week 2

Week 2 - Easier





This week we continued our "Who Is This Man?" series by looking at an account that Mark shares about Jesus healing a paralyzed man.


Mark 2:3-12

Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

The paralyzed man's friends brought him to Jesus expecting a miracle. Jesus didn’t give them what they were expecting. They went with the very rational mindset that his biggest problem was immobility. They didn’t take him to see Jesus for spiritual restoration, instead they took him for physical healing. Jesus addressed something that this man had in common with all people, the man's sin. Jesus revealed to everyone that what we perceive as our biggest problem is not necessarily our biggest problem. The biggest problem of humanity is one that we all share. We all sin. And sin is a destructive force that brings death.



Just for fun. What is the worst gift you've ever received? Why didn't you want it?


On a more serious note - Have you ever gone to someone looking for a specific kind of help, only to be offered something that you weren't looking for? Was this experience positive, or frustrating?


We tend to believe that we have a pretty good grip on our own problems. If somebody tries to reframe the reality of our problems for us, we usually don't appreciate it. These men took their friend to Jesus, who essentially told them, "I'm not going to deal with his paralysis. I'm going to deal with his sin.” How would you have reacted to Jesus in this situation?


Have you ever had a moment when you realized that your biggest perceived problem was not really your biggest problem?


Presently, what do you perceive to be your biggest problem?


Do you think God would agree with you? Do you think He sees this as your biggest problem?


Sin leads only to death and destruction. But through His death, Jesus has saved us from the power of sin. How does understanding this reframe the way you think about life's biggest problems?



Pray that we will have eyes that are open to God's reality. Pray that what is important to God will be important to us; that we will see sin as a bigger issue than our earthly wants and needs. And pray that we will know and appreciate the incredible blessing of God's grace and salvation.



Pray that we will be a church that reflects Jesus' grace and forgiveness, while recognizing the truth of what sin is, and what it does.



Pray for Middle Eastern and North African Refugee individuals and families who live here in Orange County that are receiving assistance through FCC local partner, Voice of Refugees. Pray for the removal of obstacles refugees face as they rebuild their lives. Praise God for many who've come to follow Jesus. Pray for those who've come to follow Jesus that they would have boldness and courage to share the hope Jesus brings with their friends and family.

Week 2 - Let's Talk About Sex


This week's message was about sex. This can be a difficult thing to discuss in a group setting. We have groups that are comprised of married couples, singles, all men, all women, younger people, older people, etc. Because of your specific group dynamic, you may need to tailor the conversation a bit. If the following questions don’t dig deep enough for your group, then don’t hesitate to add questions that will take you deeper. If your group is new, it may not be ready for this discussion, and you may want to just hang out this time. Use your own discretion.


Scott pointed out that in the culture that the Bible was written in, the Roman world had a view of sex that was much like ours today. What are some things that our culture gets wrong about sex? What are the effects of these errant ways of thinking?

 Sex is more than a physical thing. It is also spiritual. This is why divorce, and break-ups of sexual relationships are so difficult. Jesus draws a connection between outward physical acts, and our inner being…

 Matthew 5:27-28

You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Why does our society compartmentalize inward thoughts away from outward actions?

Why does Jesus insist that the two are insuperable?

 The bottom line is that no matter what we have done or thought about doing, God's grace is bigger than our sin. Read John 8:1-11.

How does Jesus address the woman's accusers?

How does Jesus address the woman?

What does this teach us about how we should deal with sexual sin in other people's lives?

What does this teach us about handling sexual sin in our own lives?


Pray that we will be people who embrace God's model for all of relationships in our lives. Pray specifically for those who deal with sexual guilt, addictions, dysfunctions, and paste experiences that hinder the health of our intimate relationships.


Pray that FCC will be a place where people can experience the grace of Jesus in spite of their failings. Pray that we will show grace and love and hope to people who need a new beginning.


Pray for FCC Global Partners Nilda Cruz and Deaf Ministries International, in the Philippines as they meet the needs of marginalized people groups, communicate God's love, and empower the people they serve to be leaders and influential voices, sharing the hope of Jesus, in their own communities.

