A Study on Mark 4:21-34 based on the sermon The Kingdom of God
- Discuss your understanding of the reasons why Jesus began to speak in parables?
- Read vs 21-25 In this parable how do you understand the imagery of the lamp and what does this mean for Christians today?
- Why is it important for us to “consider carefully what we hear”? What are the consequences of doing or not doing this?
- 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?
- 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.
- Discuss what you consider are the greatest threats to church growth today?
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 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?
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?
This study is based on the two sermons below and so it would be beneficial to have heard them prior to the study:
This is Amazing Grace
How do I know what God wants me to do?
- What do we know about this letter (why and when did Paul write etc.), Colossae, and the Colossian church?
- Read the passage: Colossians 1:1-14
- Work through the passage again – slowly, paying particular attention to what it teaches us about prayer. Which aspects of Paul’s approach to prayer might be missing in our prayer lives? Discuss and then consider how this can be put right.
- How can we know the will of God? Discuss this question in some depth, it’s a major topic amongst Christians today, yet the answer is plain and simple, so why do we still struggle.
- Please take some time together praying for each other and the wider fellowship; that we may know more and more of Jesus in our lives.
The sermon for Zephaniah 3 can be found here: What a way to end!
- Looking at verses 1-7 look at and list all the sins and consider how they were sins against God.
- Consider what relevance these verses have for us: a) as a church and b) as individuals.
- Verses 8-20 – looking at these verses, discuss which of these prophecies has been fulfilled by Christ and which are still to come.
- Verses 8-20 – how many times does God say ‘I will?’ talk through each of these and consider the relevance for us today.
- Please take some time to pray for us as a fellowship using Psalm 127 1 as a lead in to prayer.
A study on the sermon: Hunted down Chapter 2 of Zephaniah
- Discuss the first three verses of the chapter, specifically look at and talk through the following phrases – how might they apply to us today?:
- verse 1 “Gather together—yes, gather together…”
- verse 2 “the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger”
- verse 3 “Seek the Lord”,
- Verse 3 all who are humble, and follow his commands.
- Verse 3 “Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you
- Take the rest of the chapter and look at the individual ‘judgement oracles’, consider:
- the different directions mentioned,
- the sins mentioned
- the warnings given
- which of the prophecies were fulfilled and which are yet to come
- does any of this passage equate with what’s going on in the Middle East today?
This study relates to the sermon: God’s Love Seen Through Judgement
- 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?
Some questions from Russell, based on his sermon: Peace and Persecution
Read Matthew 5:1-12
- What is a Peacemaker? Why are we called to be Peacemakers?
- Discuss the difference between Peace the world offers and what Peace God gives?
Choose an example and discuss why you chose it.
- Read Luke 6:27-28 – What ways can we as Christians show peace to those who are indifferent?
- What is persecution? Have you ever experienced it in any form? And how did that make you feel?
- Looking at v11 – What is our response to this? And why is there such great joy and blessing from such suffering?
- Take a moment or two and pray for our brothers & sisters caught up in persecution.
A study based on the sermon: Are You On The Inheritance List?
Start off by reading Matthew 5:1-12, then re-read verse 5
1 – What is meek and what isn’t?
2 – How would taking the first two beatitudes seriously lead us to be “meek”
3 – Can you be meek and angry at the same time? (James 1:19-21) Meek and have strong convictions? (Galatians 2:11-14)
4 – What does “meekness” look like: -In business… -In school… -In our church… -In your neighbourhood…
5 – How does someone become meek? How can God change you in the following behaviours and attitudes? (Matthew 11:28-30)
6 – Where do we learn the attitudes listed on the left and what is our motivation for living out the attitudes on the right?
7 – From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the meek will inherit the earth?