The Gospels: Shattering Generosity Myths - Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

December 9, 2017

The Gospels: Full of Grace and Truth

Shattering Myths about Generosity

Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4


And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. (Mark 12:41)


And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two coins worth 2/5 of a cent. (Mark 12:42)


And he called [unto him] his disciples, and said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:" (Mark 12:43)


“For all [they] did cast in unto the offerings of God out of what they had left; but she of what she was lacking did cast in all that she had, [even] all her living.” (Mark 12:44; Luke 21:4)


  1. What I give is nobody’s BUSINESS
    1. I don’t know what anybody gives
    2. Jesus is watching the people give and makes a point of calling his disciples’ attention to what and why people are giving
    3. We don’t say this about retail stores
    4. We don’t have a problem claiming our tax return off of our giving
  2. People give because it makes them feel GOOD
    1. Giving = sacrifice
    2. People who give are happier
      1. 10% is enough to make a difference
      2. Giving encourages financial responsibility
        1. Budget
        2. Live on less than than you make
        3. Live debt free
        4. Spend on what you value
        5. Gratefulness for God’s provision
        6. Protect against greed
      3. Those who give are more cheerful and less depressed
  3. If we give, God will make us RICH
  4. Large ONE-TIME donations make more of an impact
    1. The best time for one-time donations
      1. When there is a one-time expense
    2. The downside of having a huge bank account
      1. Generosity becomes disassociated from discipleship
      2. Urgency and mission usually goes with it
      3. Before long, a few families are holding on to a building and large bank account, but not using it for the Kingdom in any way
    3. Consistent giving allows churches to budget and function responsibly
  5. Giving only counts if you don’t WANT to give, but you do anyway
  6. Generosity comes from EXCESS
    1. The poor are more charitable than the wealthy
  7. God wants us to give 10%


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Prep for Next Week

Begin studying - Signs of His Coming - Matthew 24:1-35; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36

Pray for an opportunity to invite a friend to church or share the gospel with them

Follow-up Discussion Questions

  1. Which myth about generosity stuck out to you the most? Why?
  2. Are there any myths about generosity that we didn’t discuss?
  3. How can we think about generosity as a part of our discipleship personally? As a church?
  4. Why do you think it is true that those who have less often give more (%) than those who have more?
  5. Why do we tend to focus our attention on those who have more ($) and give more ($)?
  6. What is the balance between being grateful for those who give more ($) while still recognizing those who give more (%)?
  7. Which generosity myth is the most vital to your own personal discipleship and growth?

The Gospels: God’s Son and David’s Son

December 3, 2017

The Gospels: Full of Grace and Truth

David’s Son and God’s Son

Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44


While the Pharisees were gathered together and Jesus taught in the temple, Jesus asked them, (Matthew 22:41; Mark 12:35)


Saying, “How say the scribes that Christ” (Matthew 22:42; Mark 12:35)


Who is CHRIST?


“is the Son of David?” (Matthew 22:42; Mark 12:35)


2. Son of DAVID?


“What do you think of Christ? Whose son is he?” They say unto him, "[The Son] of David.” (Matthew 22:42; Mark 12:35)


He said unto them, “How then does David, in the book of Psalms, by the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 22:43; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42)


3. David or the HOLY Spirit?


“call him Lord, saying,” (Matthew 22:43; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42)


“The LORD said unto my Lord,” (Matthew 22:44)


4. Two LORDS?


“Sit on my right hand,” (Matthew 22:44)


5. Who is on the THRONE?


till I make your enemies your footstool?” (Matthew 22:44)


6. How long will Jesus stay SEATED?


“If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?" (Matthew 22:45; Mark 12:37)


7. That’s what CHRISTMAS is all about Charlie Brown







And the common people heard him gladly. (Matthew 22:45; Mark 12:37)


And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any [man] from that day forward ask him any more [questions]. (Matthew 22:46)


8. How do you RECEIVE Jesus?



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Prep for Next Week

Begin studying - The Widow’s Mite - Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

