Pastor’s Thoughts

Weekly sermons can be found on You Tube by searching “Phylip Henry Rees”

 

21 September 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

On Cyprus – Acts 13:4-12

Topics: Believe

Open It

  1. When was the last time you were taken in by a particularly good sales pitch?
  2. When you were in elementary school, what tricks did you play on others?
  3. Who helped you get settled into your first full-time job? How?

Explore It

  1. Who directed Barnabas and Saul on their journey? (13:4)
  2. Where did Barnabas and Saul go? (13:4-5)
  3. What did the missionaries do in Salamis? (13:5)
  4. Who helped Barnabas and Saul? (13:5)
  5. Whom did Barnabas and Saul meet at Paphos? (13:6-7)
  6. Why did the proconsul send for Barnabas and Saul? (13:7)
  7. What did Bar-Jesus (Elymas) do? (13:8)
  8. How did Saul (also called Paul) respond to Elymas? (13:9-11)
  9. Why did Elymas oppose the Word of God? (13:10)
  10. What was the judgment against the sorcerer? (13:11)
  11. When Sergius Paulus saw the miracle, what did he do? (13:12)

Get It

  1. How often do missionaries speak at your church?
  2. When missionaries visit your church, how can you benefit from their teaching and experience?
  3. How can we be helpful to missionaries and other Christian workers?
  4. What are some ways that people oppose the gospel?
  5. How is Paul’s aggressive approach to dealing with sin a helpful example for us to follow?
  6. Given your background, training, and interests, to what group of people are you best suited to share the news about Christ?

Apply It

  1. How can you be helpful to a missionary or Christian worker in your church this week?
  2. In what situation do you need the Holy Spirit’s guidance this week?

 

19 September 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off – Acts 13:1-3 Fasting

Open It

  1. What send-off or farewell stands out in your memory?
  2. If you were going away on a long trip, what kind of send-off would you prefer?
  3. If you and a coworker of your choice were transferred to jobs overseas, whom would you want to go along with you?

Explore It

  1. Who made up the leadership of the church at Antioch? (13:1)
  2. What was the leadership like at the church in Antioch? (13:1)
  3. What was the background of the church leaders at Antioch? (13:1)
  4. How did the church at Antioch become so cosmopolitan? (13:1)
  5. Despite their various backgrounds, how did the leaders of the church at Antioch function? (13:2)
  6. While they were worshiping and fasting, what did the Holy Spirit say to the men? (13:2)
  7. What did God want the church to do with Barnabas and Saul? (13:2)
  8. Why did the Holy Spirit tell the leaders to “set apart” Barnabas and Saul? (13:2)
  9. What were Barnabas and Saul called to do? (13:2)
  10. What preceded the departure of the missionaries? (13:3)
  11. Why did the church leaders lay hands on Barnabas and Saul? (13:3)
  12. Where did the missionaries go? (13:3)

Get It

  1. What variety of people attend your church?
  2. How diverse is your church leadership?
  3. Why should churches pray over and lay hands on missionaries and other ministers?
  4. When should church leaders lay hands on members of the congregation?
  5. How important is worship to the life of a church?
  6. How can your church best serve missions?
  7. What can you do to serve missions and missionaries?
  8. What is the purpose of fasting?
  9. Why should Christians fast?
  10. When might a church want to fast as a congregation?
  11. When is it acceptable for them not fast?
  12. How can you show support for the leadership of your church?

Apply It

  1. What time can you commit to prayer each day for the PASTOR AND DEACONS of your church?
  2. When can you find time this week to write a letter of encouragement to a missionary?

 

11 September 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

Herod’s Death – Acts 12:20-25

Open It

  1. If you were a celebrity, what would you like most and least about your status?
  2. If your job gave you tremendous power over others, in what ways could it bring out the worst in you?

Explore It

  1. What was Herod’s relationship with the cities of Tyre and Sidon? (12:20)
  2. Why did the people of Tyre and Sidon want to make peace with Herod? (12:20)
  3. Whom did the people appoint to make peace with the king? (12:20)
  4. On the day of the public assembly, what did Herod do? (12:21)
  5. What did the people say to honor Herod? (12:22)
  6. How did God judge Herod? (12:23)
  7. How did the work of God continue, in spite of persecution and opposition? (12:24)
  8. What did Saul and Barnabas set out to do? (12:25)
  9. When the apostles completed their mission in Jerusalem, where did they go? (12:25)
  10. Whom did the apostles take with them to Antioch? (12:25)

Get It

  1. How could a season of hardship benefit your church?
  2. How does the example of Herod serve as a warning to us today?
  3. In what ways do pride and position affect the way we treat others?
  4. How can we guard against pride and conceit?
  5. What should we do when others credit us with great deeds?
  6. For what ministries in your church are you thankful?
  7. Why is it helpful to work with a partner in doing Christian ministry?

Apply It

  1. How can you be more honest in your relationships with Christian brothers and sisters?
  2. What church leader can you pray for today?
  3. What can you do today as a discipline of humility?

 

1 – 8 September 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison – Acts 12:1-19

Open It

  1. If you had to write a short story, what is one thing you would do to make it interesting to the reader?
  2. What is one dream you remember as having been very vivid?
  3. If you told someone about an exciting dream you had, how would you make it come alive to the listener?

Explore It

  1. Why was King Herod so cold-hearted toward the church? (12:1-3)
  2. Whom did King Herod arrest? (12:1, 3-4)
  3. Whom did the king have put to death? (12:2)
  4. What did Herod do with Peter? Why? (12:3-4)
  5. What did the king plan to do with Peter after the Passover? Why? (12:3-4)
  6. What did the church do while Peter was in prison? (12:5)
  7. While in jail, why didn’t Peter seem to fear for his life? (12:6)
  8. What happened on the night before Peter’s trial? (12:6-11)
  9. Who enabled Peter to escape? (12:7-10)
  10. How did Peter escape from prison? (12:7-10)
  11. When did Peter know that what he had experienced was real? (12:11)
  12. Where did Peter go once he realized what had happened? (12:12)
  13. What happened when Peter appeared at Mary’s door? (12:13-16)
  14. Once inside the house, what did Peter say? (12:17)
  15. How did the soldiers react when they discovered Peter was gone? (12:18)
  16. What did Herod do? (12:19)

Get It

  1. When have you seen a person try to take advantage of Christians, as Herod did?
  2. How do you tend to react in trying circumstances?
  3. How can a church use prayer when faced with a crisis?
  4. What can we learn from the way Peter handled his situation?
  5. How can you help and encourage Christians who serve in difficult situations?
  6. What can you do to make your prayers for others a part of their ministry?

Apply It

  1. What do you want to remember the next time you suffer for your faith?
  2. For what missionary can you pray throughout this week?
  3. To what other family can you show hospitality this week? How?

 

24 August – 31 August 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

The Church in Antioch – Acts 11:19-30

Open It

  1. What do you like or dislike about traveling?
  2. When you have too much to do, whom do you call on for help?
  3. If those who know you best were discussing your character, what do you think they would say was one of your strengths?

Explore It

  1. What was one of the results of Stephen’s martyrdom? (11:19)
  2. To whom was the news about Christ being told? (11:19)
  3. Who spoke to the Greeks in Antioch about the Lord Jesus? (11:20)
  4. What caused the news about Christ to take hold among many who heard it? (11:21)
  5. What resulted from the ministry of the Christians? (11:21)
  6. How did the church at Jerusalem respond to the increase in numbers of new believers? (11:22)
  7. How did Barnabas encourage the Christians at Antioch? (11:23)
  8. What was exemplary about Barnabas? (11:24)
  9. What happened to the work in Antioch? (11:24)
  10. Why did Barnabas go to Tarsus to look for Saul? (25-26)
  11. Where were the disciples first called Christians? (11:26)
  12. Who was Agabus? (11:27)
  13. What did Agabus predict? (11:28)
  14. What did the Christians do for the believers in Judea? Why? (11:29-30)
  15. To whom did Saul and Barnabas give the gift collected in Antioch? (11:29-30)

Get It

  1. How was Stephen’s martyrdom good for the church?
  2. How can good sometimes come out of tragedies?
  3. Why is someone like Barnabas a real asset to a church?
  4. If you were more like Barnabas, how might people respond to you differently from the way they do now?
  5. Which label are you most comfortable with: disciple, saint, believer, or Christian? Why?
  6. Following the example of the early church, how should we help other Christians who face economic hardship?

Apply It

  1. How can you do good for someone who needs your help this week?
  2. What can you do to enlarge the circle of people to whom you reach out?

 

 

16 August – 23 August 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

Peter Explains His Actions – Acts 11:1-18

Open It

  1. What dream stands out in your memory?
  2. What favourite story do you like retelling?
  3. What is one family tradition you want to keep at all costs?

Explore It

  1. What did the apostles and Christians in Judea hear? (11:1)
  2. When Peter went to Jerusalem, who criticized him? (11:2)
  3. Who were the “circumcised believers”? (11:2)
  4. What did the circumcised Christians say? (11:3)
  5. Why did the circumcised believers imply that it was wrong for Peter to eat with Gentiles? (11:3)
  6. How did Peter explain his actions? (11:4-17)
  7. What did Peter include in his brief explanation? (11:4-17)
  8. What additional information did Peter provide concerning the angel’s message to Cornelius? (11:14)
  9. How did Peter dispel the idea that the Gentiles were second-class citizens? (11:15-17)
  10. On what did Peter’s defense rest? (11:17)
  11. How did Peter’s argument prove convincing? (11:18)
  12. How did Peter’s step of including non-Jews affect the church? (11:18)

Get It

  1. Why do you think Peter told the whole story behind his actions?
  2. How was the criticism against Peter helpful to the church?
  3. When might it be helpful to be openly critical about church matters?
  4. In what ways do we need to be less like the “circumcised believers” in our approach to others?
  5. Whom do you find “unacceptable”?
  6. How can you be more accepting of those who don’t match your values or life-style?
  7. What principle of accepting others do you want to copy from Peter’s example?

