Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Hebrews 10:19-39 | Small Group Questions






In August of 2021 Coastline Bible Church started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For approximately five months we are going to study the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this sermon Doug Meye wrote the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS – Hold Tight to the One Who Holds On – Hebrews 10:19-39

This passage often carries the subtitle, “A Call to Persevere.” But as was suggest in the message on Sunday, this heading doesn’t seem to capture the urgency conveyed n the passage or the high stakes involved. The author knows that because of challenging circumstances some are being tempted to go back to their old way of relating to God and abandon their new faith in Christ. This passage not only provides a sober warning, but practical helps and the confident assurance that they are going to make it to the finish line.

1) All of us probably know people who at one time were walking with God, but now seem to be far from Him. What causes people to walk away from their faith (Hebrews 2:1, Mark 4:19)?

2) Read through the entire passage, Hebrews 10:19-39. What is the primary feeling(s) that you have as you listen to this passage? And why? How does the passage fit into what the author has already written in Hebrews?

3) In verses 22-24 the author shares three exhortations, each beginning with the phrase, “Let us….”. What are the three exhortations? Reflect on the words of each exhortation? What further observations do you want to make about each (note specific words, phrases, what the author does not say, etc)?

4) Which of these three exhortations do you most need in your life today? How can you put the exhortation into practice?

5) Verse 25 talks about “encouraging one another.” How can others encourage you?

6) Whatever else you want to say about verses 26-31, it is certainly a warning. How do these verses fit into how the author describes the letter as a whole in Hebrews 13:22 --“word of exhortation”?

7) What do we learn about the first-century Christian community to whom the author is writing in verses 32-39? Is there a cost/suffering if you live as a follower of Jesus today? What in these verses encourages you to endure loss and stand strong for Jesus? Explain.

8) Who in your circle of relations needs hear the gospel? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for each other. Pray that you would all do what it takes to draw near to God,  be an encouragement to each other, and stand up for Jesus regardless what it might cost. 




Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Hebrews 10:1-18 | Small Group Questions




In August of 2021 Coastline Bible Church started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For approximately five months we are going to study the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | The Perfect Sacrifice | Hebrews 10:1-18

In Hebrews 10 the author carries on the theme that Jesus is greater than anyone or anything who came before Him. He does this by communicating to us how Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. In Hebrews 10:1-18 we are reminded that the law will never make us perfect. The author wants the people to understand that animal sacrifice is simply an annual reminder of our sin. He quickly moves to teaching us the power of doing God’s will. Jesus was obedient to the will of God. Through that obedience we find sanctification because of the work of Christ. As we move back into Hebrews in the New Year we jump right back into the realization that Jesus is our perfect sacrifice. 

1) Blaze started out the sermon by sharing how he and his wife Rachel went to Hawaii to help connect with a Christian camp that she runs. What did you do over the last couple weeks to help deepen your faith? 

2) Read Hebrews 10:1-4. The author teaches us that through the endless sacrifices and offerings required in the Old Testament we will never be made perfect. What have you tried to make you perfect that never worked? 

3) Understanding the futility of the law, we can look to the holiness of Jesus (read Hebrews 10:5-10). You have been made holy through the obedience of Jesus. How do you plan on living that out this year? 

4) A theological term for holiness is Sanctification. Sanctification is being set apart from the sinful and secular life to be used for the holy purposes of God. Talk about how you are set apart for God and not set aside. 

5) We understand the topic of sanctification more in the early church. Read Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9-11, and Romans 12:1-2. What of your old life have you taken off and what of the new life have you put on to be more like Jesus? 

6) One of the best ways to live our sanctified life is to share the life change with others. Have you ever shared your faith story? If not, what is holding you back? If you have, share with the group how it went and where God worked. 

7) Some ways to pursue a life of holiness are, but not limited to: reading your Bible on a regular basis, doing life in community, finding a place to serve, practicing Biblical giving, or praying for God to lead you. What one will you work on this month?

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 



Monday, December 27, 2021

5 Lessons from Christmas Eve at Home




The week leading up to Christmas was a little different for me this year. Christmas fell on a Saturday. That meant that we would be at church on Friday night for our Christmas Eve gathering. The previous year we had to  move our Christmas Eve service outdoors at the last minute. Without being dramatic, it was one of the worst Christmas Eve services I’ve been too. It was cold, windy, and tough. But God showed up. 

So as we planned for this one I was thrilled to be inside. I was looking forward to candle lighting. I was excited about some special elements our team had been working on. 

As we neared Christmas Eve something blindsided me… something I hadn’t planned for. Someone in our family tested positive for COVID the day before Christmas Eve. I went through a variety of emotions. See for the last twenty years I’ve celebrated Christmas Eve at a church. I’ve sung with hundreds of people. I’ve been in awe at the miraculous birth of Jesus. Then I would go home and be with my family. 

This year was different. I preached on Thursday and watched Christmas Eve at home, with my family. But I did learn five lessons I want to share with you. 

1. It’s all about Jesus.
When I first saw the positive test I was so bummed. I started to think about all that I would miss on Christmas Eve. It didn’t hit me until I was worshipping at my home. Christmas Eve is all about Jesus. I know we say that all the time, but do we really believe it? I mean really? 

We focus on the presets. 
We focus on Santa.
We focus on the parties. 

Christmas Eve is a time to sing to Jesus. it’s a time to reflect on the miracle of God coming to earth. It’s a time to sit in wonder with the Scriptures. 

2. Make sure to develop leaders 
One of my life verses has been Ephesians 4:11-12. Let me sum it up for you. Paul tells the church that the role of the leaders is to develop others. We are called, in Scripture, to build up other leaders. Sitting on my couch was a reminder that I’m not always going to be leading a church. It’s a reminder that I need to follow the command of Scripture and invest my life into others. 

The fun part, that is what I want to do. Watching from my house gave me the reminder to double down on that passion of mine. I loved seeing our team leading on Christmas Eve. They did a fantastic job!

3. God is working online 
When I connected with our staff team it was obvious that I was bummed. Our Director of Operations could tell I was sad. She offered that I could host online. I jumped at the invitation. As I was chatting with people, posting moments, and reading comments it hit me again: God is working online. 

One comment I hear almost every Sunday at Coastline, from new guests, is: “We’ve been watching online for X number of weeks.” Not only that, on Christmas Eve we had two people online indicate a decision to follow Jesus. That makes me so excited! 

4. I work with an amazing team of people 
This might be repetitive but I really do work with some amazing people. It’s fun to have a staff that we love working with. In fact that has been most of my time in ministry. When I shared with our staff and elders the news of our home, everyone stepped up. People jumped in and took on extra duties. Our team really stepped up to help.

In addition to that, and probably more important, people prayed for us. It’s comforting knowing that other people are praying for the health of my family. 

