Bible Study Worksheet – March 27, 2016



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Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – March 27, 2016
Theme: Wisdom for Living

TopicReview and Summary 

Key Verse:   Proverbs 1:7 –“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (NIV) 

Authentic Wisdom {Texts: 1 Kings 3:5-14; Proverbs 1:1-7}

• Authentic wisdom starts with the fear of God; whatever seems “smart” but does not reflect the fear of God is in fact foolishness. Be very suspicious of philosophies and cults (e.g. The Rosicrucian) that claim to impart special wisdom or knowledge. More subtle but also dangerous is the idea that praying at specific hours confer special powers or wisdom!

• Outsmarting a business associate, stepping on the interest of colleagues to obtain promotion, and lying to the electorate to win an election may be deemed smart by many, but they all emanate from the lack of the fear of God.

• Having the fear of God does not translate to automatic wisdom for daily living: Christians need to learn the wisdom for living, and the book of Proverbs is a great resource for that. While role models can indeed help us get wiser, we must constantly check to ensure that our role model is guided by the fear of God.

Wisdom and the Herd Instinct {Text: Proverbs 1:8-33}

• Many of our foolish and devious acts emanate from our desire to “belong” to some group. Parents must help children develop a healthy questioning mind that critically assesses what their peer groups are into, and not just follow the herd.

• Merely giving “dos and don’ts” does not develop a child’s sense of right and wrong – children need to be made to understand the allure of sin and the potential consequences of their choices.

The Deadly Allure of Adultery {Texts: Proverbs 5:1-23; 7:7-23}

• Adultery is destructive to the people involved and to the society. The Bible says “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” (1Co 6:18, NIV)

• The key drivers of adultery today are not exactly as in Solomon’s days. While Solomon’s warnings suggest that wayward women were the key initiators of adultery, today, both men and women are guilty of acts that promote sexual sin – in the things with which we feed our senses, especially our ears and eyes. Sex drive is perhaps the strongest drive in most men, and we should not downplay its power to rob the man of reason.

• Whenever sexual intimacy between a husband and wife loses its flame, adultery is not far away. It is therefore important that both parties keep that flame burning and find full satisfaction in each other! The problem may be due to differences in background. Whatever it may be, the starting point in dealing with it is for both husband and wife to accept it as their joint problem and seek practical solutions, rather than one blaming the other.

• There is no such thing as a silver bullet like a one-off “deliverance session” to end sexual sin in a person’s life. The key factors that feed sexual sin in our lives must be identified, acknowledged and dealt with.

The Origins of Wisdom {Text: Proverbs 8:1-36}

• Wisdom does not just happen; the Christian must take definite steps to acquire “her”, and the evidence of increasing wisdom should be tangibly evident in the impact on our lives and those we interact with.

• Wisdom was in existence before the creation account in Genesis 1, since God created all we read in Genesis in wisdom. God’s wisdom in creation is evident in the way the entire creation hang and work together.

• God’s wisdom in creation is evident in the way His creation hangs and works together. However, there are many things we will not understand. He chose to reveal some things to us and keep others from us – Deuteronomy 29:29.

• We must be careful not to – as some pseudo-scientists and intellectuals do – propound or embrace man-
made theories that contradict God’s evident wisdom in creation. For example, theories that challenge God’s wisdom which, speaking of man, says “male and female he created them” – Gen 1:27

Bondage by Indolence {Texts: Proverbs 6:1-11, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12}

• Each time we beg or borrow, we mortgage our freedom; we should therefore work hard to meet our needs and those of our dependants so that we can be completely free to think, speak and act right.

• The ant sets us an example of successful survival: working hard even without supervision, acquiring the knowledge and wisdom for success, and being diligent. If we are not diligent as employees in someone else’s business, we would not be diligent at our own business.

• If we currently give financial support to anyone that is not our legal dependant, we should immediately agree a target and roadmap for him or her to become independent. Perpetual financial help without a weaning plan is unhelpful on the long run and deprives beneficiaries the ability to fulfil God’s plan for their lives.

• Our thinking should shift from “I am looking for a job” to “I offer this solution to that problem…”.

Wisdom for the Wise {Texts: Proverbs 9:7-18, John 3:18-21, 2 Timothy 4:3-5}

• A truly wise person accepts and benefits from wise counsel as well as rebukes.

• Mockers do not benefit from wise counsel and a truly wise person would be better off not offering counsel to them, unless specifically led by God to do so. We need to pray and be sure of God’s leading before offering counsel to a mocker.

• Naivety comes from inadequate knowledge and/or experience, and a naive person would benefit from wise counsel. A seemingly unwise behaviour may not be intentional; we should, by humbly asking questions, establish the motive before offering counsel. Such counselling must not embarrass the recipient or put him to ridicule.