Apply It

  1. When might you need to take a stand for what is right in your place of work, family, or church this week?
  2. How can you open your heart and mind to others whom you tend to dislike?

 

8 August 2021 – 14 August 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS AND OPENING THE DOOR MINISTRY

Peter at Cornelius’ House – Acts 10:24-48

 

Open It

  1. If you could have been born and raised in another culture, in which one would you like to have been raised? Why?
  2. If a family from another country moved in next door, how might you welcome them to the neighbourhood?
  3. When was the first time you faced prejudice?

Explore It

  1. Who was with Peter when he arrived in Caesarea? (10:23-24)
  2. How had Cornelius prepared for Peter’s visit? (10:24-25)
  3. How did Peter refuse the centurion’s homage? (10:25-26)
  4. Who was inside the centurion’s house? (10:27)
  5. What did Peter say to show that he had learned what God had wanted him to learn? (10:28-29)
  6. What did Peter ask? (10:29)
  7. How did Cornelius respond? (10:30-33)
  8. In what way was Peter’s understanding of God changed by his vision? (10:34-35)
  9. What was Peter’s message to the group? (10:34-43)
  10. How was Peter’s message interrupted? (10:44-46)
  11. Why did Peter suddenly stop talking? (10:44-46)
  12. What happened to the non-Jewish believers to show the Jewish believers that God accepted them? (10:44-46)
  13. How did the circumcised believers react to what happened? (10:45-46)
  14. How did Peter sum up what had happened? (10:47-48)
  15. What did Peter command? (10:48)
  16. In what ways was fellowship between believing Jews and believing non-Jews improved during Peter’s stay in Caesarea? (10:48)

Get It

  1. How do cultural and religious barriers hinder growth in our faith?
  2. If you had a vision like Peter’s, what deep-seated prejudices would you be called on to get rid of?
  3. How would Cornelius and his group fare at your church?
  4. Why might someone visiting your church for the first time feel unwelcome?
  5. What could you and others do to make people of all kinds feel welcome in your church?
  6. What cultural and religious barriers hinder growth in your church?
  7. How is your pastor like Peter?
  8. How could your pastor benefit from an encounter with Cornelius and Peter?
  9. How can your church be open to the power of the Holy Spirit in a new way?
  10. If someone asked you to tell them about your faith, what would you say?

Apply It

  1. What is the first step you could take to show respect for a racial or cultural group that is different from you?
  2. How can you be an effective witness for Christ this week among people who are different from you?

 

1 August 2021 – 7 August 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Peter’s Vision – Acts 10:9-23

 

Open It

  1. At an ethnic food festival, would you try a variety of international dishes or immediately seek out the hot dog stand? Why?
  2. If you lived overseas, what about your life-style would you try to maintain, and how would you try to fit in with the nationals?

Explore It

  1. Where was Peter when the centurion’s men approached Joppa? (10:9)
  2. What was Peter doing? (10:9)
  3. How did Peter feel? (10:10)
  4. What did Peter experience while food was being prepared for him? (10:10-16)
  5. What did Peter see in a vision? (10:11-12)
  6. What did the voice instruct Peter to do? (10:13)
  7. Why did Peter protest against the command to eat? (10:14)
  8. How were Peter’s objections silenced? (10:15)
  9. Why was this incident repeated three times? (10:16)
  10. What happened while Peter was wondering about the vision? (10:17-20)
  11. How was Peter prepared for the messengers? (10:19-20)
  12. What did Peter say to the messengers? (10:21)
  13. What did the messengers tell Peter? (10:22)
  14. How did Peter respond to the messengers’ request? (10:23)

Get It

  1. How do you think Peter felt when he was told to kill and eat unclean food?
  2. What are some reasons we reject or avoid certain people?
  3. Peter’s dream was unexpected; how does God deal with us in surprising ways?
  4. How does God give us clear directions through other Christians?
  5. How did Peter’s hospitality to the messengers show that he was beginning to put into practice what he had learned in the vision?
  6. How should your church treat visitors who are different from the rest of the congregation?
  7. How can you show acceptance of those who don’t “fit in”?

Apply It

  1. What new relationships can you ask God to bring into your life this week?
  2. How can you become more open-minded toward others?
  3. Starting today, how can you help another Christian move beyond his or her cultural limits?

 

 

26 July 2021 – 1 August 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Cornelius Calls for Peter – Acts 10:1-8

Open It

  1. What would be appealing or unappealing to you about a career in the armed forces?
  2. If you were in military service, where would you like to be stationed?
  3. As an army officer, what would you like or not like about commanding a company of soldiers?

Explore It

  1. Who was Cornelius? (10:1)
  2. Where did Cornelius live? (10:1)
  3. What did Cornelius do for a living? (10:1)
  4. How did the Roman officer and his family relate to God? (10:2)
  5. How did Cornelius help those in need? (10:2)
  6. What did Cornelius experience one afternoon? (10:3)
  7. How did Cornelius respond to the angel? (10:4)
  8. How did the angel affirm the centurion’s life-style? (10:4)
  9. What did the angel command Cornelius to do? (10:5-6)
  10. When the angel left, what did Cornelius do? (10:7-8)
  11. Who did Cornelius send to Joppa? (10:7-8)

Get It

  1. What neighbors and friends remind you of Cornelius?
  2. Why is it that many kind, “God-fearing” people do not have a personal relationship with Christ?
  3. How do you need to be more like Cornelius?
  4. How do you know when God is speaking to you?
  5. When do you act on what God tells you to do?
  6. How can you be more open to God taking command of your life?

Apply It

  1. This week, what can you do to imitate the centurion’s God-fearing life-style?
  2. What can you give to someone who is in need?

 

25 July 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Aeneas and Dorcas – Acts 9:32-43

Open It

  1. What are some of your most treasured memories of a late friend, relative, or co-worker?
  2. What would you find easy or hard about helping inner-city poor people find jobs?
  3. What would you find easy or hard about helping paraplegics learn to live with their disabilities?

Explore It

  1. Where did Peter’s mission work take him? (9:32)
  2. Whom did Peter visit in Lydda? (9:33)
  3. How was Peter able to cure Aeneas? (9:34)
  4. What effect did the healing of Aeneas have on the residents of Lydda and Sharon? (9:35)
  5. What did Tabitha (Dorcas) do in Joppa? (9:36)
  6. What happened to Dorcas? (9:37)
  7. Where was Joppa in relation to Lydda? (9:38)
  8. Why was Peter summoned by the disciples to Joppa? (9:38)
  9. Where was Peter taken when he arrived in Joppa? (9:39)
  10. How was the miracle of raising the woman to life performed? (9:40)
  11. What did Peter do when he was alone with the dead woman? (9:40-41)
  12. After Peter helped Tabitha to her feet, what did he do next? (9:41)
  13. How did the miracle of raising Tabitha further the kingdom of God? (9:42)
  14. With whom did Peter stay in Joppa? (9:43)

Get It

  1. Why are the signs and wonders of the early church largely absent from the Christian community today?
  2. Why do some Christians suffer and die, while others are healed of their sickness?
  3. In what ways would you like to follow the example of Dorcas?
  4. When you die, what group of people besides your family will miss you most?
  5. If Peter were visiting your church, whom would you ask him to help?

Apply It

  1. What areas of your life need God’s healing today?
  2. How can you help a needy person this week?
  3. What can you do to help a widow who needs assistance?

 

18 July 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem – Acts 9:20-31

Open It

  1. If you could make one significant change in your life this year, what would it be?
  2. If you were constantly harassed on your job, what would you most likely do about it?

Explore It

  1. After spending some days with the Christians in Damascus, what did Saul do? (9:20-21)
  2. What was the focus of Saul’s message? (9:20)
  3. How did people react to their former enemy? (9:21)
  4. Why were the Jews living in Damascus baffled by Saul? (9:22)
  5. What did the Jews plan for Saul? Why? (9:23)
  6. How did Saul outwit his enemies? (9:24-25)
  7. Who mistrusted Saul in Jerusalem? (9:26)
  8. Who welcomed Saul in Jerusalem? (9:27)
  9. How did Barnabas help the apostles accept Saul? (9:27)
  10. What did Saul do while he was with the apostles? (9:28-29)
  11. How did Saul follow in Stephen’s footsteps? (9:29)
  12. As a result of the threat on his life, where was Saul taken by his friends? (9:30)
  13. What was the state of the young church at this time? (9:31)

Get It

  1. Why do unbelievers sometimes oppose those who tell others about Christ?
  2. What is the difference between opposition to our faith and opposition to our personality?
  3. How have you changed because of knowing Jesus?
  4. Why did the disciples in Jerusalem fear Saul?
  5. Why did Saul have a significant testimony to others?
  6. In what ways can a new Christian have a unique witness to friends and associates?
  7. What fellow Christian has served as an inspirational example to you?
  8. How could a person like Barnabas help heal wounds in a church group?
  9. If your life were threatened, whom could you count on to protect you?
  10. What particular group of people would you feel most comfortable telling about Christ?
  11. How does the state of your church compare with that of the early church?

