Teaching Series Introduction:
At the start of a new year, what is in store? Using the text from the book of Isaiah in the Bible (Chapter 43, verses 18 to 19) as our ‘text for the year’, we will be able to transition from 2020 with confidence and expectation? 2020 has been a year like no other, and in the complexity maybe God is doing something wonderful. As we reflect on the journey we’ve been on, and the journey ahead, we will be able to step forward with faith and excitement?
Title: Back To The Future – Part 1
By: Tim Chilvers
Date: 3 January 2021
Bible Passage: Isaiah (Chapter 43, verses 18-19)
As we kick off the new year, we will reflect on ‘The journey we have been on’ and also ‘The Journey we are going on’. We can look back with remembrance which helps us to look forward with confidence.
(None this week)
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1. At the start of this new year. What are your biggest hopes and fears?
2. Read Isaiah 43:18-19, which provides an encouraging ‘key verse’ for the year. You may like to read it out loud three times, with a simple pause after each time. What words and phrases strike you as you do so?
3. During Tim’s talk on Sunday, he mentioned 4 components from this verse that are important for us at the start of the year. The first aspect was that God promises to be with us (read Isaiah 43:4-7 as a backdrop). What are the two things that God promises to do in verse 19? What is the implication of this for you during 2021?
4. The second aspect that was mentioned is the reminder of God’s rescue. Read Isaiah 43:16-17, which describe the events of their exodus from slavery. Why is this such an important backdrop for when we read vs18-19? How might remembering the ultimate rescue of Jesus enable you to step forward with confidence into 2021?
5. A third component of this key verse is the challenge to keep our eyes open (‘…do you not perceive it?’, v19). What do you think it means to ‘keep your eyes open’ to what God is doing? How can you persist with this attitude throughout 2021?
6. The final encouragement from Isaiah 43:18-19 is the opportunity to play our part in what God is doing, as he ‘makes a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland’ (v19). How can you play your part in making 2021 a year like never before, in terms of stepping into what God is calling us to?
7. Take some time to pray into these four aspects for your life, for Riverside, and for others you know