9/2/18 Sermon Questions


Week 2:  Matthew 20:1-16


Life Group Questions:

  1. Read the passage together as a group.
  2. What did you learn about God’s grace though this parable?
  3. What did you learn about our role in God’s grace being extended to us? (Verses 3 and 6)
  4. Read verses 8-10. What is Jesus preaching here?
  5. How did the workers respond to their wages? How have we seen this mentality played out in your own life?
  6. Read A.W. Tozer’s quote. Would you agree or disagree?
  7. Read Luke 15:28-32 and Jonah 4:1-4. How do we see the same heart of God towards all people in these other passages of Scripture?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’  Matthew 20:1-12




28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:28-30

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah 4:1-4




13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 20:13-16





  1. Are there any areas of ungratefulness in my life? If so, what can I do to remind myself of what God has done for me?
  2. What are some ways that I can rest in the grace of God this week?


8/26/18 Sermon Questions

WAIT, WHAT?                                           

Week 1:  Mark 5:22-42


Life Group Questions:           

  1. Read the gospel account of Jairus’ daughter together as a group.
  2. In what different ways do you see Jesus testing Jairus’ faith during this passage?
  3. Why did Jesus take the time to heal the bleeding woman instead of rushing to the little girl’s bedside?
  4. What do we learn from Jesus on life and death? Which truth stood out to you?
  5. What has Jesus offered you that is more than you ever could have imagined?
  6. What has Jesus required of you that is more than you ever could have imagined?
  7. What are the ways that you approach Jesus in times of hurt and healing?
  8. What does this passage teach us about the power and love of Jesus
  9. How can our group pray for you this week?


Sermon Notes and Scripture:

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. – Mark 5:21-42




8/19/18 Sermon Questions

Are You a Risk to God?

Life Group Questions:

  1. Are you risk taker?
  2. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
  3. Pastor Chuck said, “We need to be careful that we’re not becoming a risk to Him, failing to accomplish our chief end of existence, which is living to praise of His glory by enjoying Him.” How well are you accomplishing this?
  4. Is your life a risk to God?
  5. If the future of building Christ’s kingdom was left on your shoulders, would it survive?
  6. So, what RISK is God taking with you?
  7. What specifically are you planning to do in building Christ’s Kingdom in this new church year beginning September 1? Are you willing?


Sermon Notes and Scripture:

Deut.10:12,13 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart & with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?



Col.:1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 18…so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Rom.11:36  For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.



Jn.14:12 …whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these…

Eph.2:10 …created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

  1. Chosen – 1Pet.1:20 He (Jesus) was chosen before the creation of the world,    Eph.1:4 He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy & blameless in his sight
  2. Sonship – Jn.1:49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”  Jn.1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God 
  3. One in Godhead – Jn.17: 21 …that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
  4. Works – Jn.9:4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.   Eph.2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
  5. Empowered –Lu.4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you
  6. Living by faith Heb.12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith   Heb.11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God 
  7. Gifted for Service Eph.4:7 But to each one of us grace (enablement) has been given as Christ apportioned it.
  8. Glorify God Jn. 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do    Eph.1:12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.


8/12/18 Sermon Questions


Week 4: Jonah 4


Life Group Questions:

  • Read Jonah 4 together as a group.
  • What surprises you about Jonah’s response to Nineveh’s repentance?
  • What surprises you about God’s response to Jonah?
  • Have you ever tried to put God in a box like Jonah did in Jonah 4? Why? What happened?
  • What can we learn and apply from Jonah’s heart problem?
  • What are the three things that God provided for Jonah in chapter 4? How were these three blessings, invitations into God’s grace?
  • Pastor Josh said, “God’s provision is not about our convenience, but our transformation.” Agree or disagree?
  • Share a circumstance in your life right now that is meant to be an agitator (like Pastor Josh’s example of the washing machine) and instead is just agitating you. How can you submit that circumstance to God this week?


Sermon Notes and Scripture:

  1. Inconvenience creates opportunity for transformation. Convenience encourages stagnation.
  2. God’s invitation to Jonah is inward focused not outward focused.


Jonah 4

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”



8/5/18 Sermon Questions


Week 3:  Jonah 3


Life Group Questions:

  1. Are you able to see grace and not punishment in the story of Jonah? If so, where?
  2. Share a time with your group when you saw God gave you a second chance like He did for Jonah in chapter 3.
  3. Read chapter 3. How does Jonah’s eight word statement take pressure off of you in sharing your faith? How do you see God working in this chapter?
  4. Read the verses provided below (in the sermon notes section) about the salvation process. What did you learn? What can you apply?
  5. Who are you praying for like their life depends on it?
  6. Think about this, Pastor Luke asked how many people would enter into salvation last week if all your prayers were answered. How many would it be?
  7. Who is one person you can pray for this week that needs to hear the gospel?
  8. How can you better prepare to share the story of God’s grace and what it has done for you?


