Proverbs: Intro & Overview {Week 1}

Not everything is in the Bible, but everything you need is in the Bible. – Rick Taylor

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. – 2 Peter 1:3a

We are searching for answers in this life. We want to know the purpose of our lives, that our lives have meaning. We want direction and guidance in areas that are hard. At times, we look at the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball that is supposed to provide us with answers for decisions in our lives. Other times, we treat it like some kind of superstitious pacifier—if we open it to just the right verse at just the right time, God will soothe our weary souls.

However, the Bible isn’t a Magic 8 Ball or a superstitious pacifier. The purpose of the Bible is to know God and to get a glimpse of the kind of life He desires us to live as His followers. There are certainly times the Bible will provide direct instruction, black and white answers to morality or godly living, and His Word will soothe and comfort us. However, the reality is there is much to life that is gray. The Bible may not speak directly to every circumstance with a clear “turn right or turn left.” That is why we need wisdom.

God’s desire for us is to need Him in times that are hard. He wants us to look to Him and to know Him so well that we would trust His character and know His wisdom in difficult times. This is why so often He reminds us to abide in Christ so that we may experience joy in life. We must know Him, His character, and His Word to gain wisdom. Our goal is not to gain wisdom for wisdom’s sake, but to learn to live wisely and be able to glorify God in all that we do.

That is why we are studying Proverbs. This book is full of short, punchy, pithy statements that help us understand God and His desire and direction in our lives.

The Lord has much to say about our daily living. The book of Proverbs gives us insight into wisdom unlike any other book of the Bible and a better picture of who God is and how much He cares for our lives. Let’s look to Him for wisdom during these next nine weeks.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” – Jeremiah 6:16

Let’s journey on this ancient path, find the good way, walk in it, and rest satisfied.

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Proverbs Bible Study

Proverbs

“Not everything is in the bible, but everything you need is in the bible.” –Rick Taylor

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . .” (2 Peter 1:3a)

We are searching for answers in this life. We want to know the purpose of our lives, that our lives have meaning. We want direction and guidance in areas that are hard. At times, we look at the bible like a Magic 8 Ball that is supposed to provide us with answers for decisions in our life. Other times, we treat it like some kind of superstitious pacifier—if we open it to just the right verse at just the right time, God will soothe are our weary souls.

However, the bible isn’t a Magic 8 Ball or a superstitious pacifier. The purpose of the bible is to know God and to get a glimpse of the kind of life He desires us to live as His followers.   There are certainly times the bible will provide direct instruction, black and white answers to morality or godly living, and certainly His word can soothe and comfort us. The reality is, there is much to life that is gray. The bible may not speak directly to every circumstance with a clear “turn right or turn left”. That is why we need wisdom.

God’s desire for us is to need Him in times that are hard. To look to Him, to know Him so well that we would trust His character and know His wisdom in difficult times. This is why so often He reminds us to abide in Christ to experience joy in life. We must know Him, His character, and His word to gain wisdom. It is not wisdom for wisdom’s sake, but wisdom to learn to live wisely and be able to glorify God in all that we do.

That is why we are studying Proverbs. This book is full of short, punchy, pithy statements that help us understand God and His desire and direction in our lives. This book covers topics like:

Work               Laziness          Diligence         Money                        Debt                Generosity

Family             Marriage          Relationships     Sex                Purity              Adultery

Words             Quarrels          Patience           Anger              Alcohol           Gluttony

Friendship       Neighbors        Happiness       The Heart        Envy               Correction

Humility         Pride                Foolishness     Wisdom           Blessing           Curses

The Lord has much to say about our daily living. The book of Proverbs gives us insight into wisdom unlike any other book of the bible and a better picture of who God is and how much he cares for our life. Let’s look to Him during these next 9 weeks for wisdom.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Let’s journey on this ancient path, find the good way, walk in it, and rest satisfied.

Sign up here: https://thewellcommunity.org/equipping/classes/general/womens-equipping-spring-2018

Womens Bible Study Slide.jpg

The Lydia + Pearl Market

Lydia + Pearl: Women selling their goods, for good.

Lydia and PearlWe are excited to announce our 3rd annual “Lydia + Pearl Market”

Saturday, 12/9

9am-12pm

The Well-North Campus (Maple/Nees)

We are so encouraged by the amount of people who have shown interest in this event or asked about being a vendor. We’d love to share a little of the backstory about this market and she got her name.

