Title: “I Am in Pain”
Summary: Pain is intensified in hopelessness; God has answered our pain through our hope in Christ
Key Scripture: Psalm 38
“Why do we experience pain, and is there an answer?”
“What is the best response to pain?”
DESPERATION (38:15, 21-22)
What one thing spoke to your heart the most from the Word of God in these Scriptures? Share an experience of feeling hopeless in the midst of suffering. How did God bring you through pain?
What is the purpose of an ‘alphabetic psalm?’ Think of a song, movie, story, or poem that addresses the problem of human suffering. How does art help us process the experience of pain and suffering? Why are the Psalms helpful in this area?
Read Psalm 38:1-2 – What would be the benefit of seeing pain as being ordained by God rather than ‘managed’ by Him? Does God discipline us because He is angry with us? How do other Scriptures help us understand these verses?
Read Psalm 38:3-9 – Is anyone ‘undeserving’ of experiencing pain and suffering? Why/Why not? How does the Psalmist’s pain draw his attention toward God?
Read Psalm 38:10-20 – What are the parallels between King David’s lament and the sufferings of Christ? How does this Psalm point us to Jesus? What does it mean that Christ provides us with a ‘perfect repentance?’
Read Psalm 38:21-22 – Why doesn’t David resolve this Psalm triumphantly? What can that tell us about how to handle our pain and suffering? What is the urgency presented in his request?
Why are we always trying to escape pain and suffering? How can our pain deepen our trust in Christ? How does it change suffering to know that God is not punishing believers through discipline, but loving them? How can we help other believers see their pain as a tangible expression of God’s love for them?
Leadership Transition: Keep up with the latest updates: Transition Updates
Prayer Walk: Sunday, July 15 at 10:30 AM | Meet in the Bridge
Family Camp: Registration continues this weekend: Family Camp
Communion Sunday is this weekend
Title: Forgive Me
Summary: When we confess our sins, God forgives us and surrounds us with his love
Key Scripture: Psalm 32
Do you know the joy of FORGIVENESS? (Psalm 32:1-2)
Have you experienced the pain of HIDDEN guilt? (Psalm 32:3-5)
Forgiveness brings unexpected REWARDS (Psalm 32:6-9)
Which PATHWAY will you choose? (Psalm 32:10-11)
What examples do we see from literature, movies, churches and news media regarding the crippling effect of guilt and the inability to hide sinful actions? How have you personally experienced the guilt of hiding sinful thoughts and actions?
Read Psalm 32 in different translations. What do you notice about King David’s personal experience with guilt and forgiveness? What was the source of his forgiveness and joy?
What kinds of actions cause a guilty conscience? Read Psalm 32:1-4 again and review the contrast between forgiveness and hidden guilt. Why does covering up sin result in emotional problems? Read verse 5. Can we be forgiven of both the sin itself and the guilt that goes along with it?
How does David describe God’s provision for us in Psalm 32:7? How does this differ from a prevailing view of God as an angry Judge ready to sentence us to death? How does Paul use this Psalm in Romans 4:1-8 to teach us an important truth about God’s forgiveness and grace?
Read Psalm 32:8-11 again. What wisdom is David teaching us and how do we apply it?
If you repented of sin and professed faith in Christ, God forgives past, present and future sins. If this is true, do you still need to confess your sins daily to receive forgiveness? Why or why not? What is the difference between being saved and ongoing fellowship with God (1 John 1:5-10)?
Since God forgives me, do I still need to make restitution for my wrongdoing? How far do I need to go back to receive forgiveness (for example, cheating in school years ago)?
Do you have trouble forgiving others? Jesus says that if we won’t forgive, our Father will not forgive us (Matt. 5:14-15). What does an unforgiving heart say about us (read Matt. 18:21-35)?
ASSIGNMENT: Read Psalm 32:11 again. We are commanded to glad in the Lord and shout for joy. Are you a person of contagious joy, basking in the relief of God’s forgiveness in Christ? If not, pray with your group that God will restore the happiness you once had in your forgiveness. Our Father is a “hiding place” and will surround you with his “steadfast love.”
Title: No Fear
Summary: We can be confident rather than fearful because our good God is with us
Key Scripture: Psalm 27
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Overcome fear by BEING CONFIDENT IN GOD (Psalm 27:1-6)
Overcome fear through PRAYER AND GUIDANCE (Psalm 27:7-12)
Overcome fear by PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS (Psalm 27:13-14)
In Psalm 27 David expresses his fears. What are some things you personally fear? How do you deal with your fears? Share one of your most frightening experiences with your group.