Sermon Notes and Scripture:

1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:  “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. – Jonah 3:1-10



  • “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:3
  • “To as many as received Him… He gave the right to become children of God—who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:13
  • “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…” – Ephesians 2:8-9
  • “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… all that the Father gives to Me will come to Me.” – John 6:37, 44



17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. – Romans 10:17







7/29/18 Sermon Questions


Week 2:  Jonah 2:1-10


Life Group Questions:

  1. Have you ever noticed the word “provided” in Jonah 1:17? How does that one word change your perspective on the story of Jonah?
  2. How is God trying to get your attention right now?
  3. What lengths have you seen Him go to show you His grace?
  4. In what ways in Jonah 1&2 can you see God’s relentless grace?
  5. What area of your life do you need to stop running from God and start running to God?
  6. How can our Life Group pray for you this week? 


Sermon Notes and Scripture:    

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:17

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight, yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ – Jonah 2:1-4



The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.  But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. – Jonah 2:5-6



“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. – Jonah 2:7-8



But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, Salvation comes from the Lord.’”  10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. – Jonah 2:9-10

7/22/18 Sermon Questions


Part 1:  Jonah 1


Life Group Questions:

  1. What would you say to the atheist Richard Dawkins about his quote concerning God?
  2. Read Jonah 1 as a group.
  3. What have you learned about Jonah in the past?
  4. What did you learn about the Ninevites? Does that information help to put into context Jonah’s response?
  5. Read the text and look at the way Jonah makes his descent. Had you noticed that progression before?
  6. How do you know when you are choosing Nation over God?
  7. Where do you see God’s grace and mercy in Jonah 1?

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

Jonah 1 New International Version (NIV)

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) 11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” 12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. 17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


Richard Dawkins, a leading Atheist, once said; “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

  1. Our problem is not with who God is, but with who we are.
  2. The second observation is that God’s Grace goes beyond Opposition.
  3. God’s heart is for his creation, not a specific nation.

7/15/18 Sermon Questions

Uncharted Territory

Week 7:  1 Kings 19:15-21


Life Group Questions:

  1. What step towards obedience to God do you need to take today that you didn’t take yesterday?
  2. Read 1 Kings 19:19-21. Do you ever feel restless in the monotony of day to day life? Where can you see God in performing the daily tasks to the best of your ability?
  3. Read the passage again (1 Kings 19:15-21). How did Elisha model the phrase, “you don’t have to understand fully to obey immediately?” Where do you need to apply this?
  4. Have you ever asked, “What’s next, God?” What would you do with His answer?
  5. Read verse 21. Pastor Luke said that Elisha was burning his plan B. What can you learn from this principle and follow God immediately?
  6. What steps of faith does God want you to take to follow Him into uncharted territory?
  7. Are there things in your life that are preventing you from following God into uncharted territory?


Sermon Notes and Scripture:

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. – 1 Kings 19:15-21




20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” – 1 Kings 19:20



21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. – 1 Kings 19:21


7/8/18 Sermon Questions


Week 6:  2 Timothy 4


Life Group Questions:

  1. Before hearing the message this week, how would you have defined the word theology? How would you define it now?
  2. How does your theology affect your everyday life? (Family, work, Church)
  3. Read 2 Timothy 4. Knowing these are some of Paul’s last words, what can we learn from the message?
  4. Pastor Luke said, “There is never a season of life that God’s Word doesn’t apply.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Share a personal example of a time that was true in your life and what passage of God’s Word got you through that time.
  5. Read 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Has there ever been a time you recognized bad theology being taught?
  6. What can you do to better prepare for the hardship Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 4:4-5.
  7. What are some ways you can protect yourself from louder theology?
  8. Who are some people in your life that can continue to spur you on to fight the good fight of faith?



2 Timothy 4

4In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Markand bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.



7/1/18 Sermon Questions


Week 5:  Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:42-46


Life Group Questions:

  1. In what ways has technology and social media helped build community in your life?
  2. In what ways has technology and social media hindered you and your relationships?
  3. What did Pastor Luke mean when he said, “My active faith is about the one another’s?” How does this apply to the life of the Church?
  4. How are you present and active in the life of the Church?
  5. When was the last time someone lived out Hebrews 10:24 in your life? What effect did it have?
  6. How are you modeling to the younger generation that the Church is the most important community in our lives?
  7. How were you convicted or challenged by the text this week?
  8. How have you seen First Free Rockford take care of their own?
  9. How can our group pray for you this week?


Sermon Notes and Scripture:


24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   Hebrews 10:24-25

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.   Acts 2:42-47