Sunday, September 27th

Sunday, September 27th

Deep Six Study and Daily Devotional

Every preacher's dream is to see the truth he preaches lived out in the lives of those he preaches to and certainly this is as it should be. This dream is rooted in our Heavenly Father's desire that there would never be unlived truth in the lives of His people. Our church is dedicated to the purpose of helping people Live Fully, and one way we do that is to encourage a deeper study of the truth they hear on Sundays throughout the other six days of the week.  Accordingly, each week we provide (1) the Deep Six Study and (2) the Daily Devotional.

(1) Deep Six Study - accessed via "Discussion Notes" button located under the video message on the "Watch" page of the website. Printed copies also available at the Connect Desk in the church lobby. Note: the Deep Six Study is being done by Tom Main and is posted below.

(2) Daily Devotional - The Devotionals are done by Ken Hart and are available online Monday through Saturday on a daily basis at or the "Daily Devotional" button at the bottom of the "Home" page. The devotions build on and expand from the Sunday message. It is our desire, our hope, and our prayer for this devotional section to be a useful Spiritual Life tool that our church family can benefit from throughout the year. Each day's devotional will typically consist of Scripture connected with the message, a commentary, and a prayer response. We trust the Daily Devotional will assist you as you seek to live out the truth of God's word on a daily basis.


September 27th, 2015

Common Sense Academy – “Success”

Bookshelves, social media and classrooms are full of advice on winning, succeeding, and how to get ahead in this life. It makes sense – no one wants to lose, fail or fall behind. But what if we are “winning” and losing at the same time? It is in this place of joyless success that we find wisdom – the Common Sense of Proverbs.


Opening – Walter Payton and the 1985 Chicago Bears

Ø When everyone thinks we should be happy, we’re often in the “broom closet” with sorrow in our soul because “success” wasn’t what we thought it would be. “You just can’t have enough success to make you happy."

Ø Three factors that determine whether our success brings us happiness/joy:

Factor #1 – How we MEASURE (Proverbs 16:3,8,9)

Ø We have become a “final score culture” where our only measure of success is the end result.

Ø However, God doesn’t measure the results; He measures the process used.

Ø “Living Fully” isn’t about a goal – it’s about our willingness to pour ourselves into living for Christ.

Factor #2 – How we GET (Proverbs 22:22-23, 10:22, 11:16)

Ø The lesson of Rosy Ruiz: don’t become so consumed with the finish line that you don’t run the whole race. You can’t enjoy “winning” if you don’t run the race the right way.

Ø If we disregard the value of running the race well, we will always end up cutting corners. Then we wonder why “success” doesn’t bring joy.

Ø “Because it works” is a terrible excuse for doing something the wrong way (or half way).

Factor #3 – How we GIVE (Proverbs 11:24-26)

Ø Generosity is at the heart of real success. This runs counter to our “accumulation mindset. Accumulation: “More is more for me.” Generosity: “More is an opportunity to bless others.”

Ø The mark that the world will see in your lives – the mark of Christ – is the mark of generosity. It is that mark that makes our faith “the real deal” – and makes it attractive to a doubting world.


Factor #1 – Proverbs 15:16, 11:28; Isaiah 55:8-9
Factor #2 – Proverbs 16:19, 13:21; Luke 19:8-10
Factor #3 – Proverbs 3:9-10, 19:17; Matthew 19:16-21


1. Reflect on someone you know who has plenty of the trappings of material success (possessions, career, money, etc) yet who clearly lacks happiness/joy. If you could offer him or her one piece of advice, what would it be?

2. Has there been a time in your life when you were that person (outward “success” but no joy)? What happened that changed your perspective/approach to life? Did you heed the advice you offered in Question #1?

3. What are some examples of what Pastor Ben called our “final score culture” – i.e., those who seek results at any cost? Can you think of some notable examples of those who have sacrificed results/winning in order to “run the race the right way?” Is there a difference in each of their levels of outward joy/happiness/peace?

4. Our catchphrase “Living Fully” comes from John 10:10b (“I [Jesus] have come that they might have life, and have it to the full”). Describe in your own words what you believe real success – “Living Fully” – looks like. Does material success (money, possessions, etc) have any influence on that picture?

5. Why is sacrificial generosity – the “real deal” that makes our faith attractive to a broken world – so appealing? What are some of the ways that we can display that generosity for greatest effect?

6. Looking at your life as it stands today, what does the “success” you’re currently pursuing look like? If you’re lucky enough to be “catching it,” is it bringing you the joy you hoped it would?

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