Sermon Study Guide – St. Thomas’ Church, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

 

(Date: 22 July 2012)  “Fellowship with God”        2 Samuel 7:1-14a, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

 

“Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan…” (2 San 7:1).

 

  1. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­In today’s first reading we hear about David’s big idea to do God a favour and build Him a house. But God doesn’t want that big favour from David. Why does God say ‘no’ to David’s temple but ‘yes’ to his dynasty? What does God value in his relationship with David? Do you tend to favour God by working for him, or savour God by worshipping him? Why is that?

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Leader’s Guide:

 

God often surprises us. The things we thing will please him don’t seem to interest him, and the things we don’t think are of much value are what he wants. What about God’s promises in verses 9b-16 would surprise David? Why? What would most reassure him? Why? What might irk him? Why? In what way today is David’s house and kingdom “established forever” (v. 16, see Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33)?

 

 

  1. Jesus takes his disciples on a retreat after the beheading of John the Baptist. Why would he do that? What is the purpose of a retreat? When do we need to go on a retreat? Do you make time for retreats? Why or why not?

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Leader’s Guide:

 

After the “retreat” Jesus feed the 5000 then he goes back to healing “all who touched him” (v. 56). The name Jesus= Yahweh saves. The primary purpose for Jesus’ coming was to heal and save. What happens once we are saved? What happens once we are healed from our sickness or when we get what we ask for? What do we do then? What does it mean to you that we are made for fellowship with God? How do we learn to have fellowship with God? What could God possibly get out of a relationship with us?

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Small groups are really regular mini-retreats, when we draw apart with Jesus and a few of his other disciples, and spend time with him and one another, asking questions and trying to relate what God is saying and doing to our lives. We cannot learn what fellowship with God is like unless we have fellowship with God’s children. Small groups where we pray and study and discuss together can increase our ability to notice, hear and follow God in our daily lives, and empower our worship when we gather with the greater community on the Lord’s Day. What plans do you have to be part of a small group or go on retreat so that you can learn to grow in fellowship with God?

 

“… you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9

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