God's Glory, Our Comfort

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 40

Reflection Questions:

  1. Read through Isaiah 40 twice. What theme do you notice through the chapter? Observe the various ways in which God is described.

  2. What reasons do verses 12-20 give that God is incomparable to and superior over all of creation? What ways do you see God above all other powers in heaven and earth in verses 21-26? How should this understanding comfort you? 

  3. In times of distress, where do you turn to for comfort? What do you rely on for strength or energy (i.e., caffeine, sleep, etc.)? Spend time meditating on how you can seek God’s strength in His Word, through worship, and through fellowship with His people.

Songs:

  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Joachim Neander & Catherine Winkworth

  • We Will Feast in the House of Zion by Sandra McCracken [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Rock of Ages by Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings, arr. Brooks Ritter [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Spirit Speaks by David Leonard, Drew Cline, & Leslie Jordan [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Comfort, O Comfort by Caroline Cobb Smith

  • Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus by Louisa M. R. Stead and William James Kirkpatrick

Congregational Prayer (Congregational Response in Bold)

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; 

there is no end to his greatness.
One generation shall praise your works to another
and shall declare your power. 

All your works praise you, Lord, 

and your faithful servants bless you.
They make known the glory of your kingdom

and speak of your power.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord:

Let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

* Reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook, Second Edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources.

In Whom Do You Trust?

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 36-39

Reflection Questions:

  1. What did you notice about Hezekiah and the other characters in these chapters?

  2. Read 37:1-13 focusing on verses 8-13. How do the words in this letter mock God? Where do you hear Satan mocking God in your own life? How do you respond?

  3. Follow the movement in chapter 38 from Hezekiah’s illness to the proclamation of his death, to his prayer, the Lord adding 15 years to his life, and then Hezekiah’s song. How can you relate to the words of Hezekiah’s song? Spend time this week describing your own condition to the Lord and then thanking Him for His mercy.

Songs:

  • Holy Holy Holy by John Bacchus Dykes & Reginald Heber

  • Cornerstone by William Batchelder Bradbury, Eric Liljero, Reuben Morgan, Edward Mote, & Jonas Myrin [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Faithful (Make Our Lives a Monument) by Lauren Kirkpatrick, Clayton Luckie, & Caroline Smith

  • We Will Not Be Shaken by Ben Fielding, Bob Hartley, Bobby Strand, Brian Johnson, & Chris Greely  [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • All Things New by Andy Gullahorn, Andrew Peterson, & Ben Shive [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Waiting Here for You by Jesse Reeves, Martin Smith, and Chris Tomlin

Spoken Word
”In Whom Do You Trust”
By Michele Kappas

In whom do you trust?

I trust in You, God!
But I love this thing more though it’s hard to admit 
That’s interesting because when Israel did that
They were said to play the harlot 

I trust in you, God!

If you will just let me keep my plans
I find myself trying to hand them over 
I begin to let go and then revert to control and by the time the dance is done
You still have to yank them from my tightly clenched hands 

I see your tired efforts 
And desire for strategies to avail
But without me as your strength and weapon
You know,
You know the result is a guaranteed fail. 

In whom do you trust?

I trust in you, God!
But these other voices are so loud
They say you can’t be trusted
And that your promises aren’t sure
But is that the city of man or God talking 
Cause I can’t tell anymore

You might fool all of them, but beloved I can tell
Your allegiance to this city is seeping through your outer shell

I can see it in your restless nights 
When peace has all but disappeared 
I can feel it in your joy grown dark
For your heart is gripped by fear
I can hear it in the way you talk
You talk and talk 
Constant chatter of the lesser things
The wine, the job, the house, the vacay
You may fit in for days on end
But can you catch-cant you actually catch the sorrow that it brings? 
Cause child-these things have completely clipped your wings

In whom do you trust?

Lord, you really helped me get through that last year
But right now I’m okay
So if its alright with you can we just talk another day?
I got a meeting in 15 and you know I can’t be late
In 3 weeks from now, I might have an open date

We forget that prayer depends our dependence 
So we just turn to you in crisis
After we exhausted our vices
Making foolish sacrifices
Well, our souls are paying the price
As we become addicts our independence
Lost all meaning of repentance
And the heart of “woe is me”
Just 30 chapters later and Isaiah’s we forgot to see
Coasting in the waters of normalcy

Well…My thoughts are not your thoughts 
And my ways are not your ways 
I am not asking for you to strive for perfection 
I am asking that on me you to fix your gaze. 
You know that I am the only one who can keep you in perfect peace the rest of your days

So, I will ask you again in whom do you trust? 

