Study Questions: Zephaniah 1

This study relates to the sermon: God’s Love Seen Through Judgement

  1. Zephaniah starts his prophecy telling us his family background (1:1); he is a fourth-generation descendant of King Hezekiah (King of Judah from 715-686BC).  Does this pedigree matter to you?  Why or why not? 
  2. His opening words of prophecy tells of a terrible judgment to come: “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth” (1:2).  It closes on the “day of the Lord” when God “will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth” (1:18).  This just might be the harshest, most universal judgment announcement in the Bible.  How does this make you feel?  How does this make you feel about God?
  3. God is clearly a little upset with Judah.  What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
  4. Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?

 

Bullet points – A study on Matthew 5:6-8

This study is based on the sermon: Need an attitude adjustment?

Reading: Matthew 5:6-8

  1. How do you feel when the Lord reminds you through His Word, or a sermon about a need to change your attitude?
  2. Verse 6:
    1. what does it mean to hunger and thirst?
    2. what might cause us to lose our appetite for God, and the things of God?
    3. how can that be remedied?
  3. Verse 7:
    1. what is mercy?
    2. what is the condition on us being shown mercy?
    3. what if we don’t feel merciful?
  4. Verse 8:
    1. what does a pure heart look like?
    2. how can you have a pure heart?
    3. what does it mean to see God; is that a promise for now or for the future?
  5. Homework: ask the Lord to show you any areas in your life where there needs to be an ‘attitude adjustment’, and follow that up with a commitment to let Him do that work with you and for you.

Micah 6 – A 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: God doesn’t want your religion

Read Through Micah 6

  1. Why are the mountains called as witnesses? And who does the Lord ask to state their case?
  2. What is the Lord’s charge? In verse 3? What does it mean?
  3. Look back in your bibles at each reminder the Lord gives, why should have Israel remembered?
  4. In verse 6 and 7 look at the people’s questions, what do you notice about them? Discuss The Lord’s answer.
  5. What does it mean that we should fear the Lord?
  6. Where are the key lessons for us in this chapter today – how should we apply those lessons in our lives?

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?

Micah 2 – Study Questions

A study on Micah Chapter 2

Here is the sermon if you missed it: God wouldn’t do that… Would He?

  1. To gather a bit of context, before taking a look through Micah 2, read through Leviticus 25: 8-34 and Exodus 20:1-17. As a group chat through those passages and clear up any queries group members might have;
  2. Read the first 11 verses if Micah and in the light of the Leviticus and Exodus passages, discuss:
    • verses 1-2 who was Micah addressing – how could it apply to Ely in 2016?
    • verses 3-5 God lays out what will happen, how come all the people are affected, even the few who have been faithful? What do group members feel about God’s response?
    • verses 6-11 What was going on here? Why were the people responding that way? (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3);
  3. Read the last verses (12 – 13) These verses seem to be at odds with the other verses, but the do fit in both technically and theologically, can the group work out how? (don’t give too much time on this :)). Read through John chapter 10and consider what this prophecy is pointing to, both in the near future (to Micah’s time), and further on.

Micah 1 – Study Questions

If you missed the sermon on this you can pick it up here: Puns aren’t always funny

  1. Read through the chapter – what are your first impressions of the book?
  2. What do we know about Micah, the time he was ministering, which other prophets were about at the same time etc.
  3. How did God give His messages to Micah, and what did Micah do with those messages? What can we learn from this about being open to God and obedient to him?
  4. On Sunday, after a brief overview of the chapter, we looked at three specific questions – what were they? Take some time to discuss each of them as a group, considering why the question is important, how Micah helps us answer the questions, and how we as individuals and as a church might need to take these things more seriously in our lives (there is probably a whole study just in this question…).

 

 

Comfort or affliction…

A study on James 5: 1-12, based on the sermon:  Are You Ready To Meet Your Maker?

  1. Take a few minutes as a group to recap on the issues James  has been addressing in his letter up to the end of chapter 4, are any of those issues more or less relevant today? Discuss.
  2. Read verses 1-6. Why are the rich people being told to weep and groan; is it their money, if not what?
  3. How much do we have to have before we’re rich? Read 1 Chronicles 29: 10-20 for context.
  4. If these verses are predominantly aimed at rich people who aren’t Christians, where is the lesson/application for us today?
  5. Read verses 7-12. As you read through notice and discuss each one of the commands or instructions James gives, how do they apply to us today in 21st century Ely?
  6. How do these two halves of the reading (1-6 &7-12) fit together to give a clear message about justice?
  7. take some time as a group to pray for each other and the whole church as we seek to apply this passage to our lives – Also please focus some prayer time on ‘the brick’ (God building His Church).

 

 

Game Playing – A study

Some study questions For James 4:11-17.

Here’s the sermon if you missed it… The Games Christians Play

  1. In which kinds of ways might we “speak evil against each other”? Check back on what James said in chapter 3; maybe as a group you’ll find some other bible passages that say similar things?
  2. What does it mean to judge a brother or sister? Does this mean we can’t point out others’ sins? Why or why not?
  3. What is the difference between the kind of unpleasantness/judging here, and proper correction? So how do we balance confronting people with their sin and the fact that God is The judge?
  4. Does verse 13 mean that making plans is evil? What about if your Pastor says, “I’ll move to Littleport and spend a year there, start a new church and train leaders and then move on to another place.” Would that be wrong?
  5. How can we know God’s will?
  6. Pastor said in the sermon that “it’s not difficult to know God’s will” – if that’s so, then why do so many Christians say things like, “I just don’t know what The Lord wants me to do?”
  7. Share as a group any areas for prayer that you are seeking the Lord on, and spend some time praying for one another as well as the worship and witness of New Connexions.

Are you wise?

A Study based of this sermon: Are you wise?

Bible Reading Hosea 13 &14

  1. Looking at the first five verses of chapter 13: what had Ephraim been what had they become, what will they become and where is there an application for the Christian today?
  2. Discuss verse 6 and how we might take a warning from it.
  3. How does chapter 13 sit with Ezekiel 33:11? ~spend some time talking this through and discussing why a good understanding of how this fits together will help us in our own walk and in our evangelism.
  4. Take a good look at chapter 14. What is the main point, and where is the application for us today?

A study on Hosea 4-6

You’ll be helped in this study by taking time to pick up on the accompanying sermon Learn what this means!

  1. We took an overview of three chapters this week and reading the whole of the text before divining in to study might be a challenge. Instead after seeking the Lord in prayer, take the approach we took in the service and read through a section then ponder on and discuss:
    1. what was going on;
    2. what was the Lord saying to the original hearers and why;
    3. where is the application for us today.
  2. Read Matthew 9: 9-13 discuss verse 13 – why is it important for us to do what Jesus commands there?

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