Week 11 - May 27th

A note from Jeanie & Small Group Leaders:
Dear Students & Parents,
If you are able join us in person this Sunday at 8:00, 9:30 or 11:00, as we celebrate our 2020 graduates! If you can't be here in person, we will still be live streaming the service at 11:00 on facebook and through the Grace Point website and App. We sure miss seeing all of you! It won't be too long before we can  meet again in person! Take care and God bless each of you!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About this Series:

Ephesians contains only six chapters. It’s a mere 155 verses. If you read it straight through, it would take you about 20 minutes. Yet the rich wisdom packed in this book will take you much longer than 20 minutes to apply and live out. If you want to use what you learn from this book, read it slowly. And often.
Paul, the author, wrote to the people in Ephesus by starting out with a few seemingly insignificant statements. A reader could easily gloss over these words in an attempt to get to “the important stuff.” But if you do that, you’ll regret it. By overlooking even some of the words here, you may short-circuit the work God wants to do in your heart instead of digging deep into who God declared you to be. And who God declared you to be is more powerful than who you feel you are.
The One you fix your eyes on is both the source and the object of your identity. When you get the focus right, you’ll gain a lot from this study.

Before You Watch The Video

Whether you know it or not, you are in a battle every day. And this is the most dangerous battle you could imagine. It’s one that can take our identity and twist it in all kinds of directions. You may be tempted to think the battle is against flesh and blood. But this one is not against what we can see.
In our final week of study, Tony walks through part of the final chapter of Ephesians, as we look together at the armor God provides for us to fight against unseen forces that wage a war against us. There is an all-out war against our holiness and against our identity. It’s time to suit up.

Ephesians Series

Week 6 Video
“Be Strong in Christ”:
the war against our identity

Lesson 6
Scripture

The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:10-20

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

In this week’s video Tony introduced the armor of God we need to fight the spiritual powers that work against us.
1. Were you ever in a physical fight as a kid?
2. How did things turn out?

We may be tempted to think that Satan is just found in things like terrorist attacks. But in reality, Satan would love nothing more than to destroy the everyday relationships you have in your local church and within your family.
Read Ephesians 6:10.
Based on what you’ve learned so far in this study, brainstorm some ways you can “be strong in the Lord.”
3. What habits did you start during this study that you plan to continue in the future?
Read Ephesians 6:11-13.

We don’t fight this battle using our own strength, our own resources, or our own abilities. The strength mentioned in verses 10-13 implies that the Devil can truly be defeated. That’s great news!
4. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not at all, 10 being fully ready), how equipped do you feel to do daily battle against Satan?
5. What would help increase this number?
Read through Ephesians 6:14-17.

Paul mentioned the following equipment in this passage:
The belt of truth (v. 14)
The breastplate of righteousness (v. 14)
Gospel shoes (v. 15)
Shield of faith (v. 16)
Helmet of salvation (v. 17)
Sword of the Spirit (v. 17)

6. Which pieces are defensive? Explain the value and meaning of each.
7. What is the only offensive weapon? Why is this important?
8. In relation to the pieces of armor, what area of your life is most vulnerable?


Question(s) of the Week:

In the video Tony says, “If you’re not in the battle, by daily Bible reading, meditation, and using your Bible reading as a catalyst for your prayers, then start.”
1. What does your Bible-reading plan look like?
2. How are you disciplining yourself in this area?
3. What difference have you noticed in your life when you spend consistent time in Scripture?

Closing Prayer

Lord, Help me to find my identity in you . Help me to stand firm in the face of all kinds of adversity. Remind me that my identity is rooted in you and that through reading my Bible and staying disciplined in my faith, I can keep my identity secure. Thank you God for loving me ! Help me to stand strong in you! In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

This Week: Read Ephesians Chapter 6

Prayer Request


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Week 10 - May 20th

A note from Jeanie & Small Group Leaders: 
Dear Students,
We STILL miss you! We STILL miss you! We STILL miss you!
Sincerely,
All Of Us
P.S. - We are having a huge party when this is all over! Count on it!
P.S.S. - Worship Services start back up on May 31st...this is a good sign that the youth will follow sometime after that...we hope!!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About this Series:

Ephesians contains only six chapters. It’s a mere 155 verses. If you read it straight through, it would take you about 20 minutes. Yet the rich wisdom packed in this book will take you much longer than 20 minutes to apply and live out. If you want to use what you learn from this book, read it slowly. And often.
Paul, the author, wrote to the people in Ephesus by starting out with a few seemingly insignificant statements. A reader could easily gloss over these words in an attempt to get to “the important stuff.” But if you do that, you’ll regret it. By overlooking even some of the words here, you may short-circuit the work God wants to do in your heart instead of digging deep into who God declared you to be. And who God declared you to be is more powerful than who you feel you are.
The One you fix your eyes on is both the source and the object of your identity.  When you get the focus right, you’ll gain a lot from this study.

