Reflection & Discussion Questions
  • Begin by reading Mark chapter 4 verses 35 to 41.
  • What stands out to you from this ‘real-life’ faith test for the first disciples?
  • Reflecting from verses 35-37 on faith in the midst of chaos in our lives, what are some times of chaos you have experienced in your life (past or present)? How have you felt ‘swamped’ during those times? What difference does faith in Jesus who is able to overcome the chaos both of life and death make in such times?
  • Reflecting from verse 38 on the question of God’s care for us in the midst of times of chaos, what can cause us, even as followers of Jesus, to doubt or question God’s care for us?
  • Reflecting from verses 38-39 on the question of God’s control, along with the quote form A.W. Tozer ‘While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who has not surrendered authority”, what are some ways that help us to be reminded of the truth of God being in control even when things may be out of our control?

  • Reflecting from verses 40-41 on who Jesus is, what helps us to keep building our picture of God? What do we need to be mindful of to ensure that we don’t limit or contain God to our own perspectives and agendas?
Reflection & Discussion Questions
  • Begin by reading Philippians chapter 4 verse 10 to 13.

  • Discuss or reflect on Christian author Gary Thomas’ definition of contentment: “Contentment is soul rest. It is inner peace, assurance and well-being cultivated not by our own circumstances but by our relationship with God, and all that means.”

  • Reflecting from verse 12 on learning to be present in the moment as part of the pathway to contentment, how can you learn more of what it means to be present in the moment? What can help you be present and attentive to God and His work in the here and now?

  • Reflecting from verses 10-11 and 19 from Philippians chapter 4, what are some ways that you have experienced God providing for or meeting your needs through challenging times?

  • Reflecting from verse 13 (along with 2 Cor 12:9-10) on learning to be strengthened by God on the pathway to contentment, how do our own struggles actually lead to a greater strengthening by God?

  • Reflecting on Hebrew 13:5, how can the presence of God with us bring a greater sense of contentment, no matter what our circumstances?

  • Take a few moments to ask God to lead you further down the pathway of ‘learning the secret of being content in any and every situation.’

          Reflection & Discussion Questions
          • Begin by reading Luke chapter 15 verses 11 to 32.

          • Which character in the parable feels like they are closest to you when it comes to your journey of life and faith?

          • Reflecting on the separation that came about in family life from verses 11-13 and 25-28a, why is the father’s response of care, concern and compassion for both of his sons (verse 20, 28b) so significant?

          • What can cause someone to think that they are separated from God’s love?

          • How does this parable, along with Romans 8:38-39, show any of us that we can have confidence that we are never separated from God’s love?

          • Reflecting on verses 17-19 and 21, what can cause any of us to begin to think ‘I am not worthy’ like the younger son did? What can we be reminded about when it comes to our status before God from the father’s response to the younger son thinking he was no longer worthy to be called his child?

          • Reflecting on verses 25-30 and the older brothers thinking, what can cause any of us to become self-righteous in our thinking?

          • Reflecting on Jesus’ instruction to be both watchful and prayerful from Matthew 26:42, take some time to do that as you close.
                  Reflection & Discussion Questions

                  Bible reading: Matthew 6:25-34

                  • Begin by reading Matthew chapter 6 verses 25 to 34.

                  • What stands out to you from this passage?

                  • Reflecting on verse 33 as well as the earlier verses in Matthew 6 (verses 19-20), why is leaving a lasting eternal legacy while leaving a light footprint on earth so important?

                  • Reflecting on verse 25, what are some things that through these pandemic times you have recognised to be most important in life?

                  • Reflecting on verse 26, how do Jesus’ words here reassure you through times of uncertainty?

                  • Reflecting on verses 26-31, and how the birds and flowers are cared for incredibly by God despite their limitations, how can our limitations lead us to be dependent on God in greater ways? (refer also to Ephesians 3:20, 2 Corinthians 4:7, 12:10)  

                  • Take some time afresh to trust God in prayer with those things you can’t control or change rather than worrying about them.
                          Reflection & Discussion Questions

                          Bible reading: Psalm 142

                          • What stands out to you from the passage?

                          • How are you managing these extended lockdowns?

                          • King David’s experience is that “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you (God) are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” How are you seeing God at work at the moment?

                          • What practices do you observe regularly to connect with God (prayer, scripture, worship, etc.)? Does this look about right or is there something you could do to improve it for the better?

                          • What other kinds of support would be helpful at the moment? How can the wider church support you? Remember the Pastoral Team, Leadership Team, and Connect and Care Team are all here to support you – check the church communication email for ways to reach out, or simply contact Tayla in the church office and she can refer you on to the appropriate person.

                          • King David ends the psalm writing, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” What does the hope we have in Jesus mean to you? Has this changed at all over the past 18 months?

