Truth On Trial (Acts 22:30-23:11)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 22:30-23:11. In this passage, Paul is placed on trial as a result of the Gospel. Through Paul’s response, we learn that all of us should respond with boldness, humility, discernment, and with a focus on Jesus when we are judged for the Gospel.

The “Sermon Discussion Guide” can be found below the message to help you go deeper in the text. As usual, we will be going through these questions for an online small group via Zoom on Wednesday (April 21st) at 8:30pm. Connection info can be found on our website: www.renovationchurchsd.com

Acts 22:30-23:11

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 22:30-23:11. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In the beginning of this passage, Paul is placed on trial. Tyler made the point in the message that your life is the “5th Gospel” that displays to the world who Jesus is. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 where Paul explains this in more detail. What stands out to you? 

3. When placed on trial, Paul responds in four ways: with boldness, humility, discernment, and with a focus on Jesus. Which of these is most difficult for you? Why? 

4. When Paul is struck on the mouth, he lashes out against the high priest in anger (and then apologizes when corrected). According to Scripture, what are some specific ways we should respond when we are slandered and attacked for our faith? How has the church failed to do this throughout history? 

5. In order to fully understand this passage (and much of the New Testament) you need to understand the difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Explain their different belief systems in your own words. 

6. When Paul realizes continuing to argue is a losing battle, he intentionally divides the group to remove himself from the situation. Read Matthew 7:6. First, what does this passage mean? Second, what are some signs we should look for to realize we are throwing the “pearl” of the Gospel to “pigs”? 

Peace Be With You (Luke 24:36-49)

For Easter Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach on the peace the Resurrected Jesus offers all of us in Luke 24:36-49. In this message, I explain what peace from God looks like and a few practical ways to enter into His peace.

As usual, we will be meeting on Wednesday night (April 7th) at 8:30pm via Zoom to go deeper into this text. The connection information can be found on our website (www.renovationchurchsd.com) and the “Sermon Discussion Guide” can be found below the message.

Easter Sunday – Luke 24:36-49

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Luke 24:36-49. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. The first Easter morning was not a time of celebration for many of the disciples but instead a time of mourning because Jesus did not meet their expectations of what they thought the Messiah would do. First, what did many of the Jewish people expect out of the Messiah? Second, what are some things many people in our culture expect out of the Messiah/Savior? 

3. In the midst of their fear and uncertainty, Jesus proclaims, “Peace be with you.” This peace goes in three directions: vertical, horizontal, and internal. Explain these three kinds of peace in your own words. 

4. One of the ways we enter into Jesus’ peace is by meditation on his wounds (Luke 24:37-39). Read through the Passover story in Exodus 12:1-12. What stands out to you? How should the Passover point us to Jesus? 

5. In Luke 24:45, Jesus opens the minds of the disciples so they can understand the Scriptures. This implies that, apart from divine enablement, we cannot understand the Bible. Read through 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 where Paul explains this in more detail. What stands out to you? 

6. In Luke 24:48, the disciples (and, by extension, all of us) are witnesses of “these things” – namely, the person and work of Jesus Christ. What are a few practical steps we can all take to better witness about Jesus in our families, workplaces, and communities? 

Paul’s Testimony (Acts 21:37-22:22)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Paul’s testimony in Acts 21:37-22:22. Through Paul’s example, we learn some principles on sharing our own testimonies and the power of connecting our personal story with God’s bigger story.

As usual, we will be meeting on Wednesday (March 31st) at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss this passage in more detail. The connection info is on our website (www.renovationchurchsd.com) and the discussion questions can be found below the sermon.

Book of Acts – Acts 21:37-22:22

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 21:37-22:22 What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In the beginning of this passage, we see Paul use different languages effectively as a means of sharing his faith. Although we do not need to be trilingual like Paul, we do need to understand how to speak the “right language” when sharing our faith. What are some common theological words that we need to better explain to those new to the faith? 

3. Paul addresses the crowd from a respectful tone – he calls them his “brothers and fathers.” This is the same crowd who, moments earlier, were beating him to death. In many ways, he is living our Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 5:43-48. Read through this passage – what stands out to you? 

4. What is the significance of Jesus asking Paul “Why are you persecuting me?” When, as far as we know, Paul never actually persecuted Jesus? 

5. Keeping with the question above, read through 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. What/who is “God’s temple” being referred to by Paul in this passage? What are some ways we can destroy or harm this temple? 

6. The crowd tolerates Paul’s testimony up until he explains that God has sent him to tell the message about Jesus to the “Gentiles” (Acts 22:21-22) and then they respond with violence. First, why was the crowd so opposed to the Gentiles? Second, who are some “Gentiles” that religious people today reject? 

