Some questions from Russell, based on his sermon: Peace and Persecution
Read Matthew 5:1-12
- What is a Peacemaker? Why are we called to be Peacemakers?
- Discuss the difference between Peace the world offers and what Peace God gives?
Choose an example and discuss why you chose it.
- Read Luke 6:27-28 – What ways can we as Christians show peace to those who are indifferent?
- What is persecution? Have you ever experienced it in any form? And how did that make you feel?
- Looking at v11 – What is our response to this? And why is there such great joy and blessing from such suffering?
- Take a moment or two and pray for our brothers & sisters caught up in persecution.
A study on Micah Chapter 2
Here is the sermon if you missed it: God wouldn’t do that… Would He?
- 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;
- 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);
- 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.
A study on James 5:13-20
Here is the sermon if you missed it: Closing In Prayer
Here are some headings with a few start off questions for discussion. You won’t usefully get through them all in time, but do try to cover each heading and leave enough time for prayer together at the end:
1. Struggling and suffering
What is the typical response to struggling and suffering? If we are suffering, what should we pray for? Will God always take away the trial from us? What is the use of praying if God isn’t going to take away the trial? What does a prayerful attitude show about our heart?
2. On top of the world
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian to good news? Why should a Christian respond differently? What does this show about our heart?
3. Not well
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian when they seriously unwell? Who do they rely on? What does turning to mature believers for prayer show about our hearts? Why specifically call the elders? What is the anointing all about? Does verse 15 guarantee that the sick person will be healed? What is a condition? Does this mean if you pray for the sick and they aren’t healed it is because you don’t have enough faith?
Why confess our sins to one another? Isn’t God the one forgives? Isn’t it enough to confess directly to God? In the sermon a set of principles were laid out – what were they? Does this passage support the idea of a Catholic priest hearing ‘confessions’?
5. Prayer – why bother
We often have the idea that God has His plan and prayer doesn’t do anything. Then how do we understand verse 16? Does God do anything? Do our prayers change things? What is the danger to our prayer life if we believe our prayers don’t actually accomplish anything. What does it mean that Elijah had a “nature like ours”? What can we learn from the example of Elijah?
6. Putting someone right
Who is verse 19 talking about? A believer or unbeliever? What is our responsibility towards people in church? How can we “bring a sinner back from wandering”? Explain the phrase ” bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”
A study on James 5: 1-12, based on the sermon: Are You Ready To Meet Your Maker?
- 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.
- Read verses 1-6. Why are the rich people being told to weep and groan; is it their money, if not what?
- How much do we have to have before we’re rich? Read 1 Chronicles 29: 10-20 for context.
- If these verses are predominantly aimed at rich people who aren’t Christians, where is the lesson/application for us today?
- 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?
- How do these two halves of the reading (1-6 &7-12) fit together to give a clear message about justice?
- 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).
Some study questions based on James 1:1-11.
Here’s the sermon if you missed it… Life has it’s troubles
- What do we know about the author of the book James and who he was writing to; what was his purpose in writing?
- Verse 2 – How can trouble be an opportunity for great joy?
- Discuss the process James lays out in verses 3&4 – how does that match your experience?
- What is the wisdom described by James in verse 5, and why do we need it?
- Verses 6 to 8 describe two approaches to prayer; describe and discuss them.
- What is the gist of verses 9 to 11?
- Where are the key applications, for us, from this passage?
A study on Hosea 11 and 12, based on the sermon: Come Back!
- How much can you see of future fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled prophecy? why is it important for the modern church to have a right understanding of prophecy?
- Talk through chapter 11 verse 2; how could that happen? does it happen today?
- Discus how God’s relationship with His people is similar and dissimilar to a human parent-child relationship;
- How does God’s anger differ from human anger? Is human anger ever right? discuss;
- Discus chapter 12 verse 4; how had Bethel changed from Jacob’s time to Hosea’s
‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we
ask anything according to His will, He hears us.’
1 John 5 v 14
Sunday: Pray for the advance of the gospel in Sierra Leone. Pray that the members of the C. of H. Churches might be light and salt in their communities. May their witness be evident to those who are as yet unsaved.
Monday: Pray for the newly appointed leaders. Pray that God will give them wisdom and discernment in their new roles. Pray especially for Rev. Theophilus Nicol and Rev. Alex Dixon.
Tuesday: Pray that the C. of H. churches in the U.K. will realise the responsibility that we have to pray and give to our brothers and sisters in S.L.
Wednesday : Pray for Ebenezer church at Manallo Village. Pray for the pastor Magnus Bendu and the lay pastor and headmaster of the school, Daniel Ndomawah. Praise God that the church is growing and pray for the teachers and children who attend the school.
Thursday: Many children who have lived at Bethesda have been reunited with family members. These children have turned to Christ during their time at Bethesda. Pray they will stand firm in their faith.
Friday: Pray for the street children who are moving into Bethesda. Pray for wisdom in their selection and a settled initial period.
Saturday: Pray for Rev. Daniel Koroma our agent in S.L. Continue to pray for him and his daughter in their loss last summer of wife and mum.
Missed the sermon? Never mind, you can pick it up here: GO!
Read Matthew 28: 11-20
- In the first 5 verses discuss how each of the characters mentioned responded to the resurrection, i.e., what did they do, what did they say and why?
- In the sermon those first 5 verses were described as what (in comparison with the last 5). Discuss as a group why it is important:
- to be aware of what the enemy wants;
- understand the enemies tactics;
- to fully understand the enemy is defeated?
- Some doubted… discuss.
- Jesus delivers his “commission” sandwiched between a statement (verse 18) and another encouraging instruction (verse 20b). discuss what difference that should make to us.
- Talk through the instruction to Go and… (verses 19 and 20a), considering as you go: what is a disciple, how do you make disciples, what is baptism and why is it important? Why in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
If you’ve not picked up the sermon on this passage yet, you can find it here – UP AGAINST IT!
We’re looking at Acts 4: 1-22.
- When did this account happen? As a group sketch out a rough timeline between ‘Good Friday’ and this account.
- What do we know about the characters mentioned in this description.
- Can we learn anything about how the authorities were dealing with the resurrection of Jesus, and how they were explaining it?
- Discuss healing. Does God always heal, never heal or sometimes heal today, and why does He do it, or not…?
- There were a lot of brief points thrown out in the sermon, which were considered helps for us today. Can you recall any? Or list a number of your own as a group?
- After discussion, spend some time in prayer focussing on the persecuted church, and our own situation as people called to be “Salt & Light”