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Wednesday Discussion Notes on  FRIENDSHIP from October 4, 2023

Question: What does it mean to be a friend to someone?

Read Isaiah 5:1-7

  • God owns the vineyard in this passage
  • The vine is Israel
  • God expects Israel to bear good fruit 
  • What kind of fruit is this vineyard yielding? Blood shed and distress

Read John 15:1-8

  • God is the owner of this vine, He is the gardener
  • Jesus is the vine
  • The disciples are the branches
  • If we remain connected to Jesus, the vine, we will bear much fruit
  • Jesus tells us how to be effective in our lives, remain in Him, know Him and follow his teachings
  • We can only bear good fruit if we stay connected to Jesus. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. 
  • God, the gardener takes care of the vines, he prunes it by cutting off branches without fruit

Read John 15: 9-17

  • How do we remain connected to Jesus? By knowing and keeping his commands
  • In order for us to be effective and to be a true friend to someone else we have to be attached to the source that will allow us to be a true friend. 
  • Human friendships without God as the center are based on common interests, shared goals, money, status etc. 
  • Friendships among Christians should be based on our relationship to Jesus. Jesus is a true friend to us because he shares his relationship with God with us. Jesus tells us that God is his source of life. He is one with God and relies on him for everything. 
  • Jesus reached down to humans to be our friend and told us about his Father. 
  • He said that those who obey him are no longer servants, but his friend
  • The more you learn about Jesus and grow in your understanding of who he is and obey his commands, the more effective you will be in your friendships with others

Midweek Lesson Notes from October 11, 2023


Read John 13: 33-38

  • We are called to love each other the way Jesus loved us, he laid down his life for us
  • Was Peter really ready to lay down his life for Jesus?
  • Are you really ready to lay down your life for Jesus? For your brother or sister in the church? For a stranger? For someone who does not know God?
  • Peter was quick to say he would not abandon Jesus but he was not ready. Jesus told him he would disown him three times. 
  • Did Peter take the time to evaluate his heart and make some changes so that he would be ready to die for Jesus? Do you take time to evaluate your heart so that you could be ready to serve someone in need?

Read Luke 22: 31-34

  • Jesus told Peter the truth about himself. It is very loving of someone to tell you the truth about your heart so that you would have the opportunity to change. Jesus followed up by also giving Peter hope that he could and would make changes and eventually get to the point where he would be able to die for Jesus. 
  • Do we give people hope that they can change? Do we see people for you they could become or for who they are with their shortcomings? How loving are you to someone else? Do you speak the truth in love to others and encourage them to follow Jesus? This is true friendship. Jesus showed his disciples how to be a true friend to him and to each other.

Keep Living with Jesus

Sunday Lesson Notes from October 15, 2023

Read John 11: 1-47

Discuss some Key Lessons from the passage:

  • Even when we spend time with Jesus, we can be doubtful like Thomas
  • Martha and Mary believed Jesus was the Messiah but they still did not believe he had come to raise Lazarus from the dead
  • Jesus was really good friends with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. He wept when he saw how sad Mary and Martha were at the death of their brother. Jesus had real emotions. 
  • Jesus was really confident in his relationship with God. He prayed for Lazarus to be raised from the dead to show them that he was the Son of God and came from God. 
  • Jesus promised that  when we believe in him we will live and never die. Live- spiritually, we will not experience a spiritual death. Physical death is not a final event, the way humans think of it. We will live forever spiritually, if we do what God says.
  • Thomas was doubting and focusing on going to Jerusalem to die. He also doubted when Jesus came back from the dead. This is another example of being around Jesus and not really understanding his power. 
  • When God allows us to go through suffering, it is usually for a larger purpose; for example to help us know him better and believe in him more. Suffering can lead to growth. 
  • The religious leaders of the time knew it was the power of God that raised Lazarus from the dead yet they knowingly rejected Jesus as the Son of God. They were more interested in keeping their position and status in society. 