Week 2 - Old Vs. New


As we continued through our Reset series, Scott talked about the transfiguration. This event is detailed in Mark 9:1-8. Take a minute to read it.

Scott pointed out that Peter’s response was to default to his old religious practices. He wanted to build an altar or something commemorating Moses and Elijah. God did not even acknowledge Peter’s statement, but told him to listen to Jesus. 

We can be like Peter in the way we live out our faith. Instead of looking and listening in wonder, we think conventionally about what we have always known, and how we have always operated. We all experience a gravity that pulls us toward what we know. We can become fonder of the comforts and familiarities of the past than of the excitement and potential of the future. We can become more passionate about people who are like us, than we are about the people God wants us to reach.



What is an object that you no longer have, but brings back fond memories for you?


Why did you have to let go of that thing?


We have a tendency to romanticize the past. Do you have memories in your life that are probably sweeter than the reality once was?


When Peter witnessed the transfiguration, he immediately defaulted to the mode of religion that he was familiar with. Are there things in your life that you immediately default to?


In Mark 2, Jesus says not to put new wine into old wineskins. He did something new, and what he was doing could not be contained by the practices of the past. How can past practices become detrimental to forward momentum?


Peter Drucker said, “If you want something new, you have to let go of something old.” Have you had an experience where this rang true in your life?


Is there something new that you want for your life or the lives of those you love?


What will this new thing require you to let go of?



Pray that we will let go of any old things that prevent God from doing new things in our lives. Pray that we will actively seek out new things that God would like to do in us and through us. 

Week 2 - Herod



This week Scott talked about King Herod. Herod is traditionally viewed as the “bad guy” of the Christmas story, and for good reason. He unsuccessfully attempted to kill Jesus, and, in the process murdered an unknown number of innocent children. Herod is not a man with whom we typically want to associate ourselves. However, we all have one thing in common with Herod. We all have a deep-seated desire to protect what is ours. We all have our own “kingdoms” that are compiled of our possessions, our relationships, our goals, and our lifestyles. And as we follow Jesus, at some point we understand that He is a threat to our kingdoms. If he is in charge of our lives, we may not be able to have what we want, or do what we want. His lordship over our lives threatens our desire to decide what is best for ourselves.


Tell us about a time when something precious to you was threatened. What was your gut reaction? What did you end up doing about it?

How does following Jesus threaten the status quo of your life?

What Biblical commands or teachings are most threatening to your own lifestyle and preferences?

Is there one area of your “kingdom” that you need to work on surrendering to God? What is an action you can take to begin to surrender this thing?


Pray that we will be honest with ourselves, when we are protective of our own little “kingdoms”. Pray that as we grow in maturity, there will be nothing in our lives that is not surrendered to God.

Week 2 - Serve


This was week two of our Be Rich series. Last week we stepped up as a church and together we gave $81,000 to local non-profit organizations. This week Jericho Rhoten talked about how we can be rich with our time. At the heart of sincere service, lie sincere motives. The Bible shows us that our motives matter to God.

Philippians 2:3-7

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. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very natureGod, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness.

People have all kinds of motives for serving. Humble service is about truly valuing the person you’re are serving above yourself, and above your own effort and recognition.


Have you ever had somebody help you in a way that left you wondering about his or her motives?

Have you ever helped someone out of false motives? What are the things that motivate you to help others? According to the above verse, what motivated Jesus? What are some ways that you like to serve?

What are some kinds of service that you are not so interested in?

How can you keep your own motives in check?


Pray that we will have hearts that are motivated by the things that motivate Jesus. Pray that we will learn to serve selflessly out of love for God and others.

Week 2: You Were Born For This


As we continued through our “Heroes” series this past weekend, Scott talked about our identities as follower of Jesus. We were born to be the heroes of this world.

