Welcome Pastor Walloch and his family to the Victory family!
Last Sunday, September 10th, we voted to call Pastor Jeremy Walloch to serve as our mission pastor at our Victory Crismon Campus. On Monday Pastor Walloch accepted our call! On Wednesday Pastor Walloch told us they listed their Texas home for sale on Monday, showed it on Tuesday night and received a full cash offer that same night. Your prayers are obviously working!
“Biblical Faith vs. Blind Faith” – Matthew 5:3-12; Hosea 4:1-6
“…. Since the fall every man has been a philosopher, for he has taken his experience of the world and his knowledge of reality — which he has succeeded in describing scientifically — as a standard by which to measure God. But the intellect does not suffice to grasp the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; He must be apprehended through the Scriptures. The “God” created by man is a false god of his own making. (“Luther: Man Between God and the Devil,” 170)
You are what you believe
You belief system unconsciously shapes all your decisions based on what you believe to be real and true.
Jesus (and Martin Luther) warned about outdated, out of order and faulty belief systems.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“You have heard…. But I say….”
Jesus wants to change us from the inside out.
If you want your life to be blessed, get your belief in line with reality and truth not popular opinion.
- Learn the truth
- Discern what is false
- Turn from the world to the Word
- Concern yourself with God’s agenda
1 Corinthians 14:20
- As you look at some of the distortions of a belief system that contributes to terrorism, what are some of the parallels with what Luther addressed during the Reformation?
- What are the differences between hedonism, humanism and materialism?
- What are some of the ways Jesus challenged these belief systems?
- How do these belief systems impact you on a daily basis?
- What are some of the ways your life is affected by the faulty belief systems of others?
- In a recent survey 62% of Americans said they were spiritual but only 16% said they make decisions based on the Bible, what does that tell you about why people behave as they do?
- What are some practical steps you can take to prepare yourself to help others out of the maze that is created by faulty belief systems?
“OUR NEED TO TRUST” – Pastor Steve Lien
Luke 12:22-34; Psalm 136:1-9, 26
CHANGE IS A FACT OF LIFE
We are people created for eternity, yet our world and our lives are constantly changing.
OUR GOD IS NEVER CHANGING
The Psalmist, too, lived in a changing world, but he knew and had experienced a changeless God:
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:1,2)
“ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Psalm 102:11, 12
OUR GOD IS WORTHY OF TRUST
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
1. Skim through or recall the story of the Exodus, Israel’s deliverance from Egypt to the Promised Land. How long did it take? How did the people respond to the changes in their circumstances?
2. In what ways did the Israelites experience God’s faithfulness?
3. Think about the most significant changes in your life (e.g. getting married, having children, getting/losing a job, moving, illness or debility). How long did it take to adjust to the change? How did you respond?
4. How did you experience God’s faithfulness during those times of change?
5. If you are a parent, how does your love manifest itself to your children? How is that a reflection of God’s faithfulness?
6. Use a Bible concordance and look up and spend time meditating on the words “steadfast,” “faithful,” and “eternal.”
“Our Need to Serve” – John 13:6-16; Micah 6:2-4, 6-8
Service is not an option
Jesus calls from a focus on serve us to a life of service.
The truth is, we cannot know God apart from God’s serving love for us
Jesus modeled and commanded
Humble service is simply a matter of our reflecting what God has given to us and done for us.
Because we are created in the image of God, serving is at the heart of who we are.
What do you love to do?
God’s call to servanthood begins by matching us to our gifts and our passions.
Jesus wants to make sure the significant parts of ourselves are developed and used.
1. Describe a time when you served others and walked away with the sense that you had received more than you had given. Why do you think that was?
2. What are some of the ways you can better understand how God has served you as you serve others?
3. How aware are you of your God-given gifts and abilities?
4. How aware you of your most deeply held passions?
5. When you think of times when you have enjoyed serving (and times when you haven’t) how do you see that in connection to your gifts and passions?
6. What are some of your best experiences serving in and through a congregation?
7. What are some of your best experiences serving beyond the congregation?
8. Why do you think it’s important for every believer to find their niche serving in their congregation? Beyond the congregation?
