Study Questions: Why Work? Ephesians 4:28- October 3, 2021
What does it say about our time that we have so many “help wanted” signs?
Read about Ephesians 4:28.
What four principles do you see in this text?
Read Genesis 2:15 and Exodus 20:8-10. What do these texts affirm about the importance of work?
Respond to the quotation of the Catholic theologian: “Work is the effort of men and women to bring order out of the chaos left by original sin.”
Read Proverbs 10:4—5 and Proverbs 28:19.
What do these texts affirm about the benefits of work?
What is your understanding of 1 Timothy 5:8?
Does this passage apply just to men or to all family members?
What is the cautionary message in Ecclesiastes 5:10?
Why is it easy to work for the wrong reasons?
What are the right reasons for work?
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13.
What are the dangers of idleness?
How does idleness rob us of peace and joy?
Read Ecclesiastes 2:24.
What is satisfying about work?
What do you enjoy most about work?
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 and 1 Timothy 6:17-18.
What are these texts teaching?
How are productive work and generosity supposed to be connected?
How would you contrast God’s plan for helping those in need with the principles of Marxism?
What is the sobering thought in the Will Rogers watch engraving?
What is God saying to you?
Why do people want to reduce prayer to a “formula”?
Read Matthew 16:24.
What does it mean to ask for something in Jesus’ name?
Why is it a great mistake to think of praying in Jesus’ Name as a magic incantation?
Read Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:22-24,
What is faith?
Why is faith important in prayer?
Read James 1:6-8.
What is a double-minded person?
Why does doubt hinder our prayers?
Read James 4:2-3.
Why are our motives important in our prayers?
Read Proverbs 21:13
What does our treatment of the poor have to do with our prayers?
Read James 5:16-18, Read Psalm 66:18, Read Mark 11:25
What do these texts teach about how our holiness (righteousness) affect our prayers?
Read Matthew 18:19-20.
What does agreeing with others in prayer have to do with our prayers?
Why do you think God values corporate prayers?
Read Psalm 40:1.
Why is it essential that we be patient when we pray?
Read Romans 8:26-27.
What roles does the Holy Spirit play in our prayers?
How does the Holy Spirit help us to pray according to the Will of God?
Read John 15:5.
How does remaining in Jesus help us to understand what prayer is?
How do we remain in Jesus?
Why is it fruitless to try to find the secret recipe of prayer?
Respond to Mother Teresa’s quotation. “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depths of our hearts.”
Respond to Elisabeth Eliot’s quotation. “Prayer lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishments on earth.”
Eliot adds: “… we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer.” What do you think she means by that?
What is God showing you about prayer?
When did you first learn the Lord’s Prayer?
Read Matthew 6:9-13.
The King James Bible ends with “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”. This is because modern translations are based upon older and better manuscripts that had not yet been discovered in 1611 when the King James Bible was translated. Why is it helpful to read different translations of the Bible?
Regardless of whether the phrase was in the original prayer, why is it helpful to end our prayers with praise?
What does it mean that the Lord’s prayer is corporate?
How do we incorporate the idea that the Lord’s prayer is corporate when you are praying privately?
Why is it significant that the Lord’s prayer is addressed to “Our Father”?
What is the significance that God is in “heaven”?
What does hallowed be your name mean?
Why is it crucial that remember that God is holy?
How does the Lord’s prayer encourage full surrender to the will and mission of God?
How does this surrender keep our prayer focused properly?
How do we expand upon the meaning of “give us this day our daily bread”?
What do you think the prayer means “by lead us not into temptation?
What does 1 Corinthians 10:13 teach us about overcoming temptation?
Look at 1 Peter 5:8-9.
Why is it helpful to pray deliver us from the evil one?
Martin Luther based his three hour daily prayer time on the Lord’s prayer. How can you use the Lord’s Prayer as a model template for your prayers?
What is God saying to you?
What have been some times when you realized that outward appearances can be deceiving?
Rev. Bob Smith was leery of “very spiritual people”. What do you think he meant by that?
Read Matthew 6:1-8, 1-18.
Why do you think Jesus was concerned about not making an outward show of our giving, prayers and fasting?
What do you think Jesus means by contrasting earthly and heavenly rewards in this text?
What makes people want to appear to be holy, like they have it all together?
Read Matthew 23:2-12.
What troubled Jesus about the teachers of the law and the pharisees?
What’s wrong with wanting to be honored and respected?
What does Jesus mean in verses 11-12?
What was wrong with Ananias and Sapphira did?
Why do you think God made such a profound example of them?
Why do our motives matter?
Why is it important to remember that our giving, prayers and fasting are not for show?
What makes it difficult not to brag about our gifts and ministries?
What does it mean to put our public images into the hands of God?
What makes it difficult not to do our own public relations?
