She Speaks 2019

She Speaks - Part 6 - Leah - Guest Speaker Sarah Hammond

Leah is unloved and rejected most of her life. We'll see Leah set aside her affliction and agony to offer God a sacrifice of praise. We'll also see God use this seemingly secondary character in the Bible to begin ushering in the ultimate Salvation of the world. He always has the final say.

Action Step:

Take an honest look at some of those really difficult parts of your story. How did you respond? Read Psalm 116. Ask God to help you offer a sacrifice of praise.

Sunday Recap 

Series:  She Speaks… Leah

1. Through who's perspective have you typically read this story?

2. What was God's response to Leah's situation of being "hated"? Why do you think He responded this way?

3. How do you think God feels when are struggling deeply?

4. "How we respond to the agony and chaos in our life will always reveal to us what we truly believe about God." Has any part of your story caused you to question/doubt something you once believed about God? How did you handle that? How can we know the truth about who God is?

5. What does it mean to offer God a "sacrifice of praise"?

She Speaks - Part 5 - Lydia

Lydia is a wealthy business woman who becomes the first convert to Christianity in Europe. She responds to the gospel preached by Paul in Philippi and immediately responds with obedience, hospitality, and generosity. She opens her home to Paul and his team and provides a space for the new church to meet.

Sunday Recap 

Series:  She Speaks… Lydia

Text:  

  • Acts 16:11-15 & 40

  • Romans 12:13

  • Titus 1:7-8

  • Hebrews 13:2

  • I Peter 4:9

Big Ideas:

* Lydia was a wealthy business owner who responded to the gospel preached by Paul in Philippi.

* Lydia was the first person to respond to the gospel on Paul’s second missionary journey and she was the first convert in Europe.

* After receiving the gospel, she responds with obedience, hospitality, and generosity.

* Her home becomes the starting place for the church in Philippi.

Questions:

1.  What was most interesting or encouraging to you about the sermon this week?

2.  What was most challenging to you about the sermon this week?

3.  Read Acts 16:11-15.  Verse 14 says that Lydia was a “worshiper of God” and that “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”  What do you think it means that God opened her heart?  What does it look like for us to have an open heart to the things of God?  

4.  If we’re honest, most of us probably know someone like Lydia… someone who seems to be a good person, but they just haven’t heard or believed the gospel yet.  How can you begin spiritual conversations with them?  How can you begin to share the gospel with them?   

5.  The action step this week is to practice hospitality - think of a specific or tangible way to show hospitality to someone.  As a group discuss some specific or tangible ways to practice hospitality toward others, particularly outsiders.  

She Speaks - Part 4 - Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is one of the more popular women in the New Testament, but her life has also been the subject of much speculation and false teaching. She was a woman with a rather dark past, but Jesus frees her from her demons and she is completely transformed by his grace. In Christ Mary finds a new freedom and identity, and in the end she becomes one of the most faithful followers of Jesus.

Series: She Speaks… Mary Magdalene

Text:

Luke 8:1-3

John 19:25

John 20:1-18

Big Ideas:

* Mary Magdalene had a dark past, but she found everything she longed for “in Christ.”

* She found freedom in Christ

* She found hope in Christ

* She found joy in Christ

* She found peace in Christ

* She found purpose/calling in Christ

* She found friendship/community in Christ

* She found Salvation/redemption in Christ

* The Christian faith is based on an event (the resurrection of Jesus). Mary Magdalene was the first person to witness the resurrected Jesus and the first one to speak of it to others.

Questions:

1. What was most interesting or encouraging to you about the sermon this week?

2. What was most challenging to you about the sermon this week?

3. Read Luke 8:1-3. Obviously Jesus had women like Mary Magdalene among his band of followers. Although Jesus’ opponents were constantly looking for reasons to lie about him and accuse him of sinful things (ex: he hung out with tax collectors and sinners, he was a glutton and drunkard, etc…), no accusation was ever made about his treatment of women. What can we learn from Jesus about how to respect and treat women in our society today?

