Showing posts with label obedience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label obedience. Show all posts

27 January 2021

A Few Thoughts about Psalm 119_153-154

Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Psalms 119:153-154 NIV​​​​​​​

Two things to learn

B1 God’s blessings

C1 Come from obeying God’s law. Deuteronomy 28:2 NIV All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.

D1 The Psalmist, as any good Jew, would know of God’s promises that are found in God’s laws. Blessings come from obedience and curses come from disobedience. So, in his plea to God, the Psalmist mentions his obedience and understands that God will help him.

D2 We learn from the Lord Jesus that obedience to His worldview, lifestyle, and rules is because we love him. John 14:23 NLT Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

D3 We can’t expect God’s blessings unless we do what Jesus commanded by His teaching on life, rules, worldview, etc. These must be in thoughts, words, desires, and deeds in public and private. No one is sinless, but we can be blameless with God’s help.

C2 May be delayed, for example in the coming of Messiah, the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt, and the raising of Lazarus from death.

C3 God doesn’t guarantee our prayers will be answered according to our wishes. All His decisions are from wisdom, love, and holiness. He may decide to wait, or do differently.

B2 The Psalmist recognizes that true blessing comes from a standard. How can we know what is good and wonderful without an objective standard to judge it? Many have wonderful plans and visions for society, but how do we know if it is the best? Science can be manipulated, selfishness can corrupt (big business, etc.), and evil desires can override altruism.

Two things to remember

B1 God judges us by His standards. He is King of all kings and judge of all judges. Jeremiah 11:20 NIV But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.

C1 The heart is the motives of what we do. We can do what is right but for wrong reasons such as deception, manipulation, etc.

D1 Matthew 23:23 NIV Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

D2 Matthew 7:21 NIV Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

C2 The mind is the attitudes. We can do what is right but with a bad attitude.

D1 Luke 11:39 GW The Lord said to him, "You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes. But inside you are full of greed and evil.

D2 Proverbs 20:6 AFV Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but a faithful man who can find?

B2 God is the only defender of our lives.

C1 Life is more than breathing. It is the essence of every human. It is our humanness.

C2 We can rest contentedly.

D1 Matthew 10:28 NIV Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

D2 Hebrews 13:5 NRSV Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you.

1 John 2:1 NRSV My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

John 14:16-17 GNB I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.

02 January 2018

Bad Decisions and Consequences

Theme: The Importance of Obedience

Scriptures: 1 Samuel 13:1-23

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: King Saul impatiently offered a burnt offering to God, breaking the command of the Lord.
Think: Have the mindset that obedience is always the best choice.
Do: Commit to obey the Lord in every area of life, no matter the circumstances.

