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...
Praying for Sunday’s Sermon Preparation

Praying for Sunday’s Sermon Preparation

Praying for the pastor who will preach each Sunday is something many Christians eagerly do each week. We realize that the task of teaching Scripture is a difficult one. Ensuring Scriptural accuracy, adequately serving a wide variety of people ethnically, in gender, generationally, socially, etc., all in one gathering is a daunting task. Doing it every week of the year, sometimes multiple times a week, makes the task even more challenging. Not only are the physical elements of preaching daunting, the spiritual challenges are even more pressing. To think in the terms Paul used, when we preach, we are either an aroma of life producing life, or death producing death: eternity is at stake each time we preach (2 Corinthians 2:14-17; 1 Timothy 4:15, 16). Above all the external challenges, the effectiveness of preaching is ultimately a work God must do in our hearts. That’s what makes praying for the preacher and the work of preaching so essential. And again, many Christians are so faithful to pray for their pastors each week as they preach. Preparation Prayer Teams For a number of years I have been honored, encouraged by, and helped by a group of people who have committed themselves to pray for me each week in respect to my preaching. But this group of people have not merely prayed in general for me and my preaching on Sunday, they have taken it a step further and have been to committed to pray for me long before Sunday. I’ve been blessed to have a team of people who commit to pray for me on the days and during the...
Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 5:10-12

Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 5:10-12

Here are a number of suggestions for those who will be attending Summit Woods Baptist Church this Sunday on how you can be prepared for the study of God’s word. Carefully Think Read Matthew 5:1-12 – focus on 5:10-12. What is persecution? What is Jesus not referring to when bringing up persecution? Why is persecution listed last in the list of the beatitudes? Even though 5:11-12 contain the word “blessed,” and refers to persecution, these verses are quite different than the rest of the beatitudes. List all the differences in form and style between 5:11-12 and the rest of the beatitudes. Why these differences? What are the different forms of persecution one can face (v 11)? What should be our response to persecution and why (v 12)? What biblical examples of persecution can you think of? What is the result of persecution (v 10)? Note the similarity with the result in the first beatitude. What is the difference between this one and the others? Prayerfully Meditate For what about your devotion to Jesus and His definition of righteousness have you most recently been persecuted? How often do you seem to face persecution for your faith? Why? Why not? Do you think Christians should expect regular persecution? Why or why not? Is there anything you intentionally hold back in your relationships with friends, at work, at home, etc., because you seek to avoid inevitable persecution? If so, why? If not, how has it provided opportunity to help people understand or be helped by the gospel? What challenges you most about finding joy in persecution? Why? What would help you to...
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