Jesus Heals the Blind

Lesson Notes from Sunday October 1, 2023

Read Matthew 9:27

  • Could these blind men see Jesus? Explain
    • These blind men knew that Jesus was the son of David, which was a huge accomplishment for this time among the Jews. Many of the Jews did not see Jesus as the son of David and should have known because the Torah predicted he would come and do the things he was doing. 
    • These blind men, although physically blind and likely needed help to get to Jesus, were not spiritually blind. They could see that Jesus was special and could heal their blindness.

Read Matthew 1:1

  • What does this verse proclaim about Jesus? Why did Matthew start out his gospel writing like this?
    • This verse proclaims that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of David
    • Matthew wrote his gospel especially for the Jewish readers who did not believe Jesus was who he said he was, the son of David, the Messiah, the son of God whom the prophets foretold his coming. 

Read 2 Samuel 7: 1-16

  • Why was Jesus called the son of David?
    • In this passage David decided to build a house for God but God turned it around and told David he would build a house for David. As a matter of fact, he promised David he was going to build him a royal dynasty that would last forever and his bloodline would always rule. Jesus came from this line and was known as the son of David as a result. 
    • Although David was not perfect and fell short several times, he always repented and sought to maintain his relationship with God. Therefore, God chose him and blessed him and his future descendants with this promise. 
    • This covenant that God made with David was not dependent on David’s actions but it was dependent on God’s faithfulness. 
    • The blind men that Jesus healed must have known their old testament scriptures well enough to recognize that Jesus was the son of David and called out to him for healing. 
  • Read Matthew 9: 27-31
    • The blind men knew who Jesus was despite having a physical disability
    • Sometimes having a disability makes us more in tune with our relationship with God because we can more easily recognize our need for God in our lives.
    • These men could be healed because they already had faith in who Jesus was. Their faith did not come as a result of being healed. 
    • Do you have faith in Jesus that he can heal you? 
    • The Blind men responded to Jesus, Yes Lord, when Jesus asked them if they believed he could heal them. In your life, do you say, Yes Lord, I believe you can heal me?
    • Do you act like you believe Jesus can help you? Faith is not just believing. It includes acting on what you believe. 

Read Isaiah 35: 1-10

  • Do you see Jesus in this passage?
    • This passage talks about a future savior that will come and bring spiritual and physical healing to the earth
    • The blind men heard of all the physical healings Jesus was doing (just what Isaiah prophesied): healing the blind, healing the lame; healing the mute.
    • Do you recognize Jesus’s healings in your life?


Sunday Lesson Notes September 17, 2023

Read 1 Samuel 8: 1-22

  • Why did Israel want a King? What excuses did they make about needing a King?
    • Israel wanted a king so they could be like the other nations around them that had a person as a king. Having God as their king was not enough for them. 
    • They were making excuses that they needed a king because Samuel’s sons were corrupt and Samuel was old and they needed a king to lead them.
    • The truth of the matter was that they were rejecting God as their king. They were intentionally breaking their covenant relationship with God and demanding a person to be their king. 
    • Fortunately, Samuel was wise enough to seek advice from God with this issue. This shows that although Samuel was old, he was still wise to seek God’s advice in his life.

Read 1 Samuel 10: 17-19

  • What is so encouraging about God in this passage?
    • God was very aware that Israel had been rejecting Him as their King since he rescued them from Egypt, yet he remained faithful to his promises to protect them and make them a great nation
    • God is faithful to us even when we are unfaithful to him. His presence gives us protection even when we may not deserve it or we are unaware of it. 

Read John 18: 37-40

  • How does this passage relate to the passage in 1 Samuel regarding Israel wanting a king?
    • In this passage, the Jews chose Barabbas over Jesus. Although they accused Jesus of being King of the Jews, they still chose to crucify him and let the worldly leader go free. 
    • The Jews are consistent in the rejection of God as their King. Here they are rejecting the son of God as their King. 

