Sermons by Minister

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Unmet Expectations

April 21, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 1:15-23.1. Paul describes two characteristics of the Ephesian church in 1:15. What are they? Are these traits descriptive of our church? Are they descriptive of you? Why or why not?2. In 1:17, Paul prays for a spirit of “wisdom” and “revelation” for the Ephesian church. These words are not a desire for secret knowledge but rather a deeper understanding about God and his ways. What wisdom and revelation did Paul wish for the Ephesian church given what follows in this passage?3. In 1:18-19, Paul prays that &…

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Wallowing In Grace

April 7, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Spend a few minutes reflecting on your experience of church, past and present. What do you hope for the future of a church?Read Ephesians 1:1-22. The Author: This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.Who is the author? Unpack as much information about him as you can (see also Acts 9:1-19; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1)Here Paul deals with the matter of identity. How important is one’s identity? What can happen if you lose your identity or it is stolen?3. The Recipients: I am writing to…

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Not Here. Gone Ahead.

March 31, 2013 by Barry Parker

We have just been through the harrowing events of Good Friday, and now we are basking in the glory of Easter, the Day of the Resurrection. The fundamental reality is that you cannot have one – the Death of Jesus – without the other – the Resurrection of Jesus. Read Mark 14:32 - 15:47. Then read Mark 16:1-8. Read slowly and read both passages out loud.1. What jumps out at you? What is important to learn from this expanse of narrative?2. Read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53:3-11. What is the Old Testament connection to Good Friday?3. Rea…

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I Hate Roller Coasters

March 24, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Read Mark 11:1-10 as well as Matthew 21:1-9; Luke 19:29-38; and John 12:12-15. All four Gospel writers tell the story of the same event. What are the similarities and differences? What do you make of the differences you found?2. Mark 11 signals a major transition, where Jesus finally enters Jerusalem, beginning what we call Passion Week. He will spend the rest of the week in Jerusalem. Read Zechariah 9:9. What is the message and purpose of his entry? How does it contrast with the rest of the week?3. In Mark 11:2 Jesus commands the disciples…

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Two Minute Warning

March 10, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Read Mark 13:1-37. What is your overall reaction? What are the three things about this chapter that jump out at you?2. Mark is writing to a persecuted Church. Of all the biographical material about Jesus he could have written, why do you think he wrote chapter 13 as Gospel (i.e. good news) for people in dire straights?3. Re-read Mark 13:32-37. If even Jesus doesn't know when he is going to return, how is it possible for us to watch if we do not know the day or the hour?4. Read Acts 1:7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. Why is "not knowing&…

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Jesus: Knowledge, Experience, Assurance

March 3, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Please read Mark 12:18-27 and then Matthew 22:23-33 & Luke 20:27-38. What are the similarities and the differences in these three versions of the same event?2. Deuteronomy 25:5-10 with Genesis 38:8 provide the background for the ludicrous question of the Sadducees in Mark 12:23. They didn't believe in the resurrection, so why would they ask such a question?3. In verse 24, Jesus tells these learned men (they did know their Bible – for them, only the first five books of the Old Testament were THE Bible) that they do not know the…

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There IS Another Way

February 24, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Read Mark 12:13-17. Now read the parallel passages in Matthew 22:15-22 and Luke 20:20-26. What are the similarities? What are the differences?2. The Pharisees (the religiously-rigid, law-keepers) and the Herodians (Jews who maintained the Roman status quo) never associated with each other. Why is that? Why do they now come together to confront Jesus?(hint – read Mark 12:1-12)3. In verse 14, are they being genuine? Is it true what they say about Jesus? What is the difference between flattery and honest praise?4. Verse 17 is a well known…

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Futility, Weakness, Power

February 3, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. Do you have enough money? How much is enough?2. Read Mark 10:17-31. Now read Matthew 19:16-30 and Luke 18:18-30. What are the similarities and what are the differences?3. If the rich young man was a good religious man, what was the impediment to following Jesus? Why the remedy? (verse 21).4. Read verse 27. If this man can’t make it (think of the most successful person in your world right now), then who can? Who has a chance? How would you define success based on this passage?5. Read verses 28-31. What is the disciple’s ROI? (Retu…

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Jesus: No Top/No Bottom

January 13, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Mark 9:2-131. Why do you think Jesus chose Peter, James, and John to go up the mountain with Him to see His mountaintop experience, called the Transfiguration?2. What does the experience of Peter, James, and John teach us about believing based on first hand experience? What must we learn about believing based on what we learn from trustworthy eyewitnesses? What are some of the qualities of a trustworthy eyewitness? Why are eyewitnesses important? Why is carefully evaluating before receiving their testimony important?3. What do we learn fro…

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End Of All Suffering

December 2, 2012 by Barry Parker

1. In this sermon series we have defined suffering as “the gap between God’s good and perfect creation and what is our reality – our personal experience of a fractured and often dysfunctional world.” Do you agree? What is your personal definition of suffering and why?2. The series is titled “A Path Through Suffering”. On this journey we have observed various biblical signposts to guide us and point the way forward. We have seen directional signage such as The Source, The Gap, The Reality, God’s Goodness…

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War and Peace: The Prayer of One Afflicted

November 11, 2012 by Barry Parker

1. What is your most vivid memory? How do you feel when you recall it? Happy? Sad? Fearful? Excited?2. Today is Remembrance Sunday. The theme is obviously that we remember. The question –remember what exactly? Why is it important that we remember?Read Psalm 102:1-113. How would you summarize verses 1-11? What “contemporary” health condition captures this experience?4. The theme of time is woven through these verses. Discuss the nature and character of time in verses 1-11.Read Psalm 102:12-175. In verse 12, “Your fame wil…

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