Worry and Faith (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Worry and Faith,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series “The Kingdom Life.” The text for this week is Luke 12:22-34.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When have you experienced the greatest worry in your life? How did you deal with it?
  2. This weekend we continue “The Kingdom Life” series by looking at Luke 12:22-34. After beginning your study in prayer, ask God to speak to you, and then read those passages aloud.
  3. This teaching from Jesus begins with a strong exhortation not to worry. What does Jesus say not to worry about in 12:22, 29?
  4. Jesus offers two examples from nature – the birds and the wildflowers – for His disciples. What do these two examples tell us about worry and faith?
  5. What does Jesus tell us about God’s thoughts and actions on our behalf in relation to our worries (12:24, 30-31)?
  6. How have you learned to give your worry to God? Take a moment to read Philippians 4:6-7. How does this illustrate the connection between prayer and worry?
  7. Jesus’ summary statement in 12:31 is well-known. What do you think it means?
  8. In 12:32-34, Jesus exhorts His disciples to not fear, but to do something else instead. What does He call them to do?
  9. What do you think it means to live as a reflection of Jesus’ words in 12:34?
  10. What is one way that God is speaking to you personally through this study? If you’re on your own, write it down and share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, discuss this together.


Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we arranged a daily reading plan through this series. You can also join in with the daily devotional here. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Monday, May 8                     Luke 12:22-26
Tuesday, May 9                    Matthew 6:25-27
Wednesday, May 10             Psalm 147:1-11
Thursday, May 11                 Luke 12:27-34
Friday, May 12                      Matthew 6:28-34

Worry and Faith

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we continued our series “The Kingdom Life” by exploring the topic of worry and faith. My message centered on Jesus’ words in Luke 12:22-34, giving some attention to John 20:19 and Philippians 4:6-7 as well.  Here’s my contention: if Jesus opens the doorway to God’s presence through the Cross and the Resurrection, then it is possible to move from a place of fear to fearlessness in our lives.

I started off with the results of the 3rd annual Survey of American Fears. I’m not sure what you’re most afraid of, but you might enjoy looking at the last few entries on the list of all fears Americans have.

You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Also, you are welcome to join in with the daily reading plan for this series.


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Sunday Prayer 51

We choose to abide in You,
You who are the Vine of the Lord;
we choose to abide.

We abide in Your love,
that love which called our names before anything,
that love which brought forth all creation;
we choose to abide.

We abide in Your commands,
those commands for which we were made to live,
those commands which bring us to life through obedience;
we choose to abide.

We choose to abide in You,
who place us in the hands of the great Vinedresser;
we choose to abide.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

The Return of Christ: 5 Aspects and 3 Images

MP900438983This morning I had the privilege of speaking at Eastbrook‘s monthly men’s breakfast on the topic: “Jesus Our Coming King.” I began with an overview of the narrative arc of Jesus’ life:

  • Nativity and birth
  • Life: teaching, miracles, mission
  • Crucifixion
  • Resurrection
  • Ascension
  • Intercession
  • Return

I then shared five aspects of Jesus’ return:

  1. It will happen (Acts 1:8; John 14:3)
  2. It will happen in God’s time (Acts 1:6-7; Matthew 24:36)
  3. It will be recognizable to all (1 Thessalonians 4:15; Revelation 1:7-8)
  4. It will bring the fullness of Christ’s victorious kingdom over all (Revelation 19:11-16; 21:1-5)
  5. It will bring vindication for God’s people in the sight of all (1 Thessalonians 4:11-5; 1 John 3:2)

I closed with three images from Scripture on how we should live within the time between Christ’s first and second comings:

1. We are groomsmen – friends of the bridegroom (John 3:27-30)

  • waiting
  • listening
  • preparing the bride for the bridegroom

2. We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

  • given the message of reconciliation between God and men in Christ
  • God makes an appeal through us

3. We are watchmen (Psalm 130:6;  Timothy 2:3-7)

  • we are watching
  • we are at the ready
  • we are like soldiers and athletes prepared for action

Byang Kato: One Life Transforming Others


Byang KatoThis past weekend at Eastbrook Church we celebrated and African Global Gateway weekend. As part of my message, “The Cost of Discipleship,” I shared the story of Byang Kato, sometimes referred to as the father of African evangelical theology.

In 1953, a sixteen-year-old young man in Kwoi, Nigeria, came face to face with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was confronted with the weight of his sin and the power of God’s grace. Dedicated at birth to the juju priesthood by his parents this young man, Byang Kato, was at a fork in the road. He writes about that moment in 1953:

The Holy Spirit convicted us of our selfishness…nearly a thousand men and women wept for their sins. Husbands and wives were confessing how they’d sinned against each other…With my heart breaking within me, and tears streaming down my face, I went forward to confess my sins before the Lord and His people. As a symbol of my sincerity, I took off my shirt and laid it alongside the other gifts. Oblivious to everyone, I knelt in prayer.

“It’s not only your shirt I want,” Jesus said to me.

“What do you mean?”

“I want your life, son.”

“Lord, I give you my life. I don’t know what You want me to be, but I dedicate myself to You. Do whatever You want with me.”

He did not know that he would only live to the age of 39. But in that brief twenty-three years between this pivotal moment of surrender and his unexpected death, God used Byang Kato to revolutionize African Christianity in his time. Championing indigenous theological education in both west and east Africa, as well as mobilizing thousands to serve Christ in sub-Saharan Africa, Byang Kato left a legacy as a leader of the chruch that is hard to measure.

For more on the life of Byang Kato see the following resources:

“Byang Kato,” Dictionary of African Christian Biography:  http://www.dacb.org/stories/nigeria/kato1_byang.html.

“Let African Christians be Christian Africans” by Carolyn Nystrom, Christian History: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2009/june/let-african-christians-be-christian-africans.html.

“Byang Kato (1936-1975): Theological Visionary,” in Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom, Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 80-95.