1.How has God quenched your own spiritual hunger and thirst? Did you find this surprising? Explain.
Our generous God indeed pours His grace upon us! He satisfies our spiritual thirst as we heed His Word. This Word is strong meat for our spiritual nourishment (Hebrews 5:12, 14). Jesus, the Word in the flesh (John 1:14), is also our spiritual bread as well as the water of life (John 6:35).God provides for us as well through the promises of the spiritual drink and spiritual manna for those who overcome (Revelation 2:7,17). The gift of salvation sustains our souls (John4:10). The promise of Heaven does so as well. There we will drink freely of the water of life(Revelation 22:17).
2.What are some ways that people today spend money fur that which does nut satisfy? How can we guard ourselves against stumbling into such foolishness?
We know all too well that people are guilty of accumulating “treasures of wickedness” (Proverbs 10:2). But even people who accumulate money honestly can trap themselves into thinking that possessions will bring happiness. We can make the mistake of doing much the same thing spiritually. Some Christians spend money attending seminar after seminar or going to numerous conferences on spiritual growth. They pay for “knowledge” of how to grow spiritually, but fail to practice basic disciplines for spiritual growth such as Bible reading and prayer. Churches, for their part, may spend lots of money on feel-good activities, such as taking trips to theme parks, while at the same time failing to invest money in evangelistic activities or benevolent ministries. The former are not bad as long as the latter are not neglected.
3. Was there a time when God restored you after you returned to Him? Explain. Estrangement from God may lead to sinful practices such as alcohol and drug abuse, which harm the body. As we come back to God and leave these practices behind, we are restored. There is restoration even though we may still carry some of the marks of those sins in our lives.
At other times, our problem may be financial. Neglecting our stewardship to God may be part of this. Returning to God and becoming good stewards will bring blessings from Him. We can sin against one another, hold grudges, and refuse to forgive. When we are convicted of those sins and return to God, He restores relationships.
4.What are some specific areas in which you have had to admit that God’s thoughts and ways surpass those of your own? What happened when you finally made that admission?
Admitting that God is superior to us in thinking and acting should be a given. But sometimes we still believe that we should be able to provide a sound answer to all issues of existence. For ex-ample, some try to explain exactly how creation occurred. Some even set a date for when it occurred. Other times we try to explain the concept of the Trinity even though full explanation eludes us; all of our analogies break down at some point. We stumble as we try to explain why bad things happen to good people, or why good things happen to bad people.
At the tragic death of a small child we may say that God just wanted another little voice in His heavenly chorus; that runs the risk of assigning blame to God. Sometimes the best thing to do is to say that we don’t know the answer to a question, and yet, by faith, we still believe that God is good and His plans cannot be undermined.
5.What purposes of God’s Word are being accomplished right now in your life? in your church?
Sometimes we may live our lives as if God were not really doing much of anything through us or through the church. We may place blame on a world that is hostile to Christianity, on the busyness of people and lack of concern about the things of God, or on Satan.
It is important to see in Isaiah 55:11 that for God to accomplish His purpose, His Word goes forth. When God’s Word does go forth, faithfully proclaimed by His people, souls come to Jesus and lives are renewed. When we live out God’s Word to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, our needs are supplied (Matthew 6:33).