TEXTS: Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 7:32; James 5:13-20
1.The Lord intends for His children to persevere through personal difficulties and use them in some fashion as a catalyst for spiritual growth. Salvation does not make the people of God exempt from experiencing difficulty and suffering, but rather makes it possible for trials and tribulations to ultimately produce good in our lives and souls.
2. The nation of Israel in the O.T. is a ‘type’ of the Church (the global body of believers that is comprised of local churches). It is quite common to view the promises made to the Israelites and conclude that they are now applicable to individual believers. While this may be true in specific and certain circumstances, it is best to view those promises being received through the public gathering of God’s children.
3. Every human is sacred; they are made in the image of God. And the image of God is accurately modeled through the experience and interaction of two (and two only) distinct genders (male and female).
4. We need to remember that the molecules that make up the physical world are temporary, broken, and most often fall into a morally neutral area. Meaning, individual molecules are not to be considered holy or unholy, but they can be either depending on how they are used. The motivation in our hearts as we interact, consume, and relate to the physical world is an area of life that we should intentionally and routinely examine.
5. Unwise servants are more concerned about creation than the Creator.
6. The Word of God calls believers to be anxious about at least one thing—what is it? We should be “anxious” and intentional regarding pleasing our spouses (1 Cor. 7)!
7. A local group of believers need to be highly committed to one another and in unity if they wish to see the Kingdom of God advance in and through their lives. Remember, everyone was kung-fu fighting! The power of prayer really begins to be seen and exercised when all are involved and included.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How do personal trials and tribulations produce good in the lives and souls of God's children? Are they guaranteed to have this effect on believers or is there something we need to be doing to ensure this work is accomplished in our hearts?
2. What are some examples of healthy and unhealthy heart motivations as they relate to our use of and interaction with the physical world?
3. What does it mean to be anxious about pleasing your spouse? What are some healthy thought processes to walk through (perhaps daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly) to ensure that this type of priority and concern is being placed on your marital relationship?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- For unity and rejoicing to fill our local expression of the Church of Jesus Christ
- That the "truths" of 2022 would produce much fruit in 2023