King Over Suffering (Mark 5:21-43)

indexWithin the broader lesson of Jesus being King Over Suffering, we saw that a key theme running through Mark 5:21-43 was how the one who was “clean” (Jesus) becomes “unclean” so that the unclean (all who have faith in him) can become clean! This is the essence of the gospel: He who knew no sin becomes sin for us so that we can become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21)! It’s a beautiful foreshadowing of what Jesus will do on the cross on mercy’s hill.

Click to listen and see this glorious truth woven into the text...King Over Suffering (from the Jesus the Servant King sermon series from the book of Mark).

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion from Mark 5:21-43

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. Earlier today, from the Gospel of Mark series, Jesus the Servant King, we looked at a story in 2 parts from Mark 5:21-43, that showed that Jesus is “King Over Suffering.” Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare for Community Group; and/or 2) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Introductory Question

  • What kind of fear is caused by suffering and trial in our lives?

Reflection Questions

  • Read the passage together…General thoughts and/or observations?
  • There were four “threads” that Pastor Craig spoke about – desperation; fear; faith; and uncleanliness. Trace those and talk about how we see them in the passage.
  • What do we learn about Jesus in the passage?

Application Questions

  • How does what you learn about Jesus affect how you personally deal with fear in your life?
  • How does this passage affect how you think about faith and how you exercise it?

Prayer

  • Pray for God’s gift of faith that would give freedom from fear – in your own life and in the life of people you know who are wrestling with fear.
  • Pray that Mercy Hill will encourage people to be people of great faith in our great God!

All-Community Summer G.A.P. & BBQ

summer GAP imageThis evening, Community Groups will be taking a break. Instead, we will all meet together for our July GAP (Gather and Pray) and BBQ.

A note from our hosts…Just a few details to remind you about. This Sunday, we (Dave & Kerry Sansone) are hosting the GAP event at our home beginning at 6:00 PM.  We are super excited that our son, Ethan, will be baptized that evening, along with anyone else who is moved to do so.
We will be providing the grilled hotdogs for dinner plus water to drink.  If you prefer to drink something else, please bring your beverage of choice – (Ahem, don’t forget this is a worship gathering….haha!)
We wanted to highlight a few things to remember:

  • Bring a dish to pass – side dish, salad, or dessert.
  • Bring any games or activities you may like to play (especially for the kids)
  • Bring bug spray….They’re voracious over here! (we will fog the area beforehand)
  • Bring your own chairs

Call with any questions: (K) 630.456.5597 or (D) 630.456.3126
Address: 0s060 Nepil Ave. Wheaton. We are the last house on the right at the very end of a dead-end street.

3 Reasons Why We Have A Passion for Truth

bible_read_me-220x300We have A PASSION FOR TRUTH that finds its bedrock in the Word of God. It is very important then, that, as God’s people, we spend time in his Word. Here are three reasons why we believe that being a people of the Book, and in the Book, is not an option, but an essential…

  1. Time in the Bible is Essential for Growth. 1 Peter 2:2-3…Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” God’s Word is nutrition for our souls. Live with it, partake of it, and you will grow spiritually.
  2. Time in the Bible is Essential for Spiritual Maturity. Colossians 1:28…“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”  God’s Word, as we live in it, will be used by the Spirit of God to lead us to maturity.
  3. Time in the Bible is Essential for Spiritual Effectiveness. 2 Timothy 3:16-17…All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” God’s Word, as it grows and matures us, prepares us to be effectively used by God; to be faithfully equipped for all that he has for us.

God desires to communicate with you through the Bible, through the leading of his Holy Spirit. How will you make the most of the amazing truth that we have his very Word? How and when will you hear it, read it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it? Start small and build the Book into your rhythms of daily life. As you do, you will grow into spiritual maturity; into being more like Jesus – and you will grow into effectiveness, equipped for all the good works God has called you to walk in.

The Certainty of Jesus’ Kingdom (Mark 4:21-34)

indexFrom the intro to last Sunday’s message

As we have seen in our journey through Mark so far, Jesus has been speaking about the kingdom of God breaking into the history of humanity. As a matter of fact, he brings it. He embodies it. He talks about it! In 4:21-34, we get to listen in on his conversation with his disciples and those following him. I believe his intent is to challenge them and to encourage them to faithfulness by the promise of the certainty of his kingdom work!

Click to listen to the full message, The Certainty of Jesus’ Kingdom from the sermon series from the Gospel of Mark titled, Jesus the Servant King.