City of God

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 28-35

Reflection Questions:

  1. Observe whom the six “woes” are directed against (cf. 28:1, 29:1, 29:15, 30:1, 31:1 & 33:1)? What are the common themes you notice?

  2. What rest was Israel called to in Isaiah’s time (see Isaiah 28:12; 30:15, 18; 32:1-2, 18)? How could they possibly have rested when awaiting the hammer of Assyria’s impending onslaught? 

  3. Isaiah 31:1 shows the human tendency to seek help from every source except the Lord. In fact, this context shows the Israelites seeking help from their former slavemaster! What areas of your life are you seeking comfort, self-preservation, and peace apart from the Lord? Spend time confessing this to God and others.

Songs:

  • In Christ Alone by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Praise Be to God by Clayton Luckie

  • Build My Life by Brett Younker, Karl Martin, Kirby Kable, Matt Redman, & Pat Barrett [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Do It Again by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman, & Steven Furtick [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • All Things New by Andy Gullahorn, Andrew Peterson, & Ben Shive [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor by Matt Boswell & Matt Papa [iTunes] [Spotify]

Supremacy of God Over All Nations

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 20-27

Reflection Questions:

  1. What do you observe about the tone shift throughout these chapters? 

  2. Reflect on the deliverance and restoration mentioned in chapters 25 and 27. How does God’s activity here encourage you and bring you hope for the future? 

  3. Chapter 26 seems to center on praise for the Lord’s care. Where have you seen God’s protection and care lately? Spend time this week writing out your own words of praise. 

Songs:

  • We Are All Together by Clayton Luckie

  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Joachim Neander & Catherine Winkworth

  • By His Grace by Brian Eichelberger, Dustin Kensrue, & Nick Lathe [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Singing in the Victory by Aaron Ivey, Brett Land, Dietrich Schmidt, Jaleesa McCreary, Logan Walter, & Marcus Dawes [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • God’s Highway by Sandra McCracken & Thad Cockrell [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser [iTunes] [Spotify]

Hope of the World

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 13-19

Reflection Questions:

  1. What similarities and differences do you notice about the woes/judgments in these chapters?

  2. Towards the end of chapter 19, Isaiah mentions the Lord striking and healing Egypt as they return back to him from rebellion. How does this compare to your own times of rebellion? What about times of healing? 

  3. Imagine if one of these chapters was directed towards our nation, you being a part of that.  Where do we need to repent and experience God’s cleansing? How can you confess and repent this week? 

Songs:

  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by John Wyeth & Robert Robinson

  • Justice Will Roll Down by Sandra McCracken [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Before the Throne of God Above by Charitie Lees Bancroft & Vikki Cook [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me by Jonny Robinson, Michael Farren, and Rich Thompson [iTunes] [Spotify] 

  • We Will Feast in the House of Zion by Sandra McCracken [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • The Center of It All by Aaron Ivey, Brett Land, Dietrich Schmidt, Jimmy McNeal, & Marcus Dawes [iTunes] [Spotify]

Man-Centered or God-Centered

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 7-12

Reflection Questions:

  1. What did you notice about the crisis at hand in these chapters? What about God’s deliverance? 

  2. Reflect on Isa. 8:11-22. Where had their fear been misplaced? Where has your fear and concern been misplaced recently? 

  3. Read, meditate, and then memorize Isaiah 12:2. How can you declare this truth over your own life this week?

Songs:

  • The Solid Rock by William Bradbury & Edward Mote, arr. The Dispatch [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Your Love Never Fails by Chris McClarney & Anthony Skinner [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Singing in the Victory by Aaron Ivey, Brett Land, Dietrich Schmidt, Jaleesa McCreary, Logan Walter, & Marcus Dawes [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Build My Life by Brett Younker, Karl Martin, Kirby Kable, Matt Redman, & Pat Barrett [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Sweet Comfort by Latifah Phillips & Sandra McCracken [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • It is Well With My Soul by Philip Paul Bliss and Horatio G. Spafford

Isaiah's Commission

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 6

Reflection Questions:

  1. What did you observe about God in this chapter? What do you observe about Isaiah’s response to God?

  2. How does Isaiah’s response to God’s holiness differ from your own? How does this challenge your current view of God?

  3. How might you be trying to “cleanse yourself” rather than in repentance letting God cleanse you? What is one step that you can put into regular practice that will help remind you of God’s holiness and pushes you towards approaching Him?

