BY: Judy Moore
DATE: Sunday 8 December 2023
‘BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Mathew– Chapter 3, verses 1-12
Luke – Chapter 2, verses 22-32
Have you ever had the situation where you’re working on a computer and you get the ‘spinning ball of doom’, where your computer just seems to freeze. And, you’re not sure what is happening, or what to do? Should I reboot, or wait, or what?! Life can sometimes feel like that. That you’re in limbo. How do you live when that’s the case?
It is reported that the last words of David Cassidy – the seventies Hollywood icon – were, ‘So much wasted time.’ After looking back on his life, he realised the opportunities he missed. Advent is a time of waiting – waiting for Christmas. And yet, many of us finding waiting really difficult, its feels too passive. What if waiting doesn’t just mean sitting around doing nothing, but rather is an attitude of heart that propels us into action? What if we can learn to wait with our running shoes on?
Most of us use ‘I’m waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life’ as a means of avoiding action.
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BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
Each week there are TWO different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.
A | DISCUSSION STARTERS
These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):
1 | When did you last exercise ? How did you prepare ?
2 | Do you know where your running shoes are ?
3 | Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?
4 | Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?
5 | As a result of the talk, what:
a. Changes do you want to see?
b. Truths do you need to remember?
c. Actions do you need to take?
B | QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE
These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:
Read: Luke – Chapter 2, verses 22-32
1 | In verse v25 b we read Simeon has the Holy Spirit on Him. How do you think that is different to in Him or is it the same ?
2 | In her talk Judy talked about doing the next thing. The Holy Spirit moves Simeon to the temple as his next thing (verse 27). Moved by the spirit he went into the temple courts. What do you think the Holy Spirit might be asking you to do as your next thing in the waiting .
3 | Simeon is waiting but active not passive in his waiting. He is attracting the presence of the Holy Spirit in faithful beautiful trust. How does this encourage you in the season of waiting you find yourself in ?
4 | Anna finds herself in the temple courts ‘just at the time’ that Jesus is presented after years and years of waiting. She is active in fasting, prayer and worship and is suddenly in exactly in the right place at the right time. Do you have any stories of where God told you to go somewhere at a certain time amd you know you were there for a reason?
5 | There is a deep desperation that’s expresses in devotion not despair in Simenon and Anna. They show waiting in humility. We see the antithesis of this portrayed in Habakkuk. Look at that man bloated with self importance full of himself but soul empty. But the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive really alive (Habakkuk Chapter 2, verse 4).How has waiting humbled you in your life experience ?
6 | Abraham trusting in the promise of God is a story across the whole of the old and the New Testament of ‘hoping against Hope’ through delay and the seeing beautiful breakthrough. Where might God be renewing your Hope today to hope against Hope? Pray for each other for breakthrough in this area.
7 | In the bible there are three types of deliverance.
1: Circumstantial Deliverance (a change in circumstances)
2: Personal Deliverance (a change in us)
3: Ultimate Deliverance (in our salvation).
Our ultimate hope is in Jesus. How does this impact your waiting Turn your saint into worship that the best is yet to come for all who believe.
Rick Warren says “We are not just hoping for the best as the world does, we are trusting in the best hope, Jesus. He can turn your ‘hopeless end’ into an ‘endless Hope'”.
As you explore these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus.
BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES
The Meaning is in the Waiting by Paula Gooder
Waiting is the primary lesson of Advent, says Paula Gooder. In the company of the biblical characters with whom the candles on the Advent wreath are traditionally associated, she helps us to discover very different kinds of waiting: * Abraham and Sarah–who waited a lifetime for the fulfillment of God’s promises.* The Hebrew prophets–who waited for God’s intervention, both longed for and feared.* John the Baptist–whose ministry marked the end of one era and anticipated the new.* Mary–whose life was shaped by waiting and by events beyond her control. The Meaning Is in the Waiting is arranged for daily reading in the hectic run-up to Christmas. This thoughtful book will enable you to grow more fully into a way of being that is expectant rather than urgent, more focused on God’s presence right now than on some imagined future. You will venture on this journey in companionship with the God who waits with us.