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In the Valley of Elah - Lesson 1 - How Do We Face Our Battles?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do we have so much trouble letting others know the specific sins we struggle with?  How is this tendency used by the evil one as part of his strategy?

  2. How has trying to gain control over your personal giants only made things worse?

  3. How can it be helpful and comforting to know that the flesh is no match for the “Goliaths”we face?

  4. How does being concerned about God’s reputation change the way we deal with our giants?

  5. What are some practical things you can fill your “house” with that will not allow the evil influences to return so easily?
     

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 2--The Isolating Path of Pride

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does pride act as a root to all sin? How important does that make battling pride?

  2. In what ways have you struggled with the kind of pride seen in the prodigal son and his older brother? Are there times you have settled for being the servant of the Father rather than enjoying what He gives His children?

  3. What struggles do you have with humility?

  4. What is a healthy balance between loving self and falling into the sin of pride?

  5. How does the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus help you have a better understanding of heaven and hell? How is what the Rich Man suffered a consequence of pride?

  6. How does recognizing we are poor in spirit provide a solution for the battle with pride?

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 3--The Unsatisfying Sense of Envy

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has God displayed His large bucket of resources in your life?

  2. How does envy cause one to lose their identity?

  3. What struggles have you had with not feeling satisfied and looking at the provisions in

  4. another’s life as better than yours?

  5. Considering the story of the generous landowner, how does the generosity of God stand in contrast to our feelings of justice?

  6. How does serving others provide a solution against envy? How is serving others part of who you are?

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 4--The Unappetizing Issue of Apathy

Discussion Questions:

  1. How is apathy more than just not caring?

  2. How have you been stretched in your faith development recently? How long would you say you have stayed basically in the same place in your faith development?

  3. In what ways do you struggle with having and/or maintaining the heart of God? What tends to get in the way of this?

  4. How does preparing for God to be in our midst (the will of God done on earth as it is in heaven) help us to stay active in faith development instead of moving into apathy?

  5. How does one maintain hunger and thirst for spiritual development? What are some disciplines you have found helpful?

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 5--Greedy Acquisition VS. Merciful Sharing

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does the act of breathing demonstrate the importance of balance in our acquisitions?

  2. How have you seen dangerous toxins build up in your life when you struggle with exhaling (in reference to your acquisition of things of this world and sharing with others)?

  3. How does fear elevate greed?

  4. What are some ways that greed causes isolation? How have you seen generosity build community and relationship?

  5. How easy and enjoyable is it for you to give to God and those who are in need? How does one learn to be more generous?

     

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 6--The Cravings of Lust VS. Purity of Heart

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has what God has given us through the act of sexuality provided a picture of the depth of relationship He longs for us to experience with Him and with others?

  2. How does God’s two primary purposes for sex build community? How does lust work against this?

  3. How does being pure in heart help us to see God in the people who are in our lives?

  4. How has lust affected people being treated as objects rather than valuable creations in the image of God?

  5. How have you seen what Jesus provides become a well of water springing up to provide eternal life, especially to those who have had their lives ravished by lust?
     

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 7--The Intense Battle With Anger

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has anger (or wrath) been a problem in your life?

  2. In what ways can anger be an appropriate response?

  3. What is the significance of a Roman soldier proclaiming Jesus as the “Son of God” when Jesus went through the trials and crucifixion events? What did he see in Jesus that brought about this proclamation?

  4. What are some practical ways that you can be a peacemaker?

  5. How is the cross a mirror, reflecting who we are apart from God, and also reflecting who God is?

In the Valley of Elah--Lesson 8--The Trap of Gluttony

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has your appetite caused problems in your walk with the LORD? How can it be distracting to others?

  2. Why does the quest to feed our appetites often result in a loss?

  3. How does the picture of Israel in Isaiah 5 as a vineyard that produces worthless grapes apply to the church today?

  4. What makes the prayer of Agur in Proverbs 30:7-9 a powerful example of how we should deal with our appetites?

  5. How should we balance times of feasting with times of fasting? What are some benefits of each?

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