"Planning the Good Life (Pt. 2)"
TEXTS: 1 Thess. 4:9-12; 1 Cor. 1-3
1. The Lord desires that His children make wise, practical decisions with the light of eternity on/in their minds.
2. It is rather easy (and tempting) to look at the world and feel as if everything is falling apart. And although the world and humanity is broken, this assumption is ultimately not true. How can we be sure of this? The Church of Jesus Christ is still here. The Church’s presence restrains evil in the world and points us towards the truth that Christ is doing (and will do) amazing things through His people to reconcile sinners to God and to fight injustice.
3. Believing in Christ's life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return is a precious gift of faith that is given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. It does not come as a result of debating or through intellectual persuasion. Although these actions can be helpful to both Christians and skeptics alike, saving faith is ultimately deposited in someone’s heart through a gracious work of God.
4. The central tenets of the Christian faith can seem simple and childish--why? They are! But we are told it takes “childlike” faith to inherit the Kingdom of God. And although some beliefs we hold may seem foolish to the world, they produce a healthy, lasting, and joyful change in our lives and hearts.
5. A spiritual person examines and judges every aspect of their life. They ask questions like, “Should I be doing this?” The spiritual person lives in light of eternity so they recognize that their decisions matter and impact those around them. But we can also live in a fleshly manner. Meaning, we refrain from making decisions with eternity in mind, we fail to examine how our decisions may impact eternity, and we allow ourselves to react to the issues in our world in the same way as unbelievers. Being a spiritual person allows you to hear the voice of God, but being a worldly (or fleshly) person positions your life in such a way that you will miss hearing the Lord speak to you.
6. If you are full of jealousy and strife, you are living your life according to the flesh (in a worldly manner). This means you won’t hear from the Spirit of God.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. What does it look like and mean to make decisions with the light of eternity in mind?
2. What is childlike faith? What does it mean to have it and what is being implied by the Lord when He tells us such a thing?
3. How can believers fight discouragement and the temptation to believe that the world is falling apart (and that there is nothing we can do about it)?
4. Many people would describe themselves as spiritual people. But what does it mean to be a spiritual person according to the Bible? Also, what does it mean to be a worldly or fleshly person?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- That we would desire to be spiritual people who hear the voice of God
- Against jealousy and strife