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Posts by Josh Skarphol

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God and His Rescue, Part 5

Psalm 107:33-43 Who does God cause the reversal of turning rivers into a desert for? Who does God cause the reversal of turning a desert into pools of water for? What does it mean to consider the steadfast love of the Lord? How does faith in Christ cause a reversal for people who put their trust in him? ...

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God and His Rescue, Part 4

Psalm 107:23-32 How did God show his wondrous works to those doing business on the sea? What affect did God's wondrous works have on these professional seafarers? How did God rescue the professional seafarers? When we're brought to our wits' end what do we learn about ourselves and God? ...

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God and His Rescue, Part 3

Psalm 107:17-22 In the context of the Old Testament, who is a fool? How does God respond to fools who cry to him in their trouble? What does God give to fools to heal them and deliver them from destruction? When God delivers fools, how are they to respond to him? ...

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God and His People's Sin, Part 1

Psalms 106:1-5 When we are aware of our sin, what should our response be? How is a mindset of sin reoriented to a mindset of trust in God? Why should we be confident that God will show favor to his people? What provides us certainty that God will save us? ...

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God and His Promise, Part 2

Psalm 105:25-45 How did God display his power to rescue his people from Egypt? How did God provide for his peoples' needs as they traveled to the promised land? What was God's ultimate purpose for bringing his people into the promised land? When God saves us, how are we to respond to him? ...

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Psalm 105:1-24

How do we seek the Lord's presence? What promise did God make to Abraham and his descendants? How did God work to fulfill his promise? What does God use to strengthen our faith in Him? ...

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Defining Discipleship

Mark 8:34-9:1 How does someone respond to Jesus' call to come after him? What does it mean to take up our cross? How do disciples of Jesus gain life? When was the kingdom of God seen coming with power? ...

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The Messiah and His Ministry

Mark 8:31-33 How did Jesus define his ministry as the Messiah for his disciples? Why were the steps Jesus defined in his ministry necessary? What was Peter's response to Jesus' instruction? What was Jesus' response to Peter? ...

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Jesus the Provider

Mark 8:1-10 Why did Jesus feel compelled to provide food to the crowd that was with him? When Jesus tells his disciples how he plans to feed the crowd, what is their response? What provision does Jesus make for the crowd? How does this account encourage us to grow in our compassion for others? ...

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Precision Gospel Medicine

Mark 7:31-37 How did the people in the Decapolis respond to Jesus compared to the last time he was there? How did Jesus interact with the deaf man who was brought to him? What does Jesus' sighing before he healed the deaf man tell us about him? Why did Jesus charge people not to tell about the healing of the deaf man? ...

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Deliverance from a Distance

Mark 7:24-30 What did the Jews of Jesus' day think about the region of Tyre and Sidon? When a Gentile woman asked Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter, how did Jesus respond? How did the woman respond back to what Jesus said? What do we need to bring to Jesus so that he will deliver us? ...

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Recognizing Jesus

Mark 6:31-56 When Jesus and his disciples needed a rest, how did Jesus respond to the crowds that were waiting for him? When Jesus arrived at Gennesaret, what did the people do when they recognized him? When Jesus walked on the water and the disciples were terrified, how did Jesus respond to them? Throughout these accounts, what does Mark want his readers to recogniz...

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Faithful Service on Darker Days

Mark 6:14-30 Who did the people of Jesus' day think he was? How did Herod and Herodius respond to John the Baptist's message of repentance? What brought John the Baptist's ministry to an end? What hope do followers of Jesus have even as they face dark days in their service of God? ...

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The “So What” of the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:12-22 How did some of the Corinthians misunderstand the resurrection of Jesus? If Jesus hadn't been raised from the dead, how was Paul's preaching and faith in vain? What did Adam bring to all humanity? What did Jesus bring to all who put their faith in him? ...

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In The World For Jesus

Mark 6:7-13 Why did Jesus send the apostles out in pairs rather than on their own? How did Jesus equip the apostles for their work? Why didn't Jesus have the apostles take bread and money as he sent them out? What did Jesus send the apostles out to do? ...

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Good Lessons from Bad Examples

Mark 6:1-6 How did the people in Jesus' hometown react to his teaching? Why did the people in Jesus' hometown take offense at him? What about the people in Jesus' hometown caused him to marvel? How does the reception Jesus received in his hometown teach us to rightly respond to him? ...

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The Two Gates

Matthew 7:13-14 How did Jesus focus on people's posture of heart throughout the sermon on the mount? What does taking the easy way look like in a person's life? What does taking the difficult way look like in a person's life? How should we respond when we find our hearts aren't rightly oriented to God? ...

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Two Desperate People and One Powerful Jesus

Mark 5:21-43 How did Jairus approach Jesus? How did Jesus respond to Jairus? How did the woman with the 12 year illness approach Jesus? How did Jesus respond to her? What did Jesus tell Jairus to do when he heard that his daughter was dead? In the midst of desperate circumstances, how should we respond to Jesus? ...

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The Clash of the Kings

Psalm 2 What are the nations plotting together to accomplish? What is their natural inclination toward God? How does God respond to the plotting of the nations? Who will God's anointed one rule over? What is the wise response to God's rule? ...

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Jesus and the Man from the Tombs

Mark 5:1-20 How had the demons impacted the life of the man they possessed? When the demons saw Jesus how did they respond to him? What did the demons beg Jesus for? How did the local people respond to Jesus? What did Jesus instruct the man who was previously demon possessed to do? ...