5. Feed people on Christmas Eve 
This might seem random, but you have to feed your volunteers! You did something new at Coastline and fed our people. We took a room that was unused and are transforming it into a green room. Not so leaders or the band don’t have to talk to people but so we can have a place to bless those who show up three hours earlier than anyone else. 

Now this was super cool. We had a young lady prepare a couple charcuterie boards for our people. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out but it was a hit. I got a few texts about how great it was for people. Never underestimate the power of food and blessing people! 

Was Christmas Eve how I planned? Nope
Was it a win for the Kingdom? Yep!

This year was one I will never forget. And I might not have another one like this for another twenty years so I’m going to make sure to cherish the time God is giving me with my family right now. And I’m going to write a little about it so I don’t forget this. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Family Portraits | Small Group Questions | Matthew 1:18-25





Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Family Portraits." For the month of December we're studying the people who would have been closest to Jesus at the time of His birth. The thought is that we will see what the Bible teaches us about those who might have been in the birth, or early years, pictures of Jesus. We want to learn from these individuals on how they lived their lives, handled the news of Jesus, and their response.  For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Joseph-Obedience | Matthew 1:18-25

As we get days away from Christmas we continue studying the people who would have been most closely associated with Jesus as His birth. The next person we will study is Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. When we talk about Joseph as the father of Jesus it’s an interesting subject. We know that God is Jesus’ Father but God trusted Joseph to care for His son while on earth. God could have chosen any couple; any mother and father to rear Jesus but He choose Jospeh. The news that Mary was pregnant must have been devastating to Joseph but he handles it extraordinarily well. As we study Matthew 1 keep an eye out for Jospeh’s example of obedience to God. 

1) Neal shared about Captain Baker flew strategic air command in the Vietnam war. During Captain Baker’s training he learned obedience to his role. Who or What has taught you the most about obedience in your life? What did you learn? 

2) Read Matthew 1:18-19. In these verses we learn about the character of Jospeh. The law permitted him to stone her to death (Deuteronomy 22:22) but he choose a different route. Share about a time when God developed your character. 

3) Joseph offered grace to Mary when he found out she was pregnant. Let’s study Grace more. Read: John 8:1-11, Romans 3:24, Ephesians 2:8, and 2 Timothy 1:9. How is God working in your life to make you a more grace giving person? 

4) God shows up in a powerful way (read Matthew 1:20-23). Can you think about a time when God changed your plans? It might not have happened because of an angelic visit in the night, but it is just as memorable for you. 

5) It seems that in every angelic visit the first message is: Don’t be afraid. We are told to not be afraid when we are clearly afraid. Read Psalm 27:1, 34:4–5, Isaiah 41:13, and Luke 14:27. What fear do yo need to surrender to God today? 

6) The angel tells Joseph to name the baby Jesus. In Hebrew culture, it was the father’s duty to name the child. This was a way of the father showing dominance or mastery over the child. How does this change how Jospeh and Jesus interact?

7) Joseph had a secret plan to leave Mary and now God has intervened (read Matthew 1:24-25). In keeping with his righteous character, Joseph is obedient. In what way(s) is God prompting you to increase your obedience to Him? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 



Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A four-part angelic message


This year I started looking at the Christmas story differently. I've taken an interest in what message the angels gave to Mary and Joseph. For this post, I want to look at what the angel said to Mary. 

When we know about Mary’s backstory we can look ahead to the news she is about to receive (read Luke 1:28-33). The greeting from the angel is something special but Mary is greatly troubled. 

I want to encourage you to read the Bible more often on your own and when you do look at people respond when angel’s talk with them. Their response is typically one of fear. They know they are in the presence of a heavenly being. That is what is happening with Mary here. 

The angel has a four-fold message for her. 

The first thing the angel tells Mary is that she will become pregnant and give birth to a son. 
Do you remember that Luke already told us that Mary is a virgin? For this to happen will be a miracle from the Lord. Not only will she become pregnant but she will have a son and she is to name Him Jesus. All of our names have a meaning. Your name has a meaning to it and it can impact our life. My name means: Champion. 

Jesus’ name means: YHWH saves, God saves. Write down Matthew 1:21 because Joseph gets the same message about Jesus. 

The second part of the message is that her Son will be the Son of the Most High God. 
People are going to call Jesus the Son of God! Think of that. We all know how pregnancy happens, it’s been happening in the same ways for thousands of years. But not in this case, this is a different kind of pregnancy. 

If you look at Luke 3:23, most people thought that Jesus was the son of Joseph, but here we read that Jesus will be the Son of God. Take this in with me. That also means that this will not be Joseph’s son. Mary is engaged to a man she loves and is finding out that she will be pregnant but not with her fiancĂ©’s son.

The third part of this message is that her Son will sit on the throne of David. 
Israel was longing for this. When we read Scripture we read that David was the ideal king, except for that part of Bathsheba. David had a heart for the Lord. David was loving and caring. He wasn’t prideful or overbearing. David sought the Lord and led Israel well. 

Listen to this: 
“Jesus Messiah is truly in the kingly line of David, heir to the messianic promises, the one who brings divine blessings to all nations.” -D.A. Carson
At this point in history, Israel was looking for a king to save them from the Roman oppression. Israel was under the governance of Rome and they wanted their freedom back.

If we can pause the story here, isn’t that what we’re all looking for? 
We’re all looking for freedom. 
We want a magic pill that cure our problems. 
We want a book to fix our marriage in six weeks when it’s taken us fifteen years to create all the problems. 
We want a pill to fix our weight but refuse to stop driving through Taco Bell at 9pm. 
We want a lottery ticket to fix our financial situation that we’ve dug ourselves into. 
We want a teacher to fix our kids because by the time we get home from work we don’t have the mental energy to engage them in the way that they really need. 
Life is hard, but Jesus came to give us freedom. 

The fourth part of this angelic message is that Jesus’ Kingdom will be eternal.
It’s a kingdom that never ends. In the last six years I have heard some of the most difficult political conversations. I’ve sat with people who were crushed when their candidate lost. 

I’ve heard Christians say horrible things about people they have never met. 

I need you to know that Christians voted for Biden. 
Christians voted for Trump. Christians voted for Kanye.

We all cast our vote in hopes of something better. The gospel reminds us that Jesus is our leader. If you are fed up with politics, if you are sick of the leadership around you, pray for them. But make certain that you don’t place your full trust in an elected politician. Make sure that this Christmas you place your trust in the eternal King. 

Think about how this message of the coming of Jesus applies to your life. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Family Portraits | Small Group Questions | Luke 1:26-38





Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Family Portraits." For the month of December we're studying the people who would have been closest to Jesus at the time of His birth. The thought is that we will see what the Bible teaches us about those who might have been in the birth, or early years, pictures of Jesus. We want to learn from these individuals on how they lived their lives, handled the news of Jesus, and their response.  For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Mary-Surrender | Luke 1:26-38

As we move into the Christmas season we begin a brand new sermon series for the month of December. During this month we will look at different people who would have been present in the early days of Jesus’ life on earth. We begin this series by looking at Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was a teenager when the angel Gabriel visited her. He gave her a four-fold angelic message that would serve a prophetic word about Jesus and His time on earth. At the conclusion of this meeting Mary offers a great line that she is surrendered to the plans of God. Oh that we would follow in her example and surrender our life to God this Christmas. 

