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Encouraging Words #1

Good Questions: These lesson Have Groups Talking!

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Lamentations 3:19 - 24; Luke 19:1 - 10 (1)

ACCOUNTABILITY

OPEN

DIG

As we read this passage, look for what it teaches us about God's love for us.

Who wrote Lamentations? Does anyone know?

What do you know about Jeremiah? What did he have to cry (lament) about?

Verses 19- 21 are written in a kind of poetic language. If you were trying to communicate this in every-day speak, how would you say it?

What do you tend to do when you are depressed?

What is the best thing to do when you are depressed? (2)

How do you want people to treat you when you are depressed? How can we help one another when we are depressed?

Verse 23 is an interesting one to me. I am fascinated by the phrase, "New every morning." How have you found God's mercies to be, "new every morning"? (3)

How have you seen the faithfulness of our God expressed?

Verse 24 says, "The Lord is my portion." What is a portion?

Let's look at this Luke passage. What do you know about Jericho?

What do you know about Zacchaeus?

Why did tax collector's have a bad reputation in that day?

Why do you think Jesus selected Zacchaeus to have lunch with that day? (4)

Why did the people condemn Jesus for hanging out with Zacchaeus?

Should we be about hanging out with sinners?

What are the dangers of hanging out too much with sinners? (5)

What is wrong with isolation from sinners?

How do you keep this happy balance? (6)

What did Zacchaeus do in response to his encounter with Jesus?

What is the relationship between Zacchaeus' salvation and this expression of generosity? Could he be saved if he refused to be this generous? (7)

How did Jesus summarize his life work? Verse 10.

Can we become like Jesus without adopting the goal of seeking and saving the lost?

What would you think of someone who thought they were growing spiritually because the came to church and read the Bible and sang the songs, but their heart was not becoming more and more drawn to those who are far from God?

How do we cultivate a heart like Christ's that just goes after those who are far from God?

What is the biggest burden you are facing these days? How can we pray for one another?




1. I remember my affliction and my wandering,

the bitterness and the gall.

[20] I well remember them,

and my soul is downcast within me.

[21] Yet this I call to mind

and therefore I have hope:

[22] Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

[23] They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

[24] I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him."

Lament. 3:19-24 [NIV]



[19:1] Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. [2] A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. [3] He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. [4] So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

[5] When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." [6] So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

[7] All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "

[8] But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

[9] Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:1-10 [NIV]

2. Here is one you didn't hear in Sunday School: "Give beer to those who are perishing,

wine to those who are in anguish." Proverbs 31:6 [NIV]

3. It makes me think of the new discoveries each morning in God's word; the new touch each day of His presence.

4. Why indeed. Why does he select any of us? We did not choose Him; he choose us. Perhaps it had something to do with the eagerness Jesus saw in him.

5. Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Cor. 15:33 [NIV]

6. I am thinking of writing a book that, to me, describes the Christian life. It is called Balance. Give me some feedback here. Is this a project I should tackle? Write me at josh@joshhunt.com

7. Again, the issues of faith and works is an issue of balance.