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?
A study on Mark 4:1-20 based on the sermon Sowing the seed of love…
- Read the first two verses and discuss how you imagine the scene as Jesus is teaching;
- Read the rest of the passage. Why might people not understand the parable?
- discuss each of the 4 soil/soul types.
- How ought we apply this passage to our own lives?
- Spend some time in prayer, seeking the Lord’s leading in our life as a church and His protection, wisdom, boldness and compassion as we’re obedient to Him.
A study based on Mark 3:1-15 and based on this sermon: Stretch Out In Faith
- What was it about Jesus that really annoyed the Pharisees? Who were the Herodians and why would they be an unlikely ally for the Pharisees?
- What did Jesus ask the man with the crippled hand to do? What must we learn from this?
- In the sermon we spoke a lot about how we might have surplus baggage. What was meant by surplus baggage and how might it drag us down? How can we help each other deal with it?
- Discuss whether we have the authority to drive out demons…
- Why is it important for disciples to be willing to leave everything and spend time with Jesus? How might this be a challenge for us?
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.
If you missed the sermon, here’s the link: Don’t Mend Your Nets!
Reading Mark 1:1-20.
- What do we know about Mark, who was he, why was he writing and who to, when was he writing?
- What was John the Baptist doing and why? Discuss what it must have been like to have been around with him?
- Why was Jesus baptised? Discussed what happened when He was.
- Mark hardly mentions the temptations, but He mentions enough to tell us the important facts – what are they and what difference does it make to our understanding of Jesus?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus, and what might be stopping us from following Him more obediently (what kind of nets might we be mending?)
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?
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.