1) As we move into this Christmas season we can look around and see the clash of the sacred and secular. Christmas is the only Christian holiday that is also a major secular holiday. How can we hep redeem Christmas for Christ? 

2) Read Luke 1:26-27. Luke introduces us Mary the mother of Jesus. He makes is clear that she is a virgin and a descendant of David. Read Isaiah 7:14, 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and Jeremiah 23:5-6. Talk about the prophecies about Jesus. 

3) Each of our lives have a backstory and a lineage of people in our family line. Read Matthew 1:1-17. When you read the backstory of Jesus share about some of these people. Who sticks out as faith, broken, committed, or scandalous? 

4) Read Luke 1:28-30. Immediately the angel Gabriel tells Mary not to be afraid. Read Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 56:3, and Philippians 4:6-7. What are you afraid of right now and where do you need help overcoming that fear? 

5) Read Luke 1:21-33. The angel gives a four-fold prophetic message about Jesus. When you read these verses what part about the prophecy are you most looking for in Jesus? Share why you focusing on that this Christmas season. 

6) After Mary hears this message she responds with a question and statement (read Luke 1:34-38). Mary chose to live a life surrender to God’s greater plan. What cost would it be to Mary for such surrender? 

7) For Mary to have such a great surrender meant to trust God with her entire life. Thinking about surrender: where, how, or what do you want to surrender to God this Christmas season? What is holding you back from such surrender? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 



Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Hebrews 9:11-28 | Small Group Questions
















Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Our Mediator | Hebrews 9:11-28

In Hebrews 9 the author continues to use the example of the original tabernacle to teach us about the ministry of Jesus. Immediately we learn that the ministry of Jesus is heavenly. The author takes careful detail to teach us that Jesus is ministering in a heavenly temple. As he continues we learn that the ministry of Jesus is effective against sin. The old sacrifices could only cover sin, not cleanse our sin. Jesus blood had to be shed for the new covenant to be put in place which means it was a costly sacrifice. Because Jesus died we can be assured of that His ministry is final and complete. There is forgiveness of sin and an eternal hope to look forward to. Study these questions and look for these different themes in the text. 

1) In the intro to the sermon we learned about George Muller who was known as a man of faith. He ministered to orphans in England and served as a mediator for them. Share about a time when you helped someone out. How did that person respond? 

2) Read Hebrews 9:11-13. The author teaches us how the blood in the Old Testament was only able to cover sin (Leviticus 17:11) and not cleanse sin (John 1:29). Share how you have confidence that your sins are cleansed in Jesus name. 

3) We learned that Jesus lived an unblemished, sinless, life (Hebrews 9:14). Read Isaiah 53:9, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, and 1 John 3:5. What do these verses teach us about the Holiness of Jesus? 

4) One role that Jesus fulfilled was as the mediator of the new covenant (Hebrews 9:15). The role of a mediator is to help two people in conflict find agreement. Who acted as a mediator between you and God when you trusted Jesus? 

5) Read Hebrews 9:16-22. God requires the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins. Neal taught us about accepting forgiveness from God. Do you have a hard time feeling like you’re forgiven? How can you live like a forgiven person? 

6) Read Hebrews 9:23-28. Jesus came to do away with sin. The Bible teaches us that God forgives our sins (read Isaiah Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 31:34, and Colossians 2:13-14). How do these verses encourage you to boldly live for God? 

7) Jesus’ final appearance will be His return to earth to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. Read  Luke 24:50-52, Acts 1:1-10, and Revelation 19:11-21. What do these passages teach us about the return of Jesus? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 



Hebrews 9:1-10 | Small Group Questions
















Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Worthy of Worship | Hebrews 9:1-10

In Hebrews 7-10 we’re introduced to the second section of the book of Hebrews. In this section we are primarily studying how Jesus is greater than any priest who has come before Him. In Hebrews 9 the author begins by addressing the Tabernacle that was constructed by Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness. When the construction of the Tabernacle was complete, God’s glory dwelt there (Exodus 40:34). Even though God moved in the Tabernacle, it was still an earthly building constructed of earthly materials. The author used the Tabernacle as a way to point our attention to our need for Jesus and his greater ministry as our High Priest. 

1) Neal shared a story about how his dad’s room was “off-limits” to him during his childhood. Think about a place in your life that seems to be off-limits. A place that you could enter but feel like you aren’t allowed there. 

2) Read Hebrews 9:1-5. The first tabernacle had a lamp for light, a table for bread, and an altar for incense. Read John 6:35, 8:12, and Romans 8:34. How do we see Jesus in the items that were placed in the original Tabernacle? 

3) Thinking about Jesus as the Bread of Life, Light of the World, and interceding on our behalf to the Father. Where do you need to lean into the power of Jesus most this week? Are you hungry for truth, in need of light, or need help in prayer? 

4) Read Hebrews 9:6-10. The High Priest was only able to enter the Most Place once a year to atone for the sins of the people. When Jesus died the curtain was torn in two (Matthew 27:50-51). How do you feel about entering the presence of God? 

5) The High Priest offered blood for those who committed sin in ignorance. Paul teaches us that everyone has sinned (read Romans 3:23). Share about a time when you committed a sin without knowing it was a sin. 

6) The Israelites worshipped the Lord at the Tabernacle. When we understand what Jesus has done for us, it inspires us to worship Him. Read Psalm 100 and talk about the different ways we can worship the Lord. 

7) Neal shared four ways that we can worship the Lord: through music, through creation (Romans 1:20), through giving (Malachi 3:6-10), and through silence (Psalm 46:10). What one way did you choose to worship the Lord through this week? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Hebrews 8 | Small Group Questions











Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this sermon Doug Meye preached and wrote the small group questions for us! 

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS – A Better Priest, A Better Covenant – Hebrews 8

In Hebrews 8, the author continues to elaborate on the high priestly ministry of Jesus.  Like the ministry of Melchizedek (Genesis 14, Hebrews 7), Jesus’s high priestly ministry is superior to that of the high priests who ministered in the Jewish temple.  Because Jesus is a better high priest, who oversees a better covenant, fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy about a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). This new covenant not only makes the old covenant obsolete but introduces followers of Jesus to new and wonderful realities of life with God (eternal life).

1) Think back over different bridges you have seen either in a picture or in person. What is the most memorable bridge you have ever encountered? Why?

