?
  • How does the woman make her request known to God? What’s the nature of her plea?
  • Is Jesus’ response harsh or hopeful? Explain either way.
  • What impresses you about the woman’s response to Jesus’ comment?

Application Questions

  • When you think about the woman’s faith, what characterizes it?
  • How does your own faith resemble that of the woman? Where does it need to grow?

Prayer

  • As you pray together: Praise God that he accepts the faith of outsiders like us –  that there is no distinction – any who believe are accepted! Pray that God would grow your faith to reflect the faith of the woman; that we as a church would be people of such simple, deep faith!

Why Am I A Christian?

MercyHillWhyIamAChristian2This Sunday, we wrapped up our brief series Why Am I A Christian?. Three simple messages in which I reflected and gave my answer to that important question. In case you missed any of those Sundays, here is a link to the audio recordings…

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion for 9/28

When our Community Groups gqmarket together, one of the things they do is to talk through the sermon from that weekend, with a goal of application and life transformation. Last Sunday we wrapped up our brief series, Why Am I A Christian? with the concluding message flowing from Psalm 63:1-5 titled Jesus Satisfies My Deepest Desires.

To help you prepare for the time of worship in the word, we’re beginning to send these questions out before the worship service. Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare your heart for worship; 2) prepare for Community Group; and/or 3) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Introductory Question

  • What are some of the desires that are common to humanity?

Reflection Questions

  • Read the main passage together…General thoughts and/or observations?
  • How do our desires impact the way we live? Make decisions? Interact with other people?
  • What promises does God make to us regarding our desires?

Application Questions

  • Interact with this quote from John Piper…”I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term, than to gain a distaste for it, because of a superior satisfaction in God.”
  • Think through a real-to-life scenario of how this might look.

Prayer

  • As you pray together: Ask God to help you understand how the desires of your heart can be met most in Jesus, and to reveal to you where you are settling for less than Jesus.

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion for 9/21

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When our Community Groups get together, one of the things they do is to talk through the sermon from that weekend, with a goal of application and life transformation. Tomorrow, we will continue our brief series, Why Am I A Christian? Our primary passages will be Genesis 1:26-27 and Mark 7:21-23 as we talk about how Christianity Makes Sense of Life.

To help you prepare for the time of worship in the word, we’re beginning to send these questions out before the worship service. Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare your heart for worship; 2) prepare for Community Group; and/or 3) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Introductory Question

  • Have you ever been bothered by the “paradox” of human nature – how we are capable of such amazing goodness and such unfathomable evil?

Reflection Questions

  • Read the two main passages together…Genesis 1:26-27; Mark 7:21-23. General thoughts and/or observations?
  • What does it mean that humans are created in the image of God? What traits come with that?
  • What are the characteristics of humanity’s sinful nature?
  • How is God at work restoring his creation back to its original design?

Application Questions

  • How does this discussion help you understand the human paradox?
  • Where do you see God at work in your own life redeeming you even now?

Prayer

  • As you pray together: Praise God that he sent his Son to be our Redeemer!
  • Spend time rejoicing in that and praying for his ongoing redeeming work.

God’s Love Finds Me…

MercyHillWhyIamAChristian2All of us have been in this place in our lives at some point – seeking to be loved; feeling unlovable. We are wired with that longing. It’s God-given, so that we will be drawn to fulfill it in him.

So this first week of answering the question, “Why Am I A Christian?” I want to share this: “I am a Christian because God’s Love Finds Me.” God’s love finds me where I am (struggling, in pain, in my wandering, at my worst, or at my best). God’s love actively pursues me, tenaciously grabs hold of me, graciously, mercifully, not letting go – in a way that fulfills that fundamental longing.

Listen to the exploration of that great truth…God’s Love Finds Me.

Resources that Help Answer: “Why Am I a Christian?”

MercyHillWhyIamAChristian2

Yesterday, we began a short series of messages titled, Why Am I A Christian?, with the desire to help people understand what it means to be a Christian and what it is that is compelling to us about being followers of Jesus. Many have come before to answer this same question! Here is a list of resources, mostly short, simple books, that we have found helpful for those who are trying to answer this very important question…

2 Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face is a very helpful, simple, visual, online explanation of what it means to follow Jesus. If you’ve never thought about this before or are needing to think through how you might explain this to a friend, check it out! There’s a kids’ version called Who Will Be Your King?

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion from Luke 19:10

UntitledWhen our Community Groups get together, one of the things they do is to talk through the sermon from that weekend, with a goal of application and life transformation. Tomorrow, we will be start a brief series, Why Am I A Christian? Our primary passage will be Luke 19:10 and we will be looking at the amazing, pursuing love of God.

To help you prepare for the time of worship in the word, we’re beginning to send these questions out before the worship service. Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare your heart for worship; 2) prepare for Community Group; and/or 3) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Introductory Question

  • How do you see the common human longing for love coming out in the culture around us?

Reflection Questions

  • Read the passage together…General thoughts and/or observations?
  • How do we see the pursuing love of God at work in the Old Testament?
  • What is the nature of the pursuing love of God in the parables of Luke 15?

Application Questions

  • Where have you found the universal longing to be loved come out in your own life?
  • How do we keep from seeking to have people and/or things fill the deep love longing that only God can fill?

Prayer

  • As you pray together: Spend time in praise for the amazing, pursuing love of God seen especially in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray that your heart would be set on the love of Jesus and not be captured by the false loves of this world.

Join Us as We Answer the Question: “Why Am I A Christian?”

In a previous generation, outspoken atheist mathematician-philosopher Bertrand Russell had an infamous book titled, “Why I Am NOT a Christian.” In our own day, in the places where we live, where we work, and where we go to school, the spirit of his arguments can be the voice most loudly heard.

As 21st century followers of Jesus Christ, gathered together in this local expression of his church called Mercy Hill, we desire to clearly, graciously, joyfully, turn that statement of Russell’s around and share the answer to the question” “Why am I a Christian?” Our hope is that the video below will encourage you. Encourage you to see that God is still at work changing lives of everyday folks like you and I. Encourage you to consider how he might be at work to change your life. All these stories are real-life evidence to the great truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17, that, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come!”

We invite you to join us for a special 3-week series titled, “Why Am I a Christian?”, beginning Sunday, September 14. We’ll talk about how, in the midst of our wanderings, our pain, and our struggles, God pursues us and redeems us with a tenacious love. We’ll explore how Christianity best explains both our strengths and our weaknesses and most clearly defines our purpose in this life; and how the deepest longings and desires of our hearts (for love, acceptance, security, hope, community) find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Why Am I A Christian from Robb Davidson on Vimeo.