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?

 

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.

 

 

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 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.

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).

 

 

Humble yourself!

Some study questions For James 4:1-10.

Here’s the sermon if you missed it… Rock Solid

  1. Take a few minutes as a group to remind each other about who James was, why he was writing etc.
  2. Verse 1: If we have any disagreements with people in our church family, how should we deal with them? – see also Matthew 18: 15-20.
  3. Why might we find prayer difficult?
  4. Why doesn’t God give some people what they ask for? (James 4:3, Isaiah 55:89, 2 Peter 3:8, Philippians 4:6-7, John 15:7).
  5. Verses 7-10. In the sermon we looked at three rock solid promises, what are they? Talk through each one as a group and look at how, if we take them to heart, they can empower us.
  6. How is the reverse logic in verses 9 and 10 true?
  7. What are the key applications in this passage that group members are going to take away and put into practice?

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?

Christian Witness in the shadow of #BREXIT

It’s incredibly concerning to see that across social media, and within our state broadcaster and other media, there is an appalling lack of wisdom in words uttered and views shared when it comes to the outcome of the referendum last week. What is even more shocking is the lack of grace, wisdom and love being shown across the Christian Church:

Democracy is an amazing thing…

…and the democratic process last week is proof of that. There will be those who are delighted that their view prevailed and others sad that theirs didn’t…

…but complaints against democracy are a very dangerous 

I have no doubt that just under half of the readers of this will be sore at the outcome, and just over half will be delighted, but what is required now is for people of all political views, of both the in and the out voters to stop battling and start getting on with the all important job of moving ahead positively; to avoid either vitriol or triumphalism and take a measured positive step, followed by another and another.

however we exercised our democratic right on June 23rd 2016, Britain can an will be great, but only if we so choose…

Christians are at risk of being appalling witnesses by showing a severe lack of compassion and wisdom in this!

Let’s not let this political vacuum intensify the spiritual vacuum – Let’s show the love of Christ as we navigate through the minefield of politics ahead, and let us stand firmly on His Word: continuing to be salt and light to a fallen world, and facing the future with His hope, be steadfast in sharing that hope with the world around us.

Ps 133:1: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Study Questions for Hosea 7&8

Some questions set by Gordon to accompany his sermon: Reaping a whirlwind! 

  1. The people of Israel were compared to a half baked pancake, fit for nothing. 3 reasons are listed in vs 8-10. Failure to remain separated, failure to remain vigilant and failure to seek God. Discuss how this compares to us a individuals, as God’s people and as a nation;
  2. One of the saddest comments in this passage is that the people were unaware of their desperate state. Discuss how easy it can be for Satan to slowly undermine the foundations of the church, and so severely weaken it’s witness;
  3. Half-heartedness and compromise can have devastating effects. In chapter 8 vs 7-10, Hosea pictures this as “sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind”. Discuss what wrong seeds might be sown in our  relationship with God, family, work colleagues or in our use of time and money? 
  4. It would appear from Hosea, that although Israel talked of acknowledging God, they were not prepared to make the changes necessary to rebuild their relationship with Him. If you feel it is appropriate, discuss areas where God’s people today are reluctant to be obedient to his word as it might entail changes they are not prepared to make.

 

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