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THE GOD WE KNOW #1 – KNOWING THE GREAT I AM – 8 JULY 2018

(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 2nd – 8th July 2018)
ICE BREAKER: Do you know the meaning of your name and surname? Share with your group.
If not, make it your mission this week to find out.

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Exodus 3:1-14
1. What do you think of the thought that God wants to be recognised, doesn’t hide or avoid us – God wants to be known? Think about Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses and the prophets – how do they help us to understand this question/statement?

2. God has called Moses to a dangerous mission – go to the one who holds the power and who knows that the Israelite slaves contribute to the prosperity of Egypt and ask him to let them go. In view of this, why do you think it was important to Moses that he knew the name and meaning of God’s name?

3. What do you think is significant about God’s name “I AM” and what message is God giving to Moses by telling him this name for Godself?

4. In verse 4 God says to Moses, “Here I am.” (in some translations – I will be there). How does this statement encourage you today, especially when going through some tough times? Is God enough for you in those times? Why or why not?

5. In John’s Gospel we find the “I AM” statements of Jesus (Found in Chapters 6-15). By using these words Jesus identifies with the God of Moses. The God called “I AM” can be fully known in Jesus. Thinking of today, symbols like bread, light, shepherding, grapevines, and so on, can initially be strange things to associate with Jesus. But think about it carefully – how are they relevant to you today, in your current spiritual journey?

6. There is the thought that “We are not just made by God, we are made out of God.” So, for example we are made out of God’s goodness, power, strength, and love. How can getting to know who God is, help us to know more who we are?

7. How would you finish the sentence, “I am…” about yourself? Are you tempted to think about less desirable traits? What about the attributes you believe describe God – would you use these for yourself? Why or why not?

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD: 2 – 8 JULY 2018

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

“Mathew 5:16
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden… Let your light shine before men…”

Please Pray this week for –
• Pray for all Churches in South Africa to shine God’s Light into our land
• Pray that God’s light and truth shines into the dark places to reveal corruption and sin
• Pray our government will act where necessary in a Godly way to root out evil and remove it from our society
• Pray for all Christians to live their faith into our Country for miraculous change – to be Shining Lights.
• Wisdom in the plans for the National Health Insurance – that all may have access to good health care.
• The safety of children during the school holidays – especially against predators and others who seek to prey on the vulnerable.
• Cape Town that has now been hit by floods – for emergency services and the community to help those most in need.
• Continue to pray for the refugee crisis in Europe, and a peaceful outcome for all nations in the Middle Eastern conflict/s.

“Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God, the more we know (God) the more we will desire to know (God.” Brother Lawrence – The Practice of the Presence of God.

Amen.

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD: 25 JUNE – 1 JULY 2018

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap..”
Psalm 113 vrs 7 and 8

Please give thanks for:

• All those people that are working tirelessly to help poor and hurting people and children in our country.
• The Hillcrest Aids Centre and all that they accomplish in our local community, for the wonderful people that work there, and pray for funding for all South African charities in order for the work to continue

Please Pray this week for –
• Our electricity crises, for speedy resolutions so that the economy is not damaged further
• Continue to pray against crime, corruption and general disregard for the law
• Pray for safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists on our roads. Pray that the general public will drive with consideration and kindness in order to prevent tragedies.
• Continued prayer for President Cyril Ramaphosa – To seek God’s guidance daily as he steers our country, makes decisions, and roots out corruption.
• Pray for a peaceful resolution in the matter of families being separated in the US.
• Continue to pray for the refugee crisis in Europe, and a peaceful outcome for all nations in the Middle Eastern conflict/s.
• Pray for Andrew, Mary and Erin as they make their way to Cork, for safe travels and an easy settling into their new community.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”
Romans 15 vrs 13

Amen.

Seven Questions – BRING LIFE – 1 JULY 2018

ICE BREAKER: Have you experienced a significant period of time in your life, particularly an extended one? Share this experience with your group.

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Mark 5:21-43
1. Our scripture passage focuses on a young girl aged 12 who suddenly dies; a woman who’s suffered for 12 years. What does twelve years mean to you now, in your
testimony of living, dying, healing, grieving, being faithful, and hoping for new life?

2. We have a vibrant and growing children and youth ministry at HMC. The number 12 is probably a significant one for many of these young people. Some may feel that
they’re entering a new season as they move from pre-teen to teens. Or they may feel that they don’t know what lies ahead this challenges their faith. How important
do you feel it is for the wider HMC family to embrace our young people (and their parents), to be part of their faith journey that breathes new life in them and
grows their faith even more?

