Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ezekiel 13: You're hearing voices

1. Reread Ezekiel 13

2. Explore the context of this passage: Why is God doing different signs and acts in chapter 12? What message does chapter 12 conclude with (v. 28)?

3. In chapter 13, what are the destructive/false voices saying? How are they harming the people of God (hint: three things)?

4. What false voices have harmed you? What false voices have you used or shared to harm others?

5. What is the true voice? How does the passage characterize the voice of truth (hint: two things)? Give verses and be specific.

6. Share specific stories of times where you clutched the voice of truth, which is found only in Jesus.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ezekiel 11:14-25 - Owner of a Lovely Heart

1. Reread the passage.

2. Name a few important notes on the context of this passage from previous sermons and from chapters 10-11. Why does it seem surprising that verses 14-25 appear here?

3. From the passage, where is God building a "new family"?

4. What is being redeemed by the "new family," both historically and spiritually?

5. What is the Hebrew concept of the heart, is it just the emotions of love and hate? What other passages in the Old Testament describe the need for a new heart?

6. Why do we need a new heart of flesh (v. 19)? Think in historical terms for both Israel and the church. Where are the needs of a new heart the same and different between Israel and the church?

7. How do we receive this new heart? Does this come in the time of Ezekiel, during Jesus' life, around the time of the early church, at the end of time, or all four?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ezekiel 6-10: Idolatry and the Broken Heart of God

Re-read chapters 6-10

1) Where are the visible (chapter 6) and invisible (chapter 8) idols in Israel?

2) From the passage, how does God approach the idolatry of Israel? Does he approach our idolatry in the same way?

3) Where have we fashioned substitutes for the God who loves us?

4) Why must the glory of the LORD leave the temple (chapter 10)?

5) What are a few of the replacements God is leading us towards? How have you experienced these?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ezekiel 4&5: Judgment

1) Like Ezekiel's exilic audience, we all tend to dismiss, or at least diminish, God's warnings about His righteous anger and judgment of sin. Do you agree? Why or why not?

2) Why do you think God would ask Ezekiel to communicate without the benefit of words? How do his theatrics amplify God's message?

3) If each act of Ezekiel's living parable begin with God's command to 'take', identify the three acts and explain what event each one represents.

4) In 5:5, God charges His people with not only moral failure but missional failure. What about 5:5 suggests they have failed in their mission to the world? Are there ways the Church today fails in similar ways?

5) Given the dire pronouncement in 5:8, what hope did God's people have that they might be spared from judgment? How can we be confident that we have been rescued from judgment? If we have been so rescued, how should we live accordingly? Be specific. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ezekiel 2:1–3:15: We are creatures first

Reread Ezekiel 2:1–3:15 and, if you are able, listen to the sermon again on the church website.

Describe the context of this vision as you move from chapter 1 into this passage. Who is the one calling the shots?

What are some of the ways the passage portrays Ezekiel as a character in the story of God?

What are some of the character traits we all share with Ezekiel? What are some character traits we do not share?

Whose message does Ezekiel carry and to whom does he carry it? How and where does the passage describe this?

How do we carry the message in the same way as Ezekiel? In what ways do we carry the message differently?

To whom do we carry the message of the gospel today?  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ezekiel 1: Glory!

1. Ryan explained that the meaning of the vision is to show the LORD riding His royal chariot. What components of that scene do we find in this vision? Which ones were most compelling to you?

2. What is the message of this vision; in other words, what was God communicating to His people through it? Why was this an important message for them to grasp, given their circumstances?

3. How did Ezekiel respond to the vision? Why do you think he responded that way? Does his response teach us anything about our own?

4. In what ways does this vision encourage you?

5. In what ways does it challenge your view of God?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Deliverance Songs: Exodus 15:1-21

Re-read Exodus 15:1-21.

1) Compare Exodus 15:1-21 with Revelation 15:1-4. What similarities and differences do you observe?

2) What images in Exodus 15 stand out to you? What do those images communicate about God's character (His power, His faithfulness, etc.)? How do they encourage you? How do they inform your view of Jesus' powerful deliverance of us from our sin?

3) Are there circumstances in your life that make you feel defeated, despite Jesus' decisive victory over sin, Satan, and hell?

4) What are some of your favorite Christmas carols? Can you detect the theme of 'deliverance' in the lyrics?

5) Respond to this quote by Augustine: "Let us pine for the City where we are citizens. By pining, we are already there; we have already cast our hope, like an anchor, on that coast. I sing of somewhere else, not of here: for I sing with my heart, not my flesh." Does this sound like a Christmas exhortation to you? Why or why not?