SERMON NOTES February 18, 2024

Announcements / Service Moments
Reno Campus
Starting Point 3/3

Carson Campus
Starting Point 3/24
IF: Gathering 2024

Reno Campus
Pastor Dave Pretlove 
Carson Campus
Pastor Dave Pretlove 

Series: Gospel of Luke
Sermon Title: Extreme Measures.
Passage: Luke 5:17-25 NIV

Luke 5:17-25.
Why did these friends go to such extremes? 

  1. They Had a Great Love.
  2. They Understood the High Stakes.
  3. They Knew They Had a Limited Opportunity.
  4. They Possessed a Big Faith in What Jesus Could Do.



  1. The men obviously had great love for their friend as they were willing to do whatever it took to get their friend to Jesus.  What are some of the great friendships you’ve had in your life?
  2. If you could pull out all the stops to bring one friend to Jesus who would it be?
  3. What fears top you from bringing someone you know needs to encounter Jesus?
  4. The friends were counting on Jesus healing the man. When have you gone all in for your faith and counted on Jesus working in an area of your life?
  5. What is it about our condition as humans that makes being in God’s special presence so important? 
  6. The friends had a correct view of who Jesus is, Why is a proper understanding of who Jesus  is crucial in reaching our friends with the gospel?
  7. Ripping a hole in a roof to encounter Jesus was “out of the box” thinking and acting. When have you had to think “out of the box” to help someone encounter Jesus? How did you see God move when you did?
  8. Pastor Dave shared we go to extremes because the opportunities are short. Read James 4:13-14. In light of this passage, What sort of urgency do you have to help others  encounter Jesus?
  9. How can we be emboldened to pray for other people, knowing that It was actually the faith of the man’s friends that set up this miracle? 
  10. Do we have friends/family that do not have the faith for themselves, and need us to exercise our faith? 
  11. Jesus told the man that his sins were forgiven.  Why was his greatest need a spiritual one and not a physical one?


  1. What did you notice in the reading of this miracle that you never noticed before? What is God saying to you through that?
  2. Whom do you feel most like at present, the paralyzed man or one of the four friends? Why?
  3. When have you experienced love like the Paralytic did from his friends?
  4. As a friend, how would you treat those close to you, who needed to encounter Jesus, if you knew their time was short?




Over the coming weeks, I want to encourage you to explore the spiritual practice of the EXAMEN. For the past millennia, our brothers and sisters of the faith have practiced this prayer discipline. The Examination of consciousness, or The Examen, provides opportunities to recognize where God shows up in our day.  “The exam is a practice for discerning the voice and activity of God within the flow of the day. It is a vehicle that creates a deeper awareness of God-given desires in one’s life.” (Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg.) The desired outcome of this practice is to help you become aware of both God and your God-given desires, and respond to them.

For those of you who have a more positive outlook day to day, this practice helps discern times and places where you feel most aware of the fruit of the Spirit. For those who are more serious or melancholy, this practice helps shift your awareness to life-giving moments the Holy Spirit brings into your day.

“The exam makes us aware of moments that at first we might easily pass by as insignificant, moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.” —Dennis Linn

As you grow in recognition and embracing of the Holy Spirit throughout your day, awareness of His prompting becomes more natural,- and surrendered obedience becomes more our heart’s desire. Our will becomes aligned with His will, self-centered living becomes more Christ centered living. Our life begins to form around God’s daily and momentary desires for us and the Kingdom of God. I look forward to hearing how this practice influences your day-to-day living out of your faith relationship with our Lord.

Examen questions: (Taken from Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook)

  • When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others and myself ? When today did I have the least sense of connection?
  • When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
  • Where was I aware of living out of the fruit of the Spirit? Where was there an absence of the fruit of the Spirit?
  • Gather together the threads of your daily encounters and activities. Attending to them one at a time, ask yourself some of the examen questions:  
  • Where did I give or receive love in this activity or interaction? 
  • How did I withhold love in this activity or interaction? 
  • What activity gave me the greatest high? 
  • Which one made me feel low? 
  • Reflect on where God was in the highs and lows of the day. 
  • How is God inviting you to pray about these things before you nestle into his arms and fall asleep? 
  • Make a list of feeling words. For example: accepted, anxious, apathetic, confused, defeated, disgusted, ecstatic, enraged, paranoid, weepy, undecided. Then begin to ask yourself the exam questions. Let these words help you articulate what drains or saps you and what gives you life. Let this knowing inform your choices.
  • Find a quiet moment to reflect on your day or week. Open your palms and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the moment for which you are least grateful. What made that moment difficult? Be with your feelings; don’t try to change them or make them acceptable. Offer them up to God. Talk to him about them. Where was God in this moment? You may want to thank God that he is always ready to be with you and talk to you. 


As we enter into the Lent season, let’s take a moment to reflect on what Christ is drawing us into. Lent is the Christian season of spiritual preparation before Easter. In Western churches, it began on Wednesday, known as Ash Wednesday . During Lent, Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline. The purpose of the Lenten season is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ—to consider his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and resurrection. In summery, we remove something from our lives in order to replace it with a focused attention on God. This is actually a form of spiritual formation. We detach from the things of this world and attach to the things of God.

Oftentimes, you ‘give up something for lent’ as a sort of prolonged fast. Some choose sugar, social media, sweets…the more obvious and most tempting choices. In an attempt to turn to Christ in the moments where we find ourselves reaching for a post-dinner treat or looking at our phone when bored. But what about the less obvious things to give up? 1 Peter 2:1 says “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” OUCH. Seems much easier to give up a cookie now than it does to give up envy. Unfortunately, to give something up, there first must be an understanding that we struggle with it. 

We should have great joy when we consider ourselves in need of God’s grace and help. We are broken people, in need of a savior, and this neediness is a good thing! James 4:6 says “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” I do not want to discover that God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, resists me because of my pride. I urge you to seek the Lord in prayer, and ask what you REALLY need to give up in order to better mirror his heart. Are you struggling with jealousy? wrath? lust? lying?

 In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Christ loves when we bring our weaknesses to Him, so He can do what He does best, transform us. Seek the Lord this week in humility and be willing to bring your weakness to Him. Ask Him to be your strength as you go forward these next few weeks. You will be amazed at what He will do in you.

Your Digging Deeper Team


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