Pray for an opportunity to invite a friend to church or share the gospel with them

Follow-up Discussion Questions

  1. Did this passage have an effect on how you view the Christmas story? How so?
  2. Do you have any hesitations believing in the virgin birth?
  3. How do the incarnation (God & man) and the Bible (Holy Spirit & human author) model how God operates in our life?
  4. How do we best manage the “now and not yet” of Jesus’ rule and reign on the earth?
  5. As an former enemy of Jesus (Romans 5), how did God put you under Jesus’ feet? Does that encourage you in trying to reach friends and family for Christ?



Testimony of Former Jehovah’s Witness (JW) - Spiritual Abuse - Sharing Jesus with the Cults

November 15, 2017

Another testimony from a former Jehovah's Witness. This time the focus is on their spiritual abuse in general and overlooking sexual abuse specifically. Touching story how her dad chose her over the Watchtower Society, giving up his role as an elder.

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Testimony of Former Jehovah’s Witness (JW) - Mind Control - Sharing Jesus with the Cults

November 15, 2017

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This is a testimony of a former member of the Jehovah's Witnesses (JW; Watchtower). Listen for evidences of mind control and signs of a cult.


Testimony of Former Scientology and Sea Org Member Sam Domingo

October 21, 2017

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This is a testimony of former Scientology and Sea Org member Sam Domingo. She is now an outspoken opponent of Scientology. 


The Gospels: The Anointing by Mary

October 7, 2017

The Gospels: Full of Grace and Truth

The Anointing by Mary

Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-11


Now six days before the passover, when Jesus was in Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead, one of the Pharisees desired to eat with him. And he went in the house of Simon, the leper, who was also a Pharisee. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. (Matthew 26:6; Luke 7:36; John 12:1-2)

  1. WHO are you?

There came unto him a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box containing a pound of spikenard, a very precious ointment. She stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet. And she broke the box, and poured it on his head, and anointed him with the ointment. The house was filled with the odor of the ointment. (Matthew 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37-38; John 12:3)

  1. An EXTRAVAGENT expression

Now when the Pharisee which had invited him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that touches him: for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39)

  1. BLIND spots

And Jesus answering said unto him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Master, say on.” “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed 1 1/2 years wages, and the other 2 months wages. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one he forgave most.” And he said unto him, “You have rightly judged.” And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped [them] with the hairs of her head. You didn’t kiss me, but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment.  Wherefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loves little.” (Luke 9:40-47)

  1. We all want FORGIVENESS

And he said unto her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, “Who is this that forgives sins also?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:48-50)

  1. How are we FORGIVEN?

But when his disciples saw [it], they had indignation, and Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which would betray him, asked, “To what purpose [is] this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for more than a years wages, and given to the poor.” And they murmured against her. (Matthew 26:8-9; Mark 14:5; John 12:4-5)

This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and was in charge of what was put therein. (John 12:6)

  1. You can find a reason to CRITICIZE anything

When Jesus understood [it], he said unto them, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble the woman? for she has performed a good work upon me.” (Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6)

  1. Are you able to see the GOOD, or are you always searching for the BETTER?

“For you have the poor always with you, and whenever you want you may do them good. But you don’t always have me.” (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7)

  1. What is the GOOD that God has called you to do?

“She has done what she could. She has kept this for the day of my burial. For as she has poured this ointment on my body, she has come in advance to anoint my body for burial.” (Matthew 26:12; Mark 14:8; John 12:7)

  1. An amazing INSIGHT

“Verily I say unto you, ‘Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told for a memorial of her.’” (Matthew 26:13)

  1. The good you do will not be FORGOTTEN

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Prep for Next Week

  1. Begin studying - The Triumphal Entry - Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19
  2. Pray for an opportunity to invite a friend to church or share the gospel with them