Apply It

  1. This week, how can you prepare for discussions about God with your co-workers or non-Christian friends?
  2. What can you do to welcome people to your church?
  3. Who could you welcome into your place of work, church, or community this week? How?

 

6 July 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Saul’s Conversion – Acts 9:1-19

Open It

  1. How would you describe the most intimidating person you know?
  2. If you could have a surprise visit from someone, whom would you want to visit you?
  3. What was the most unusual experience that ever happened to you when you were growing up?

Explore It

  1. What was Saul doing against the Lord’s disciples? (9:1-2)
  2. What was “the Way”? (9:2)
  3. What happened to Saul as he approached Damascus? (9:3-6)
  4. Whom did Saul meet? (9:3-6)
  5. In persecuting the church, whom was Saul really attacking? (9:5)
  6. What did the resurrected Lord Jesus order Saul to do? (9:6)
  7. What did Saul’s traveling companions experience when Saul met the risen Christ? (9:7)
  8. How did Saul get to Damascus after his meeting with the Lord? (9:8)
  9. Who was Ananias? (9:10)
  10. What did the Lord instruct Ananias to do? (9:10-12)
  11. Why was Ananias reluctant to do as the Lord asked? (9:13-14)
  12. How did God persuade Ananias that it was all right to go to Saul? (9:15-16)
  13. To what service had Saul been called? (9:15-16)
  14. How did Ananias do the Lord’s bidding? (9-17)
  15. What did Saul do when his vision returned? (9:18-19)

Get It

  1. What was your conversion experience like?
  2. To what ministry has God called you?
  3. In what ways do we sometimes hold back from doing what God wants?
  4. Why do we sometimes resist what God asks of us?
  5. What happens when we resist doing what God wants?
  6. If you were temporarily disabled, how might it benefit your spiritual life?
  7. How can fasting help us focus on spiritual needs?
  8. What are some of the many ways a person can play a part in leading someone to Christ?
  9. What are some ways we can welcome new believers into the body of Christ?
  10. What do older, more mature Christians have to offer younger, less mature Christians?
  11. How can you be a guide and help to younger Christians in your church?
  12. How can you lean on another Christian to help you uncover God’s will for your life? Who is this person?

Apply It

  1. How can you challenge a friend or neighbour with the message of salvation this week?
  2. What is one thing you could do this week to help a younger Christian grow in his or her faith?
  3. From what more mature Christian can you seek advice or counsel this week?

 

28 June 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Philip and the Ethiopian – Acts 8:26-40

Open It

  1. If you could travel overseas, to which country would you like to go?
  2. What reading material do you find difficult to understand?
  3. Who is one of the best teachers you ever had?

Explore It

  1. What did the angel tell Philip to do? (8:26)
  2. Whom did Philip meet on the desert road? (8:27)
  3. What was the eunuch’s position? (8:27)
  4. Why was the eunuch on his way to Jerusalem to worship? (8:27)
  5. What was the eunuch doing while he sat in the chariot? (8:28)
  6. What was the eunuch’s problem? (8:28-34)
  7. What did the Holy Spirit tell Philip to do? (8:29)
  8. What did Philip ask the eunuch? (8:30)
  9. How did the eunuch respond to Philip? (8:31)
  10. What was the eunuch reading? (8:32-33)
  11. How did Philip present the good news about Jesus? (8:35)
  12. What did the eunuch do after he believed in Jesus? (8:36-38)
  13. What happened to Philip after he baptized the eunuch? (8:39)
  14. How did believing in Christ affect the eunuch? (8:39)
  15. What was the eunuch’s attitude as he went on his way? (8:39)
  16. Where did Philip go to preach? (8:40)

Get It

  1. How does the Holy Spirit lead us?
  2. When has the Holy Spirit led you to speak to someone?
  3. In what ways can your church reach out beyond its neighbourhood to others?
  4. How does God use us to take the message of Christ to others?
  5. What passages of Scripture are difficult for you to understand?
  6. Why are some parts of the Bible difficult to understand?
  7. Where can we get help understanding the Bible better?
  8. When was the last time you explained the Scriptures to someone else?
  9. To whom could you turn for help in understanding the Bible better?
  10. How can you be involved in telling others about Christ or in helping others do so?
  11. What fears prevent us from telling others about Christ?
  12. What barriers prevent us from helping others understand the message of Christ?

Apply It

  1. What can you do to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading each day?
  2. What is one thing you can do this week to overcome fear in witnessing?
  3. In your Bible study this week, how can you prepare yourself for opportunities to share what you learn?

 

21 June 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Simon the Sorcerer – Acts 8:9-25

Open It

  1. In what situations would you describe yourself as quiet or outgoing?
  2. If you were a magician, whom would you have most fun entertaining?
  3. What people of different ethnic groups do you know?

Explore It

  1. What was Simon’s line of work? (8:9)
  2. What did Simon talk about? (8:9)
  3. How did the Samaritans react to Simon’s sorcery? (8:9-11)
  4. When Philip preached about Christ, what did the people do? (8:12)
  5. What did Simon do when he heard the gospel? (8:13)
  6. Why did Peter and John leave Jerusalem and go to Samaria? (8:14)
  7. What did Peter and John do when they arrived in Samaria? (8:15-17)
  8. What did Simon want to buy from Peter and John? (8:18-19)
  9. How did Peter answer Simon’s request? (8:20-23)
  10. Why did Peter use strong language with Simon? (8:20)
  11. How did Peter imply that Simon was not a Christian? (8:21-23)
  12. What was Simon’s attitude in response to Peter? (8:24)
  13. How did Peter and John’s trip to Samaria influence their trip to Jerusalem? (8:25)

Get It

  1. How are some religious leaders today like Simon?
  2. How are some religious leaders today like Peter and John?
  3. When is it most tempting to brag?
  4. What are some of the trappings of money?
  5. In what way do some people try to “buy” God’s favour?
  6. What does it mean for your heart to be right before God?
  7. Why is it important for us to have our heart right before God?
  8. Most Samaritans and Jews didn’t get along; why then did early Jewish Christians tell Samaritans about Christ?
  9. What ethnic or religious prejudices do you have a hard time shaking?
  10. What can help us change our prejudices against people groups?
  11. Why did you become a Christian?
  12. What motivates you to grow in your relationship with Christ?

Apply It

  1. What can you do this week to get to know someone who is from a different ethnic group or culture?
  2. Whom can you invite from another culture to visit your church? When?
  3. How can you invite the Holy Spirit to help you grow in faith in the coming days?

 

15 June 2021

REBUILDING THE WALLS TEACHING MINISTRY

Philip in Samaria – Acts 8:4-8

Open It

  1. If you could give all your effort to a single occupation and be among the best in the world at it, what occupation would you choose?
  2. What one talent or gift would you really like to have?
  3. When was the last time you had a celebration of some kind?

Explore It

  1. What were the Christians doing who had been scattered throughout Judea and Samaria? (8:4)
  2. What happened to the Word of God? (8:4)
  3. Why was the scattering of Christians a step forward for the church? (8:4-8)
  4. Who was Philip? (8:5)
  5. Where did Philip go? (8:5)
  6. What did Philip do in Samaria? (8:5)
  7. What did the crowds do in response to Philip’s teaching and miracles? (8:6)
  8. What miraculous signs did Philip perform? (8:7)
  9. How did Philip’s work draw attention to his message? (8:6-7)
  10. Why did the people rejoice? (8:8)

Get It

  1. How is your church, through its mission work, scattered throughout the world?
  2. How can you help spread the gospel in your community?
  3. What is a miracle?
  4. What signs and miracles have you witnessed in your church?
  5. What makes your congregation joyful?
  6. How can you help people who are sick or troubled?

Apply It

  1. What can you do this week to support or encourage a missionary?
  2. What is one way you can support your church’s ministry?
  3. For whom can you pray for healing?

 

10 – 13 June 2021

The Church Persecuted and Scattered – Acts 8:2-3

Open It

  1. What would you like people to remember most about you after your death?
  2. If you could write your own obituary, what would you say about yourself?
  3. What is the most important accomplishment of your life so far?
  4. When is a time you remember being rejected by childhood peers?

Explore It

  1. Who buried Stephen? (8:2)
  2. How did the early believers react to Stephen’s martyrdom? (8:2)
  3. How did Stephen’s sympathizers show that they disapproved of the Sanhedrin’s condemnation of him? (8:2)
  4. How did Stephen’s mourners show courage at his burial? (8:2)
  5. How did the godly men mourn for Stephen? (8:2)
  6. What was happening to the church at this time? (8:2-3)
  7. Who began to attack the church? How? (8:3)
  8. Who took a leading role in attacking the early church? (8:3)
  9. During this period of opposition, what did Saul do? (8:3)
  10. How were Saul’s actions cruel? (8:3)
  11. How did the martyrdom of Stephen and the persecution of the church show that Israel had rejected the Messiah? (8:3)

Get It

  1. Why was it dangerous for people in the church to give Stephen a proper burial?
  2. Though there was much sadness at Stephen’s funeral, why was there also cause for celebration?
  3. Why can we experience joy along with grief at a Christian’s funeral?
  4. How can you show courage in difficult circumstances, just as the “godly men” did in burying Stephen?
  5. In what ways are Christians under attack today?
  6. How can you respond whenever others attack or reject you for your Christian identity, views, or life-style?
  7. How is our Christian experience very different from that of the early church?
  8. How can you live each day as if it were your last?
  9. How do you need to be more courageous in your identity as a Christian?

