Going Deeper

Live Wisely: Speaking Life | Trusting in the Lord

Chris Meade | Proverbs 18:20-21 | July 21, 2024

1. Where did the Holy Spirit speak or challenge you through God’s Word? Were there any “ah-ah” moments?

2. Proverbs is a very practical and real book. Wisdom is knowledge applied. Proverbs 18:20-21 dive deep into the fruit of our heart and soul. Verse 20—speaks to how the power of the words we use affect our own soul. Verse 21—speaks to the power of the words we use to build up or tear down.

The proverb shares that our words—what we say…and how we say it—affects our own soul AND the hearts of others. Being critical, gossiping, slandering, and tearing others down—does not just damage others—it damages you. Building up and encouraging—does not just give life to others, it gives life to you.

o Have you have thought of the words you say in this way—that there is a reciprocal nature to the words you say—to others and to yourself? That you truly benefit when you seek to build up others.

o Can you think of examples of this truth—either way?

3. Read Luke 6:43-45. Jesus makes clear that “…what you say flows from what is in your heart.” Jesus is saying that our words reveal the state of our being. If negativity, hatred, racism, criticalness, or gossip is flowing from you—that is not just a tongue issue—but is revealing something deeper—a heart issue.

Chris talked about some root causes when our worlds turn foul: tiredness; unhealed wounds or resentments; fear—caused by a perceived lack of control, or a perceived threat, or rooted in something you don’t understand; or is can simply be the evil of our own hearts with sin we have not dealt with. Time to get personal:

o When do you find your words becoming damaging? Are there root causes that you see in your own life that have born fruit in your speech? Is there something today that needs to be dealt with?

o How does this affect or change the way you see how others speak to you? How can seeing their words as “fruit” of a greater cause—truly a “them issue”—help you process and respond in healthier ways—for you and for them?

4. Read 1 Peter 3:9; Proverbs 15:1; Ephesians 4:29. Are there other verses on our speech that come to mind? How do these verses shape what and how you should speak to those you are close to, as well as those who you perceive are against you?

o Which one of these verses would you commit to putting to memory, and asking God to help put into practice in your life through the Holy Spirit’s power?

o In our world—with all the political, ideological and cultural divides that permeate our country—why is it important for the church to stand out with our words?

Live Wisely: Summer in Proverbs | You Are The Light of the World

Pastor Chris Meade | Matthew 5:14-16 | July 14, 2024

1. Where did the Holy Spirit speak or challenge you through God’s Word? Were there any “ah-ah” moments?

2. On Sunday we talked a lot about LIGHT. John 1:4-5, Jesus is described as the LIGHT that has come into the world. The light was given… The light shines in darkness… The darkness cannot distinguish it. So we can define light as a person—in Jesus. But we also see that LIGHT is: the revelation of the life of Jesus…distinct from darkness… dispels darkness…and reveals the way (1 Jn 1:4-5). Light is the source of fruit…goodness, righteousness, and truth. (Eph 5:9)
Pastor Chris defines LIGHT then, as “…the revelation of the person and character God—His heart, His power, His attributes, His authority, His holiness.”
o What do you think about this definition? Why is it important to separate the definition of LIGHT versus the fruit of LIGHT? Is there something you would add?

3. God’s Word shares many things about your identity in Christ. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says—as His followers—you ARE the light of the world...not you can be, should be, or will mature into to be. Like the moon, God’s light is in you, reflecting from you, into the world.
a. How do you react to Jesus’ words that His LIGHT is something you ARE…not something you do or become?
b. Why is your identity more important than what you do? How would one reshape their identity to be in line with what Scripture says about them?

4. Read John 8:12, Ephesians 5:8-9, and Philippians 5:14-16. Jesus and Paul both clearly teach that our identity shapes what we do. In John 8:12—Jesus gives us: 1) the source(Jesus), 2) the action (following Him, 3) the fruit (not walking in darkness), and 4) the cause (you have the light that leads to life). Paul teaches us very similar things: Identity leads to actions. Actions do not create identity.
a. If identity shapes our actions, if one is the root and the other is the fruit—which one is more important for followers of Jesus to focus on? Why?
b. What has truly created your identity (what you currently believe about yourself)?
c. What do your personal actions currently say about your identity? Are there areas that your actions show one an identity in a sphere in your life…and another identity in a different sphere? If so, why?

5. Read Matthew 5:14-16. Jesus says that we to not hide our light—that we are to not hide the revelation of God in and through our lives. If we are to let our light shine—or let God shine through us:
o In what ways do we hide our light? Or how do we hide God in our lives?
o How do reveal our light? Or how do we live, allowing God to shine through our lives?