Summer Wisdom

Scripture gives us the commands of God’s law and it gives us the sure promises of God’s love and grace in the gospel. But in-between God’s Law and his promises he gives us his wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to navigate life well. Wisdom is what we need in the cracks between law and promise. How do we live life well? How do we do that now? In the book of Proverbs, God’s Word gives us wisdom on a host of topics ranging from finances to fatherhood, decisions to disagreements, and everything in between. Join us this summer as we explore God’s wisdom for us in the book of Proverbs.

08.02.20 | Wisdom for Love

by Pastor Marcus Lane

Proverbs 14:30, 17:22, 23:1-3, 26:4-5, 20:29, 26:25-26, 29:8,10

 

 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
    but envy makes the bones rot.

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

When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
    observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
    for they are deceptive food.

Answer not a fool according to his folly,
    lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    lest he be wise in his own eyes.

The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
    for there are seven abominations in his heart;
though his hatred be covered with deception,
    his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

Scoffers set a city aflame,
    but the wise turn away wrath.

Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
    and seek the life of the upright.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Love
Pastor Marcus Lane
August 2, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker:What is a guilty pleasure of yours? OR What is something unique that you love to do?
Reading: Proverbs 4:23-26, 13:19, 20:5, 23:17-18 27:19

Outline:

I. What we love shapes our actions. (4:23-26)
a) Pay attention to your desires; your heart directs your actions.
b) Be wary of prosperity and comfort as it can breed pride and a love of self.
Q: How do we guard our hearts while also living a genuine, loving life?

II. Discern what is worth loving. (13:19, 20:5, 23:17-18)
a) We sin when we love wrongly, when good things become our ultimate love. Resist the cultural idea of “free love” (that there’s freedom in loving whatever you want).
b) Willingness to discern what’s worth loving takes patience, curiosity, and humility.
Q: How do we “draw out” the purpose in our hearts?

III. Find ultimate love in God.
a) When you discover what God and His kingdom are really like, everything else pales in comparison. No other love has loved you like Jesus has through His sacrifice for you.
Love and pursue God. Let Him begin the process of reordering your desires and actions around the ultimate love of Jesus.

 

Reflection/Application Questions:
1)  What do you prioritize above God? How does that shape your actions?
2)  Do you trust in your own might/ love yourself first?
3)  Do you buy into the idea of “free love?” Do you think you do a good job of guarding your heart?
4)  How are you loving God in your life right now, and how can you better love Him?
5)  What other love is God calling you to surrender to Him?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Matthew 12:33-37
    • Q: Since all sin, is it possible for us to be “good?” How can we improve?
  • Ephesians 3:14-21
    • Q: What are we comprehending, and why do we need strength for it?
  • Matthew 13: 44-46
    • Q: What’s the (lack of) logic of those in the story? How can we apply it?

Closing Prayer: ​ Gracious God, we have allowed so many things to steal our affections and be our ultimate love, but they all pale in comparison to Your goodness. You’ve made that perfectly clear by showing how good You are: You sent Your Son Jesus, to lay down His life to rescue us from our bondage to sin. We ask that You daily teach us by the power of Your Spirit to love You and treasure You above all else. May we never forget that we are the thing that You treasure more than anything else. We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

07.26.20 | Wisdom for Conflict

by Pastor Gabe Kasper

Proverbs 16:2, 17:9,14,19, 18:17, 24:29, 25:15, 26:17-21, 29:9

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the spirit. 

Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
    so quit before the quarrel breaks out.

Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
    he who makes his door high seeks destruction.

The one who states his case first seems right,
    until the other comes and examines him.

Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
    I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
    and a soft tongue will break a bone.

Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
    is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
is the man who deceives his neighbor
    and says, “I am only joking!”
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
    the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Conflict
Pastor Gabe Kasper
July 26, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: What is one of your biggest pet peeves? OR How does your family approach conflict?
Reading: Proverbs 16:2, 17:9,14,19, 18:17, 24:29, 25:15, 26:17-21, 29:9

Outline:

I. Don’t attack in conflict. (Prov. 17:14, 17:19, 24:29, 26:17, 29:9)
a. Do not involve yourself in conflicts that aren’t your problem.
b. Attacking can hurt us, harms others, and leads to destruction in relationships. If your goal in conflict is not reconciliation, it will end in destruction.
Q: How can we decide whether or not a conflict is our problem?

