*LEADERS STUDY GUIDE 10.18.2020
WISE LIVING FROM PROVERBS:
OPENING QUESTION: Open group by discussing the following statement: How we frame life determines how we live life. If we frame in the negative…we live in the negative. If we frame life without God in all of it…we live life as if God is in little or none of it. Have your group members share how they have seen or personally experienced this kind of living? How has “framing” (good or bad) affected the individual physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of their lives?
Note: Remember, Proverbs frames human life as a seamless whole…we are spiritual/physical hybrids; we cannot be divided into parts as if one part matters more or less than the other.
OBJECTIVE: AS A RESULT OF OUR TIME TOGETHER IN GOD’S WORD I AM PRAYING THAT THE GOSPEL WILL MORE FULLY FRAME OUR THINKING AND SHAPE OUR LIVING SUCH THAT WE WILL ENJOY MAXIMUM PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, AND RELATIONAL HEALTH…FOR OUR GOOD AND GOD’S GLORY.
LESSON DISCUSSION 1: Common Grace
Q1: What is “Common grace,” and why is it important for us to know?
Answer: “Common grace” means that anyone, believer or not, who operates within God’s design will do better than if they do not live within that design. We are designed to live with our bodies, minds, souls, and relationships, all under the loving and wise Lordship of Jesus. When we do…when we live inside our design parameters…it works very well. When we do not…it doesn’t work well. (Remember Terry’s example of the believing/nonbelieving farmer.)
LESSON DISCUSSION 2: Two Paths: Only One—Wisdom—Leads to The Best possible life.
Q1: Proverb 14:30 says, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Another translation reads like this… “A calm heart gives life to the entire body, but “hot passion” is rot in the bones.”
What is meant by rot in the bones, and what is driving that rot?
Answer: Bones here is an expression that means the entire physical body…what we allow to reside in our minds and hearts can literally kill our physical bodies. It is like a bone cancer that rots a person’s body’s structure and shortens their life. “Envy”…” Hot passion”…This is a representative term that refers to inwardly being perpetually “spun up” with anxiety, resentment, jealousy, unforgiveness…any manner of self-centered/self-focused thoughts and emotions.
Q2: Sometimes we can fail to have a tranquil heart. Proverbs teaches us to measure correctly…to measure from God’s viewpoint not our own. We measure too soon, measure too selfishly, and measure to small. Wisdom teaches to measure longer and larger than folly does. Take some time and discuss this idea amongst the group.
Note: What is indicated here and all through Proverbs is that a life of Wisdom…grounded on respect, love, and submission to God…is the path of experiencing your best possible life. A life that will be, all things considered…a good life…experience bears this out if we are paying attention. All things considered includes: physical, spiritual, relational, mental, and eternal good. Proverbs teaches us to measure correctly…to measure from God’s viewpoint, not our own.
LESSON DISCUSSION 3: Reframing—Three Parables
- Have your group read Luke 15:1-16.
- Look for who the key individuals are and what paths are they are on.
- Think of the ways both brothers were acting as protocol sons.
- Look at the brothers responses.
- Look for the ways envy is “rotting bones.”
- Look for how the Gospel changes the trajectory of their path.
Q1: How does Jesus attempt to reframe the “muttering,” “grumbling,” “complaining” that he hears in
Answer: He attempts to reframe their perspective with three consecutive parables…all with the same point—we are of great value to God—these “sinners” the Pharisees are grumbling about…matter to God.
LESSON DISCUSSION 4: Proverbs/Wisdom to the Gospel?
Terry’s said that “Wise living is ultimately all about the Gospel:
Justification: Wisdom is putting your faith in Christ, leading to a relationship with God and forgiveness of sins.
Sanctification: Wisdom is a life of loving obedience to Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit…
leading to growth in becoming like Christ…who is wisdom personified.
Glorification: Wisdom is ultimately experienced after death, where we leave folly behind forever.
Q1: let’s apply Proverbs 14:30 with gospel reframing “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” How is a heart at peace?
- Justification: The objective PEACE with God at the moment of salvation
- Sanctification: The process of growth in the personal experience of PEACE over our lifetimes
- Glorification: The full experience of PEACE at death
Q2: Jesus, the Bible says, “Is our Peace.” Do you live with peace? If the answer is yes and you continue to struggle to live with peace, what can you do?
Answer: If you sometimes are feeling like God doesn’t love or accept you. You must (and you can) let the truth of the Gospel shape your thinking and believing. You can believe what God says; you don’t have to believe what you feel…YOU LEARN CAN DOUBT YOUR DOUBTS…YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE THEM. You can believe what is real…and let go of bitterness, unforgiveness, judgment of others, insecurity, and competition.
Choose daily to continually embrace the Gospel, know that you have been justified, sanctified, and will be glorified by placing your trust in Christ Jesus. Let go of the stuff that rots the bones, don’t let it be a barrier to a life full of God. Let the GOSPEL of Jesus more fully frame your thinking and shape your living so that we will enjoy maximum physical, spiritual, and relational health for your good and God’s glory.
Scripture used in Sermon:
Proverbs 14:30 “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”