Apply It

  1. What will most remind you to respond with courage when you are attacked or rejected for your faith in Christ?
  2. In what setting (at work, at home, in your neighbourhood, etc.) can you show courage in identifying with Christ this week? How?

 

7 – 9 June 2021

The Stoning of Stephen – Acts 7:54-8:1

Open It

  1. When have you felt uncomfortable in a large crowd of people?
  2. How do you respond to reports of violence in the news?
  3. How do you tend to deal with anger?

Explore It

  1. How did the hearers react to Stephen’s accusations? Why? (7:54)
  2. Why did the Jewish leaders respond to Stephen as they did? (7:54)
  3. Faced with the fury of his persecutors, why wasn’t Stephen afraid? (7:55)
  4. How did Stephen’s heavenly vision prepare him for what was to follow? (7:55)
  5. How did God prepare Stephen for his death? (7:55)
  6. What did Stephen say that enraged his adversaries? (7:56)
  7. Why was Stephen put to death? (7:56-60)
  8. Why did Stephen’s enemies yell and cover their ears? (7:57)
  9. How was Stephen taken out of town? (7:57-58)
  10. Where was Stephen stoned to death? (7:58)
  11. Why did people lay their clothing at Saul’s feet? (7:58)
  12. What were Stephen’s two last requests before he died? (7:59-60)
  13. How did Stephen die? (7:60)
  14. Who approved of Stephen’s death? (8:1)
  15. What change in the church did Stephen’s death bring about? (8:1)
  16. Who left and who stayed in Jerusalem? (8:1)

Get It

  1. Why do Christians sometimes get angry at preachers?
  2. When your conscience is pricked, how do you tend to react?
  3. If your congregation decided the pastor was a heretic, how would they remove him from office?
  4. Faced with the violent mob, Stephen seemed fearless; how was he able to face this danger?
  5. What would make it possible for you to be calm and sure in the middle of extreme danger?
  6. When should we call on the Lord for help?
  7. How can you be more forgiving of others?
  8. What hardships has your church faced recently?
  9. How does God “scatter” the church to carry His message to others?
  10. How has God “scattered” your church?

Apply It

  1. In what hostile setting could you be a witness for Christ this week? How?
  2. How can Stephen’s example help you be prepared to handle rejection?
  3. Which former member of your congregation now living elsewhere can you encourage this week? How?

3 – 7 June 2021

Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin – Acts 7:1-53

Open It

  1. What is one time of your life you wish you could do over? Why?
  2. What is the longest speech or talk you’ve ever given?
  3. In what ways are you just like your parents?
  4. In what ways are you different from your parents?
  5. If you had to defend in court your views on something you cared about, how do you think people would respond to what you had to say?

Explore It

  1. What did the high priest ask Stephen? (7:1)
  2. Why did Stephen make this speech? (7:1-2)
  3. What was Stephen’s initial response to the leaders? (7:2)
  4. In his speech to the court, Stephen showed that there was progress and change in God’s plan for His people; how was Abraham an example of this change? (7:2-8)
  5. As he wove the history of the Jews, how did Stephen show a pattern of opposition to God and His plan for them? (7:2-4, 9, 23-29)
  6. How did God bless His people outside the land of Israel? (7:2-5, 7-10, 29-34)
  7. How was the move to Egypt a great change for Jacob’s descendants? (7:9-16)
  8. How did deliverance under Moses mark progress for God’s people? (7:17-43)
  9. Where was the law of Moses given to God’s people? (7:38)
  10. From the tabernacle to the temple, the place of God’s presence changed and progressed; how did Stephen show this? (7:44-50)
  11. How did Stephen show that the temple is not God’s true dwelling place? (7:47-50)
  12. What did Stephen say in direct attack on his audience? (7:51-53)
  13. How did Stephen compare the attitude of those in the Sanhedrin with that of God’s people down through the centuries? (7:51-53)
  14. Of what did Stephen accuse his hearers? (7:51-53)
  15. According to Stephen, in what ways did the people resist the Holy Spirit? (7:52-53)

Get It

  1. In reviewing your life, how would you like to rewrite history?
  2. What rituals or traditions hinder change and spiritual progress among believers?
  3. Which “spiritual ancestors” from the Bible do you admire most?
  4. How can we learn from those who have gone before us?
  5. In what ways should we be like Stephen?
  6. How can a group of believers be a “stiff-necked people”?
  7. What stiff-necked attitudes prevent us from seeing what God wants us to see?
  8. What kind of opposition to God’s message is there today?
  9. What kind of opposition or pressure on your faith have you felt from friends, coworkers, or unbelieving family members?
  10. How can we deal with opposition to God’s message?

Apply It

  1. From what older, more mature believer can you learn? How?
  2. What can you do this week to know Jesus more fully?
  3. How can you uncover the attitudes that hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?
  4. What can you do this week to learn from the example of other believers in the Old Testament?

 

31 May – 2 June 2021

Stephen Seized – Acts 6:8-15

Open It

  1. Who, in your view, is one of the most outstanding leaders in the world today?
  2. Among your co-worker’s and neighbours, what do you think people consider you—controversial, moderate, liberal, or conservative? Why?
  3. When was a time you were falsely accused? What happened?

Explore It

  1. Who was Stephen? (6:8)
  2. What kind of person was Stephen? (6:8)
  3. Besides caring for the needs of the widows, what did Stephen do among the people? (6:8)
  4. Who opposed Stephen? (6:9)
  5. Why couldn’t Stephen’s opponents get the better of him? (6:10)
  6. What kind of charges did Stephen’s enemies make against him? (6:11)
  7. How did the people react to the charges against Stephen? (6:12)
  8. How did the false witnesses misrepresent Stephen? (6:13-14)
  9. Why did certain people consider Stephen dangerous? (6:13-14)
  10. When those in the Sanhedrin looked at Stephen, what did they see? (6:15)
  11. What did the expression on Stephen’s face show about his relationship to God? (6:15)

Get It

  1. What does it mean to be “full of God’s grace and power”?
  2. If Stephen were alive today, how might other religious groups oppose him?
  3. What qualities of Stephen would you like to see in your own life?
  4. What theological issues do people argue about in your church?
  5. What are some good ways to handle disagreements about doctrine?
  6. What religious traditions do Christians sometimes value or cling to over biblical truth?
  7. What character qualities help a person face conflict or opposition?
  8. What should we do when we are falsely accused?
  9. In what ways do we need the Holy Spirit’s filling so our gifts can be used effectively?

Apply It

  1. How can you be open to God’s use this week?
  2. What can you do to copy Stephen’s example whenever you are falsely accused in some way?
  3. What do you want to remember the next time you are falsely accused?

 

28 – 30 May 2021

The Choosing of the Seven – Acts 6:1-7

Open It

  1. When working as part of a team, do you prefer to “do the work” or to lead and coordinate others?
  2. If you could spend next Saturday morning doing anything you like, what would you do?
  3. If you had to spend next Saturday morning leading a Bible study, praying with other Christians, or serving breakfast to a group of widows, which activity would you choose? Why?

Explore It

  1. What complaint did the Grecian Jews make? (6:1)
  2. What did the apostles—the Twelve—do in response to criticism? (6:2-4)
  3. Why did the Twelve choose prayer and teaching over caring for the poor? (6:2-4)
  4. What did the Twelve tell the other believers to do? (6:3)
  5. How did the group respond to the apostles’ proposal? (6:5)
  6. Who was selected to serve the widows? (6:5)
  7. Who chose the seven candidates? (6:5)
  8. How were the men given authority to do their task? (6:6)
  9. What was the effect of the appointment of certain people to serve the widows? (6:7)
  10. How did the church fare after the apostles delegated the serving of food to others? (6:7)

Get It

  1. In what ways do the people of your church differ from one another?
  2. What different ethnic or cultural groups are there in your church?
  3. How can differences among believers cause friction?
  4. What benefits and challenges arise from having different kinds of people in your church?
  5. How should we deal with tensions arising from differences between church members?
  6. What qualities must Christian leaders have to resolve differences between believers?
  7. How could your church ensure that no one group of people is neglected?
  8. About what do we tend to complain most?
  9. What complaints arise in your church most often?
  10. How can we learn to channel our complaints into solutions?
  11. In what ways can you use your gifts and skills in your church?

Apply It

  1. How can you help free your church leaders to focus on their mission of prayer, evangelism, and teaching?
  2. What could you do this week to help resolve a conflict between believers?

 

24 – 27 May 2021

The Apostles Persecuted – Acts 5:17-42

Open It

  1. What was the most fearful experience you ever had?
  2. When was the last time you felt intimidated by an individual or group of people?
  3. What bullies do you remember from school?

