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Passages for Advent

*Check back often since these passages may change!


The passages for Advent focus on four descriptors of Christ from Isaiah 9:6

November 27: 1 Corinthians 1:18–31 (Wonderful Counselor)

December 4: Mark 4:35–41 (Mighty God)

December 11: John 10:1–21 (Everlasting Father)

December 18: TBD (Prince of Peace)


When You Meet

1. Pray. Ask God to help you understand the passage.

2. Read. Read the passage out loud together. Alternate every few verses.

3. Talk. Go through the provided study questions. Take turns facilitating, either by the type of questions (Context, Observation, Meaning, Application), or week to week.

4. Pray. Allow your thanksgivings and requests to come from what you’ve just studied.


Questions for Old Testament Narrative

*From One to One Bible Reading by David Helm


Context

  • What has happened so far in the narrative? Have there been any major events, characters, or themes?
  • What has happened just prior to the section you are reading?

Observation

  • What do you learn about the main characters in this section? How does the author describe them? How do they describe themselves?
  • Is time or place significant in the events that happen in this passage?
  • Is there a conflict or high point in the passage?
  • Do you think there is a main point or theme in this section of the story?
  • What surprises are there?

Meaning

  • Are there any 'editorial' comments from the author about the events in the narrative? How do these comments illuminate what is happening?
  • Does someone in the narrative learn something or grow in some way? How? What does this person learn?
  • How does the passage point forward to what God is going to do in the future? Does it prophesy or anticipate Jesus Christ in some way?
  • How could you sum up the meaning of this passage in your own words?

Application

  • How does this passage challenge your understanding about who God is and what he is like?
  • Is there some attitude or behavior you need to change?

Questions for the Gospels and Acts

*From One to One Bible Reading by David Helm


Context

  • What has happened so far in the narrative? Have there been any major events, characters or themes?
  • What has happened just prior to the section you are reading?

Observation

  • What do you learn about the main characters in this section? How does the author describe them? How do they describe themselves?
  • Is time or place significant in the events that happen in this passage?
  • Is there a conflict or high point in the passage?
  • Do you think there is a main point or theme in this section of the story?
  • What surprises are there?

Meaning

  • Are there any ‘editorial’ comments from the author about the events in the narrative? How do these comments illuminate what is happening?
  • Does someone in the narrative learn something or grow in some way? How? What does this person learn?
  • What does this passage reveal about who Jesus is and what he came into the world to do?
  • How could you sum up the meaning of this passage in your own words?

Application

  • How does this passage challenge (or confirm) your understanding?
  • Is there some attitude you need to change?
  • What does this passage teach you about being a disciple of Jesus?


Questions for Hebrew Wisdom Literature and Poetry

*From One to One Bible Reading by David Helm


Context

  • Are there any clues about the circumstances in which the passage was written?
  • What has happened so far?

Observation

  • Are there repetitions or multiple instances of similar ideas? Do these repetitions make a particular point, or point to the structure of the passage?
  • What images or metaphors does the author use?
  • What do they indicate about God or the other people in the text? What might they indicate about modern readers?
  • What is the tone of the passage? What emotions is the author arousing?
  • What is the main point or points?
  • What surprises are there?

Meaning

  • Are there specific instructions/commands given to the reader? Does this passage mention any consequences for not following God's commands?
  • How does the author motivate the reader/audience, or make his appeal?
  • What does the passage teach us about God, and his people, and life in his world?
  • Does the passage point forward to Jesus? Is the gospel anticipated or foreshadowed in some way?

Application

  • How does this passage challenge (or confirm) your understanding?
  • Is there some attitude you need to change?
  • How does this passage call on you to change the way you live?


Questions for Prophetic Literature

*From One to One Bible Reading by David Helm


Context

  • Are there any clues about the circumstances in which the prophecy was given or written?
  • Are there any people or places mentioned that you aren't familiar with? (Look for them in earlier parts of the book, or refer to a Bible dictionary or commentary.)
  • Are other bits of the Old Testament mentioned or alluded to in this passage? What part do these "memories" play in the text?

Observation

  • Are there repetitions or multiple instances of similar ideas? Do these repetitions make a particular point, or point to the structure of the passage?
  • Paying attention to when the prophet is speaking and when God is speaking, what does the passage tell us about God's plans? What does it tell us about God's character?
  • What kind of human behavior, if any, is condemned or rewarded? What response is called for (if any)?
  • What is the main point or points?

Meaning

  • Are there specific instructions/commands given to the reader? Does this passage mention any consequences for not following God's commands?
  • Does the text have a sense of expectation about something happening in the future? What is to be expected and when? How should this motivate action in the present?
  • Does the passage point forward to Jesus? Is the gospel anticipated or foreshadowed in some way?

Application

  • How is your own situation similar to or different from those being addressed?
  • How does this passage challenge (or confirm) your understanding?
  • How does this passage lead you to trust God and his promises in Jesus?
  • How does this passage call on you to change the way you live?


Questions for New Testament Epistles

*From One to One Bible Reading by David Helm

Context

  • What can you learn about the person or situation to which the letter is written?
  • What clues are there about the author and his circumstances?
  • What was the main point of the passage immediately before this one? Are there logical or thematic connections to the passage you are reading?

Observation

  • Are there any major subsections or breaks in the text? Are there key connecting words (for, therefore, but, because) that indicate the logical flow of the passage?
  • What is the main point or points? What supporting points does the author make?
  • What surprises are there in the flow of the argument?

Meaning

  • How does this text relate to other parts of the book?
  • How does the passage relate to Jesus?
  • What does this teach you about God?
  • How could you sum up the meaning of this passage in your own words?

Application

  • How does this passage challenge (or confirm) your understanding?
  • Is there some attitude you need to change?
  • How does this passage call on you to change the way you live?

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