2) The book of Hebrews cites a number of differences between the high priests who ministered in the temple and our high priest, Jesus Christ. Work as a group to recall as many of these as you can (See Hebrews 7:23-8:6).

3) In his ministry, death and resurrection, Jesus established a new covenant. Doug cited three different outcomes of the new covenant: an inner power, knowing God intimately, resting in grace. How do following scriptures help us understand these different aspects of the new covenant:
- inner power – (Matthew 3:11, Philippians 2:12-13)
- knowing God intimately- (John 17:3, Ephesians 1:17-21, Philippians 3:7-11)
- resting in grace – (Romans 5:1, Matthew 11:28-30)

4) Which of these new covenant outcomes means the most to you? Why? What things can you do to build this reality into your life in a greater way?

5) A priest serves as a kind of “bridge” between God and humanity. Jesus is our great high priest, but as followers of Jesus, we are also called to a priestly ministry (I Peter 2:4-5). How is our ministry like that of Jesus? How is it different? 

6) How can you use the analogy of a bridge to explain to an unbeliever what Jesus has done for us? (What scriptures might be part of your explanation: Romans 3:23, John 3:16, 10:9-10, I Timothy 1:15)

7) Who in your circle of relations needs hear the gospel? 

Close your time in prayer. Thank God for the aspect of the new covenant which is speaking most loudly to you. Pray for the strength to live out the reality of the new covenant. Pray for the person in your circle of relationships that needs to hear about the bridge to God Jesus has made possible.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Hebrews 7 | Small Group Questions











Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Unlike Any Other | Hebrews 7

Hebrews 7 introduces the second main section of the book. This section extends through Hebrews 10 and focuses on the superior priesthood. In this section the author will expand on Jesus as the great high priest, understanding Jewish sacrifices, Melchizedek, and temple worship in Jerusalem. In Hebrews 7 we learn more about Melchizedek and his role as an eternal priest. The author uses him as an example to discourage the first-century church from returning to Jewish customs instead of following Jesus. This chapter in Scripture can be more cerebral and require us to think more about Scripture and deeper Theological topics. Make sure to open your time in prayer before studying this section and growing in your faith. 

1) In Genesis 14 we learn that Abraham went into battle to rescue his nephew lot from the kings that captured him. Think about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone to help someone in trouble. How did it end up? 

2) Read Hebrews 7:1-3. Melchizedek is called the king of righteousness and peace. We live in a time when many of us need peace in our lives more than ever. Read Ephesians 2:14 and Isaiah 9:6. Where do you need peace in your life? 

3) Scholars have written much on the lineage of Melchizedek. Some people think that he is Jesus in the flesh and others disagree. Do you think it’s possible for Melchizedek to be Jesus in the flesh? Why or why not? Support with Scripture. 

4) Read Hebrews 7:4. Abraham saw the greatness of Melchizedek and gave him an offering of ten percent. Giving is a very personal part of our walk with Jesus but also reveals where our heart is. What did this sermon teach you about Biblical giving?  

5) In Hebrews 7:11-21 the author brings up the old covenant and the priesthood. How was the old covenant unable to help us achieve perfection (read Hebrews 10:1-4)? What of your old life do you need to leave behind to follow fully after Jesus? 

6) Read Hebrews 7:22-28. We learn that Jesus is able to intercede for us because He lives forever. Read Luke 11:9-10, John 16:23, and Romans 8:34. What would change in your prayer life if you asked Jesus to intercede for you? 

7) In Hebrews 7:26 we read about the greatness of Jesus. Neal asked us what one of these characteristics we need to work on. Read 1 Peter 1:16, Philippians 1:10, and 2 Timothy 2:22 and share your answer. 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Hebrews 6:13-20 | Small Group Questions







Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Greater than Abraham | Hebrews 6:13-20

In the later part of Hebrews 6 we read about Jesus being greater than Abraham. The author reminds the early church about the patience of Abraham. God called Abraham from his home country and made him into a Nation. But it didn’t happen overnight. Abraham had to wait for God to fulfill His promises. The author gives us the example of Abraham because some of the believers were considering abandoning their faith. They needed to learn to wait patiently on the Lord and go through the maturating process. Sometimes we abandon things too early and miss out on what God is working in our hearts. Study these questions and make the hope of Jesus the anchor of your soul. 

1) Neal shared a story about trick-or-treating as a teenager and how his friend lacked patience. His friends inability to wait put him in an unwanted situation. Share a time that your inability to wait put you in an unwanted situation.  

2) Read Hebrews 6:13-15. God made a promise to Abraham about building him into a great nation. Abraham, having patiently endured clearly refers to the Isaac trial, as a result of which he obtained the promise. Where are you learning patience today? 

3) God made it clear that He would bless Abraham and give him many decedents. The goal of those descendants was to be a blessing to everyone (read Genesis 12:1-3). How can you be a blessing to others this week? 

4) We were given homework to find the promises of God in Scripture. If you found some this week share those with your group. If you haven’t had time to do that, take some time as a group to look for God’s promises in Scripture.  

5) Read Hebrews 6:16-18. The author subtly pulls in the Old Testament aspect of the cities of refuge (Deuteronomy 19:1-14). What are the similarities in the cities of refuge and find refuge in Jesus? 

6) For centuries Christians have put their hope in Jesus as the anchor of their lives (Hebrews 6:19-20). How do you keep your hope anchored in Jesus when difficulties come? Where are you feeling hopeless? (see Colossians 1:5, 1 Timothy 1:1)

7) Hebrews 6 ends with an image of Jesus as the forerunner of our hope. A forerunner is a person who has gone before another. Discuss the truth of Jesus being our forerunner in heaven and the impact of that (John 14:1-6, Colossians 1:16-20, Ephesians 1:20, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16). 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Hebrews 5:11-6:12 | Small Group Questions




Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Our Great Teacher | Hebrews 5:11-6:12

Hebrews chapter 5:11-6:12 are focused on Jesus as our great teacher. The early church was experiencing a time of persecution. Christians were being killed for their faith in Jesus and some considered returning to their Jewish customs. The worries of the world began to choke out their spiritual growth. That is where the author of this letter comes in to encourage them to keep following Jesus. He identifies four marks of spiritual immaturity. You can tell he knows them personally because he is kind in his comments. After identifying that, he encourages them to grow in their walk with Jesus. Some of them had become lazy and needed the motivation to push on with Jesus. 

1) In Luke 7 we read The Parable of the Sower. In this parable Jesus uses the example of a farmer to help the disciples understand the Kingdom of God. When you think about this parable, what soil is your life planted in? What soil do you want to be planted in? 

2) Read Hebrews 5:11-14. The author gives four marks of spiritual immaturity. The first mark is a dullness to the word of God. Have you ever been dull to God’s Word? Share how you keep the word of God fresh in your life. 

3) The final mark of spiritual immaturity is being unskilled in using God’s word. Do you have a plan to memorize Scripture so you can be skilled in God’s word? How can you grow in knowing God’s word? (Psalm 119:105, Colossians 3:16, John 15:7). 

