Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 24 Sermon: Work (Laziness & Diligence)

§  Share with the group: What got you out of bed this morning and/or most mornings?
§  Describe the symptoms of laziness that you see in Proverbs 6:9, 19:24, 26:13 & 14. Ryan summarized the symptoms as inactivity and irresponsibility. Why are these appropriate categories—or, what would you add to them? How do these verses expand on the theme of irresponsibility as a symptom of laziness?
§  What are the “lions in the street” that you find yourself and/or others  going back to?
§  How is poverty a symptom of laziness? Does this hold true for all cases of poverty, and all cases of laziness? Why or why not?
§  What is the promise of laziness and why is it alluring? How does laziness fail to live up to its promise? Where do you see this promise’s allure and continual failings, besides those places Ryan mentioned? Any examples from culture?
§  How is diligence an antidote to laziness and how does one cultivate it? (see Prov. 6:6 and elsewhere.) What did Ryan point to as a common false antidote to laziness? Do you agree? How does that idea challenge your presumptions about laziness?
§  Ryan explained that the original view of sloth as one of the deadly sins is that it is essentially an abiding apathy, or a complete spiritual indifference to everything. What is the connection between this notion of “sloth” and laziness?
§  Recall what gets you out of bed in the morning. Is it functioning in your life as a motivating passion? Why is the gospel, then, the best reason for a passionate life?

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 17 Sermon: Why We Need Friends

Please read the following Proverbs on friendship: 13:20, 16:28, 18:24, 27:5-6, 9, 17.

Reflect on friendships you’ve had: which were the most enjoyable? The most fun? The most enriching? Which demanded the most of you? Do you have a personal barometer of what makes a successful or worthwhile friendship? Try to keep these experiences in mind as you reflect on the wisdom of Proverbs on friendship.

What is the ideal friend like, according to 27:9? Now read 27:5-6. Why do these verses feel contradictory? How is it possible to be both the friend of v. 9 and of vv. 5-6? What do these verses, taken together, suggest about Biblical friendship, its basis and its purpose?

Why is it important to consider 16:28 in a consideration of friendship—what does this verse add to the conversation? Why is gossip such a deeply felt personal offense?

Vv. 27:17 and 13:20 tell us the benefit of friendship. What are those benefits? How are they produced?

How does 18:24 “sit” with you? As unrealistic or virtually impossible in this world? As possible for others but not for you? Does it offend, as it seems to give friendship priority over family? As idealized figure of speech? Whatever your response, explore why you would say this is so? Why does such a friendship seem rare if not impossible? What is the remedy of the impediments to this kind of friendship?

If you are so inclined, you may want to listen to this song. As you listen, reflect on the wisdom from Proverbs: What can you affirm about what the song says? What would you challenge? What would you tell the songwriter if he were present with you?

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 10 Sermon: Wisdom for Marriage and Family, II

Pastor: Ryan Laughlin
Series: Proverbs

What were the two non-biblical approaches to parenting that Ryan cited as being particularly prevalent in our culture? How are they different regarding strategies and goals? What are their desired outcomes? What overlap do you see between them?

What is wisdom? (It may be helpful to review prior sermons as well.) Why is wisdom the best goal for parenting?

Proper biblical discipline appeals to both the _______ and the _______. Explain what this means, giving reference to Prov. 3:1-14.

When is/isn’t spanking wise? How is it used best? How is it used wrongly?

How do our children become our idols? How do you see this in the two non-biblical approaches we cited above?

What is the remedy of this idolatry? That is, how do we get rid of our children as idols? How does vv.11-12 aid us in answering this question?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

June 30 - July 14

Readings can be accessed in full by clicking on the links below:   

Jun 30: 2Chron 19-23
Jul 1:
Oba; Ps 82-83
Jul 2:
2King 1-4
Jul 3:
2King 5-8
Jul 4:
2King 9-11
Jul 5:
2King 12-13; 2Chron 24
Jul 6:
2King 14; 2Chron 25
Jul 7:
Jul 8:
2King 15; 2Chron 26
Jul 9:
Is 1-4
Jul 10:
Is 5-8
Jul 11:
Amos 1-5
Jul 12:
Amos 6-9
Jul 13:
2Chron 27; Is 9-12
Jul 14:
Jul 15:
2Chron 28; 2King 16-17

To view the full schedule: http://www.ewordtoday.com/year/niv1984/c.htm

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 3 Sermon: Wisdom for Marriage & Family

Pastor: Ryan Laughlin
Series: Proverbs 

Reflecting on our own wisdom: What brings longevity, happiness, and meaning to marriage? Consider
what our culture says, especially movies, TV, and pop music. If you are married, what about your
expectations going into marriage—what did these suggest about longevity, happiness and meaning in
marriage and where it is found?

Considering God’s wisdom: Read Prov. 5:15-19. There is a warning against adultery here; as well, there
is an affirmation about romantic love. What does the passage suggest? What is the significance of the
water imagery?

Does it surprise you to read this sensual imagery in the book of Proverbs? Why?

Where do you see this sensual approach to viewing marriage overemphasized? Underempasized?

Read the following passages: Prov 2:17, 21:9, 21:19, 25:24, 27:15, 6:20-21, 31:25-31

        How does a marriage relationship endure?

        What are the ideals and pitfalls of communication in marriage? Whose responsibility is good   

              communication? Who is to blame when it goes wrong?

        How does a family function well?

Practicing and sharing God’s wisdom: Does Proverbs offer a happy medium or balance between the
models of “friends” and “lovers”? Or another option?

Was this just a sermon for married people? Why?

Think of an unmarried/widowed/divorced non-believer friend of yours who is very frustrated at being
single. Let’s say they ask you tomorrow what you talked about this week at your Bible study. Knowing
they are struggling with their singlehood, what would you share with them?

What is one practice from God’s wisdom on marriage that you will begin this week?