Ephesians 1:4-5
For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship in Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-

We have been adopted into the family of Jesus. His holiness belongs to us. His sonship belongs to us. His selflessness and self-sacrificial love also belong to us. Our lives are to be lived in response to what Jesus has done through us. In this way, we are called to be heroes.

In the same way that Jesus went to the cross to give all he had for us, we are called to lay down what we have for others. If I don’t live my day-to-day life like this, it is because of a lack of understanding about who I am. If I look into the mirror and don’t see a hero, then when the opportunity to do something heroic arrives, I won’t behave like a hero. The more we view ourselves as who we really are, the more we will behave in a way that is consistent with our heroic reality.


Just for fun...
Who is your favorite superhero, and why?

Look up the following verses and share what they say about our identity as followers of Jesus...

2 Corinthians 5:17 1 John 3:1-2

1 John 3:16

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.

John 15:15 Galatians 4:7 Ephesians 1:7 Genesis 1:27
1 Peter 2:9 Philippians 3:20 Romans 8:31-38

When you look into the mirror, do you see a hero? If not, who do you see?

If the Bible is true, then we should be defined by what God says about who we are. Sadly, most of us allow our society, or our self-perception to define us. What keeps you from allowing God’s words to define your identity? Why do we allow anything else to define us?

If you really understood yourself as a hero, how will this effect the way you handle day- to-day situations?


Pray that we will begin to see ourselves as the heroes we really are. We are all called to a life of loving and serving others as children of God.

Next month we will be having a huge Summer event called the “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite and that the event will be a success.

Pray for the FCC Global Connection Team to Southeast Asia departing Monday, July 16. Pray that our field workers will feel encouraged and rejuvenated by our team. Pray for many people who do not follow Jesus to be impacted by the team and to feel comfortable and bold in asking questions about who Jesus is and the hope he brings.





In the second week of our Focus series, Scott talked about how the way that the Jewish religion of Jesus’ day was about preserving the past. Passover was, and still is, the most prominent Jewish holiday. It celebrates the way that God freed the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Celebrating Passover is done through the use of many traditions and rituals which represent the final plague of death and the exodus from Egypt.

When Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, he took the old practices of Passover and made them about something new. The unleavened bread traditionally a reminder of the Passover lamb, and of the fact that the Hebrews hurried out of Egypt without time to allow their bread to rise. This time, Jesus said that the bread was his body. The blood was a reminder of the Passover lamb that was sacrificed, but Jesus said that it was his blood. Jesus took the old symbols of the Exodus and gave them new meanings. They became about him. This was significant, because in order to follow Jesus, his followers would have to reject the idea that faithfulness to God was about the 613 written laws of the Old Covenant, and embrace that there would now be a New Covenant with one law.

John 13:34-35

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus insisted that the command to love God and to love others completely summed up everything written in the law and the prophets. This kind of teaching is exactly what got Jesus into trouble with the authorities of his time. Jesus was a threat to their establishment. He was a threat to the things that they were trying to preserve.


In his message, Scott mentioned that during the Egyptian slavery, the Egypt’s religion was a system of justifying and legitimizing their culture. Do you think that in our culture, people use religion to justify their own values?

It must have been difficult for the disciples to let go of the old religious meaning that they had always placed on the Passover meal, as it gave way to a new meaning. Do you ever have trouble letting go of old things? Is there anything in your life that you are struggling to let go of?


It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting new results. Have you ever found yourself in this kind of place, stuck in the same old patterns, but longing for something new?

The Bible tells us that if we are in Christ, then we are new creations. What is something new that you would love to see God do in you or through you?


Pray that we will let go of old religion and seek the newness that Jesus has in store for us.

Pray that we will experience newness as a church, and that people will be drawn to Jesus because we look like something new and different in our community.

Spend a few moments in prayer praising God for all that was accomplished through FCC’s Adult Chile Global Connection Team last week. The team was able to help with several Church facility refurbishments in Santiago. Pray for the team as they transition back to normal routine at here at home. Pray for the impact the team had on their new Chilean friends to be an ongoing encouragement and to have long-term positive effects as the Church continues to make a difference in its community.