“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Christian people ARE filled by The Holy Spirit of God; we are filled for many different purposes, and to fulfil many different needs.
Some of those needs will be personal, in that we have our needs met and our lives changed, bit by bit, as He works in our lives to sanctify us (that is to make us more and more like Christ). But here we also see that as He comes to live in our hearts we will, as a matter of course, become His witnesses; we will become people who have His grace, compassion, wisdom, and power to share that Gospel truth. Yes, to share that truth where we are and wherever He will lead us, even to “the ends of the earth”!
Today then, let us welcome afresh the truth of these words and the impact of them on our lives, and let us give ourselves over to His filling, and as we do so recommit ourselves where we are, and also recommit ourselves in prayer for others where they are, be it in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria or to the ends of the earth…
Children’s Prayer Activity
Today use a ball inside or outside. Each time you catch or kick it remember that without the air inside it wouldn’t work well, and that unless we have God in our hearts we don’t work well either!
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.
A study based on the sermon: Go!
- Read Mark 6:1-6 Discuss the reaction of the local people to Jesus what was their first reaction and then what was their response? What can we learn from this?
- How do you think Jesus might have felt about being rejected? How did He respond?
- Read 6:7-13 Discuss the way Jesus sent the disciples out, what they had authority to do and what they were instructed to do.
- What was the result?
- Spend a good amount of time discussing what we can learn from this passage and apply to our own lives and walk with The Lord.
This study is based on Mark 4:35-41 and the sermon The Teacher Tests Us
- What is the setting of this passage, i.e. what has been going on during the day before we get to the ‘that evening’ in our passage?
- Did Jesus know that there would be a storm? If so, why did He tell His disciples to sail into it?
- How do we know whether our circumstances are as a result of, spiritual attack, our own disobedience or our obedience?
- Why does Jesus test us, and what should we expect to learn through that testing?
- take a look at our verses of the year and compare them to this passage. How might our following the encouragements of those verses enable us to support one another and be supported in the storms that come our way?
- Spend some time lifting up the work and life of God’s Church at New Connexions in prayer.
A Study on Mark 4:21-34 based on the sermon The Kingdom of God
- Discuss your understanding of the reasons why Jesus began to speak in parables?
- Read vs 21-25 In this parable how do you understand the imagery of the lamp and what does this mean for Christians today?
- Why is it important for us to “consider carefully what we hear”? What are the consequences of doing or not doing this?
- Read vs 26-29 Once the seed (God’s word) has been sown, is that the end of our responsibility? If not, what else can we do to enable the seed to bear fruit?
- Read vs 30-34 Consider the size of the church when these words were spoken and how far it has spread in the following centuries.
- Discuss what you consider are the greatest threats to church growth today?
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.”
A Study on Mark 1:21-45 based on the sermon: Authority!
- Imagine the scene in the in the Synagogue as Jesus joins the regular crowd. What was different about the way He taught?
- Discuss Demons, being possessed and what that means. Are Christians possessed? Discuss your answers.
- Why don’t we hear of people being possessed today?
- We see Jesus healing many people. Does He still heal today? If so why isn’t everyone healed?
- Talk through the lepers request, Jesus response and the Lepers response to being healed.
A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!
- Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
- What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
- The passage doesn’t talk about us doing what we want or getting what we want but focuses on other brothers and sisters in our church, why is that and what difference should that make to the way we relate to each other as a church?
- Sometimes we get restless as individuals and decide that we want something else, maybe a different style or more going on, a bigger church or a smaller church. Why is acting on what we want almost certainly the wrong thing? (if there are any brave characters in the group they might share about past occasions when they have left churches for personal preference rather than because they were called for a purpose);
- How can we motivate, encourage, and provoke (in a positive way) one another? And how might we demotivate, discourage and provoke (in a negative way) one another?
- Should we expect Christ’s return soon?
A study based on Proverbs 17:24
If you missed the sermon you cam pick it up here: Is that terribly wise?
- How would you describe wisdom? Can anyone have wisdom or is it a gift for some?
- What characterises a fool?
- Can the group recall any other times wisdom and foolishness are mentioned in the Bible? Discuss what God is saying through each example.
- How can we get wisdom?
- Discussion on things like this can be a bit disconnected from real life. in the sermon we looked at a number of ways that we could and should apply this passage to our lives. Discuss those further as a group, and consider how we might encourage and challenge each other in this.
A study on Isaiah 60:1-6 based on the sermon Rise and Shine
- 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?