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This post is based on Jeff Purswell's sermon, A People for God's Possession, given on May14, 2017.   We live in a culture that increasingly, not just rejects, but despises what we believe. In these times the wisdom of God, given to us through Peter, also writin... Keep Reading

This post is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, Take Up and Read to Feel, given on April 30, 2017.   As we continue our study of 1 Peter, we encounter something that is a surprise. God does not command us to read and study His word only out of sheer obedience. Ins... Keep Reading

This post is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, The Surprise of Their Lives, given on April 16, 2017.   As two disciples gloomily walked the road to Emmaus three days after the crucifixion, they had no idea that they were in for the surprise of their lives. They w... Keep Reading

This post is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, Cries from the Cross | Part 1, given on April 2, 2017.   As we prepare our hearts for Easter, we are setting aside two Sundays to direct our attention toward the cross. At Calvary, Jesus hung in agony as our substitu... Keep Reading

This post is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, Our Marching Order, given on March 26, 2017.   Because of the glory of what has been given to us in the gospel, Peter continues with a simple, familiar command. Echoing the words he personally heard our Savior say, h... Keep Reading

This post is based on Nathan Smith's sermon, A Song of Forgiveness, given on March 19, 2017.   The Psalms of Ascent are songs that the Israelites sang traveling from their homes to the Temple in Jerusalem. The songs were meant to fill their hearts with anticipa... Keep Reading

This post is based on CJ Mahaney's sermon, Something Strange and Wonderful, given on March 12, 2017.   Having just celebrated the magnificent saving work performed on our behalf by God Himself, Peter now transitions. Verse 13 begins with a “therefore.&rdq... Keep Reading

This post is based on CJ Mahaney's sermon, Your Unusual Story, given on March 5, 2017.   As Peter continues to minister to his readers, he reminds them of the wonder of their salvation. Though times might be tough, there is reason for ultimate rejoicing because... Keep Reading

Thursday Thoughts for Parents | "Meet the Readers"

February 16, 2017 by: SGCL Staff

This post is based on CJ Mahaney's sermon, Meet the Readers, given on February 12, 2017.   As we prepare to study 1 Peter, CJ took this Sunday to introduce us to the original readers of the letter. The recipients were “elect exiles.” When they came ... Keep Reading

Thursday Thoughts for Parents | "Meet the Author"

February 9, 2017 by: SGCL Staff

This post is based on CJ Mahaney's sermon, Meet the Author, given on Februrary 5, 2017.   As we prepare to be ministered to by the apostle Peter, CJ began our series by introducing us to the author of the book. Getting to know the author peaks our interest and ... Keep Reading

Thursday Thoughts for Parents | "Why Preaching"

January 27, 2017 by: SGCL Staff

This post is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, Why Preaching?, given on January 22, 2017. In the first verse of 2 Timothy 4, Paul gives one of the most solemn charges in all Scripture: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and th... Keep Reading

Thursday Thoughts for Parents | "Mary's Song"

December 22, 2016 by: SGCL Staff

This post is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, Mary's Song, given on December 18, 2016.   It was a show-stopper. Right in the middle of the flurry of events in the Christmas narrative, Mary stops to sing. It’s a song of astonishment, praising God for the st... Keep Reading

Weekly Devotional | "The Lost Sheep"

November 15, 2016 by: Brian Chesemore

This devotional is based on Christian Wegert's sermon, The Lost Sheep, given on October 30, 2016. Day 1: Lost (v. 4) Quotes: “We think living without God will lead us into freedom and liberty. We believe we are autonomous and independent without need of God... Keep Reading

Weekly Devotional | "He Gives More Grace"

June 15, 2016 by: Brian Chesemore

Day 1: Worldly Orientation Quotes: “James personifies the entire church as the “bride” of Yahweh or Christ. At best she has become distracted from and at worst unfaithful to her groom . . . The audience has the wrong object for a lover – th... Keep Reading

Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | A Happy Ending

December 29, 2015 by: Brian Chesemore

Review Job suffered because of his blamelessness, not because of his sin. It was to show that God is worthy of the worship of a man even when worldly goods are lost. Job did not suffer because of his sin, but he sinned in his suffering. Job's why questions lose thei... Keep Reading

