Watch Out! – Week of Prayer Day 4; 2018

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

Deuteronomy 4:9

The importance of sharing the truth of God with the next generation was made clear to Israel. Were we inspired to write these words today, we would have no doubt written them in CAPITALS, underlined and bold. Look at the urgency in this verse – watch out!

As that need was urgent in Old Testament days, it is urgent now. Israel was (and is!) surrounded by hostile and ungodly nations, and hostile and ungodly influences were bombarding them from the world around them. Today the church is bombarded by the same influences – God is a God of love and justice: He knows very well the temptations that will come to water down His word to be ‘more palatable’ to those around who want to continue living rebellious lives, He knows of the lies the enemy will weave to lure future generations to step away from the truth of His word, a little here and a little there… He knows that without good examples, without lives lived showing His Grace and Mercy in action, without firm discipline and full love, children will be left to wander away from Him.

Today, let us give thanks to The Lord for our church family, and lift the children entrusted to us to Him in prayer, and let us, as a church family, recommit ourselves to Him, asking Him to help us to be sure to share His word, show His love, and teach of His righteousness and justice. We must too give thanks for our human families, pray for marriages and relationships within our church, and ask Him to enrich us by His Spirit as we seek to live obediently by His grace, showing Him in our lives to this generation and the next.

 

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 4

Thank God for the family you are part of and for your church family. Why not draw a

picture/take a photo of your family and use it as you pray to God today.

 

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Follow The Leader – Week of Prayer Day 3; 2018

“But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness.”

Psalm 78:52

Have you ever noticed, that the people of Israel often remembered what they should have forgotten and forgot what they should have remembered…

Here the psalmist is reminding Israel that they are chosen by God, that they were rescued by God in the most incredible way, that God set his own mark upon His flock, by the blood of the Lamb sprinkled on their door-posts; and He led them through their enemies streets, across enemy territory, through the sea which separated before them, and on into a new land, again protecting them though they grumbled. But, as we know through scripture, the people rebelled against God…. Time after time they wanted to be their own shepherd and time after time the enemy attacked until they cried out again to the one and only Good Shepherd.

We might read through the Old Testament and think why ever didn’t they learn to trust God; we might do that, but then we might also compare the ancient Israelites to ourselves…

Christian people are God’s chosen ones too, not replacing Israel, but grafted into that great vine of Israel, and as people living after Christ, with the whole revelation of God in His bible and the blessing of Him dwelling in us as His temples filled by His Spirit, we might do well to remember as the Psalmist reminds us that we too were rescued by God in the most incredible way. God set his own mark upon His flock, by the blood of the Lamb, and He leads us through enemy territory, and will lead us into that New Heaven and New Earth, again protecting us all the way.

So Christian, today, might you find yourself grumbling, wanting to know the way, but unwilling to follow the one who loves to lead you? Might we find the enemy territory we’re wandering through just a bit hard going? Might we seek for ourselves a cross to carry that is easier and more convenient, might we look for our own paths to follow father than take the narrow path with Him?

Today why not use this verse to remind you what an amazing shepherd we have, and seek His leading, His will for your life and the life of your church. Then be radical, be really radical! Obey Him, continue to listen and stay close to your Lord step by step.

 

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 3

Sometimes we can get things wrong, can’t we? Maybe we make bad choices instead of good choices?

If you have something to say sorry to Jesus for today, why not have a quiet time just like Snoopy and ask Jesus to help us say sorry and make better choices next time?

 

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He is Jealous! Week of Prayer Day 2; 2018

You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. Exodus 34:14

Today when we read of God describing Himself as jealous, we can get confused by the modern understating of Jealous; for us Jealous is a negative unpleasant thing, and so we marvel at how God who is love can also be jealous.

As in all illustrations man may use to describe God, the one I’m about to share will fall short, but I hope it will help a little in grasping what it means that our perfect God of love and justice is also Jealous.

Let’s say you come home one day to find a stranger in your kitchen chatting to your 14 year old daughter. He says they’ve been talking online and they’re madly in love. He looks the wrong end of his 50’s. He goes on to say that they have decided to go to a country where girls her age can marry without annoying things like consent of parents getting in the way.

Now assuming that before you throw him either out, or against the nearest wall, assuming you could control yourself long enough to weigh up what you’re feeling… what you’d find is that you have become jealous for your daughter – jealous for her safety and happiness which rightfully belong to her and jealous for the affection that rightfully belongs to you. And you’d act quickly, and with God’s grace, within the law, to get that pervert out of your daughter’s life, and you would do all you could to reteach her, and care for her, to nurture her and help her understand what good and proper loving relationships are.

