Sierra Leone has a major set of elections on March 7th this year.
The country will go to the polls and vote for new:
- District Council Chairmen.
- for this process to be honest, fair, and democratic;
- that Christians will become more prominent in the ruling positions in Sierra Leone;
- for a Christian President.
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.”
This study is based on Mark 2:13-28. The sermon can be downloaded here: Sinners called to be Saints
- Why was Levi being called by Jesus such a big deal?
- What can we learn from all of the different characters (and their responses) mentioned in the account of Levi’s calling (verses 13 – 17).
- Should Christians fast? explain the various answers.
- What was wrong with the Pharisees approach to the Sabbath?
- What can we learn from this, with respect to the way we spend our Sundays?
- Spend some time in prayer for each other and the wider church, asking the Lord to have His way in our church life and our personal lives.
This study is based on the sermon Nothing New Here!
- Read Colossians 1:24-29; what are your first thoughts?
- Paul says he is glad to suffer and that he is participating in the sufferings of Christ [cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-27]. Talk through what he means and how we should apply this in our lives.
- Paul is at pains to make clear that he is a servant for God. Discuss why it is important that we understand this and live it out.
- What does it mean to preach the whole gospel and how do we do it?
- God’s wisdom and strength are the key to Paul’s service – are we working, serving and living in His strength, power and wisdom? what difference does it make?
A study on Colossians 1:21-23
If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: K.I.S.S.
- What is ‘the whole Gospel?’ – Discuss.
- Why does Paul describe humanity as alienated and hostile in mind, enemies of God, evil etc. and why do we need to tell people that?
- What does it mean to be: a) reconciled, b) presented to God, c) holy, d) blameless and e) above reproach?
- What might stop us from continuing in the faith?
- Spend some time, as a group, in prayer: for each other; our fellowship and the lost.
Here are Russell’s questions on Colossians 3:1-17. based on his sermon The Good Life
- What does Paul mean by “set your sights on the realities of heaven?”
- What misconceptions does the world have about heaven, including us?
- Explain what is meant by ‘hidden in Christ’? V3
- Why is it important to get rid of our old nature ? Give an example, if you can, the types of things that you once loved.
- Where do you find your identity? And how does knowing Christ change that?
- What does it mean to live the good life in Christ Jesus? Healthy eating, being self-sufficient or something entirely different?
The sermon for Zephaniah 3 can be found here: What a way to end!
- Looking at verses 1-7 look at and list all the sins and consider how they were sins against God.
- Consider what relevance these verses have for us: a) as a church and b) as individuals.
- Verses 8-20 – looking at these verses, discuss which of these prophecies has been fulfilled by Christ and which are still to come.
- Verses 8-20 – how many times does God say ‘I will?’ talk through each of these and consider the relevance for us today.
- Please take some time to pray for us as a fellowship using Psalm 127 1 as a lead in to prayer.
A study on the sermon: Hunted down Chapter 2 of Zephaniah
- Discuss the first three verses of the chapter, specifically look at and talk through the following phrases – how might they apply to us today?:
- verse 1 “Gather together—yes, gather together…”
- verse 2 “the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger”
- verse 3 “Seek the Lord”,
- Verse 3 all who are humble, and follow his commands.
- Verse 3 “Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you
- Take the rest of the chapter and look at the individual ‘judgement oracles’, consider:
- the different directions mentioned,
- the sins mentioned
- the warnings given
- which of the prophecies were fulfilled and which are yet to come
- does any of this passage equate with what’s going on in the Middle East today?
This study relates to the sermon: God’s Love Seen Through Judgement
- 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?
- 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?
- God is clearly a little upset with Judah. What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
- Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?