Pastor Christian Simas – Psalm 63

January 29, 2017

1. What comes to mind when you think about Beholding God?

2. In this Psalm, David describes his experience of God’s nearness to him in a difficult time.
– When you are in times of trial what do you tend to look to for comfort?
– How have you experienced God’s nearness to you in times of difficulty?

3. God gives his children the faith needed to behold him.
– In faith, how has God drawn your attention to himself in times of hardship?
– Why, or how, has that brought you comfort?

4. Studies have shown that people who experience awe are more likely to act selflessly toward others.
– What about the God of the Bible produces awe in you?
– Share with your group how you experience awe of God?
– How does beholding the God of the gospel change the way we interact with others?

5. The gospel is the good news of God’s finished work.
– Describe an instance when the gospel felt like “a burning fire shut up in your bones” that you couldn’t hold in (Jeremiah 20:9).
– If we have found the gospel amazing, how can we build one another up to proclaim it?

Pastor Dave Lomas – Isaiah 6:1-7

February 5, 2017

1. What stood out to you from the text, sermon, or topic in general?

2. God created mankind in his image, yet we often attempt to recreate him in ours.
– What are some pitfalls when we understand God as essentially like us, but maybe a bit better?
– How is our perspective rearranged when we look at God as wholly other than us, and not just a better version of us?

3. God reveals himself to Isaiah in a vulnerable and uncertain time (v.1).
– What about God’s Holiness is comforting to you in times of difficulty?

4. We are quick to thank God for the benefits he provides us with, but why do we tend to struggle to worship God for just being who he is?

5. God, through Christ, makes the unclean, clean, or the unholy, holy.
– How does that clean record embolden us to come before God with confidence?
– How does God’s holiness, not our own, empower us to share the gospel with others?

Pastor Christian Simas – Psalm 102

February 12, 2017

1. What comes to mind when you think of God being immutable – unchanging?

2. How do you view the concept of change?

3. In what ways is it harmful for us to place our hope and assurance in things that change?

4. Consider v.12. How does God use a changing world to point us to that which is unchanging?
“God allows things to change in order that he might establish that which cannot change.” – A.W. Tozer

5. What changing parts of creation are you placing security in that need to be replaced with our unchanging God?

6. Read vv. 25-28​. How does God’s unchanging nature bring you security and assurance that cannot be found in creation?

7. In light of the Immutable God enduring distress and abandonment (in Christ) for us, how will you confidently cry out v.2 with the Psalmist this week?

Pastor Christian Simas – Acts 4:23-31

February 19, 2017

Pastor Christian Simas – Psalm 145

February 26, 2017

1. Look through Psalm 145. How does the psalmist describe God’s unsearchable greatness?

2. What are some struggles you have when you try to understand the infinitude of God?

3. Read John 1:1-18. In what ways do you find comfort from this passage?

4. How does our finite nature hinder us from fully understanding God’s infinite nature?

5. How will we, finite creatures, experience our infinite God this week?

Pastor Christian Simas -Acts 17:16-34

March 5, 2017

1. “To rely on a god that relies on you is not god at all.” What evidence in your life demonstrates that you think God needs you?

2. How does the reality that God is calling you simply because he loves you, and not because he needs anything from you, change your relationship with Him?

3. All things are from God (Acts 17:24a, Romans 9:16): What are the good things that God requires of us, yet also provides for us?

4. All things are through God (Acts 17:28, Colossians 1:17): God is the sustainer of all things and holds us in the grip of His grace! What are you holding on to that keeps you up at night and prevents you from entering His rest?

5. All things are to God (2 Corinthians 9: 8-11) What is the chief end of man? How should we respond to a God who isn’t counting on us to provide for His needs?

6. How would your life change if you risked everything and go ‘all in’ for our amazing God?

Pastor Christian Simas – Psalm 34

March 12, 2017

1. “God’s goodness is the sum total of his revealed excellencies.” – J.I. Packer
– What are the excellencies God reveals to us in Exodus 34:6-7?

2. In what ways have we struggled to understand that God is truly good all the time in our lives (Mark 10:17,18)? Give examples.

3. “You can have as much of God as you want.” – Simas
– What are ways that we can truly taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8a)?

4. Read Psalm 34:10. What good things do we think God is not capable of providing for us?

5. What are the things we need to turn away from and then press into God’s goodness? (Psalm 34:14)

6. How will you, in faith, lay hold of God’s goodness to you through Jesus Christ this week?

Pastor Christian Simas – Isaiah 40:9-14, 25-28

March 19, 2017

1. Think of someone you consider to be wise. What is it about that person’s character or actions that makes you feel this way about them?

