Lesson 2

A Star to Guide the Humble

(Proverbs 3 & 16)
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Introduction: How would you define trust? Do you know people that you can trust completely? Would you trust certain people (or everyone you consider trustworthy) only for certain things? Our lesson this week is about Jesus being the "North star" that we can fully trust in all circumstances--so lets dive in!

  1. Faith and Trust

    1. Are faith and trust the same thing? Can a person believe in God and yet not trust Him?

    2. Let's read Proverbs 3:1-4. What does it mean (v.1) to keep God's commands in our heart?

      1. Is having something in your heart a substitute for a good memory?

      2. What would you do to comply with verse 3 - to bind love and faithfulness around your neck and "write them on the tablet of your heart?"

        1. First, what does it mean to write them on the tablet of your heart? (Writing on your heart means that you want to obey, it comes naturally because you have a desire to please God. See Deuteronomy 5:27-29. You do not have to try to remember something that you do naturally.)

        2. Second, what does it mean to bind love and faithfulness around your neck? (Your neck is where you would wear the jewelry you wanted to show off. Love and faithfulness should be visible in your life. They should be the ornaments of your life. See Proverbs 1:9 and 3:22. This accords with Peter's advice in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that our quest for beauty should rest primarily on who we are not what we wear.)

  2. Trust and the Culture

    1. Let's continue with Proverbs 3:5-6. There are several elements of these verses that we want to understand.

      1. What does it mean to "lean on your own understanding?"

        1. Does this mean we should not use our brains in God's work? Should we stop planning?

        2. Does it mean that if God's direction and our desire or culture clash, we should follow God's direction?

        1. Can you think of something that we want to do in the church because we feel it is "politically correct" or culturally correct, yet contradicts God's word?

        2. In making plans for the church, how do you make plans, yet not lean on your own understanding?

      1. What does it mean to trust in God with all our heart? (I think the picture is to willingly submit our will to God. Feel comfortable submitting our will and thinking to God.)

        1. Is that the picture the world has of us - people who are too dumb to do their own thinking? (We are people who are too smart to believe that we know more than God.)

      2. What does it mean to acknowledge God in "all our ways?" (This would mean every aspect of our life should reflect God's will. This is a difficult area for me when it comes to my litigation. Was King David reflecting God's will as he was lopping off the heads of his opponents? How many "heads" am I allowed to lop off in my religious liberty litigation and still be in God's will?)

      3. What do you think God is promising when He says that He will "make your paths straight" if you trust Him? (The straight path is the easy path.)

        1. Have you found that to be true in your life? If not, are you sure that you have trusted in God and not leaned on your own understanding?

  1. Trust and Prosperity

    1. Read Proverbs 3:7-10. What is the practical result of trusting God's will for our lives and not our own desires? (Health and wealth! Sometimes we go overboard in our opposition to those who believe the gospel is the path to prosperity and lose sight of God's promise that obedience makes our life better.)

      1. "Health reform" teaches that cleaning up our diet increases our spirituality. Is Solomon saying just the opposite: "cleaning up" our spirituality increases our health?

        1. Is true health reform a matter of what comes out of our mouth rather than what goes in it? See Matthew 15:11.

          1. Is there a moderate balance we should seek in addressing both our physical health and our spiritual health? Should we work both sides of the problem?

      2. Although trusting God gives us literal wealth according to Proverbs 3:10, do we want it? What is the problem with wealth? (Read Proverbs 11:4. The problem is not wealth, but trusting in our wealth. Wealth is generally fleeting, but trust in God is forever.)

      3. Read Proverbs 8:17-21. What kind of wealth does God give us? Is it gold or silver? (It is beyond gold and silver!)

  2. Trust and Life

    1. What is your reaction when you have been trusting God and things go wrong in your life?

      1. Is it impossible to trust God and have things go wrong?

    2. Read Proverbs 16:1-3. What does verse 1 mean? (You think something before you say it. Therefore, I conclude this means that we can plan all sorts of things, but the final results are in God's hands. He has the final word.)

      1. What does this teach us about trusting God? (We need to trust God even though our plans do not turn out exactly as we had in mind -- which may be the result of leaning on our own understanding.)

      2. Why do (v.2) all of our ways seem innocent to us? Should we be worried about our motives? (It is hard for us to fairly evaluate our motives. We think we are trusting God.)

        1. Verse 2 seems to say that God sees through us. Is that a lesson in trusting God? (Yes. God may decide not to follow our plans because He understands our motives and knows it would not be best for us.)

      3. Is verse 3 an answer to verses 1 and 2? (If you want God to cooperate with you on your plans, if you want success, the best thing to do is to first cooperate with God. You may think that you have the best of motives, but God knows the truth. That is why His plans are better than our plans.)

    3. Read Proverbs 16:4. Does this verse give you more or less trust in God? (This is like Romans 8:28 - it tells us that God is in charge, He has a plan, and He works every circumstance of our life so that it is consistent with His purpose.)

    4. Friend, are you willing to trust God? Are you willing to turn all your plans over to Him and acknowledge Him in all things? If so, He promises to give you a "straight path."

  3. Next Week: What I Am Versus What You Think I Am

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Lessons on Proverbs

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