A study – Mark 14:32-52

If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: It started with a kiss….

  1. Read the passage: Mark makes a point of translating the Hebrew word Abba, to ensure everyone knows what this word means – why is it a significant word and what does it tell us about the kind of relationship God wants to have with us?
  2. Discuss and work out what we can learn from:
    1. the words of Jesus prayer – what exactly did Jesus mean?
    2. why did the disciples keep sleeping?
    3. why did Jesus pray the same things more than once?
  3. What if anything surprises you about Jesus arrest?
  4. If Peter was willing to draw a sword and fight, what made all the disciples run away?
  5. What can we learn from this passage for our lives in the here and now in Ely?
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The Good Shepherd and the Gospel

Here is the sermon, in case you missed it: Your Choice

1.       Read through the ‘Good shepherd passage’ John 10: 7-18. As a group discuss the passage, unpicking the various aspects i.e. who are the sheep, who is the hired man etc. etc.

2.       Sunday’s message focused on verse 10. What is this ‘rich and satisfying life’ that Jesus talks about? How might Christians be missing out on experiencing this life in the present?

3.       The Gospel message is more than ‘God is Love’ – Discuss.

4.       People need to hear the Gospel. A) how can we as individuals tell them? B) how as a church can we encourage and enable each other to share that Good News.

5.       Spend some time in prayer thanking God for those who visited on Sunday and also praying for those individuals.

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A Study – Mark 14:1-21

This study is based on the sermon: Two Ordinary People

  1. Passover is an important part of the Jewish year – in which ways is it a reminder of history and how is it also prophetic;
  2. In the sermon we looked at Mary’s ‘act of worship’ we had three headings to consider, what were they? Talk them through as a group. In which ways do these challenge you?
  3.  In the sermon we also looked at Judas’s ‘act of betrayal’. How could the other disciples not have known?
  4. Judas could have repented even after the accusation in verse 18. Discuss…
  5. Judas’ act was foreknown and even foreordained (cf. Psalm 41:9). Nevertheless, Judas was responsible for his decisions. Discuss.
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Study Questions – Mark 13:21-37

The sermon this week can be found here: Watch out…. FOR HIM!

  1. The ‘Olivet Discourse’ has been a challenging passage for the preachers – how has it been for you; i.e. have you learnt anything new, disagreed with anything you have heard? been confused or surprised by anything? Talk these things through as a group.
  2. Read Mark 13:21-37.
  3. Watching out for deception has been mentioned a lot, in which ways might we or others be deceived.
  4. The sermon ended with three points of application. Discuss what they were and how as a group and as a church we might help each other with these?
  5. In which other ways should we apply this passage?
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Highs and Lows: A study on Mark 9:1-29

This week’s study is based on the sermon Might you be suffering from IF…itis?  and Mark 9:1-29.

  1. What was going on before the “Jesus went on to say” in verse1?
  2. What did it mean Jesus was transformed? What was the point of it?
  3. Moses and Elijah turn up… Why?
  4. What’s with the talking cloud?
  5. What was the problem with the boy in verse 17?
  6. Would the boy have been free of the demon if these disciples had prayed about it?
  7. What’s the only way to never be disappointed in yourself?
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Bible Study Mark 8:22-38

This study is based on the above passage and you may find it helpful to listen to the accompanying sermon: Three Steps…

  1. Take a few minutes to recap on what has been going on since Mark 7:1.
  2. Discuss the healing of the blind man: what was unusual, what was similar to other healings, as well as the man being healed what was going on here?
  3. What do you know about Caesarea Philippi and the journey?
  4. Why do you think the disciples got the right answer about who Jesus is, and what was wrong about their ideas as to what that would mean for Him (and them)?
  5. Discuss Peter’s response to Jesus talking about the cross – what might we learn?
  6. There are three steps to following Jesus – discuss the difficulties we face in following them and how we can encourage, challenge and help each other along in our following Him together.
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How do we do this? – Week of Prayer Day 7; 2018

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Luke 11:1

Isn’t this a great question? I wonder which disciple it was who asked…

Yes a great question followed by a famous answer. An answer which provides Jesus’ framework to help us with prayer.  But there is something in this request and answer that we can easily sidestep, or overlook – both the question and the answer make an assumption that we will pray. You see The disciples are eager to pray (“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”) and Jesus is eager to help them, as we find out if we read on (Luke 11:2-11).

A regular question in churches today is “how can I get better a praying?” It’s a great question and rightly Pastors across the world will turn up many passages of scripture to encourage us, to lead us, to remind us and be examples to us. God has provided all of this, but, as with all of the Bible, to profit from what we read we need at have hearts that are eager to understand, and get busy with what we learn – in short, the way to learn about prayer is to pray – do just what this disciple did, ask Jesus and be willing to respond to the answer.

