The way that traditional values have been slowly eroded over past decades and are now increasingly and aggressively derided and forced out of our society cannot have escaped any Christian, and so it is more and more important that in following Christ’s reminder in Matthew 5:13-16 to be ‘Salt & Light’, that we ensure we’re equipped.
As a Church New Connexions does everything we can to help you with that equipping: in our preaching, teaching, studying together, prayer, fellowship and care for one another we seek The Lord’s leading and to be obedient to Him. We also ensure that current issues which require our attention are posted on our Twitter Page, but we are also thankful to the Lord for the many people and organisations who are involved in ministries sharing and caring for Christians in this land. In particular this post is indebted to Roger Kiska and the team at Christian Concern for providing the short video below. Please do watch it and also share it as widely as you possibly can.
This is one of many, many areas where our society is under attack (for others see our Twitter Page), please keep informed, keep lobbying and keep sharing. Also please keep praying, stay strong in the battle, and praise God for His goodness!
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?
When you think of Advent, what do you think…? Discuss this as a group.
Compare Isaiah 5:20 with Isaiah 60:2. How does that help us understand what kind of darkness is meant here?
[This is a question that will take some time] The New Testament is scattered with talk of light and dark, turn some up (Hint: Matthew, John, Ephesians, 1 John, Revelation) and see how they relate to our reading, and talk through how they should impact the Christian life.
How can Christ’s light shine through us, to enable others to see the truth, and what, in our lives, might be a hindrance to that?
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.
To gather a bit of context, before taking a look through Micah 2, read through Leviticus 25: 8-34 and Exodus 20:1-17. As a group chat through those passages and clear up any queries group members might have;
Read the first 11 verses if Micah and in the light of the Leviticus and Exodus passages, discuss:
verses 1-2 who was Micah addressing – how could it apply to Ely in 2016?
verses 3-5 God lays out what will happen, how come all the people are affected, even the few who have been faithful? What do group members feel about God’s response?
verses 6-11 What was going on here? Why were the people responding that way? (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3);
Read the last verses (12 – 13) These verses seem to be at odds with the other verses, but the do fit in both technically and theologically, can the group work out how? (don’t give too much time on this :)). Read through John chapter 10and consider what this prophecy is pointing to, both in the near future (to Micah’s time), and further on.
Here are some headings with a few start off questions for discussion. You won’t usefully get through them all in time, but do try to cover each heading and leave enough time for prayer together at the end:
1. Struggling and suffering
What is the typical response to struggling and suffering? If we are suffering, what should we pray for? Will God always take away the trial from us? What is the use of praying if God isn’t going to take away the trial? What does a prayerful attitude show about our heart?
2. On top of the world
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian to good news? Why should a Christian respond differently? What does this show about our heart?
3. Not well
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian when they seriously unwell? Who do they rely on? What does turning to mature believers for prayer show about our hearts? Why specifically call the elders? What is the anointing all about? Does verse 15 guarantee that the sick person will be healed? What is a condition? Does this mean if you pray for the sick and they aren’t healed it is because you don’t have enough faith?
Why confess our sins to one another? Isn’t God the one forgives? Isn’t it enough to confess directly to God? In the sermon a set of principles were laid out – what were they? Does this passage support the idea of a Catholic priest hearing ‘confessions’?
5. Prayer – why bother
We often have the idea that God has His plan and prayer doesn’t do anything. Then how do we understand verse 16? Does God do anything? Do our prayers change things? What is the danger to our prayer life if we believe our prayers don’t actually accomplish anything. What does it mean that Elijah had a “nature like ours”? What can we learn from the example of Elijah?
6. Putting someone right
Who is verse 19 talking about? A believer or unbeliever? What is our responsibility towards people in church? How can we “bring a sinner back from wandering”? Explain the phrase ” bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”