Follow-up Discussion Questions

  1. Who are you? Where does your identity lie? In your circumstances? In your position? Or in your identity in Christ? Who does God say you are?
  2. What is the most extravagant thing you’ve ever done in worship or service? (We’re not just talking about money)
  3. Do you know your blind spots? Why is it important to know our blind spots?
  4. Why is “he who is forgiven much loves much” not limited to those who have committed horrible sins or have a very checkered past?
  5. Why is criticism both a necessary thing as well as a dangerous thing?
  6. What do you think about Jesus’ statement that we will always have the poor with us?
  7. Why is following what the Lord has “told us” important?
  8. Why do you think the women in the gospels seemed to understand the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the men did not?
  9. Do you believe that the good you do will not be forgotten? Why or why not?

You Might Be a Cult If … part 5 - Tribute to Jeff Foxworthy - Sharing Jesus with the Cults

September 30, 2017

One of the greatest stand up comedians of all time is Jeff Foxworthy. One of the greatest stand up routines is "You might be a redneck ..."

This is a series of tribute videos to Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck." In a humorous way, I try and walk you through dangerous characteristics of cult groups.

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The Gospels: Raising of Lazarus

September 28, 2017

The Gospels: Full of Grace and Truth

Raising of Lazarus

John 11:1-44


Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was [that] Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.” When Jesus heard [that], he said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (John 11:1-4)




Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that he said to [his] disciples, “Let us go into Judaea again.”[His] disciples said unto him, “Master, the Jews of late sought to stone you; and you’re going there again?” (John 11:5-8)


  1. Caught between two DESIRES


Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.” He said these things, and after that he said unto them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” Then said his disciples, “Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.” Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” (John 11:9-14)


  1. What happens when we DIE?
    1. Jesus redefines death for the believer as sleep


“And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.” Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:15-16)


  1. Was doubting Thomas given a bad RAP?


Then when Jesus came, he found that he had [lain] in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was near unto Jerusalem, about 1.7 miles away. And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat [still] in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died. But I know, that even now, whatever you will ask of God, God will give [it] to you.” (John 11:17-22)




Jesus said unto her, “Your brother shall rise again.” Martha said unto him, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:23-26)


  1. I AM the RESURRECTION and the LIFE


She said unto him, “Yes, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, “The Master is come, and calls for you.” (John 11:27-28)


  1. So … the answer is NO


As soon as she heard [that], she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, “She goes unto the grave to weep there.” Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, “Where have you laid him?” They said unto him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 11:29-35)


  1. Jesus was truly HUMAN
    1. He really loved
    2. Groaned in the spirit
    3. He was troubled
    4. He cried


Then said the Jews, “Behold how he loved him!” And some of them said, “Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?” Jesus therefore again groaning in himself came to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, “Take you away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him, “Lord, by this time he stinks, for he has been [dead] four days.” Jesus said unto her, “Did I not say unto you, that, if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. And I knew that you hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said [it], that they may believe that you have sent me.” (John 11:36-42)


  1. For the sake of all those like MARTHA


And when he had spoken these words, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, “Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11:43-44)





  1. We are just like LAZARUS


'Cause I am just like Lazarus and I can hear your voice

I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You

Because I have no choice - Caedmon’s Call - Thankful


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Prep for Next Week

  1. Begin studying - The Anointing of Mary - Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-11
  2. Pray for an opportunity to invite a friend to church or share the gospel with them

Follow-up Discussion Questions

  1. Why is “reading into things” or assuming we know how God’s promises are going to take shape in our lives dangerous? What is a healthier approach?
  2. How did Jesus model waiting on God’s timing in spite of the fact that he had a lot at stake emotionally and relationally?
  3. Do you have any follow up questions about what happens to us when we die and how we know what happens when we die?
  4. What would have been a better way for Martha to handle her interaction with Jesus? Why is passive-aggressiveness harmful?
  5. What is the significance of Jesus’ statement, “I am the resurrection and the life?”
  6. What can we learn from Jesus’ interactions with Martha?
  7. How can we compare ourselves with Lazarus?