2. Read Isaiah 40:13-14. What does it mean for us that God is wise (omniscient)?

3. What are the consequences of living our lives believing that all other wisdom, even wisdom revealed from God, is lesser than our own?

4. “The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.” – John Piper
As a group, explain how this statement is true.

5. “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is…what we need more than anything.” – Tim Keller
In what ways should we respond to God in light of Him fully knowing us, yet truly loving us in Christ?

6. If we actually believe that God is completely wise, then what does that mean for our daily lives?

Pastor Christian Simas -Psalm 139:1-18

March 26, 2017

1. Think about a time you felt comforted by the presence of another. What about that experience was comforting to you?

2. Describe how God is omnipresent with his creation. How is that different than how he is particularly omnipresent with his covenant people?

3. Read Psalm 139: 8-16. When have you failed to acknowledge the particular and intimate presence of God in your life?

4. As the hymn states, we are a people that is “Prone to wander… Prone to leave the God [we] love.” In what ways have you attempted to wander from God’s presence?

5. In your wandering, how has God been faithful to pursue you and draw you closer to himself?

6. “Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave him not alone.” – Brother Lawrence
How will you actively practice being in the presence of God this week?

David Lipari – Exodus 15:1-18

April 2, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:

1. Define God’s omnipotence.

2. How does God’s attribute of omnipotence interact with his other attributes like his goodness, justice, mercy, etc? Read through and meditate on Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28-39, Exodus 34:6, 7.

Community Group Discussion Questions:

1. Think of those that you know to have great power and authority. What are some good and bad examples of these people using their power?

2. “God’s omnipotence means that God is able to do all his holy will” – Wayne Grudem
What does God being Almighty (omnipotent) mean for us?

3. Tell about a time in your life where you felt as though our Almighty God was too weak to work all things together for your good.

4. Read Exodus 14:30-31 and Colossians 2:13-15. What similarities and differences are there between God’s redemption of the nation of Israel from Egypt and his redemption of his Bride from Satan, sin, and death?

5. Read Philippians 2:6, 7. In light of the Almighty God coming to us in weakness, how should we think about how God uses his power?

6. If we understand that God exercised his great power through self- sacrificial service, how should we respond in our own areas of authority?

Pastor Christian Simas – Matthew 21:1-11

April 9, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions

1. The Bible speaks a lot about a Messiah who will come to rescue God’s people from their enemies.
– What did the Jews expect this Messiah to come and do?
– What did Jesus, the true anticipated Messiah, actually come and do in his first advent? Support your answers with Scripture.

Discussion Questions

1. Imagine someone/something you would describe as majestic, what is it about the way they look/act that causes you to describe them this way?

2. Read Zechariah 9:9. In what varying ways is this prophecy fulfilled in our text in Matthew 21?

3. What are the consequences of looking for a savior that the world might expect rather than turning to the true savior, Jesus, who came to us “humble, and mounted on a donkey” (v.5)?

4. At times we lose sight of God’s majesty. In what ways/areas do we sometimes fail to translate our “singing into obeying”?

5. Tell about a time when your experience of God in Jesus Christ led you to say, “Who is this?” like the whole of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (v.10).

6. “Live in the Kingdom in such a way that provokes questions for which the Gospel is the answer.” – Lesslie Newbigin
– Leading up to Easter Sunday, how will we live out this call this week?

Pastor Christian Simas – Revelation4:9 – 5:14

April 23, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:
– Support your answers with Scripture.
1. Why is God worthy of all praise?

Discussion Questions:
1. What gives a thing, or person, its worth?

2. What created things are we prone to worship, or determine our value from?

3. What are the consequences of seeking to find our worth in anything but Christ?

4. If “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” alone is where we find our worth, then how should we respond to circumstances of brokenness and despair as well as success and comfort?

5. “Christ is not valued at all unless he is valued above all.” – St. Augustine
– What are the things that we have valued more than Christ?

6.”Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)
-How will we, through faith, respond to God’s worth in worship this week?

Pastor Christian Simas – Lamentations 3:1-33

April 30, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:
– Support your answers with scripture.
1. How does the Bible define faith?

2. How has God shown himself ultimately faithful to an unfaithful and enemy people?

Discussion Questions:
1. Think of someone in your life you consider to be faithful. What about their character or actions makes you think of them this way?