4) Read Romans 7:7-12. The Apostle Paul shares at length to teach us the value of the Law and the Scripture in our lives. Knowing that scripture teaches us how to follow Jesus, how can we apply Scripture to our lives to see life change? 

5) Read Hebrews 6:1-3. We are exhorted to move forward in spiritual maturity instead of shrinking back in our faith. What is one area that you sense God calling you to move forward in spiritual maturity? (see Philippians 3:14)

6) Read Hebrews 6:4-8. This passage has caused many people to doubt their faith. Neal shared four ways to interpret these verses. He thinks this is a hypothetical situation. What do you think and why? 

7) Some people in the early church had become lazy in their faith (read Hebrews 6:11-12). If you have become lazy in your faith, what do you want to change? No matter your situation, how can you help others grow in maturity? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Hebrews 4:14-5:10 | Small Group Questions






Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Our Great High Priest | Hebrews 4:14-5:10

As move into Hebrews 4 and 5 we are introduced to a new title for Jesus: our great high priest. No other priest has ever held this role in the past. The role of the high priest is an Old Testament role originating with Aaron in the book of Exodus. The role a familial role first held by Aaron and then by his sons. In the Old Testament the high priest had to be from the tribe of Levi. It’s helpful to know that was not a man-appointed role but a God-appointed role. In our text this week we learn about how Jesus is our great high priest and what He accomplished to receive this title. It’s important for the author to teach this lesson to the early church because it would encourage them to continue in spiritual maturity and discourage returning to the old covenant. 

1) Neal shared a story with us about traveling to Germany as a young boy. Think about a time when you traveled to a foreign country or different area. What stood out to you about the language, mannerisms, and culture of that area? 

2) Read Hebrews 4:14-16. Focus on verse 15. So often people stick with us when things are going well, but this text teaches us that Jesus is near us in our weaknesses. Share a time that Jesus drew near in your weakness’.

3) In Matthew 4:1-11 we read about the temptation of Jesus. Jesus was tempted in every way we’ve ever been tempted. Read Matthew 6:13, 1 Corinthians 10:13, and 1 Timothy 6:9. Where are you most susceptible to falling into temptation? 

4) Sometimes it’s difficult to accept the mercy of Jesus and live in the grace of God. Read John 1:14-17, Romans 3:23-24, Ephesians 2:8-10, and James 5:11. How does these passages help you understand grace and mercy more?

5) Read Hebrews 5:1-4. The point is that Jesus deals gently with all sinners who come to Him irrespective of their particular offense. Where do you need to learn to be gentle with those who are ignorant and going astray? 

6) Picture Jesus praying to the Father as in Hebrews 5:7 describes. How was His prayer life like yours? How was it different? After reading this passage what do you want to change/adjust in your prayer life? 

7) Read Hebrews 5:7-10. Now, Jesus couldn’t be disobedient to God that would be contrary to His nature but Jesus learned what is involved in obedience. How are you growing in obedience to the word of God? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Hebrews 4:1-13 | Small Group Questions




Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this sermon Blaze McEntee wrote the small group questions.

Jesus: Our Eternal Rest | Small Group Questions | Hebrews 4:1-13

In Sunday’s message, Jesus: Our Eternal Rest, we dive into Hebrews Chapter 4 - a passage that challenges us to hold fast to our faith in God's promise. The author directs our eyes to the Israelites in the wilderness, reminding us of their inability to enter into the promised land due to their unbelief. We see that unbelief and faith both bear visible fruit, and are encouraged to look ahead to our "promised land" as we navigate our lives in faith.

1. At the start of this week’s message, Blaze brought up the difference in resting patterns between him and Rachel. Are you someone who needs to get all their tasks done before being able to rest?

2. Can you see why the author of Hebrews would use the terms “unbelief” and “disobedience” almost interchangeably? What are some examples of the unbelief of the Israelites in the wilderness?

3. This Sunday, Blaze used an example of a dead tree with apples taped all over it. Could you relate with this idea? Have you ever tried to tape on fruit in your life?

4. The illustration of the tornado heading for your house was an example of what true faith looks like. What actions might God be calling you to in faith?

5. To bring up Blaze’s question that was asked at Coastline Student Ministries, “Being truly honest with yourself, are you excited for heaven? Why or why not?”

6. If Jesus played a role in preparing this world for us, what causes us to doubt His preparations in the one to come?

7. The message concluded with some heavy words in Hebrews 4:11-13. In reading this passage, what stands out to you?

8. Can you see the importance of God’s word in your life?







Sunday, October 03, 2021

Hebrews 3:7-19 | Small Group Questions





Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Our Encouragement | Hebrews 3:7-19

Hebrews chapter 3 is focused on helping the early church stay encouraged as they follow Jesus. The author uses Israel as an example of how to not harden your heart to the Lord. The negative example of Israel serves as a positive example for how we are to live for the Lord. Sometimes bad news is what leads to good news. The good news is that the church is called to encourage. In this world we will be persecuted, harassed, and possibly attacked for following Jesus. One role of the church is to support each other when we encounter difficult times. The best way to encourage others is to make sure you are living a life encouraged by the Lord. 

1) Researchers have investigated the phenomena of how encouragement affects the brain and the development of the brain. Share a time when someone encouraged you and it changed the trajectory of your day, week, or life. 

2) Israel hardened their heart to the Lord while wandering in the wilderness. Read Hebrews 3:7-11, Exodus 32:1, Numbers 12:1-2, and 20:1-12. Discuss some of the ways Israel was disobedient to the Lord and the consequences they experienced. 

3) The opposite of hardening our heart is having a tender heart to the Lord. Read  Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Colossians 2:2-3, and 2 Timothy 2:22. What does Scripture teach us about having a heart for the Lord? 

4) The author wants the church to have a heart committed to the Lord and not a sinful heart (Read Hebrews 3:12-15.) How have you seen sin hurt your relationship with others and with the church? How does sin cloud our vision? 

5) Hebrews 3:13 is a primary point of application in this entire text. We are called to be people of encouragement. Read Psalm 10:17, Acts 9:31, Romans 12:6-8, and Philippians 2:1-3. How can you be a person of encouragement this week? 

6) To be a person of encouragement we all need to be encouraged. Where is an area in your life that you’re feeling discouraged right now? How can this small group come alongside you to encourage you this week? 

