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Community Group Questions | Roots for Rest | Oct 21, 2018

Roots for Rest 
Rev. Blake Altman

God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that?  Read the following passage and consider these questions. 

 

READ

Jeremiah 17:5–8

[5] Thus says the LORD:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. [6] He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

[7] “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. [8] He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

 

DISCUSS

The Source of Blessing

[5] Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man…”

1. Why do we tend to trust man (i.e., self or others) as a “first response”? Go deeper than: “well, it’s in our sinful nature.” What is appealing about trusting man?

2. How do the analogies of the shrub and tree in Jeremiah 17 shed light on what we are putting our trust in?

The Symptoms of the Curse: Exhaustion, Distraction, Loneliness

3. Like “a shrub in the desert” (v. 6), it is exhausting and empty to put your trust in man. Why so? In what way have you seen this to be the case in your life?

4. As Pastor Blake pointed out, the text doesn’t say in v. 6 “there is nothing good to see,” but rather “he shall not see any good come.” How might we be distracted from seeing the living water of God’s grace in our lives? What things are particularly distracting in day-to-day life? What can we do individually, or how can we help others, live less distracted lives?

5. The shrub in v. 6 is presumably alone “in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.” It seems counterintuitive that trusting in man would be lonely, but why would that be the case

The Search for Rest

6. Faith, or trust, is to accept that something will happen in the future based upon what has been accomplished in the past (2 Peter 1:1-16). Biblical faith is not blind faith. How do you know if you really have faith / trust something or someone?

7. The object of our faith is not “man” (i.e., ourselves or others) but Christ. How does having Christ as the object of our faith reverse the three symptoms of the curse as listed above?

8. Rest is conditioned upon trust. You can’t really rest upon something unless you trust its strength and security. What does biblical rest look like in these areas: Relationships? Occupation? Finances? Children? Recreation?

 

ROOTS GENEROSITY CHALLENGE

9. Does my spending define my generosity or does my generosity define my spending?

10. In what ways do I rest on what Christ has done for me in my generosity?

 

PRAY

Go to the Father to seek him as the source of all blessing. Ask him to be diligent in our attentiveness to the symptoms of the curse in our lives. Entreat him to prevent us from putting our trust in man, circumstance, wealth, or ability, that our trust would be in him alone.