Notes and questions:
B1 Background: Israel was having problems with the Philistines. The Philistines were lording it over Israel and stealing from them. There was a garrison of soldiers at Gibeah.
C1 1 Samuel 7:7 NRSV  When the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it they were afraid of the Philistines.
C2 1 Samuel 13:3-4 NRSV  Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba; and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, "Let the Hebrews hear!"  4  When all Israel heard that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become odious to the Philistines, the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.
C3 The actions of Jonathan infuriated the Philistines, who gathered their soldiers to fight Israel. 1 Samuel 13:5 GW  The Philistines assembled to fight against Israel. They had 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and as many soldiers as the sand on the seashore. They camped at Michmash, east of Beth Aven.
C4 The Hebrews were terrified and most ran and hid. 1 Samuel 13:6-7 GW  When the Israelites saw they were in trouble because the army was hard-pressed, they hid in caves, in thorny thickets, among rocks, in pits, and in cisterns.  7  Some Hebrews crossed the Jordan River into the territory of Gad and Gilead. But Saul remained in Gilgal, and all the people who followed him trembled in fear.
B2 Obedience-disobedience
C1 Defined
D1 What is the difference? Give an example.
D2 When is disobedience required for the Christian?
D3 When is obedience required for the Christian?
D4 What or who makes the difference?
C2 What is the difference between obedience and disobedience in the following?
D1 Romans 5:19 NKJV  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
D2 John 14:15 NKJV  If you love Me, keep My commandments.
D3 1 John 3:4-7 WEL  Everyone doing sin also is doing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you are aware that he appeared to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Everyone remaining in him does not keep on sinning. Everyone who keeps on sinning has not seen or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you; he who is doing what is right is righteous just as he is righteous.
C3 What did the Apostles do differently than Saul?
D1 1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.
D2 Acts 4:18-19 GNB  So they called them back in and told them that under no condition were they to speak or to teach in the name of Jesus.  19  But Peter and John answered them, "You yourselves judge which is right in God's sight—to obey you or to obey God?”
B3 1 Samuel 13:8-9,
C1 Seven days: 1 Samuel 10:8 NKJV  You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.
C2 Did King Saul not understand what Samuel say?
B4 1 Samuel 13:10-12,
C1 Why did King Saul not wait? Was his excuse acceptable?
C2 What does waiting have to do with obedience to God? How does impatience cause difficulties in our lives?
C3 When King Saul states, “You did not come within the days appointed,” what is Saul doing? (He is making excuses).
D1 By making excuses, Saul was NOT facing reality. He was NOT acknowledging the truth. The truth was that he was to wait.
D2 How do making choices affect our Christian life?
D3 Choices have consequences.
D4 We use a compass to help us with directions. How can you apply this to Saul’s situation?
B5 1 Samuel 13:13-14,
C1 What can we learn and apply to our life when Samuel tells King Saul, “You have done foolishly?”
C2 When are we to rebuke someone? What standard are we to use?
C3 How does this verse apply to King Saul’s actions: Proverbs 12:15 NKJV  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise? How does it apply to us?
C4 Have you ever made a foolish decision? How did it turn out? (You don’t have to response, just think about it). How would you advise another person facing the same situation?
C5 What did King Saul lose? Was there any repentance? Could this judgment be reversed?
C6 Do Christians today lose blessings like King Saul did?
C7 Can you think of examples of Christians forfeiting God’s blessings?
C8 Now God is going to seek a man after his own heart, that is, loyal. Samuel is referring to David, whom he has not met—yet. What is the difference between King Saul and King David? A few translations render this: 1 Samuel 13:14 NET But now your kingdom will not continue! The LORD has sought out for himself a man who is loyal to him and the LORD has appointed him to be leader over his people, for you have not obeyed what the LORD commanded you.
B6 1 Samuel 13:15-18,
C1 The Philistines are trying to surround King Saul and his small army of 600.
C2 Before King Saul sinned, he had 2,000 soldiers, and General Jonathan, his son, had 1,000.
B7 1 Samuel 13:19-21,
C1 Why did the Israelites have so few swords and no blacksmith? (The Philistines had oppressed Israel to the extent that there was so little).
C2 What were the reasons the Philistines did not allow blacksmiths in Israel?
B8 1 Samuel 13:22-23,
C1 Does the situation look bleak?
C2 What are we to do when our life, as a Christian, looks bleak?
C3 How do we have hope in a hopeless world?
C4 How do we have hope when we have sinned?
B9 Hope
C1 Psalms 42:5 GNB  Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God.
C2 Psalms 119:114 NKJV  You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.
C3 Titus 2:13 NKJV  Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
B10 Next week:
C1 The Harder They Fall
C2 Theme: Courageous Faith

C3 Scriptures: 1 Samuel 17:1-58

29 May 2017

The Downward Spiral

Theme: The cost of disobedience

Scriptures: Judges 2:1-23

Objectives (from the D6 Fusion lesson book)
Know: The Israelites failed to fully obey God’s commands, which led to a downward cycle of idolatry and disobedience.
Think: Be conscious of my tendency toward disobedience and keep my focus on Christ.
Do: Fully obey God’s Word each day.

Notes and questions:
B1 Some basics about the book of Judges
C1 It is accurate history.
C2 It was written by God, but the human author is unknown. It is reasonable to believe that Samuel the prophet wrote this in the 11th century BC.
C3 It approximately covers the time from 1405-1050 BC. This is from the conquest of Canaan to the crowning of King Saul, from the death of Joshua to Samuel the prophet.
C4 It shows the on and off love of the people for God and His ways, their obedience and disobedience, the victories and defeats, and when they lived according to God’s ways to disregarding His ways. It also shows God’s steadfast faithfulness for His love for Israel, punishment for sin, chastening actions to bring repentance, mercy and forgiveness, and how and when He blesses or chastens them.
C5 It shows how a king arose in Israel, because Israel rejected God’s leadership for man’s leadership.
C6 A common verse is In those days [there was] no king in Israel; everyone did [what was] right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25, NKJV)
C7 The list of God’s appointed judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel.
C8 Chapters 1-16 lists the various judges, the conditions that Israel faced, their prayers for help, God’s mercy and deliverance, and the downhill spiral into rejection of God. Chapters 17-25 deals with some situations in more depth.
C9 The revolving wheel/cycle of Israel. Source  
C10 Some other sources for an introduction to the book of Judges
D1 Bible.Org on Judges
D2 Precept Austin on Judges
C11 Questions
D1 Why do our lives sometimes take this same cycle?
D2 How can we avoid it?
D3 How is God our deliverer?
D4 How does God use others to help us?
D5 How can we be used of God to help others?
C12 A comment from Ray Steadman
Ray Stedman - Judges is essentially the story of a deteriorating nation, and as such, it is a picture for us of deteriorating Christian life… "These things," as the apostle Paul says, "were written down for our instruction." (1Corinthians 10:11) God retraces in our lives the very circumstances, the very battles, and the very conflicts that we find Israel going through. In Joshua, the land of Canaan is the picture of the Spirit-filled life… (In Judges) The principle that always meant defeat in the lives of the nation of Israel is given to us in the very last verse of the book. If you miss that, you miss the key to the book: In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25) Notice that it does not say, "Every man did what was wrong in his own eyes." These people were not trying to do wrong. They were not essentially rebellious people determined to thwart the will of God in their lives. At this stage of Israel's history these people were very determined to do right, but they were trying to do what was right in their own eyes. The pattern of peril in this book of Judges can be simply put this way -- they were given over to the folly of consecrated blundering. They were consecrated, dedicated blunderers -- meaning to do right but ending up all wrong. I can tell you that no pattern repeats itself more frequently in my counseling sessions than this. Many, many times I have heard people say, "Oh, I don't know what went wrong. I meant to do right. I did what I thought was best. But everything seemed to go wrong."… The great lesson of this book, then, is that we must take God seriously about the enemy. Jesus Christ has come to save us from our sins -- not to allow us to settle down to live all our lives with them. He has come to drive them out from us and to separate us from them. If we do not take God seriously about these things that we call trivial we will experience an inevitable sequence, taking us step by step away from the intervening grace of God, onward to a course that brings us at last to moral collapse. I think this is the answer to those sudden moral collapses of men and women who have apparently been outstanding leaders for God, who present, on the outside at least, a fair and happy prospect that looks as though their spiritual life is strong. Then suddenly we read of some terrible moral collapse. What has happened? There has been an inward deterioration, exactly along the pattern of the book of Judges. (Overview of Judges- The Pattern of Defeat - Recommended)
B2 Outline
C1 Success of Judah and Simeon Judges 1:1-20
C2 Failure of Benjamin Judges 1:21
C3 Success of the House of Joseph Judges 1:22-26
B3 Contrast between obedience and disobedience