Songs:

  • Holy Holy Holy by John Bacchus Dykes & Reginald Heber

  • Rising Sun by David Leonard, Kyle Lee, Leslie Jordan, & Paul Mabury [iTunes] [Spotify] 

  • Before the Throne of God Above by Charitie Lees Bancroft & Vikki Cook [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • There Is a Fountain by William Cowper & Lowell Mason

  • Come to the Feast by Jeff Lawson [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Resurrecting by Christopher Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Ntele, Steven Furtick, & Wade Joye [iTunes] [Spotify]

Confession (Congregational response in bold):

Let us confess our sins aloud.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not rightly acknowledged your power or recognized your authority.
We try to be gods for ourselves and live our lives as if we don’t need you.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Let us confess our sins quietly in our hearts.

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.  Amen.

Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 331-332


Judgment and Redemption

Series: Isaiah

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Isaiah Series Reading Schedule

This Week’s Reading: Isaiah 1-5

Reflection Questions:

  1. What themes did you notice throughout these chapters?

  2. Think about the judgments and injustices as you read. Glance at chapter 5, verses 8-23. What about these woes strike you? What does Isaiah seem to be getting at?

  3. Chapters 2-4 describe the tension between who God wanted Israel to be and who she had become through sinful decisions and misplaced trust. Where are you currently living in this same tension? What is one step you can take this week that will bring you closer to the person God wants you to be?

Songs:

  • We Will Feast in the House of Zion by Sandra McCracken [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Faithful (Make Our Lives a Monument) by Lauren Kirkpatrick, Clayton Luckie, & Caroline Smith

  • The Solid Rock by William Bradbury & Edward Mote, arr. The Dispatch [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Seas of Crimson by Bobby Stand, Brian Johnson, Daniel Bashta, and Joel Taylor [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Remembrance by Benjamin Hastings & Chris Davenport [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • O Fount of Love by Matt Boswell & Matt Papa [iTunes] [Spotify]

Sent Out

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Songs:

  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Joachim Neander & Catherine Winkworth

  • We Are All Together by Clayton Luckie

  • The Word by Brian Eichelberger, Dustin Kensrue, Nick Lathe, & Zach Bolen [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Great Are You Lord by Leslie Jordan & David Leonard [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • The Church of Christ in Every Age by Fred Pratt Green, William Knapp, & Seth Woods

  • Seas of Crimson by Bobby Stand, Brian Johnson, Daniel Bashta, and Joel Taylor [iTunes] [Spotify]

A Blessing for the Beginning of the School Year
(Congregational Response in Bold)

Loving God, we pray for all students from our community as they return to their schools, colleges, and universities.

Be with them, O Lord

Bless them with a renewed energy for a year of learning and development. Give them the blessing of both new and renewed friendships. Ignite their creativity, broaden their horizons, and lead them in your way.

Be with them, O Lord

We pray for the teachers of our community as they renew their calling to educate and elevate their students. Help them to see your image in each of their students, and give them the direction to guide students towards wholeness.

Be with them, O Lord

Eternal God, we ask that you would make our schools to be places of scholarship, holistic blossoming, and all-encompassing safety. Would you go before, follow behind, and be alongside our teachers, students, and school workers, to the well-being of our community, and the glory of your name.

Amen

Discipleship in Community

Community Group Guide (PDF)

Songs:

  • They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love by Peter Scholtes [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • I Wait by David Leonard, Leslie Jordan, & Thomas Jordan [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me by Jonny Robinson, Michael Farren, and Rich Thompson [iTunes] [Spotify] 

  • My Inheritance (Psalm 16) by Vanessa Bishop

  • Build My Life by Brett Younker, Karl Martin, Kirby Kable, Matt Redman, & Pat Barrett [iTunes] [Spotify]

  • Jesus is Better by Aaron Ivey & Brett Land [iTunes] [Spotify]