Week 51: Proverbs 22-Ecclesiastes 2
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Monday, August 30 Proverbs 22-23 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
1. It is good to examine why we do things that are routine or a long time habit. Just because “we’ve always done it” does not make it bad; we just need to make sure we know “why” we do things so that we can do them well. Christian education is a case in point. Why do you read and study Today’s Light? Why does your church conduct a Sunday School of have Bible classes? Why do congregations dedicate so many resources to Lutheran schools or our church to colleges and seminaries? Review some of the reasons for having these programs with your group. Then look at Proverbs 22:19. What is the reason for Christian education that Solomon gives here? There are several other Christian education passages in this section of Proverbs. What do these verses have to say about why Christian education is so important: Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 23:12, 17, 23. Consult also these passages: Proverbs 16:6; Proverbs 14:26–27; Proverbs 9:10. Conclude your study by praying for all the agencies of Christian education in your church and the people involved. Inquire if there is some way you might help at one of these agencies of Christian education.
Tuesday, August 31 Proverbs 24-25 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
2. “It’s not what you say, but how you say it that’s important.” What does Proverbs 25:11–18 say about this statement? What does the Lord want us to be very diligent about saying (Jonah 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4–9; Matthew 28:19–20; 1 Timothy 4:9–13; 2 Timothy 1:8–10; Colossians 4:2–6)?
Wednesday, September 1 Proverbs 26-27 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
3. Proverbs 26 and 27 are not uplifting chapters. Solomon shows his statement of Proverbs 27:19 to be true by giving negative examples. Look at Proverbs 26 and describe the types of people described there. Identify what Solomon says is so bad about each one. Unfortunately, we are all like the people described. Only God can remove the stain that we all bear. Comment on God’s Word of forgiveness in these passages: 2 Corinthians 5:14–21; Ephesians 2:1–10. Then pray for His forgiveness and new life.
Thursday, September 2 Proverbs 28-29 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
4. To reflect on Proverbs 28 and 29, do the opposite of what you did with Proverbs 26 and 27: list some of the characteristics of the righteous person and some of the things a righteous person does. Remember that the truly righteous person is made so through the forgiveness we have in Christ and is empowered to live the righteous life by the Holy Spirit. Read Colossians 1:10–14 together. What are some aspects of living a life “worthy of the Lord” that he describes? How has the Father qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints? Then join your fellow believers in praising God for giving you this gift through His Son by singing the Advent carol “Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord” (LW 33).
Friday, September 3 Proverbs 30-31 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
5. The last two chapters of Proverbs are proverbs of two other writers, Agur and Lemuel. They also could serve as a final word to the reader. What is the message of each? What would be the content of your own prayer after you have completed a reading of Proverbs?
Saturday, September 4 Ecclesiastes 1-2 Read & Listen Online (Click “Audio” link to listen)
6. Reading Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 is like reading the first portion of a letter that begins on a negative note. What things had the Teacher tried that he found meaningless? What makes these things meaningless? Even though the Teacher found them meaningless, does that mean these things are without value? Explain your thoughts. Read 1 John 2:1–2, 15–17. John comes to the same conclusion as the Teacher. What is his treasure? After your discussion, ask the Lord to strengthen your trust in His meaningful Treasure.
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