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Who is this?

Mark 4:35-41 How did the experienced sea faring disciples respond to the great storm? Why does Jesus sleep through the great storm? What does Jesus' control over the wind and waves of the storm teach us about him? How do the disciples respond to Jesus' control over the wind and waves of the storm? ...

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How the Kingdom Grows

Mark 4:26-29 How does the kingdom of God grow differently than worldly kingdoms? What does Jesus emphasize in the parable of the seeds growing? Why does the way God grows his kingdom produce humility and comfort in his people? Is there anything that can undo what God has purposed to do? ...

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Paying Attention to the King's Word

Mark 4:21-25 What does the gospel teach people who hear and pay attention to it? What is the secret of the kingdom of God that would be revealed at the appropriate time? How does giving significant attention to the word of God benefit us? How does disregarding the word of God affect us? ...

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Hope and Holiness

1 Peter 1:13-16 How do we grow in our hope of final salvation? Why does our understanding of final salvation affect how much we hope in it? As followers of Jesus Christ, what does Peter instruct us to turn away from? What is God's will for us in how to live our new lives in Christ? ...

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Peace in Troubled Times

Psalm 46 When we are distressed and in trouble, how does God help us? What happens when we look for comfort in something other than God? How does remembering the works of God provide us comfort? Why does God want us to be still and know that He is God? ...

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Escalating Opposition and Extraordinary Faith

Mark 3:1-6 What did the religious leaders hope for when Jesus entered the synagogue? What did Jesus ask the religious leaders? How did they answer? Why was Jesus angry with the religious leaders? How did the man with the withered hand respond to Jesus? ...

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Pastoral Ministry

Acts 20:17-24 Why do pastors need to be with people in order to pastor them? Who is a pastor's master? Who do pastors serve? What must pastors not shrink back from? What is the life ambition of a faithful pastor? ...

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Why aren't they doing it right?

Mark 2:18-28 Why wasn't it appropriate for Jesus' disciples to fast while he was with them? Why are Jesus' disciples a rejoicing people? How did Jesus respond to the charge that his disciples were breaking the Sabbath? What is the significance of Jesus saying that the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath? ...

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Spiritual Discernment

1 John 4:1-6 How are followers of Jesus to exercise discernment? Why is exercising discernment necessary? What is the ultimate criteria for exercising discernment? What role does the Holy Spirit play in providing us discernment? When we need instruction, where should we go to get it? ...

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The Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-20 How does Jesus being given all authority in heaven and on earth affect His followers? What does Jesus command all of His followers to do? Why are baptism and being taught Jesus' commands a critical part of following Him? Why do Jesus' disciples need to be reminded that He is always with them? ...

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Why is Jesus with them?

Mark 2:13-17 Given Levi's standing in the Jewish community, how would people have expected Jesus to interact with him? How did Jesus interact with him? Who did Levi invite to come and eat with Jesus? How did they respond to Jesus? How did Jesus demonstrate His care for His followers when the scribes and Pharisees questioned them? Who did Jesus come for? ...

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Who does Jesus think he is?

Mark 2:1-12 What made the faith of the men who brought the paralytic to Jesus visible? Why were the scribes so offended by Jesus' forgiveness of the paralytic man's sins? How did Jesus show Himself to be God in His interaction with the paralytic and scribes? When Jesus restored the paralytic, why did He begin with forgiving his sins rather than healing him? ...

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The King's Fitness

Mark 1:21-45 What differences did people recognize between the teaching of the scribes and Jesus' teaching? What characteristics marked Jesus' ministry of restoration? How did Jesus demonstrate dependence on God in carrying out His ministry? In what ways did Jesus' interaction with the leper point forward to what He would accomplish on the cross? ...

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Following Jesus

Mark 1:16-20 How is following Jesus different than our modern view of what it means to be a follower? What type of people were Jesus' first followers? What were they doing when Jesus called them to follow Him? How does Jesus grow His followers? When people are called to follow Jesus, what response is well pleasing to God? ...

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Gospel Ministry and the Kingdom of God

Mark 1:14-15 What does Mark communicate is the fate of the faithful? Why did Jesus conduct His ministry in Galilee rather than the wilderness? What was the good news that Jesus proclaimed? How do you face pressure as a follower of Jesus? ...

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Children of God and Children of the Devil

1 John 2:28-3:10 When Jesus returns, how will those who abide in God respond? How do those who hope to see God demonstrate the hope they have in Him? In what ways do God's children show that they know Him? What distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil? ...

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The Rest of Time

Daniel 10:20-12:13 What does the prophecy that's revealed to Daniel teach us about God's plans and purposes? When Daniel received this prophecy how would he have been encouraged by it? As we read this prophecy how are we encouraged by it? What will be the ultimate end of the people who set themselves against God? What will be the ultimate end of the people who trust i...

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Expectations in God's Service, Part 3

Daniel 10:16-19 Why should followers of Christ expect to feel personal weakness? What is one of the main causes of our weariness? How did Christ strengthen Daniel to keep going? When we feel weak and weary what should we do? ...

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Expectations in God's Service, Part 1

Daniel 10:1-111. What was the nature of the vision that Daniel had?2. Before Daniel had the vision what was he doing? Why was he doing it?3. Who did Daniel see a vision of? How did Daniel respond to this vision?4. As servants of God, what expectations should we have about what it means to serve Him?...

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The God of Greater Hope

The God of Greater Hope: Daniel 9:20-27...

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