Before You Watch The Video

This week we will be talking through holiness and its implications for our daily lives. How do we pursue holiness? What should we do when we mess up? What kinds of behaviors and attitudes should mark God’s people who are pursuing holiness?

Ephesians Series

Week 5 Video
“Pursuing Holiness in Christ”:
how our identity shapes our behavior

Lesson 5
Scripture

Instructions for Christian Living
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Chapter 5
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper,  rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.


Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

In the video, Tony mentioned two types of holiness that we should keep in mind any time we’re reading a passage in the Bible about holiness.
1. What are they?
2. Which of the two types does Ephesians 4–5 address?
3. Which of the two types should define your identity? Why?

 When it comes to holiness, our culture often thinks of a caricatured holier-than-thou type of person. But Scripture paints a different picture.
4. What are some common misconceptions when it comes to a cultural understanding of “holiness”?
Some people believe we find holiness when we isolate ourselves from others and from the world.
5. Why is isolationism not holiness?
6. How did Jesus demonstrate perfect holiness, even while interacting with sinners?

Tony says, “The reason there’s so little happiness in our world today is there’s so little holiness in our world today.” 
7. What did he mean? Do you believe that? Why or why not?
Our culture confuses love with four ideas: lust, tolerance, everything, a feeling.
8. Why is each of these not true, Christ-honoring love?
So, how do we love? We love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us. Love involves compassion that leads to action.
Read Ephesians 5:2.
9. Using this Scripture as your guide, give a biblical definition of love.
10. When you think of the word “love,” be honest—what do you tend to think?
11. Have you ever loved someone with a biblical kind of love?

Read Ephesians 4:19-32.
 As you read, make note of the sins that Paul listed.
Pursuing holiness is about identifying the sinful behaviors and attitudes so you can apply the “put off/put on” principle. You can read more about this in the Personal Study titled “The Put Off/Put On Principle” this week. As God exposes certain sins in your life, you have the opportunity to put that sin off, and in its place put on a character trait that honors God.

12. What sins, as you look through this text, do you need to repent of?


Question of the Week: 

Tony shared that in our pursuit of holiness, the three ways we’re to walk are: in love, in the light, and in wisdom.
What does it mean for you to live a holy life in each of the previous three areas (love, light, and wisdom):
at school?
in your neighborhood?

on your team?

Closing Prayer

Dear God, help me to live my life in such a way that I honor you in all I do and say. Help me to be a light in the world, so that your love shines through. If there is anything in me that does not reflect your love, please make me aware of it so that I may work with you to remove it from my life. I love you Lord and I want to live a life that reflects that love. I pray all this in the name of Jesus, Amen!

This Week: Read Ephesians Chapter 5

Prayer Request


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Week 9 - May 13th

A note from Jeanie & Small Group Leaders: 
Dear Students,
We miss you! We miss you! We miss you!
Sincerely,
All Of Us
P.S. - We are having a huge party when this is all over! Count on it!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About this Series:

Ephesians contains only six chapters. It’s a mere 155 verses. If you read it straight through, it would take you about 20 minutes. Yet the rich wisdom packed in this book will take you much longer than 20 minutes to apply and live out. If you want to use what you learn from this book, read it slowly. And often.
Paul, the author, wrote to the people in Ephesus by starting out with a few seemingly insignificant statements. A reader could easily gloss over these words in an attempt to get to “the important stuff.” But if you do that, you’ll regret it. By overlooking even some of the words here, you may short-circuit the work God wants to do in your heart instead of digging deep into who God declared you to be. And who God declared you to be is more powerful than who you feel you are.
The One you fix your eyes on is both the source and the object of your identity.  When you get the focus right, you’ll gain a lot from this study.

Before You Watch The Video

Unity is one of the toughest things to pursue. Because our agendas never line up exactly, someone always has to set aside his or her own desire to unite with another person or group.
For us to pursue unity together, each person needs to choose humility. It’s a two-way street, contingent upon the Holy Spirit working in each of our lives. Part of Christian unity is intentionally allowing love to win instead of our personal agendas.
When we live together in unity, we function as one unit, or body. A healthy body is a unified body. Each body part contributes its specified amount, doing its specified duty, to serve the collective whole.

