- How do you feel about the seeming choice of endings shown in most English Bibles?
- What do you feel was the main thrust of theses verses (you can disagree with the preacher! – Just discuss why if you do)?
- As a group, as you move through this passage, try and explain to each other what each of the scenes looks like, how individuals might feel etc.
- What questions do you have about what was going on? As a group try and answer those questions from the bible.
- Why was Jesus so concerned about the disciples’ lack of trust… How might we find ourselves lacking in trust, and what is the effect?
If you missed the sermon on Mark 15:22-39, here it is: A Gamers view of the crucifixion (or looking out with Jesus)
- Discuss the different people who were present at the crucifixion – what were they doing there, what motives might they have had, how did they respond on the day?
- Discuss your reaction to the crucifixion (look at all the gospel accounts and Psalm 22).
- In the sermon it was suggested that the crucifixion requires a response? Does it? If so, what is your response?
- We were challenged earlier in the service to encourage eachother with scriptures which have been helpful to us this year. Spend some time as a group doing this and consider learning a new scripture, together, each week.
If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: It started with a kiss….
- 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?
- Discuss and work out what we can learn from:
- the words of Jesus prayer – what exactly did Jesus mean?
- why did the disciples keep sleeping?
- why did Jesus pray the same things more than once?
- What if anything surprises you about Jesus arrest?
- If Peter was willing to draw a sword and fight, what made all the disciples run away?
- What can we learn from this passage for our lives in the here and now in Ely?
If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: Don’t Argue With God!
- What was different about the Passover meal at the ‘last supper’?
- As they finished the meal they sang from Psalms 115-118. Take a look at those psalms and pick out anything particularly that might have been poignant for Jesus (knowing He was going to the cross within hours)
- We spent a good amount of time looking at Peter’s argument with Jesus about the fact he would deny Jesus. discuss why Peter became so forceful in his argument.
- How might we argue with God, bargain with Him, or claim to know better than Him.
- Why, when and how might we ever refuse to accept what the Lord is teaching us?
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.
The sermon this week can be found here: Watch out…. FOR HIM!
- 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.
- Read Mark 13:21-37.
- Watching out for deception has been mentioned a lot, in which ways might we or others be deceived.
- 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?
- In which other ways should we apply this passage?
This week’s study is based on the sermon Might you be suffering from IF…itis? and Mark 9:1-29.
- What was going on before the “Jesus went on to say” in verse1?
- What did it mean Jesus was transformed? What was the point of it?
- Moses and Elijah turn up… Why?
- What’s with the talking cloud?
- What was the problem with the boy in verse 17?
- Would the boy have been free of the demon if these disciples had prayed about it?
- What’s the only way to never be disappointed in yourself?
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.
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
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.
Never stop praying.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT
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.
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!
You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. Exodus 34:14
Today when we read of God describing Himself as jealous, we can get confused by the modern understating of Jealous; for us Jealous is a negative unpleasant thing, and so we marvel at how God who is love can also be jealous.
As in all illustrations man may use to describe God, the one I’m about to share will fall short, but I hope it will help a little in grasping what it means that our perfect God of love and justice is also Jealous.
Let’s say you come home one day to find a stranger in your kitchen chatting to your 14 year old daughter. He says they’ve been talking online and they’re madly in love. He looks the wrong end of his 50’s. He goes on to say that they have decided to go to a country where girls her age can marry without annoying things like consent of parents getting in the way.
Now assuming that before you throw him either out, or against the nearest wall, assuming you could control yourself long enough to weigh up what you’re feeling… what you’d find is that you have become jealous for your daughter – jealous for her safety and happiness which rightfully belong to her and jealous for the affection that rightfully belongs to you. And you’d act quickly, and with God’s grace, within the law, to get that pervert out of your daughter’s life, and you would do all you could to reteach her, and care for her, to nurture her and help her understand what good and proper loving relationships are.
When God is jealous, He is jealous like that – He is jealous for his people, for their affection which is rightly His and for their safety, welfare and growth, which is rightly theirs.
Isn’t that just the most humbling thing – God, the only true God, the creator of all things is so in love with you that He will jealously watch over you to keep you from getting hooked up with anything at all that will harm you.
As you pray your way through the day keep that picture of pure jealous love in your mind and let it lead you in your worship of God, as you seek to walk in His way, with the knowledge of His jealous love guarding you.
Children’s Prayer Activity
Let’s thank God for all He has made –which is your favourite day of creation?