A study in blessings

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had a look at two of the beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12; sermons can be found here:

The Be – Attitudes Part 1

Happy Are The Sad !!

  1. What has been going on before this ‘sermon on the mount’?
  2. Who is Jesus talking to and how have his words here been twisted and misconstrued by people from other faiths, atheists and even Christians?
  3. 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.
  4. Spend some time seeking the Lord in Prayer for the life and work of New Connexions

 

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 2

Study based on the sermon: Jewish Feasts Part 2 – Pentecost

Reading: Leviticus 23: 15-22

There are only a few questions here but take each one in as much depth as you can.

  1. What was Pentecost:
    1. looking back to;
    2. giving thanks for;
    3. looking ahead to?
  2. Why was yeast used in the bread and why were there two loaves – what do the loaves represent?
  3. Where is the application for us as a church in the UK in the 21st century?
  4. please take time to pray for each other and pick up on this terms prayer pointers below:

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.

 

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.

 

 

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?

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?

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.

Micah 1 – Study Questions

If you missed the sermon on this you can pick it up here: Puns aren’t always funny

  1. Read through the chapter – what are your first impressions of the book?
  2. What do we know about Micah, the time he was ministering, which other prophets were about at the same time etc.
  3. How did God give His messages to Micah, and what did Micah do with those messages? What can we learn from this about being open to God and obedient to him?
  4. On Sunday, after a brief overview of the chapter, we looked at three specific questions – what were they? Take some time to discuss each of them as a group, considering why the question is important, how Micah helps us answer the questions, and how we as individuals and as a church might need to take these things more seriously in our lives (there is probably a whole study just in this question…).

 

 

Game Playing – A study

Some study questions For James 4:11-17.

Here’s the sermon if you missed it… The Games Christians Play

  1. In which kinds of ways might we “speak evil against each other”? Check back on what James said in chapter 3; maybe as a group you’ll find some other bible passages that say similar things?
  2. What does it mean to judge a brother or sister? Does this mean we can’t point out others’ sins? Why or why not?
  3. What is the difference between the kind of unpleasantness/judging here, and proper correction? So how do we balance confronting people with their sin and the fact that God is The judge?
  4. Does verse 13 mean that making plans is evil? What about if your Pastor says, “I’ll move to Littleport and spend a year there, start a new church and train leaders and then move on to another place.” Would that be wrong?
  5. How can we know God’s will?
  6. Pastor said in the sermon that “it’s not difficult to know God’s will” – if that’s so, then why do so many Christians say things like, “I just don’t know what The Lord wants me to do?”
  7. Share as a group any areas for prayer that you are seeking the Lord on, and spend some time praying for one another as well as the worship and witness of New Connexions.

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?

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