“The Truth about God” – John 14:15-21
The Myth: God is unreasonable
The Truth: God is a compassionate Father
The Myth: God is unreliable
The Truth: God is a consistent Father
The Myth: God is unconcerned about me
The Truth: God is caring Father
The Myth: God is unpleasable
The Truth: God is a gracious Father
Ephesians 1: 4-5
1. What are some of the ways in which we are led to believe things about God that are not true?
2. Since the Bible often refers to God as being like a father, what are some of the ways our personal experiences with an earthly father can hinder a “right relationship” with God the father of Jesus Christ?
3. What are some of the ways our creeds help us get a true picture of God’s nature and God’s activity in our lives/the world?
4. What are some of the areas of your life where your behavior has been based on a distorted understanding of God?
5. What are some of the areas of your life where your have been blessed by behavior that was based on a true understanding of God?
6. Why is it helpful to remember that peoples understanding of God is more likely to be distorted than accurate?
7. Who are the people or what were the incidents in your life that were most helpful in exploding your misconceptions about God and pointing you toward the truth?
“The Truth about Truth” – Galatians 1:1-9 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
There is a huge difference
Your beliefs will determine your behavior.
Untrue beliefs are both damaging and dangerous.
1 John 4:1
The truth sets you free
Truth is a road map for negotiating the difficult challenges of life.
Jesus explodes the myths that make us miserable.
God wants to transform us inwardly by a complete change of your mind.
Commit yourself to:
Seeking the truth
Living the truth
Believing the truth
2 Timothy 4:3-4
1. How has your life been impacted by misinformation or false information?
2. What are some of the similarities and differences between people deliberately or unintentionally giving you false information?
3. How might you answer someone who says, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere?”
4. Look carefully at the last few words of John 8:44, what sobering message do you hear in those words?
5. Why is there no better source of truth than the Bible? (You might want to read Romans 3:4.)
6. Eighty times in the four Gospels Jesus says, “I tell you the truth.” Twenty times he is recorded saying, “You have heard it said, but I say…” Why is this important?
7. In Matthew 7:24, to what does Jesus compare a life built on truth?
“Words of Comfort” – John 14:1-11 – Pastor Jim Hale
When it comes to talking about religion, it is increasingly difficult to talk to folks about absolutes.
There are similarities in many of the world’s religions.
We cannot confuse that, because there are similarities between religions, all religions are essentially the same.
Truth is not relative to my sincerity.
Truth is not relative to my feelings.
“All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
“For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” (John 18:37)
“And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me.” (John 14:3)
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“Then, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
“Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8)
“A Very Important Goodbye” – Acts 1:1-11 – Pastor Jim Hale
1) Jesus reviewed the mission that He was sent by God to accomplish.
“After His suffering, Jesus showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3
2) Jesus kept in touch by sending them the Holy Spirit.
The word “goodbye” is a contraction of the Old English, “God be with ye.”
3) Jesus’ goodbye included plans to get back together!
“Why do you stand looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:11
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going 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.” – John 14: 2-3
“We have a reservation!!
Now what? What does this mean for my Monday morning and for my week?
“You will receive power when God’s Spirit comes on you. And, you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for, so that we can see exactly what He is calling, us to do!” – Ephesians 1:17-18 (MSG)
“Jesus Reinstates Peter” – John 21:15-19 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
The third time is charm
There is a huge difference between love confessed and love expressed.
Peter serves as role model for understanding the nature of forgiveness and restoration.
A change of heart
We are different people when we realize we have been loved sacrificially.
Forgiveness leads to restoration and restoration leads to a call- to follow!
Practice makes permanent
Be gentle with yourself!
Give away the precious gift of time!
1 John 3:16
1. What are some of the reasons this story belongs in the Bible?
2. What are some of the reasons Jesus asked Peter the same question three times?
3. If you had been Peter, how would you have felt by the time you had answered the third question?
4. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “feed my sheep”?
5. What valuable lesson(s) can you learn from Peter’s story about the connection between failure and taking on new responsibility?
6. How have you recognized helping you overcome failure/disappointment in your life?
7. What rituals help you reinforce Christ-like attitudes and behaviors?
“Heart-Warming Faith” – Luke 24:14-35/1 Peter 1:17-23 – Pastor Glesne
Jesus enters the pain and disappointment of His people.
God actively seeks people.
We are blessed when we recognize that God is with us.
What we learn from Cleopus and his friend:
1) Christ Jesus walks with them
2) Christ Jesus talks with them
3) Christ Jesus opens the scripture to them
4) Christ Jesus breaks bread with them
5) Christ Jesus sends them back to the fellowship
1. If you had been one of Jesus’ followers nearly two thousand years ago, how would you have reacted to His death on the cross?
2. Based on the apostles’ reaction, what can we conclude about what they had believed about Jesus’ death?
3. Why do you think they not recognize Him at first?
4. Try to think of a time when you were struggling to understand something and, suddenly, the “lights came on” and everything became perfectly clear. What happened to make the difference?
5. In the final verses, how do the disciples come to recognize Jesus? What part did the Scriptures play in their coming to recognize Him (verses 27 and 32)?
6. Jesus referred to passages throughout all the Scriptures that were about Him. What are some of these passages that he might have referred to? (Note: There are many such passages; you might want to read some verses such as Genesis 3:15; Numbers 21:6-9 [with John 3:14-15]; Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalms 22; 16:8-11; 118:22-23; Isaiah 11:1-7; 53:1-6; 61:1 [with Luke 4:18-22]; Daniel 7:13-14 [with Matthew 26:64].)
7. How did the Resurrection give the disciples hope?
8. Why is the Resurrection central to the Christian faith? How does the truth about the Resurrection impact you?
9. What do you think it means that their hearts “burned within them” when Jesus opened the Scriptures to them (verse 32)? Have you ever experienced this as you engaged the Scriptures?
10. What difference does it make that Jesus is alive today?
“Time to Believe and Live Again!” – John 20:1-18 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Everything has changed
Easter invites us to trade our concept of real life to resurrection life.
The miracle of the resurrection challenges us to change our plans and our identities.
Denial is not an option
It’s hard to ignore an earthquake, angels and an empty tomb.
Listen as Jesus offers us important commands and assurances.
No going back
You now live in a world where resurrection is a reality and where Jesus lives forever.
“Stop fearing ‘and “go and tell what you’ve seen, heard and believe!”
1. Have you ever known anyone who doesn’t believe men have walked on the moon (or something similar)? Why is it so hard to convince people of extraordinary things?
2. What have you experienced that you wouldn’t have believed if you “hadn’t seen it with your own eyes?”
3. What is more powerful in changing your beliefs- What you see or what you hear? Why is this important in understanding peoples struggle to believe in the resurrection?
4. What are some of the ways the reality of death has shaped or continues to influence your life?
5. What are some of the ways the reality of the resurrection has shaped or is influencing your life?
6. What are some of the ways the early disciple’s lives were radically altered by a “resurrection” mindset?
7. What evidence would lead people who know you to think you had seen the “Risen Lord?”