All posts in “Sermon Questions”

5/5/19 Sermon Questions

Accidental Pharisees

Week 2: Matthew 9:9-13


Life Group Questions

  1. As you look at churches and Christians you personally know, are there any areas where you believe the bar needs to be raised in terms of what it means to follow Jesus? If so, what are they? What makes these things particularly important?
  2. How do you fight against exclusivity in the church? In our life group?
  3. Would you agree that, at some level, we are all “consumer” Christians? Why or why not? Is that a good thing, a bad thing, or no big deal?
  4. What makes this particular insight about exclusivity so important as you walk with God? How do you plan to respond?
  5. How does God want to grow and mature you in this area? Will you allow our group to pray for you to that end?


Sermon Scripture

Matthew 9:9-13 New International Version (NIV)

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

4/28/19 Sermon Questions


Week 1: Matthew 7:1-5


Life Group Questions: (adapted from Accidental Pharisees book)

  1. What are some areas of your life that you are most prone to compare yourself to others?
  2. Are there times you are inclined to use the Bible as binoculars instead of a mirror?
  3. Can you think of a time in your life when you were especially zealous for something only to discover later that your zeal didn’t line up with facts?
  4. Can you think of a time when you felt zealous for something in your spiritual life, only to find out it didn’t line up with Scripture?
  5. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were champions of self-discipline, personal sacrifice, and rigid morality. Imagine you were alive back then. How do you think you would have responded to their spiritual passion? How would you have been inclined to look at them, be intimidated by them, be repelled by them, or perhaps have some other response? Why or why not?
  6. If you could pick just one insight to put into practice this week, what would it be?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

Somewhere along the way the good start and the good ambition lost its heart… the Pharisees traded a relationship with God to a religion about God based on their moral performance. And ultimately, they lost sight of what God desired for them. They stopped looking in the mirror and started looking at the faults of others.



1. Understanding the curse of comparison.  (1-2)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Matthew 7:1-2

2. Understand our common brokenness. (3-4)

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? –Matthew 7:3-4

22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  – James 1:22-24


1. Understand the simple solution. (5)

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:5


1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. – Psalm 51:1-13



Easter Service 2019

4/21/19 Sermon Questions


Week 5: John 11:25; John 11:1-4


 Life Group Questions

  • As we close out the I AM series, which statement has had the most impact on you? Why?
  • What did Jesus mean by His statement in John 11:4?
  • Pastor Luke said that God is not afraid of our doubts and questions, but rather uses them to take us deeper in our walk with Him. Are there doubts you need to work through right now?
  • Have you ever felt like Mary and Martha did in verse 21? Is there a situation in your life where you feel like God is delaying and you are struggling in the way they did?
  • Read verse 26. “Do you believe this?”
  • What do the I AM statements of Jesus reveal about the heart of God?
  • What area of your life do you need to turn to the Resurrection and the Life?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; – John 11:25

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha… 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” – John 11:1-4




16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” – John 11:16


20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. – John 11:20

 3) DEAD IN THE DELAY (Martha)

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days … 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. – John 17, 21

22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” – John 11:22

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:23-26



43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” – John 11:43-44

4/14/19 Sermon Questions

I Am

Part 4: John 6:25-36


Life Group Questions

  • How would Jesus’ listeners have heard Him as He talked about bread?
  • What context did they have in understanding bread (making, eating, for sustenance)?
  • In looking at Genesis 3:19, what did you learn about bread?
  • Look at John 6:26. Why did Jesus say His disciples had followed Him? What does Jesus say they should in turn do? (Verse 27)
  • In John 6, how does Jesus use the material to show their need for the immaterial? What is He teaching them through this truth about bread?
  • Throughout these verses Jesus is proving that He is the only true fulfillment. How have you seen that to be true for you? Have you reached that truth?
  • How can you be a spiritual breadwinner for the people in your life and not just filling the temporary needs of others?
  • In what way do you need to make Jesus the main dish and not just a side dish? Share some practical ways you can live that out this week.



John 6:25-36 New International Version (NIV)

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.

Sermon Notes

  1. He takes the material to show us our need for the immaterial.
  2. He re-frames our understanding of possession.
  3. He re-imagines bread-winning.
  4. He takes the critical and makes it accessible.

4/7/19 Sermon Questions


Week 3: John 14:1-14


Life Group Questions:           

  • Are you walking through a difficult season right now? How can our group pray for you?
  • In what ways are you seeing Jesus work in your life?
  • As you walk through difficult times in your life, how does your perspective on eternity change your outlook on your current situation?
  • How does the passage we studied this week set Christianity apart from all other religions?
  • Why is it so crucial to understand who Jesus is?
  • Is there a truth from the Scripture we studied this week that you need to apply?
  • Where in your life do you need to allow Jesus to meet you?
  • How are you living each day with a different destiny in mind?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! – John 13:36-38




“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” – John 14:1-4


Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:5-7


Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. – John 14:8-11


12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:12-14

3/31/19 Sermon Questions

I Am

Part 2


Life Group Questions

  1. Have you ever been disconnected from someone important in your life? Maybe a parent, spouse, friend, sibling, etc. Describe how that affected your relationship. Did it put stress on it, did the relationship break? What steps do you have to take in relationships after you’ve been disconnected for a period of time?
  2. Describe the activity of God in your life right now. Do you feel like he is close, far off, uninvolved? Why do you think you feel that way? When do you feel connected to him? When you don’t feel connected, what does that look like in your life? When you don’t feel connected to him, what steps do you take to try and reenter into the relationship?
  3. What were some ways that Luke pointed to beginning ways to stay connected to Father? Which ways is the spirit inviting you to connect to the Father?
  4. Describe how God uses love as the basis for staying connected. Does that look the same or different in the way we stay connected to each other as humans?
  5. Read 1 John 4:16-21. How does this description of love strike you? Do you find this passage challenging, motivating, defeating, encouraging?
  6. What ways is Jesus inviting you to be connected to him? Are there any specific things you need to do this week or month?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

John 15:1-13

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.


Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Why being connected is important?

  1. Staying connected produces fruit
  2. Being disconnected produces nothing

How do we say connected to the vine?

  1. Do what Jesus says
  2. Love like Jesus loves


3/24/19 Sermon Questions


Part 1


Life Group Questions

  1. Even before studying Scripture, what presuppositions do you have about God?
  2. What does the passage we studied this week introduce about who God is?
  3. What did you learn about Yahweh? What does this name reveal about His character?
  4. What can you apply this week?
  5. How can our group pray for you?

Sermon Notes and Scripture

Exodus 2:23-3:15 New International Version (NIV)

23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.


Exodus 20:2-3 New International Version (NIV)

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.

Matthew 1:21 New International Version (NIV)

21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.


Distortion #1 God’s lack of intervention confirms his disconnection

Clarification – God’s involvement is different than modern day understanding.


Distortion #2 – God values efficiency

Clarification – God values relationships.


Distortion #3 – God’s identity & character is just like mine

Clarification – God’s identity & character inform mine


Distortion #4 – We can’t know who God is.

Clarification – Jesus is God revealed to us.


3/17/19 Sermon Quetions


Week 3: II Corinthians 9:6-15


Life Group Questions

  • As you grew up, how was money handled in your home?
  • What were you taught about money in your formative years?
  • In the passage we studied this week in 2 Corinthians, what did God teach you about money and His expectations for you?
  • What does this passage teach about His character?
  • Read verse 8. In what ways are you seeing God supply all that you need right now?
  • How have you seen God work through your family’s generosity?
  • How would you describe how God’s call to generosity leads to glorifying Him?
  • What action step are you taking this week?


Sermon Notes and Scripture




Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. – 2 Corinthians 9:6



Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7



And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8-9



10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. – 2 Corinthians 9:10



11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. – 2 Corinthians 9:11-13



14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! – 2 Corinthians 9:14-15


  • EMERGING generosity – You contribute. You give something. You aren’t just a taker.  You’re a giver.  You want to be involved.
  • FIRST FRUITS generosity – You joyfully and consistently set aside the first portion of your income for the Lord and his work.
  • COURAGEOUS generosity – You are willing to be stretched beyond firstfruits. You respond to opportunities to be sacrificial and impactful.
  • BOUNDLESS generosity – You actively seek out opportunities to be even more generous. You ask God to remove all barriers for maximum kingdom advancement.



  • Text to give
  • Offering Plate
  • First Free Rockford App
  • Website

3/10/19 Sermon Questions


Week 2: Ephesians 4:11-16


Life Group Questions

  • How are you using your gifts to go, tell and show the love of God in our city and around the world?
  • Read Ephesians 4: 11-12. Has there been a leader in the church that has encouraged you to step into ministry?
  • Do you know what your spiritual gift is? If you don’t, what would you guess it is?
  • How are you using your spiritual gift for the benefit and protection of the church?
  • If you are a leader in the church right now, who can you be encouraging to step into ministry?
  • What is the purpose of our gifts? (vs. 12)
  • If you are serving in the church, how has your service caused you to step out in faith and trust God more?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. – Ephesians 4:11


12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. – Ephesians 4:12-13


14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. – Ephesians 4:14-16



Spiritual gifts are an experience or an ability God has given to you that He uses to build up others.

7But grace was given to each one of us…  12“for the building up of the body of Christ” – Ephesians 4:7, 12

13 until we all attain to… the knowledge of the Son of God – Ephesians 4:13

16 …when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love It’s how Christ ministers to His people, it’s how we experience His power. – Ephesians 4:16



It’s the same way spiritually. There’s nobody like you. You have gifts, vision, experiences, that drive you that are completely unique that God has given to you!



Because the power of God flows through the church

3/3/19 Sermon Questions


Week 1: Mark 8:27-38



  • Who has set a good example of generosity for you? What did that look like?
  • In terms of generosity, how can you shift your mindset to focus in the things of God rather than on human concerns?
  • In what ways are you more concerned for yourself than what God is up to?
  • How are you sacrificing the ultimate for the immediate?
  • Look at Mark 8:34-38. How do these verses stand in juxtaposition to what our American culture is?
  • What does this passage look like for you to live? How is it convicting you to live for Christ?
  • Is there a way you need to put God’s kingdom before your kingdom?
  • How do you nourish and be sure that your soul is filled with Jesus rather than the things of this world?



27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. – Mark 8:27-30

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” – Mark 8:31-33



34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. – Mark 8:34



35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:35