55 episodes

The latest sermons from Grand Lake Church. Learn more at www.grandlakechurch.org.

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The latest sermons from Grand Lake Church. Learn more at www.grandlakechurch.org.

    The Power of Prayer

    The Power of Prayer

    Scripture and questions for study and reflection:

    Read James 5:13-20.

    1. In verses 13 and 14, James lists three situations and gives us advice regarding what we should do in each. What are the three situations and what does he tell us to do in each? How are the responses different for each situation? How are they similar?

    2. When someone is sick, why is it important for them to “call the elders of the church to pray over them”?

    3. Verse 15 talks about the sick person being “made well” and “raised up.” What does James mean by this? Is there a danger in this verse being misinterpreted and misused? If so, what is that danger and how can it be misused?

    4. Verse 16 discusses confession, prayer and healing. Francis Chan refers to this as “proper channels.” What do you think he means by that?

    5. Verse 16 concludes by saying, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” How are the two sentences of verse 16 related? Is confession needed for righteousness? Why/why not?

    6. What is James trying to tell us by lifting up Elijah as an example?

    7. Pastor Mick shared a story about his grandpa and how a physical illness turned him back to God for spiritual healing. How does that story help make sense of today’s passage?

    8. Pastor Mick shared about a local ministry called S.O.L.S. (Saving One Lost Sheep). How might verses 19 and 20 be the basis for that ministry?

    9. Francis Chan uses verses 19 and 20 to say that “God uses us to change someone’s eternity.” What does he mean by that? How could we do that?

    Prayer for the Week:
    Gracious and loving God, we confess that we all have sickness in our lives. Some of us have physical sickness, some emotional sickness, some spiritual sickness, and some have all of the above. Whatever our illnesses may be, we turn to you as the Great Physician. We lift up prayers to you and we ask others to pray on our behalf, because we believe in the power of prayer. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Bring forth healing in whatever ways you deem fit. And as we are healed, help us to reach out to those wandering from the truth and bring them back, so that their sins can be forgiven and their destiny changed. We pray all of this in the strong name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

    • 32 min
    Hang in There

    Hang in There

    Scripture and questions for study and reflection:

    Read James 5:7-12.

    1. Today James talks a lot about patience. According to verse 7, what did the people need to be patient about? What do we need to be patient about today?

    2. What analogy does James use in verse 7 to help the people understand patience? Do you find that analogy helpful?

    3. What are some things in your life that you have to wait for (be patient) that are totally worth the wait in the end? How can this help us better understand our need for patience in awaiting Jesus’ return?

    4. Pastor Mick discussed thinking of patience as “hopeful anticipation.” What did he mean by that? Do you like that definition? Why/why not?

    5. Why do you think James tells us not to grumble against one another in verse 9? What is the danger of such grumbling?

    6. Why do you think James references Job and the prophets when he talks about patience and perseverance through suffering? What can we learn from them?

    7. In verse 11 James talks about how we are blessed when we persevere through suffering. What does he mean? How does James 1:2-4 help us better understand what James is talking about in verse 11?

    8. How did Job ultimately experience that “the Lord is full of compassion and mercy” as James says in verse 11?

    9. Why is it important not to swear, but to let our “yes” be yes and our “no” be no? Was there ever a time when we lived like that? What was life like then?

    Prayer for the Week:
    Gracious and loving God, we confess that we are an “instant gratification” people who do not like to wait. Help us develop patience as we wait upon you, O Lord, for your leading and even your return. When suffering comes our way, give us the strength to endure it, persevering through our deep and abiding connection with you. Help us not to grumble at each other in the midst of suffering, but rather lift one another up in prayer and help each other in tangible ways. As we stand firm in you, Lord, help us to receive the full measure of your compassion and mercy. We pray all of this in the strong name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

    • 35 min
    Filthy Rich

    Filthy Rich

    Scripture and questions for study and reflection:
    Read James 5: 1-6

    1. Pastor Mick used The Message translation of “arrogant rich” as a description of the people to whom James is writing. Why is the word “arrogant” an important adjective for understanding this verse?

    2. What were the “arrogant rich” doing that has James so upset? Do these kinds of practices still occur today? If so, how and where?

    3. How might James be speaking to you in this passage as well, even if you are not one of the “arrogant rich”?

    4. Why does James tell the “arrogant rich” to weep and wail? What do they have to weep and wail about?

    5. Why do you think Pastor Mick titled this sermon “Filthy Rich”? (Hint: see verses 2 & 3)

    6. In the video this week, Pastor Chan says at one point, “Just read the Book.” How might “reading the Book” help us stop hoarding? How might “reading the Book” change our hearts and help us better understand how God wants us to live?

    7. What does John 3:16 tell us about God’s nature? How “ought” that influence the way we live our lives?

    8. What do you think about Wesley’s advice to “Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”? Why do you think he didn’t also say, “Spend all you can.”?