Ephesians Series

Week 4 Video
“Pursuing Unity in Christ”:
Our identity unified in the local church

Lesson 4
Scripture

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high,
 he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

As we continue our discussion on unity, think through the context of your local church.
1. What evidence have you seen that your church is characterized by a supernatural unity?
2. What action steps have you personally taken to fight against disunity?

Read Ephesians 4:1-3.
3. How would you define the characteristics that Paul used to describe the Christian life? (Humility, Gentleness, Patience, Love)
4. What is the opposite of each of those character qualities?
5. How have you seen each of these contributing to or drawing away from eagerly maintaining “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”?

People don’t drift toward unity, but away from it. Part of “maintaining” sometimes means having difficult conversations. God often shows up in these awkward conversations as we’re trying to reconcile differences. It shouldn’t surprise us because Jesus cares about the unity of His church.
6. When was the last time you “maintained” unity by having a difficult conversation with someone?
Knowing what you know about the value of unity for the health of your church, how would you begin a difficult conversation now?
Tony highlights the 3 main things that unite us:

1. Character (Eph. 4:2)
2. Calling (Eph. 4:4)
3. Confession (Eph. 4:4-6)

7. How have you seen these qualities build unity among Christians?
8. How have you seen damaging effects in relationships, and specifically in a church, when any of these three areas are neglected?

Tony says in the video:
Some people say, “I don’t see any need for a church. I don’t see how the church is going to bless me.” That’s wrong-headed thinking, so I flip it on them and say, “Have you ever thought that the church needs you and your spiritual gifts?

9. How would you help someone who “doesn’t need church” see the mutual benefit of community with a story from your own life?

Question of the Week: 

How have you used your spiritual gifts in the church?

Closing Prayer

Lord thank you for giving us all unique gifts. Help us to use our gifts to serve you and to serve others. When we have conflict, help us to work through it in ways that honor you and keep peace between us. Thank you for loving us and for wanting the absolute best for all of us. We love you and pray all these things in Jesus' name, Amen.

This Week: Read Ephesians Chapter 4

Prayer Request


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Week 8 - May 6th

A note from Neal Rinehart: 
Hello Group! Just want you to know we all miss you on Wednesday nights and look forward to when we can all be back together playing games, singing songs and learning about Jesus through the Bible in our small groups. If you get a chance, check out Jeremy Camp's song and video Keep Me In The Moment. It's about being in the present with family even when there are stresses and strains that want to pull you away. I hope you are able to keep up with academic work and are able to pitch in around the house, maybe doing the dishes, dusting, laundry(If you are allowed), and vacuuming. I will be praying for The Lord's blessing in your life and that you are able to experience it!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About this Series:

Ephesians contains only six chapters. It’s a mere 155 verses. If you read it straight through, it would take you about 20 minutes. Yet the rich wisdom packed in this book will take you much longer than 20 minutes to apply and live out. If you want to use what you learn from this book, read it slowly. And often.
Paul, the author, wrote to the people in Ephesus by starting out with a few seemingly insignificant statements. A reader could easily gloss over these words in an attempt to get to “the important stuff.” But if you do that, you’ll regret it. By overlooking even some of the words here, you may short-circuit the work God wants to do in your heart instead of digging deep into who God declared you to be. And who God declared you to be is more powerful than who you feel you are.
The One you fix your eyes on is both the source and the object of your identity.  When you get the focus right, you’ll gain a lot from this study.

Before You Watch The Video

We’ve learned the truth that Jesus died to reconcile us to God, and this week we’ll dive into the truth that Jesus died to reconcile us to others. As important as it is for us to live at peace with God (our vertical relationship), it’s vital for us to live at peace with others (our horizontal relationships). If that challenges you already, then good! Here we go!

Ephesians Series

Week 3 Video
“New Life in Community”:
our identity reconciled with people.

Lesson 3
Scripture

11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. 17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. 19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.
Ephesians 2:11-20

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

When we think of rivalries, it’s easy to think of sports teams or political parties. It’s easy because of how quickly they come to mind, and because they tend to operate outside of us. Maybe we don’t have to look our rivals in the eye every week. It becomes more personal when your rival is across the room from you.
1. Have you ever met a difficult person? What made this person so difficult?
Read Ephesians 2:11-12.
Paul described us as “separated from Christ, alienated.” 
2. What does it mean to be alienated from someone?
3. Whom do you feel alienated from in this season of life?
4. What would reconciliation look like for you?

