Session 8 – Small Group Study Guide
Gentle and Lowly Chapters 14-15
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- W. Tozer’s statement is often quoted: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” For yourself personally, what are some of the words, mental images, or even Bible passages that come to mind when you think about who God (specifically the Father) is? What are some of the reasons or influences that have shaped your view of Him in that way (e.g. Sunday School, family upbringing, culture’s views of God)? How has that affected the way that you view life and your relationship with God?
- Ortlund observes that “a common perception among Christians is that…the Father is less inclined to love and forgive than the Son” (p. 128). Ch. 14 helps us have a more biblical and accurate understanding of who the Father is, especially in relation to the Son. Read some of the passages below. What do they teach us about the Father and what difference does this make for our lives?
- Deuteronomy 1:31
- Psalm 103
- Isaiah 63:15-16
- Jeremiah 31:20
- Matthew 6:7-14, 25-34
- John 14:8-10
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
- Ephesians 3:14-19
- Galatians 4:1-7; Romans 8:15
- Hebrews 12:3-11
- Romans 8:31-39
- On pp. 140-141, the author says that if we were to catch God off guard, his natural disposition to leap out would be to bless and “set out his love.” Similarly, p. 144 says that God lavishes goodness on his people “with a certain naturalness reflective of the depths of who he is.” For you, what comes out most naturally when someone sins against you (e.g. anger, self-righteousness, withdrawing)? How does this help you understand God’s heart by contrast?
- 15 brings together both God’s absolute sovereignty over all things (including our afflictions), as well as his heart of mercy and love in our afflictions. As Ortlund describes from Lamentations 3:33, God does not afflict or grieve us “from his heart” as if he is in heaven distant and detached from the real pain and anguish we feel at his hand (p. 138). How does this truth change the way that we respond to affliction?
- In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (the highlighted passage in ch. 15), it says that “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” What is one specific example or situation in which you’ve experienced the Father’s tenderness and comfort in your life? How have you been able in turn to comfort others with that same comfort? Who in your life can you encourage with this truth?
Sharing and Prayer
- What is one thing from this study that has impacted your understanding of Jesus? How might this add a dimension to how you relate to Him?
- Share other prayer requests: