Stories with Intent #4: Parables of the Treasure and the Pearl

Continued Study from Matthew’s Gospel

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Over this past year, our Lead Pastor, Mark Carroll has been teaching through the Book of Matthew. This Fall, we moved into the third discourse of Matthew’s Gospel, discussing Jesus’ Parables.

Each week, our small groups ministry (Community Groups) have been discussing the sermons and coinciding passages. Part of my pastoral role is to provide leadership over these groups; creating and distributing study questions from each message.

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Each sermon can be found and downloaded HERE. If you prefer, you can subscribe to our podcastFeel free to work through this study at your leisure personally or share these resources as you see fit.

Parables Are Stories with Intent

As an introduction to the parables, we began with the understanding that Jesus uses fictional tales, that are culturally relevant to that time period. However, the intent of these stories is to provide important Kingdom truths that are applicable to any and every Believer.

Feel free to check out the previous studies; #1: The Parable of the Sower#2: The Parable of the Weeds and #3: The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven.

#4: The Parables of the Treasure and the Pearl

Before working through the study questions, I suggest reading through the key passage, found in Matthew 13:44-46. If you have the time, I would also suggest listening to the message by Pastor Mark Carroll (Download or Podcast).

Discussion Questions

  1. What impacted you the most from the message and/or the passage?
  2. What product or service decision do you take very seriously? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to get that product or service?
  3. What possession do you treasure? Why is that possession so valuable?
  4. Why do you make Sunday Morning Worship a priority? What are the benefits to you personally?
  5. Why is Jesus worth it? What motivates you to actively participate in and pursue Christianity instead of having a nominal, distant faith in Him?
  6. Has God ever called you to sacrifice something valuable in order to deepen your relationship with Him? If so, what happened next?
  7. What are you willing to sacrifice this week, in order to have a greater impact for Christ’s Kingdom work? What has God been calling you to sacrifice for Him?

FEEDBACK QUESTION:

What has God been calling you to sacrifice for Him?

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Two Problems: Too Empty or Too Full

Before ministry I was in hospitality.

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I had the opportunity to work in a number of hotels and restaurants. The experiences I had during those years taught me so much about how a guest (or visitor) needs and/or wants to be treated.

Alternately, my years in ministry have shown me that churches could learn a lot from the tourism and hospitality industry. In particular, dealing with 2 polarizing problems.

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Stories with Intent #3: Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven

Continued Study from Matthew’s Gospel

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Our Lead Pastor, Mark Carroll has been teaching through the Book of MatthewEach week, our Community Groups have been discussing the sermons and coinciding passages.

This is the third instalment of our small group material based on Jesus’ Parables, titled Stories with Intent. Feel free to check the previous studies, #1: The Parable of the Sower and #2: The Parable of the Weeds.

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven

Before working through the study questions, I suggest reading through the key passage, found in Matthew 13:31-33. If you have the time, I also suggest listening to the message by Pastor Mark Carroll (Download or Podcast).

Discussion Questions

  1. What are your initial thoughts or feelings about this week’s sermon and/or the passage?
  2. What’s your experience (if any) with mustard seeds/plants or leaven?
  3. What in our Western culture begins small and insignificant, yet grows into something large and very significant?
  4. When and how have you seen God magnify someone that seemed insignificant?
  5. How does God’s magnification of the insignificant impact our view of the Kingdom?
  6. This week, when faced with someone or something insignificant, how will this message and passage effect our perspective?
  7. When’s the last time you felt insignificant? How does this week’s message and passage change your perspective?

FEEDBACK QUESTION:

When’s the last time you felt insignificant?

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What Christians Know, Yet Continues to Shock the World

Spoiler Alert: Even really nice people are sinful.

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Over the past month, our social networks have been inundated with news pertaining to the ex-host of CBC radio’s “Q”Jian Ghomeshi. Prior to current events, Jian was categorically said to be “a really nice guy” by friends, coworkers and the hundreds of people he interviewed during his time with CBC.

We are in shock and awe, at how such a really nice guy, can have such a dark private life. (Caveat: None of which, I even remotely desire to discuss in this post.)

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Stories with Intent #2: Parable of the Weeds

Continued Study from Matthew’s Gospel

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As I stated in my October 12th Post, Parable of the Sower, our Lead Pastor, Mark Carroll has been teaching through the Book of MatthewEach week, our small groups ministry (Community Groups) have been discussing the sermons and coinciding passages.

Part of my pastoral role is to provide leadership over these groups; creating and distributing study questions from each message. This is the second instalment of that small group material.

The Parable of the Weeds

If this is Jesus’ kingdom, why doesn’t it feel like it?

Before working through the study questions, I suggest reading through the key passage, found in Matthew 13:24-30 & 36-43. If you have the time, I also suggest listening to the message by Pastor Mark Carroll (Download or Podcast).

Discussion Questions

1. Initial thoughts or feelings on the sermon and/or the passage?

2. When you hear the words “Jesus Kingdom”, what thoughts or feelings stir inside of you?

3. When you think about the metaphor of wheat (righteous) and weeds (wicked) growing up together, what images come to mind?

Implication 1: Don’t be surprised that evil exists.

4. What evil exists for us, in Whitehorse, YT? How can we coexist with these evils?

Implication 2: Don’t blame God for the existence of evil.

5. Why do you think God chooses to allow us to coexist with the righteous and wicked? Are there any benefits for us

Implication 3: Look forward to the harvest with fear and trembling.

6. How does this knowledge that the harvest is coming, impact your current life and your interaction with the unrighteousness people who you know?

Implication 4: Look forward to the harvest with joy and anticipation.

7. How will the knowledge of the harvest bring joy into your life this week? How will Jesus’ promise of salvation bring you joy this week?

FEEDBACK QUESTION:

How has Jesus’ promise of salvation brought you joy this week?

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5 Qualities that Keep Camp Ministries Focused

Camp Ministry is important.

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I just had to say it again.

For those of you who have frequented JeremyNortonBlog.com, you have heard my praises and petitions for ministries that connect people with God’s handiwork (i.e. wilderness).

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How Crisis Can Help Us Find Unity (Even if Only for a Moment)

Yesterday was a tough day for Canada.

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Out of nowhere, a gunman went on a rampage in our nation’s capital. Though our security forces were able to eliminate the threat, it was not achieved until one of Canada’s armed forces, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lay fallen.

I’m not going to get into the whats, whys or hows this could have happened. That’s the media’s role. I do want to highlight this morning’s scene in parliament.

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