When God is jealous, He is jealous like that – He is jealous for his people, for their affection which is rightly His and for their safety, welfare and growth, which is rightly theirs.

Isn’t that just the most humbling thing – God, the only true God, the creator of all things is so in love with you that He will jealously watch over you to keep you from getting hooked up with anything at all that will harm you.

As you pray your way through the day keep that picture of pure jealous love in your mind and let it lead you in your worship of God, as you seek to walk in His way, with the knowledge of His jealous love guarding you.

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 2

Let’s thank God for all He has made –which is your favourite day of creation?

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On A Mission! Week of Prayer Day 1; 2018

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

                                                         Acts 1:8

Christian people ARE filled by The Holy Spirit of God; we are filled for many different purposes, and to fulfil many different needs.

Some of those needs will be personal, in that we have our needs met and our lives changed, bit by bit, as He works in our lives to sanctify us (that is to make us more and more like Christ). But here we also see that as He comes to live in our hearts we will, as a matter of course, become His witnesses; we will become people who have His grace, compassion, wisdom, and power to share that Gospel truth. Yes, to share that truth where we are and wherever He will lead us, even to “the ends of the earth”!

Today then, let us welcome afresh the truth of these words and the impact of them on our lives, and let us give ourselves over to His filling, and as we do so recommit ourselves where we are, and also recommit ourselves in prayer for others where they are, be it in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria or to the ends of the earth…

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 1

Today use a ball inside or outside. Each time you catch or kick it remember that without the air inside it wouldn’t work well, and that unless we have God in our hearts we don’t work well either!

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A Miraculous Study

Some questions based on Mark 6:33-52; if you missed the sermon you can hear it here: I Believe in Miracles

  1. Discuss our reactions to living the Christian life and being called to give of our time and energy when we’re feeling we’d like to rest or at least slow down a bit.
  2. What is the purpose of miracles?
  3. Do miracles still happen?
  4. Talk thorough the two miracles, what were the lessons for the disciples and what might we take away from them and apply to our lives?
  5. Spend some time talking about Jesus’ example to us in prayer and what we can learn from Him.

 

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A Study on Mark 6:14-32

This study is based on the sermon The Death of A Conscience.

  1. Mark 6: 14-16 Discuss who the people were thinking Jesus was; what was the reason for each and why were they wrong?
  2. Mark 6:17-29 Talk through this glimpse of Herod’s life – at each twist and turn discuss the positives and negatives and look at how we might learn from this account.
  3. What is a conscience?
  4. How might our consciences become dull, damaged, and dead?
  5. Which ways can we keep our consciences in ‘tip-top’ condition?
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A study on Mark 6:1-13

A study based on the sermon: Go!

  1. Read Mark 6:1-6 Discuss the reaction of the local people to Jesus what was their first reaction and then what was their response? What can we learn from this?
  2. How do you think Jesus might have felt about being rejected? How did He respond?
  3. Read 6:7-13 Discuss the way Jesus sent the disciples out, what they had authority to do and what they were instructed to do.
  4. What was the result?
  5. Spend a good amount of time discussing what we can learn from this passage and apply to our own lives and walk with The Lord.
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Mark 5:21-43 – A Bible Study

This study is based on Mark 5:21-43 and Misha’s sermon: Reach out and touch

  1. What does Jairus attitude tell us about him, and what can we learn and apply to our lives v 22-23?
  2. Try to put yourselves in the place of the woman with the illness, how would you have felt approaching Jesus?
  3. In what every day situations might we have to put our faith and trust in the Lord?
  4. How does Jesus react when He arrives at the house of Jairus in contrast to the gathering who were there?
  5. We don’t hear of Jairus and this lady again in scripture but how do you think the rest of their lives were impacted by this event?
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A Study of Storms…

This study is based on Mark 4:35-41 and the sermon The Teacher Tests Us

  1. What is the setting of this passage, i.e. what has been going on during the day before we get to the ‘that evening’ in our passage?
  2.  Did Jesus know that there would be a storm? If so, why did He tell His disciples to sail into it?
  3. How do we know whether our circumstances are as a result of, spiritual attack,  our own disobedience or our obedience?
  4. Why does Jesus test us, and what should we expect to learn through that testing?
  5. take a look at our verses of the year and compare them to this passage. How might our following the encouragements of those verses enable us to support one another and be supported in the storms that come our way?
  6. Spend some time lifting up the work and life of God’s Church at New Connexions in prayer.
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