                                  Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                  Bible reading: Psalm 23

                                  • Reflecting on verses 1-2,
                                    • What is something you may want to cry out to God about through these times?
                                    • How does knowing that your voice is heard by God bring reassurance?
                                  • Reflecting on verse 3,
                                    • In what ways is your ‘spirit growing faint within you’ through these times?
                                    • How can focusing on ‘It is you, God, who know my way’ encourage you?
                                  • Reflecting on verses 4-5,
                                    • In what ways are you feeling the desolation of isolation and separation from others through these times?
                                  • How can focusing on God as your refuge (also refer to Psalm 46:1-2) encourage you?

                                  • Reflecting on verses 6-7,
                                    • How does knowing God is a redeemer and restorer give you hope when you find yourself at a desperate place, as was the case with David the psalm writer?

                                  • Take a few moments as a child of God to focus on God – all that He is and can continue to be to you
                                          Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                          Bible reading: Romans 14:1-15:7

                                          • What stands out to you from the passage? 

                                          • What parts are the most challenging? Why?

                                          • In the Roman church, the minor issues they dealt with were to do with the ways different cultures had interpreted the call to follow Jesus. In what ways do you see different groups in our church – cultures, generations, etc. – interpret the call to Christian life?

                                          • Paul’s ultimate call is to “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” In what ways can you go about doing that this week? What might you need to change in order to be more accepting of others’ minor differences? 
                                                  Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                  Bible reading: Hebrews 10:23-25

                                                  • Thinking first about the ’40 Days of Rest’ focus that we are journeying on together as a church family, what is something that has blessed you this last week from that focus?

                                                  • In what ways have you benefited from ‘walking with others’ on the road of life and faith?

                                                  • Reflecting on verse 23 from Hebrews 10, what helps you to ‘hold unswervingly’ to the hope that we can have in our faithful God?

                                                  • Reflecting on verse 24 from Hebrews 10, consider or give some thought to who you might be able to ‘spur on’ towards love and good deeds, and how you might be able to do that.

                                                  • ‘It isn’t just about going to church but it’s about being the church.’ Reflecting on both verses 24 and 25, what are some ways you can be active in ‘being the church’ or encouraging others through all the disruption to life and faith that there has been for so many?

                                                  • Take some time to pray for someone else, either in your small group, or who God brings to your mind.
                                                          Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                          Bible reading: Exodus 13:17-22

                                                          • In what ways do you feel a sense of vulnerability during these ongoing times we live in?

                                                          • What rhythms of life and faith being disrupted have affected you the most?

                                                          • What are some of the promises of God that are important for you to hold onto and come back to?

                                                          • What is something that could help you ‘rest in God’?

                                                          • Reflect and/or discuss further the importance of learning to rest in God, even at times of being overwhelmed, uncertain or anxious. Think on Corrie ten Boom’s statement ‘Don’t wrestle, but nestle – nestle into God and find rest in Him’ as well as referring to Exodus 33:14, Matt 11:28 and Psalm 62:1,5 along with verse 20 in Exodus chapter 13.

                                                          • Have you signed up yet for the ‘’40 Days of Run/Rest’ we are focusing on as a church? If you have, what is something from this week that has blessed you? If you haven’t, contact Tayla at office@beaumarisbaptist.org.au to get the reflections by email, or alternately search for and like the Beaumaris-Mordialloc Baptist Church facebook page to receive the reflections on facebook.
                                                                    Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                                    Bible reading: Micah 6:6-8

                                                                    • What’s a memorable walk you’ve been on in life?

                                                                    • What is significant to you about walking with God, which is symbolic of being in relationship with God, through life?

                                                                    • The focus this week is on ‘walking humbly with our God.’ Read Psalm 8:3-4. How does seeing God for who He really is, and seeing ourselves in the light of that, enable us to walk humbly with our God?

                                                                    • A sense of pride, independence, and self-sufficiency are all deeply ingrained in our sinful nature as people. In what ways can these things get in the way so subtly yet sinfully of us walking humbly with our God?

                                                                    • Why is it important to not lose perspective in life and faith, but instead to live a life of dependence on God? ( Refer to Luke 18:9-14 and John 5:19)

                                                                    • What might it look like for you to live a life of dependence on God this week?

                                                                              Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                                              Bible reading: Micah 6:6-8

                                                                              • What stands out to you from these verses?
                                                                              • The focus this week is on ‘loving mercy’. Why do you think loving mercy is so important in life and faith?
                                                                              • ‘Mercy is a love that responds to human need in an unexpected, undeserving and unlimited way.’ Take time to discuss each of these aspects of biblical mercy, both when it comes to the mercy God shows us, and the mercy we show others (Romans 3:23, Eph 2:4-5, and Luke 6:36
                                                                              • Reflecting on Lamentations 3:22-23, what is so wonderful about being shown ‘new mercies’ every morning?
                                                                              • Reflecting on Matthew 5:7, how are the merciful blessed?
                                                                              • Who is someone
                                                                                • near to you e.g. in your family
                                                                                • in your intermediate sphere of influence e.g. work colleague, neighbour etc
                                                                                • distant from you e.g. who you don’t really have a relationship with
                                                                                • that God may be calling you to respond to in mercy?