The Story of The Name: Lydia + Pearl

Lydia
Lydia is mentioned in Acts 16:14, “ One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”

She was a wealthy businesswoman, who sold her goods and used her wealth to serve others. She was the first European convert of the apostle Paul’s in the city of Philippi. It is suggested by some scholars that Lydia’s wealth perhaps was what funded the church of Philippi. One modern day preacher suggests, “Lydia bankrolled the Philippian church”. The example of Lydia’s skill as a businesswoman and devotion to God through her faith and generosity is why we named the market after her. We desire to promote women who sell their goods that they make with their own hands, for a greater good.

Pearl
In Matthew 13:45-46, the pearl of greatest value is described as the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)

The greatest good, our greatest treasures and investments should be eternal. While we want to promote local businesswomen selling their goods, we also wanted this market to add Kingdom value to the items you are purchasing.

Women selling their goods (Lydia), for good (Pearl).

We desire to see this market have a missional component that blesses our city and advances the Kingdom. Each year, we charge and entrance fee and a vendor fee that goes directly to a non profit that works in our city for the good of others. The past three years we have partnered with City Without Orphans. You can read more about the organization here: City Without Orphans

CWO is a local agency that helps bridge the gap between the needs of foster and orphaned children with the calling and resources of local churches through advocacy, education, support and events.

This market will be more than Christmas shopping, it will be supporting an agency that cares for the most vulnerable in our city, as well as supporting local artisans and small business owners.

Shop local.  Shop with a purpose.  Shop to give back.

Vendors
Since our vision for this market is to promote women vendors, some of our values are to accept vendors that:

Create their own products with their own hands
Sell ethically made products
Support small businesses

*There have been a few exceptions this year to the above requirements, but beyond the few that have been approved, we have limited our number of direct sales vendors. We desire this market to promote women who create and make their own goods.

Again, this year’s market will be held at The Well-North Campus (Maple/Nees)
Saturday 12/9
9am-12pm

There is a $5 entrance fee that will be donated to City Without Orphans. If you’d like to give more you can do so at the door or give online here: City Without Orphans

For a full list of vendors and sneak peeks at their products, follow us on Instagram @lydiaandpearlmarket and be sure to find our event on Facebook and RSVP!

If you are interested in being a vendor and you meet the above requirements, you can start the process by filling out an application here: Vendor Application

If you’d like to see what we’ve done in years past, checkout the hashtag: #lydiaandpearlmarket

For further questions, please email Mallory@thewellcommunity.org

Vendors

Psalms of Praise {Week 11}

How wonderful to end our study in praise and worship. We’ve done so much work to get here! We’ve given thanks, lamented, repented, waited and now we end our study in such an appropriate way; PRAISE! The word praise is used 278 times in 243 different verses. It is used 166 times in Psalms alone! One might say it is an important command! To praise God is to acknowledge who God is and in so doing giving glory to the one who is the object of praise. Praise and worship is our response to God and the posture of our heart as we journey through life. But how do we praise God every day? How do we praise God when life is great, mundane and also when life is falling apart?

A couple years ago a dear friend sent me a video of her family singing the hymn, “This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made”. The video showed her singing alongside her parents, siblings, husband and her 3 young children. I fell apart. You see her young 65 year old, wise, God loving Dad, had been painfully battling Parkinson’s disease and cancer for the past 5 years and was nearing the end of his earthly life. He knew his days were numbered and was experiencing unbearable pain but his voice was by far the loudest heard in the video. He unwaveringly sang these words loudly….

This is the day
This is the day
That the Lord has made
That the Lord has made
We will rejoice
We will rejoice
And be glad in it
And be glad in it
This is the day that the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day
This is the day
That the Lord has made.

My friend sent me that video that day to simply keep us posted of the daily happenings in this wretchedly hard season for her family. It was simply an update. However that video message taught me so much more as I watched it. I witnessed an intimate moment of a family praising the Lord in one of the hardest times in their lives. I watched a family trust the Lord with that day and in doing so, acknowledging who God is.

Is it really possible to give God praise in every circumstance? How can we know the Lord deeply in our soul and esteem Him above all and know Him more intimately through all circumstances?

We will look at 5 Psalms:

Psalm 113: Praise the Lord
Psalm 118: His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
Psalm 146: Praise the Lord
Psalm 147: He Heals the Brokenhearted
Psalm 150: Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!

