Every now and then, in this crazy society we live, I think we need reminding of this:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
A study based on the sermon: Called to bring the roof down!
- In verse 1 it says Jesus came home, but Jesus home was in Nazareth; why does Mark say this?
- Verse 2: What was Jesus preaching to the people? What should we preach to people and what happens if we preach something different?
- Verses 3&4: discuss the faith these men had and the effect their faith had on the different people around i.e. the paralysed man, Jesus, the four friends, the religious leaders, others in the house.
- How should this impact our own faith and our own approach to bringing people to Jesus?
- Verse 5: Jesus forgives the man’s sin – what does that mean?
- Verses 6-12: Jesus proves His authority, what do His words and actions prove? How should that impact our lives?
A Study on Mark 1:21-45 based on the sermon: Authority!
- Imagine the scene in the in the Synagogue as Jesus joins the regular crowd. What was different about the way He taught?
- Discuss Demons, being possessed and what that means. Are Christians possessed? Discuss your answers.
- Why don’t we hear of people being possessed today?
- We see Jesus healing many people. Does He still heal today? If so why isn’t everyone healed?
- Talk through the lepers request, Jesus response and the Lepers response to being healed.
If you missed the sermon, here’s the link: Don’t Mend Your Nets!
Reading Mark 1:1-20.
- What do we know about Mark, who was he, why was he writing and who to, when was he writing?
- What was John the Baptist doing and why? Discuss what it must have been like to have been around with him?
- Why was Jesus baptised? Discussed what happened when He was.
- Mark hardly mentions the temptations, but He mentions enough to tell us the important facts – what are they and what difference does it make to our understanding of Jesus?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus, and what might be stopping us from following Him more obediently (what kind of nets might we be mending?)
A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!
- Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
- What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
- The passage doesn’t talk about us doing what we want or getting what we want but focuses on other brothers and sisters in our church, why is that and what difference should that make to the way we relate to each other as a church?
- Sometimes we get restless as individuals and decide that we want something else, maybe a different style or more going on, a bigger church or a smaller church. Why is acting on what we want almost certainly the wrong thing? (if there are any brave characters in the group they might share about past occasions when they have left churches for personal preference rather than because they were called for a purpose);
- How can we motivate, encourage, and provoke (in a positive way) one another? And how might we demotivate, discourage and provoke (in a negative way) one another?
- Should we expect Christ’s return soon?
A study based on Proverbs 17:24
If you missed the sermon you cam pick it up here: Is that terribly wise?
- How would you describe wisdom? Can anyone have wisdom or is it a gift for some?
- What characterises a fool?
- Can the group recall any other times wisdom and foolishness are mentioned in the Bible? Discuss what God is saying through each example.
- How can we get wisdom?
- Discussion on things like this can be a bit disconnected from real life. in the sermon we looked at a number of ways that we could and should apply this passage to our lives. Discuss those further as a group, and consider how we might encourage and challenge each other in this.
A study based on the sermon: Live Wisely & Speak to People About God
Reading Colossians 4:5-6
- What is wisdom?
- Where can we find wisdom?
- In the sermon we spent some time looking at what it means to fear God (Psalm 111:10); what does it mean and why is it important for us to have a proper understanding of that?
- What does it mean to make the most of every opportunity, and also what does it not mean?
- Discuss verse 6 as a group and talk through how we might practically apply to our lives here and now.
Sunday: This prayer letter concentrates on the aftermath of the terrible mudslide. S.L.M. and F.S.L. sent money to Sierra Leone where Magnus and Daniel have distributed the funds. Please pray for discrimination and wisdom for the leaders in S.L. as they carry out this ministry. The prayer points have been copied from emails from S.L.
Monday: Fina Koroma: Fina is around 26 years who survived the mudslide because her 5year old child was admitted to the hospital the day before the slide. Her husband, 3 other children and 3 other relatives all were covered by the landslide. One of the people that died was her younger brother who was due to travel that very afternoon before the disaster after a two weeks holiday from the interior. Fina is currently very depressed and confused. I prayed for her and encouraged her to trust in Jesus. She is a Christian and she is currently living in an unfinished Church building.
Tuesday: Paul S Turay; He is 22 years and lived with his sister. They were 9 in the small Aluminium Sheet built hut. All but Paul were buried under the mud. He is now staying on the veranda of a community member. He says he will continue to attend school in the next week. He looks strong but has a lot of sadness in his eyes and is likely in shock for now.
Wednesday: Mamy Sama Conteh is a mother of 11 children. She had lost 8 in the course of time, and the one who was the breadwinner called Neneh, whom she was staying with, died in the mudslide. They were ‘stone miners’ and the old woman was saved because she left home very early in the morning under heavy rainfall to visit her friend. As soon as she left, the mud buried her entire household. What pain for this 65-70 year old Mamy.
Thursday: Daniel Kamara is the young boy (10yrs) whom the flash flood dashed through stones and trees into a banana tree, which was uprooted by the wild waters, and left him with a broken leg and arm. He was rescued and taken to hospital. His left foot was amputated and his right arm is being treated. His situation is serious. He was crying when I visited – He is suffering pain – This poor little boy. He managed to say thank you for the package of monies. We should continue to pray for him -poor Daniel. Lest I forget his father, who is a taxi driver, survived because he had left for his taxi driving and did not know that Daniel was alive until after 20 days. He was shocked to hear that. This donation will help a lot to pay for the hospital treatment.
Friday: Fina Koroma is a trader who had a little shop. The mudslide covered her shop and three other people. She thinks all is lost. She burst into tears when I considered her situation and decided to extend this blessing to her. Le 500,000 is very crucial for her to continue her business.
Saturday: I am sending a testimony of a pregnant woman a survivor, whose husband died in the morning of the landslide. As they were escaping from the disaster the woman and the child were in the front followed by the father. As they ran a huge stone knocked the man from the back. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died. Only the two of them survived plus the baby to be born without a father.
This study is based on the sermon Nothing New Here!
- Read Colossians 1:24-29; what are your first thoughts?
- Paul says he is glad to suffer and that he is participating in the sufferings of Christ [cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-27]. Talk through what he means and how we should apply this in our lives.
- Paul is at pains to make clear that he is a servant for God. Discuss why it is important that we understand this and live it out.
- What does it mean to preach the whole gospel and how do we do it?
- God’s wisdom and strength are the key to Paul’s service – are we working, serving and living in His strength, power and wisdom? what difference does it make?