2. Tell about a painful circumstance from your life and describe how God was faithful to reveal himself to you in it.

3. What does it mean to us that through beholding God’s faithfulness we are free to acknowledge our faithlessness?

4. Read Mark 1:14-15 and Ephesians 2:8-10. What tension do we find in these verses as we are called to repentance and faith, yet it is “not your own doing”?

5. In what ways does beholding God’s faithfulness bring to mind God’s character?

6. Read Lamentations 3:21-24. How will we “call to mind, and therefore have hope” in the great faithfulness of our Lord this week?

David Lipari – 2 Corinthians 9:8-15

May 7, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:
– Support your answers with Scripture.

1. What is concept of “common grace”?

2. How is common grace different than that of the saving grace received by Christ’s Bride – the Church?

Discussion Questions:

1. What characteristics do we expect a person to have when we hear them described as generous?

2. Tell about a time when you received generosity from someone. What did their generosity mean to you?

3. What do you think about when you hear that our God is a generous God?

4. Read 2 Corinthians 8:9. What does it mean to us that Christ “became poor” so that we might “become rich”?

5. God was greatly generous to us in Christ, even while we were still his enemies. How should we then think about our generosity?

6. If we were to, in faith, reflect God’s radical generosity what implications would that have for our daily lives?

Pastor Christian Simas – 1 John 4:7-21

May 14, 2017

Pastor Christian Simas – Exodus 20:1-6

May 21, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:
– Use Scripture to support your answers.

1. Read Exodus 20:1-6. How is this same structure (reminder of salvation leading to a call to obedience) leveraged in the New Testament? Give examples.

Discussion Questions:

1. What comes to mind when you hear that God is a jealous God? What parts of our culture do you think influences your answer?

2. What are some consequences of trying to use obedience to earn God’s commitment to us?

3. In light of the fact that God first reminds Israel of their salvation from Egypt (Ex. 20:2) before he gives them the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3-17), how should we think about the obedience that God desires from his covenant people?

4. What does it mean to us, the Bride of Christ, that God is a jealous God?

5. What influence does this understanding of God’s jealousy for his Church have on our understanding of God’s love for his Church?

6. If fidelity to, and zeal for, God are appropriate responses in light of His jealousy, then what impact does this have on our daily lives?

Pastor Christian Simas -Deuteronomy 32:1-4

June 11th, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:
-Use Scripture to support your answers.
1. According to God’s justice, why can Christians rest assured that they cannot lose their salvation?

Discussion Questions:
1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘justice’? Does it have a good or bad undertone to you?

2. Describe to your group a time that you have witnessed/experienced injustice and the feelings associated with that experience.

3. How is justice a central theme in the narrative of Scripture? What examples come to mind?

4. What comes to mind when you hear that God is a just God?

5. If God is just, how can sinful people enter into his presence?

6. Read Micah 6:8. Having been justified by God’s grace, through faith, how should we now live in an unjust world?

Pastor Christian Simas – Romans 1:18-25

June 18th, 2017

Personal Reflection/Study Questions:
-Use Scripture to support your answers.
1. What is the wrath of God?

2. What are examples of God displaying his active wrath? What are examples of his passive wrath?

Discussion Questions:
1. Think of an angry person. What other adjectives would you use to describe this person you are thinking of?

2. “God is not embarrassed by his wrath or ashamed of his judgment, so we shouldn’t be either.” – Thabiti Anyabwile
In what ways have you neglected the topic of God’s wrath in the past?

3. How would you say that God’s love and wrath are interconnected?

4. Human wrath is “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite” – Dante
From our passage, what are some differences between God’s wrath and human wrath?

5. Read Ephesians 2:1-3. What does this passage say the consequences are for our “trespasses and sins”?

6. What does it mean to you that God poured out his full cup of wrath (both active and passive) on Christ on the cross?

7. If we believe that on the cross Christ completely paid the consequences for our sins, how does that allow us to entrust our anger to God?

Pastor Christian Simas – Exodus 2:23 – 3:12

June 25th, 2017

Discussion Questions:
1. How would you describe the word compassion? What other qualities would you expect a compassionate person to have?

2. Read Exodus 3:7. If God hears the cries of his people in their sufferings, then how does that influence the way we cry out to God in our times of hardship?

3. What do you think about God acknowledging the challenges his people face (Exodus 3:9) and not simply pointing out error?

4. What does God’s compassion mean to us?

5. In light of God entering into our affliction to deliver us, how should we think about his compassion?

6. “If I have not compassion on my fellow servant, even as my Lord has on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” – Amy Carmichael
What would it mean if in our time of lacking compassion for others we looked to Mount Calvary?