The below suggested answers to the Message Based Discussion Questions are from the message presented on May 25, 2014. The answers provided are meant to stimulate greater thinking, not prohibit it. Please seek God’s wisdom in His Scriptures for greater understanding.
How do you show “caring relationships,” especially to widows?
1) Provide for Jesus’ family 5:7-8
2) Provide care for widows to honor Jesus 5:9-10
- 1 Tim. 6:6-8
- Must be ____60__. She can get married 1 Cor. 7:39
- one man woman The key is _faithfulness
- Known for good works
- 1 Cor. 4:1; Jam. 1:27
3) Disciple younger widows to honor Jesus 5:11-15
- 1 Cor. 7:34-35
- Matt. 12:36-37
- Gen. 1:28; Mal. 2:15; Pro. 31:10-31; Rom. 7:8,11; 2 Cor. 11:12
- Titus 2:3-5
4) Disciple believers to care for their own for Jesus sake 5:16
Jesus is Your Provider!
How we care for the vulnerable reveals how God cares for us.
Take care of your family to let the church care for those in real need.
- The church must care for people, but family is first responsible.
- Caring for people is misunderstood, abused and complicated.
- Caring for grandparents should receive a higher priority than presently exists. But their resources should be used first. Be wise about how you care for God’s eternal blessing.
- Widows must remember God’s care, family responsibility, and ministry opportunities. Graciously accept that support.
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) How did your guardians show you that you would be cared for as a child?
- I always had a bed, I had to be at the dinner table and when I needed clothes I had them.
- I didn’t live in a family of opulence, but I didn’t have to think where I was going to have to steal my next meal!
2) Does God care if families suffer when the dad dies? _yes__ Why is there such a strong command to provide for your family (cf. 1 Tim 5:7-8)? Does this only apply to fathers?
- Every one of us is spiritually vulnerable like an orphan or widow.
- By the grace of God we have all that we have.
- We’re family and we take care of family. It pictures how God takes care of us.
- This applies to all men and women (cf. 1 Tim. 5:15)
- Fathers should provide to symbolize how God provides
- Any relative may need to pick up the support banner depending on circumstances.
- The key is we take care of God’s family. We don’t depend on unbelievers or the state.
3) Was a widow free to make a vow? _yes_ If a widow were to make a vow to serve in the church and then break that vow to get married, what would God’s view of that be (cf. Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21; Ecc. 5:4-5)?
- Num. 30:2 – do not break a vow
- Deut. 23:21 – do not delay in paying the vow or it would be sin
- Ecc. 5:4-5 – Don’t be a fool or delay in paying the vow. Better to not make a vow, than to make a vow and not pay it. This is very serious.
4) Should the church evaluate whether they should support a widow in the church? __yes__ What is the purpose of providing for widows (1 Tim. 5:9-10)? What is their responsibility in the provision from the church?
- The purpose is to provide care for a vulnerable segment of the church, who in turn will serve in the church through prayer and good works.
- She has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
Making application from the message to life:
5) What if you are estranged from your parents? Do you have to provide for mother or grandma if dad or grandpa dies? _yes_ Why does God place a strong emphasis on family in this context? What does it represent?
- The family is a symbol of God’s family. It may be the only picture many unbelievers see of God’s family.
- If the physical family does not obey un-unrighteous mammon, then the spiritual realm means nothing and there is no witness to the unbelieving world and there is no spiritual growth in those who are trying to grow.
6) How do you teach people to take care of their own? What if they don’t want to? What if they don’t know how? How will you disciple them?
- First take care of your own as an example. Relationships must be built and maintained. Walk them through 1 Tim. 5.
- There may be some who reject family relationships, like the prodigal son. In that case, as far as it is possible, be at peace with all Rom. 12:18. You can talk about it, but unless you reach his heart, he’ll resist what you communicate.
- If they don’t know how, build a bridge to them and create a desire that they would want to take care of their own. Be faithful and available to them when they are ready to learn. You may be able to learn something from them, which helps create a stronger bond in the relationship.
- I’d disciple them by showing them what is done, walking alongside them to do it and then ask them to teach someone else.
7) What are several examples of situations when you would not provide support to someone from the benevolent fund at Grace?
- If the person is living well with many resources already at home. Let them sell something of what they have to provide for themselves.
- If they have family members, especially those who might be in the church, then they should provide the support.
- If they flaunt their wealth and have a much higher standard of living than anyone else in the church, then again, let them sell things they have and cut out extraneous expenditures. The church is not responsible to help a person maintain his standard of living.
- If they have cash resources in the bank, then let them dip into their six month emergency fund before they come to the church.
Principles on the Poor
- Care for the poor or live with the consequences Pro. 21:13; Gal. 2:9-10
- Caring for the poor demonstrates our relationship to God Jer. 22:16; Jam. 1:29
- Giving to the poor reveals a right heart toward God Matt. 19:20-23
- It is more blessed to give than receive Acts 20:35
- All saints have the privilege of providing for the needs of the saints Rom. 12:13
- While we have opportunity, we are to do good for all men, and especially saints Gal. 6:10
- God is pleased with sacrifices and sharing Heb. 13:16
- The believing poor will be comforted in heaven Luke 16:19-25
- The poor are able to worship and give to the Lord Luke 21:1-4
- If they are able to work, they must 2 Thes. 3:10
- Go to the defense of the poor Ps. 82:3
- This is not socialism, or an uncle sugar society. This is personal assistance in another’s life, because God has blessed you and you are motivated to help someone without whoever it is.