We were designed for connection. Unfortunately, division, doubt, and conflict tempt us towards giving up or isolating because “hurt people hurt people.” Even still, we can enjoy life as God intended when we foster a healthy, growing, and intimate relationship with God and with others.
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Share about a time when you experienced your greatest season of flourishing. What was true in your life that enabled such health and flourishing?
2. Read Jeremiah 17:5-8.
◦ Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
▪ Who is talking?
▪ What is the circumstance?
▪ Any repeated phrases?
▪ What surprised you?
▪ What stood out to you?
◦ Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
▪ What questions do you have?
▪ Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
▪ What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
▪ What do you learn about yourself and your choices?
◦ Now make some applications (what’s my response)
▪ How do you respond to what you are reading?
▪ How does this apply to your life?
▪ What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
▪ Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
3. Read Psalm 1. The above passage (Jeremiah 17:5-8) is a poem of judgment and warning given by the Prophet Jeremiah to the Southern Kingdom of Judah in the years leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. He likely is drawing from Psalm 1. Compare and contrast the two passages. What two “types” of people are these talking about? Which type of person do you resonate with right now? Why?
4. Where in life are you flourishing? Where in life are you bearing fruit?
5. In which areas of life are you not flourishing?
6. Right now, where are you planted? Where are you finding spiritual community?
7. What do you sense God wants you to do to trust Him more?
8. What do you sense God wants you to do to flourish more?
Jeremiah 17:5-8 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
TAKE A NEXT STEP
1. Please don’t stop at merely answering the questions above, but take an action step into an area provided for you to grow and flourish.
2. Dr. Tyler VanderWeele’s lecture at Harvard: https://youtu.be/2fsZIaH0i8o
FOR THE PARENTS
Hey, parents! Here’s a look at what we’re covering with your kids so you can help them continue to grow at home during the week.
This week, kids hear about how Jonah got swallowed up by a big fish when he tried to run away from God.
Because sometimes you and your kid need a conversation-starter that isn’t, “So . . . how was church?”
- What’s something that might make you feel ashamed? You don’t have to share this aloud if you don’t want to.
- What can you tell someone who’s feeling ashamed because of who they are or something they did?
This month, your kids are memorizing the Bible verse
Romans 15:13a (NIV), in case you want to work on them together.
Next week, kids will hear about Elijah and why he fled to Horeb.