Why are we willing to trade the praise of humans for the “well done good and faithful servant” from the Lord?
What is God saying to you?
What specific steps do you need to take to apply the truths of these texts?
What does Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart tell us about the human soul?
What ineffectual ways do human beings use to deal with the problems of guilt and shame?
Read 1 John 1:9.
What are the practical implications of this verse?
Why was what King David did so sinful?
What do you think motivated him at each step of his actions?
Read Psalm 51.
Why is God merciful?
Why are humans unable to cleanse ourselves from our sins?
Why do shame and guilt consume us?
No matter who we hurt, in what senses are all sins ultimately against God?
What does it mean that we are sinful at birth?
What steps has God taken to clean us from our sins and to blot our iniquities?
Look at verse 10.
How does God create a pure heart within us?
What are the characteristics of a steadfast spirit?
Look at verse 11.
Why was David concerned that God would cast him away from his presence?
How does the experience of grace impact our attitudes toward salvation?
Read Isaiah 1:18.
What speaks to you in this image?
Read Psalm 103:11-12?
What does text mean?
How do you feel about the completeness of God’s forgiveness?
What does the rebellious soldier account teach us about the power of grace?
In what senses are confession and grace connected?
Why do you think Governor Neff pardoned just one man?
What speaks to you most in Psalm 51?
Why is it helpful to live with a positive and hopeful outlook?
What is the difference be being positive and living in denial?
Read Jeremiah 11:18-20.
How did Jeremiah cope with the plots against him?
Read Jeremiah 12:1-6.
What were Jeremiah’s struggles?
When have you questioned God’s justice?
What was God’s response to Jeremiah in verses 5-6?
Why do you think God responded in this way?
Read Jeremiah 15:10-21.
What were Jeremiah’s struggles?
What did Jeremiah mean when he called God a “deceptive brook” and “failing spring”?
When might you have felt this way toward God?
How did God respond to Jeremiah?
When has God told you to put on your “big boy” or ‘big girl” pants?
Read Jeremiah 17:14-18.
Why did Jeremiah need to be healed?
How do you approach God for spiritual and emotional healing?
Read Jeremiah 18:18-23.
How do you deal with your anger toward those who have hurt you?
How intense was Jeremiah’s bitterness?
How does Jesus teaching on forgiveness contrast with Jeremiah’s cries for vengeance?
How would Jeremiah have benefitted by knowing Jesus?
Read Jeremiah 20:7-18.
How do you respond to Jeremiah’s charge that God deceived him?
Why was Jeremiah “stuck” with regard to his call to preach?
How do you explain Jeremiah’s mood swings?
How do you cope with your own mood swings?
How intense was Jeremiah’s despair?
What were some of Jeremiah’s main struggles in his “confessions”?
What are the benefits with being honest with ourselves and God?
What steps are you taking to be more honest and genuine in your prayer
How do you respond to Pastor Randy’s experience at Sunnyside cemetery?
How do you react when you feel really alone?
When have you felt especially close to the Lord?
Read Luke 24:13-35.
What do you think the two disciples on the way to Emmaus were feeling and thinking?
Why do you think the disciples did not recognize Jesus?
(Too preoccupied in their grief? Jesus looked and sounded different? They had spiritual blindness? Satan prevented it? Jesus wanted to reveal himself the right moment?....)
Since the Lord is always with us, how is it possible to miss his presence?
How did recognizing the Lord change these two disciples’ lives?
How are you encouraged by John 16:33?
Read Hebrews 13:5-6
How does this text affect you?
How does walking with awareness of the Lord’s presence transform our lives?
What steps can we take to me more aware of the Lord’s daily presence?
What is the Lord saying to you?
When you think of the word “Prayer” what feelings or images come to your mind?
Why is it important to remember that prayer is much more than a “wish list”?
Respond to George Truett:
“To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge, to find the will of God is the greatest discovery, and to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.”
Read Luke 22:39-46.
What made Gethsemane such a great crisis for Jesus?
What is the significance that Jesus prayed “not my will but yours be done”?
How is Jesus’ prayer a model for us?
How did Jesus’ surrender make a difference in our lives?
Read Isaiah 6:8, Esther 4:16 and Luke 1:38.
Which person inspires you most? Why?
How do these persons demonstrate that surrender is at the heart of godliness?
What is life-transforming about trusting surrender?
Respond to Jim Elliot:
“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him”.
When have you found God’s blessing and peace in surrender?
How does praying “not my will” put us in a place where God can really touch and use us?
What were the secret’s to George Mueller’s remarkable prayer life?
To what extent does Bobby Richardson’s quotation “Dear God, your will, nothing, more, nothing less, nothing else” reflect your life?
What steps are you taking to make a full trusting surrender to the Lord?
Read- John 17:14-17.