Read John 19: 12-16

  • Here again the Jews are rejecting Jesus as their King and choosing Caesar as their king
  • Pilate asked the Jews what they wanted to do with their King and they demanded that he be crucified. They claimed that only Caesar was their King.
  • Question: Is there a “King” in your life that is not GOD?
  • Question: Am I crucifying my “King” or God with the choices I make in my life?
  • Question: Do I allow myself to make good sounding excuses to choose who will be the “King” in my life?

Jesus the Bridegroom, the Church His Bride

Sunday Lesson Notes

September 3, 2023

Read Matthew 9: 14-17

  • Jesus referred to himself as the Bridegroom, who was his bride?
  • The church- made up of all his disciples- is Jesus’s bride
  • We are part of the church, therefore, we will be Jesus’s bride when he returns
  • Jesus made his disciples aware of this new teaching
  • What did Israel’s relationship with God look like in the Old Testament?
    • Israel was having a hard time remaining faithful to their covenant relationship with God.

Read Hosea 2: 14-20

  • Israel was an adulteress wife, yet God still pursued her and claimed her as his own.
  • The Israelites were having difficulty staying faithful to God in part because they wanted to be like the other nations around them and have a god they could see and control.
  • God promised Israel his marriage to her would be forever, with righteousness and justice and with love and compassion.
  • God’s request from Israel was to acknowledge him, to know HIM

Read Revelation 19: 6-9

  • This passage describes the wedding of Jesus to his bride the church
  • The bride is making herself ready for Jesus
  • The bride is clothed in fine linen which is the acts of righteousness of the saints
  • The wedding is taking place before the throne of God 
  • All the saints before the time of Christianity will be in attendance to witness this event

Read Revelation 21: 1-11 and 22-27

  • God will come to earth and dwell with his people, the Garden of Eden restored
  • There will be no need for light because God will be the light
  • The nations will be renewed and worship GOD with all the splendor
  • We have something so amazing to look forward to
  • God is clear about his expectations
  • He loves us so much that he tells us what is expected in order to dwell with him forever

See notes from July 5th online

Jesus Returns

Sunday Sermon Notes July 30, 2023

  • READ 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
    • Why did Paul use the phrase “uninformed”
      • His audience did not understand fully about the resurrection of Jesus, he was trying to correct their incorrect teaching
      • The people were wondering what happened to Jesus and when was he coming back
      • They were also wondering what would happen to the people that died before Jesus died and was resurrected
      • Paul was giving them a reminder that they had something more to look forward to than just the life they were living here on earth
    • People who do not follow the teachings of the bible have no hope, why not?
      • They are living for the things in this world, for example, money, jobs, family, friends etc. 
      • They believe after they die, they will cease to exist
      • They do not believe that they will live forever in a permanently resurrected body
  • READ 1 Thessalonians 4:14
    • As Chrisitians, believing in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead gives us hope of a life after death
    • When Jesus returns, dead Christians will be risen, and then those who are alive in him will be caught up to Jesus to the clouds in the air

  • READ 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55
    • It is important to remember that in the end death will not win
    • Jesus came to the earth, died and was raised to a new life to give everyone the same opportunity. As christians, we can die to our old selves, get baptized and be raised to a new life. We will have the ability to live a repented life on earth and a hope of resurrection with Jesus when he returns.
  • READ 1 Thessalonians 4:8
    • Paul wants us as Christians to encourage each other regularly with what he said in verses 13-17 

The Calling

Sunday Lesson Notes from July 16th

  • Read Ephesians 4: 1-6
    • What is the “calling” that you have received?
      • To be a disciple of Jesus
      • To imitate the way Jesus lived
      • To make Jesus the Lord (ruler) of your life
      • This is essential to the core of the Christian Faith
  • Read 1 John and discuss some passages that describe this core of the Christian Faith, living like Jesus
    • 1 John 2: 3-6 is a great example, if you claim to be a Christian, you must live like Jesus did.
  • Describe some ways you can tell if someone is living like Jesus, refer back to Ephesians 4: 1-6
    • The person would be humble and gentle
    • The person would be patient and bearing with others
    • The person would be forgiving and turning to God for answers