God’s standard--1 Peter 1:14-15
Men's standard--Proverbs 2:14
OT example--Joshua 11:15
OT example--Genesis 3:6
NT example--Acts 26:19
NT example--Mark 14:10
Obedience is love--John 14:15
Disobedience is no love--John 14:24
Obedience is faith--Hebrews 11:8
Disobedience rejects faith--1 John 5:10
C1 Verses
as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, [as] in your ignorance; but as He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, (1 Peter 1:14-15, NKJV)
As the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:15, NKJV)
Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, (Acts 26:19, NKJV)
If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15, NKJV)
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8, NKJV)
So when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make [one] wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6, NKJV)
Who rejoice in doing evil, [And] delight in the perversity of the wicked; (Proverbs 2:14, NKJV)
The one who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:24, LEB)
(The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.) (1 John 5:10, HCSB)
C2 Questions
D1 Why don’t people believe?
D2 Why do some believe?
D3 Why did you believe?
B4 Drift
C1 Defined Source
D1 To go from one state to another without realizing it
D2 To do something or to happen in a way that is not planned
C2 A verse: Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. (Hebrews 2:1, NKJV)
D1 How do Christians drift away?
E1 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15, NKJV)
E2 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV)
D2 What happens to truth when we drift?
E1 The devil has no truth, so we need to avoid his ways. “You are of [your] father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [resources,] for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44, NKJV)
E2 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1:18, NKJV)
E3 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:25, NKJV)
E4 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath, (Romans 2:8, NKJV)
D3 What is the solution?
E1 My son, let them not depart from your eyes– Keep sound wisdom and discretion; (Proverbs 3:21, NKJV)
E2 “But the ones [that] fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep [it] and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15, NKJV)
E3 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;  (Hebrews 12:5, NKJV)
E4 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. (2 Peter 1:12, NKJV)
E5 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16, NKJV)
E6 What other things can you think of?
F1 We need each other for: Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16, NKJV)
F2 Do not hinder the truth: You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7, NKJV)
F3 Let us love truth: and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10, NKJV)
F4 Do not stray from the truth: who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. (2 Timothy 2:18, NKJV)
F5 Avoid the temptation to have preachers who always speak “loving things:” For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, [because] they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn [their] ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, NKJV)
F6 Practice the truth: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6, NKJV)
C3 What happens when a preacher, teacher, husband, wife, anyone starts to drift away or lead us away?
C4 If we drift away, how does that affect our church, our family, our witness, etc.?
B5 If we sin one time, does God smash us to pieces, wounding us, destroying us, abusing us, or is He the loving, Shepherd Father who encourages us, leads us gently along, and yes, punishes us if we do not turn, repent?
B6 How does God award, reward, bless our obedience?
B7 What has helped you when drifting, turning away, rebelling against God’s ways?
B8 Some quotes: John Wesley, Sermon 37 "The Nature of Enthusiasm" Beware you are not a fiery, persecuting enthusiast. Do not imagine that God has called you (just contrary to the spirit of Him you style your Master) to destroy men’s lives, and not to save them. Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love. [Bold--ed]
B9 Next week:
C1 Trust and Obey
C2 Theme: Trusting God’s Plan

C3 Scriptures: Judges 4:1-16