7) Read Hebrews 3:16-19. The chapter ends with a series of leading questions. It’s almost a summary of the authors thoughts. Where do you need to enter the rest of the Lord this week? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Hebrews 3:1-6 | Small Group Questions


Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Worthy of Honor | Hebrews 3:1-6

In Hebrews 3 we come to the second encouragement in the letter to the early church: fix your thoughts on Jesus. The short statement has such power. The letter was written to Jewish believers who grew up in Hebrew homes. They knew the Old Testament, the Law, and then trusted Jesus as their Savior. But the pressure from the outside world was causing many of them to leave Jesus and return to Jewish customs. In Hebrews 3 the author encourages the believers to fix their thoughts on Jesus. He wanted them to place their confidence in Jesus and not in the Law. His hope was for them to hold firmly to the confidence they have in Jesus knowing what we focus on is where we will end up.

1) In the early 2000’s a game called: ‘Bigger and Better’ gained national attention when Kyle MacDonald traded a paper clip up for a home! What is the fascination in our culture getting something bigger and better? 

2) Read Hebrews 3:1-2. We are encouraged to fix our thoughts on Jesus. Share about a time in your life when you were so focused on accomplishing something you spent all your time to make it a reality. How do you fix your thoughts on Jesus? 

3) The New Testament has an emphasis on the renewing of our mind (Matthew 22:37, Romans 8:5, and Colossians 3:9-10). Discuss how Jesus has renewed your mind and what the outcome has been? How has your thinking changed for the better? 

4) The early believers wanted to return to Moses. Read Hebrews 3:3-4. To return to Moses meant to return to the Law and the law can never save us. Have you ever been tempted to walk away from Jesus? What tempted you to leave? 

5) Read Exodus 3:1-13 and John 14:6-14. Write out some of the differences between the ways Jesus and Moses accepted their calls. Have you explored the call God has on your life? What do you think it is? 

6) Moses was faithful as a servant and Jesus was faithful as a Son (read Hebrews 3:5-6). Read Numbers 12:-19 and Romans 8:1-8. Talk about how Moses and Jesus were both faithful to the call God had on their lives. 

7) Scripture teaches us that we are a house of God. Read Matthew 25:14-21 and Mark 10:43-45. How can we focus our attention on serving others this week in an effort to bring glory to God? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Hebrews 2:10-18 | Small Group Questions





Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Our Humble Hero | Hebrews 2:10-18

As we look at the second half of Hebrews 2 we see the author continue to teach us about the greatness of Jesus. He goes to great lengths to teach how Jesus is greater than the angels. This might have created a point of confusion for the original audience because Jesus held his divinity and took on our humanity. We learn a great point about belonging to the family of God. For us to belong to the family of God we need a pioneer who would invite us into that family. That is Jesus Christ, our humble hero. As we study Hebrews 2:10-18 keep your mind open to the many ways that Jesus shared in our humanity. Because Jesus shared in our humanity He is able to empathize with us in the suffering we endure while we wait for the completion of our salvation. 

1) Doug opened his sermon and talked about the benefit of doing life with others. He shared about how the men in our church gathered together and there was great joy. Share about who you’re doing community with in life and how that impacts you. 

2) Read Hebrews 2:10-13. Jesus humanity enabled Him to bring many sons and daughters to glory. The author teaches us that Jesus is the pioneer of our salvation through what He suffered. Read Luke 23:26-43 and talk about how Jesus suffered. 

3) Scripture teaches us that we are adopted as the children of God. Read the following passages and talk about what changes when we view ourselves as children of God. (read Acts 13:26, Romans 8:14-17, Galatians 3:26, and Ephesians 5:8). 

4) In Hebrews 2:14-16. Jesus humanity enabled Him to deliver us from death. Read  Matthew 2:1, Mark 4:38, Luke 2:52, and John 4:6-8. Talk about how these verses teach us that Jesus shared in our humanity. 

5) Jesus had to take on human flesh in order to defeat Satan. Jesus didn’t die to save the fallen angels (see 2 Peter 2:4). Presently Jesus is helping the descendants of Abraham (that is you). Share how you saw Jesus help you this month. 

6) Jesus humanity enables Him to be a sympathetic High Priest to His people (Read Hebrews 2:17-18). Now look at 1 Samuel 2:27-36. We read that Eli was not a merciful and faithful High Priest. Talk about the difference between the two men. 

7) During His time on earth Jesus faced suffering. Some of this took place immediately after His baptism (Read Matthew 4:1-11). Because Jesus suffered He can empathize with our suffering. Share about a time when Jesus met you in your suffering. 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Hebrews 2:1-9 | Small Group Questions




Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | The source of Salvation | Hebrews 2:1-9

Most scholars agree that the book of Hebrews was written before AD 70. The letter teaches us about how Jesus is greater than anything that has come before Him. In Hebrews 2 the author continues to teach us that Jesus is greater than the angels. We learn that Jesus is the source of our salvation. No matter how glorious the angels are they will never be able to offer us salvation. They are heavenly beings who cannot die. But Jesus took on the flesh of humanity and became our spotless offering on the cross to win our salvation. As we study Hebrews 2:1-9 think about your own salvation. Think about when you gave your life to Christ and radical life change that took place. If you have yet to place your life in Christ, look only to Jesus for salvation and you will find it. 

1) Neal shared with us about a summer camp he preached at and a young man giving his life to Jesus. Share with your small group about your salvation event. Where were you at, who invited you, how did God draw you to Himself? 

2) Read Hebrews 2:1-4. We are encouraged to be careful to not “drift away” from the faith. Read 1 John 1:9, 2 Timothy 3:16, James 1:21-25, and 2 Peter 1:5-10. Talk about what causes believers to drift away from the faith and how to combat that. 

3) One of the reasons the author wrote this book was because people were drifting away from the faith because of persecution. Read Acts 12:1-24. Where do you see the church experiencing persecution right now? 

4) In Hebrews 2:3 we read about ignoring this great salvation. Read Jonah 1, Matthew 25:31-46, and James 1:22. The repercussions for ignoring God are great. How can we help people obey the Lord and find this great salvation? 

5) There are a number of spiritual ramifications for drifting away from the Lord. Take some time as a group to talk about ramifications. Take some time to talk about the benefits of following Jesus. (Psalm 5:3, Psalm 119:11, John 4:24, 2 Corinthians 9:7)

6) Read Psalm 8. The author is quoting King David who teaches us about the authority God has given mankind. What does this verse teach you about your role in creation? What does this verse teach you about how Jesus is greater than angels? 

7) Read Hebrews 2:9. We may not see angels but we do see Jesus. Share about a time how you saw Jesus at work in your life in the last week. It might have been in a neighbor, a friend who helped out, or a way the church came alongside you. 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Hebrews 1 | Small Group Questions



Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Greater." For the next several months we are going to look through the book of Hebrews together. The book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience living in the first century. They are likely experiencing persecution and thinking about abandoning their faith. The author teaches us how Jesus is greater than: the prophets, angels, Moses, Abraham, the Law, the old covenant, and the high priest. We learn that Jesus is greater than anything that has preceded Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | High Above it All | Hebrews 1

Sometimes we need a different angle to view things from. It might be a new perspective that shows us what we’re missing, lacking, or how we’re not seeing for the whole picture. We just started a brand new sermon series called: “Greater” and began studying the book of Hebrews. The letter was written to Jewish people living in the first century. The early church was being persecuted and many of the believers were slipping back into Jewish customs to avoid persecution. We know it was written to Hebrew people as it talks about the Old Testament in great depth. These first four verses are some of the most poetic, poignant, and clear verses in the New Testament about who Jesus Christ is. Let’s study Hebrews 1:1-14 together! 