Explore It

  1. Why were the religious leaders opposed to the apostles? (5:17)
  2. What happened when the Christians were put in jail? (5:18-19)
  3. What did the angel tell the apostles to do? (5:20)
  4. When did the apostles start teaching? (5:21)
  5. What did the elders of Israel discover after they met together? (5:21-24)
  6. How were the apostles brought before the Sanhedrin? (5:25-27)
  7. How had the apostles disobeyed the council? (5:28)
  8. Why did the high priest avoid mentioning the name of Jesus? (5:28)
  9. What reason did the apostles give for their disobedience? (5:29)
  10. What made the Jewish elders furious? (5:29-32)
  11. Who intervened on behalf of Peter and the others? How? (5:34-39)
  12. How did Gamaliel intervene? (5:34-39)
  13. What advice did Gamaliel offer the council? (5:38-39)
  14. What effect did Gamaliel’s speech have? (5:40)
  15. How did the elders deal with the apostles? (5:40)
  16. What did the apostles do after they left the Sanhedrin? (5:41-42)

Get It

  1. What might make someone jealous of a church leader?
  2. If the government told you that you could not pray, show your Bible, or talk about God in public, what would you do?
  3. Would you describe your church as courageous, timid, or somewhere in between? Why?
  4. What forms of opposition do Christians experience today?
  5. For what principles should a Christian stand at all costs?
  6. If Peter were your pastor, what do you think your church would be like?
  7. If you had to go through the sufferings of the apostles, how would you cope?
  8. How is it possible to have joy in the middle of a difficult circumstance?
  9. What should we copy from the character and example of Peter?
  10. How can you become more like Peter in your witness for Christ?
  11. How can you experience God more fully, so that you are set free to rejoice no matter what sufferings you experience?

Apply It

  1. What do you want to remember the next time you are challenged or hurt for your faith in Christ?
  2. In what situations can you serve as a witness for Christ this week? How?

18 May 2021

The Apostles Heal Many – Acts 5:12-16

Open It

  1. When you’re sick, what kind of patient do you tend to be (cranky, nervous, upbeat, distracted, etc.)?
  2. If you were ill in the hospital, whose visit would probably be most comforting to you?
  3. If you were a physician, what part of the job would you like best?
  4. How did your mother take care of you when you were sick as a child?

Explore It

  1. What kind of work did the apostles do among the people? (5:12)
  2. Where did the believers meet? (5:12)
  3. Even though the Christians were highly thought of, why were some people afraid to join them? (5:13)
  4. Why did the people seek physical healing from the apostles? (5:13-15)
  5. Despite the fear which kept many people away, what happened to the Christian church during this time? (5:14)
  6. How did some people reveal both superstition and confidence in the apostles? (5:13-16)
  7. Why did some people feel that even Peter’s shadow might help them? (5:14-15)
  8. From where did the people who gathered around the apostles come? (5:16)
  9. Besides the sick, who else was brought to the apostles for healing? (5:16)
  10. What happened to all those who came to be made well? (5:16)

Get It

  1. How would you describe the reputation of the church in your community?
  2. In what ways does your church help or serve those who are ill?
  3. If you were ill, how might your church be able to help you?
  4. When is it helpful or comforting to visit a sick person in the hospital or at home?
  5. How can we reach out to those who are sick or ill?
  6. If the sick were brought to your church for healing, what would your church leaders do?
  7. How do you think your church could learn from the example of the early Christians in the way they took care of the physical and mental needs of people?

Apply It

  1. For whom can you pray today that God would heal his or her pain?
  2. What are some of the ways you can serve those who are sick in your church?
  3. What practical help can you provide this week for a church member who is ill?

 

17 May 2021

Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:1-11

Open It

  1. When was a time you kept a gift that you had planned to give away?
  2. If you found out that you had been deceived by someone you trusted, what would you do?
  3. How do you know when someone is lying to you?

Explore It

  1. What did Ananias and Sapphira sell? (5:1)
  2. How did Ananias and Sapphira’s transaction compare with Barnabas’s? (5:1-2)
  3. What did Ananias and Sapphira do with the proceeds from the sale of their property? (5:1-2)
  4. How did Peter recognize when he was being lied to? (5:3-4)
  5. To whom did Ananias lie? (5:3-4)
  6. What was Ananias’s sin? (5:3-4)
  7. What was the consequence of Ananias’s sin? (5:5)
  8. After listening to Peter’s words, what happened to Ananias? (5:5)
  9. How did people respond to Ananias’s death? (5:5)
  10. What was done with Ananias’s body? (5:6)
  11. How long after Ananias’s death did Sapphira come before Peter? (5:7)
  12. How did Peter test Sapphira? (5:7-8)
  13. How did Sapphira respond to Peter? (5:8)
  14. What rhetorical question did Peter ask Sapphira? (5:9)
  15. What devastating announcement did Peter make to Sapphira? (5:9)
  16. How did Sapphira’s end compare with that of her husband? (5:10)
  17. How did the early church respond to these events? (5:11)

Get It

  1. If there was deception in your church community, how would your church leaders handle it?
  2. In what ways do we sometimes try to gain undue credit or recognition?
  3. How could Ananias and Sapphira have acted differently?
  4. When have you regretted your dealings with other Christians?
  5. How do your Christian leaders deal with sin in the church?
  6. How do you handle your own sin?
  7. When have you been afraid of the Lord?
  8. In what way is it appropriate to be afraid of God?
  9. What do we tend to hold back from the Lord?
  10. Why do we sometimes hold back in our giving to God?
  11. What can we do to trust God to take care of us?
  12. How can you help yourself be honest with God and with other Christians?

Apply It

  1. When can you set aside time this week to evaluate your motives for giving?
  2. What act of sacrificial giving can you do this week? How?

 

11 May 2021

The Believers’ Prayer – Acts 4:23-31

Open It

  1. After going through a stressful experience, what do you do to unwind?
  2. When have you felt most supported and encouraged by your church family?
  3. When you pray, what are some favorite expressions that you like to use?

Explore It

  1. Where did Peter and John go after they were released by the Sanhedrin? (4:23)
  2. How did the believers respond to the apostles’ report? (4:24)
  3. In the prayer, how did the believers express their view of the persecution they faced? (4:24-26)
  4. How did the believers use the Psalms in their prayer? (4:25-26)
  5. How was God’s hand in all that was plotted and done against Jesus? (4:27-28)
  6. How would God orchestrate the destruction and defeat of Jesus’ enemies? (4:28-30)
  7. What did the Christians ask God to do? (4:29-30)
  8. How would the believers be enabled to carry out God’s work? (4:30)
  9. What was the effect of the believers’ prayer? (4:31)
  10. What did the Christians experience and do after they finished praying? (4:31)

Get It

  1. Where do you go for help in times of trouble?
  2. How could your church benefit from handling crises the way the early church did?
  3. When we pray, why is it helpful to recall the way God has acted in the past?
  4. How does it build our faith to quote Scripture in our prayers?
  5. How does it build our faith to remember past works of God on behalf of His people?
  6. When was the last time you were amazed by the power of prayer?
  7. How can your faith in God be expressed through the prayers you pray?
  8. If your church were more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, what changes might take place?

Apply It

  1. What changes can you make in your personal prayer life today?
  2. When can you pray for the leaders and ministries of your church?
  3. How might you participate in times of prayer with other Christians over the next month?

10 May 2021

Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin – Acts 4:1-22

Open It

  1. How do you tend to respond to criticism?
  2. When you are misunderstood, what do you usually do to clear things up?
  3. If you had to defend yourself in a court of law, how well do you think you would hold up under cross-examination?

Explore It

  1. Why did the religious officials approach Peter and John? (4:1-2) When?
  2. What did the officials do to the apostles? (4:3)
  3. In spite of opposition, how did the early church fare? (4:4)
  4. After a night in jail, whom did Peter and John face the next day? (4:5-7)
  5. To what event did the Jewish leaders refer when they questioned the apostles? (4:7)
  6. What empowered Peter to speak? (4:8)
  7. How did Peter answer the council’s question? (4:8-10)
  8. How did Peter’s reference to Psalm 118:22 relate to the resurrected Lord? (4:11)
  9. How did Peter’s remarks about salvation relate to the healed man, the audience, and the Old Testament passage referring to Christ in Psalm 118:22? (4:10-12)
  10. How did the authorities respond to Peter and John? (4:13-14)
  11. After the Sanhedrin consulted together, what action did they take against the apostles? (4:15-17)
  12. What was the apostles’ reply to the judgment handed down by the council? (4:18-20)
  13. Why was the Sanhedrin powerless to take action against Peter and John? (4:21)
  14. How old was the man who had been healed? (4:22)
  15. What was amazing about the healing that caused this controversy? (4:22)

Get It

  1. In our society, when should Christian leaders stand up to political and religious groups?
  2. In our society, when should a Christian stand up for his or her faith in Christ?
  3. What is the most difficult situation you’ve faced because of your faith in Christ?
  4. What are some of the risks in telling others about Christ?
  5. How can we prepare ourselves for the costs we may have to pay for following Christ?
  6. How would you handle being put in jail because you took an unpopular stand for Christ?
  7. How do you think you might affect unbelievers around you by your Christian testimony?
  8. How many new Christians have joined your church fellowship this past year?
  9. How can you be prepared to stand up for Christ when your beliefs are challenged?

Apply It

  1. For which public leaders will you pray today that God would call them to repentance and salvation?
  2. In what way could you strengthen your sense of courage about being a Christian in your place of work, neighbourhood, or family?
  3. To whom might you be able to tell the Good News this week? How?

 

4 May 2021

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers – Acts 3:11-26

Open It

  1. If you had to be a journalist, lawyer, or preacher, which occupation would you choose? Why?
  2. What is good and bad about confronting another person?
  3. How effective are you at describing and explaining a sequence of events to someone else?