  • Describe some ways you might act if you are not trying to live like Jesus, again refer back to Ephesians 4: 1-6
    • The person would retaliate and become defensive in relationships
    • The person would be quick to anger, judgmental and impatient
    • The person would be unforgiving and turning to their own methods to solve problems
    • They would damage the unity in relationships for the sake of winning or being right
  • What is so great about making every effort to “keep unity”? What is “unity”?
    • When Paul told the readers to keep unity, this implied we are already unified with each other. Working to keep unity is the challenge, but it is encouraging that God has already given us the gift of unity in our relationships.
    • Unity is working together with others to reach the same goal. It does not mean we have to have the same exact ideas, thoughts or feelings. It means adjusting our ideas, thoughts and feelings as necessary to reach a common goal. Our relationship with God and our relationship with each other is essential to maintaining unity. 
    • God has given us one Body, Spirit, Hope, Lord, Faith and Baptism. God has made us all-everyone. 
    • God has made us all and as disciples we belong to Jesus. Because we belong to Jesus, we can imitate his humility and keep peace in our relationships.

Jesus, the Bridegroom

Sunday Lesson notes from July 9th, 2023

  • Read John 3: 22-30
    • How does John view himself in relation to Jesus?
      • As a servant, lower in status
      • As a best man to the bridegroom
  • Read Ephesians 5: 22-32
    • What is the profound mystery?
      • That the church is Jesus’s bride and he is the bridegroom
      • Jesus gave his life up for his bride, the church
      • Are human marriages like Jesus’s marriage to the church or is Jesus’s marriage to the church like human marriages?
    • What can we learn from the example of Jesus’s marriage to the church?
      • Jesus gave up his life for the church
      • Jesus cares for the church like he cares for himself
      • There is no price Jesus was unwilling to pay to serve the church
      • Jesus called himself the head of the church, the church members are his body. There is a deep connection between Jesus and the church.
      • As a church we should strive to follow and be lead by our head, Jesus and not a human leader
      • We should respond to Jesus with humility and reverence
      • Jesus uses his words to take care of the church and to make it radiant

  • Read Isaiah 54: 5-8 amd Ezekiel 16: 1-14
    • God is our husband and looks after and takes care of our needs
    • He brought us out of a lonely broken place and provided us with everything that we need to live
    • God has a personal and intimate relationship with us and his concern for us is deeply personal
    • God gives us time to grow and seeks us out when we are ready to receive him
    • It is easy to forget how much God loves and cares for us.
    • When Jesus returns, we will have full redemption and will experience the full treasures from God. As members of the church we will one day be married to our great bridegroom Jesus. 
    • God has made us his Queen and the future bride of Jesus, how do you respond to this gift from God?

We are all God’s Children

Sunday Lesson Notes from May 14th, 2023

Read Genesis Chapter 16: 1-16

  • Discuss some characteristics of Sarai
    • She was making poor decisions and not trusting in God
    • Although God had delivered her from troubles before and personally made a promise to her that she would have a son, she did not believe God
    • She was putting her faith in events going on around her instead of in God’s promises
    • It is important to have people involved in your life who can help you to trust in God when you are going through difficulties in your life. Faithful friends can help you to remember all the times God delivered you in the past. 
  • Discuss some characteristics of Abraham
    • He did not trust in God, but he trusted his wife who did not give him the best advice
    • He was looking to his culture for advice to help him establish his Kingdom, instead of trusting in God’s promises.
    • We need to remember in our lives that God has a plan laid out for us in our lives. We sometimes forget this and instead of seeking out God’s will for our lives, we find a way to deviate from God's plans.
    • When we deviate from God’s plan for our lives, generations of our family members are usually negatively impacted.
  • Discuss some characteristics of Hagar
    • Hagar was rumored to be an Egyptian princess but was a slave to Abraham and Sarai
    • She was forced to marry Abraham and to have a child for Sarai
    • God saw her cry for help and delivered her 
    • In Genesis 21- Hagar and her son Ishmael were removed from the family and God heard her cry again. God invited Hagar into a relationship with him.
  • Read Galatians 4: 21-31
    • We are now part of a greater promise and free to have faith in God. We are no longer bound by the laws of Jewish traditions. Anyone who wants to have a relationship with God is able to do so. We now have freedom to live as Chrisitians because of Jesus and his sacrifice. 

