“Our prayer is that all who join us on the journey discover the hope that God has for his people and his creation. Hope is our belief in, and commitment to, a better tomorrow. It is the very possibility of a future tense, a prayer and a promise for God’s coming kingdom.”
Thinking allowed Workbook series
Russell Rook, One Hope – Spring Harvest 2008 Study Guide This personal journal is a workbook written primarily for individual use to complement the Thinking Allowed: One Hope DVD and leader’s guide. The DVD provides a six session resource, following the theme of Hope, that combines expert input, provocative panel discussions and creative Bible readings. This workbook is an integral part of the course intended to help individual members take the Bible Studies one stage further by applying them more personally. Six personal studies, each containing • Seven reflections which can be done daily over the course of the week • Bible passages to study • Carefully developed questions and activities • Creative worship and prayer suggestions • Ideas for further study • Space to note down answers Krish is the Executive Director: Churches in Mission for the Evangelical Alliance. Miriam is a foster carer. Together they enjoy parenting, writing, reading and church planting.
A Personal Journal Krish & Miriam Kandiah HOPE
SH3291 Think allow workbook cove1 1
13/3/08 2:22:28 pm
Spring Harvest Thinking Allowed Workbook
one hope a personal journal Krish and Miriam Kandiah
MILTON KEYNES • COLORADO SPRINGS • HYDERABAD
Copyright © 2008 14 13 12 11 10 09 08
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First published in 2008 by Spring Harvest Publishing Division and Authentic Media Authentic Media, 9 Holdom Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bucks., MK1 1QR 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, USA OM Authentic Media, Medchal Road, Jeedimetla Village, Secunderabad 500 055, A.P., India www.authenticmedia.co.uk Authentic Media is a division of IBS-STL U.K., limited by guarantee, with its Registered Office at Kingstown Broadway, Carlisle, Cumbria CA3 0HA. Registered in England & Wales No. 1216232. Registered charity 270162 The right of Krish and Miriam Kandiah to be identified as the Authors of this Work has been asserted by them in accordance with Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying. In the UK such licences are issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 9HE. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978-1-85078-801-0 Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, A member of the Hodder Headline Group. All rights reserved. “NIV” is a registered trademark of International Bible Society. UK trademark number 1448790. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
Typeset by Spring Harvest Print management by Adare Printed in Great Britain by J.H. Haynes & Co., Sparkford
contents About this book
Session One: Hope on a hill
Session Two: Hope ever after
Session Three: Hope in the garden
Session Four: Hope out of town
Session Five: Hope in the church
Session Six: Hope in the city
ABOUT THIS BOOK This workbook is written primarily for individual use to complement the One Hope DVD, part of the Thinking Allowed DVD Series, and housegroup leaders guide. (Since small groups have a variety of names – home groups, Bible study groups, cell groups – housegroup is used here as the generic term.) The One Hope DVD course is a six-session resource that combines expert input, provocative panel discussions and inspiring stories. It is ideal for housegroups wishing to follow the themes of Spring Harvest week and this workbook is intended to take the Bible Studies one stage further by helping you to apply them more personally. Each session and passage is divided into seven reflections, so you can do one a day over the course of the week. This book does not contain answers, as most of the understanding of the passage can be gleaned from the material on the One Hope DVD. However, space is given here to jot down your own personal answers and reflections. Pray that God will help you to understand the passages and show you how to apply them. Since housegroups can be opportunities for deep friendships to develop, group members may wish to share their personal reflections within the larger group. Talking about your experiences, feelings, questions, hopes and fears may enable you to find or offer pastoral support and to get involved in each other’s lives. Alternatively find a partner or someone you respect to chat and pray through your journey. The New International Version of the text is printed in the book. If you usually use a different version, then read from your own Bible as well.
Hope on a Hill
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Psalm 22:1â€“2 QQ Which of these prayers have you ever prayed to God? Fill in the gaps with your own questions. My God, why did you allow My God, where were you when My God, how could you My God, why are you QQ How does remembering that Jesus quoted this Psalm from the cross, and that he therefore experienced being cut off from God, help you? QQ Rate yourself in terms of your closeness to God. Where are you? Where would you like to be? Abandoned
QQ Rate yourself in terms of your emotional honesty with God when you pray. Where are you? Where do you think you should be? Not emotionally honest at all
extremely emotionally honest 5
QQ Think of three practical steps you could make to become more honest with God and develop intimacy with God. 1. 2. 3.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:3â€“5 QQ Any relationship needs a balance of emotional honesty, intellectual understanding and practical action. What are the dangers of basing a relationship with God solely on emotional honesty?