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion (6/29)

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. Earlier today, from the Gospel of Mark series, Jesus the Servant King, we looked at a few parables from Mark 4:21-34, that showed “The Certainty of Jesus’ Kingdom.” Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare for Community Group; and/or 2) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Reflection Questions

  • Read the passage together…General thoughts and/or observations?
  • What is our responsibility with the truth?
  • What do the images of the seed growing and the mustard-seed growing into a mighty plant teach us about the nature of kingdom growth>

Application Questions

  • Where has God called you to be bolder in sowing the seeds of the Gospel?
  • How are you encouraged by the truth of the certainty of Jesus’ kingdom purposes?

Prayer

  • Pray for grace to see the kingdom of God come into the lives of individuals, as  they trust in Jesus for salvation. Pray for the Spirit’s work to run free and gracious in our midst. Pray for the kingdom to increase around the globe.

What is the Condition of Your Heart?

indexI ended the sermon from Mark 4:1-20 (What is the Condition of Your Heart?) Sunday with this encouragement…

Fruitfulness is always possible. God’s grace is greater than any hardness, shallowness, or crowdedness of heart – there is no sin so big that his grace is not bigger still; there is no stubbornness that his love cannot overcome. Hard, barren soil can be made soft and fruitful! Shallow, poor soil can be made deep and rich! Crowded, weed-filled soil can be made open and clear! O that God would make us good soil – hearing the word, accepting it, and producing a crop of holiness and good deeds – to his glory and the increase of his kingdom!

Click to listen to What is the Condition of Your Heart, from the series, Jesus the Servant King.

Hashtags for Dummies!

imagesWe recently asked Robb Davidson who serves on our Communications Team for some help in understanding the hows and whys of using hashtags. He put together this very helpful summary for us at Mercy Hill; or should we say at #MercyHillWC! Thanks Robb.

Hashtags are a popular and growing tool used in today’s social media. At first glance, people have used them to extend some hilarious punch line to a post. But it goes much further than that. Within a few big dog social media companies (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…etc) hashtags are incredibly powerful. This can provide Mercy Hill three big things (among many others): the ability to organize, strengthening and growing a network, and increase the legitimacy of the content.

  • The Ability to Organize
    • What exactly is involved? The ability to create a simple online database collection of all posts, tweets, and images relating to a common topic. When using a unique but still recognizable hashtag, any group of people can contribute and discover the content.
    • How does this relate to Mercy Hill? By using/searching “#MercyHillWC”, all posts, tweets, and images can be discovered and organized without any extra work being done. (I could of sworn someone posted a quick excerpt from Craig’s amazing thought on Prayer…oh let’s just check the Mercy Hill hashtag)
  • Strengthening and Growing a Network
    • What exactly is involved? By creating a common tag to attach to posts online, we increase our relevancy and legitimacy in the community….and to google.
    • How does this relate to Mercy Hill? It’s no secret that a church body benefits from a strong bond within the church. We are also called to go OUT as believers to spread the Good Word. Our church is growing stronger within, and stretching out it’s arms to the community. This will help us with another avenue to reach newcomers to our church, or any church at all. (Oh wow look at all these posts from the service, awww Mayim looks SO cute….hey look they have River City coffee there!)
  • Increasing the legitimacy of the content
    • What exactly is involved? The Social Media organizes a great deal of content by recent posts, and repetition. Check out your news feed. The top of the page posts are either from minutes ago, or most likely something highly trending. To say in the least, there have been bands becoming household names who were powered by fans hashtagging their way up.
    • How does this relate to Mercy Hill? The more people are posting using the Mercy Hill hashtag, the more Mercy Hill will be in news feeds of friends. Not only in just the top of new feeds, but often enough to where it becomes more familiar to people.

So, Mercy Hill, let’s start wisely using our hashtag as another tool for getting the word out and keeping us connected in this social media savvy culture! #MercyHillWC.

Questions for Community Group & Family Discussion (6/22)

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. Earlier today, from the Gospel of Mark series, Jesus the Servant King, we looked at the Parable of the Soils from Mark 4:1-20, the title of the sermon asked the essential question form the passage What’s the Condition of Your Heart?. Below are the discussion questions Community Group leaders will use. We’d encourage you to use these to: 1) prepare for Community Group; and/or 2) discuss with your family or friends if you’re unable to make it to Community Group.

Introductory Question

  • What’s the most thought provoking question anyone has asked you?

Reflection Questions

  • Read the passage together…General thoughts and/or observations?
  • Who is the sower in the parable? What is the seed being sown?
  • What are the four different soils that Jesus talks about?
  • What characterizes the condition of each of the hearts of the four types of listeners?

Application Questions

  • When you search your own heart, which “soil” are you?
  • What evidence is their of a “crop” in your life? What fruit of righteousness do you see?

Prayer

  • Pray for grace to see your own heart as God sees it. Pray for the courage to change where needed – grace for confession, repentance, and transformation.