Proverbs 22.6 – July 11, 2020

Proverbs 22:6

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
 (Proverbs 22:6 , NIV)

“So we can train up our children, so that they will come to know Christ.”

Thought Questions:

What things did you experience growing up that helped you know God better?

How can we be intentional about training children–both our own and children in faith–to know God?

If you had one key piece advice to give new parents on how to raise Godly children, what would that advice be?

Proverbs 17.22 – June 30, 2020

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

(Proverbs 17:22, NIV)

“It’s true and straight to the point.”

Thought Questions:

What reaction do you have towards those who have a cheerful heart? How do you respond to those who do NOT have such a heart?

In what ways have you seen a crushed spirit dry up bones?

How can you both have a cheerful heart this week and encourage others to do the same?

Proverbs 18.10 – April 27, 2020

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

(Proverbs 18:10, NIV)

“It makes me feel safe and at home and I like the general idea.”

Thought Questions:

When you think of a “fortified tower,” what images come to mind?

In what ways have you found God to be a place where you can run to find safety?

How does a greater focus on God and following him demonstrate more the the safety God to you?

How can you be reminded throughout the day today of the safety that comes from the name of the Lord? Share with others you idea by clicking “Leave a comment…” below.

Proverbs 31.10-31 – March 20, 2020

Proverbs 31:10–31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies. 

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

(Proverbs 31:10, 31, NIV)

“It shows women how God wants us to act, and allows men to see what they should seek in a wife.”

Thought Questions:

When you think about someone who might win the award of “Best Woman Ever,” what characteristics do you think of? How do your characteristics compare to those described in Proverbs 31.

How important is it for a woman to display Godly characteristics? How can all of us work to help one another, as well as ourselves, display those characteristics more?

What are ways you can honor women in your life who are women of Godly character and actions?

Proverbs 1.1-7 – January 22, 2020

Proverbs 1.1-7

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. 
(Proverbs 1.1-7, NIV)

“When we ask: “How does a person follow God?”, the Proverbs are a good place to start!”

Thought Questions:

What has been the best advice you have ever received on how to live a Christian life?

What are some practical, hands-on ways in which individuals can learn “wisdom?”

In what ways have you seen the “fear of the Lord” be the “beginning of knowledge”?

Proverbs 20.3 – January 14, 2020

Proverbs 20.3

“It is one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (Proverbs 20.3, NIV)

Society tells us we need to defend everything we believe, no matter what. This verse tells us that only fools like to pick fights, and it is a mark of good character to not quarrel. To me it means, it matches up with: “We can’t chose what people say to us, but we can chose how we react.” To me, Jesus exemplified this verse throughout his whole life. Its hard for me not to feel like I need to fight for my beliefs, but then I remember this verse and how Jesus reacted in times he could have quarreled. He was a great leader and spread love through living out his beliefs, not defending/quarreling about them.

Thought Questions:

In our current culture, how important does it seem for people to try to avoid strife? What examples can you give that support your thinking?

What examples have you seen that demonstrate that those who are quick to quarrel look like fools?

What practical tips would you give to someone seeking to find ways to avoid quarrels and strife? How well do you practice these things?

A Careless Word – November 19, 2019

Ezekiel 39.1-40.27; James 2.18-3.18; Psalm 118.1-18; Proverbs 28.2

It slips up on even the best of us … one careless word spoken in haste, without thought. The end result, however, can be disastrous. Perhaps even life-changing. How have you seen a word spoken in haste change lives forever? How do you work to ensure you “tame” your tongue?

Questions:

How does God’s blessings or punishment show his glory to other people?

In what ways is your faith so strong that good deeds are a result?

What reasons do you have to give thanks to the Lord?

How do wise and knowledgable leaders bring stability?

Consider It Joy – November 17, 2019

Ezekiel 35.1-36.38; James 1.1-18; Psalm 116.1-19; Proverbs 27.23-27

One of the biggest challenges any of us who follow Jesus faces is the struggle to reconcile how bad things happen to us, even when we are seeking to follow him as closely as possible. It would seem our lives would get better … and easier when we follow him. James writes when we face troubles, we should consider it joy. Say what!? What we discover is that as with most things, our faith grows when challenged and stretched. Facing troubles? Know you have an opportunity for growth!

Questions:

Why would it be important for God to give the people of Israel–and us–a new heart and a new spirit?

When was the last time you asked God for wisdom?

How well do you realize that God hears you? Does your life demonstrate love for him as a result?

How well do you care for those you are able to influence and help follow God more?

A Cloud of Witnesses – November 14, 2019

Ezekiel 29.1-30.26; Hebrews 11.32-12.13; Psalm 112.1-10; Proverbs 27.17

Hebrews 11 and 12 are some of the most encouraging chapters in all of Scripture. Who doesn’t like the idea of the great men and women of faith cheering you on so that you run without any hinderance? The truth is that we have some of those same people in our lives today. While we certainly praise God for heroes of the Bible, we also need to praise him for those who encourage us every single day to follow him better. Who would make your “modern day” list of faith heroes?

Questions:

Why would God return Egypt to its rightful place and restore it to its land? What does this say about God’s purposes for countries beyond the nation of Israel?

In what ways has your faith in God allowed you to do great things for him?

How has good come to you as a result of you lending money or operating your business in a fair manner?

How have friends sharpened you?

Remember Them No More – November 10, 2019

Ezekiel 21.1-22.31; Hebrews 10.1-17; Psalm 108.1-13; Proverbs 27.12

“I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” (Hebrews 10.17, quoting Jeremiah 31.34) How good is this news? For most of us, we are all too aware that while we forgive people, “remembering them no more” is rarely a reality. Take a moment to think what it means that all of the things you have done in the past are forgotten. Forgiveness from God is not in play today, but revisited tomorrow. Why would we NOT seek it?

Questions:

Have you ever had a time when you tried to cover your sins, but they were so obvious, there was really no way of avoiding them being known? Knowing this, how does our passage from Hebrews mean even that much more to you?

Where would you be if Christ had not come to take away your sin, good for all time?

How do you demonstrate the confidence you have in God?

What dangers and precautions do you think the Proverb writer is referring to in today’s passage?