Each week during Lent, we will be looking at passages from the gospel of Matthew which link to a theme uncovered in Sunday’s sermon passage (Mon-Fri only).
We’d love to join together as a church in reading through these passages and using this Lent time as a period of reflection between you and God. You could see this as a time to establish a pattern of daily Bible reading.
As part of this reflective activity, we’d love to encourage you to take home one of the Matthew NIV Scripture journals which are available at church. Each day, use the journal to read the passage, then to help note your thoughts; draw a picture; highlight what stands out for you; or write a prayer.
Home groups will be using these journals as their Lent studies, and the sermons on Sunday will help to pull together Jesus’ journey to the cross from the book of Matthew.
(Matthew 3 : 1-12; Matthew 3 : 13-17; Matthew 4 : 1-11)
As we set out on this Lent journey, ask yourself:
If Jesus were to have a mission statement, what would these verses suggest it was? Does anything surprise me?
Looking at these two chapters, how did Jesus equip himself for the road ahead of him?
(Matthew 8 : 23-27; Matthew 9 : 18-26; Matthew 14 : 22-33; Matthew 17 : 1-9; Matthew 20 : 29-34)
What kind of king was Jesus?
This week we are considering ways in which Jesus showed us who he was – often not what we expect.
As you read these stories, try to imagine you are one of his disciples or someone in the crowd, looking on and asking yourself:
(Matthew 6 : 19-24; Matthew 7 : 13-14; Matthew 7 : 16-23; Matthew 8 : 18-22; Matthew 13 : 53 – 14 : 12)
These passages remind us of how Jesus teaches us to live in a wholehearted way as Christians. Some of them are hard to accept or understand.
Make a note of your thoughts as you contemplate the words and chew them over this week.
Ask God to show you ways in which you are lukewarm in your discipleship and thank him that no matter what we are like, his love is like that of a Father to his children.
(Matthew 6 : 11; Matthew 14 : 13-21; Matthew 15 : 21-28; Matthew 16 : 5-12; Matthew 20 : 1-16).
As we ponder the symbolism of the bread and the wine in the last supper, this week we are reading other passages in Matthew which talk about bread and wine.
As you read this week, ask God to speak to you about what he is teaching you about himself through each reading.
Why do you think word pictures are so helpful or important in the Bible?
Why did Jesus ask us to continue to celebrate communion? Is there anything that you are being prompted about as you consider how you usually do so?
(Matthew 6 : 5-7; Matthew 6 : 9-15; Matthew 6 : 25-34; Matthew 7 : 7-12; Matthew 11 : 25-30)
This week as we look at Jesus’ prayer in the garden, we look at other places in Matthew where he teaches us about prayer.
What do you learn from this week’s verses to encourage you in your prayer life?
When you think of everything Jesus could have taught us about prayer, why do you think he chose to teach us the things we read about here?
(Matthew 5 : 1-16; Matthew 5 : 38-48; Matthew 7 : 1-6; Matthew 7 : 24-29; Matthew 16 : 13-20)
This week we are pondering some of the ways in which we might be asked to stand up and stand out.
Would there be enough evidence to accuse me of being ‘one of them’?
This is a challenging week. We need to ask God to speak to us as we read, and humble our hearts to hear what we need to, whilst also remembering that he is a God of the utmost forgiveness.
(Matthew 24 : 1-14; Matthew 24 : 36-44; Matthew 25 : 1-13; Matthew 25 : 31-46)
This set of passages, which Jesus taught just before being arrested, look at the perspective and hope we have as Christians. We are living today as believers between Jesus’ resurrection and Jesus’ return.
How often do we forget how much he talked about coming back?
These passages are deeply challenging. Ask God to help you to remember that, through the power of the resurrection, we can live in confidence that Jesus will return, but also that he has given us his Holy Spirit. We can live with the promise of hope in our hearts in this ‘in between’ time.