The Complaint Job has come to the conviction that he does not live in a well-run world. What begins as a general lament before God in prayer gradually becomes a sinful complaint or charge before God, accusing him of mistreatment. If you, like Job, have suffered sever... Keep Reading

Introduction CJ begins by recapping how far we have come in Job. In short: Job’s suffering Job’s “why question” Job’s friends’ accusatory (wrong) explanation for his suffering and Job’s disagreement Chapter 28 interru... Keep Reading

Introduction Cyclical Discussions From chapters 4 to 19, the book of Job has been a series of three cyclical discussions between Job and his friends; each cycle has the same theology. His friends come with rigid, cold, cause-and-effect theology—you do good, ... Keep Reading

Summary: CJ began by recapping Job 1-3. He highlighted Job’s vividly described agony and explained how Job should humble us when we find ourselves complaining. Job’s lament captures his fear that the worst has come to fruition…God has abandoned him... Keep Reading

Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "The Lament of Job"

September 22, 2015 by: Brian Chesemore

Summary C.J. explains that we are about to venture into one of the darkest chapters in scripture (not the darkest). It lets us into the heart and mind of Job, a man undergoing unbearable misery. We transition from Job’s obedient suffering to his lament before G... Keep Reading

Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "The Cup"

June 23, 2015 by: Brian Chesemore

Introduction Ultimately, no pastor—only the Holy Spirit—can communicate what happened in Gethsemane. The scene in the garden gives us a unique glimpse into the humanity of Jesus. Here, we encounter the mystery of the incarnation. Marvel at his humanity,... Keep Reading

Introduction: Bob opened by explaining that singing is Biblical (Psalm 96:1-2, Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16). There are 400 references to singing in the Bible, 50 direct commands to sing, and Psalms (a book of songs) is the longest book of the Bible. There are ... Keep Reading

Introduction Traditions teach Jesus inaugurates a unique tradition for his family in Mark 14:22-25. The Tradition of the Lord’s Supper The Purpose is that we might remember the central importance of his death. "The Lord's Supper, which was instituted by... Keep Reading

Summary In this sermon, Brian exposits Hebrews 10:19-25, encouraging us with the foundation of Jesus’ high priestly ministry and exhorting us to strive toward fellowship with God and one another. Consequently, we are shown how we should then live as faithful Ch... Keep Reading

Introduction (Mark 14:10-21) C.J. compares chapter 14 to the slow climb of a roller coaster before the big drop. Mark decelerates his Gospel account to prepare us for the crucifixion of Christ. C.J. highlights three key components of this passage: Outline Judas&rsq... Keep Reading

Jeff explains how Jesus’ foretelling of the destruction of the Temple represents the passing of the Old Covenant and the coming of the New. Although He is aware of His impending crucifixion, He is not preoccupied, but instead focuses on pastoring His disciples. This passage is meant to identify the conditions required of Jesus’ disciples to live faithfully until His return. ... Keep Reading

Earlier in the day, the religious leaders assailed Jesus with various quesitons. For instance, the Pharisees and Herodians asked a question pertaining to taxes (Mk. 12:13-17), the Sadducees interrogated concerning the resurrection (Mk. 12:18-27), and a Scribe inquired about the law (Mk. 12:28-34). However, after a day of questions, Jesus asks the question of the day—a question of the most importance. Interestingly, Jesus’ question is given as a sort of riddle. It is a messianic riddle that functions to reveal the nature of his identity as the Messiah and Son of God. ... Keep Reading

Summary:  Jesus interacts with a scribe, who asks for clarification pertaining to the “first command above all others” (Mk.12:28). Jesus first answers by quoting Deuteronomy 6:4—“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with ... Keep Reading

Summary : Jesus takes another step closer to the cross as a result of his confrontation with the Sadducees. The Sadducees are the chief rivals to the Pharisees politically and theologically. They are characterized by three doctrines: 1) they only affirm the authority... Keep Reading

Introduction (1 Peter 5:1-4): Elder (spiritual maturity) = Pastor (caring/teaching) = Overseer (governing/ruling) Elders will stand before the throne and give account for the way they served the flock. (1 Timothy 4:16). Cultural and congregational pressure exists... Keep Reading

Summary: Mark chapter 11 concluded with an interaction between Jesus and the religious leaders on the topic of authority. Chapter 12 begins during the same interaction, but now Jesus moves from a discussion on authority to the telling of a confrontational parable. Fr... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from C.J.'s message on 1 Timothy 2:1-7... Keep Reading

Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "Guard"

October 14, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

The writer of Hebrews knew that, even as Christians, our hearts are prone to wander. That wandering can be subtle and easily go unnoticed if we are not actively guarding our hearts. This passage prepares and protects us from the tendency to wander so that by God’s grace we may be preserved to the end.... Keep Reading

Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "Deepening Our Joy"

September 30, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

Marking our two year anniversary, CJ preached from Jeremiah 9:23-24 in order to deepen our joy in the Lord's faithfulness. He discussed two facets of the passage: (1) Personal humiliation, and (2) God glorifying exaltation.... Keep Reading

Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "Mistaken Zeal"

September 23, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

Sermon summary and discussion questions from C.J.'s message on Mark 9:38-41.... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from Jeff's message on Hebrews 12:1-2... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from C.J.'s message on Mark 9:30-37.... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from Brian's message on Ephesians 4:11-16.... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from Jeff's message on Mark 9:14-29... Keep Reading

This week, CJ pointed us to the drama of the Transfiguration text in Mark 9:2-13. In this passage we see the revelation of the concealed majesty of Jesus, the Son of God.... Keep Reading

In Mark 8:31-9:1 Jesus gives a stunning prediction. As the Messiah, he must suffer and die, but will conquer death through his resurrection. This leads to a description of what it means to live as a disciple of the suffering Messiah.... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from Kevin's message on Matthew 20:1-16.... Keep Reading

At the center of the narrative in Mark’s Gospel, there are two provoking questions that serve to clarify the true identity of Jesus. Is he just a prophet or is he God’s messiah and anointed deliverer? In Mark 8:27-30, the Messiahship of Jesus is magnified: he is the Christ, the anointed one, and the king! As readers of this narrative, we are challenged to follow Jesus.... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from C.J. Mahaney's message on Mark 8:10-26.... Keep Reading

Discussion questions for Bob's message on Revelation 5... Keep Reading

Sermon summary and discussion questions from C.J. Mahaney's message on Mark 8:1-9.... Keep Reading

This Sunday, C.J. preached from Mark 7:31-37, expounding on the story of Jesus’s healing of a deaf and mute man in the Decapolis. In this sermon, we encounter the power of God in Christ and the coming of his kingdom. Below is an outline and summary of C.J.’s sermon entitled: A Beautiful, Unusual Miracle.... Keep Reading

This Sunday, C.J. continued our series in the Gospel of Mark. In his sermon, True Defilement, True Forgiveness, C.J. expounds for us the ultimate source of impurity and our need for Christ. Below is an outline and summary of the sermon. ... Keep Reading

Discussion questions for C.J.'s message on 1 Corinthians 3:18-4:5... Keep Reading

Sermon Discussion Questions | "Saved By Grace"

June 3, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

Discussion questions for Shawn's message on Ephesians 2:1-10... Keep Reading

Discussion questions for C.J.'s message on Mark 7:1-13... Keep Reading

Sermon Discussion Questions | "A Worker Approved"

May 21, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

Discussion questions for Mack Stiles message on 2 Timothy 2:14-19... Keep Reading

Discussion questions for C.J.'s message on Mark 6:53-56... Keep Reading

Discussion questions for C.J.'s message on Mark 6:45-52... Keep Reading

Sermon Discussion Questions | "Tell Them That Again"

April 23, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

Discussion questions for C.J.'s message on Isaiah 53... Keep Reading

Sermon Discussion Questions | "Jesus' Mission and Ours"

April 15, 2014 by: Brian Chesemore

Discussion questions for Jeff's message on Mark 6:6b-30... Keep Reading

Consider discussing CJ's message from 1 Corinthians 4:6-13 with your family and other church members.... Keep Reading