Lenses of Wisdom: Fear of the Lord – Sermon Discussion Guide – 11-19-23
November 19, 2023
Matt Zainea Rockford Campus November 19, 2023
Lenses of Wisdom
Part 1: Fear of the Lord
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE
This morning we mentioned two events: one for the ladies, in preparation for the holidays, and the other to encourage and equip our volunteers in the New Year. Be sure to check the website for more information.
Our Sunday Night Leadership Development Class is taking a break for tonight. More to come soon!
TOGETHER IN LIFE
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
TOGETHER IN THE WORD
THIS WEEK’S KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 1:1–7
Note: We encourage you to read the entire text together as a group out loud.
Wisdom is a necessary part of life. While you can find wisdom in all kinds of places and even in other religions, the most important principle of wisdom is only found in God’s Word: fear the Lord. If you are a believer, you don’t need to be afraid of God, but He does deserve your respect and awe. He is holy and mighty in power, and we need to walk in this truth every day. This means pushing away the twin fears that compete with it: fear of man and fear of not having what we want.
Asking vs. Telling
While we sometimes have good ideas on our own, God’s wisdom comes to us from outside. We have to receive it. Our natural bent is usually to be one of two things: an asker or a teller. You must learn to be an asker to receive God’s wisdom.
- Be honest: are you naturally more of an asker or a teller?
- Why do you think that is?
- Who is the best “asker” you know? What’s one thing you could learn from him or her?
Fear, Wonder, and Awe
Fear of the Lord for a Christian means something more like awe and reverence. Have someone in your group re-read Psalm 139:13–14. Something fearfully and wonderfully made is beyond our comprehension, and one example of this is each and every human being, including you (and the person you might be avoiding right now). When we consider the greatness of God’s creation, we come to see that God is even greater.
- What is something that has reminded you of God’s awesome power?
- On a scale of 1-to-10 (from easy to hard) how hard is it to remember and appreciate this aspect of who God is?
- Has the fear of the Lord ever inspired you to do something you normally wouldn’t? Why or why not?
God calls us to love what He loves and hate what He hates, but this can be a struggle. Competing fears can cause us to fall short, loving and hating other things because we fear someone or something more than God. The two most likely culprits are fear of man (which results in people-pleasing rather than pleasing God) and fear of not having something we desperately want, like time, money, comfort, or control.
- Where do you most often see fear of man in your life?
- Which thing in the list—time, money, comfort, or control—are you most tempted to chase after?
- In God we have everything we need. Everything. How can you find what you are looking for in God? (For example, if you desperately want more time, how might God’s promise of eternal life address that fear?)
- What’s one thing you can do to choose fear of God over the specific fear you’ve mentioned?
TOGETHER IN PRAYER
The reason we don’t have to be afraid of God is because Jesus Christ paid for all our sins on the cross. As sinners, we once rebelled against our loving, all-powerful Creator and fully deserved to be punished. But God made a way to bring us back to Him by grace through faith, because of Jesus’s willing sacrifice for us. God’s awesome power is not against you but for you. Take some time to thank God for His wonderful gift, and meditate on His greatness together.
Pray for one another to stand against the fear of man and fear of not having. Pray for specific areas where fear of God should lead us to make different choices.