- 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?
Reading: Mark 15: 40-47
Sermon: Christ was buried…
- Read through all the gospel accounts for Christ’s burial; what do we learn about Joseph of Arimathea from these various accounts?
- What is important about Christ’s burial, the tomb, the aloes and Myrrh?
- Discuss which OT prophecies were fulfilled by Christ’s burial?
- What can we apply from this passage for our own lives (consider the two headings for service used in the sermon alongside any other areas which might come through).
- Pray for each other as a group especially that we will be challenged to respond more and more to Christ’s incredible love for us, that we may be better at recognising the gifts we have and be willing to use those gifts for His service.
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!
Some questions based on Mark 6:33-52; if you missed the sermon you can hear it here: I Believe in Miracles
- Discuss our reactions to living the Christian life and being called to give of our time and energy when we’re feeling we’d like to rest or at least slow down a bit.
- What is the purpose of miracles?
- Do miracles still happen?
- Talk thorough the two miracles, what were the lessons for the disciples and what might we take away from them and apply to our lives?
- Spend some time talking about Jesus’ example to us in prayer and what we can learn from Him.
This study is based on the sermon The Death of A Conscience.
- Mark 6: 14-16 Discuss who the people were thinking Jesus was; what was the reason for each and why were they wrong?
- Mark 6:17-29 Talk through this glimpse of Herod’s life – at each twist and turn discuss the positives and negatives and look at how we might learn from this account.
- What is a conscience?
- How might our consciences become dull, damaged, and dead?
- Which ways can we keep our consciences in ‘tip-top’ condition?
This study is based on Mark 5:21-43 and Misha’s sermon: Reach out and touch
- What does Jairus attitude tell us about him, and what can we learn and apply to our lives v 22-23?
- Try to put yourselves in the place of the woman with the illness, how would you have felt approaching Jesus?
- In what every day situations might we have to put our faith and trust in the Lord?
- How does Jesus react when He arrives at the house of Jairus in contrast to the gathering who were there?
- We don’t hear of Jairus and this lady again in scripture but how do you think the rest of their lives were impacted by this event?
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.”
This study is based on Mark 2:13-28. The sermon can be downloaded here: Sinners called to be Saints
- Why was Levi being called by Jesus such a big deal?
- What can we learn from all of the different characters (and their responses) mentioned in the account of Levi’s calling (verses 13 – 17).
- Should Christians fast? explain the various answers.
- What was wrong with the Pharisees approach to the Sabbath?
- What can we learn from this, with respect to the way we spend our Sundays?
- Spend some time in prayer for each other and the wider church, asking the Lord to have His way in our church life and our personal lives.