II. Don’t avoid conflict. (Prov. 17:9)
a. Don’t stray towards passive aggression or “sweep problems under the rug.”
b. Avoiding conflict and harboring resentment is not a virtue. It is selfish to choose our own comfort over addressing something that is damaging to someone else.
Q: How can we “cover offenses” while also avoiding resentment?

III. Instead, attend to conflict. (Prov. 16:2, 18:17, 25:15)
a. Be generous, genuine, and gentle: be generous in assumptions about others’ motives, genuinely listen for/speak the truth of the situation, and be gentle in your approach.
b. Look to Christ: he was generous in pouring out his grace, he was genuine in showing us the truth in his teachings, and he forgives again and again in his compassion towards us.
Q: If God weighs the spirit, how can we decide who is “right” in a conflict?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) Do you tend to attack in conflict or avoid it?
2) How can you act in love towards someone in your life who attacks/avoids conflict?
3) Think of a time when a conflict ended badly for you. Why? What can you improve on?
4) Is there a current conflict in your life that God is calling you to resolve?
5) How can you be more generous, genuine, and/or gentle in your next conflict?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Matthew 8:15-35
    • Q: How do we reconcile forgiveness with unacceptance of repeated sins?
  • Genesis 13
    • Q: How was Abram generous, genuine, and gentle in his resolution with Lot?
  • James 4:11-12
    • Q: What does James mean in saying we can “speak evil against the law?”

Closing Prayer: ​Lord God, thank you that You are in the reconciliation business. You didn’t attack or avoid us, but you were attendant to us. You entered into our pain and conflict with You and with each other, and through Jesus’ death and resurrection, You brought us back to You. Teach us to be agents of reconciliation. Help us to be generous, genuine, and gentle with those we find ourselves in conflict with; guide us in that. Teach us to extend your love and grace to a hurting world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

07.19.20 | Wisdom for Words

by Pastor Marcus Lane

Proverbs 11:3, 12:14,18, 23,25 13:3, 15:1,4,23, 16:28 18:8, 21, 20:25

The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.

A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
    but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!

A dishonest man spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.

It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only after making vows.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Decisions
Pastor Marcus Lane
July 19, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: Think of when someone spoke kind words to you that stuck with you and share!
Reading: Proverbs 11:3; 12:14,18,23,25; 13:3; 15:1,4,23; 16:28; 18:8,21; 20:25

Outline:

I. When we speak (Prov. 12:18, 13:3, 20:25)
a. Recognize the power of words. Things spoken in haste can’t be taken back.
b. Proverbs condemns foolish words; think before speaking, in person and online.
Q: Is it okay to be a talkative person? How can we discern where to draw the line?

II. How we speak (Prov. 15:1,4)
a. How we say words affects how they are received. The implications of our manner of speech are often just as important as what we say.
b. How we speak reflects how we believe. Our speech is about more than just effectiveness or saying the right things. In it, we reflect who we are and what our God is like.
Q: When should we speak gently and when should we speak more strongly?

III. What we speak (Prov. 16:28, 18:8, 12:23, 18:21)
a. Resist the temptation to spread rumors, even if it feels good; what we speak reflects who we are. Recognize what your speech does; speak what builds up, not what tears down.
b. Look to Jesus; his entire life was marked by life-giving words. Mark your words not by carelessness and hatred, but mark them by the kindness, love, and forgiveness of Christ.
Q: How can we know if we are ones who “love” the tongue?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) Do you tend to speak hastily to others?
2) What is your tone when you speak? What would you like it to be?
3) Do you often gossip? How can you better reflect Christ when you encounter gossip/rumors?
4) Think about your daily speech. What does it say about who you are and what you believe?
5) Who is God calling you to speak kindness/encouragement to this week?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Matthew 15:10-20
    • Q: Are our hearts completely evil? How do we learn to watch our tongue?
  • Ephesians 4:25-32
    • Q: How do we practice “good anger” in regards to our words?
  • James 3
    • Q: How can we sow (and reap) a “harvest of righteousness” with our tongues?

