Reflection Questions – The Path of Growing Light: A Pre-Advent Self-Inventory (Selected Scriptures)

Reflection Questions - The Path of Growing Light: A Pre-Advent Self-Inventory (Selected Scriptures)
  1. In Proverbs 1:20-33, Wisdom is personified. The passage describes the dangers of rejecting Wisdom’s call – and it’s filled with very troubling imagery! Here, ‘Wisdom’ promises to laugh at the calamity of those who have rejected her and to mock them when their terror strikes (1:26). She also promises to refuse to answer when they call upon her in their hour of need (1:28)! Work through this passage verse by verse and discuss it. What promises does ‘Wisdom’ make to those who respond to her (1:23, 33)? But as you discuss, be careful: it is not God who is mocking the calamity of the foolish in this passage; rather, its ‘Wisdom’ presented as a person.
  2. What can we do to prepare ourselves to meet Jesus more deeply this Advent Season (see Proverbs 4:26; Psalm 32:3-5)? Why is ‘godly sorrow’ or godly grief an important part of the repentance process (2 Cor. 7:10)?
  3. The Bible talks about ‘knowledge,’ ‘understanding,’ and ‘wisdom.’ These are obviously not the same things. What is your understanding of the way the Bible uses these terms? Why do so few people move from ‘knowledge’ to ‘wisdom’? See Proverbs 2:6-8 & 9:10.
  4. Psalm 19:1-4a describes how “the heavens declare the glory of God”; David tells us that they are speaking and revealing “knowledge” day and night. Why is “knowledge” the appropriate word here, and not ‘understanding’ or ‘wisdom’?
  5. The world thinks that followers of Jesus are missing out on something big – that the Christian life is dour and lifeless. The truth, however, is quite the opposite (“The way of transgressors is hard,” (Proverbs 13:15, KJV)! Scripture describes a life lived in the presence of God as a path of growing light and real joy. Consider these verses and reflect on how the Bible describes the path of following Jesus: Psalm 16:11 & Proverbs 4:18-19.
  6. Romans 6:4 talks about walking in the ‘newness of life’ – a beautiful image to be sure! However, the context of this verse shows us that before ‘resurrection life’ can be experienced, death must occur – we must die to sin and to self (6:1-2). Paul asks, “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Talk about dying to sin and to self. Why must we ‘die’ before we can experience the exuberant life of Jesus? Remember: there’s never been a resurrection without there first being a death! Consider and discuss: Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23, 14:26-28, 33, 17:33; Galatians 2:20; 1 Timothy 6:12. What are these verses really asking of us? What keeps us from doing what they’re asking?
  7. We’re told often in Scripture about the importance of properly handling the words we receive from God. We’re to let them sink deep into our ears (Luke 9:44), to incline our ear to hear them (Proverbs 4:20), to hide them in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), and even to set a guard over them (Proverbs 4:21). Why is this so important for us to do? Consider these verses in your answer: Proverbs 4:22-23, Psalm 119:11, John 6:63, 17:17).
  8. Jesus warned His followers, “pay attention to what you hear” (Mark 4:24) and to “how you hear” (Luke 8:18). How must we hear? Simple: with faith. What must we hear? Perhaps ‘whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, [and] whatever is commendable” are all fair game! In other words, “anything worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8). Consider the importance of “how” and “what” we hear. What’s the difference between hearing something with faith and without it (Hebrews 4:2)? What are the dangers of hearing the wrong things (2 Timothy 4:3)?