Explore It

  1. Why did a beggar hold on to Peter and John? (3:11)
  2. Where were the people in the crowd assembled? Why? (3:11)
  3. What did Peter do in response to the gathered crowd? (3:12)
  4. How did Peter address the group? (3:12)
  5. What disclaimer was implied in Peter’s opening words? (3:12)
  6. To whom did Peter attribute the power for healing the beggar? (3:13-15)
  7. How did Peter set the scene to speak out against the actions of those who crucified Jesus? (3:13-15)
  8. Why was the healing of the man best understood against this profile of Jesus? (3:13-16)
  9. What is the significance of Jesus’ name in the healing of the lame man? (3:16)
  10. According to Peter, why did certain Jews mistreat Jesus? (3:17)
  11. How did the Jews’ ignorance further the plan of God? (3:18)
  12. What did Peter tell his audience to do in order to be forgiven of their sins? (3:19)
  13. What results would follow if Peter’s audience responded to his words? (3:19-21)
  14. How did Moses and the prophets predict the coming of Jesus? (3:22-23)
  15. How did Peter offer hope to his audience in spite of his warnings? (3:24-26)

Get It

  1. When have you felt convicted by strong preaching?
  2. By what means does your church encourage others to come to Christ?
  3. What does it mean—and not mean—to be bold in encouraging others to believe in Christ?
  4. What can you do to be active in telling others about Christ?
  5. What can we learn from Peter’s example about confronting others with God’s message?
  6. How can a knowledge of the Old Testament build our faith in Christ?
  7. What can we learn from Peter’s approach to explaining the truth?
  8. What does it mean to repent and turn to God?
  9. Why do we need to turn to God?
  10. What areas of your life do you need to turn over to God at this time in your life?

Apply It

  1. What plan of study can you start to increase your knowledge of God’s messages in the Old Testament?
  2. How can you be bold in encouraging others to come to Christ?
  3. How might you examine your life this week for areas God may want to change?

 

4 May 2021

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar – Acts 3:1-10

Open It

  1. If a stranger were to ask you for a handout, what would you most likely do? Why?
  2. How do you feel toward people who are poor, homeless, or obviously needy?
  3. What do you remember about a time when you were very sick or hurt?

Explore It

  1. Where were Peter and John going? (3:1) When?
  2. Why were the apostles going to the temple? (3:1)
  3. Who was carried to the temple gate every day? (3:2)
  4. How long had the beggar been crippled? (3:2)
  5. Why did the crippled man spend every day at the gate called Beautiful? (3:2)
  6. What did the beggar do when he saw Peter and John approaching? (3:3)
  7. How did the two apostles first respond to the crippled man? (3:4)
  8. What did Peter say to the beggar? (3:4-6)
  9. In what ways did the crippled man respond to Peter’s words? (3:5,7-8)
  10. After he was healed, where did the beggar go? (3:8)
  11. What did Peter and John do after the miraculous healing? (3:8)
  12. What happened when the man responded to his miraculous healing? (3:8-10) Why?
  13. How did the people feel about what had happened to the crippled beggar? (3:9-10)

Get It

  1. If God were to do a miracle of healing among the people in your church, how do you think most people would respond? Why?
  2. When do you meet for prayer at your church?
  3. When was the last time God answered a prayer of yours in a delightful way?
  4. How did you respond the last time God answered a prayer?
  5. What specific attitudes toward the weak and needy need to change before God can effectively use a person to help them?
  6. Besides providing financial aid, what can Christians do to help those who are poor or needy?
  7. How can your congregation be helpful to people with disabilities?
  8. How can your congregation be sensitive to the needs of those who are physically disabled?
  9. What do you have to offer to others who are disabled or in need?
  10. When have you witnessed God’s miraculous healing power at work?
  11. How do you need to change so that God can work through you in a powerful way?

Apply It

  1. How can you be prepared to help a person in need this week?
  2. What crippled area of your life needs Jesus’ healing touch?

26 April 2021

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar – Acts 3:1-10

Open It

  1. If a stranger were to ask you for a handout, what would you most likely do? Why?
  2. How do you feel toward people who are poor, homeless, or obviously needy?
  3. What do you remember about a time when you were very sick or hurt?

Explore It

  1. Where were Peter and John going? (3:1) When?
  2. Why were the apostles going to the temple? (3:1)
  3. Who was carried to the temple gate every day? (3:2)
  4. How long had the beggar been crippled? (3:2)
  5. Why did the crippled man spend every day at the gate called Beautiful? (3:2)
  6. What did the beggar do when he saw Peter and John approaching? (3:3)
  7. How did the two apostles first respond to the crippled man? (3:4)
  8. What did Peter say to the beggar? (3:4-6)
  9. In what ways did the crippled man respond to Peter’s words? (3:5,7-8)
  10. After he was healed, where did the beggar go? (3:8)
  11. What did Peter and John do after the miraculous healing? (3:8)
  12. What happened when the man responded to his miraculous healing? (3:8-10) Why?
  13. How did the people feel about what had happened to the crippled beggar? (3:9-10)

Get It

  1. If God were to do a miracle of healing among the people in your church, how do you think most people would respond? Why?
  2. When do you meet for prayer at your church?
  3. When was the last time God answered a prayer of yours in a delightful way?
  4. How did you respond the last time God answered a prayer?
  5. What specific attitudes toward the weak and needy need to change before God can effectively use a person to help them?
  6. Besides providing financial aid, what can Christians do to help those who are poor or needy?
  7. How can your congregation be helpful to people with disabilities?
  8. How can your congregation be sensitive to the needs of those who are physically disabled?
  9. What do you have to offer to others who are disabled or in need?
  10. When have you witnessed God’s miraculous healing power at work?
  11. How do you need to change so that God can work through you in a powerful way?

Apply It

  1. How can you be prepared to help a person in need this week?
  2. What crippled area of your life needs Jesus’ healing touch?

26 April 2021

The Fellowship of the Believers – Acts 2:42-47

Open It

  1. What possessions do you have that you enjoy sharing with others?
  2. Which of your belongings would you not want to share with anyone else? Why?
  3. How would you describe your life-style: self-centered, family-centered, or others-centered?

Explore It

  1. What were the activities of the early church? (2:42)
  2. How did the new believers approach what they did? (2:42)
  3. What unusual deeds did the apostles do? (2:43)
  4. How did people respond to what was going on? (2:43)
  5. What life-style did the early believers adopt? (2:44-45)
  6. Why might the early Christians have had “everything in common”? (2:44)
  7. How were the goods distributed among the early believers? (2:45)
  8. How often did the believers meet? (2:46)
  9. Where did the early believers meet? (2:46)
  10. How did the early Christians meet together? (2:46-47)
  11. What did the Christians do when they met together in homes? (2:46-47)
  12. What was the spirit of the believers in all they did? (2:46-47)
  13. What was the growth of the early church like? (2:47)

Get It

  1. What were the early believers actually doing when they “broke bread”?
  2. How do the activities of the early church compare with the activities of your church?
  3. How do you think your church should be more like the early church?
  4. In what ways should your church be different from the early church? Why?
  5. The early church was joyful, victorious, and full of praise. How would you describe the spirit of your church?
  6. When do you most enjoy spending time with other believers?
  7. Would you describe your church as self-centered or others-centered?
  8. How is the celebration of Communion meaningful to you?
  9. What “miracles” have you witnessed in your church fellowship?
  10. In what ways do you see your church growing?

Apply It

  1. What can you do to help your church be more like the early church?
  2. How can your daily prayers help bring about spiritual renewal in your church fellowship?

20 April 2021

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost – Acts 2:1-13

Open It

  1. What everyday expressions can you say in another language? How did you learn them?
  2. If you could speak another language fluently, which one would you choose? Why?

Explore It

  1. What was celebrated on the day of Pentecost? (2:1)
  2. What group of people was gathered together? (2:1)
  3. Where did a violent wind come from? (2:2)
  4. What did the followers of Christ hear and see? (2:2-3)
  5. What was the importance of the wind and fire? (2:2-4)
  6. When the Holy Spirit filled the believers, what did they do? (2:4)
  7. Who was staying in Jerusalem? (2:5)
  8. How did the God-fearing Jews visiting Jerusalem react when they heard Christians speaking their languages? (2:6-11)
  9. What languages were the Jews from Galilee speaking? (2:9-11)
  10. What was the topic of conversation among the crowds? (2:11)
  11. Besides being amazed, how did the crowd react to the unusual happening they witnessed? (2:12-13)

Get It

  1. If you saw the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, how do you think you would have responded? Why?
  2. Why is the coming of the Spirit associated with wind, fire, and different languages?
  3. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
  4. How does God use us to witness to others?
  5. When has God enabled you to do something that you didn’t think you could do?
  6. How could your church benefit from greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit?
  7. What areas of unbelief must you deal with in order to become more open to the movement of God in your life?
  8. How can we cultivate sensitivity to the Holy Spirit?

Apply It

  1. How can you be more open to seeing, hearing, and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit in your prayer and Bible reading?
  2. What can you do each day to invite the Holy Spirit to use you?
  3. What steps can you take this week to be better prepared for God’s use?

 

19 April 2021

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas – Acts 1:12-26

Open It

  1. When you were growing up, how did you and your friends choose teams for games of kickball, tag, or other such games?
  2. If you had to serve on a church committee, which one would you choose? Why?
  3. When you work together with other people, what kind of role suits you best?
  4. When working with others as part of a team, do you prefer to give orders or follow orders? Why?