1) Neal shared a story about climbing a mountain and getting a different view of the same thing. Share about a time when you saw something from a different vantage point and how that changed your perspective. 

2) Read Hebrews 1:1-2. We read that God has spoken to us through the prophets in a variety of ways. Read Matthew 5:17-20 and talk about how Jesus is greater than the prophets who preceded Him. 

3) We learn that God has spoken to us through His Son. Read Luke 4:16-21. Jesus knew one of the roles of the prophets was to point people to Himself. Share how God’s Word has spoken to you and pointed you to Jesus. 

4) Read Hebrews 1:3-4. We learn that Jesus is the exact representation of God. That means if we want to know God we need to look to Jesus. Read these verses and talk about how they help us know God: Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:36, and John 11:35. 

5) Jesus is not only the author of life but the sustainer of life. Read Philippians 2:5-11. In the letter to the church in Philippi, Paul teaches us about the character and nature of Jesus. How do these verses help you understand who Jesus is? 

6) Neal said the church is going through trying times right now. He talked about how we need to make sure that Jesus is the foundation of our living. Share about how you have trusted in scaffolding and not Jesus as the foundation. How will you change? 

7) Read Hebrews 1:5-14. In the last ten verses we see multiple ways that Jesus is greater than the angels. Pick a couple of these verses, go read them in the Old Testament and talk about how Jesus is greater than the angels. 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus.  

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Tender Commandments Overview



This summer we preached through the Ten Commandments at Coastline. In my opinion it was the best sermon series we've ever done. I think the plurality of voices in the series was a huge win and the planning for this time was deep. 

One thing we do at Coastline is what I call: "Big picture sermon planning as a team." Let me explain this a touch more. We have about six different people who sit in the room for sermon planning. We use the white board to line out: sermon title, big idea, ideas, Scripture, songs, video clips, illustrations, books, and quotes for the sermon. 

I love the team dynamic that plays out in the room. We start each session in prayer and aim to line out four to five sermons. Sometimes we get more stalled and other times we are moving quickly. In every situation we trust that the Lord is leading the process. 

From there I take the white board notes and put them in a Google Doc that is shared with the team. Since we just finished the Ten Commandments I want to share all those notes with you! 

Here are the notes that came from our team planning. It's a way to show you what goes into the planning of a series:

June 20 | Exodus 20:1-3
Sermon Title- None Before Me

Big Idea- We put Him first because of who He is and what He’s done

Ideas-
Philippians 3:19
Isaiah 44
Mark 10:17-27
Teach about other gods that people worship 
Tie into previous sermon on how we can tell what matters in our lives 
Israel was called to be set apart (not set aside). Teach on Santification? 
God was concerned about getting the Egypt out of them. -Dave Roberts 
God’s brought us all out of something. We need to help fill in that blank. -Becky Shipe 
In the rich young ruler the commandment was put to the test 
God gave us the commandments in a desire to provide and protect us 
Illustration- What struggle do you put in front of God?
Core Value- We put God first 

I- Items
D- Duty
O- Others
L- Longings 

Songs:
Egypt 
Your great name 

June 27 | Exodus 20:4-6
Sermon Title- Don’t Reduce God 

Big Idea- Out thoughts about God determines our worship of God 

Ideas-
Exodus 32- Aaron and the golden calf
Psalm 115
John 4- the Woman at the well 
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. ... Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. - Tozer
Our image of God will have everything to do with our worship of God. -Dave Roberts 
Westminster Shorter Catechism- the chief goal of man is to worship God and enjoy Him forever 
The heart is an idol factory 
God is a jealous God. We have a negative connotation of jealousy in our culture 
Jealousy and love aren’t in opposition to each other
How does idol worship affect those around us: Family, spouse, kids, relatives, work?
Our concept of God determines our life before God 
Left to our own devices we will make anything into an idol. -Dave Roberts 
It’s so important we get our understanding of God correct 

Songs:
Egypt 
Your great name 
The Blessing 

July 04 | Exodus 20:7 (Blaze McEntee)
Sermon Title- His Holy Name 

Big Idea- Reverence for God’s name will lead us to represent Him well 

Ideas-
Mark 5- Demons flee at the name of Jesus 
The tribe of Korah didn’t understand the power of God’s holy name 
When Israel moved the ark from the Philistines the man who reached out his hand to stabilize the ark lost his life. 
Stories of taking God’s name in vain 
“The name Austin was being misrepresented.” 
We don’t understand how different God really is 
YWHW

Songs:
Break every chain
Your great name
No other name 

July 11 | Exodus 20:8-11
Sermon Title- Living Rested 

Big Idea- God knows I need rest to be my best 

Ideas-
Deuteronomy 5:15
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath Matthew 12:1–8, Mark 2:23–28 and Luke 6:1–5
When Israel were slaves they didn’t have days off, there was no rest for them 
Explain the Jewish perspective on time- a new day started when the sun set
We wear busy as a badge of honor in our culture 
Research on rest, naps, sleep, and neuroplasticity 
Animals at the zoo get days off where they are not on display 
CF takes Saturday off and still makes more than other restaurants 
The sabbath is a time for restoration and recreation
Michael Yankoski’s book on Sababth enjoyment 
Lance Witt’s story about waking up in the middle of the night 
God didn’t have to rest but modeled rest for us--we are not following Satan’s example 
We are creating a rhythm of rest as a church body (no events on Saturday) 
I take days off and am not available, I shut down email, I have a vacation coming up 
Pastor who received a call about a failing marriage on Saturday. He asked a few questions to learn that the marriage had been failing for five years. She waited to meet later that week 
We rest to follow God’s example of rest. God knew we needed to rest 

Songs:
Egypt 
Your great name 
The Blessing

July 18 | Exodus 20:12
Sermon Title- Powerful Parents 

Big Idea- When you rightly honor your parents, all your relationships get better 

Ideas-
Colossians 3:20 
Luke 15
Ruth 1
John 19:25
Malachai 1:6

Honor parents who aren’t honorable 
Is it only to a set geographical location? 
What does it mean to prosper? 
People who have trouble of thinking of God as a Father 

