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?
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?
God is clearly a little upset with Judah. What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?
What has been going on before this ‘sermon on the mount’?
Who is Jesus talking to and how have his words here been twisted and misconstrued by people from other faiths, atheists and even Christians?
Take some time discussing the first two statements of Jesus about being poor in spirit and mourning, don’t rush through the discussion but try and deal with each in as much depth as possible and consider how we should apply each to our lives today.
Spend some time seeking the Lord in Prayer for the life and work of New Connexions
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath? How might we either be too legalistic or too liberal in this?
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?
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.
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.
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.