Closing Prayer: ​Gracious God, we see just how powerful words are. Our words hold life and death. Cause us to see the power and implications of our words. Lord, help us to speak Your truth in love, patience, and kindness. As we turn from the wicked and careless speach, turn us back to You that we might be made free and holy. Send us to speak Your life-giving words to those around us. We pray this in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

07.12.20 | Wisdom for Decisions

by Pastor Gabe Kasper

Proverbs 3:7-8, 11:3, 12:5,15, 15:30-33, 16: 25, 33, 19:2, 21

Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
    and refreshment to your bones.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshes the bones.
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
    will dwell among the wise.
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
    but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
    and humility comes before honor.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.

The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the Lord.

Desire without knowledge is not good,
    and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Decisions
Pastor Gabe Kasper
July 12, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: What is the best decision you’ve ever made? Why?
Reading: Proverbs 3:7-8, 11:3, 12:5,15, 15:30-33, 16: 25, 33, 19:2, 21

Outline:

I. Trust God by placing your desire under his authority. (Prov. 3:5-8)
a. Don’t assume your way of thinking is right. Instead, trust God knows best in all decisions.
b. Be aware of what else motivates you: what you’re devoted to will dictate what you decide. Submit your desires to His authority, and let your devotion to God shape your decisions.
Q: What does it look like to fear the Lord? To turn from evil?”

II. Analyze your decision. (Prov. 12:5,15; 15:31-32; 19:2)
a. Don’t make quick decisions in ignorance; gain knowledge as best you can. God works through rational knowledge and insight we gain from seeking the truth in a decision.
b. Seek out/listen to wise counsel from others. Don’t assume your own insight is sufficient.
Q: When/how do you become “qualified” to give good/wise advice?

III. Own the decision you make, and trust God to make good from it. (Prov. 16:3,25,33; 11:3; 19:21)
a. There is no perfect decision; we’re inherently imperfect. But that doesn’t override God’s promises! We’re free to make hard decisions, commit to them, and commit them to Him.
b. We can trust God to work good from our decisions, even in the parts that don’t seem so good at the time. Look to how Christ fully committed His will to the Father on the cross.
Q: How do you own a decision while also committing it to God’s will?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1)What motivates you besides following God?

2) Are there any big decisions you have to make in your life right now? How are you going about it?

3) Do you tend to make hasty decisions or fall into “analysis paralysis?” How can you change that?

4) Who are a couple individuals in your life you can turn to for godly/wise advice?

5) Have you seen God’s will working in your decisions, now or in the past? What have you learned?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Galatians 5:16-24​
    • Q: How are we not under the law if we live by the Spirit?
  • 1 Kings 12:1-15​
    • Q: What does this passage teach about seeking counsel?
  • Romans 8:27-32​
    • Q: God works all things for good, so what ​ is​ our role in making decisions?

Closing Prayer: Lord, thank You for the wisdom of Your word. You invite us to make decisions in light of Your sovereignty and our responsibility, and in light of the reality that Your promise overcomes our imperfections. Grant wisdom and clarity as we make decisions. May we submit to You, knowing You are with us, working all things for good. We know this is true because of Jesus’ sacrifice; as He committed His will to You, it brought us new life. May we live in that truth always. In His name we pray, Amen.

Proverbs 3:9-10, 11:24,13:11, 21:20, 22:9, 28:27, 30:8-9

Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
    and your vats will be bursting with wine.

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
    another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
    but a foolish man devours it.

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
    for he shares his bread with the poor.

Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
    but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
    give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Money
Pastor Marcus Lane
July 5, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: What is the coolest thing you have bought or received?
ReadingProverbs 3:9-10, 11:24, 13:11, 21:20, 22:9, 28:27, 30:8-9

Outline:

I. Don’t Waste Money (Proverbs 21:20)
a. The difference between the wise and the foolish is how they use their money: the fool immediately spends and wastes it, but the wise save it.
b. Don’t follow the Dream of Novelty (chasing the next new thing); be stewards of money
Q: What is “precious treasure?”

