The Point: Obedience is the key to a full life.
Get Into the Study
Begin this session with question #1 and then use the following story to introduce the idea of obedience and disobedience.
Thinking certain rules are unnecessary isn’t exclusive to children. Even adults often think the rules don’t apply to them.
Charges have been filed against 50 people in the recent college admissions scandal. The 33 parents charged include actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The alleged $25 million scheme used fraud to get students accepted to elite universities by claiming the students had been recruited as athletes for sports they didn’t even play or by helping the students cheat on their entrance exams. Some parents reportedly spent $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee admittance for their children. Since the scam became public, Lori Loughlin has been fired from the Hallmark Channel.
As evidenced in the fallout from this scandal, breaking the rules does not lead to contentment. In this session, we will explore how obedience to God leads to contentment. Obedience is the key to a full life.
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study teacher, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
Study the Bible
Use the following illustration and questions as you discuss the Ecclesiastes 11:7-10 section.
A recent article in Psychology Today invites readers to create a “schedule of savoring.” This is a “routine of savoring pleasurable experiences that regularly occur in your life on a daily or weekly basis.” Readers are encouraged to identify everyday moments that bring them joy—like the smell of freshly ground coffee or a completely clean kitchen at the end of the day. Then, include (and pause to enjoy) those small pleasures each day.
While this idea might seem like a way to seek out meaningless pleasure, as Christians, we are indeed told to savor our lives. We’re to enjoy life’s moments, grateful for what God has given each of us. We’re encouraged to give thanks for the small, good things. Solomon even describes these moments as the times when our eyes “see the sun” (Ecclesiastes 11:7).
Ask, “With that in mind, what would your own ‘schedule of savoring’ look like these days? What events and moments make you stop and thank God, even for the seemingly “little” things?”
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and her new baby boy. You can find her on Twitter at @ashgemmert, or failing to update her blog at ashleygraceemmert.blogspot.com.
- Who in your life has consistently modeled a sense of contentment?
- When have rules made things better for you?
- What are some things you’ve been able to scratch off your bucket list?
- What advice is the Teacher of Ecclesiastes offering to young men and women?
- What commands are most challenging to obey in verses 7-10?
- How have you found freedom, enjoyment, or peace through one of God’s commandments?
- How does the Gospel impact your understanding of verse 14?
- What is the connection between fearing God and obeying God?
- What strategies have you found useful for applying God’s wisdom in the Bible?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Finding Meaning, Session 6.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.