April 10, 2016
1. TRANSITION UPDATE
This Sunday, April 17, we will be announcing our new Lead Minister. We don't want to give anything away before the big day, but rumor has it he loves racket sports and is a big fan of Sour Punch Straws!
2. THE BIG IDEA
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the sermon this week was not recorded.
3. THE SCRIPTURE
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
4. THE QUESTIONS
Use these questions to further explore the theme of the service (these are great to use with your friends, family, or small group).
QUESTION 1: PRAY
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” What we think about plays a huge role in our prayers. If our minds wander, our prayers are scattered and lack focus. Read Ephesians 4:17-19 and then ask, “What needs dumped from your mind so that you can pray clearly?”
QUESTION 2: SPEAK
Read Ephesians 4:25 and 29 and ask these questions: a) Why should we put away falsehood and speak the truth? b) What “rotten” words came out of your mouth this week? Revisit that moment and reflect on what you should have said. c) How do you determine what words need spoken on a certain occasion?
QUESTION 3: GROW
Read Ephesians 4:22-24. Have you ever had to get new clothes
because the old ones didn’t fit anymore? Paul pictures our ethical growth in Christ to be similar to putting off and on clothes. Are there some “clothes” that are hindering your growth in Christ?
QUESTION 4: LOVE
Read Ephesians 4:32 slowly and meditate on each phrase. Read
it again substituting Jesus’ name for “be” (e.g. “Jesus is kind, Jesus is tender,” etc.) Read it a third time and place your name for “be” (e.g. “Mark is kind, Mark is tender,” etc.). Ouch.