Sunday, October 20, 2013

I Moved!

I've moved!  In fact, I've been blogging elsewhere for awhile now.  So if you want to follow me there, click the link below.  For convenience, I will keep this blog live so that you can access to any of your favorite posts.

If you're looking for updates, I'm now blogging here: Kovac's Corner

Thank you for your encouragement and readership!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Jonah: Week 7

1. [v.1-2] Chapter 3 starts off almost exactly like the first chapter.  This is basically God giving Jonah a second chance after phis previous failure.  Discuss a time when you were given a second chance.  How does it feel to get a second chance?  Did you make the most of it?

2. [v.3-5] Does Jonah respond differently with God’s second chance?  What is his response?  How do you think he feels about this calling this time around?

3.  [v.4] Jonah’s main message to the people is one of judgment, yet the people accept God’s message and repent.  Why is Jonah’s ministry successful in Nineveh?

4. [v.4] Even though the message is one of judgment, it is still within God’s grace.  How is that possible?

5. [v.6-10] God’s power is very much alive and active in this chapter.  How does God’s power work through Jonah?  How does God’s power work through Nineveh?

6.  One of the more popular ways to reach non-believers today is through relational evangelism.  This means that Christians aim to build a meaningful friendship with a person before presenting the Gospel.  (This is probably NOT what Jonah did.)  What are the strengths of relational evangelism?  Where does it fall short?

7.  Individually, write out the gospel message on a piece of paper in a way that a non-Christian will understand.  Hint:  Keep it simple.  Bonus points if you have a non-Christian in your group and they comprehend your answer.

8.  How does God use our words and actions for His own glory, despite our knowledge, confidence (or lack of), delivery, or motives? 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jonah: Week 6

Text: Jonah 2
Sermon: Rev. Matt Kennedy (Salvation Belongs to the Lord)

1. In our moments of despair and hopelessness, what do we usually turn to or cling to?

2.  What is despair and where does it come from?

3.  All people and events are under God’s rule and authority.  Name some situations, personal or biblical, where good has come out of a bad, difficult or frustrating situation.

4.  How do our pains or struggles bring us closer to God?

5.  Often, God’s timing does not match with our own.  We consider God’s action to be too early or too late.  Why does God’s timing always work, even if we don’t see it that way at the time?

6.  Our false idols (pride, alcohol, food, relationships, career, children, past events, etc.) demand that we vow and sacrifice to them, and in return they “save us” or “serve us” in a way that is desirable.  How do these actions change when it comes to the Lord?

7.  Jonah’s experience with God reveals that the Christian life is not without pain or discomfort, but He does rescue us from the worst – eternal death and separation.  Share an experience that has caused you pain or trial as a Christian.

8.  After reading halfway through the book of Jonah, share what you have learned from it so far.  What are a few of the central themes?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jonah: Week 5

Text: Jonah 1:17-2:1
Sermon: Rev. Matt Kennedy (Jonah's Great Fish: Miracle or Metaphor?)

1.  We’re told that Jonah is swallowed by a great fish and lives inside it for three days.  This isn’t the only example of a “Biblical impossibility.”  There are a number of other impossibilities in the Bible as well.  Name off as many as you can.

2.  Why are these impossibilities (or miracles) unacceptable or unbelievable by critics?  In other words, what is essential in understanding these miracles?

3.  How should Christians talk to skeptics about miracles?  Should we have to defend them or support them - even if we believe them?

4.  Why does God even use miracles?  Are they even that important in the Bible?  How about miracles in our personal lives?

5.  What’s the difference between a miracle and a parable, myth, or legend?

Monday, December 05, 2011

Jonah: Week 4

1.  [Jonah 1] What evidences do we see in the Book of Jonah that confirms that the sailors are more compassionate and more faithful than Jonah?

2.  Have you known any non-Christians that are more obedient, more ethical, or more generous than some actual Christians?  What do you think makes them this way?

3.  Regardless of our good deeds, they do not save us.  Why do we want to share the gospel with other people?  Important: It’s not so they can “become good.”

4.  [Jonah 1] What transformation do we see in the sailors throughout first chapter?

5.  [Jonah 1] Mercy is not getting what we deserve, and God demonstrates a lot of mercy here.  Which act of mercy speaks the most to you?  Why?

6.  [Jonah 1:17]  Remember, we know the appointed fish is coming because we have probably heard this account before, but Jonah doesn’t.  What is Jonah really asking the sailors to do (to him) and why does he ask such a thing?

7.  [Jonah 2:1-7]  What change do we see in Jonah in the opening verses of chapter 2?

8.  Although far from the Christ himself, we get a glimpse of what Jesus’ life is like through Jonah’s actions.  In what ways is Jonah’s life like that of the Messiah’s?