Welcome to the weekly podcast from Willow Park Church in Kelowna, BC. Here you will find weekly messages from all of our services, including Church@33, South, Creekside and Pursuit. To learn more about the Willow Park Church network, visit our website at willowparkchurch.com.
A Great Light has Dawned(Hwy 33)
Victory over the darkness in our lives doesn’t come through self-help or by force. It comes through a relationship with Jesus, the One who came into the world as a baby to overcome the darkness.
Text: Isaiah 9:1-7
1) Waiting isn’t something that we’re used to in our culture, but Advent is a season of intentional waiting - waiting for the coming of Christ. What are some ways that you can slow down this Advent season as you wait for Christ?
2) Isaiah prophesied that victory over despair, darkness, and oppression would come through a baby, who would also be God. If you were Israel, how would you have responded to this promise, that a baby would be your saviour? Why do you think God sent Jesus to be a lowly baby instead of a “warrior-king”?
3) Just as he will end all darkness and oppression and conflict one day, God promises to come into our own darkness and shine his light through a relationship with Jesus. How has Jesus brought light into your life? Where do you need his light to shine currently?
4) Jesus has come to seek and to save the lost. What are some ways that we can reach out to people who don’t know Jesus this Christmas season?
Who Do You Say I Am (Hwy33)
Jesus is often labelled as just a good teacher of morals. But what if he’s the Saviour that everyone needs? What if he’s the Messiah? How would that affect our daily lives and our eternity?
Text: Mark 8:27-9:1
1) Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?”. In our culture, what are some common beliefs about Jesus?
2) In our lives, we will face many difficulties, trials, and obstacles that will reveal to us our brokenness and the world’s brokenness. In these moments, Phil said, we must remind ourselves of the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. Why is this truth so important for us to remember? How has this truth impacted you during difficult seasons of life?
3) Phil said that once we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, everything in our lives should change, because we’re no longer living for ourselves, but for Christ. Do you find it difficult to lay your life down for Jesus? What does laying our lives down look like practically for you? Share a time when Jesus called you to do something that you didn’t want to do or found challenging to do. Once you did what he called you to do, how did you feel?
4) “It’s worth living a life completely devoted to Jesus.” Life will be difficult, but the reward of eternity in his presence is glorious. Is eternity with Jesus something you think about often? If so, how does it encourage you to keep following him now?
A Question About Abundance (Hwy 33)
Maybe you feel like you have nothing to offer to God. You need to know that nobody and nothing is too small to be used by Jesus, for his glory. Come to him with your scraps, and he will satisfy you, and transform you.
Text: Mark 8:14-21
1) Sometimes, as Christians, we can think that God only uses those that we see on a stage (preachers, worship leaders, etc), and that we need to offer Him big things in order to see a big impact in His kingdom. But Jesus often talks about the small things, like giving two pennies, and having a mustard seed of faith. What are your thoughts about this? Why do we overlook the small things that we can offer God?
2) Remember that Jesus takes these small things and transforms them and uses them for his glory! What is something small that you can do or start doing? Or as Phil asked, “What is in your hand? What desires do you have?”
3) Phil talked about how the disciples became worried and anxious about having no food, even though Jesus just fed thousands with a few loaves and fish. What are some things in your life that you are worried about? How can you bring those things to Jesus and trust him with them?
4) “Make it your whole heart’s desire to know and see Jesus.” We truly find all that we need when we pursue a relationship with Jesus. How can you pursue this relationship this week? What is helpful for you in growing this relationship? What distracts you from growing the relationship?
Healing (Hwy 33)
Text: Mark 10:46-52
In the New Testament, we see Jesus regularly healing people. Is this something that we can expect to see now?
1) In the bible, healing is something that we see regularly - especially in Jesus’ life. What has been your experience with healing and the topic of healing within the church? What has been taught? Is praying for healing something that you’re comfortable with or not? Explain.
2) Phil emphasized the importance of intimacy with Christ during times of illness and pain. Why is this intimacy so important? How have you experienced the closeness of Christ during difficult times? How can we develop intimacy with Christ through pain?
3) God often uses our prayers for non-Christians as a way to introduce them to Christ’s love for them. Is this something you’ve experienced or heard of before? Why do you think praying for healing is a way of showing someone the love of God? Share some ideas about how we can reach out and offer prayer for non-Christians.
4) Phil said that we can ask God the question, “What are You doing in this time of sickness?” Have you ever asked God this question before? What do you believe he said to you?
Questions About the Reach of Love (Hwy 33)
Outrageous: Questions about the Reach of Love
Text: Luke 10:25-37
The love of Christ is for everyone. This message of love is what Christians get to share, and we share it by the power of the Holy Spirit and by living a life of prayer.
1) The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most popular parables that Jesus ever told. After listening to the sermon, what was something that you hadn’t thought about in relation to the parable? Was there a quote or idea that stood out to you?
2) “God wants to clothe you with the power of the Holy Spirit,” so that we can love him and love the world. Share a time when the Holy Spirit prompted you to love someone that you wouldn’t normally think about loving (giving money or food, praying with someone, etc). Did that experience make you think differently about God’s love for the world?
3) “The most important thing you can do in your life is be a person of prayer.” Phil emphasized that if we want to love people like Jesus did and does, we must be at Jesus’ feet in prayer. How or why does prayer impact our love for people? What are some practical ways that we can become people of prayer?
4) Phil talked about how we were the man lying on the street, beaten and broken, but that Jesus came, lifted us up, and brought us back to life - praise Jesus! This is the kind of love that we are to show to others. How can we share this kind of love with the people around us this week, in word and deed? In our workplaces, families, neighbourhoods?
Identity: What is Your Name? (Hwy 33)
Identity: What is your name?
Text: Luke 16:19-21
Who am I?
Whether we know it or not, we are all trying to find the answer to this question. Jesus shows us that the only way to know who we truly are is to be in relationship with him. There, we will find our true identity, as his beloved child.
1) Phil’s sermon centered around identity and finding out who you really are. Share a time in your life when you wrestled with the question, “Who am I?”. Why do you think the question, “Who am I?” is an important question to answer?
2) Jesus, in the parable of the poor and rich man, gives the poor man a name - Lazarus. This is the only time he gives a person a name within a parable. What do you think is the significance of this? How does God reveal his compassion and love in naming the poor man?
3) Jesus came to give everyone who struggles and wrestles with sin and pain a new start, even the man called “Legion.” He can take the wreckage of our lives and transform us, and make us a new person, giving us a new name. How does it make you feel to hear that Jesus gives us a new start, a new name? Do you find it difficult to know that God loves you, no matter what your past and present looks like? How has he transformed your heart?
4) Phil said that we overcome the battle inside of our hearts by getting alone with God, being with him, wrestling with him, and asking him to change us. As we do this, God gives us a new identity. How can we spend time alone with God this week? What does your alone time with him look like? How does this alone time with him affect you?