Community Group Questions 1/13/13

Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • WPWM New Study
    • Starting a new 7-week study on 1/23
    • 10am and 7pm - same study, just two different times to jump in
    • Childcare - Day time study only (10am)
    • Study Guides will be available at the study for  $15 each
  • WPMM Guys Night Out
    • Guys Night out on 1/14/13
    • 7pm in The Fuge
    • Pool, Ping Pong, Pizza and Wings
    • Just show up
  • WP1.0
  • If you haven’t been to West Pines 1.0 before, this is for you
  • An event we do every couple of months to let you get to know West Pines better
  • After the 2nd Service on 1/13, Lunch & Childcare provided
  • Write 1.0 on the back of your Connection Card to let us know you’re interested in coming.

Sermon Title: Mighty Like An Ant, Part 2: Reverse Engineering

Main Text: Proverbs 6:6-8

Video:

Topics:

  • Solomon tells us to look to the ant. He tells us if we consider the ways of the ant, if we study the ant we will be wise.
  • One interesting thing to note is that the this passage, written about 3000 years ago refers to the ant as a “her.”  What is fascinating about that is virtually every ant we see and interact with is a female: the workers, the soldiers, etc. Ant colonies are primarily females. What an incredible insight the Bible has from antiquity.
  • Last week we learned that ants were self motivated. They are productive without prodding.
  • Another insight we are taught about the ant is that she is strategic. She looks ahead and prepares for what is coming. She prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. She has forethought and takes steps to insure she is preparing for the future.
  • This is something if we learned from the ant we would be wise. It seems obvious but often we don’t apply this basic principle throughout our lives.
  • This is a principle the Bible urges us to apply to the parts of our lives, the spheres of our lives that are sluggish.  What is it that I am wanting to strengthen?
  • So let’s start with the end goal in mind.  What does the future harvest for that part of my life look like?  Then let’s put the steps in place to make that happen.
  • This is called “Reverse Engineering.” Think of what the end product is, and work backwards thinking through what it is going to take to get there.
  • It sounds so simple, but we often don’t do that.  We get so busy, we just do what is right in front of us. Sometimes we never get to that end goal, because we never take the time to think through the steps and make a plan. It just seems too unlikely. Or it seems too far off. Or we don’t thoroughly think through the obstacles so when one comes our way, we get discouraged and quit.
    • I throw out all my cigarettes but I don’t have a plan for when I have an uncontrollable craving on the way home from work.
    • One day I’d love to own my own business but that just seems so far off, how would I ever get there?
  • This requires an appreciation for delayed gratification.  Delayed Gratification is hard because we get distracted by the things we want now. So preparing now for the things in the future never happens.
    • Financially someone may have a long term goal, but never gets there because they can’t stop spending on things right now.
    • Want to grow spiritually, but it’s just too easy to sleep in on Sunday morning.
  • Some people apply this to finances. We think through retirement, or buying a home, or how to get out of debt.  But do we by this basic wisdom principle to other areas of our lives? Other areas that are MUCH more important?
    • My relationship to my Creator
    • My relationship to my spouse
    • Parenting my children
    • Investing in friendships
    • Personal health goal
    • Quitting a bad habit
  • The Second Principle to be Mighty Like An Ant is to Reverse Engineer the parts of your life that are sluggish.
    • To accomplish the second principle, we have to apply the first principle: Get Balcony Level Perspective.  We have to set aside this time to get that big picture perspective.  That way we can realize the goals we want and Reverse Engineer parts of our lives.
  • This is basic wisdom. This principle is how God wired the earth. Think of how God reversed engineers what He wants:
    • He wants to have a relationship with us.
    • But He can’t because we are in rebellion against Him. We are sinners and He is a just Judge.
    • So He sends His Son to die on the cross to pay for all of our sin. So now we are washed clean and innocent.
    • Now that we are innocent, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us to begin changing our hearts and make us perfect.
    • That way we can live with Him forever.

Key Questions:

  1. Did anyone take time this past week to get Balcony Level Perspective? What did you do and how did it go?
  2. Read Proverbs 6:6-8
  3. What does it display about the Bible that it refers to the ant as a “she”?
  4. What do you think most often keeps people from achieving the future they want: lack of planning, poor planning, or distraction along the way?  Why do you think that?
  5. What do you think are important areas of life that people in our culture commonly neglect to reverse engineer?
  6. What makes the principle of Delayed Gratification challenging to apply to life?
  7. What are areas of your life that are easy for you to reverse engineer and what areas are hard?
  8. What is an area of your life that you most want to Reverse Engineer in response to this passage?
  9. What practically are you going to need in order to do that?
  10. What are things we can do to train children and students to learn to apply this wise principle?

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