Life’s Questions – Week 34 Study Guide

By September 9, 2019 Small Group Study Guide

How do Faith and Reason Work Together?

With all your mind: Thriving in the Boundaries of God’s Word.

 

OPENER

Think back to Terry’s question during is opening: Would you rather be Bob or Mary?

Read: “Bob is 35 years old, single, white, attractive, and athletic. He earns $100,000 a year and lives in sunny Southern California. He is highly intellectual, and he spends his free time reading and going to museums.” Next, we meet Mary: Mary and her husband live in snowy Buffalo, New York, where they earn a combined income of $40,000. Mary is sixty-five years old, black, overweight, and plain in appearance. She is highly sociable, and she spends her free time, mostly on activities related to her church. She is on dialysis for kidney problems. Mary has health problems, lives in relative poverty, and has doubtless endured a lifetime of discrimination.

Question: Whom do you pick, and why did you choose that person?

Read Psalm 119:32: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”

Question: What does the Psalm tell us? 

 

OBJECTIVE

Our objective is to understand that God has designed life to run within the boundaries of his command.
When we stay on His path—His boundaries—our hearts are free, not bound up.

We live within those boundaries when, by faith, we Love God with all of our mind.

 

STUDY

PASSAGES—Read/Discuss:

Matt. 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 

Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 

Luke 10:27 He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Psa. 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

Questions: What do these passages telling us? What do they say to you individually? What would it look like to live this kind of life?

*Today we will look at three practical steps we can take by faith to live within God’s good boundaries by using our minds to: Thrive in God’s boundaries, trust God in the mysteries, and love others in their diversity.

 

1) Use your mind to thrive in His boundaries

READ: Psa. 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

Question: What are some of the prevailing cultural thoughts concerning freedom that is expressed today? How does this verse run counter to the current cultural narrative? What does it tell us about thriving?

Discussion:  Read the following statement, “Keep doing the work to get your mind around the reality that God’s boundaries are the path to freedom.” Discuss what that work would look like for you personally and how you might go about that work.”

 

2) Use your mind to trust Him in the mysteries

Read: Deut. 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

Question: What does this verse tell us about trusting God? What does it tell us about our own reason? What are we to take away from the verse?

Read: Deut. 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deut. 30:15-18

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

Question: What are these passages telling us? What do they say to us about boundaries? What does it say about your choices? What does it say God will do?

 

3) Use your mind to Love others in their diversity

Read Rom. 14:1

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…

Rom. 14:5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Rom. 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

Questions: How does this passage speak to using our minds to Love others in their diversity? What does it say in regards to Love? What are the implications for us?

 

APPLICATION: 

Run in the path, the boundaries of his commands, because therein is where our hearts are free. Loving God with all of your mind, is an act of faith. Remember that faith and reason are best friends.

Question: What do you need to do to make this a reality in your Life?

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