Week 4- Law that Bring Joy

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
   refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
   making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
   giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
   giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
   enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
   and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,

   than much pure gold;
   they are sweeter than honey,
   than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
   in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:7-11

What does this passage have to say about joy?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) According to verses 7-9, what things provide instruction from God?  Do these naturally strike you as things that bring joy?  What thoughts or  emotions do these words evoke in you — law, statutes, precepts, commands, fear, decrees?

2) What adjectives or phrases are used  (v. 7-11) to describe the words you picked out above?  Do these descriptions express the same thoughts or emotions that naturally came to your mind?  Why do most people not think of laws as refreshing, or commands as radiant, or decrees as “sweeter than honey”?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Though people don’t usually think of laws and commands as things that bring joy, the psalmist David describes them in a way that sounds quite desirable.  Who issues the decrees and statutes for our country, and (based on what we know about the people who issue them) are those laws always perfect,      trustworthy, right, and pure?  Who issues the laws and commands that David describes?  Why can you have confidence that those statutes are different (always trustworthy, always right, etc) than those of the world?  What is the benefit of hearing and following God’s commands (v 11)?

4) Does our culture celebrate the following of rules?  What are some common responses and attitudes of people who are told to “follow the rules”?  What rules are sometimes distasteful or annoying to athletes?  Why do people tend to dislike rules, and is that a right attitude?  What would sports with no rules be like?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) Most teams commit to certain standards and rules, and though those don’t all possess the same authority as God’s laws, how will following those rules bring joy?  What would be the result disregarding them (v. 11)?  Think of a specific rule that applies to your team, and discuss the ways in which following (or not following) it may affect the team.  Does your team find joy in following rules?

6) What rules (inside or outside of your sport) do you take lightly?  Is your soul refreshed, or are you made more wise, by your disregard of those rules?  In what ways does your team struggle with obedience of important rules?  Does your team experience joy and great reward, by doing so?  Make some common commitments, as a team, to show a right regard for the rules of your sport, of your team, and of your God.

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of joy, and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about joy this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about joy you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about joy this week...What does a joyful athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of a joyful athlete, and to  determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “joyful athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of joy — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding joy or anything else), and pray together.

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