                                                                                        Reflection & Discussion Questions
                                                                                        • What do you think of when you hear the word ‘justice’?

                                                                                        • How do you understand the ‘ministry of reconciliation (perhaps see 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 for inspiration)?

                                                                                        • How do you see these two ideas intersect?

                                                                                        • What role can you play in seeing people restored to dignity, or to an understanding of who they are as image-bearers of God?

                                                                                        • Consider the four steps Andy spoke about on Sunday – consult with God, educate ourselves in the context of relationship, advocate, and act. How could you take a step along this path today?
                                                                                                Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                                                                Bible reading: Isaiah 40:27-31

                                                                                                • What stands out to you from these verses?

                                                                                                • The focus this week is on the place of ‘plodding’ or persevering in our life and faith. Why is ‘plodding’ or persevering so important in both life and faith?

                                                                                                • Discuss the place of perseverance in what God calls us to in our Christian lives from the following Bible passages (1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Peter 1:5-6, Luke 8:15, Hebrews 10:36 and James 1:4)

                                                                                                • Reflecting on Isaiah 40 verses 27-28, what are you most reminded of about God from these verses? (refer also to Phil 1:6)

                                                                                                • Still reflecting on Isaiah 40 verses 27-28, what are some ways that help you to keep ‘building your picture’ of God?

                                                                                                • Reflecting on Isaiah 40 verses 29-31a, what does it mean to be renewed by God in life and faith? (refer also to Matt 11;28, 2 Cor 12:9-10)

                                                                                                • Reflecting on Isaiah 40 verse 31b, and the statement ‘We might want to soar most of the time, but in reality, most of the Christian life is about walking, it’s about plodding, it’s about persevering’, at what points have you most grown to become more like Jesus in your life?

                                                                                                • Identify an area of life or faith that you need to persevere in and prayerfully invite God to enable and empower you to do so.   

                                                                                                      Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                                                                      Bible reading: Galatians 5:16-26

                                                                                                      • What stands out to you from this passage?

                                                                                                      •  Reflecting on verses 16-17, why can the pull of living according to our sinful nature or ‘flesh’, or ‘living doing whatever we want to’, be so strong in our lives?

                                                                                                      • Reflecting, in contrast, on verse 18, how does the Spirit lead us in our lives?

                                                                                                      • Also reflecting on verse 18, how does this mean that we are not living under the law but in the freedom of Christ when we are led by the Spirit?

                                                                                                      • Reflecting on verses 22-26, and the fruit of the Spirit, how can the fruit of the Spirit grow in our lives?

                                                                                                      • Reflecting on verse 25, what can you do to keep in step with the Spirit?
                                                                                                            Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                                                                            Bible reading: Colossians 2:1-10

                                                                                                            • Why is being grounded in God so important for faith and life

                                                                                                            • Discuss or reflect on what has helped you be grounded in God through your life and faith journey.

                                                                                                            • Reflecting on verse 6, what is involved in receiving Christ Jesus as Lord? Is that different to receiving Christ Jesus as Saviour?

                                                                                                            • Reflecting on verses 6-7, what does it mean to be deeply rooted in Jesus? (refer also to Ephesians 3:17-19, Matthew 13: 20-21, and John 15:10)

                                                                                                            • ‘The inner strength we all need in life and faith at any time, but especially in these most challenging and ongoing times, is found not in other things but in a deeply rooted relationship with our Creator God.’ Discuss and/or reflect on how this is so.

                                                                                                            • Reflecting on Mark 1:35 and Proverbs 8:34, how can you build or re-build a ‘sacred enclosure’ in your days to spend time with God so as to protect and nourish your spiritual roots?

                                                                                                            • What’s a ‘next step’ for you in that?

                                                                                                                  Reflection & Discussion Questions

                                                                                                                  Bible reading: 2 Peter 1:3-9

                                                                                                                  • The focus this week is on the place of holy habits in our lives. Following Jesus means learning from Him how to arrange my life around holy habits that enable us to walk as He walked. What is a habit that has helped you in following Jesus?
                                                                                                                  • What stands out to you from what Peter says in the verses from this week’s Bible Reading?

                                                                                                                  • Reflecting on verse 3 and the power of God giving us everything we need for life and godliness, why does God’s power make such a difference in our lives of seeking to follow Jesus?

                                                                                                                  • Reflecting on verse 4 and the great and precious promises of God, why do they also make such a difference in our lives of seeking to follow Jesus?

                                                                                                                  • Reflecting on verses 5-7, and in particular Peter’s instruction to us to ‘make every effort’, why is effort and discipline on our part also so important in staying focused on walking as Jesus walked?

                                                                                                                  • What kind of things can get in the way of us being attentive to holy habits in our lives?

                                                                                                                  • Reflecting on verses 8-9, why are the place of holy habits in our lives so important? Refer also to Galatians 4:19.