Flawed Heroes: A Study on Judges

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Join us this summer as we explore the Old Testament book of Judges at Eastbrook Church with a new series beginning this weekend entitled “Flawed Heroes.”

The book of Judges occupies an interesting space in the historical books of the Hebrew Bible, fitting between the great Exodus with Moses and Joshua and the coming of the kings with Samuel, Solomon, and David. As this loose grouping of tribes finds their space in the Promised Land, they wander in and out of obedience to God, often lacking direction as the covenant people. Into those gaps, God raises up judges – or deliverers – by the Spirit’s power to lead and guide the people. In the midst of all this, we catch glimpses of how God’s grace and power can work through flawed lives.

You can follow along with the series via our web-site, our Vimeo page, our Facebook page, or by downloading the Eastbrook Church app.

Devoted to Jesus (discussion questions)

Jesus at the Center Series Gfx_App SquareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Devoted to Jesus,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the final part of our series, “Jesus at the Center,” from the book of Colossians. This week we looked at Colossians 4:2-18.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Start your study by answering one of these questions:
    • What has brought you the most joy and life in the last year? Why?
    • Who has been one of your greatest encouragers in life? How have they been that for you?
  2. This weekend we conclude our series, “Jesus at the Center,” by studying Colossians 4:2-18. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through His word, and then read that portion aloud.
  3. This concluding section of Paul and Timothy’s letter brings together some final instructions and greetings to people. How would you describe the instructions about prayer in 4:2-4?
  4. In 4:5-6, the believers are instructed about their relationships with “outsiders,” meaning those not in the church. What are the key characteristics of this instruction?
  5. How would you describe your relationship with those not in the church? What do you think it looks like for you to “make the most of every opportunity”?
  6. The greetings at the end of the letter are so personal and engaging. Let’s look at Paul’s words to and about each person in 4:7-14 (you may also want to look at some of the additional mentions of each person in the New Testament)
    • 4:7-8 – Tychicus (also Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12)
    • 4:9 – Onesimus (also Philemon 10)
    • 4:10 – Aristarchus (also Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2; Philemon 24)
    • 4:10 – Mark (also Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37-39; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11; 1 Peter 5:13)
    • 4:11 – Jesus Justus (no other mentions in the Bible)
    • 4:12-13 – Epaphras (also Colossians 1:7-8; Philemon 23)
    • 4:14 – Luke (also Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11; Romans 16:21)
    • 4:14 – Demas (also Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:10)
  7. Why do you think these friends were so important for Paul to mention?
  8. Who are some of the believing friends you have like these people in your own life today? What do they contribute to your life and what do you contribute to theirs?
  9. In 4:15-18, Paul and Timothy write to the individuals found in the churches in Laodicea and Colossae about sharing letters with one another. Remember that these churches were probably gatherings of anywhere from 5 to 30 people meeting in a house. Why do you think sharing these letters and having connection with one another was so important to them?
  10. What is one significant thing that God is speaking to you through this weekend’s study? What is one of your biggest growth areas from this entire journey through Colossians, “Jesus at the Center”? If you are on your own, you may want to write these things down, pray about them, and then share your thoughts with someone later. If you are with a small group, share these things with one another and then pray for one another.

[Next week is a family worship weekend at Eastbrook Church. We will look at the story found in Joshua 4. Read it ahead of time on your own or with others to prepare for worship together.]

Relationships with Jesus at the Center (discussion questions)

Jesus at the Center Series Gfx_App SquareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Relationships with Jesus at the Center,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Jesus at the Center,” from the book of Colossians. This week we looked at Colossians 3:18-4:1.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What changed in your life most dramatically after you became a follower of Jesus? How did that change occur in your everyday life?
  2. As we continue our series, “Jesus at the Center,” we look this week at Colossians 3:18-4:1. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through His word, and then read that portion aloud.
  3. Background: This portion of Colossians builds from a common concept discussed at the time known as a household code. Aristotle and other ancient thinkers upheld the idea of the father as the head of the household with authority over ‘lesser’ members, including the wife, children, and servants. This household was seen as the basic unit of the greater society. If the households were strong, then the society would be strong.
  4. Before looking at the specific guidelines for relationships seen in Colossians 3:18-4:1, read Colossians 3:1-17 again. What are a few key concepts about relationships within the church from this earlier section that should shape the way we read the coming section?
  5. Now, look at the first relational grouping of wives and husbands in 3:18-19. What is the theme of this relationship in the household and what are both called to do?
  6. Regardless of whether you are married, do you think these verses are easy or difficult to live out? Why would you say that?
  7. Turn now to the next relationship of children and parents in 3:20-21. How would you characterize the relationships? What is Paul calling each party to do?
  8. In the ancient world, the relationship of children toward parents was important throughout life. What do you think this looks like for us today?
  9. The third and final relational grouping is that of servants and masters. These relationships were vital to household relationships, though very different from what we may understand about servitude. What instructions does Paul give to each party? What is common to both of them?
  10. In some ways our work, whether inside or outside the home, parallels the instructions in 3:22-4:1. What does it mean for us to take these attitudes into our workplace?
  11. If the church is the new society of God and the household is the basic unit of the society in the ancient world, what would you say is the significance of the household for our life together in the church? Why is this important for all of us?
  12. What is one significant thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are on your own, you may want to write it down, pray about it, and then share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, share these things with one another and then pray for one another about these things.

Dying to Live (discussion questions)

Jesus at the Center Series Gfx_App SquareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Dying to Live,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the fifth part of our series, “Jesus at the Center,” from the book of Colossians. This week we looked at Colossians 2:16-23.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When have you felt judged by someone else? What happened and how did you respond?
  2. We continue our series, “Jesus at the Center,” from Colossians by studying Colossians 2:16-23. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through His word, and then read that portion aloud.
  3. Background: This section of the letter builds on 2:6-15, which seems to highlight a type of wrong belief or false teaching present in the Colossian church. While there is some debate about exactly what the nature of that false teaching was, it seems that there were elements of Jewish asceticism and mysticism present. Paul’s desire is to keep the believers focused on the fully sufficient work of Jesus Christ.
  4. In verses 16-17 what is Paul addressing that some people may use as a basis for religious judgment?
  5. What do you think he means by saying these things are “a shadow of the things that were to come”?
  6. What is the false belief he is addressing in verse 18? According to verse 19, what is the outcome of such false beliefs?
  7. What would you say are tendencies toward false belief today that could lead us away from Jesus the center?
  8. Paul highlights the basis of our changed life and reality in verse 20. What is it? Why would this change the way we relate to religious rules and regulations?
  9. How might we move beyond the superficial rules that “lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence” (v 23) or superficial regulations that “are a shadow of realities to come” (v 17) in our life together as a church?
  10. What is one significant thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are on your own, you may want to write it down, pray about it, and then share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, share these things with one another and then pray for one another about these things.

Memorize: This week we continue our memorization of Colossians 1:15-20 by focusing on Colossians 1:18. Read the verse through multiple times a day this week. Consider some of our other recommended helps for Bible memorization here: www.eastbrook.org/memorize.

[Next week we will continue our series, “Jesus at the Center,” by looking at Colossians 3:1-17.]

Jesus: God’s Secret Revealed

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This past weekend at Eastbrook I continued our series, “Jesus at the Center,” by looking at Colossians 1:24-2:5. A key concept in this passage is the ‘mystery’ of God found in Christ. It may not be what you expected. So, we have to ask ourselves: are we ready for this secret?

You can watch the message here, and follow along with the outline below (although I sort of left it behind this weekend). You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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