The Fear of God

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES 5:1-7

MAIN POINT

God’s holiness strikes a reverent fear in the hearts of those who see Him for who He truly is.

INTRODUCTION

Q: When was the last time you stood in awe of nature? Describe the experience.

Q: Why do you think we are sometimes blind to God’s glory in nature?

Q: What does the terrifying power of storms and natural disasters tell us about God’s power and strength?

God’s power is displayed around us in ways both pleasant and terrifying. If we hope to worship God rightly, we must come to terms with His perfect power and sovereignty that rightly strikes fear in the hearts of men.

VERSE OF THE WEEK:

Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)
10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

The Emptiness of Life’s Pursuits

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER 2

INTRODUCTION

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING:

If I had _________________________, then I would be happy. How do you tend to fill in that blank?

How do people in our culture tend to fill in that blank?

What do people in the world today think is the key to happiness and satisfaction in life?

Why won’t these things satisfy?

Solomon devoted himself to testing the pleasures of the world to see if He could find meaning and value in them. He says that this too “proved to be meaningless” (Ecc. 2:1). The problem with chasing after pleasure in work, education, and leisure activities is that our hearts were not created to find satisfaction in these things. We were created for something bigger. We were created to delight in God supremely. It is only when we put God first in our lives that we will be able to enjoy the things of the world in a way that honors Him.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

Philippians 4:11 (KJV)
11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

This lesson is not meant to be a discouraging statement but rather to instruct us in a proper perspective of the activities we participate in and whether they are a true value in the spiritual life.

God bless and have a great week. See you Sunday!

The Presence of Sin & the Power of Community

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES 4:1-12

MAIN POINT

One of the ways we navigate life in the broken, sinful world in which we live is by plugging into community.

INTRODUCTION

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does this aspect of your personality impact your thoughts on biblical community and accountability?

What aspect of the Christian life do you think is the most challenging to do alone? Explain your answer.

When Christian community is happening as God designed it, how involved should we be in each other’s lives? Support your response with Scripture, if any come to mind.

God created us for community. In fact, the Trinity is the perfect model for us of community—the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct, but they function together in perfect unity to form the Godhead. The church is modeled after that perfect community, and part of doing life together as God intended involves being personally accountable to other Christians. As we will see today, biblical accountability is two-fold. It pushes us away from temptation and toward Christ.

Think of the strength we gain from accountability in the Church community and how it affects our spiritual lives.

God bless and have a great rest of the week. See you Sunday!

 

 

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-11

MAIN POINT

We can trust God to use whatever season of life we are in to make us more like Christ.

INTRODUCTION

What is your favorite season of the year? Why?

While we might wish that summer or spring would last forever, the four seasons are necessary. What can we learn about our lives by considering the seasons of the year? Why might various seasons of life be necessary for us to experience?

Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3, meditates on the complex nature of life in a fallen world and concludes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (v. 1). This tells us that while we may struggle to make sense of the season of life we are in, our current circumstances are not a surprise to God. In today’s study we will discover how we can trust that God has a purpose for the season of life we find ourselves in. Even if you find yourself in a painful season, the truth of God’s love remains.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

1 Peter 1:7 (KJV)
7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Have a great week. I look forward to seeing you Wednesday Evening and Sunday Morning. God Bless and Have A Great Week!

 

SEARCHING FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE

FUTILITY AND FULFILLMENT

WEEKLY READING 

ECCLESIASTES 1:1-18

MAIN POINT

God meets us in life’s monotony and gives us an abundant life of living for His purposes.

INTRODUCTION

Q: What is something you invested a lot of time and attention in when you were younger that you no longer care about? Why were you so invested in that thing?

Q: What meaningless things do people in our culture invest their time, money, and energy in?

Solomon begins Ecclesiastes saying in verse 2 “2  Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” In plain english, “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” He was reflecting on how people in the world spend their time, money, and energy, and he says it is all “meaningless.” We have all spent our lives in ways that we regret, but it is important that we stop to consider why we made those decisions. What was motivating us to make foolish decisions? This Sunday morning we will see that if we are not searching for God in the monotony of life we will live a life of meaninglessness.

VERSE OF THE WEEK

Ecclesiastes 1:18 (KJV)
18  For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Consider what is being shared by King Solomon as we explore the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Have a great week and we will see you Sunday Morning.

Pride, Last of the Deadly Seven

DEATH BY 7

WEEKLY READING

2 Chronicles 26:1-23

MAIN POINT

When pride creeps into our thoughts, it gives us the false assumption that we are above the consequences of our actions.

INTRODUCTION

Q. What is one thing you are really good at? Do people know you’re good at it, or is it more of a hidden talent?

Q. What is the difference between being good at something and broadcasting your success or abilities to the world?

  1. C.S. Lewis wrote, “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. . . .The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil; Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind . . . As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” As we bring our study of the seven deadly sins to a close, we will see how pride became the downfall of Uzziah, a young king who never lived up to his potential.

PERSONAL TASK

Find a verse of scripture about pride that especially speaks to your view or feelings regarding the Sin of Pride.

Have a great week as we finish our study on the 7 Deadly Sins.  See you Sunday!

ENVY – The Sixth of the Deadly Seven

DEATH BY 7

Weekly Reading

GENESIS 29:1-35; 30:1-24

MAIN POINT

Envy is a short-sighted emotion that will end in destruction. Only the gospel can replace the jealousy in our hearts with gratitude.

INTRODUCTION

Envy is resentful desire for what someone else has or is. Think of it as the longing and resentment we’ve all felt for someone else’s car, health, financial stability, job, marriage, and so on. What would you say you are most prone to envy in another person?

Q.      How do you rank envy compared to other sins, in terms of seriousness and             potential consequences?

Q.       Why?

Envy can be defined as resentful desire for what someone else has or is. It is no less significant of a sin than any of the others, because it is ultimately the forgetfulness of God’s will and provision. Envy says that we know better than God what we deserve, what is just, how our life situations should be orchestrated, and so on. It is idolatry, because it is about us trying to take over the sovereignty of God. In the story of Leah and Rachel that we will discuss today, we see how the envy of both women is rooted in a lack of faith in God and trust in His provisions.

Hopefully you will have time to read the scripture in preparation for our Sunday morning study.

God Bless and have a great week.