    9. Pastor Mick used the phrases “Reversal of Fortune” and “Grand Reversal” in today’s message. What did he mean? How are these phrases positive in some cases and negative in others? (Hint: think about repentant and unrepentant sin)

    Prayer for the Week:
    Gracious and loving God, we confess that we are filthy in our sin. Far too often we live more selfishly than selflessly. Forgive us, O Lord. Transform us more into the image of Jesus as we strive to submit more completely to you each and every day. Break our hearts for what breaks yours, O God. Inspire and empower us to help the least of these in our world, standing up for the oppressed and giving generously to those in need. Help us to be your instruments of justice so that people will see you through us. May all that we say and do point to you. We pray all of this in the strong name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

    • 38 min
    Good Lord Willing and the Creek Dont Rise

    Good Lord Willing and the Creek Dont Rise

    Scripture and questions for study and reflection:

    Read James 4:13-17.

    1. What does today’s passage teach us about human plans compared with God’s will?

    2. Is James saying we shouldn’t even bother planning? If not, what is he saying?

    3. James says, “you boast in your arrogant schemes.” What does he mean by that? How might what seems to be a good plan actually be an arrogant scheme without us even realizing it?

    4. What does James mean when he says we are a “mist”? How might that change the way you live your life?

    5. In what ways has Covid-19 validated James’ argument in this passage?

    6. Pastor Mick quoted an old country song saying, “If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise” several times in his message. What does this mean? Is this consistent with what James is saying? How could you apply this logic to your everyday life?

    7. Pastor Mick shared a season of his life when his plans appeared to be incongruent with God’s will. Have you ever had such a season in your life? What happened?

    8. Have you ever tried to run away from God’s plans for you (God’s will) because it was not what you wanted for yourself? If so, how did that work out for you? How was that a form of disobedience?

    9. Pastor Mick discussed verse 17 as describing sins of omission – things we know we should do but don’t actually do them. He said this is more common than we might think? Do you agree? What are some examples of sins of omission?

    Prayer for the Week:
    Gracious and loving God, we confess that sometimes we try to go our own way, make our own plans, and do our own things, regardless of what you are calling us to do. Please forgive us for this arrogant attitude of thinking we know better than you. Grant us the humility required to submit to your sovereignty in our lives. Help us to live the truly abundant life by trusting and obeying you in all circumstances. We pray all of this in the strong name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

    Cheating on God

    Cheating on God

    Scripture and questions for study and reflection:

    Read James 4:1-12.

    1. In this week’s video on Right Now Media, Francis Chan is speaking to us from Alcatraz. Why do you think he chose that location? How does that location connect with today’s passage?

    2. The leader guide from Francis Chan says, “This is a violent, ugly, selfish section.” What do you think he means by that? Do you agree? Why / why not? (hint: see verses 1 & 2)

    3. Chan says at the heart of this passage is our attempt to find fulfillment in things other than God? When have you been guilty of this? What does that look like in your life?

    4. James highlights the shortcomings of his audience’s prayer lives in verses 2 and 3. What does he say they are doing wrong? When have you made the same mistakes?

    5. Why do you think James refers to his audience as “adulterous people”? In what ways were they adulterous? In what ways are we adulterous people today?

    6. James connects our adulterous lives with God being jealous for us. What does it mean for God to be jealous like this? How does that make you feel? How might that change your relationship with God?

    7. James accuses his audience of being “double-minded.” What does he mean by that? In what ways are we sometimes double-minded in our lives today?

    8. In the middle of all the violence, ugliness and selfishness of this section, James says of God, “But he gives us more grace.” How does this make you feel?

    9. James concludes with a litany of things we are to do and not do in order to live in God’s grace. What are those things? (hint: verses 7-12) Why are these things so important? How easy are they to do/not do?

    Prayer for the Week:
    Lord Jesus, forgive us for all the times we have broken covenant with you, living idolatrous and adulterous lives. Cure the disease of our hearts through the power of your Holy Spirit. Help us to resist the devil and make him flee from us. As we draw near to you, draw near to us. Heal all of our brokenness. Help us to live the abundant life that you came to offer us. Give us the faith, the wisdom and the courage to accept your offer of grace. And may our lives never be the same again. We pray this in your strong and merciful name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

    Live Wisely Live Well

    Live Wisely Live Well

    Scripture and questions for study and reflection:

    Read James 3:13-18.

    1. What are the two kinds of wisdom James discusses in this passage? What is the difference between them?

    2. What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?

    3. James says that those who are wise and understanding “show it by their good life, by deed done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” Based on that, how would you answer his opening question, “Who is wise and understanding among you”? What is it about that person(s) that made you choose them?

    4. What are some ways that we see “earthly wisdom” playing out in our culture? In our own lives?

    5. Why do you think James focuses on “envy and selfish ambition” as the causes of “disorder and every evil practice”? How is this prevalent in our culture? How has it become systemic?

    6. Pastor Mick said that wisdom from above is exemplified, even personified, in Jesus. What did he mean by that? Do you agree? Why / why not?

    7. In verse 17, James provides a list of attributes that help identify wisdom from above. How are these attributes counter-cultural? How does this counter-cultural nature make wisdom from above more difficult to follow?

    8. In verse 18, James connects peacemakers with righteousness. What does this mean? Why is it important? What does it mean for you in everyday life?

    Prayer for the Week:
    Lord Jesus, forgive us for the times we have succumbed to worldly wisdom rather than your Godly wisdom from above. Forgive us for the times our selfish ambitions have led us down the wrong path and created all kinds of disorder. Help us to do better. Give us the wisdom we need to navigate life in ways that honor you. Help us to be those peacemakers who sow in peace and reap the harvest of righteousness. We ask all of this in your strong, precious and holy name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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