In verses 11-12, Paul tells us that we were apart from Christ, separated from God, and without hope. It’s really a bleak picture. But an amazing change is described in verse 13.
Read Ephesians 2:13-14.
Christ’s blood is the bridge that brings us near, though we were far off.
5. What’s significant about “the blood of Christ”?
6. Based on this passage, what should we do when there’s a wall between us and someone else?

Read Ephesians 2:19-22.
The apostle Paul shared three pictures here of what our new family, the one that we become a part of when we are reconciled to each other, looks like.
7. Which of these pictures do you need the most in your life right now? Why?
8. How would you respond to someone that says, “I love Jesus, but I don’t love his church”?
Being reconciled with God doesn’t mean working in unity with people is easy. Even though it’s not easy to live in unity with other believers, Jesus died to bring us together. So unity must be important!
He died for His church—that’s all of us—you, me, people who are different from us, and even people who are legitimately difficult to get along with!

Question of the Week: 

Think about a relationship that is strained or broken in your life—especially a relationship with another Christian.
Here are a few action steps you could take this week:
1. Pray for that person.
2. Ask God to soften your heart toward him or her.
3. Call him or her.
4. Write this person a note, an email, or a text.
5. Have a face-to-face meeting.
What action step will you take this week to begin to work on healing that relationship?

Closing Prayer

Lord we thank you for loving all of us. We pray that you will lead and guide us as we navigate strained or broken relationships with others. We pray that you would change our hearts as we choose to love in your name. Thank you for bringing us into relationship with you through your son Jesus. We love you, and give ourselves to you today. In Jesus name, Amen.

This Week: Read Ephesians Chapter 3

Prayer Request


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Week 7 - April  29th

A note from Bethany Pierce: 
Hi everyone! We are several weeks into this journey and at this point you are probably feeling ready to get out of your house and get back to normal! And I don't blame you!
Here's my thought to share with you though. God has created the church to be a community and part of being in that community is looking out for each other. There are many people out there, including many of our grandparents and other family members, who could be devastated by this virus. Your decision to stay home and to make decisions for the benefit of others is living out Jesus' command to love God and love others (Matthew 28:36-40). Think of how humble Jesus was and how he served those around him. He even told his disciples, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). Jesus is our example of how we are to love and care for others and that means sometimes putting someone else's wellbeing first. Is it easy? No! But, is it worth it? Yes! Every choice you make to love others is making you more like Jesus.
The Apostle Paul said it this way: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others" (Philippians 2:3-4).
I know this journey hasn't been easy for many of you, but it's often the difficult moments in life where God works the most in your heart. Give him that space to work, ok?! I am praying for you all!
My prayer for you this week echoes Paul's prayer to the Ephesians. "For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better" (Ephesians 1:15-17).

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About this Series:

Ephesians contains only six chapters. It’s a mere 155 verses. If you read it straight through, it would take you about 20 minutes. Yet the rich wisdom packed in this book will take you much longer than 20 minutes to apply and live out. If you want to use what you learn from this book, read it slowly. And often.
Paul, the author, wrote to the people in Ephesus by starting out with a few seemingly insignificant statements. A reader could easily gloss over these words in an attempt to get to “the important stuff.” But if you do that, you’ll regret it. By overlooking even some of the words here, you may short-circuit the work God wants to do in your heart instead of digging deep into who God declared you to be. And who God declared you to be is more powerful than who you feel you are.
The One you fix your eyes on is both the source and the object of your identity.  When you get the focus right, you’ll gain a lot from this study.

Before You Watch The Video

During group session 1, you were encouraged to think through ways your life is different because of Jesus.
 
As you reflected on that question this past week, what other aspects of your life came to mind?

In this week’s video, Tony will walk us through Ephesians 2:1-10 as we dive deeper into who we were before Jesus, and the new life we are given through His death. We’ll see how our identity is radically formed through the greatest gift we’ve ever been given.

Ephesians Series

Week 2 Video
“New Life in Christ”:
Our identity reconciled with God.

Lesson 2 Scripture

Made Alive with Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1-10  (NIV)

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

More likely than not, you don’t like to think of yourself as an enemy of God. But as Tony explained while looking at Ephesians 2, that’s exactly what we were before Jesus.
Read Ephesians 2:1-3.
In this passage Paul used the phrase, “Among whom we all...like the rest of mankind” (v. 3). Nobody is exempt from the truth that, apart from Christ, we are dead. Nobody.

