Preparing for Sunday – Psalms, Part 2

Preparing for Sunday – Psalms, Part 2

Below is the weekly post our church¬†produces to help prepare our congregation for the Sunday morning gathering. Each summer, I take time to preach overview sermons through the Old Testament. We began last week in Psalms. This week we’ll look at a few more significant take-aways from this beautiful book. For those who live in the Kansas City metro area, we invite you to come to Summit Woods Baptist Church at 10:30 am. Carefully Think Last week we considered the book of Psalms as a whole. This week we will focus on how the Psalms affects our faith in God. Look through several headings of several psalms in each of the five sections of the book. List some of the musical terms that you see referred to (i.e.., “to the choirmaster,” “maskil,” “mahalat,” etc.). While it is difficult (if not impossible) to know what these refer to specifically, what do they indicate about the importance of music and how these psalms were to be played? Read through the following psalms: 7, 35, 58, 69, 85, 109, 137. What does the psalmist say about his enemies? Why does this not contradict the gospel of Jesus in the New Testament? Or does it? If you think so, explain. Read through the following psalms: 2, 8, 22, 69, 110. These are often referred to as Messianic psalms; those that speak of the coming of the Messiah. What characteristics do you learn about the Messiah? What indicators are there in each passage that this refers to the future Messiah and not someone else? Prayerfully Meditate ¬†If the book of Psalms is an ancient...
Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 13:44-52

Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 13:44-52

Carefully Think Read Matthew 13:44-52 List the parables described here. What are the similarities between each of the parables? What are the differences? What is the emphasis of the first two parables that do not have a stated explanation? What is the emphasis of the thrid parable that is explained? What are the new and old things that Jesus is referring to in the last parable (vv 51-52)? How is this final parable (vv 51-52) a good summary of the three parables before it? Of all the parables in chapter 13? Prayerfully Meditate How do you see your participation in God’s kingdom similar to the man who found the hidden treasure and the merchant who discovered the valuable pearl? The disciples could identify themselves with the parables (v 51). How do you personally identifiy with each of these parables? What is it about the kingdom of God that you find overwhelmingly, joyfully, compelling that you would give up everything to have it? How do you cultivate and maintain such a compelling joy in the things related to God’s kingdom? Intentionally Act Do you find anything in your life distracting you from the deepest joy in the kingdom of God? How can you focus your heart on the kingdom this week? What will you do? How will you respond? How could you use this passage as a means to encourage someone else? Who would that be in your life? Make plans in your heart and schedule to do that this week. Pray for those who will be in attendance Sunday do not love God’s kingdom like the man who finds...
Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 13:24-30, 36-44

Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 13:24-30, 36-44

For those who will be attending Summit Woods Baptist Church this Sunday, here are a few ways you could begin preparing your heart for our gathering to hear God’s Word: Carefully Think Read Matthew 13:24-30, 33-36. Make a list that compares the telling of the parable (13:24-33) and the explanation of the parable (13:36-43). List things like the setting of both sections, the characters involved and what they refer to, etc. In one sentence, how would you summarize the main idea of this parable? How does this parable speak to the situation that Jesus has been facing with the fierce opposition surrounding him (Matthew 11-12)? When does Jesus say that expressions of sin and deception will be finally dealt with? How? Prayerfully Meditate Is Jesus referring to how the church is to deal with sin in her midst? How can you tell and why? How would Matthew 18:15-20 fit with what this parable is instructing? Does this parable teach that we should not confront false teaching in the world or apply church discipline? How and why? Think through how this parable should shape the way you think about God and how we should respond to deceptive teachers, false converts, and the general promotion of what is sinful or unbiblical in our world. How should you respond? Why is how Jesus deals with sin and those who promote it painted in such fierce and violent terms? Intentionally Act List ways you could apply this parable to your attitude and actions this week. Use this list as a prayerful reminder this week. How would this parable assist you in praying for...
Preparing for Sunday – Daniel 7-12

Preparing for Sunday – Daniel 7-12

For those attending Summit Woods Baptist Church this Sunday, here are a few ways to prepare. Carefully Think Read through Daniel 7. How was the imagery of Daniel’s vision interpreted for him in 7:15-27? Make a list of what you learn? What is God’s role in the events described in this vision? What phrases do you see in Daniel 7 that would give any indication as to the timing of these events? Read Daniel 8 – how does this vision differ from the one in chapter 7 in terms of its interpretation? What does Daniel 10 suggest about the unseen spiritual world and earthly affairs? What does all of the vast detail in the vision of chapters 11 and 12 reveal about God’s sovereignty over the affairs of history and the future? What indication do you see in Chapter 12 that these events are yet future? Prayerfully Meditate What effect should the kind of detail about historical and future events, like those described in Daniel 7-12, have on your view of God? Your choices? Your anxieties? Your confidence? How should Daniel’s description about the world’s future impact how we view what is happening in our culture now? What would a God-centered response to our own cultural changes be in light of what we read in Daniel? How could Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9 assist you in your own approach to confessing sin? How could Daniel’s prophecy as a whole assist you in praying about the coming of Christ? Intentionally Act Pray for Christ’s soon coming. How would he find you if the events of his coming were to begin...
Preparing for Sunday – Daniel 1-12

Preparing for Sunday – Daniel 1-12

How do you prepare yourself during the week to engage with God and participate in corporate worship on Sunday? Every week our church gives a number of ways to interact with the passage to be preached, and lists the songs that will be sung, in order to help our congregation be better prepared. These posts will also begin to populate THE CAPRANICA each Thursday. Carefully Think Read Daniel 1:1; 2:1; 5:1, 30, 31; 6:1; and 10:1. Where is Daniel? How many kings does he interact with? Read Daniel 1:1-20; 2:26-28; 6:1-10. Why is Daniel where he is and how would you characterize his character? Glance through the headings in your Bible of Daniel 1-6. Make a list of the sort of events recorded about his life. Glance through the headings in your bible for Daniel 7-12. What are these chapters primarily about? Read 12:5-13. What era of human history is being described in these events and when will they be completed? Read Daniel 2:20-23; 4:2-3, 34-35; 6:25-27; 7:9-10, 13-14. What is emphasized about God in these chapters? Prayerfully Meditate What do you learn about Daniel, his friends and what commitment to God looks like in the midst of opposition? Have you every experienced opposition from those outside of Christianity to your faith? When? How? How would Daniel be a helpful example to you? How could Daniel’s overt, God-centered life-style instruct you and how you conduct yourself at work, in your neighborhood, or in our culture generally? Read Daniel 9:1-19. How could this be a helpful prayer to model your own (or congregational) confession of sin? What is the primary...
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