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?

 

Feasts of Israel – Study 4

Study based on Gordon’s sermon: Jewish Feasts Part 4 – Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Reading: Leviticus 23:26-32

  1.  Leviticus 16 contains instructions for the priest on the Day of Atonement. Why do you think Aaron needed to make atonement for himself before making atonement for the people? (see vv 11–14). How is this step different from when Christ performed His Atonement? (Hebrews 9: 6-15)
  2. Why did Aaron need two goats? (see vv. 6–10). How do both goats (the one used for the offering and the one used as the scapegoat) represent Christ and His Atonement? (see vv. 20–22).
  3. Using Hebrews 10 vv1-18 compare the work of the High Priest with that of Christ in achieving atonement.
  4. Discuss the effects of Christ’s finished work of Atonement, past (sins forgiven), present (no condemnation) and future (We shall be like 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.

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.

Another year passes but God’s love goes on and on and on

You may not know me…

But I know everything about you. I know when you sit down and when you get up. I’m familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139: 1-3

Even the hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

You see, you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

And in me you live and move and have life. Acts 17:28

For you’re my child. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

And I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were no mistake, because all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I decided the exact time of your birth and where you’d live. Acts 17:26

You’re wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

And was at your side from the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I’ve been lied about by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44

But I am the cause and supply of all love. 1 John 4:16

And I love you so much! I want to share that love with you. 1 John 3:1

Because you’re my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I give you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

You see I’m the perfect Father. Matthew 5:48

Every good thing you’ve ever had, or will ever have, comes from me. James 1:17

I’ve met all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future is filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

You see I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

And I never stop thinking of you. Psalms 139:17-18

And I love to calm you with my singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I won’t leave you. Jeremiah 32:40

You’re treasured by me. Exodus 19:5

I want to show wonderful things. Jeremiah 33:3

So remember if you seek me with your whole heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Love me, and then I will give you your heart’s desire. Psalm 37:4

Remember it’s me who gives you right desires. Philippians 2:13

And I’m able to do more for you than you could ever imagine. Ephesians 3:20

I’m your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I’m your loving Father comforting you in difficult times. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When your heart’s breaking, I’m with you. Psalm 34:18

I’ve carried you close to my heart, like a shepherd would. Isaiah 40:11

One day I’ll wipe away all your tears. Revelation 21:3-4

And take away all the pain you’ve suffered. Revelation 21:3-4

I’m your Father, and I love you just as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

You see it’s in Jesus, I showed my love for you. John 17:26

He’s the exact image of who I AM. Hebrews 1:3

He came to show that I am on your side. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that because of Jesus, I can wipe out your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Because of Jesus you can know me as your perfect Father. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate demonstration of love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

And if you accept the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I’ve always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

But here’s the important question…Will you be my child?  John 1:12-13

I’m waiting for you.  Luke 15:11-32

Almighty God

Your loving Dad

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 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.

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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