Thursday, August 23, 2007

Learning to Love my Friend(s) 5

Sunday night we had a family meeting at Eddyville. Joe Walker, one of our elders, said that the elders were considering installing power point and a system for recording sermons. He asked for input from the congregation about this. We discussed the continued process of gathering the information for the statistics for the congregation for the past 46 years. Many are cooperating in this project. We passed out a questionnaire on our Bible school. 30 people participated in providing information on that. The results were interesting and should be helpful in improving this part of our work. We discussed the preacher selection process. Books have been ordered and given to the elders that give suggestions on how to proceed. The last part of the meeting was the criticism -- "What do you think about the preacher?". I appreciate everyone who participated in this. I promised to : (1) Listen; (2) Write it down; (3) Think about it. I look forward to our next criticism session in 3 months. Thank you for helping me improve.

Tonight, we finished half of the classes in our elder, deacon, preacher, spouse study on Jesus as our Friend. Everyone was present. We had a good discussion of grief -- how it affects us and how we can minister to our friends in grief. We are planning a graduation on a 4th Sunday night after we have completed the 10 lessons.

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My Friend Jesus Understands Me When I Am Sad

A. What can we learn from the two shortest verses in the Bible? John 11:35; 1 Thessalonians 5:16
B. Was Jesus obeying the principle in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 when he wept in John 11:35?
C. What is the biblical teaching about the painful feelings of grief and sorrow?
1. Is it, “Don’t worry – be happy?”
2. What did Jesus experience in the hours immediately preceding the cross? Matthew 26:37,38; Luke 22:44
3. Is it true that if we will just keep our minds on heaven, we won’t be concerned about these things which happen on earth? 1 Peter 1:3-6
4. Which does the Bible say is better, mourning or laughter? Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
a. Did he say it was more fun, enjoyable?
b. How could sorrow be better than laughter?
c. Is it wrong, sinful to laugh? Proverbs 17:22
d. How do you reconcile these verses?
e. What is the principle and blessing that Jesus states in the beatitudes that relates to this discussion? Matthew 5:4

A. What did Isaiah prophesy about Jesus that would qualify Him to understand me in my sorrow? Isaiah 53:3,4
B. Notice the examples of Jesus crying.
1. Why did Jesus cry over the city of Jerusalem? Luke 19:41-44
2. Jesus cried when Lazarus died.
a. What was Jesus’ relationship with Lazarus? John 11:3,11
b. What stages of grief do you see in this event in the life of Jesus? John 11:19-37
C. Notice the example of Jesus understanding the apostles.
1. While some may say that the apostles were unconcerned and indifferent, Jesus gave another observation. Matthew 26:40,41
2. To what does Luke, the doctor, attribute their sleep? Luke 22:45
3. This followed his unique comment about the intensity of Jesus’ agony. Luke 22:44

A. What is grief?
B. When do we suffer grief; what is the key word?
C. What are some possible reactions to grief?
D. Should the Christian try to deny and suppress feelings of grief as soon as possible since the Bible says that we should “sorrow not”? 1 Thessalonians 4:13, KJV

A. How can I help others who are experiencing loss?
B. What are some things I can do months after the loss?
C. How would the stages of grief relate to someone leaving another religion and those connected with it?
D. How would it be possible for someone to experience grief over giving up some sinful habit or practice?

A. Be aware of your feelings when you lose small things.
B. Practice grieving as one with hope in these small losses.

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