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Summary: APPRECIATING AFFLICTION IS THE PATHWAY TO SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE AND DISCERNMENT

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BIG IDEA:

APPRECIATING AFFLICTION IS THE PATHWAY

TO SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE AND DISCERNMENT

I. THE GOOD SHEPHERD USES AFFLICTION TO DISCIPLINE AND RESCUE WAYWARD SHEEP

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Thy word."

II. APPRECIATING AFFLICTION SOUNDS LIKE A CONTRADICTION

BUT ACTUALLY IS A MATURE PERSPECTIVE

"Thou hast dealt well with Thy servant, O Lord"

"Thou art good and doest good"

"It is good for me that I was afflicted"

III. THE ARROGANT ARE INSENSITIVE TO GOD’S TRUTH

(it doesn’t even register with them)

A. They Deal in Malicious Lies

"The arrogant have forged a lie against me"

B. Their Heart is Closed to God’s Truth

"Their Heart is Covered with fat"

more interested in the satisfying the appetites of the flesh

IV. THE SUBMISSIVE DELIGHT IN GAINING SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE AND DISCERNMENT

A. They Long to be Taught more of God’s Word (:66,68,71)

B. They Put their Faith in God’s Word (:66)

C. They are Committed to Obey God’s Word (:67,69)

D. They Delight in God’s Word (:70)

E. They Value God’s Word (more than the greatest riches) (:72)

Song: "I’d rather have Jesus than riches or gold"

* * * * * * * * * *

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS:

1) “Appreciating affliction” is definitely a strange concept. Find some other NT passages that speak to the same theme and meditate on these.

2) Think of how you inflict “affliction” on your children in certain instances in order to

develop their character and shape them in a desired direction. What about some of the methods used by shepherds with their sheep?

3) Are we able to maintain our conviction in the Goodness of God whatever our circumstances?

4) How do you evidence a hunger and commitment to God’s Word? What are some trends in Christian churches today that tend to lower the emphasis and importance of

God’s Word? What are the pressures influencing some of those trends?

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