1. Why is it so significant that Paul referred to us as “dead” people?
Paul was not saying that you (before Christ) were as bad as you could be. You could have acted much worse than you did. You may have even done some “good” deeds! What Paul was saying, though, is that without Christ as your King, without having been reborn a new creature in Christ, your motives and actions couldn’t ultimately please God. (See Rom. 8:8.) And because you were cut off from the source of all life: God himself.
Dead things can’t make themselves alive. So, if we were dead, then we need to be made alive.
Read Ephesians 2:4-7

Tony says, “Works matter to the Christian, but we’re not working for salvation, we’re working from salvation.” The words for and from are subtle, but incredibly important. The apostle Paul chose his words carefully.
2. If our works don’t save us, then what’s their purpose?
Read Ephesians 2:8-9.
3. Why is it vital to know that salvation is a gift, not a prize?
Tony walks through a short list of other religions, mentioning how Christianity is different than all other world religions.
4. What makes Christianity distinct among all word religions and philosophies?
5. How would you explain the “good news” of the gospel.

It’s important to not only know who you are in Christ, but to also be able to share the good news of how Christ has given you a new identity.
6. Who were you before you came to know Christ?
7. How did you come to faith in Christ? Name a few people who influenced you.

Question of the Week: 

How are you different now?  Name two or three events that have been significant in your spiritual life.

Closing Prayer

Lord, help me to always remember the great gift you have given me of new life in you. When sin seems appealing, remind me that it separates me from you. Help me to know that you have big plans for me, that you made me with a purpose, and that you love me. Help me to share your love with others. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

This Week: Read Ephesians Chapter 2

Prayer Request


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Week 6 - April 22nd

A note from Gina Estep: Hey guys I hope everyone is well and staying healthy.  I miss seeing all of you on Wednesday nights and I can’t wait till we are all able to worship together again.  Until then I just want you all to know that Gods got this.  I’m sure you all are frustrated, annoyed, concerned, and maybe even a little mad.  But please just trust in the Lord.  Matthew 19:26 says Jesus looked at them and said “ With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  So just remember that God is here for all of us and we will get through this.  Stay safe, Stay healthy, and be good.  Can’t wait to see you.
                        💕 Gina

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About this Series:

Ephesians contains only six chapters. It’s a mere 155 verses. If you read it straight through, it would take you about 20 minutes. Yet the rich wisdom packed in this book will take you much longer than 20 minutes to apply and live out. If you want to use what you learn from this book, read it slowly. And often.
Paul, the author, wrote to the people in Ephesus by starting out with a few seemingly insignificant statements. A reader could easily gloss over these words in an attempt to get to “the important stuff.” But if you do that, you’ll regret it. By overlooking even some of the words here, you may short-circuit the work God wants to do in your heart instead of digging deep into who God declared you to be. And who God declared you to be is more powerful than who you feel you are.
The One you fix your eyes on is both the source and the object of your identity.  When you get the focus right, you’ll gain a lot from this study.

Before You Watch The Video

1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

2. How have your goals and dreams changed over the last few years?

Ephesians Series

Week 1 Video
“The Struggle in Ephesus”: where our
identity is centered

Lesson 1 Scriptures

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:1-8

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
Acts 19:8-10

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

1. How have you seen a friend’s behavior change when he or she started a new relationship?
2. How does your relationship with Jesus affect the way you live your life?
3. If you’ve been following Jesus for a number of years, how have things changed since you first came to know Him?
Read aloud Ephesians 1:1-2.
Paul, an apostle, wrote this book and began his greeting with the words “Grace to you and peace ...” (v. 2).

4. How does knowing that you’re covered in grace and peace affect the way you see yourself?
When we read the Bible, we may feel there’s a huge gap between the lives of the people in Scripture and our lives. But the culture Paul described in the Book of Ephesians is oddly similar to ours today.
5. In what things (for example: activities, behaviors, friendships, personalities) does culture tell us to find our identity?
6. According to the video and Tony’s teaching from Acts 19 (about Paul’s time in Ephesus), what did the apostle Paul do in an effort to change the culture in Ephesus (v. 10)? What happened as a result?
7. How should living in the reality of a new identity change the way you:
get along with others at school and church?
respond when others criticize you?
view success and popularity?
spend your summer vacation?

Question of the Week:

It’s easy to see following God as a relationship that limits what we are “allowed” to do in life. As you read the Bible, you see the Ten Commandments and a bunch of other rules that keep you from doing things. You may be tempted to say, “I wish God would let me ...” But the reality is that being followers of Jesus and rooting our identity in Him provides us many privileges.
As a follower of Christ, whose identity is rooted in Him, what privileges do you have that others don’t?