Watch this week’s teaching video here:

Messianic Psalms {Week 10}

The Messianic Psalms are Psalms where we find a direct reference to the Messiah and can find the fulfillment of the passage in the New Testament. They refer to the Messiah Christ and many aspects of His character. The plan of salvation is also revealed in the poetry of these Psalms. Luke 24:44 states in the words of Christ himself: “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

It is important to note that the writers of these Psalms were first writing about their own situation from the depths of their hearts, but because they were divinely inspired, we can readily tell the reference to Christ the Messiah.

In this week of homework, we will look at five of them with New Testament fulfillment.

Psalms 2: Surrender – Surrender to the Anointed One
Psalms 22: Suffering – Suffering of the Messiah Christ
Psalms 23: Shepherd – The Lord is My Shepherd
Psalms 24: Savior – My Savior, the King of Glory
Psalms 102: Security – Security in the unchangeable and sovereign Lord

Watch the teaching video here:

Psalms of Ascent {Week 9}

The countdown at Times Square on December 31 just before midnight. Joining a funeral procession.
Standing to sing the “National Anthem” at a stadium.
Christmas caroling.

These types of experiences cause people to feel united, whether it’s in celebration, hardship, or another specific purpose. The psalms of ascent worked this same way for the people of Israel. These songs were sung while traveling together to Jerusalem for annual festivals. They were songs of joy for those who follow God’s ways, cries for help to the Lord, singing of God’s sovereignty, of humble surrender, of praise for His protection, and affirmations of who they placed their hope in. In other words, these were songs for the journey, songs that were sung by people in all seasons of life, as they came and went, as they journeyed.

As you study this week, ask the Lord to give you a greater understanding of who He is and how the Psalms will encourage you as you journey—to praise, to cry out for His help, to surrender and to be reminded of the hope provided. Close your eyes and visualize the people of God in their travels, who knew the same celebrations, hardships and purposes you know, and allow the living God to move your heart as He did theirs.

Watch this week’s teaching here:

Acrostic Psalms: Psalm 119 {Week 8}

This week’s lesson is taught by Ashley Ploen.

“The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” Jen Wilkin

I did not love my husband when I first knew him. It took spending time with him, getting to know him – his heart, mind, thoughts, motives, and intentions. As I began to learn these things I found someone I did not know was there, someone I admired, loved, respected, and only longed for more of – more time, more depth of knowledge and relationship. By learning him and continually learning him well, I can often anticipate his thoughts and responses. Because I take the time to learn and study him, I have a better understanding of what he would want or say. Your love for someone grows as you grow in knowledge of them.

The same is for our love of God that comes from getting to know Him in the pages of the Bible where He has made Himself most fully known to us. The Word of God allows us to learn His heart, desires, motives, and intentions. By learning Him and His word, we are learning His voice and from learning and studying His words we can better understand what He would have for our lives and the decisions we make.

What words or whose words matter? We are inundated with information, voices, and influence. Much calls for our attention, drowning truth and wisdom out if we aren’t attuned and listening for it, to it. And lesser things can disguise themselves as the good eternal things.

God’s Words are identical to His actions. When He speaks He acts (Genesis 1). His words and actions are one in the same. God’s Word reflects the character of God. We read in the Old Testament how God meet with and spoke in an audible voice then. So what about us today? Does He still speak? Absolutely. The pages of Scripture are God’s very Words for us continually today. He sent His Son Jesus to be God in flesh, to be His Word in flesh to fulfill the law, that we may know Him more fully and see ourselves more fully in light of the person of Jesus, reflecting God as His Word (John 1:1-5; Col. 1:15-17).
Rather than telling us exactly what to do in every situation, as if some specific manual for all decisions and circumstances, God gives us the Bible to tells us who He is, what He has done, is doing and what He will do.
Psalm 119 is an Acrostic Psalm and the longest chapter not only in the book of Psalms but also in the Bible. This carefully structured chapter is broken into 22 stanzas successively following the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza begins with the Hebrew letter and the 8 verses in each stanza begin with that corresponding letter. We loose that in the English language but whether it’s A to Z or Alepha to Taw (in Hebrew) all of human language should be used to extol the glories of God (Psalm 119:171-172).

We will be considering what the Word is, what the Word does, and what we are to do with these Words of Scripture:

We will spend this week looking at that one chapter, Psalm 119, with one theme, The Word of God:

Psalm 119: The Way of the Word
Psalm 119: The Work of the Word
Psalm 119: The Wonder of the Word
Psalm 119: The Nature of the Word
Psalm 119: The Presence of the Word

You can watch this week’s teaching video here: