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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A Study on Mark 4:21-34

A Study on Mark 4:21-34 based on the sermon The Kingdom of God

  1. Discuss your understanding of the reasons why Jesus began to speak in parables?
  2. Read vs 21-25        In this parable how do you understand the imagery of the lamp and what does this mean for Christians today?
  3. Why is it important for us to “consider carefully what we hear”? What are the consequences of doing or not doing this?
  4. Read vs 26-29        Once the seed (God’s word) has been sown, is that the end of our responsibility? If not, what else can we do to enable the seed to bear fruit?
  5. Read vs 30-34        Consider the size of the church when these words were spoken and how far it has spread in the following centuries.
  6. Discuss what you consider are the greatest threats to church growth today?
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What kind of field are we planting?

A study on Mark 4:1-20 based on the sermon Sowing the seed of love…

  1. Read the first two verses and discuss how you imagine the scene as Jesus is teaching;
  2. Read the rest of the passage. Why might people not understand the parable?
  3. discuss each of the 4 soil/soul types.
  4. How ought we apply this passage to our own lives?
  5. Spend some time in prayer, seeking the Lord’s leading in our life as a church and His protection, wisdom, boldness and compassion as we’re obedient to Him.
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