God is Jealous – how does that work?

A study on Nahum Chapter 1.

This study is based on the sermon: Is God Really Jealous?

  1. How familiar are the group with this book? Why do you think that is?
  2. What are the first thoughts you have on reading the first six verses?
  3. Describe what it means to be jealous?
  4. How is God jealous?
  5. Jonah had been used by God to convert the whole of Nineveh, a few hundred years later and there are few believer left. What can we learn from this as we look at our own society?
  6. In which ways is this chapter comforting to believers?

Study Questions: Zephaniah 2

A study on the sermon: Hunted down Chapter 2 of Zephaniah

  1. Discuss the first three verses of the chapter, specifically look at and talk through the following phrases – how might they apply to us today?:
  1. verse 1 “Gather together—yes, gather together…”
  2. verse 2 “the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger”
  3. verse 3  “Seek the Lord”,
  4. Verse 3 all who are humble, and follow his commands.
  5. Verse 3 “Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you
  1. Take the rest of the chapter and look at the individual ‘judgement oracles’, consider:
  1. the different directions mentioned,
  2. the sins mentioned
  3. the warnings given
  4. which of the prophecies were fulfilled and which are yet to come
  5. does any of this passage equate with what’s going on in the Middle East today?

 

Study Questions: Zephaniah 1

This study relates to the sermon: God’s Love Seen Through Judgement

  1. 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? 
  2. 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?
  3. God is clearly a little upset with Judah.  What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
  4. Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?

 

Feasts of Israel – Study 4

Study based on Gordon’s sermon: Jewish Feasts Part 4 – Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Reading: Leviticus 23:26-32

  1.  Leviticus 16 contains instructions for the priest on the Day of Atonement. Why do you think Aaron needed to make atonement for himself before making atonement for the people? (see vv 11–14). How is this step different from when Christ performed His Atonement? (Hebrews 9: 6-15)
  2. Why did Aaron need two goats? (see vv. 6–10). How do both goats (the one used for the offering and the one used as the scapegoat) represent Christ and His Atonement? (see vv. 20–22).
  3. Using Hebrews 10 vv1-18 compare the work of the High Priest with that of Christ in achieving atonement.
  4. Discuss the effects of Christ’s finished work of Atonement, past (sins forgiven), present (no condemnation) and future (We shall be like Him).

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

Feasts of Israel – Study 2

Study based on the sermon: Jewish Feasts Part 2 – Pentecost

Reading: Leviticus 23: 15-22

There are only a few questions here but take each one in as much depth as you can.

  1. What was Pentecost:
    1. looking back to;
    2. giving thanks for;
    3. looking ahead to?
  2. Why was yeast used in the bread and why were there two loaves – what do the loaves represent?
  3. Where is the application for us as a church in the UK in the 21st century?
  4. please take time to pray for each other and pick up on this terms prayer pointers below:

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

 

Feasts of Israel – Study 1

The Jewish Calendar

Study based on the sermon: Jewish Feasts part 1

Reading: Leviticus 23:1-14

  1. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath? How might we either be too legalistic or too liberal in this?
  2. Are these feasts in Leviticus 23 really relevant to us today? If so how, and why don’t we celebrate them within the modern church?
  3. As a group discuss each of the first three feasts; how are they a reminder of past things and in which ways do they speak of things that were to come.
  4. In the sermon we looked at the dates of Passover, preparation, selecting the sacrifice etc. and how the prophecies of Daniel 9, Psalm 118 and Zechariah 9, Luke 11:29 form part of the picture. Discuss how all of this fits together in God’s plan, how tradition has confused things and what this might teach us about the importance of studying the whole of scripture.
  5. Please use the points below to guide you in a time of prayer.

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

Game Playing – A study

Some study questions For James 4:11-17.

Here’s the sermon if you missed it… The Games Christians Play

  1. In which kinds of ways might we “speak evil against each other”? Check back on what James said in chapter 3; maybe as a group you’ll find some other bible passages that say similar things?
  2. What does it mean to judge a brother or sister? Does this mean we can’t point out others’ sins? Why or why not?
  3. What is the difference between the kind of unpleasantness/judging here, and proper correction? So how do we balance confronting people with their sin and the fact that God is The judge?
  4. Does verse 13 mean that making plans is evil? What about if your Pastor says, “I’ll move to Littleport and spend a year there, start a new church and train leaders and then move on to another place.” Would that be wrong?
  5. How can we know God’s will?
  6. Pastor said in the sermon that “it’s not difficult to know God’s will” – if that’s so, then why do so many Christians say things like, “I just don’t know what The Lord wants me to do?”
  7. Share as a group any areas for prayer that you are seeking the Lord on, and spend some time praying for one another as well as the worship and witness of New Connexions.

Christian Witness in the shadow of #BREXIT

It’s incredibly concerning to see that across social media, and within our state broadcaster and other media, there is an appalling lack of wisdom in words uttered and views shared when it comes to the outcome of the referendum last week. What is even more shocking is the lack of grace, wisdom and love being shown across the Christian Church:

Democracy is an amazing thing…

…and the democratic process last week is proof of that. There will be those who are delighted that their view prevailed and others sad that theirs didn’t…

…but complaints against democracy are a very dangerous 

I have no doubt that just under half of the readers of this will be sore at the outcome, and just over half will be delighted, but what is required now is for people of all political views, of both the in and the out voters to stop battling and start getting on with the all important job of moving ahead positively; to avoid either vitriol or triumphalism and take a measured positive step, followed by another and another.

however we exercised our democratic right on June 23rd 2016, Britain can an will be great, but only if we so choose…

Christians are at risk of being appalling witnesses by showing a severe lack of compassion and wisdom in this!

Let’s not let this political vacuum intensify the spiritual vacuum – Let’s show the love of Christ as we navigate through the minefield of politics ahead, and let us stand firmly on His Word: continuing to be salt and light to a fallen world, and facing the future with His hope, be steadfast in sharing that hope with the world around us.

Ps 133:1: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Study Questions for Hosea 7&8

Some questions set by Gordon to accompany his sermon: Reaping a whirlwind! 

  1. The people of Israel were compared to a half baked pancake, fit for nothing. 3 reasons are listed in vs 8-10. Failure to remain separated, failure to remain vigilant and failure to seek God. Discuss how this compares to us a individuals, as God’s people and as a nation;
  2. One of the saddest comments in this passage is that the people were unaware of their desperate state. Discuss how easy it can be for Satan to slowly undermine the foundations of the church, and so severely weaken it’s witness;
  3. Half-heartedness and compromise can have devastating effects. In chapter 8 vs 7-10, Hosea pictures this as “sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind”. Discuss what wrong seeds might be sown in our  relationship with God, family, work colleagues or in our use of time and money? 
  4. It would appear from Hosea, that although Israel talked of acknowledging God, they were not prepared to make the changes necessary to rebuild their relationship with Him. If you feel it is appropriate, discuss areas where God’s people today are reluctant to be obedient to his word as it might entail changes they are not prepared to make.

 

A study on Hosea 4-6

You’ll be helped in this study by taking time to pick up on the accompanying sermon Learn what this means!

  1. We took an overview of three chapters this week and reading the whole of the text before divining in to study might be a challenge. Instead after seeking the Lord in prayer, take the approach we took in the service and read through a section then ponder on and discuss:
    1. what was going on;
    2. what was the Lord saying to the original hearers and why;
    3. where is the application for us today.
  2. Read Matthew 9: 9-13 discuss verse 13 – why is it important for us to do what Jesus commands there?