Here are a few more pointers about prayer:

  • Remember that ike everything we do well in our lives, we need to practice prayer.
  • Use the framework set by Jesus for a start, or find one of the psalms that fits the need and pray it relating it to your circumstances.
  • Make prayer a habit every day.
  • Find a time and a space where you can focus.
  • Expect to find prayer rewarding.
  • Expect to find prayer hard work at times.
  • Expect to God to respond, and watch out for those answers.
  • Expect to be challenged by God.
  • Expect to be Encouraged by God.

Direct communication with the Living God! Why wouldn’t we want to pray?

Children’s Prayer Activity  

DAY 7

Adoring God – When you’re saying your prayers to day think of as many things as possible you really love and thank God for them, and remember too to tell God how much you love Him 🙂

 

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Building – Week of Prayer Day 6; 2018

Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.

Psalm 127:1

In the midst of your busyness, do you ever find yourself skipping the odd prayer meeting or housegroup? Do you find your quiet times get shorter or stop completely, might your bible be less well read?

As the busyness and stresses and strains increase, does communication with God come only in short sighs of desperation? Ever considered that there is a very clear link?

There is a sense of peace that comes when we lean on God in our busyness and in our stress. Are you working hard? Is it for God? That’s great! But here’s the question, is it really for Him? Are you letting Him be in control, or are you calling the shots and making His plans for Him?

If He’s not the one in control, if He’s not the one building the house, then your work is pointless, you’re wasting your time, just as Solomon reminds us in his psalm. When this happens instead of experiencing all that God has for you, you are unnecessarily exhausting yourself, like a builders labourer who ignores the plans, digs hard all day but at the end of it has achieved nothing but a big whole…

We have a God who is the best architect, able to build the most amazing creations out of nothing, He laid His life down to give us  a perfect foundation and when He builds, the gates of hell will not prevail against it Matthew 16:18. So step back… take a breath… ask Him again to slow you down, refocus you on His perfect plan and work alongside Him in it.

As a Church, it  serves us well too, to remember that in our seeking for land and a building we must never step out of His plan, never drag behind Him and Never rush ahead – It is a scriptural truth that be it physically or spiritually “unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”

So today as you take time with the Lord, seek Him on this aspect of our life as a church, ask Him to build us up and thank Him that in all things He will provide and protect His people.

 

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 6

Look in the mirror today and thank God for all the  things He helps you with and give Him a smile 🙂 in the mirror as you thank Him for making you such a special person.

What next? Remember to talk and listen to God every day, as He loves to get to know you better. You could learn this short bible verse about prayer

Never stop praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

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Doing everything to spread the Good News – Week of Prayer Day 5; 2018

I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:23

Well, so said Paul and without a hint of ego, it was just a statement of fact.

So often today we might read something like this in scripture and think – wow, that was an amazing character, he must have had a special blessing from God to live like that, but of course, if we stop and think it through even for a second, this is exactly what Jesus calls each of us to do in our Christian lives – to be blessed as we live lives that do everything to spread the Good News. But here’s the “exam question:” Do we do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessing?

Imagine you knew that one of your friends were about to make a dreadful mistake, and from the outside you have the perspective needed to see what is at stake but they have no clue?

Say your friend told you he had started an affair, or your daughter or granddaughter had started to regularly turn up drunk, or your son was spotted hanging around with known drug dealers? What would you do in those circumstances? To what lengths would you go to in order to make these people you care for, see the awful errors of judgement, and the likely outcomes?

I’m guessing most of us would do everything possible, but What if those people were on (to use Chris Rea’s phrase) the road to hell?

For most of us it will be easy to go all out to save someone from their worldly bad choices. For most of us it is not quite as easy to go all out to save someone from choosing the clearly dangerous road to hell.

If you have a hard time motivating yourself to share Jesus, borrow some enthusiasm from Paul. It couldn’t be more important for people to find out about forgiveness. Without Jesus’ forgiveness a very real, very hot, eternity is on the horizon.

Paul would do everything possible to get people to listen to the story he had to share, the story of God’s love for his fallen creation. For Paul, sharing the gospel was the most important thing, and it should be for us too. This is why we are here. God wants to use us, of all people, to show his love to the world.

It all starts and ends with Jesus. Like Paul we were once lost. Like Paul we were joined to God’s heavenly family by the love of Jesus. Like Paul we are compelled by Jesus to do everything possible to share Jesus until he calls us home or comes to collect us.

So today, let us give thanks that we have been saved, and ask the Lord to fill us with His undeserved love so that our lives will overflow with His love to the world around us, and let us by every possible means share His gospel every day.

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 2

Print and colour in this picture to make it look like you, and as you’re colouring think and pray about your friends who don’t know Jesus!

 

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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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