Songs:
The blessing 
Break Every Chain 
Make Room 

July 25 | Exodus 20:13
Mike Lovato

August 1 | Exodus 20:14
Bert Alcorn 

August 8 | Exodus 20:15
Sermon Title- Caught red handed 

Big Idea- Do not take what rightfully belongs to others 

Ideas-
Malachi 3:6-10 
Acts 5
1 Kings 21
Deuteronomy 24:7 
Micah 6:8 
Story of stealing when I was 5 years old 
Story on Twitter of woman who stole hand sanitizer from Bath and Body works 
$970 or more is stealing CA 
Moving boundary stones to gain more power 
Employer taking wages, an employee stealing hours 
Aladdin steals to eat 
Movie example- Liar Liar with Jim Carey 
We write it down because we need to remember it 

Songs:
Clean Hands 
Egypt 
Jirah 
No longer slaves 

August 15 | Exodus 20:16
Sermon Title- Truth Teller 

Big Idea- The Bible teaches us how to tell the truth 

Ideas-
Acts 5
Matthew 26:57
Mark 14:53
Luke 10:36
Colossians 3:9-10
1 Kings 21
John 8:44
Matthew 5:33
Can’t be killed on the testimony of one witness 
US Judicial System- tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth 
Examples of “white lies”- the check is in the mail 
Movies and TV shows that promote lying 
More than just morals 
We believe untruths and share them as truths 
Have so much integrity that people believe what you say 
Teach on how to apologize for lying 
Exaggeration- how to work on truth telling 
Making excuses
Using ‘Always’ and ‘Never’ statements  

Songs:
The blessing 
Break Every Chain 
Make Room 

August 22 | Exodus 20:17
Sermon Title- Facing Covetousness 

Big Idea- Coveting is an expression of our distrust of Jesus 

Ideas-
Romans 7 
Joshua 7 
2 Samuel 11
Psalm 51
James 1:13
Ephesians 5:5
Colossians 3:5
Proverbs 4:23
Philippians 4:11-12
Coveting starts with the physician 
Story of Christopher Duntsch (wanting to be a doctor and rich) 
This i the internal one
Covetousness is the motivation for many of sins 
Covetousness is hidden 
We covet thinking it will make us complete 
“Trust the Lord who is provider” -Ryan LaFata 
Why do I covet knowing the greatness of the Lord? 
“Coveting is a sinful belief that things will make me happy.” -Dave Roberts 
Gratitude and thanksgiving combat covetousness 
“This isn’t a uniquely American problem but we’ve perfected it.” Dave Roberts 

Songs:
Waymaker 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The impact of false testimony




The ninth commandment is more than simply lying. The commandment forbids us from giving false testimony against our neighbor. 

What we don’t know about the Hebrew language hinders our full understanding of this passage. In the Hebrew, the word neighbor means anyone you’re in close contact with. There is also a judicial understanding in the text. For the original audience it was not giving false testimony in the courtroom. In a time when forensic science was unavailable the courtroom could shift on the testimony of one person. If that testimony was false, it could lead to the loss of life. 

Let's look at the life of Joseph and how his brothers stole him and sold him into slavery. The slave traders took him to Egypt and sold him to a man named Potiphar. While living in Potiphar’s home, Jospeh excelled. He was basically put in charge of the entire home:
The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Genesis 39:2-6
But there was a problem. Potiphar’s wife had longing eyes for Jospeh. She wanted to have sexual relations with Joseph but he refused time and time again. One day the house was empty and tragedy struck:
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
Genesis 39:11-15
Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph and it hurt him. Of course he would loose his status in the home. He might have to go to trail for attempted rape. She gave false testimony against him to her master and it landed Jospeh in Jail. Now Scripture teaches us that Joseph was innocent. We know this because in Genesis 39:1 we read that Potiphar was the captain of the guard. He was a military official. If he suspected that Joseph had tried anything funny with his wife, he would have had him killed. Potiphar knew his wife was was lying and spared Joseph’s life. 

Listen to how the Lord feels about lying:
The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Proverbs 12:22
The Lord detests lying lips. The Lord knows that lying hurts others, lands people in jail, and has the potential for the loss of life. That is why we are commanded not to lie. 
If you have been lying will you submit yourself to the examination of the Holy Spirit to search you and find where those lies are hidden? 
Will you allow the Lord to examine you, as a judge examines a court case, and find where lying is hurting your walk with the Lord? 

Our neighbor is anyone we are in close proximity to. But it goes further! Listen to this: “In laws and formal rules, neighbor has nothing to do with proximity or familiarity; your “neighbor” connotes any other human being you may have dealings with, actually or potentially. -Douglas K Stuart.

The impact of false testimony
For the original audience there was a huge ramification for giving false testimony. That impact echos forward to today. If someone went on the stand to give false testimony against their neighbor it could lead to the loss of life. There is a captivating story in 1 Kings 3 about two prostitutes who stand before the young king Solomon. They are living in the same home when one woman rolls over on her son in the middle of the night. She proceeds to take her dead son to her roommate and steals her living son. She swaps the dead baby for the living baby. 

The mother wakes up in the morning and sees her son is dead… but it’s not really her son. The case is brought to the king. The evidence is there. One living baby and one dead baby. Two women. Two different stories. The king needs wisdom in making this decision because the stories don’t line up 

False testimony could have cost the life of another child in this story. Solomon uses the wisdom God gave him to judge the trail. But this didn’t have to get this way. If the one woman would have told the truth the whole situation could have been solved. 

The story doesn’t tell us the punishment of the lying woman. We could look at the Levitical Law and conclude that her punishment could have been death. This woman not only lied but she stole another person. She became a kidnapper because of the pain of her loss.

I wonder what would have happened if she decided to tell the truth. She might have woke up in the middle of the night and wailed. She could have cried with her roommate and grieved the loss of her son. Maybe she would have changed her ways and not stolen a child. Her pain became pain for another. Her lying hurt. 

This story reminds me about how important it is for us to have friends who we can be honest with. So often we ask each other: “How are you doing?” It’s a great question but in our culture it has become a greeting. We don’t tell people how we’re really doing. And there is another layer. Most people are so busy they don’t have time to listen to your answer. We need friends who listen to us. 

Listen to what Dr. John J. Ratey wrote, “In modern life, people tend to have fewer friends and less support, because there’s no tribe. Being alone is not good….” 

The importance of having friends helps us to keep accountable open telling the truth. When we tell the truth we live in the light. Listen to what the Apostle John taught us on telling the truth (read 1 John 1:6-7). If we claim to be Jesus followers we need to excel in telling the truth. If there is anyone in the world who tells the truth it needs to be those who call themselves Christians. We should excel at telling the truth because we are in relationship with the truth. That friendship encourages us to be relationship with others who keep us accountable to truth telling.  

I love what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 6:14). If you are having trouble with telling the truth. memorize this verse. Every morning you and physically put on the belt of truth as you commit to telling the truth. Don’t say: “I’m going to try to tell the truth.” Say: “I am a truth teller.” If we say we will try to tell the truth we will fail. Commit to truth telling. Clothe yourself in the truth and watch how your life changes.