II. Don’t Withhold Money (Proverbs 3:9-10, 11:24, 22:9, 28:27)
a. Selfishly hoarding and withholding our money from others is just as harmful as wasting it.
b. Looking at money and possessions as tools for loving others helps us not to waste or withhold it. Money is not the ultimate; our relationships with others are.
Q: How can you decide how much to give and how much to withhold?

III. Don’t Worship Money (Proverbs 30:8-9)
a. Both rich and poor can make idols of money. Seek to honor God with your resources and firstfruits and be content with what you have.
b. Seek a greater love: Christ forsook all wealth and glory to save us from sin and break us from our idolatry. We are now free to love and serve Him with what we have.
Q: How does “falsehood and lying” connect with the rest of the passage?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) What’re you chasing that competes with God (money/stuff, the next new thing, glory, etc.)?

2) How can you be a better steward of your money?

3) Do you see your money as an end goal, or as a tool with which to love others?

4) What do you idolize over God in your life?

5) How is God calling you to serve Him and others with what you have?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Luke 18:18-30
    • Q: Must we sell everything to enter the Kingdom? What’s Jesus’ point here?
  • 1 Timothy 6:6-19
    • Q: Is money bad? How should we think about money?
  • Philippians 2:1-1
    • Q: How does our use of money relate to Christ’s example in the text?

Closing Prayer: Gracious God, so often we are given to the love of things that are not You. We ask that You would shatter our idols, our love of money and possessions. Shatter it with the perfect love of Your son, Jesus, who gave up everything to claim us as His own. Please work this in us by the power of Your spirit in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

06.28.20 | Wisdom for Work

by Pastor Gabe Kasper

Text | Proverbs 8:17-19, 10:22, 11:1,26, 14:23, 22:29, 27:23-24, 28:19

I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.

The blessing of the Lord makes rich,
    and he adds no sorrow with it.

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
    but a just weight is his delight.

The people curse him who holds back grain,
    but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.

In all toil there is profit,
    but mere talk tends only to poverty.

Do you see a man skillful in his work?
    He will stand before kings;
    he will not stand before obscure men.

Know well the condition of your flocks,
    and give attention to your herds,
for riches do not last forever;
    and does a crown endure to all generations?

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Work
Pastor Gabe Kasper
June 28, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: What was/is the best or worst job you’ve ever had and why?
ReadingProverbs 8:17-19, 10:22, 11:1, 26, 14:23-24, 22:29, 27:23-24, 28:19-22

Outline:

I. Work is Good (14:23)
a. Even in difficult work, there is inherent profit; God worked at Creation, and it was good. Therefore, work itself is good.
b. Work exists to create beauty, cultivate abundance, and generate order.
Q: What is “mere talk?”

II. Wisdom for Work (11:1,26, 22:9, 27:23, 28:19-22)
a. Strive to have integrity, hustle, and skill: be disciplined and humble, work hard with ambition, and seek to grow in your skills/intelligence.
b. We work not only for other people but for the Lord. Make sure your end-goals are not self-serving but faithful aspirations to do the best work you can for others.
Q: How do we distinguish between “our land” and “worthless pursuits?” (28:19)

III. “A Better Bottom Line”
a. Our real goal is “holy ambition”– to pursue service to God and others in our work.
b. Look to the example of Christ: His entire life was dedicated to saving and sanctifying us. Remember that as you work to serve and love those around you.
Q: How can you tell if your work is dedicated to serving God?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) In this season of your life, what would you consider your more difficult work?

2) Of integrity, hustle, and skill, which do you excel at? Which is an area for growth?

3) What are some of your ambitions? Are those ambitions self-serving or others-focused?

4) How can you work in “holy ambition” at your job?

5) How is God calling you to love others in your workplace this week?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
    • Q: What does it mean that “eternity” is “in man’s heart?”
  • Genesis 39:1-10, 41:37-49
    • Q: How do Joseph’s actions/attitude exemplify wisdom in work?
  • Ephesians 6:5-9
    • Q: How can we work from the heart for God even if we dislike our job/boss?

