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?
The main issue in Sierra Leone at the moment involves the contents of the 40 foot container which arrived at Bethesda two weeks ago.
- That God will stir the hearts of folk in the Connexion to help with the massive distribution of goods.
- That Magnus, Daniel and others involved in the organisation will be given wisdom in the distribution of the shoe bags and other items.
- That transport might be available to deliver the goods to outlying villages.
- That those involved in this work will be strengthened and stay healthy throughout. That God will keep them safe on the roads.
- That the children receiving the shoe bags will also receive the love of Jesus.
- That the street children will accept the sleeping bags knowing that God loves them.
- That Christmas will be a blessed time for all our friends in the Connexional Churches.
- That Christmas will be celebrated by the children at Bethesda as a time of happiness.
A study based on Acts 12:1-11
If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: Powerful Prayers & Powerful Answers
- Read the passage and as you work your way through it, stop at after each new character is introduced and discuss what the group know about them;
- Peter slept, talk through how you might feel in a comparative situation and also why was Peter able to sleep? What can we learn form this and how can we apply it to our lives today?
- Discus verse 8 and consider how the miraculous is almost always missed with the practical when Go intervenes in our lives;
- Going back to verse 5, we read that the people prayed earnestly, what might that kind of prayer be like?
- Discuss as a group how you can practically help each other to be encouraged and helped to develop in your personal prayer lives and also be more engaged in the church’s collective prayer life.
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.