Explore It

  1. Where did the ascension of Jesus take place? (1:12)
  2. How did the apostles show that they were following Jesus’ orders? (1:12-13)
  3. How many apostles were still following Christ after His death and resurrection? (1:13)
  4. Who was present at the meeting of eleven apostles? (1:14)
  5. What did the group of eleven apostles do when they got together? (1:14)
  6. Who took the leadership among the early Christians? (1:15)
  7. How did Peter take leadership of the early Christians after Jesus’ ascension? (1:15-17)
  8. How did Peter show high regard for the Scriptures? (1:16-17)
  9. How did Judas betray both Jesus and the other disciples? (1:16-17)
  10. What happened as a result of Judas’s treachery? (1:18-20)
  11. What did Peter propose to do about the vacancy left by Judas? (1:21-22)
  12. Who was named to replace Judas? (1:23)
  13. What did the apostles do to select the right candidate to succeed Judas? (1:24-26)
  14. How did the apostles choose Judas’s successor? (1:24-26)
  15. Who was selected to be the twelfth apostle? (1:26)

Get It

  1. Recalling that Peter denied Jesus earlier, how do you think the disciples felt about Peter’s leadership?
  2. When have you felt uncomfortable submitting to someone’s leadership?
  3. How do you make important decisions in your family?
  4. Why is prayer important in our decision-making process?
  5. What approach does your church follow in making important decisions?
  6. How can you support and encourage your church leaders?
  7. In what way do you need to be more involved or less involved in church ministries?

Apply It

  1. What is one way you can include God in all important decisions you make?
  2. What can you do in the next few days to show support for your pastor?
  3. How can you improve your prayer life?

12 April 2021

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven – Acts 1:1-11

  1. If you could take a trip somewhere far away, where would you go?
  2. What kind of reading material would you take along on a lengthy trip away from home?

Explore It

  1. To what “former book” was Luke referring? (1:1)
  2. Who was Theophilus? (1:1)
  3. What did Luke write about? (1:1-2)
  4. After His resurrection, how did Jesus spend His time with the apostles? (1:3-5)
  5. What specific commands did Jesus give the apostles? (1:4)
  6. What gift did Jesus promise to the apostles? (1:4-5)
  7. What did the apostles misunderstand? (1:6)
  8. How did Jesus answer the apostles’ question? (1:7-8)
  9. What task did Jesus assign the apostles? (1:8)
  10. Who would help the apostles get their job done? (1:8)
  11. How would the apostles be able to carry out the task Jesus gave them? (1:8)
  12. After speaking to the apostles, where did Jesus go? (1:9-11)
  13. How did the apostles react to Jesus’ departure? (1:10)
  14. Who were the figures in white? (1:10)
  15. How did the men in white encourage the apostles? (1:11)
  16. How will Jesus’ return be like His ascension? (1:11)

Get It

  1. After His resurrection, Jesus spent some forty days with His disciples; how do you think they felt about this time with Him?
  2. What Christian leader do you value spending time with? Why?
  3. What is the importance of Jesus’ final promise and command to you?
  4. When is a time you wanted to move on from a location, job, or difficult relationship but were held back by God’s leading?
  5. How do we know when the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives?
  6. What specific means (abilities, opportunities, relationships) has God given you to carry out the task of being His witness?
  7. When you talk to a nonbelieving friend about Christ, what proofs of Jesus’ existence can you offer?
  8. How should the prospect of Christ’s return affect the way you live your Christian life?

Apply It

  1. When can you include reading the book of Luke in your Bible study this month?
  2. What steps can you take to be actively involved in telling others about Christ?
  3. How can you invite the Holy Spirit to guide you throughout this week?

 

1 April 2021 – Maundy Thursday

The Lord’s Supper – Matthew 26:17-30

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[b]

32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

 Open It

  1. In what ways does sharing a meal bind people together?
  2. What names, dates, or events do you have a hard time remembering?
  3. If you were dying, what would you want for a last meal?
  4. How do you hope people will remember you after you are gone?

Explore It

  1. What was going on during the time of the incidents described in this passage? (26:17)
  2. What question did the disciples ask Jesus? (26:17)
  3. What instructions did Jesus give His followers? (26:18)
  4. What was the response of the disciples to Jesus’ instructions? (26:19)
  5. What did Jesus and His disciples do that evening? (26:20)
  6. What shocking statement did Jesus utter during His meal with the disciples? (26:21)
  7. How did the disciples react to Jesus’ announcement? (26:22)
  8. How did Jesus identify the one who would betray Him? (26:23)
  9. What sobering statement did Jesus make about His betrayer? (26:24)
  10. How did Judas respond to the words of Christ? (26:25)
  11. What did Jesus say about the bread on the table? (26:26)
  12. What remarks did Jesus make about the wine they were drinking? (26:27-28)
  13. When did Jesus say He would eat with His disciples again? (26:29)
  14. What did the group do after they finished eating? (26:30)

Get It

  1. In what ways might Christ be uncomfortable to eat a meal in your home?
  2. When we respond to Christ’s commands, do you think we tend to fulfill them completely, or only so far as we feel like it?
  3. How does it make you feel to realize that Christ’s body was battered and broken because of your sin?
  4. How do you feel when you remember that Jesus shed His blood on the cross for you?
  5. What do you imagine it would have been like to have been one of the participants at that first Lord’s Supper, to have heard those men sing a hymn, to have looked Christ in the eyes?
  6. Why do you think Judas asked if he was the one who would betray Jesus?
  7. What does Communion or the Eucharist mean to you personally?

Apply It

  1. What do you want to change about the way you participate in the Lord’s Supper the next time it is celebrated at Duckpool Road church?
  2. What do you need to do today (or stop doing) to be a fully obedient servant of Jesus Christ?
  3. How can you encourage a friend this week with the message of this passage?

 

27 March 2021

Easter 6

Jesus Before Pilate – Matthew 27:11-26

Open It

  1. What is the most ingenious or creative excuse you have heard someone give in an attempt to avoid responsibility?
  2. What is your opinion of politicians?
  3. What governmental customs or laws do you like best and least?
  4. How much stock do you put in dreams?

Explore It

  1. What title and position did Pilate have? (27:11)
  2. What question did Pilate ask Jesus? (27:11)
  3. How did Jesus answer the Roman authority? (27:11)
  4. How did Jesus answer the Jews when they made accusations against Him? (27:12)
  5. What did Pilate think of Christ’s silence? (27:13-14)
  6. What custom did the governor follow at this particular time of year? (27:15)
  7. Who was in prison at the time? (27:16)
  8. What choice did Pilate put before the crowd? (27:17-18)
  9. What message did Pilate’s wife send him? (27:19)
  10. How did the religious leaders influence the crowd? (27:20)
  11. What choice did the crowd make? (27:21)
  12. What did the crowd ask Pilate to do to Christ? (27:22)
  13. How did Pilate attempt to evade any responsibility in the condemnation of Jesus? (27:24)
  14. What ironic statement did the crowd make about Jesus’ blood? (27:25)
  15. What happened to the two prisoners—Barabbas and Jesus? (27:26)

Get It

  1. How would you rate Pilate’s performance?
  2. Why is it difficult not to defend yourself when people are saying mean and untrue things about you?
  3. What attitudes, emotions, or perspective must a person have in order to stay calm while being attacked?
  4. In what way is not defending an innocent person the same as condemning him or her?
  5. When might you be called upon to defend someone who is innocent?
  6. What risks are there in defending an innocent person?
  7. In what relationships do you need to trust more in the power and sufficiency of Christ?
  8. In what situations do you need to quit arguing and defending yourself?
  9. What decisions have you been putting off for fear of the responsibility?
  10. What helps you face your responsibilities?

Apply It

  1. How can you prepare yourself for the next time you have an opportunity to defend an innocent person?
  2. What decision do you need to make today and then take responsibility for?

27 March 2021

Easter 5

Jesus before the Sanhedrin Matthew 26:57-68

Open It

  1. What is the most famous “miscarriage of justice” you have ever witnessed or heard about?
  2. When in your life have you ended up suffering because you tried to help someone else?
  3. In what ways are lies and gossip damaging?

Explore It

  1. After being arrested, where was Jesus taken? (26:57)
  2. Who was assembled where Jesus was taken? Why? (26:57, 59)
  3. Who had followed Jesus at a distance? Where was he? (26:58)
  4. What did Peter do in an attempt to observe the proceedings against Jesus? (26:58)
  5. What were the chief priests and Sanhedrin hoping to find? (26:59)
  6. Who came forward to testify at this “trial”? (26:60)
  7. What did one witness claim to have heard Jesus say? (26:61)
  8. When the high priest first began questioning Jesus, how did Jesus respond? (26:62-63)
  9. What question did the high priest finally ask Jesus about His identity? (26:63)
  10. How did Jesus answer the high priest? (26:64)
  11. What prophetic statement did Jesus make in His defence? (26:64)
  12. How did Jesus’ claim affect the high priest? (26:65-66)
  13. What emotional and physical abuse did Christ endure at the hands of these spiritual leaders? (26:67-68)

Get It

  1. How is it possible for an innocent person to be accused and convicted of a crime?
  2. When have you been harmed by false accusers spreading malicious lies?
  3. How can we respond when attacked for no just reason?
  4. What is it like to be ganged up on?
  5. Why do you think Christ didn’t argue with his accusers and make some sort of defense?
  6. In what situations are we tempted to water down or soft-pedal the truth?
  7. What is it that sometimes causes groups of people to become vicious and cruel?
  8. What do you think about Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God?

Apply It

  1. In what group situations might you be able to act as a calming and peacemaking voice this week?
  2. In what situation this week do you need to tell the truth, even if it may cost you?
  3. To what friend(s) in trouble can you show support by your physical presence?

27 March 2021

Easter 4

Jesus Arrested – Matthew 26:47-56

Open It

  1. What is the fastest you have ever run in your life?
  2. What is one time your beliefs or convictions were tested?
  3. What types of situations tend to make your heart sink?
  4. What prompts some people to rescue others in trouble, while others are interested only in helping themselves?