Closing Prayer

God be with us in this time. Help us to experience your grace and your peace and to extend that grace and peace to others as well. In this study help us to really understand our true identity in you. Help us to live it out with confidence each day. Be at work in our world with this virus. Bring healing, to bodies, hearts and minds and draw people to you in new ways, we pray. We love you and we give ourselves to you in Jesus' name, Amen.

This Week: Read Ephesians Chapter 1

Prayer Request


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Week 5 - April 15th

A note from Jason & Lisa Ensminger: Hey Everyone! We hope that you all are doing well and staying healthy. We miss our Wednesday nights of worship and hope to get back to them really soon! As we continue to be separated, we encourage you to continue to grow relationship with Jesus by spending time daily in prayer, reading your Bible, and serving others. This also is great time to keep connected with family, friends, and look for ways to encourage others! In these uncertain times, our family is trying to keep our focus on Jesus. Also, Psalm 62:8 which says, "O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge."  Just a reminder to check the Weekly Online lesson along worship music on the the Church website. We encourage you to  answer the questions yourself, with family, or with a friend on the phone. Feel free to share your answer to the Question of the Week and a Prayer Request. We are praying for all of you.  Blessings, Jason and Lisa Ensminger

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About the Series

In a culture obsessed with selfies, celebrities, money, and success, it’s not difficult to understand why so many of us struggle with being a little self-centered at times. But while “me first” may the norm for the rest of the world, Jesus showed us what it looks like to live a generous, compassionate, selfless, “after you” kind of life. In this 4-week series, students will be challenged to move away from the world’s “me first” attitude and embrace the “after you” message of Jesus by noticing needs, opening their hands, using their gifts, and sharing their joy.

"After You" Series

Week 4 Video
Big Idea: Living selflessly requires sharing your joy.

Lesson 4 Scriptures

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength
Philippians 4:11-13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

1. What's great about your circumstances right now?
 2. What's not so great about your circumstances right now?
 3. Do you know anyone who has experienced joy in the midst of difficult circumstances?
 4.  How did that person impact you through their example?
 5. When you're unhappy or exhausted, how do you find joy?
 6.  Who is God to you? Explain your answer.
 7. Read Hebrews 13:8. How can this verse help us find joy?
 8. What has God done for you? Explain your answer.
 9. Who do you know who needs to experience joy?
 10. Do you think sharing your joy can help you find more joy? How?

Question of the Week:

What's one way you're going to share your joy this week?


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Prayer Request

Closing Prayer

Lord, our circumstances right now are not ideal. Help me to remember the difference between happiness and joy.  
Thank you for your love. Help me to lean into your love, to spend time getting to know you better, to count my blessings, 
and to start fresh each day, trusting in you.  As I find my joy, Lord, help me to share my joy with those around me.  You are 
good and I know you've got this God!  I love you and I pray all these things in your name. Amen!

Week 4 - April 8th

A note from Andy & Karen: Hi Everyone! We hope you are doing well and staying healthy! We miss seeing all of your smiling faces and worshiping together on Wednesday nights! Social distancing and staying at home are not something we are used to doing, but you can still make the best of it if you choose to do so! This is the perfect time to tackle projects -such as spring cleaning your room (and donating any unwanted items to someone who needs them!) or helping your siblings/parents with work they need to get done…or sending a hand written note to someone you know who could use some encouragement -you will be blessed by it! It is also a great opportunity to spend some extra time to dig into God’s word and discover information that at times we are otherwise “too busy” to see.  If you have not tried the Right Now Media app offered as a gift from Grace Point, we encourage you to do so. It is a treasure chest of biblical content. We are currently watching “Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis” and we think you would enjoy it too – give it a try! Stay positive and purposefully look for the good things that God is doing during this season of time. We are praying for all of you and look forward to the time we can see you again!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

This Holy Week, really consider God's amazing love for you!
Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About the Series

In a culture obsessed with selfies, celebrities, money, and success, it’s not difficult to understand why so many of us struggle with being a little self-centered at times. But while “me first” may the norm for the rest of the world, Jesus showed us what it looks like to live a generous, compassionate, selfless, “after you” kind of life. In this 4-week series, students will be challenged to move away from the world’s “me first” attitude and embrace the “after you” message of Jesus by noticing needs, opening their hands, using their gifts, and sharing their joy.

"After You" Series

Week 3 Video
Big Idea: Living selflessly requires using your gifts.