7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

The Cost of Discipleship (Acts 21:17-36)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 21:17-36. In this passage, we learn that following Jesus is costly but it’s always worth it – from the example of the Apostle Paul. As always, we will be meeting tonight (Wednesday, March 24th) at 8:30pm to discuss this passage in more detail. The questions for discussion can be found below the sermon video —

Book of Acts – Acts 21:17-36

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 21:17-36. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In Acts 21:19, the text says that Paul reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry – Paul makes it clear that all of the credit and honor for his ministry rightfully belongs to God. With this in mind, read through Jesus’ teaching on abiding in Him found in John 15:1-8. What stands out to you? Practically, how can we better “abide” in Jesus? 

3. In Acts 21:21-25, Paul willingly observes ceremonial aspects of the Old testament as the urging of the Elders in Jerusalem. First, from your perspective, why did Paul do this? 

4. Keeping with the question above, Paul is living out the words he wrote in Galatians 5:13-15. Read through this passage – what does it look like to “serve one another in love?” On the contrary, what does it look like to “bite and devour one another” in the context of the church? 

5. In this passage, Paul is falsely accused and beaten as a result of his faith. In many ways, what we see happening is exactly what Jesus predicted would happen. Read through Luke 21:12-19 – what stands out to you? What are some ways this passage can apply to our lives today? 

6. At the end of the message, Tyler made the point that following Jesus is always costly but it’s always worth it. What are some ways following Jesus is costly in our own culture? If someone were to ask you, “Why is following Jesus worth it”? – what would you say? 

The Road to Suffering (Acts 21:1-16)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 21:1-16. In this passage, we follow Paul as he heads to Jerusalem to face suffering and imprisonment. On the way, he visits various churches (many of them pleading with him to avoid suffering). In this message, I seek to explain the role and place of suffering in the lives of God’s people.

As always, we will be meeting this Wednesday (March 17th) at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss this text in more detail using the question below – all are invited to join us! The connection information can be found on our website – http://www.renovationchurchsd.com

Book of Acts – Acts 21:1-16 

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 21:1-16. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In Acts 21:4, the text says that “through the Spirit” the disciples urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, in Acts 20:22, Paul says that the Holy Spirit is the One leading him to Jerusalem. What’s going on? Is the Holy Spirit contradicting Himself?

3. One of the words used to describe the church in this passage is the word “disciples.” Read Luke 9:23-26 – according to Jesus, what does it mean to be one of his disciples? 

4. Another description used to describe the church is that of “brothers and sisters” – in other words, the church is to be the family of God. Tyler made the following statement in the message last Sunday – the church is a family to be loved, not a commodity to be used. What’s the difference?

5. In Acts 21:9, we are introduced to Philip’s four single daughters who had the gift of prophecy. Unfortunately, the church often views single people as if there is something wrong with them. Paul refers to both marriage and singleness as gifts from God. Read 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 – what are some of the benefits of singleness highlighted in this passage? How can we better honor single people in our church? 

6. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

The Legacy of Paul (Acts 20:17-37)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 20:17-37. In this passage, we see the priorities of the Apostle Paul that enabled him to be effective in making disciples. In this message, I share each of these priorities and challenge Christians today to reorient their lives around Jesus. 

As usual, I will be leading an online small group this Wednesday at 8pm via Zoom to go deeper into the text. All are invited to join us – the connection info can be found on our website: www.renovationchurchsd.com – and the questions are below the message.

Book of Acts – Acts 20:17-37 

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 20:17-37. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. Paul sends for the “Elders” of the church in Ephesus. The position of “Elder” within the local church is used regularly in the Book of Acts. With this in mind, what exactly is an “Elder” within a church? 

3. The first thing we see emphasized in the ministry of the Apostle Paul is incarnational ministry – this is seen through his emphasis of being WITH the church. First, what does the word “incarnation” mean? Second, how can we become more “incarnational” in the way we share the Gospel with those around us? 

4. In Acts 20:21, Paul makes it clear that one of the major themes of his preaching is that of repentance. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 – what are some characteristics of true repentance does Paul explain in this passage? 

5. Towards the end of the passage, Paul warns the church about “wolves” who are false teachers that lead people astray by distorting the Scriptures. Read through Jude 1:8-13 – what are some of the major characteristics of these wolves that we should be on our guard against as a church? 

6. The last point I emphasized in the message is that Paul modeled discipleship through both his generosity and prayer life (see Acts 20:36-37). One of the best ways we can fight against hypocrisy is by living out our confession of faith. What are some ways the church needs to better model discipleship for the non-Christians around us?

7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

Know Your Enemy

(I recently had the honor of writing an article for an internal publication at Interstates where I work as an IT Support Specialist so I figured I would share it here on my blog as well!)

The residents of a small town in Florida were nearly poisoned when a hacker used a program called “TeamViewer” to hack into a computer and multiply the dosage of sodium hydroxide nearly 100 times above the normal level. Thankfully, the employee sitting at the computer realized what was happening and was able to stop the process before it became serious. Due to this seemingly small vulnerability (they were all using the same password), this small town almost succumbed to poisoning, sickness, and death.

