Jan 14th - The Rest of Jesus - Matt Smith

PDF Link

1) Can you think of a time when you took a break or a vacation and afterward, you needed a vacation from your vacation because it wasn't restful? Share with the group your story. Why do you think this was the case?

2) Read the text carefully. Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. What words or phrases stand out to you the most and why? What points in the message impacted you the most and why?

3) A yoke is a horizontal wooden bar laid on the neck of oxen. Everyone has a yoke. We are all attached to something/someone that is pulling us in a certain direction. What kind of functional yoke do you struggle with that produces internal and external exhaustion in your life? (i.e. popularity, approval of others, relationships, money, work, being a 'good Christian', the perfect spouse or parent, etc) Would you be open to asking a friend or someone in the group what they observe about your life regarding this question?

4) If Jesus really is our sin-bearer, shame-bearer, guilt-bearer, judgment-bearer then the way we find real soul rest is at the foot of the cross. What do you think keeps you from experientially living in the good of this wonderful promise and invitation that Jesus offers in Matthew 11:28-30? 

5) Matt said, "We will never embrace this promise of rest until we know the one who made it." How could you better get to know the one who extends this invitation to you? How could others encourage you to look more to Jesus and renew your mind with the hope of the gospel? 

6) Is there one specific take away point of application for you either from the message and/or our community group discussion?



January 7th - Solemn Rest

Questions in PDF format

Community Group Discussion Questions - Sabbaticals         1/7/2018

Ice Breaker: What mundane, daily task do you hate? (ex - taking out the garbage).

Sermon Discussion:

1 - Read Lev 24.3 - 5.

2 - What might a sabbatical imposed on farmers teach them about life, possessions, money and time?

3 - Farmers got this 7th year sabbatical. Merchants didn’t. Why?

4 - For hundreds of years, college professors have taken sabbaticals. Why college professors, and why not, say, plumbers?

5 - Read 1 Ki 19.4 - 8.

6 - What’s the back story? Why was Elijah so exhausted? And why was he filled with anxiety?

7 - How does the Lord Jesus (“the angel of the Lord”) treat him in his weariness?

8 - Read Mark 6.30 - 32.

9 - How do you feel about Jesus inviting his men to go away from the crowds, and to get a break?

10 - What are some things we can do to make Pastor Greg’s sabbatical a real help to him?

Take Home: Why might faithfulness to church be especially important during the time of Pastor Greg’s sabbatical?

Some additional questions put together by the Headley/Touryan group (author credit: Natalie Headley). Use them if you find them helpful!

Discussion Questions

1. Greg's sabbatical reminds us that we all need to find rest in different areas of our lives at one time or another. It may be from work, relationships, parenting, social commitments, volunteer roles, etc. Think about a time in your life when you needed rest. What steps did you take to feel relief? Restated: When you are feeling particularly overwhelmed how do you, personally, propel yourself forward? 

2. When Greg addressed the congregation, he said something along the lines of wanting Lisa and his children to experience him as energized and focused, not fatigued and burned out. We can all probably relate to those types of feelings. In Matthew 4:4, when Jesus was being tempted, he said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." What are practical ways that we can feed ourselves with the Word in our everyday American lives that tend to be over packed and scheduled down to the minute?

3. Is your rest in the Word? Do you have specific passages that you turn to when you seek comfort?

What we've read so far in the book of Ephesians encourages us to pray for our local church. Ephesians 3:14-19 says, "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." 

Keeping this in mind, let's pray for the spiritual strength of our church.     

Prayers Around the Room

(Each person gets a slip of paper with a prayer and reads it aloud.)

1. Lord of peace, may You give the Dutcher family peace at all times in every way (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

2. May Your steadfast love be before Greg's eyes, as he walks in Your faithfulness (Psalm 26:3).

3. Lord, may Mark be strengthened with all power, according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:11).

4. May Sean have wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, and impartial and sincere (James 3:17).

5. May Ed be completely humble and gentle, patient and bearing with others in love (Ephesians 4:2).

6. Lord, may the elder candidates be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).

7. May the church volunteers serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving You, Lord, not men (Ephesians 6:7).

8. May the church missionaries take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of Your Spirit, which is Your Word (Ephesians 6:17).

9. May the youth of our church hear Your words, God, and do them, like the wise man who built his house upon the rock (Matthew 7:24).

10. May your children at CFC know they are saved by grace through faith - not of their own doing, but by Your gift (Ephesians 2:8).

11. God, may all your children at CFC love one another, for Your Word says love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7)

12. May each member of our community group honor You, Christ the Lord, as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks him for a reason for the hope that is in him, yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).