THE CHALLENGE IN THE CALL
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 28 August – 3 September 2017)
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: Exodus 3:1-15; Matthew 16: 21-28; Romans 12:9-21
ICE BREAKER: What has been your greatest challenge – particularly by something far greater than yourself? Share this with your group.
- READ: Exodus 3:1-15. Following on from the ice breaker… Have you experienced God’s call to something you felt ill-equipped for? What did you say to God? To yourself?
- Through that experience, perhaps in an unexpected place, was there something that held you back? And/or how did you experience the Presence of God and the glory of God shining into that experience?
- READ: Romans 12:9-17. For Paul, love is the foundation of the Christian life – his call is for genuine love. He directs instructions to the community in order that they build up the community. In some ways the church today has lost its voice, especially in light of injustice. In what ways could we, the Church, speak out in love in matters that are breaking down communities?
- We are called to bless and not curse those who do harm to us; to strive for peace, leaving retributive justice to God; to show love at all times and in all places. Where in your life to you have opportunities to bless those who curse you?
- Living holy lives that demonstrate love requires that we acknowledge the imago dei (image of God) in each person and live actively in God’s presence. What words does Paul offer us as guide to help us to live this out?
- READ: Matthew 16:21-28. A familiar passage of Christ’s call to discipleship… The call of Christ, to love as Christ lives, offers a great challenge, and we are sometimes afraid to step out into the unknown. Take a moment and reflect on what does your call to discipleship in Christ cost you?
- What enables you to face the challenge of being a Christian as Christ directs us to love God with our whole selves and to love our neighbour as completely as we love ourselves so that we fully reflect the Kingdom of God?
Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
Pray for our schools and education departments – every week there seems to be another video of pupil on pupil violence or pupil and educator violence released in the media. Pray against bullying and victimisation. Our education is in crisis, and an under or uneducated nation does not bode well for the future. Pray for decision makers in government and schools.
Please continue to pray for taxi accidents and the safety of those in them. Taxis are an essential part of public transport in this country and more should be done to ensure it is safe for everyone. Pray for all drivers on the roads to exercise tolerance and safety as they use the roads. Pray that all road users will be vigilant in ensuring that they use roadworthy vehicles.
Pray for drought relief, particularly in the Western Cape who are coming to the end of their rainy season and the dams remain critically low. Pray for government to put in place wise decisions to alleviate this as best they can until the rains come.
Pray for all government officials that they will seek to build rather than to tear down; that they will fight against corruption and manipulation of state resources. Pray that they will listen more than they speak or condemn others. Pray that they understand completely the role of servanthood to which they have been called and elected so that there is a mind-set of an ‘economy of abundance for all.’