Read Psalm 27 as a group with four readers: Reader #1 (1-3), reader #2 (4-6), reader #3 (7-12) and reader #4 (13-14). What did you notice about the bookends of this psalm (27:1-3, 13-14)?
Read Psalm 27:1-6 again. What does David mean when he says God is his “light” and “stronghold” (1)? How do these words relate to his confidence (27:2-3)? What do you know of David’s enemies? What was his first priority and how did his focus on worship help him in these battles (27:4-6)?
Why is there a change in tone in Psalm 27:7-12? Even strong followers of Christ face times when we are insecure, fearful and lonely. How does Psalm 27:7-9 inform our prayers at these times? How does the Lord “teach us” and “lead us” (27:11)?
Read Psalm 27:13-14 and look at the word “wait.” What is involved in waiting on the Lord? What are some wrong ideas people have of waiting? What should we be doing while we are waiting?
When it comes to fighting battles (27:1-3), what weapons do Christians have (see Ephesians 6:10-18)? If knowing and worshiping God is the core of finding courage (27:4-6), what distractions do we need to overcome our pursuit of security in God?
What can we learn about walking with God from verse 8? Why is verse 11 a good one to memorize?
Reading this Psalm, what do you learn about the goodness of our loving Father? How did Jesus trust his Father even when he faced the horror of the cross (Mark 15:21-39; Hebrews 12:1-3)?
ASSIGNMENT: Psalm 27:13-14 tell us to believe and wait. How will you preach the good news to yourself this week? How will you proclaim it to your family, friends and coworkers? Share your ideas with your group and pray for each other.
Details: Saturday Service: 5 PM; Livestream: Saturday 5 PM; Baptism Service – Sunday: 10 AM
Learn more: Baptism at Stonebridge Church
Title: Why Do You Care?
Summary: God shows His care for us in His creation of us and His redemption of us in Christ
Key Scripture: Psalm 8
He is above all (v.1)
He gives us value (v. 5-8)
He identifies in our frailty (v. 5-8)
He restores our dignity(Hebrews 2:11-18)
What one thing spoke to your heart the most from the Word of God in these Scriptures?
How does the Psalmist’s description of God’s creative work prompt the major question in verse 4?
Read Psalm 8: 1-2 – What does it mean that God is ‘transcendent?’ How can this create a misunderstanding about God’s care for us?
Read Psalm 8:5-8 – What other passage of Scripture does this draw our attention to? For what purpose did God create mankind? What went wrong, and what was lost?
Read Hebrews 2:5-12. What is Psalm 8 really pointing to? Why is it important for us to read the Psalms through the lens of all of Scripture. Why does the author of Hebrews tell us that Psalm 8 is about Christ’s work more than it is about us?
How does Scripture help us balance human dignity with human sinfulness? Why is it important for us to remember both are true? Why is pride dangerous both for the sinful and the self-righteous?
Read Psalm 8:2 – Some refer to this as a ‘Chorus of Creation.’ How does Christ reference this verse in the New Testament? Why does Jesus draw our attention to God using the ‘foolish’ things of the world to shame the proud?
Since Christ has identified with us in our humanity, we can now identify with Him in glory. What are some opportunities he is giving you to ‘identify’ with His work of salvation and His help in your temptation?
Title: He Hears Me
Summary: When the trials of life overwhelm you, pray, for God hears and comes to your aid
Key Scripture: Psalm 6
When overwhelmed by the trials of life, what can we do? (Psalm 6:1-7)
What happens when people pray? (Psalm 6:8-10)
This is Father’s Day weekend. As you were growing up, did your family express emotions very well? How so? How were negative emotions handed?
Read Psalm 6 in different translations. What emotions did King David express as he prayed?
Read Psalm 6:1-7 again. Why is David so sick with grief? Is God punishing him for sin, or is David just afraid that God is against him (6:1-2)? Why has God not answered him?
What does David believe about God (6:2,4)? What does he believe about death (6:5)? What does David mean when he says “My eyes waste away” (6:7)? Do you think he is saying he feels like he’s in the dark? Or that God is not being fair? Or that it seems hopeless?
Read Psalm 6:8-10. Why is there a change in tone? What do you think changed for David to view his circumstances differently? How does he know God has answered him?