Spiritual Blindness

Sunday Lesson Notes from May 7, 2023

Read Isaiah 42:1-9: What do we learn about Jesus from this passage?

  • God calls Jesus his servant
  • The Messiah will show who God is
  • He will show the way to life eternal
  • He will open eyes that are blind
  • Jesus will bring justice to the nations, we do not have to seek justice for ourselves when we are wronged
  • God was intimately involved with Jesus, holding his hand
  • God gave Jesus his glory, so we could trust that He was from God

Read John 9:1-8: Who were the blind characters in this passage and why?

  • The disciples were blinded by their own traditions, they believed bad things happened to people as a result of sins their parents committed. They could not see the real reason this beggar was blind from birth.
  • The beggar was born blind so that God’s work could be displayed in his life. It is important to understand that the beggar was chosen by God for this purpose. When bad things happen to you in your life do you see it as an opportunity for God’s work to be displayed in your life? It is very inspiring when individuals overcome hardships in their lives and trust in God’s deliverance.
  • What was Jesus referring to when he said they were to work as long as he was there with them? Meaning, make the most of every opportunity to do good. Healing on the Sabbath was more important than obeying the man-made rules of the Sabbath.
  • Neat trivial fact: the Pool of Siloam-means “sent”. Remember in Isaiah, Jesus was going to be "sent" to save the world.

Read John 9:8-12: Why were the onlookers unable to recognize the healed beggar?

  • Perhaps the healed beggar was acting differently now that he was healed.
  • Perhaps they never even really knew what he looked like because he was an outcast, ie. the blind beggar that no one really paid any attention.
  • Perhaps the onlookers were still blinded by their own inability to recognize the power of Jesus to heal lifelong conditions. They could not connect the miracle to Jesus in their minds. Afterall, using mud in someone’s eyes to heal them seems ridiculous.
  • It is important to note also that the man did not require faith to be healed, he was healed although he did not know who Jesus was. In order to be healed however, he had to obey Jesus and do something- go wash in the pool.


Read John 9:13-17: Why were the Pharisees having such a difficult time understanding this miracle?

  • The Pharisees were blinded by their own religious traditions. They were caught up in obeying the tradition of the Sabbath and unable to recognize that Jesus was more important than the Sabbath itself. We need to still do good things on the Sabbath. Jesus performed lots of miracles on the Sabbath to drive this point home to his followers.
  • God created the Sabbath for humans to rest. God stopped creating on the Sabbath, he did not stop existing. The Pharisees went as far to say this man was not from God because he did not keep the Sabbath, by their definition. How many times do we say someone is not a Christian because they do not obey rules that were man-made?

Read John 9:35-38: Who are the spiritually blind in this passage and did they regain true sight?

  • The Pharisees were unable to see that Jesus was doing good on the sabbath and this man was able to see as a result. Instead of rejoicing and worshiping God for this miracle, they threw the healed man out of the synagogue. The Pharisees remained blind.
  • The man was thrown out but Jesus found him and helped him to realize who really healed him. The beggar transformed from not knowing who Jesus was, to calling him an unknown man, to calling him a prophet and finally to proclaiming Jesus was the Son of Man. The blind man allowed himself to be transformed by this interaction with Jesus. We can be transformed in the same way if we allow our eyes to really be healed by Jesus to see who he is. We can be healed from our spiritual blindness when we obey his commands and acknowledge that he is the one doing the healing in our lives.
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