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You that You set yourself apart. Thank You for Your holy ambition of going to the cross and laying down your life. As You accomplished Your work and declared, “it is finished,” You set us free from the powers of sin, death, and the devil and enabled us to go about our work in this world. Thank you for that gift. We pray that we would be wise, and in light of Your gospel, live and work with integrity and humility. We pray that we work hard, care about serving others, and grow to be skillful with the gifts you have given us. Jesus, may all that be done in light of the grace you won for us at the cross and in light of Your ultimate work. It’s in Your name we pray, Amen.

06.21.20 | Wisdom for Family

by Pastor Marcus Lane

Text | Proverbs 6:20-23, 19:13, 18 22:6, 23:22-24

My son, keep your father’s commandment,
    and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
    tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
    when you lie down, they will watch over you;
    and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
    and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

A foolish son is ruin to his father,
    and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

Discipline your son, for there is hope;
    do not set your heart on putting him to death.

Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Listen to your father who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy truth, and do not sell it;
    buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
    he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Family
Pastor Marcus Lane
June 21, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: Think of a time when you did something “against the rules” growing up. What happened?
Reading: Proverbs 6:20-23, 19:13,18, 22:6, 23:22-24

Outline:

I. Wisdom for Children (Prov. 6:20-23)I. Wisdom for Children (Prov. 6:20-23)
a. Children should listen to and obey both their parents because it is right in the eyes of God and “so that it may go well with us–” listening to our parents’ wisdom usually benefits us.
b. To follow Jesus, we must follow the godly examples set by our parents and elders.
Q: What does it look like for the reproofs of discipline to be a “way of life?”

II. Wisdom for Parents (Prov. 22:6)
a. Your call is to raise your children in what’s good and true. They’re watching; your life and parenting will shape your children’s views of morality, truth, and Christianity.
b. You can’t create faith in your kids, but God’s word can! Try these steps daily: share highs/ lows, read the Bible, talk about applications, pray for each other, and bless each other.
Q: How do we determine what the “way he should go” is, esp. in messy situations?

III. Wisdom for Family Discord (Prov. 19: 13,18)
a. In the midst of discord and foolishness, the solution is not to distance yourself from each other. Rather, discipline in love can be an essential part of reconciliation.
b. Look to God’s example: He’s unafraid of the shame/dishonor of bringing us back to Himself and willingly bears it instead. Don’t seek to cut off but to reconcile and bring near.
Q: How can we discipline our children in love and not in anger?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) How can you better respect and listen to your parents or church elders in your life?
2) What is a piece of wisdom you learned from your parents that you can apply to your life?
3) What have you found difficult about trying to raise your children in the faith?
4) When was the last time your family experienced conflict? How did you handle it?
5) How can you act more wisely in your next family conflict?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Ephesians 6:1-4 ​
    • Q: How do we honor/obey our parents even when we disagree with them?
  • Hebrews 12: 7-11 ​
    • Q: How are we “disciplined” by God?
  • Luke 15:11-32
    • Q: Is it bad to be angry at your children or siblings?

Closing Prayer: Gracious God, we give You thanks for the kind of father You are– A father who is not afraid of shame or dishonor. You are a God who longs to reconcile with us, restore us, and welcome us home. Thank You for sending Your only son, Jesus, to bear the curse and punishment of all our foolishness so that we can be brought back to You. Because of this, may we also go and welcome others home. We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

06.14.20 | Wisdom for Live

by Pastor Gabe Kasper

Text | Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, 27:5-6,10, 17
A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for adversity.
 
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
 
Better is open rebuke
    than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
    profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
 
Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
    and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
    than a brother who is far away.
 
Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another.
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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Life
Pastor Gabe Kasper
June 14, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: Think of a friendship/an instance in a friendship that has greatly impacted your life and share!
Reading: Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, 27:5-6,10,17

Outline:

I. The necessity of friendship (Prov. 17:17)
a. God elevates the unique and essential bond of friendship– affection and devotion to someone through thick and thin. Our friendships can shape who we are more than family.
b. Having friends who draw near like family in adversity is a fundamental human need.
Q: What does “adversity” mean in this context?