One of our values at Interstates is a commitment to safety. As our world – and company – becomes more reliant on technology we need to remember that prioritizing safety must extend into our digital practices. The greatest vulnerability in a computer network is not outdated systems, shared passwords, or malware. Instead, the vulnerability most exploited by hackers is the “human vulnerability.” Hackers use various forms of social engineering through email, text messages, and phone calls to deceive companies and wreak havoc on organizations (even, at times, seeking to poison water systems).

At Interstates, we are committed to all forms of safety – including digital safety. One of the ways we do this is by running “phishing campaigns” which seek to stimulate these forms of social engineering to bring awareness to this very real danger. The goal of these phishing campaigns is not to trick users but rather to come alongside of users in a friendly, helpful, and understanding way to help you succeed with this new form of safety.

Sun Tzu, the author of the famous book, “The Art of War”, explained the importance of understanding our “enemies” –

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

The reality is there are enemies who seek to manipulate, attack, and destroy others through digital technology. Our goal is to help you know yourself, know your enemy, and rise above the digital battles waged against our company.

A Warning to the Wise (Acts 20:7-12)

This past Sunday I had the honor of teaching through Acts 20:7-12. We will be meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss this passage in greater detail – all are invited to join us! The connection information can be found on our website: www.renovationchurchsd.com

The message is below and under that are the sermon discussion questions that will serve as a guide for our conversation tonight.

Book of Acts – Acts 20:7-12 

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 20:7-12. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In the beginning of this passage, we see that the early church prioritized 3 things: gathering together, celebrating communion, and listening to Bible teaching. Out of these three priorities, which one does our church need to improve on the most? What are some practical steps we can take? 

3. Read Hebrews 10:24-25 and answer the following questions:

  • According to verse 24, we are to consider how we may “spur one another on to love and good deeds.” Practically speaking, what are some things we can do to be obedient to this command? 
  • In the beginning of verse 25, we are commanded to not give up meeting together. In your own words, why is it so important to regularly gather with the church? What are some things that distract us from the importance of this gathering? 

4. If we ignore these instructions from Scripture, we, like Eutychus, will spiritually fall asleep. Read Mark 13:32-37 to hear Jesus’ teaching on this subject. First, what stands out to you from this passage? Second, the main point is that we must “keep watch” rather than fall asleep. What does this mean practically? 

5. The other thing that will happen if we neglect gathering together, the Lord’s Supper, and sold Bible teaching is we will need to be restored to the Christian faith. Paul speaks more on this subject in Galatians 6:1-2. Read through these verses & answer the following questions:

  • What does it look like to be “caught in a sin”? 
  • What are the steps we should take to “restore” someone “gently”? 
  • Why are we instructed to “watch ourselves” during this process? What does this actually mean? 

Facebook Deactivated

Hey everyone!

I wanted to share a quick announcement to let you know I have deactivated my Facebook. I still have Messenger available so you can reach me via Messenger if you were formally a “friend” of mine on Facebook. This is temporarily and I will likely reactivate Facebook after a few months (maybe..)

I did not deactivate my Facebook due to any type of political motivation or fear of censorship. Instead, I discerned that I was beginning to view people differently based on their Facebook posts (because, let’s be real, people post really stupid stuff online). I no longer want to judge people based on their online persona and would prefer to build relationships through real conversation.

So, if you need to reach me and do not have my phone number, you can send me an email at tyler@renovationchurchsd.com or reach out to me via Facebook’s Messenger app.

The Impact of the Gospel (Acts 16:16-35)

I had the honor of teaching through Acts 16:16-35 this past weekend at Renovation Church. The message is below and underneath the message is the “Sermon Discussion Guide” to help you go deeper in your faith. I will be hosting an online small group this Wednesday at 8:30pm (central time) to discuss these questions – all are invited to join us!

Connection info for the online small group is here: https://renovationchurchsd.com/online-service-information/

Book of Acts – Week 41 – Acts 16:16-35
Discussion Guide

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 16:16-35. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. One of the most fascinating things about the beginning of this section is that the demon, through the woman, was proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. In many ways, demons have a more accurate theology than the rest of us. Since this is the case, what is the difference between saving faith and damning faith?

3. The “owners” of the woman reacted violently when their personal god of money was threatened by the Gospel. What are some common “gods” in our culture that are directly threatened by the Gospel? What are some false gods in your own life you have had to repent of as a result of the Gospel?

4. As a result of being obedience to Jesus, Paul and Silas are stripped naked, humiliated, beaten, flogged, and thrown into prison. Paul was likely reflecting on this experience when he wrote Romans 8:18-30. Read through this passage and summarize some of the key points in your own words – what stands out to you?

5. Tyler said in the message that the key to worshipping during the “midnights” of our own lives is to memorize the goodness of God during the light of day. Practically speaking, how do we do this? How do we prepare ourselves for suffering so that when suffering comes, our suffering bears witness to the Gospel?

6. Finally, what is at least one way you are planning on applying this passage to your life this week?