Word Studies for the Week of August 12, 2018

August 12 ● Our Life in Christ: Living the Life ● Ephesians 4:25-5:2 Do you believe that people can really change? Or, are you skeptical and think that people will always behave according to their default nature? What things really push your buttons lately? Have you ever brought these things to God in prayer? Why or why not? Read Ephesians 4:26 very slowly and intentionally, examine the three things it says, what new thing about anger do you see in this verse? What are some of the negative ways anger is expressed revealed in Ephesians 4:29-31? Read ...

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Word Studies for the Week of August 5, 2018

August 5 ● Our Life in Christ: Unity ● Ephesians 4:1-16 On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the strength of your faith this week? Explain why you chose the level you did. Describe the various callings in your life (family, occupations, interests, etc.); in which do you see the hand of God working powerfully? In which, are you more confused about the direction? How is God the Lord of all areas of your life? Do you have story to share about how God worked through the different areas in your life to bring them together? What efforts needed to “maintain the ...

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Lutheran Senior Life of Union County Project Update

We wanted to update the congregation on the status of our project with Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSMNJ). God has blessed Holy Cross with the opportunity to help serve the frail elderly of Union County through the Lutheran Senior Life (PACE) program. The most recent good news is that we received a use variance and a site plan approval from the Springfield Township Zoning Board Tuesday July 24. This was one of biggest hurdles we have had to clear to date and we are thankful that God has seen us through this phase of the process. We are waiting for a couple of ...

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Word Studies for the Week of July 29, 2018

July 29 ● Our Life in Christ: Our New Understanding ● Ephesians 3:14-21 What reasons could you find to bow down and give thanks to God? What are the reasons for any confusion about God you may have? In what ways does your relationship with Jesus strengthen your inner being? How do you gauge the strength of your inner being at any one time? Paul prays that the Ephesians be rooted in love; what might some ways that the strength of our roots is made manifest in our everyday lives? What things are easy for you to grasp about God? What things about God are ...

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Word Studies for the Week of July 22, 2018

July 22 ● Our Life in Christ: From Death to Life ● Ephesians 2:11-22 Have you ever felt estranged from God? What might have been contributing to these feelings? God’s will is to reveal that there is only one humanity, when you look at the state of the world, your community, and your family how do think we are doing at grasping this truth? List four or five things that divide people from one another, which are the most pressing? How can looking to Jesus help us with the divisions we encounter in our daily life? What does Jesus call you to do about those ...

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Word Studies for the Week of July 15, 2018

July 15 ● Our Life in Christ: Our Destiny ● Ephesians 1:3-14 What kind of words is Paul using to describe our life with God in Ephesians 1:3-14? What do you think they reveal about Paul’s own attitude toward the faith? How do you feel about the idea that you might be chosen by God for a particular purpose? Does that comfort you, frighten you, burden you, release you, or affirm you? When does Paul say the Christ story began? How do you see God’s plan unfolding in your life? What do you think the word adoption means for Paul? Why does he use that to ...

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Word Studies for the Week of July 8, 2018

July 8 ● The Urgent Gospel: The Mission ● Mark 6:1-13 Do you ever mute your enthusiasm for your faith because you fear how others may react? If so how does this make you feel? What can you do to overcome this? Why do you think the people in Nazareth found Jesus so hard to accept in Mark 6:3? Have you ever wondered how Jesus might have felt by his rejection by the people he grew up with? What do you think would be going through his mind? Might you have had a similar experience? Is there a relationship between Jesus’ rejection in Nazareth and his sending ...

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Word Studies for the Week of July 1, 2018

July 1 ● The Urgent Gospel: The Healer and Life Giver ● Mark 5:21-43 Name the time when you were most desperate for God? What brought this desire to your heart? How are the leader of the synagogue and the woman suffering from hemorrhages alike? What unites them? Why do think Jesus kept looking for the woman who touched him? What happened when they met that would lead you to this assumption? How would you explain the statement of Jesus that the woman’s faith made her well? What role does faith play for the woman in the account? What might we learn from ...

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Word Studies for the Week of June 24, 2018

June 24 ● The Urgent Gospel: The Master of All ● Mark 4:35-41 Describe the most fearsome storm you have witnessed, what made it so powerful, the wind, water, noise, or darkness? Does the metaphor of the storm resonate with you as way of explaining our spiritual struggles? In Mark 4:38 the disciples were freaked out by Jesus asleep in the stern. Are there times when you might feel that God is not paying attention to you? What brings these feelings on? What does Mark 4:41 reveal about who Jesus is? How might this knowledge be helpful to you in your daily ...

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Word Studies for the Week of June 17, 2018

June 17 ● The Urgent Gospel: The Growing Kingdom ● Mark 4:26-34 What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of the phrase “the kingdom of God?” How would answer the question “where do you find the kingdom of God?” How would you know you’re in it? Can God’s Kingdom coexist with the rest of the world? Why or why not? Can you tell a story where you were surprised by a sign of God’s kingdom that you have not noticed before? In Mark 4:27 Jesus tells us that the farmer does not know how the seed grows; it just does. What does ...

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