Wide: Changed with People

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I continued our series “Jesus Changes Everything” this weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at what it means to have wide love like God. I cannot think of a better way to get at what God’s wide love looks like than to look at Jesus, who is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

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Deep: Changed with God

Jesus Changes Everything Series Gfx_Web Header
This weekend at Eastbrook Church I continued our series “Jesus Changes Everything” by looking at what it means to enter into the deep life with God. I jumped off from Paul’s powerful statements in Philippians 2:12-13 to get a deeper understanding of what Jesus saves us from and what He saves us to.

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

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Christmas Joy

jesus mary

This is why we celebrate (from Luke 2:1-20):

2:1  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Hidden Victory within Suffering (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Hidden Victory within Suffering,” which is part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 3:13-22.

  1. When have you seen God use difficult circumstances in your life to show you or others more about who He is? What happened?
  1. Our journey through 1 Peter, “Exiles,” continues as we look at 1 Peter 3:13-22. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak into your life, and then read that passage aloud.
  1. One of the themes of 1 Peter is suffering that comes as a result of being a Christian. Peter continues with that theme in this passage. Based on what you read in verses 13 and 14, what would you say is the specific aspect of suffering that Peter is addressing?
  1. Make a list of some specific things Peter asks the believers to do in the midst of their life as exiles for Christ in verses 14-17. Which of these is most difficult for you? Why is this the case for you?
  1. As with other sections the letter, Peter ties his words about suffering into Jesus’ life and, particularly, the resurrection. From what Peter writes in verse 18, how do Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection provide a type or example for believers as they suffer for Christ?
  1. Verses 19 and 20 are some of the most debated and confusing verses in this letter. Take some time to consider what Peter is saying here. How do you think these verses help support or illustrate the theme of suffering in the midst of doing good?
  1. Verse 21 on baptism echoes the words of verse 16 about having a ‘clear conscience’ before God. How does baptism illustrate our salvation and clearing of our conscience?
  1. How might Peter’s words in verse 22 about the victory and authority of Christ encourage the believers who are suffering?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

[Next week: We continue our “Exiles” series by looking at 1 Peter 4:1-11. Take some time to read the passage ahead of time and reflect on what God is saying to you.]

Righteous Relationships (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Righteous Relationships,” which is part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 3:1-12.

  1. In which of your relationships do you find it most easy to share your faith in Jesus? In which relationships do you find it harder to do that?
  1. As we continue our series, “Exiles,” this weekend, we are turning to 1 Peter 3:1-12. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through the Bible, and then read the passage aloud.
  1. Continuing from the previous section, 1 Peter 2:18-25, Peter now focuses attention on husband-wife relationships. He addresses them both, saying “in the same way” (3:1, 7). This brings us back to 1 Peter 2:18, where Peter addresses the household servants. What is “the same way” that Peter is talking about?
  1. According to verses 1 and 2, what reason does Peter give for the submission he commends for wives?
  1. Peter offers a contrast between inner and outer beauty. This is a hot topic in our own culture, where some companies are campaigning for “real beauty.” What sort of beauty is Peter upholding and how do you think the church can reflect this?
  1. Verse 7 is a brief but pointed instruction for husbands. What does Peter exhort husbands to do and what is the reason for it?
  1. Do you think it’s easy or hard to live out Peter’s instructions for husbands and wives? Why do you say that?
  1. Speaking more generally in verses 8-12, Peter calls all followers of Jesus into a different sort of character. How would you briefly describe each phrase offered in verse 8?
  1. Behind 1 Peter 3:9 is Jesus’ statement in Luke 6:27-28. Read those verses. What do you think it practically looks like to bless those who intend evil for us?
  1. Verses 10-12 are drawn from Psalm 34, which Peter also references in 1 Peter 2:3. Why do you think Peter uses these verses here at the end of his section on relationships?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

[Next week: We continue our “Exiles” series by looking at 1Peter 3: 13-22 with a conversation around “Persecution.” Read ahead with us!]