There are fourteen sessions in this group study guide. The recommended time is one hour for each lesson, although depending on the amount of discussion, it could easily take longer to complete. The sessions all follow the same format, starting with a ‘Big Idea’ as an introductory statement, then a ‘Bible Conversation’ which introduces the scripture passage and asks some questions to develop our understanding. This is followed by an article from the author, which includes personal reflection, and then questions for discussion. There is an exercise for each participant to complete individually, followed by prayer. The prayer time is the ‘take-away’ for each session, that as we look to apply the lessons we have learnt, it is God who does the work in our lives.
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There are additional notes for the group leader included at the back of the book.
This book takes more of an overview, looking at the big picture of the message of Revelation, zooming out rather than zooming in. In some chapters, the subject matter is lightly touched while the study focuses on its main aim, which is to bring a relevant and applicable message of hope for our lives today. The study covers a range of topics including God’s sovereignty, His protection, our perspective on suffering, and the importance of prayer and worship.
How this book affected me:
Revelation: Hope in the Darkness is a study that concentrates on feeding faith, rather than fear, and focuses on the love of Jesus for His bride the Church. It does, however, challenge complacency and comfort over repentance and revival. Throughout the book there is a constant theme of hope, always keeping the end of the story in sight, that Jesus wins and finally defeated evil will become eradicated evil!
Who would enjoy this book:
Anyone who is slightly intimidated by the subject matter of Revelation, would benefit from this study guide as it opens the message in a very relatable way. There are clear explanations of the imagery used while challenging our vision of Jesus and His role in our lives today.
Anyone searching for life powering encouragement, while being prepared to reflect and consider life preserving rebuke, would gain from working through this study. The book does not bring any condemnation, it has a clear message of hope – “we are to live for the pleasure and praise of Jesus, not that He might accept us but because He already has.”
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Meet the Author Scotty Smith:
Scotty Smith, DMin, planted and pastored Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN, for twenty-six years. He worked on pastoral staff of West End Community Church as teacher in residence and also served as adjunct faculty for Covenant Seminary, Westminster (Philadelphia), RTS, Orlando, and Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He is the author of Unveiled Hope, Objects of His Affection, Restoring Broken Things, Everyday Prayers, Every Season Prayers, Ephesians: The Love We Long For, and Revelation: Hope in the Darkness.
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