A study based on Mark 3:1-15 and based on this sermon: Stretch Out In Faith
- What was it about Jesus that really annoyed the Pharisees? Who were the Herodians and why would they be an unlikely ally for the Pharisees?
- What did Jesus ask the man with the crippled hand to do? What must we learn from this?
- In the sermon we spoke a lot about how we might have surplus baggage. What was meant by surplus baggage and how might it drag us down? How can we help each other deal with it?
- Discuss whether we have the authority to drive out demons…
- Why is it important for disciples to be willing to leave everything and spend time with Jesus? How might this be a challenge for us?
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.”
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 the sermon Is There Grass On Your Path?
- In the sermon we looked briefly at the following scriptures: James 4:1-2, Isaiah 59:1-2, 2 Chronicles 16:9a. Which other verses on prayer come to mind, when thinking about our need and reluctance to pray.
- Take the 5 sermon headings and talk through practical applications which we could commit to taking on board (individually and as a church). The headings were:
- We crowd out prayer with other things
- Sin separates
- We don’t see prayer as a relationship thing
- We don’t appreciate the massive importance of the facts that prayer prepares us for spiritual warfare. And prayer is spiritual warfare.
- We think we can handle things ourselves
- Spend some time praying for each other.
A study based on the Sermon : Top (Teamwork Obedience and Prayer) Christians
- Looking back at the whole book of Colossians, what are the key points?
- What can we learn about ministry from verses 7&8?
- What is Paul’s attitude to imprisonment? What might we learn from that?
- Mark’s clearly part of the team, but what can we learn about his ‘backstory’? [Acts 12.25; 13:13; 15:38-39]. How should we learn from what we see of Mark’s journey in faith and ministry?
- Verse 12 – prayer what does praying earnestly mean?
- Verse 14 – what do we know about both Demas and Luke [from further study in the NT]?
- Discuss how verse 17 might apply to us.
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.
Some study questions based on the sermon Do You Have Real Peace?
- Read Colossians 2:8-14
- Verse 8 – How might we be captured, and by what kinds of empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense?
- Verses 9 & 10 – Why is it crucial that we see and believe the truth that Christ is both completely man and completely God? Also what does it mean, “that you are complete by your union with God“?
- Verses 11 & 12 – Discuss what we heard in the sermon about these verses on circumcision and baptism. How might we overstate or understate the importance of a public declaration of faith in baptism?
- Verses 13 & 14 – Pastor says, “These are powerful statements and if taken to heart will have a profound affect on the believer” Do you agree, if so (or not) why, and what difference is it going to have on your life with Christ?
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.
Pray for the fellowship of Ebenezer Lumley and the family of Rev.Angel Ama-Lamin who died recently. Peter had the privilege to pray for him whilst in Sierra Leone.
Pray for the new clinic which has been established at The Theological College at Jui. This clinic will serve the local community. Pray especially for the little girl with third degree burns to her leg.
Pray for the patients and staff at the hospital at Koidu. Peter and Janet were given the opportunity to visit and pray for individuals, including Muslims. They also met Victoria a three year old who had accidentally been pushed backwards into boiling water. Her chance of survival is minimal but with prayer and God’s intervention a miracle is possible.
Sierra Leone is heading for elections early next year and the process has started with voter registration. Pray against any form of violence approach that electoral process and for God to lead the people of this country to vote for the right person.
Pray for wisdom for Bishop Theophilus as he makes important decisions. Pray also for Magnus, Daniel and Alex as they advise and support the Bishop.
Thank God for the wonderful work that is happening at Bethesda. Pray for Allusine, Musa and Issa as they have been reunited to their family but desire to be back at Bethesda. Thank God for Aminata and Sallie and pray that He will heal Sallie from her discomfort.
Thank God for the stoic teachers in our schools; against all odds they continue to give their best. Also pray for our pastors; for safety in travel, protection against illness and a fresh vitality in their ministry.
This week, instead of working through a list of questions set for you, read the passage ( Luke 14: 25-35) and then phrase by phrase, as a group explain it together, and to each other.
If you missed Dave’s sermon here’s the link – Jesus demands we give Him everything
After your study please take some time to pray: for each other, our fellowship and Sierra Leone.