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with life’s circumstances in regard to your health, a family conflict, or difficulties at work? Have you ever prayed for God’s help and healing and not received it?
What in your life makes you cry out to God, “How long, O Lord?” Why does God seem to wait so long to answer some prayers?
Do you ever see God as “an angry judge”? How does this psalm help you find hope in the midst of difficult circumstances? How will you pray differently as a result of studying Psalm 6?
This weekend we celebrate the ministry of Pastor Jason and Gwen Poling for their ten years of service to Stonebridge. Pastor Jason has helped instruct leaders and provided Biblical Counseling in line with Psalm 6 for many. Spend some time with your group recalling the blessings of the Poling’s ministry. Then lift them up in prayer as they begin their ministry in California
Join us for a special outdoor baptism service on Sunday, June 24 at 10 AM Bring a lawn chair and help us celebrate with 21 people who are taking this next step in their walk with Christ. Stay after for a time of fellowship and refreshments. Bring your kids, your friends and your sunscreen to this exciting celebration. All are invited!
This service will be our only service on Sunday morning. Our regular Saturday night service will be held at 5 PM indoors as usual. We will not be providing childcare for Stonebridge Kids ministry during the baptism service. Families are encouraged to participate in the service together.
Learn more about baptism at Stonebridge Church: Believers Baptism
Title: God Laughs
Summary: Worship and serve King Jesus and you will be blessed!
Key Scripture: Psalm 2
When people _______ God, what does he do? (Psalm 2:1-6)
Who is the _____ and what does he _______ from us? (Psalm 2:7-12)
2 Samuel 7:12-14; Romans 1:1-6; Hebrews 1:1-6
What does this mean for me today?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Ruth 1: 16-17; Acts 4:23-35
One challenge to knowing God are the distractions we face. How does technology, the internet, social media, work demands and family responsibilities distract you from knowing and loving God?
Read Psalm 2 in different translations (use You Version Bible app!). How would you describe the voices you hear in 2:1-3; 2:4-6; 2:7-9; and 2:10-12? Where do we hear similar voices today? Why do they get our attention? Are they worth hearing?
Have 4 people take turns reading the “voices” (2:1-3; 2:4-6; 2:7-9; and 2:10-12). What emotions are expressed in 2:1-3? What are the “bonds” and “cords” which enslave them? “Anointed” is “Messiah” in the Hebrew language. Who is this Messiah and how is rebellion toward this king also viewed as opposition to God?
In 2:4-6, why does God “laugh”? What does it say about him? Why might this be an encouraging message for people who are oppressed in that day and ours?
Who is God’s “Son” in 2:7-9? To which Scriptures did Randy refer as he reflected on Old Testament and New Testament passages (see your outline)? Which ones are most meaningful to you and why?
Psalm 2:10-12 gets practical about our response to God’s King. Where do you see God’s grace coming out in these verses? Why do you sense there is urgency in accepting his invitation? What is the meaning of “kiss the Son?” In what ways does Jesus “kiss” you?
Randy gave four implications for living wisely (2:10) in light of King Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Ruth 1: 16-17; Acts 4:23-35). Which one is most significant to you today and why?
Talk with your group about an area of your life where you would like the Holy Spirit to enlarge your view of King Jesus. Then pray through Psalm 2 based upon what you share together.
Title: Two Ways to Live
Summary: There are two ways of living: the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked
Key Scripture: Psalm 1
WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP? “THE 77 CHALLENGE”
Join our 7 day online Bible Reading Plan via YouVersion Bible App: Purpose-Filled Faith
CONNECTING: What one thing spoke to your heart the most from the Word of God in these Scriptures?
If you were writing a psalm to express how you feel about God what would you want to put in it?
UNDERSTANDING: Read Psalm 1. How would you summarize the main point(s) and idea(s) of this psalm? How do you think it serves as a gateway to the rest of the book? Using this Psalm how can you encourage someone who doesn’t feel they have the time to read and meditate on God’s Word?
When you think about your own spiritual life when have seen spikes in your growth? What role did God’s Word play in facilitating your growth? (See Psalm 119:97-104)
Read Psalm 1:1-2. What are the blessed and wicked like and not like? What conditions must be met in order to be blessed? Which of the conditions would be the most challenging for you?
Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. What visual image did Jeremiah use to describe the blessed man? How can you know if your life resembles the tree planted by streams of water? What other observations can you make from those verses?
