We reach the end of our year and the approach of Christmas. First thing on the agenda today is “when do Growth Groups finish up?” The rule of thumb I run with is that we follow the public school holiday schedule but decide within each of our groups when is a good time to wrap things up for the year. For some groups, last week was the final week for the Growth Group gatherings. For others, you may wish to keep meeting until the week before Christmas (public schools break up on the 19th of December.
For those who have ceased to meet or will meet one last time over a meal or celebration – God bless you. Stay in touch with one another. See you at church!
For those who still wish to meet, the final two studies for the year are in Matthew chapter 1. Matthew 1:1-17 “Incarnation” and Matthew 1:18-25 “Deity”. I won’t break down these verses for you here but will remind you of the process we have been going through this year.
1) Pray and read the passage several times.
2) Look at the context of the passage and the book. Where does this fit in the story of the book (Matthew) and of the whole bible story (the dawn of the NT). What questions does this context leave hanging?
3) Look hard at the passage and try and note things that are interesting, intriguing, puzzling, repetitive and so on. In the case of Matthew chapter one, it would be handy to look up meanings of names and lookup a concordance on where the names are mentioned elsewhere in scripture. What about the structure – do you notice anything about the flow of the passage?
4) How can you sum up all that you’ve looked at? Can you state the meaning of the passage in less than 30 words?
5) Now to apply the passage to yourself. What does the passage say again? Now ask: so what!? What difference does this make? And finally ask: now what!? What must I do now that I have this knowledge? Also apply the 2 Timothy 3:16 principle to apply it well. What does it teach, rebuke, correct or train me in righteousness?
This is likely to be the last blog for 2014. Please contact me with any questions or concerns if you have them. Please pray for all of us working together for the sake of the gospel. Have a great Christmas reflecting well on the day when God walked in man’s shoes.