Lesson 3 Scriptures

 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
1 Corinthians 12:12-21

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:3-5

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

1. Talk about a time you wanted to be or feel unique.
2. Which one of these is most difficult for you: knowing your role, fulfilling your role, or supporting others' roles? Why?
3. Talk about a time you used your unique gifts to serve someone.
4. How might using your gifts to serve others benefit you?
5.  Think about one of your friends or family members. What is one of their unique gifts?
6.  What are some of your unique gifts? Brainstorm ways you can use your unique gifts to serve others.
7.  Did this lesson spark any new ideas that you're excited about?
8. Read Romans 12:3-5. What else can we learn and apply from Paul's words here?

Question of the Week:

What's one thing you're going to do this week to use your gifts to serve others?


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Prayer Request

Closing Prayer

Lord thank you for blessing me with unique gifts. Help me to use my gifts to bless the lives of others. In this time of social distancing, I may not
be able to use my gifts in the same way, but I can definitely still bless the people around me, by serving them and ultimately serving you.
Thank you God for gifting me, help me to keep my eyes open to all the opportunities you give me to use those gifts to love others in
your name.  I pray all these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Week 3 - April 1st

A note from Doug & Laura: Hi guys! We miss seeing you all and hope that everyone is doing well and staying healthy.  Our 
situation of social distancing is such an unusual thing for us. We are so used to our familiar routines of school, church, and hanging
out with others, so when all those things are not available to us it can become challenging. We are blessed to have so many means of
  communicating with others, which keeps us connected, and for that we are thankful! Remember to live out your faith during this time. 
Check on your friends and especially those you know may be struggling. Look for ways to help others in any way you can. We will 
continue to pray for all of you and look forward to being together again soon!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About the Series

In a culture obsessed with selfies, celebrities, money, and success, it’s not difficult to understand why so many of us struggle with being a little self-centered at times. But while “me first” may the norm for the rest of the world, Jesus showed us what it looks like to live a generous, compassionate, selfless, “after you” kind of life. In this 4-week series, students will be challenged to move away from the world’s “me first” attitude and embrace the “after you” message of Jesus by noticing needs, opening their hands, using their gifts, and sharing their joy.

"After You" Series

Week 2 Video
Big Idea: Living selflessly requires opening your hands.

Lesson 2 Scriptures

 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Luke 10:25-16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18

Discussion Questions: (talk with a friend, sibling or parent)

1. What's your favorite convenience? In what way does it cost someone something?
2. Have you ever ignored someone who was in need? What happened?
3. If you had helped that person, how would it have inconvenienced you? If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
4. How could you be more open-handed with your time?
5. How could you be more open-handed with your money?
6. Is there anyone you've been ignoring because of the differences between you?  What are those differences?
7. How could you be more open to the people you've been ignoring?
8. How could your life be different if you lived more open-handedly?
9. Read I John 3:16-18. What can we learn or apply from this passage?

Question of the Week:

This week, how will you be more intentional about opening your hands to others?


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Prayer Request

Closing Prayer

God, help me to live more generously. Help me to be more open handed with my time, with my money and with my possessions. Help me to have eyes to see the people who I may be ignoring. Give me a heart that desires to not only see them, but to love them in whatever way you call me too.  Lord, use me to make a difference in the lives of others.  I pray all these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Week 2 - March 25th

A note from Jeanie: Hi guys I just wanted to take a minute and encourage you to stay positive during this time. There is going to be a temptation to begin complaining about all the things you wish you could be doing right now. I get it, but try not to make this situation all about you. When you start feeling down, instead of complaining, take a minute and thank God for your health, pray for those who are not healthy, look for creative ways to connect with friends, and get outside in the sunshine! You have an amazing opportunity to be an encourager to others, but you can't do that if you are allowing yourself to go down the "poor me" path with Eeyore! Keep your hope up and trust in God! I'm praying for all of you!!

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

About the Series

In a culture obsessed with selfies, celebrities, money, and success, it’s not difficult to understand why so many of us struggle with being a little self-centered at times. But while “me first” may the norm for the rest of the world, Jesus showed us what it looks like to live a generous, compassionate, selfless, “after you” kind of life. In this 4-week series, students will be challenged to move away from the world’s “me first” attitude and embrace the “after you” message of Jesus by noticing needs, opening their hands, using their gifts, and sharing their joy.

"After You" Series

Week 1 Video
Big Idea: Living selflessly starts with noticing others' needs.

