Please begin by reading about Joshua’s life-changing encounter in Joshua 5:13-15, then choose some of these questions to help you process the passage and apply the message that Steve Hong preached to New Hope this past Sunday. You can find that message here.

 

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. What stood out to you from this past Sunday’s sermon? Did anything confuse you? What struck you as especially helpful or convicting?

 

  1. Look closely at the questions that Joshua asks and the responses he gets from the man with the sword (the pre-incarnate Christ himself!). What does this teach you about how you should pray?

 

  1. Are your requests to God generally more concerned with your own desires and comfort, or with God’s glory and purposes? How can we seek God’s glory and his purpose in prayer?

 

  1. Serving “the commander of the army of the LORD” involves engaging in his mission to rescue people who are lost in their sins. How are you praying for and seeking the salvation of unbelievers in your family, your circle of friends, your neighborhood, or elsewhere?

 

  1. If Jesus Christ is “the commander of the army of the LORD,” how should that affect the way we view and respond to his commands? What has the Lord of Hosts commanded you to do that you are hesitant to do?

 

  1. The Old Testament calls God “The Lord of Hosts” over 200 times. Look at some of the Psalms that use this name for God, and read them in their context. What do these passages tell you about God?

Psalm 24:10

Psalm 46:7-11

Psalm 84:8-12

 

  1. Are you discouraged or overwhelmed in your fight against sin and against “spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6)? Please read Joshua 6. How does this historical event shed light on our own battles if we are enlisted in the army led by Jesus our commander? How should this affect the way we view our own sins? (Also read Romans 8:31-39!)

 

  1. As you see Joshua’s experience with the army of the Lord, what insight into your heart/life does it give you? (e.g., What are the motives of your life goals?  Where does God fit in?  What kinds of questions can you ask yourself as you pray?)

 

  1. Joshua fell onto his knees when he realized who he was confronting. He also offered complete obedience, even though it meant putting himself and his own plans at risk. Have you done the same? What would it take for you to do the same?

 

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In Genesis 38 the story of Joseph’s family continues with more family dysfunction, lies, abuse, and cold-blooded sin. In some ways it’s a horribly tragic episode, but it’s also a story of courage and of God’s grace.

 

After years of abuse and neglect, a woman named Tamar finally emerges victorious. After years of violence, cruelty, and guilt, a man named Judah is finally called to account for his sins. In fact, he may be starting down a long road toward true repentance. And in all of this, God is steadily pushing forward his plan to rescue, heal, and bring peace, not just through Joseph but, ultimately, through Jesus Christ.

Here are some questions to help you process and respond to Genesis 38: Read the rest of this entry »

January 2018 marks the beginning of a new NHF sermon series on the life of Joseph. We’re calling it “Joseph,” but it’s not really the story of just one man; it’s the story of a family and the epic history of a nation. God willing, as we study this narrative, we’ll glean wisdom and insight into many aspects of life. More than that, we’ll see that woven through the entire narrative is an even more important plot line: God’s plan to rescue the world through someone greater than Joseph, a man named Jesus, the Son of God himself. 

This past Sunday we were introduced to Joseph’s family and, well, it’s a train wreck. Thankfully, God likes to use messed up families to accomplish his perfect purposes! That was good news for Joseph, and it’s good news for us.  Read the rest of this entry »