Read Psalm 1:4-6. The psalm ends with a final contrast between the two ways of living. How does the Psalmist describe what will happen to the wicked? Verse six serves as a spiritual GPS because it shows the way of the righteous and also gives the final destination of the wicked.
LIVING: Read Matthew 5:13-16. How can followers of Christ avoid standing in the way of sinners, and sitting in the seat of scoffers, and still be a witness for Jesus in the world?
In your group talk about how consistent you’ve been reading your Bible. What have been some of the barriers preventing you from being consistent? Talk about your involvement individually and as a group in the “77 Challenge.” What ways can you encourage one another and hold each other accountable to read God’s Word?
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Title: The Riches of Repentance
Summary: Christ saves the outcast and spreads His riches of mercy through repentant sinners
Key Scripture: Luke 19:1-10
What one thing spoke to your heart the most from the Word of God in these Scriptures?
Name some people who are viewed as ‘outcasts’ or ‘strangers’ in our world. How does Jesus’ interaction with outcasts in the book of Luke inform us about God’s heart for those whom society shuns?
Read Luke 19:1-4 – Who is Zaccheus? Why is his title important? Do you know people who are ‘curious’ about Jesus from afar? How does the religious crowd sometimes try to keep those who are far from Jesus from coming close?
Read Luke 19:5-7 – What is striking about Jesus’ approaching Zaccheus? In light of John 10:14, what does this tell us about how Jesus meeting with Zaccheus? What is unique about Jesus inviting himself? What was the response of Zaccheus? The crowd? What does the difference in response show us?
Read Luke 19:8-10 – What was the result of Zaccheus’ life being changed? What about Jesus’ response? Why is Jesus pronouncement about being a ‘son of Abraham’ so important? Why is Jesus’ mission statement critical at this point and time in His ministry?
Our generosity is always in response to the grace of salvation in Christ. Why do we need to be reminded of Christ’s generosity towards us?
Consider the following quote:
‘And, yes, daily hospitality can be expensive and even inconvenient. It compels us to care more for our church family and neighbors than our personal status in this world. Our monthly grocery bill alone reminds us that what humbles us cannot hurt us, but what puffs up our pride unwaveringly will.’ Rosaria Butterfield. The Gospel Comes with a House Key
Why is generosity about more than just ‘giving money?’ How can we display radical generosity with our possessions and time?
Recommended Resource: The Gospel Comes With a House Key – Rosaria Butterfield
Title: Investment Strategy
Summary: God’s generous grace opens our eyes to the strategic benefit of giving to others
Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
GENEROSITY, LIKE FARMING, BRINGS A GOOD HARVEST (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
GENEROSITY MAKES AN IMPACT ON OTHERS (2 Corinthians 9:12-14)
GENEROSITY IS LINKED TO GRATITUDE (2 Corinthians 9:15)
HOW DO WE BECOME GENEROUS PEOPLE?
Have you given money to a charity or church? How did you feel about your gift? How did this feel different than when you paid your income taxes in April? You gave money both times but did you feel the same in both cases? Why or why not?
Is giving only a financial issue? Read Ephesians 2:8-10 and talk about developing spiritual gifts and abilities to serve God. When you have taken action to give time, talent or treasure to serve others for Christ’s sake, what results did you see? How did you experience God in the midst of your giving?
Read with your group 2 Corinthians 8-9. What is the context of Paul’s teaching on giving generously? In what ways does God’s loving grace toward us impact our ability to be generous with others?
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 again. When you have peace with God, how will you respond to others whose lives are filled with physical, financial or spiritual need?
When you are generous toward others for Christ’s sake, what benefits come beyond meeting physical needs (see 2 Cor. 9:12)? If we fail to be generous, what blessings do we miss?
Do you ever feel pressured into giving? Why might you feel this way? How is grace giving different than giving motivated by guilt or pressure?
Debt is a problem for Americans. Did you know Stonebridge regularly offers the Financial Peace University to help you learn how to get out of debt and find financial freedom? If you’ve taken the course, what helpful lessons did you learn?
ASSIGNMENT: Get alone this week and reread 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Reflect on 9:10, “God who supplies…bread for your food”. Talk to God about this question: “Father, if you are the One who gives me every bite of food every day, why do I find it challenging to cheerfully give back to you to meet the needs of others?” Write down your thoughts.