Follow The Leader – Week of Prayer Day 3; 2018

“But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness.”

Psalm 78:52

Have you ever noticed, that the people of Israel often remembered what they should have forgotten and forgot what they should have remembered…

Here the psalmist is reminding Israel that they are chosen by God, that they were rescued by God in the most incredible way, that God set his own mark upon His flock, by the blood of the Lamb sprinkled on their door-posts; and He led them through their enemies streets, across enemy territory, through the sea which separated before them, and on into a new land, again protecting them though they grumbled. But, as we know through scripture, the people rebelled against God…. Time after time they wanted to be their own shepherd and time after time the enemy attacked until they cried out again to the one and only Good Shepherd.

We might read through the Old Testament and think why ever didn’t they learn to trust God; we might do that, but then we might also compare the ancient Israelites to ourselves…

Christian people are God’s chosen ones too, not replacing Israel, but grafted into that great vine of Israel, and as people living after Christ, with the whole revelation of God in His bible and the blessing of Him dwelling in us as His temples filled by His Spirit, we might do well to remember as the Psalmist reminds us that we too were rescued by God in the most incredible way. God set his own mark upon His flock, by the blood of the Lamb, and He leads us through enemy territory, and will lead us into that New Heaven and New Earth, again protecting us all the way.

So Christian, today, might you find yourself grumbling, wanting to know the way, but unwilling to follow the one who loves to lead you? Might we find the enemy territory we’re wandering through just a bit hard going? Might we seek for ourselves a cross to carry that is easier and more convenient, might we look for our own paths to follow father than take the narrow path with Him?

Today why not use this verse to remind you what an amazing shepherd we have, and seek His leading, His will for your life and the life of your church. Then be radical, be really radical! Obey Him, continue to listen and stay close to your Lord step by step.

 

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 3

Sometimes we can get things wrong, can’t we? Maybe we make bad choices instead of good choices?

If you have something to say sorry to Jesus for today, why not have a quiet time just like Snoopy and ask Jesus to help us say sorry and make better choices next time?

 

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A Study on Mark 6:14-32

This study is based on the sermon The Death of A Conscience.

  1. Mark 6: 14-16 Discuss who the people were thinking Jesus was; what was the reason for each and why were they wrong?
  2. Mark 6:17-29 Talk through this glimpse of Herod’s life – at each twist and turn discuss the positives and negatives and look at how we might learn from this account.
  3. What is a conscience?
  4. How might our consciences become dull, damaged, and dead?
  5. Which ways can we keep our consciences in ‘tip-top’ condition?
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You were put in this Church for a purpose – are you fulfilling it?

A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!

  1. Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
    1. What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
    2. 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?
    3. 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);
    4. 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?
    5. Should we expect Christ’s return soon?
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Why Might We Not Pray?

A study based on the sermon  Is There Grass On Your Path?

  1. 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.
  2. 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:
    1. We crowd out prayer with other things
    2. Sin separates
    3. We don’t see prayer as a relationship thing
    4. We don’t appreciate the massive importance of the facts that prayer prepares us for spiritual warfare. And prayer is spiritual warfare.
    5. We think we can handle things ourselves
  3. Spend some time praying for each other.

 

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Pray Together

This study is based on the sermon: God’s priority for praying together

  1. Read Act 6: 1-5
  2. What does the bible, generally have to say on corporate prayer (prayer meetings)?
  3. Why do church prayer meetings in the west lack attendance? Are prayer meetings important…? Discuss. If so who should get along to prayer meetings?
  4. What should prayer meetings be like, is there a general rule of what to do?
  5. Discuss the difference between prayer and church growth in Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia, The Middle East, and Africa.
  6. Do you feel challenged by this study?
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A Study on Nahum 3

  1. In what ways can God’s pronouncement of certain and inescapable judgement on the ancient civilisation of Assyria be a source of comfort and encouragement to God’s church today?
  2. Assyria was condemned because of their failure to stay true to the God to whom they had repented in Jonah’s day and for their turning to idols and superstitions.
  3. Discuss how you consider our own nation is in danger of following the same pattern. Assyria was trusting in her military strength and the support of strong allies to give victory when judgement loomed. What things might people today be tempted to rely on when they stand before God?
  4. Read 2 Peter3 vs 3-9. God’s word is clear that judgement is certain and inescapable, but many today have the same attitude as the scoffers of Peter’s day.How can we be more effective in communicating the urgency of the need for repentance and acceptance of Jesus as the only way of escaping judgement?

 

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God is Jealous – how does that work?

A study on Nahum Chapter 1.

This study is based on the sermon: Is God Really Jealous?

  1. How familiar are the group with this book? Why do you think that is?
  2. What are the first thoughts you have on reading the first six verses?
  3. Describe what it means to be jealous?
  4. How is God jealous?
  5. Jonah had been used by God to convert the whole of Nineveh, a few hundred years later and there are few believer left. What can we learn from this as we look at our own society?
  6. In which ways is this chapter comforting to believers?
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A Study – What is the Gospel

A study on Colossians 1:21-23

If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: K.I.S.S.

  1. What is ‘the whole Gospel?’ – Discuss.
  2. 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?
  3. What does it mean to be: a) reconciled, b) presented to God, c) holy, d) blameless and e) above reproach?
  4. What might stop us from continuing in the faith?
  5. Spend some time, as a group, in prayer: for each other; our fellowship and the lost.
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Zephaniah 3 – A study

The sermon for Zephaniah 3 can be found here: What a way to end!

  1. Looking at verses 1-7 look at and list all the sins and consider how they were sins against God.
  2. Consider what relevance these verses have for us: a) as a church and b) as individuals.
  3. Verses 8-20 – looking at these verses, discuss which of these prophecies has been fulfilled by Christ and which are still to come.
  4. Verses 8-20 – how many times does God say ‘I will?’ talk through each of these and consider the relevance for us today.
  5. Please take some time to pray for us as a fellowship using Psalm 127 1 as a lead in to prayer.
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Study Questions: Zephaniah 2

A study on the sermon: Hunted down Chapter 2 of Zephaniah

  1. Discuss the first three verses of the chapter, specifically look at and talk through the following phrases – how might they apply to us today?:
  1. verse 1 “Gather together—yes, gather together…”
  2. verse 2 “the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger”
  3. verse 3  “Seek the Lord”,
  4. Verse 3 all who are humble, and follow his commands.
  5. Verse 3 “Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you
  1. Take the rest of the chapter and look at the individual ‘judgement oracles’, consider:
  1. the different directions mentioned,
  2. the sins mentioned
  3. the warnings given
  4. which of the prophecies were fulfilled and which are yet to come
  5. does any of this passage equate with what’s going on in the Middle East today?

 

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