2/23 - Understanding Disease

Aviary Photo_130363115698044696Title: “Understanding Disease” Texts: Lev.14 – Num. 2;  Lev. 26:15-16; 1 Cor. 11:30; Jn. 9:1-4; Jam. 5:14; 1 Tim. 5:23;  2 Tim. 4:20

In a Nutshell: While all disease can be traced back to at least Adam’s sin, some is for God’s glory, some will be healed, some must be tolerated, and all should be prayed for. But the first place we look to is sin, then we look to God for hope, help and maybe even healing.  From His commands, to His discipline, to His healing, we survive and thrive by His love.

Ice Breaker: Do you recall when you were young having an aunt, uncle, grandparent or parent that more or less was identified with a physical or mental diagnosis or disease?  In retrospect, as an adult, can you recognize some level of disregard for God’s commands that might be related to that diagnosis?

CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:

  1. How many commands do you notice in Leviticus 14 – Numbers 2 do you find that when ignored could result in some level of disease or physical sickness?
  2. Does Lev. 26:15-16 and John 9:1-4 contradict each other?  Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think Jesus’ disciples assumed the blind man or his parents had sinned?   Jn. 9:1-4
  4. Read through 1 Timothy and make note of any teachings of Paul that if ignored could lead to a sickness or disease.
  5. What are some specific ways the Bible challenges individuals and groups to react to illness? Jam. 5:14; 1 Tim. 5:23;  2 Tim. 4:20; 1 Cor. 11:30

REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE: 

  1. What kinds of sicknesses/diseases can be tied directly to specific sins? Indirectly?
  2. Because some diseases can be tied to a specific sin does that mean they necessarily should be?
  3. How can someone’s disease bring God glory?  Does it require a healing in this life? 2 Cor. 12:8-10
  4. Is it appropriate to pray for someone to be healed if their sickness can be directly related to a sinful lifestyle choice?  Why? Or why not?

CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:

  1. If someone in your CARE group perceived that a disease or sickness might be related to your lifestyle or an attitude how would you want to be confronted?
  2. How can we (you) as a church support people who are suffering, regardless of whether their sickness is related to a sin or not?
  • HIStory for me…  God provides countless stories, commands, and principles that clearly tell us if we ignore His will the odds that we will suffer physical consequences are significantly higher.  But His grace can and always will eventually, if we look to Him, reach beyond physical suffering to prove Himself as loving and victorious over all effects of sin.   
  • HIStory in me… Part of God’s discipline is to help me recognize how my bad choices cause difficult consequences for me as well as others.  His Grace teaches me to trust that with Him I will find healing in His time.  Loving Him with obedience will always make me a victor!
  • HIStory through me… It’s one thing to praise God when you are healthy and happy, but many times the most powerful witness to others comes while living with, trusting through and overcoming this life’s illnesses through His Grace.

ONLINE RESOURCES:

NEXT WEEK:

Title “Spotting Rebellion”

Text:  Num. 3 – 17,  especially Num. 14:26-35  NT - James 4:1-8

Questions: How does the Israelite's reactions (their words, attitudes, actions) to tough times sound familiar to your home life?  What is the difference between being rebellious and being stupid/ignorant?

 Parents with your Children:  At the beginning of the week discuss with your children the definition of rebellion. Don’t talk about their choices and attitudes, talk about their friends.  Have them define what rebellion looks likes in their friends lives.  Toward the end of the week go back and assign apparent consequences of rebellion?  Let’s experiment…ask the Holy Spirit to personalize it to their lives.   Check out this resource - “Identifying a Person with Authority Issues