Peacemakers and the Persecuted – A study

Some questions from Russell, based on his sermon: Peace and Persecution

Read Matthew 5:1-12

  1. What is a Peacemaker? Why are we called to be Peacemakers?
  2. Discuss the difference between Peace the world offers and what Peace God gives?
    Choose an example and discuss why you chose it.
  3. Read Luke 6:27-28 – What ways can we as Christians show peace to those who are indifferent?
  4. What is persecution? Have you ever experienced it in any form? And how did that make you feel?
  5. Looking at v11 – What is our response to this? And why is there such great joy and blessing from such suffering?
  6. Take a moment or two and pray for our brothers & sisters caught up in persecution.

A study in blessings

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had a look at two of the beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12; sermons can be found here:

The Be – Attitudes Part 1

Happy Are The Sad !!

  1. What has been going on before this ‘sermon on the mount’?
  2. Who is Jesus talking to and how have his words here been twisted and misconstrued by people from other faiths, atheists and even Christians?
  3. Take some time discussing the first two statements of Jesus about being poor in spirit and mourning, don’t rush through the discussion but try and deal with each in as much depth as possible and consider how we should apply each to our lives today.
  4. Spend some time seeking the Lord in Prayer for the life and work of New Connexions

 

Feasts of Israel – Study 5

Study based on sermon: Jewish Feasts Part 5 – Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Reading: Leviticus 23:33-44

  1. Take a quick tour through the first 6 feasts and relate what they looked back to and also what their prophetic fulfilment is or was.
  2. This feast is known as The Feast or The Great Feast – why do you think that is?
  3. In the Sermon we looked at again at the number seven in relation to this feast, the feasts in general and God’s plan. Discuss as a group how much of this you can remember and how it all fits together.
  4. Jesus (John 7 specifically v.37-39) taught at this feast. How do Jesus words look to the fulfilment of the feast of tabernacles and how does it fit with Zechariah 14:4-9.
  5. What should we, as a church today, take and apply to our lives from our study on the feasts.
  6. If as a group you have unresolved questions on this study please don’t be afraid to ask Pastor.

Feasts of Israel – Study 1

The Jewish Calendar

Study based on the sermon: Jewish Feasts part 1

Reading: Leviticus 23:1-14

  1. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath? How might we either be too legalistic or too liberal in this?
  2. Are these feasts in Leviticus 23 really relevant to us today? If so how, and why don’t we celebrate them within the modern church?
  3. As a group discuss each of the first three feasts; how are they a reminder of past things and in which ways do they speak of things that were to come.
  4. In the sermon we looked at the dates of Passover, preparation, selecting the sacrifice etc. and how the prophecies of Daniel 9, Psalm 118 and Zechariah 9, Luke 11:29 form part of the picture. Discuss how all of this fits together in God’s plan, how tradition has confused things and what this might teach us about the importance of studying the whole of scripture.
  5. Please use the points below to guide you in a time of prayer.

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

Building, Watching and Walking

This week’s study picks up on these two sermons:

Which Way? Jeremiah 6:16

Unless The Lord… Psalm 127

  1. Read Psalm 127 and Jeremiah :6:16 – 21
  2. Who are these verses aimed at, believers or non-believers? Why is it important that God’s people (The Church), put their own house in order [try to look at this from every possible angle]?
  3. If God is the builder and the watchmen why do we need to do anything?
  4. what is meant, in Jeremiah 6:16, by “the old godly way“, and how do we find it?
  5. For Christian’s the message in these few verses is ‘blindingly obvious’, so why do we often find ourselves doing the wrong thing and continuing to think we know best when it comes to certain, if not every, aspects of our lives?
  6. As a House group talk through how you might encourage, guide, and support each other in the year ahead as you seek to let the Lord build and watch and walk in the ‘old ways’ with Him

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

 

 

Mary, Joseph, Anna and Simeon – A Study

The sermon this study is based on can be found at: Are you looking forward?

  1. Read through the passage as a whole and as a group make a note of:
    • all the things that relate back to the Old Testament [OT] (hint – such things as why were Mary and Joseph there; what were Simeon and Anna expecting etc. etc. ) check out OT passages to give background;
    • what is there by way of praise;
    • what are the prophecies and have they been fulfilled;
    • what similarities are there between Simeon and Anna?
  2. What can we learn from the key players in this passage in respect of our lives today?

Broad Shoulders

A short study on Isaiah 9:1-7

If you missed the sermon you can pick it up at: It is written it will happen!

  1. Where are verses 1 and 2 quoted in the New Testament? What does this teach us about the meaning of the passage?
  2. What blessing is promised in verses 3-5? (Discuss the reference to Midian. cf. Judges 7)
  3. Who is predicted in verses 6 and 7? Explain what these verses teach about His role.
  4. Talk about the significance of each name used for Him [* Wonderful Counsellor –* Mighty God –* Everlasting Father –* Prince of Peace], what do they mean for Israel,  for us today and in their future fulfilment?
  5. If you haven’t covered it in your discussions, pick up on the application for us today, this advent.

Micah 7 – A Study

Some questions from Russell for this week’s study groups, based on his sermon Challenging to the end

  1. Why was Micah feeling miserable? As Christians discuss what makes you feeling sad?
  2. Explain what analogy Micah uses in V1 to describe Israel’s and Judah’s situation. What similarities can we see today?
  3. Where does Micah get his help v7 and how can we apply that in our lives?
  4. Discuss the uniqueness of God – what separates Him from the other false gods?
  5. In our ‘plural’ society where there are many beliefs, ideologies and faiths that exist- Why is it important that we understand God is absolute.
  6. What periods in our history does God demonstrates his restoration work? Discuss our future restoration.

Micah 5 Study

Note to leaders: As with all studies, please don’t feel you must cover all questions, fine if you can, but rather take a few of the questions and do them justice that rush through 🙂

If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: The King from eternity

  1. Verse 1 seems at complete odds with the rest of the chapter, what is Micah pointing to (cf. 2 Kings 25?);
  2. Bethlehem was a tiny hamlet, what else do we know about Bethlehem from the bible? Also, why would God chose Bethlehem and not Jerusalem?
  3. At the end of verse 2, consider what it means: ‘whose origins are in the distant past’. How should this impact a) our understanding of who Jesus is, b) our view of creation, c) our reading of the Old Testament?
  4. Discuss verses 3-9, what are these verses pointing to?
  5. Verses 10 to 14 at first glance look like more judgement, but are they?  – if not what are they about – if so how does it fit with the rest of the passage?
  6. Who is the last verse addressing and at which time?

A Committed Christian?

So often in our Christian lives we spend inordinate amounts of time talking about prayer, wanting to seek the Lord and do His will; which I believe are great sentiments, but as we approach the end of the year I’m drawn back to some words we used at the start of our year in our covenant service, words which were borrowed from a great puritan called Richard Alleine:

I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly give all things to you. Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. This my covenant with you my God, made here on earth, let it be confirmed in heaven. Amen

Why not take that prayer again, study it, meditate on it, discuss it and consider: as individuals, and as Christ’s Church, have we yet made this prayer our own? How can we encourage one another, and what is the Lord asking of us as individuals walking in covenant with Him? If studying in a group: spend a good time in prayer seeking the Lord for each other and the wider Church. When studying alone: also, of course, pray through the issues that arise in your heart.

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