Lesson1 Scriptures

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied,  and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.  The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
Mark 6:37-44



Discussion Questions: (call a friend and discuss)

1. Have you ever failed to notice something obvious?
2. What's one situation where failing to notice something important could put you or someone else in danger?
3.  Have you ever failed to notice someone else's needs? What happened?
4.  Why is it difficult for you, specifically, to notice others' needs?
5. In what ways did Jesus notice others' needs and live an "after you" kind of life?
6. Read Mark 6:37-44. What do you think the rest of this story can teach us about noticing and meetings others' needs?
7. Why does it matter whether we notice others' needs or not?
8. What do you think the difference is between not being selfish and being selfless?
9.  Do you think noticing someone else's needs could ever benefit you too? Why or how?

Question of the Week:

This week, how can you be more intentional about noticing the needs of others?


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Prayer Request

Closing Prayer

Lord, open my eyes to see the needs of others and give me a heart that desires to meet those needs. In this world it is so easy to get caught up in my own stuff and in myself only. Help me to focus on you first and on others second. I know you want to use me to bless people, help me to be open to being used by you for that purpose. I pray all these things in the name of Jesus, Amen!

Week 1 - March 18th

Verse of the Week

Worship Songs

Spend some time in worship before you begin the lesson this week!

Something To Think About Before the Video

When we know whose we are, it changes how we live. We can live with purpose. We can live knowing that even our best successes, our most favorable wins, our glory days, our most expensive and biggest toys don’t matter in the big picture. What matters is the legacy we leave behind.
Who we are has to be bigger than what we do. Who we are has to be bigger than what we own, what we look like, those we know, or where we live. Who we are has to transcend the moment. It has to carry a purpose that echoes through eternity.
What are we known for? Do we want to be defined by binging on Netflix? Or being the most fashionable? Or for always dampening a mood with our negativity? Do we want to be known for how many books we’ve sold, how many social-media followers we have, or how many people like us?
The most important decision we will ever make is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The life that Jesus came to give us, encompasses way more than just saying a prayer. It’s about living for him. Making a difference. Taking a stand. Doing something. We may not be able to impact a million people for Jesus, but we can certainly impact one.
God wants to use us. But we need to accept the call. We need to say yes. Whether that means encouraging a neighbor, forgiving a friend, loving a person that you’ve been shying away from because they look different. It’s amazing what can happen when you step out in faith and choose to live and make choices that have a lasting impact.

Shaken Bible Study

Discovering your true identity in the midst of life's storm.
Tim Tebow
Big Idea: Week 4 - It doesn’t matter how many games we win or lose, how much money we have, or how successful we are. What matters is whether or not we are living for Jesus and leaving a mark beyond our lives.

Video Recap

Tim said, one person can change everything.
We all have the ability to do something.

What really matters is giving what you have to make a difference in the lives of others.

Are you willing to give your time, your energy, your money, or your resources to make a difference?

Tim said, my goal has always been to live a life of significance, of meaning. We do this by loving God and Loving others.

Discussion Questions: (call a friend and discuss)

1. It’s easy to lose perspective when we get caught up in our own problems, our failures, the times we’ve fallen short, or what we want that we don’t
      have. How can you gain a new vantage point by doing something for someone else?

2. Beauty, health, money, wins- they’re all temporary. How can prioritizing things with eternal value free you from fixating on the superficial?

3. Tim is a firm believer in the statement, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Talk about a stand you have taken that has impacted
      something or someone else.

4. What do you want to be known for?

5. In what ways do you believe you have heard God speak to your heart?

6. How do you intentionally seek to hear from God?

7. Tim talked about being drawn to talk to certain people. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt God in your heart leading you to start a
      conversation with a stranger or to make a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while? What was the outcome?

8. Micah 6:8 offers us great advice on how to live in a way that exemplifies Jesus:
The Lord has shown you what is good.
    He has told you what he requires of you.
You must act with justice.
    You must love to show mercy.
And you must be humble as you live in the sight of your God.
In what ways can you be just, love kindness/mercy, and walk humbly with God?

9. How has someone made an eternal impact on your life? (like praying for you, inviting you to church, showing you kindness when no one else would)

10. How can you do the same for someone else?

Question of the Week:

What can you do right now to begin (or continue) to live a life of significance and leave a legacy for Jesus?


Just In Case You Need A Holy Work Out!

Prayer Request

Closing Prayer

Lord thank you for your love! Help us to be living a legacy of love right now, in our homes, in our social circles,  
and in our community.  Grow us each day into the unique individuals you have created us to be. 
Help us to always remember that we find our true identity in you! 
We love you and we pray all these things in  Jesus' name,  Amen.