Explore It

  1. What happened just as Jesus finished praying in the garden of Gethsemane? (26:47)
  2. Who accompanied Judas? (26:47)
  3. What kind of crowd accompanied Judas? (26:47)
  4. How did Judas greet Jesus? (26:49)
  5. What was significant about the signal Judas used to point out Jesus? (26:48)
  6. What command did Jesus give Judas? (26:50)
  7. What did the men in the crowd do when Jesus spoke? (26:50)
  8. What did one of Jesus’ disciples do in an attempt to protect his master? (26:51)
  9. What did Jesus tell the disciple who attacked? (26:52)
  10. What truthful “boast” did Jesus make? (26:53)
  11. Why didn’t Jesus take advantage of His disciple’s brave attack? (26:54)
  12. What did Jesus say to the crowd? (26:55)
  13. What happened when it became obvious that Jesus would be arrested? (26:56)

Get It

  1. What do you think the disciples were feeling as they saw the armed mob approaching?
  2. Why do you think this mob came at night to arrest Jesus?
  3. What is especially awful about the way Judas betrayed Jesus?
  4. What do you think would have been your reaction had you been in the garden that night?
  5. Whose trust have you violated recently?
  6. When are we tempted to take matters into our own hands out of “devotion” to God?
  7. How has your faith been tested recently?
  8. How can we stand firm when our faith is tested?
  9. How do you tend to react in frightening situations?

Apply It

  1. What can you do today to ensure that you will stand strong the next time your faith is tested?
  2. In what specific situations this week do you need to trust God instead of resorting to human wisdom and tactics?

15 March 2021

Easter 2

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial – Matthew 26:31-35

Open It

  1. Why is it dangerous to begin a sentence with the words, “I would never . . .”?
  2. Why is it possible for a mature believer in Christ to sin?
  3. What do you think about the expression, “Talk is cheap”?

Explore It

  1. What prediction about His followers did Jesus make on the Mount of Olives? (26:31)
  2. To what did Jesus compare Himself and His disciples? (26:31)
  3. What was significant about Jesus’ statement and His situation? (26:31)
  4. What did Christ predict about Himself? (26:32)
  5. Where did Jesus say He would go? When? (26:32)
  6. How did Peter respond to Jesus’ statement that all the disciples would abandon Him? (26:33)
  7. What prediction did Jesus make about Peter? (26:34)
  8. What did Peter have to say when Jesus said Peter would disown Him? (26:35)
  9. How did the rest of the disciples react to these depressing comments by Christ? (26:35)

Get It

  1. How committed do you think the disciples were to Jesus?
  2. How is the commitment of many Christians today much like that of the eleven disciples with Jesus in the garden?
  3. What is admirable about a promise never to abandon Christ?
  4. What is foolish about a vow never to abandon Christ?
  5. What situations might tempt you to be quiet or low-key about your relationship with Jesus Christ?
  6. If wide-scale persecution of Christians broke out in this country, as it has in so many others, how do you think many Christians would respond? Why?
  7. What do you learn about God from the fact that Jesus did not yell at His disciples or disown them even though He knew they would abandon Him?
  8. Why is human willpower inadequate to keep us from sinning?
  9. What vow have you made to God that you need to fulfill?

Apply It

  1. In what particular situation(s) this week do you need to make it clear—for the first time—that you are a follower of Jesus Christ?
  2. How can you encourage a Christian brother or sister who has recently denied Christ and is feeling discouraged?
  3. What first step in fulfilling your vow to God do you need to take this week?

 

8 March 2021

Easter 1

The Lord’s Supper – Matthew 26:17-30

Open It

  1. In what ways does sharing a meal bind people together?
  2. What names, dates, or events do you have a hard time remembering?
  3. If you were dying, what would you want for a last meal?
  4. How do you hope people will remember you after you are gone?

Explore It

  1. What was going on during the time of the incidents described in this passage? (26:17)
  2. What question did the disciples ask Jesus? (26:17)
  3. What instructions did Jesus give His followers? (26:18)
  4. What was the response of the disciples to Jesus’ instructions? (26:19)
  5. What did Jesus and His disciples do that evening? (26:20)
  6. What shocking statement did Jesus utter during His meal with the disciples? (26:21)
  7. How did the disciples react to Jesus’ announcement? (26:22)
  8. How did Jesus identify the one who would betray Him? (26:23)
  9. What sobering statement did Jesus make about His betrayer? (26:24)
  10. How did Judas respond to the words of Christ? (26:25)
  11. What did Jesus say about the bread on the table? (26:26)
  12. What remarks did Jesus make about the wine they were drinking? (26:27-28)
  13. When did Jesus say He would eat with His disciples again? (26:29)
  14. What did the group do after they finished eating? (26:30)

Get It

  1. In what ways might Christ be uncomfortable to eat a meal in your home?
  2. When we respond to Christ’s commands, do you think we tend to fulfill them completely, or only so far as we feel like it?
  3. How does it make you feel to realize that Christ’s body was battered and broken because of your sin?
  4. How do you feel when you remember that Jesus shed His blood on the cross for you?
  5. What do you imagine it would have been like to have been one of the participants at that first Lord’s Supper, to have heard those men sing a hymn, to have looked Christ in the eyes?
  6. Why do you think Judas asked if he was the one who would betray Jesus?
  7. What does Communion or the Eucharist mean to you personally?

Apply It

  1. What do you want to change about the way you participate in the Lord’s Supper the next time it is celebrated at church?
  2. What do you need to do today (or stop doing) to be a fully obedient servant of Jesus Christ?
  3. How can you encourage a friend this week with the message of this passage?

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4 – 7 March 2021

Israel’s Sinfulness – Hosea 4:1-5:15

Open It

  1. If you were treated unjustly by someone in your community, how would you want to respond?
  2. How do you usually handle feelings of guilt?
  3. If you were to write your local newspaper about a thorny social problem, what would you write about and how would you like the issue resolved?

Explore It

  1. What charge did God bring against Israel? (4:1-2)
  2. What would result from Israel’s sin? (4:3)
  3. How were the priests implicated in God’s indictment? (4:4-11)
  4. How had God’s people sinned? (4:11-14)
  5. What warning did God give Judah? (4:15)
  6. What had hindered God from shepherding Israel? (4:16-19)
  7. To whom was God’s pronouncement of guilt addressed? (5:1-5)
  8. What would God withdraw because of Israel’s unfaithfulness? (5:6-7)
  9. Why would the sound of battle be heard among God’s people? (5:8-9)
  10. What was God’s charge against Judah? (5:10)
  11. How had the process of judgment against Israel already started? (5:11-14)
  12. What was the ultimate purpose of the Lord’s judgment on His people? (5:15)

Get It

  1. How should a Christian handle criticism or unsolicited advice from others?
  2. What commands from God are difficult for you to obey?
  3. When have you experienced God’s hand of discipline in your life?
  4. How is our society like rebellious Israel?
  5. How would you describe the spiritual health of your church community?
  6. In what way might the Christian church be partly responsible for the breakdown of morality in our culture?
  7. In what ways do you hold yourself accountable to other Christians?
  8. How has suffering helped your walk with the Lord?

Apply It

  1. This week what can you do in your community to show the love and righteousness of the Lord?
  2. For what Christian leaders in your community can you pray?
  3. In what practical way can you be involved in the spiritual restoration of Christians you know who have turned away from the Lord?

 

1 – 3 March 2021

Hosea’s Wayward Wife – Hosea 1:1-3:5

Open It

  1. If someone were to select a spouse for you, whom would you trust to make the best choice?
  2. What do you like about your name?
  3. What qualities do you cherish about the person who loves you most?

Explore It

  1. Who was Hosea? (1:1)
  2. When did the Lord speak to the prophet? (1:1)
  3. What did the Lord instruct Hosea to do? (1:2-2:1)
  4. What was the symbolism of Hosea’s family? (1:2-2:1)
  5. How did Hosea feel about Gomer? (2:2-13)
  6. What did God say to Israel through Hosea’s words? (2:2-13)
  7. What did the Lord plan to do to win Israel back to himself? (2:14-15)
  8. By what name would renewed Israel acknowledge her Lord? (2:16)
  9. What would God prohibit? (2:17)
  10. What would accompany Israel’s return to the land? (2:18)
  11. What would mark the new relationship between the Lord and Israel? (2:19-23)
  12. What commands did the Lord give Hosea? (3:1)
  13. How did Hosea respond to the Lord? (3:2-3)
  14. What did Gomer’s lengthy probation portray? (3:4)
  15. What would happen after Israel’s period of isolation? (3:5)

Get It

  1. What do you expect from God when you “betray” Him repeatedly?
  2. How do you tend to deal with a loved one who has wronged you in some way?
  3. How should Christians deal with people in the church who commit adultery?
  4. How is God’s faithfulness to us an example of the way we should treat others?
  5. What are the “idols” in your life from which you should turn away?
  6. What bruised or broken family relationship of yours needs the healing touch of the Lord?
  7. What does this passage say to you about the consequences of sin?
  8. In what ways do you think people’s attitudes toward morality have changed over the past ten years?
  9. How would you describe the influence of the church on the morals of our society?
  10. How can you intervene in someone else’s life to be a force of renewal?

Apply It

  1. What step can you take each day to help maintain your faithfulness to the Lord?
  2. What loyalties, things, or relationships do you need to hand over to God?
  3. How can you show love and acceptance to someone in your church in desperate need of forgiveness or affirmation?