Dealing With Doubt

If you are doubting today, don’t sweat it, it’s normal. Take these steps and see where faith takes you.

MONDAY, JULY 11

Connect: Matthew 5

DISCOVER:

  • What blessing did Jesus pronounce on the poor in spirit?
  • How does being poor in spirit lead to this blessing?
  • What blessing did Jesus pronounce on those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?
  • How does hungering and thirsting for righteousness can lead to these blessings.

RESPOND:

 

  • Jesus opens his sermon in Matthew 5 by telling us that the poor in spirit are blessed, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is saying that only those who do not rely on their own goodness will be granted entrance to God’s kingdom. It is not an appeal to deny our worth as human beings, but to recognize our sin and our need for salvation. Matthew Henry comments that “to be poor in spirit is to have humble thoughts of ourselves, of what we are, and have, and do. To shun all confidence in our own righteousness and strength, that we may depend only on the merit of Christ and the spirit and grace of Christ. The kingdom of grace is comprised of such, the kingdom of glory is prepared for them.” Rich or poor, if we fail to see our need for salvation, we will fail to enter the kingdom.

TUESDAY, JULY 12

Connect: Exodus 20

DISCOVER:

  • How did the people react to the thunder and lightning?
  • Why were they afraid to hear God speak to them?
  • What similarities do you see here and with Adam and Even in the Garden?
  • What does Moses say is the purpose for God coming to them in this way?
  • How can we increase our fear of God so that we will not sin?

RESPOND:

  • Following the commandments of God is one mark of the true Christian. Following God’s law does not mean obeying it to secure our right standing before him. We can stand before him by his grace alone. Also, following God’s law does not mean obeying it in order to boast of how we are more godly than others. We are always to confess our sins and remember that “there but for the grace of God go I” (Luke 18:9-14). Through obedience, we thank him for the right standing granted to us by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13

Connect: Romans 13

DISCOVER:

  • What debt will we continue to owe according to v8, despite the instruction of v7?
  • How does love relate to the commands in v9?
  • What lessons should we learn?

RESPOND:

  • Fulfilling the Law by love cannot mean that the Christian life endorses behaviors contrary to what we often call the moral law of God. Jesus’ own teaching on the Law in Matthew 5 confirms this truth. The Lord came not to abolish the commandments but to fulfill them. The kind of love that fulfills the Law is not just reactive, but active. It looks for ways to do good to people before they have need. How can you show this kind of love to those in your circle?

THURSDAY, JULY 14

Connect: Galatians 5

DISCOVER:

  • Describe the consequences of seeking to be justified by the law – 5:4
  • What hope do we wait for – 5:5? Was this accomplished by the law?
  • What question concerned Paul in 5:7? What is the answer (based on context), and what does the question imply?

RESPOND:

  • Can you think of a time when someone kept the letter of the law but still violated the intention of the law?
  • If you grew up in church, would you say your church focused more on the letter of the law or its intention?
  • Which of the five alterations of ethics discussed in essay 28 of Quest 52 do you think our culture is in most need of now?
  • Which of these five is most natural to you? Which is the most difficult?

FRIDAY, JULY 15

Connect: 1 John 3

DISCOVER:

  • What position has God’s love given us – 3:1,2?
  • What is our relationship to the world, and what are the consequences?
  • Why did Jesus come to earth – 3:5?
  • What lesson should this teach about our own sins – 3:6?

RESPOND:

  • That to be a child of God means to be like Christ is made explicit in v2-3. At Christ’s return we will be like him, but even now this likeness is a present, though partial, reality since we are already God’s children. At his return we will be more like Jesus, even though we do not know all of what that entails. We can say, however, that being like Christ now and forever involves moral purity. Verse 3 tells us that those who hope in Christ purify themselves as he is pure. As we hope in Jesus alone, our lives will be transformed. We will become more holy in this life, and at his return be conformed fully to his spotless image.

SATURDAY, JULY 16

Proverbs 3

DISCOVER:

  • What qualities should we cling to according to 3:3? 
  • How firmly should we hold them?
  • What benefits would they give us – verses 3,4?
  • From where does proper guidance come? 
  • From where does it not come?

RESPOND:

  • Hindsight is often said to be 20/20. When we find ourselves in the place where the Lord wants us, we can often look back and see that the circuitous path it took us to get there was actually perfectly straight. What seemed like twists and turns at the time were necessary steps along the road. When we feel as if we are wandering, we must remember that if we are trusting in God, he is actually guiding us on his straight path.

SUNDAY, JULY 17

Connect: Proverbs 13

DISCOVER:

  • What will wisdom lead a child to do?
  • What are the advantages of correction and reproof according to v18? 
  • What inheritance does a good man leave for future generations v22? 
  • What happens instead to the wealth of sinners?

RESPOND:

  • Judas Iscariot walked with the very incarnation of wisdom and yet fell into grave sin. This shows that simply hanging around wise people is not enough to benefit from them. Instead, as we seek out wise friends and mentors, we must take care to learn from their wisdom, thinking carefully on what they say and asking many questions. If we do such things, God will enable us to benefit greatly from the wisdom of others.
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