Imagery is important in the Old Testament because it informs us about spiritual realities which are illuminated in the New Testament. In this mini-series we will be looking at the Tent of Meeting; the Ark of the Covenant; Festivals and Feasts; The High Priest; and Sacrifices. Today, we are looking at the pillars of cloud and fire. We shall explore what these signs mean about God and who He is. Through the Cloud and Fire picture we shall discover more about the Glory of God. . Questions for Lifegroup: 1. What do we learn about God through the imagery of Cloud and Fire? 2. How is the glory of God seen in Jesus? 3. How does what we have learned change us?
As we finish our series on 1 and 2 Peter, the Apostle leaves us with the reminder that Jesus Christ is coming back. Jesus return was promised by Him and is recorded in Matthew 24 & 25. Peter tells his readers that ‘scoffers’ deny that Jesus is returning and today many churches have forgotten Jesus promise to return and to judge or separate those who have done what He has commanded with those who have not (Matthew 25v31f). Are we awaiting His return looking forward to the new heavens and new earth or are we rather at home in the old? Questions for Lifegroup: 1. Why is the thought of the Lord as Judge so counter-cultural? 2. How should we live, in light of Jesus’ second coming?
Love saves. But what does it save from? This is at the heart of what love is. Love rescues us from being subject to what we actually deserve. Love heals us from our sins which kills and destroys and instead gives us a forever life with God. Real love doesn’t tolerate that which destroys. Rather real love radically deals with the problem and completely overcomes it. Questions for Lifegroup: 1. What sinful areas in your life (thoughts, words, actions or inactions) need overcoming by the love of God? 2. How might we become more aware of God’s purifying, saving love? 3. Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit to enable you to live Jesus’ way?
Love sends. It sends in order to save. Love reaches out to the object of its affection. We are the object of God’s love and He sent His Son to save us. The Son willingly went in order to fulfil His mission to save people from their sins. And He then calls us in turn as those who have received His love to be sent to the world around us. Questions for Lifegroup: 1. In what ways have you ever experienced being sent by someone to do something? 2. Why did you agree to be sent to do the task? 3. What does the Father sending the Son and the Son willingly going mean to you this Christmas time?
As we approach Christmas and celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus, we shall look at love in terms of giving, sending and saving. Today, we shall look at love being given by God to us. This love is one which pursued us and sacrificed itself for us. It truly is the greatest and mostly costly gift ever given in the history of the Universe Questions for Lifegroup: 1. In what ways have you experienced love which has pursued you and sacrificed for you? 2. How have you come to believe in the love of God?
Hope is a commodity lacking in our society. Hope is not wishful thinking as is often imagined, but its Biblical definition implies a joyful certainty. Our hope is in eternal life that Jesus has bought for us and given to us freely through His death on the cross. Eternal life is a promise for all those who believe and it’s a life in relationship with God full of joy and great pleasure. It is an abundant life. Questions for Life-groups: 1. Are you a hopeful person? What stops you being filled with hope? 2. What things are you looking forward to with joyful certainty? 3. How does the thought of eternal life affect you?
Faith that moves mountains prepares the way for the Lord, His purposes and His return. This type of faith seen through the eyes of Abraham and exemplified through Jesus requires 1. Making a start; 2. Receiving God’s provisions; 3. Perseverance; 4. Miracles. Will we be a people of mountain-moving faith? Questions for Life-groups: 1. What areas of faith mentioned do we find most difficult in attaining? 2. What mountains do you want to see moved? 3. How will you make a start?
Isaiah saw a vision of God in Chapter 6. His reaction was to realise just how sinful he was “I am a man of unclean lips” (v5). As we see the Lord we become more aware of our sin. Incredibly, the Lord who sits on the throne is also the Lamb that Isaiah saw in Chapter 53, who was led to the slaughter; One on whom was laid the sin of us all (v6). This is Grace undeserved. The people with unclean lips made holy by the One in whom there was ‘no deceit in his mouth’ (v9). Questions for Life-groups: 1. In what ways is the Lord leading you into deeper repentance? 2. When was the last time you remember receiving something very good which you didn’t deserve?