3. In both these circumstances Jesus is more than a healer. Jesus acts out of love and compassion. He embraces and blesses both for their faith… Jesus healing is more
than physical, it’s more than a magical or medicinal touch – it’s a life changing encounter. Have you ever felt desperate, a bit like your back is up against the
wall? What changed to bring you to the place you are now?

4. To continue…In what circumstances or experiences has a scripture breathed new life into you? Has something ever happened that either overshadows or disappoints and
which has led to questions about your faith? Have you overcome this, and if so how?

5. Think of the woman who’d lived in pain for 12 years and for Jairus who’d lost his precious daughter. What drove them to seek God? Have you experienced a touch of
God’s healing hands that have restored you in a specific way?

6. Jesus brings life through his children. In what ways do you see or hear of life being restored to our world and country through the Church?

7. How do we help others to move from the shadow of shame, desperation and heartache to a place of hope and assurance in Christ to receive and experience new life?

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD: 11 – 17 JUNE 2018

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.


Our theme this week is on issues of justice. Lord, there are so many issues and experiences of injustice, oppression and inequality. Help us as a congregation to look beyond ourselves to these issues; to respond in ways that bring freedom from bondage and oppression; may the floodgates of your mercy be like a healing balm to those who need it most. Let us pray for:
• Those who feel trapped in poverty, which often leads to choices that would not be the norm just to put food on the table and provide a roof over their heads.
• Our education system – decision makers at national and local government levels, educators and learners.
• Our police and security company personnel – that they would all work to ensure safety and security for all who call SA home.
• Communities to work together to root out crime, violence and corruption.
• The correct management of parastatals, especially the current crisis within Eskom, and the threat of strikes that could affect the whole country.
• The eradication of misconduct at SABC.
• The reduction in statistics of 31% of municipalities who are not financially viable.
• Those affected by sexual harassment in school by teachers.
• Give thanks for the repaired equipment at the Addington Oncology unit.
• Pray for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe on 30th July.
• Continue to pray for our leaders.

We pray for righteousness to be restored in our beloved country, work for all and hope for future generations.

“When the enemy comes with shame and blame, tell him to go measure the distance from East to West and get back to you – Louie Giglio”

Amen!

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THE BELOVED COMMUNITY…JUSTICE – 17 JUNE 2018

(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 11 – 17TH June 2018)

ICE BREAKER: Share a personal experience of a waterfall.

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ Luke 4:14-20; Amos 5:21-24 and Isaiah 1:16-17
1. Luke records in verses 18-19, the words spoken by Jesus as recorded in Isaiah 61. Most of us have heard these words proclaimed many times. What do they mean for you? Share with your group.

2. Justice is a word that is bandied about quite a lot as we see many atrocities and acts of injustice and inequality. What are your thoughts on matters of injustice and inequality?

3. Closer to home… there are many hot potato issues in SA – political strife, land issues, failing education and health systems, economic uncertainty to name a few. So often when faced with these issues our response is to flee into self-preservation mode. Why do you think this is so?

4. Let’s look a little deeper on this issue… we cannot ignore the deeper issues and causes of injustice, oppression and inequality, that are often designed to keep the poverty stricken in that place, or those trapped in life styles not necessarily of their choosing. How can the church – HMC and the broader church – offer a faithful, Gospel inspired, critique of systemic injustice that causes inequality?

5. Amos 5:24 is a beautiful passage – the NIV reads, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-ending stream.” One of my favourite spots in the Berg is a waterfall at the foot of the Bushman’s Nek mountains. When the rains have come, and the river is flowing strong, it’s a steady and endless flow of water over the rockface into a deep pool; onto some rapids and into the deeper quieter section, which just keeps rolling as the river meanders onwards. Imagine this and hold the picture in mind as you consider that Jesus came to right injustice… Where in your life or circle of influence could this verse in Amos be an outworking of your faith that brings justice and righteous living?

6. In his book, My Beloved Community, Andrew writes: “It’s a damnably hard thing to get people to look beyond themselves. It’s a true mark of maturity to do so. Your maturity in Christ is a movement from self-concern to an abiding concern for others.” In your praying, studying and worship do you sense the Holy Spirit at work within, maturing you to see beyond yourself to others?

7. What fruit could be borne and continue to be produced and harvested as a community that strives for justice and righteousness?