“Our Need for the Key of Christian Community” – Hebrews 10:19-25
Solitaire is for cards
In the beginning, God intended for us to be in families and communities.
Most Christians don’t appreciate the blessings they have in their church family.
Christ meets us in and through others
God uses our friends and families as spiritual incubators.
Even Jesus didn’t go alone hew was part of a small group.
The Holy Spirit calls us into community
Christians have long gathered in large assemblies for worship and in small groups for spiritual growth.
To create/sustain community a group needs equal parts of honest sharing, affirmation and shared commitment.
1. What are some of the ways God has used your family and your church(s) to help make you holy?
2. How does the awareness that God puts us in community to make us holy (not happy) change how you evaluate your family/church?
3. What great truths have you learned from your grandparents? Grandchildren?
4. Who were some of the earliest people who nurtured your faith? Who are the people doing it now?
5. Who do you think would list you as someone who nurtured their faith?
6. How often do you genuinely share your faith with your friends and your family? Are you satisfied with that answer?
7. If you’re a part of a healthy small group, how is it blessing you? If you’re not, what action do you think the Holy Spirit would like to take to change that?
“Our Need for Daily Bible Reading” – Luke 8:4-15
It’s a myth that faith is the absence of thinking or questioning?
Your Bible will speak to you when you approach it with an inquiring mind and a hungering heart.
Meet the author
Daily reading helps you focus on the devotional blessings that are aimed at your spiritual growth.
Expect God to be revealed and be inspired and transformed.
Consistency pays off
Focus your reading more on what you understand than on what you don’t understand.
Take advantage of the familiarity of God’s voice as it God’s heart and character.
- When have you been most satisfied with your habit of reading the Bible?
- What are some of the reasons/excuses that keep you from a daily and meaningful habit of reading your Bible?
- Describe a time (or two) when you read a Bible passage and truly heard God speak in and through it?
- Would you say you are more inclined to read the Bible scholarly or devotionally? How do you think these two approaches are different?
- How has the Bible been spiritual nourishment for you?
- How can you argue or talk with God when you read the Bible?
- Describe a time when you were reading the Bible and a phrase or verse spoke directly to you.
“Our Need to Worship” – John 4:19-26
Worship is essential
No human civilization has ever been created that did not worship.
Cultures that have forbidden worship were doomed to the ugliness of selfishness with its greed and tyranny.
A gift from God
Our soul’s hunger and thirst to know God is satisfied in worship.
Without worship we confuse the temporary satisfactions of pleasure with the eternal joy of God’s gift of purpose for our lives.
Make it a priority
The truth is that what we expect is exactly what we get in worship.
True worship allows us a glimpse of eternity.
1. What are some of your best “worship” memories
2. How/why does worship bring out the best in us?
3. If the devil and dictator’s work so hard to keep us from worshipping, why do you suppose so many people do this to themselves?
4. How has worship been a gift to you?
5. How do you prepare yourself to “meet God” in worship?
6. What are some of the things that can keep you from meeting God in weekly worship?
7. What are some examples of regular personal worship and lives that have changed the world for good?
8. What good do you think God could do in the world through you? How would He use weekly worship to serve that purpose?
“Our Need to Pray” – Matthew 6:5-13 – Pastor Larry Kassebaum
Too important for feelings
Prayer is a habit because it only comes naturally as we practice it.
A disciplined prayer life helps us overcome misconceptions about God left by powerful and abusive people in our lives.
Look into the eyes of Jesus
We are easily tempted to look at the hands of Jesus rather than His heart.
Consider this, Jesus would rather love you from afar than manipulate you into a relationship.
Practice makes permanent
Daily prayer opens us to God’s guiding and to discovering our inner purpose.
Set aside your best time and go someplace where it is unlikely that you will be interrupted.
1. When you close your eyes, what face do you often place on God? How does that help/hinder your prayer life?
2. How should the face of Jesus change your prayer life?
3. If we have been created for a relationship with God, why is prayer so difficult at times?
4. How is our prayer blessed by an understanding of God’s respectful love for us?
5. What is your best time of day? How can you offer that to God in prayer?
6. Where are you best able to pray? Can you go there consistently?
7. What do you desire most when you spend time with God in prayer?