Manifestations of Pride {Texts: Deuteronomy 8:10-20; Daniel 4:1-28}

• Those who feel successful in their career must remind themselves that while they can claim to have been successful due to hard work, there are many who have worked hard but have not been as successful. Only God makes success possible.

• We must be careful when we claim to be giving testimonies of God’s working in our life, not to be subtly singing our own praise. There are manners of testimonies that end up portraying us as some kind of spiritual superstar.

• There is a healthy pride, such as: (a) Consciousness of our position in Christ keeping us from sin; (b) A sense of self-worth that underpins our confidence to strive for success.

• What some observers see as pride in us may not always be pride. For example, our refusal to associate with old friends that lack ambition in life may be seen as pride. We need God’s wisdom to manage such relationships in trying to help such friends, and knowing when to dissociate ourselves from them.

Integrity in Business {Texts: Proverbs 11:1-31; Matthew 20:1-16}

• As employees when we do not give our best to our employer, when we use our employer’s resources for other than our employer approves, misrepresent ourselves our our colleagues unfairly in order to gain advantage, or demand, by threat or force, from our employers compensation or benefits beyond the employer’s contractual obligations to us

• As employers when we short-change our employees by manipulation, or when we fail to fulfil our obligations under the the terms of our contract with employees.

• As merchants when we misrepresent our goods or services or manipulate our clients for unfair profit. We noted that opportunistic pricing of goods and services such as

Real and Perceived Motives {Texts: Proverbs 21:1-8; John 12:1-6; Matthew 27:15-26}

• We must always challenge ourselves as to the real motives behind the apparently praiseworthy things we do such as helping someone, being active in the Church, and even giving testimonies of what God has done in our lives. It is possible to do these things to achieve an unhealthy objective.

• Those that say or do things that hurt us usually do not intend to hurt us, and sometimes don’t even know we are hurt by their words or actions. We need to give people the benefit of doubt by first acknowledging that they do not intend to hurt us; this is the essence of 1 Corinthians 13:7 which says that love believes the best things about people. If we bear this in mind, there would be far fewer “misunderstandings” in relationships!

• We have a responsibility to align our perceived motives to our real motives. The Lord should be able to say about us what He said about Nathaniel: “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” (John 1:47, ISV) This speaks to the integrity of our character.

The Virtuous Woman {Text: Proverbs 31:1-31}

• Families should not assume that counselling of sons should only come from the fathers or that mothers should only focus on counselling their daughters. The counsel Lemuel thought worthy of sharing with us was that given by his mother. The foundation for Timothy’s spiritual life and ministry was also largely due to his mother – see 2 Timothy 1:5.

• The biblical virtuous woman not only shows good character in terms of basic upbringing, but is illustrious and radiates love to her family and to outsiders. She does her husband proud!

• Many of the qualities of a virtuous woman from a biblical standpoint are alien to the aspirations of the average modern-day spinster; this may well be a factor in the struggle of spinsters to find a good husband.

Financial Wisdom {Texts: Proverbs 6:1-6; 22:26-27; 11:24-26; 2 Corinthians 9:6-14}

• It is difficult to prosper financially without learning to give to others. God has built that law into the universe, and it works for everyone – that you only get richer by giving to others.

• We need God’s wisdom in our giving to help others so that (a) we do not cripple our own future (- remember what the 5 wise virgins told the 5 foolish ones); (b) those we seek to help do not become perpetually dependent on us and become indolent. Giving to help others should be with a view to helping them become independent.

• While the statement about sowing bountifully and reaping bountifully was made in the context of giving to support the work of the Gospel, it also applies to our investment in the material world. By investing from a fixed salary, it is possible to honestly accomplish financial tasks that exceed an apparently fixed income.

Power in our Words {Texts: Proverbs 10:11-21; 18:4-7; James 3:1-12}

• Our words have consequences, whether positive or negative. It therefore behoves us to think carefully before we speak.

• Most relationship problems are as a result of an inappropriate or a misunderstood word. Anyone who has been involved in settling matters between warring parties knows that much of each parties submission starts with “… he said ..” or “… she said …”

• Constructive words are not only about faith “declarations” and “decrees” towards receiving miracles from God; we should be speaking words that encourage and build others up. Such words can have life- changing effects on the hearer, bringing out the best in them.

• Words spoken to children could make or break them for life. Parents need to deliberately speak words that inspire self-confidence in their children, thereby helping the children develop a “can do” attitude to life.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the words of wisdom you have imparted to me these past weeks. Make them a part of me and remind me of them as and when they apply, in Jesus’ name, Amen.