Monday, 30 June 2014

Sin - A Three Act Play

Reading: John 7:45-8:11
If you missed it, here's a link to the Sermon: A Three Act Play...   

  1. Read through to the end of chapter 7.Talk through what happened when the temple police got back to base without making an arrest: consider the things the different characters said. What can we learn from this scene?
  2. In the sermon we split the next section into three acts. Chat through the three separate acts and discuss each part with the intention of listing as many things as you can that we can learn and apply to our lives today. This is quite a major exercise and could take most of the time you have for questions.
  3. Spend some time praying together for the needs of each other, the life of our church and the impact of the Gospel in our lives and the lives of others we meet.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Thirsty For More?

Reading: John 7:25-44
If you missed it, here's a link to the Sermon: Designed to be thirsty...   

Here are a selection of questions, pick as many or as few as you need during the time you have, but do look at the first three.

  1. What are some of the consequences of letting "experts" make your decisions for you?
  2. What is the Feast of Tabernacles, what happened at it, and why was it important?
  3. Discuss how Jesus has fulfilled the feast at His birth, then again in this passage and will for a final time as he comes again.
  4. Why did the religious rulers want to kill Jesus? Why did the people from Jerusalem recognise this plot verse 25 while those from outside Jerusalem didn’t?
  5. How many arrest attempts were there and why did they all fail?
  6. Look and talk about at what the passage says about where Jesus came from. Why is it important?
  7. What is Jesus talking about in verses 33-34?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Only when we live our faith will we really get it...

Reading: John 7:1-24

If you missed it, here's a link to the Sermon: Are you missing the point?  

  1. Think about and discuss why Jesus' brothers suggested all the things they suggest (verses 3-4).
  2. Verse 5 says Jesus' brothers didn't believe– discuss the difference between true faith and a misplaced or false faith.
  3. Look at verses 10-13
    • why did Jesus go secretly?
    • what did Jesus mean by "my time"?
    • consider how you measure up to verse 13 - are you afraid to speak the whole gospel in public (not just the politically acceptable parts)?
  4. Verse 17 - how is it that we can know the truth of Jesus's teaching? we looked at this for some time in the sermon. Why is it crucial to a Christian?
  5. What was the thing that had really upset the religious leaders? Talk through how Jesus answers that.
  6. Read verse 24 in different translation, then discuss it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

For Christians Only!

How do we approach our Worship Services?

  • Are we expecting to meet with the Living God?
  • Are our hearts and heads “in the right place”?
  • Do we come in good time?
  • As we gather are we focussed and quietly waiting and thinking on God?
  • Are we expecting to catch up with our friends for a chat?
  • Are our heads and hearts befuddled and full of all of the stuff of life (and maybe the stuff of the night before)?
  • Do we arrive “by the skin of our teeth” and then decide grabbing a coffee is a priority over grabbing a seat?
  • As we gather do we shout across the sanctuary and talk over the worship group?
There are times when The Lord brings us up sharp and reminds us that we are His: to glorify Him, to worship Him, to be amazed, astounded and in awe of Him to relish Him, to revere Him, and I believe that the Lord is bringing us as a fellowship to that point, He is saying to us, “it is great that you are a welcoming, loving caring church – it is great, and I will have it no other way. But I AM The Lord and I want to be welcomed over and above others, for the purpose of my glory, and that in worshipping me and coming close to me in obedience, you will be blessed as I desire to bless you.”

Will there be times we:

  • need to quietly welcome someone new?
  • find our children are a bit chatty?
  • we are a bit late, because things happen?
  • it just all goes a bit pear shaped?
Yes of course there will be those times, and God knows all about it, stuff happens, but He is reminding us where our focus should be. Our God is no tyrant, but He is a God of loving discipline and He calls us to be disciples.
So you see, this really is a message for Christians only

Some Study Questions for HouseGroups and Individuals
  1. Do you feel offended by this issue being raised? Explore why that might be?
  2. Why does our attitude to approaching worship matter?
  3. How does the behaviour of Christians in Church affect the behaviour of those new to faith or searching?
  4. What practical things can we do to help each other in this respect?
  5. Why is God’s grace key to how we encourage one another in our discipleship?

Scripture is full of incredible descriptions of how awesome and wonderful our God is. Be encouraged!

Isaiah 6:3
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Psalm 33:8
“Let everyone in all the world
—men, women, and children—
fear the Lord and stand in awe of him.”
Psalm 46:10
 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honoured by every nation.
    I will be honoured throughout the world.”
Matthew 5:23-24
“If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Where would we go?

Reading: John 6:60-71

If you missed it, here's a link to the Sermon: Anything but Jesus  
  1. Verse 60 – what are the types of things that cause people today to say this?
  2. Verse 61 – The Gospel is offensive – discuss
  3. Are all disciples true believers?
  4. When Jesus spoke about eating His body and drinking His blood, what was He talking about?
  5. What is a true disciple?
  6. Verse 68 - Peter said we in his response, was that true? (cf. verses 70-71)
  7. Verse 63 & 68 Even if you wanted to turn away because of difficult teaching, where would you go?