For Your Connect Groups – 19 Feb 2017

As you come together this week to pray and read the Word, here are some reminders and reflections from this week’s sermon.  My prayer is that these reminders and questions will assist your conversation, meditation and prayer.

Pray Together

  • What are some of the church needs you’re aware of?
  • Who in the church needs your intercession?
  • What are you and your loved ones praying for at the moment?
  • What wider situations can you pray into?

Read Together

This week we looked at Luke 21:5-24, where Jesus gives the famed Olivet Discourse.  Read through the parallel passages found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

  • What similarities can you see in the accounts?
  • What differences are there?

Sufficiency in God

We heard from Pastor Simon how, while the disciples are admiring the awesome Temple, Jesus is considering the poor widow, who demonstrated complete sufficiency and trust in God by giving all she had.  What Jesus considers important is not the amount given, but the amount kept.  This is a far better indicator of our faith!

It is true that we cannot take anything material with us into Heaven.  It’s been well said, however, that we can send it on ahead of us!  By surrendering our time and money by faith to God, we offer an acceptable sacrifice that will be rewarded in eternity.

  • What things do you cling to too tightly?  Are there things that, in your flesh, you cling to, but in your spirit know should be released?
  • How does today’s text speak into this?

We looked at Psalm 52:7 and Proverbs 18:11 – it may be worth reviewing them now.

When Is The End?

In our outline of Luke’s account of the discourse, we have:

  • v8-23: the near-term fulfilment
  • v25-38: the ultimate fulfilment

Verse 24 serves as the pivot verse between these two epochs.  The text we studied this week pertains to the fall of Jerusalem, now known to have occurred in 70 AD.  This event serves as a prototype of the destruction at the End of the Age, which we’ll see in the text next Sunday.

Take the time to review the text.  Look for time-specific words and phrases, such as “before all this” in v12, “when you see” in v20, and “until” in v24.

For these disciples then, and for us, the text is about living now in the midst of trial and danger.  Take another look at the text today, and consider:

  • What are the warnings and dangers that Jesus mentions?  For example, the first one in verse 8 is “being led astray.”
  • Does Jesus command any preparatory tasks?  (see 21:13-19)
  • Read Luke 24:48-49, and then 1 Peter 3:15.  Discuss how these verses direct our “witness-bearing” today.

In verses 16-19 we see the heartbreaking message that disciples of Christ are often hated, even by family members.  This is a reality for many today in the wider Church, particularly in nations where other religions are in the majority.  We looked at Proverbs 10:30 and Hebrews 12:28.

  • Have you experienced any kind of persecution?  How did you respond?
  • Read Exodus 23:4Matthew 5:44.  What response would God have from us?
  • Read 2 Peter 3:9.  What is God’s desire for His enemies?

Commit to pray for one another to be strengthened.  This life and its suffering are not permanent; our hope is permanent, and it is soon and very soon!  Pray also for those who are antagonistic to your faith, because God wants to save them.

Keep Each Other Accountable

There is great power and freedom in sharing our struggles together.  We all fall short in many ways; different, perhaps, in its outworking but the same in essence.  Cultivate a relationship where you can humbly and honestly share your lives together.

Pray for One Another

Paul urges us to pray with perseverance for all the saints.  Make it your commitment to pray for your Connect Group members this week.

Ephesians 6:18

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

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