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TALK IT OVER – SPEED ROUND
In this week’s message, questions were answered as fast as possible by many of our staff members. We hope that the answers helped you clarify things, but also spurred you on to dig into God’s Word together!
- In each family, there’s usually one family member who is inquisitive about everything. Were you that child? What kind of questions did you ask? If you’re a parent, do you remember some of the questions your children or grandchildren have asked you? Share memories with your group.
- Read Psalm 19:1 and Isaiah 55:8-9. Discuss these questions and thoughts. How can we make sense of science and God? Casey gave us a definition of science as “a systematic method of gaining knowledge about the universe.” The point was made that the more scientists study the more they find the need for a creator. Our understanding that the sciences seem to be increasingly more complex as new discoveries are made would more clearly point to an intelligent Creator whose thoughts and ways far exceed anything the human mind can conceive. Wyatt said, “The problem is that there is a philosophy that not “science” but “scientists” bring with them. This philosophy is–I don’t think that there is an intelligent cause for this thing I’m trying to determine, therefore, I’m going to take it off the table.” Do science and God really contradict each other? Why or why not?
- God is good, loving, and just. Read Revelation 13:8, John 14:6, Matthew 28:16–20, and Romans 1:20. Wyatt and Greg discussed that when it comes right down to it we need to remember that God has reached us. We are responsible to accept Jesus as our savior and to share the gospel with others. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, how are you living out the “great commission” and sharing the gospel?
- Read Genesis 1:27. Does everyone, no matter what, bear the image of God? Does God show mercy on unborn babies, young children, physically or mentally impaired people and allow them into heaven? Study in 2 Samuel 12:18-22 how David reacted when his son died. What are your thoughts on this difficult subject? Remember and encourage each other by reading and discussing Proverbs 3:5-6.
- Did you find any of the questions discussed in Sunday’s message particularly interesting, did they answer any questions that you have been pondering, or did any of them raise more questions in your mind? Share your thoughts with the group.
- Troy shared that the Bible clearly states that God got angry. Answer the following questions by discussing passages (and reading the Scripture verses) from “What does Bible say about anger?” (www.gotquestions.org/Bible-anger.html)
- When does anger become sinful?
- “Anger can become sinful when it is motivated by pride (James 1:20), when it is unproductive and thus distorts God’s purposes (1 Corinthians 10:31), or when anger is allowed to linger (Ephesians 4:26-27). One obvious sign that anger has turned to sin is when, instead of attacking the problem at hand, we attack the wrongdoer. Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Unfortunately, this poisonous speech is a common characteristic of fallen man (Romans 3:13-14). Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied (Proverbs 29:11), leaving devastation in its wake. Often, the consequences of out-of-control anger are irreparable. Anger also becomes sin when the angry one refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside (Ephesians 4:26-27). This can cause depression and irritability over little things, which are often unrelated to the underlying problem.”
- Discuss these ways to handle anger biblically.
- recognizing and admitting our prideful anger and/or our wrong handling of anger as sin (Proverbs 28:13)
- seeing God in the trial (Romans 8:28-29)
- making room for God’s wrath (Romans 12:19)
- returning good for evil (Romans 12:21).
- Now take the following section from the same article and discuss each point. As you go over each one, share times from your own experience when you handled anger biblically or un-biblically in your communication with others in order to solve the problem.
- Be honest and speak (Ephesians 4:15, 25). People cannot read our minds. We must speak the truth in love.
- Stay current (Ephesians 4:26-27). We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. It is important to deal with what is bothering us before it reaches critical mass.
- Attack the problem, not the person (Ephesians 4:29, 31). Along this line, we must remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).
- Act, don’t react (Ephesians 4:31-32). Because of our fallen nature, our first impulse is often a sinful one (v. 31). The time spent in “counting to ten” should be used to reflect upon the godly way to respond (v. 32) and to remind ourselves how the energy anger provides should be used to solve problems and not create bigger ones.”
- What are some action steps we can take in dealing with other people’s anger?
- “At times we can handle anger preemptively by putting up stricter boundaries. We are told to be discerning (1 Corinthians 2:15-16; Matthew 10:16). We need not “cast our pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). Sometimes our anger leads us to recognize that certain people are unsafe for us. We can still forgive them, but we may choose not to re-enter the relationship.
- Finally, we must act to solve our part of the problem (Romans 12:18). We cannot control how others act or respond, but we can make the changes that need to be made on our part. Overcoming a temper is not accomplished overnight. But through prayer, Bible study, and reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit, ungodly anger can be overcome. We may have allowed anger to become entrenched in our lives by habitual practice, but we can also practice responding correctly until that, too, becomes a habit and God is glorified in our response.”
- Next week we start a new series called “Close Encounters” where we will discuss life altering close encounters with Jesus. It will be a great series. We will technically be on a 2-week small group break the weeks of April 14th and 21st. Consider planning a “different” small group night. If you haven’t done a small group project lately how about providing a Friday night Celebrate Recovery meal, OR have a “fun” night going out to eat together or have a game night, OR celebrate communion together. Take some time to plan something different to do with your group during the break or sometime soon after returning to regular meetings.
- Prayer time with your group. Ask God to direct you to the answers to your questions in His Word or give you peace until He does. Remember that it will not be until we are with him in eternity that we will have all the answers.
- Further study for you or your group. What does the Bible mean when it says, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26, NIV)? www.gotquestions.org/in-your-anger-do-not-sin.html