4. Read John 20:11-18. Why do you think Jesus chose to reveal himself to Mary Magdalene first after his resurrection? Doesn’t it seem odd that Jesus would do this since women’s credibility in that day didn’t hold much weight? What can we learn from this about the gospel?

5. The action step this week was to reflect on what you have been saved from so that you can more fully appreciate what you’ve been saved to. Name one thing that you have been saved from (a particular sin, struggle, or stronghold in your life that Christ has set you free from), or one thing that you’re working on giving over to Him.

She Speaks - Part 2

Mary is probably the most famous woman in all of scripture. Her life stands as a great example to us of grace and humility. As a young unwed teenage woman, she had a lot of reasons to fear and worry after the angel came to her and announced that she would be the mother of the Lord Jesus. But Mary chose to surrender to the will of God and to remember his past faithfulness rather than worry.

Series: She Speaks… Mary (the mother of Jesus)

Text:

Luke 1:26-38

Luke 1:46-55

Prov. 3:34

Isaiah 66:2

James 4:10

Big Ideas:

* Mary was not a perpetual virgin… she did not remain a virgin her whole life.

* Mary was not sinless… Jesus was her savior as well.

* Mary was not/Is not a dispenser of grace… she does not save anyone.

* Mary is not a mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5)

* Mary is not Devine… she’s not omnipresent or omniscient in any way.

* Mary was a remarkable young woman who surrendered her life to the will of God.

* Rather than being filled with anxiety and worry, Mary remembered the faithfulness of God in the past.

* Rather than becoming prideful and arrogant because she was chosen, she remained humble.

Questions:

1. What was most interesting or encouraging to you about the sermon this week?

2. What was most challenging to you about the sermon this week?

3. Read Luke 1:38. Mary is a remarkable example of someone who surrendered her life to the will of God. What does it mean to surrender your life to the Lord, or to surrender to his will? Can you think of an example in your life where you’ve done that?

4. What do you tend to worry about most in your life? How can we combat worry and anxiety in our lives?

5. Rather than becoming prideful because God chose her, Mary remained humble. Read Prov. 3:34, Isaiah 66:2, and James 4:10. It’s seams clear that God loves humility in his people. With that in mind, what are some keys to remaining humble as a follower of Jesus?

6. Mary’s Magnificat is a song of remembering God’s past faithfulness. The action step this week was to take some time and write down some specific ways that God has shown His faithfulness to you in the past. End your time together with your group by allowing everyone who’s willing to mention one way God has proven himself faithful in their life. (It can be something simple like… He has always protected me, or provided for me, or blessed me in some way… or it could be a more specific story of how God has done something for you).

She Speaks - Part 1

Text:  

Luke 2:36-38

Big Ideas:

* Although we don’t have much info from scripture on Anna, we can learn a lot form the info we do have.  In just 3 short verses we can learn a great deal from this faithful elderly widow.  

* Anna was prophetess.  She was a woman who knew the word of God and faithfully proclaimed the word of God to others.

* Anna was a widow.  Her life wan’t easy.  She lost her husband after only 7 years of marriage and never remarried. As a widow, she most likely lived a difficult life in extreme poverty.  

* Anna did not depart from the Temple.  Despite her difficult circumstances she trusted God and served His people.

* Anna had a hunger for the Lord.  For more than 60 years she worshipped, fasted, and prayed regularly.  

* Anna was full of praise and thanksgiving after seeing Jesus.

* Anna spoke of Christ to others and became one of the first witnesses (evangelist) to who he was.  

Questions:

1.  What was most interesting or encouraging to you about the sermon this week?

2.  What was most challenging to you about the sermon this week?

3.  Who is the most spiritually influential woman in your life?  How has she influenced you to be a more faithful follower of Jesus?

4.  Read Luke 2:36-38.  What stands out to you most about Anna’s life?  In what ways does she challenge you in your spiritual journey?

5.  Verse 38 says that Anna “spoke of Him (Christ) to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.”  How can we “speak of Christ” more in our conversations with others?