II. The practice of friendship (Prov. 27:5-6, 9-10, 17)
a. Pride is the death of wisdom: instead of being proud of what you do know, strive to learn more from a place of humility. Continue to seek more wisdom.
b. The wise gladly accept correction, so welcome Biblical correction in all areas of your life.
Q: Based on this text, how can we differentiate between friends and enemies?

III. The strength to be a friend (Prov. 18:24)
a. Friendship with Christ enables us to be the friends we’re called to be. We need the strength of our friendship with God, who made us, redeemed us, and is at work inside us.
b. By trusting in Jesus’ ultimate act of friendship on the cross, our relationship with God is restored. This “ultimate friendship” with God shapes all other friendships we have.
Q: Is it bad to have lots of friends?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) Think of the good friends in your life. How do they exemplify good friendship?
2) What have past/current conflicts in your relationships taught you about being a good friend?
3) Of presence, empathy, and candor, which comes easiest to you? Which is an area for growth?
4) Is there anyone in your life God is calling you to be a friend to?
5) How can you grow in your friendship with God this week?

Suggestions for further study:

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
    • Q: How do the verses also relate to emotional aspects of friendship?
  • 1 Samuel 18:1-5, 20:1-42
    • Q: What does this story tell us about being a friend?
  • John 15:1-17
    • Q: How does our relationship to Christ affect our other relationships?

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us what true friendship looks like. There is no greater love than one who lays down his life for his friends, and You laid down Your life for each of us. Thank you for Your friendship. Thank you for being present in our lives, empathizing with what it is to be human, and for speaking the truth in love to us. Teach us to do these things for each other and to be faithful friends. We need You, Jesus. May we walk with You always. In Your name we pray, Amen.

06.07.20 | Wisdom for Live

by Pastor Marcus Lane

Text | 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.

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Summer Wisdom: Wisdom for Life
Pastor Marcus Lane
June 7, 2020

Prayer: Pause for a few moments to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask that He would draw near to you in this time, and open your heart and mind to hear His Word.
Icebreaker: Who is the wisest person you know? Why? OR What was the best advice you ever received?
ReadingProverbs 1:1-7

Outline:

I. Biblical wisdom is practical. (v 1-4)
a. It helps us achieve “wise dealing” (navigating the complexities of life, relationships, and decision-making well, while also seeking to level the playing field for everyone).
b. It helps us live good lives; many people, even the non-religious, agree with Jesus’ teachings and Biblical wisdom because it is good, practical advice on how to live well.
Q: How can we define “righteousness, justice, and equity?”

II. Biblical wisdom requires humility. (v 5-6)
a. Pride is the death of wisdom: instead of being proud of what you do know, strive to learn more from a place of humility. Continue to seek more wisdom.
b. The wise gladly accept correction, so welcome Biblical correction in all areas of your life.
Q: How can the words of the wise be “riddles?”

III. Wisdom begins with our relationship with God. (v 7)
a. We cannot be wise without attentiveness to our relationship with God. Either God and His Word will be the central truth in your life, or something else will be.
b. Jesus not only demonstrates a life of wisdom, but He is wisdom incarnate. Following His life and teachings leads to living a good life.
Q: What does it look like to fear the Lord?

Reflection/Application Questions:

1) How can you center your actions around God’s wisdom this week?
2) What is a “complexity” in your life? How can you approach it from a place of wisdom?
3) Where do you struggle with pride in your life?
4) When was the last time the Scriptures corrected you?
5) What are some things you tend to put in place of God as the central truth in your life?

Suggestions for further study:

  • James 3:13-18
    • Q: Why must wisdom from above first be “pure”?
  • 1 Corinthians 1:20-31
    • Q: What is “the folly of what we preach?”
  • Matthew 7:24-27
    • Q: How are the two men similar? How do we embody the wise man?

Closing Prayer: Gracious God, so often our hearts are bent towards foolishness. Right now, in the midst of pandemics, protests, and even riots, what we need is Your wisdom. Wisdom that causes us to seek not only our own welfare but the welfare of those around us. Wisdom that You made known, not in high and lofty ideals, but in the suffering of your Son for the life of the world. Grow in us the wisdom that leads us to love, serve, and lay down our lives for others so that they might know Jesus. We pray all this in His name. Amen.