Visualise emotions, understanding and action (or heart, head and hands) as three overlapping circles. A balanced relationship with God
An unbalanced relationship with God
QQ Most of us are stronger in some areas and weaker in other areas. Draw your own relationship with God in this way. How could you become more balanced? David moves from emotional honesty to reflecting on what he knows of God’s kingly reign. Think of three aspects of God’s reign that encourage you in tough times: 1. 2. 3. QQ David thinks about the faith of his ancestors. Trace your own spiritual family tree. This could be a real family tree, or tracing back how the person who led you to faith came to faith themself. Can you recall any stories about God’s faithfulness that have been handed down through the generations? Alternatively write a short story from your own experience of God’s faithfulness that might encourage someone if they were to discover it in twenty years time.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” Psalm 22:6–8 QQ David’s experience is not hard to imagine. How would you react to somebody who said the following: “You Christians are narrow-minded bigots, I have had enough of your holierthan-thou attitudes. You think God is so good yet you have as many problems as I do with your health and your family problems. If God is so good why doesn’t he rescue you?” QQ Why do you think we Christians are so often mocked because of our trust in God? QQ How does it affect your self-image when you hear taunts or derisions like these? QQ Compare these verses with Luke 23:11–25. How does knowing that Jesus experienced persecution and derision encourage you? QQ What advice does 1 Peter 2 give us for dealing with verbal assaults? QQ Verbal assaults are the tip of the iceberg for the many Christians around the world who are facing persecution. Commit yourself to praying regularly by subscribing to receive online news and prayer points.
Web Tip http://www.barnabasfund.org
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no-one to help. Psalm 22:9–11 QQ David recognised that God’s deliverance and faithfulness to him could be traced back to the beginning of his life. Imagine your life as the timeline below. Mark in any significant times and dates when you have known God’s help, as well as when you came to faith.
Date of birth
QQ How does looking back to God’s faithfulness to you in the past help you to trust God for the future? What significant life events would you expect in the future? Using your own name, write out David’s prayer “Do not be far from .............. [your name]” on the timeline below or write a prayer of your own.
QQ David recognised that only God could help him. We often treat God as a last resort, rather than the only means of salvation. Think about places where you have wrongly looked for help this past week. QQ Choose one of the following to help you recognise God’s care over the generations: ◗◗
Find a picture of yourself as a baby. Spend some time thanking God for his provision and care for you over the years. Write these verses on the back of the photograph. SESSION 1
Buy or make a card for somebody in your church, family or neighbourhood who has recently had a baby. Write in these verses as your prayer for that child.
Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. Psalm 22:12–18 QQ Note the physical, social and emotional pain that David records in this Psalm. Underline them in different colours. How would you record your own difficulties? QQ Fill in the table below. What parallels do you notice between this Psalm and Jesus’ crucifixion?
Ps. 22:18 SESSION 1
QQ Jesus deliberately makes a connection between this Psalm and his own crucifixion. Read this part of the Psalm as if the words were coming from Jesus’ mouth. How did that make you feel about: ◗◗
Jesus’ distress on the cross for you
God’s control over history, as demonstrated in a fulfilled prophecy
The importance of understanding the Old Testament
But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honour him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:19–24 QQ David is keen to be rescued, but not only for personal reasons. He understood that he was part of a triangular relationship: himself, God and other people. His motivation was to lead others in praise towards God. When have you seen God’s faithfulness to you affect the people around you? QQ Consider your own motivations in life. How can we learn to live so that we can bring worship to God from the people around us? 12
QQ David is so certain that God will come through for him that he can say: “[God] has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” Fill in the table below to determine how you feel about the future: I am worried about the following things as I look to the future.
I can rely on the following things as I look to the future.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfil my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn— for he has done it. Psalm 22:25–31 QQ The Psalm moves from being a cry of despair to a proclamation of praise. Make a list of the groups of people that David mentions that will praise God: QQ David has a vision of praise that includes people from all around the world, both rich and poor. How is this vision beginning to be realised in your local church? How can you help grow a church that better reflects this vision? QQ To what extent does your praise and Christian life include a global dimension? Which of these practical steps might help you to become more globally aware as a Christian? Work down the list and find the top three you could do something about. QQ Next time I am on holiday I will visit a local church even if I can’t understand the language. ◗◗
I will take a more active interest in cross-cultural missionaries. I will Skype, phone, write or visit ………………….
I will talk to people from other cultures when I pick my kids up from school.
I will take time to pray through the overseas news section of my newspaper.
I will try to buy only fairly traded goods for the next week.
I will go on a short term mission trip.
Web Tip www.christianvocations.org I will read a biography about Christianity in other cultures.
Book Recommendation Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway, The Heavenly Man (Elam Publications) Vincent J Donovan, Christianity Rediscovered (Orbis books) Thomas Hale, Don’t let the goats eat the loquat trees (Zondervan) 14
This personal journal is a workbook written primarily for individual use to complement the Thinking Allowed: One Hope DVD and leader's guide...