What is Revealed…

Read: Deuteronomy 28-29
Marked: Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret [things belong] to the LORD our God, but those [things which are] revealed [belong] to us and to our children forever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.”

There are many things which the Lord has not revealed about Himself and His plans, but He never leaves us guessing as to His purpose for us.

For instance, we don’t have to guess at right and wrong, blessings or curses, or God’s character and nature. These are all revealed in Scripture. And much more.

One thing made abundantly clear is that obedience to God, and application of His Word, results in blessing while disobedience results in a curse. We can’t accuse God of not telling us. It’s right here in the Bible in black and red.


Overcoming the Struggle…

Read: Deuteronomy 11-13
Marked: Deuteronomy 11:8, “Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess,

Ever feel weak in your faith? Do you feel like sin is a constant struggle and you long for victory? Do you think you are missing something in your walk with the Lord?

In 2 Peter 1:3 we learn that we aren’t lacking anything. God has given us all the things that pertain to life and godliness. How? God tells us. By keeping every commandment which He commands us, to keep us strong so we can go in and possess the Promised Land.

We struggle with sin and lack victory because we do not take God at His Word.

For the Love of God…

Read: Deuteronomy 8-10
Marked: Deuteronomy 10:12-13, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

Many ask, “What is God’s will for me?” Perhaps the question should be, “What are God’s requirements of me?”

First, I am to fear the Lord, not in the sense of being afraid, although I should fear Him if I reject His Sovereignty, but fear in the sense of reverence and awe. God is indeed awesome.

Because of His awesomeness and Sovereignty I am to walk in His ways, not just some of them, or only the ones I like or agree with. One way I can walk in His ways is to love Him with my whole being (Matthew 22:37) and that means to serve Him and not myself (Luke 9:23).

Fearing God means I keep His commandments and statutes. God isn’t trying to keep me from fun but to ensure my good. He is, after all, a loving Father and I show my love for Him through obedience (John 14:21).

In 1 John 5:3 I am reminded, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

Green Light…

Read: Acts 9-10
Marked: Acts 10:28, Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Peter had received a vision of various kinds of animals which God told him to eat. But Peter objected on the grounds of clean and unclean animals. God then said that what He had cleansed must not be called common (V15). Meanwhile, the Roman Centurion Cornelius, had been told by an Angel to call Peter who would tell him what to do (V1-6).

Peter understood from his vision that God wanted the gospel to go to the gentiles even though he had been incorrectly taught not to go near anyone unclean because gentiles had no restrictions in what they could eat. A pious Jew considered anyone who ate what the Law forbade to be unclean.

But the gospel is for all and since it was given to Jews first (Romans 1:16), Jews had to go to the gentiles to proclaim the gospel. Peter, knowing God’s will, set aside any reservations he had and went to Cornelius even though he knew he was going against the customs and traditions of the teachers of the Law.

Not doing what God instructs because of tradition, or an incorrect understanding of God’s Word, prevents the gospel from going out. But obedience to God, going and making disciples of all the nations produces a great harvest from every tribe and tongue. And so, not only Cornelius was saved, but his whole household, and they were baptized.

Amazing things can be done when the people of God do what He commands.

Great in the Kingdom…

Read: Matthew 5-7
Marked: Matthew 5:19, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches [them,] he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus has given His Sermon on the Mount. How believers are to live is detailed in these chapters. It’s not exhaustive, but these chapters form a good foundation for those who want to be blessed in life.

It’s about doing the will of God, and obedience to His commandments which is a good place to start. We are to be examples to the world (V13-16), and Jesus is our example (V17-20).

How we treat others reveals our understanding of what Jesus taught. We are not to commit physical murder and we are not to murder with our words either (V21-29). Likewise adultery is forbidden, physical as well as visual (emotional) adultery of the heart (V27-30). Then a reminder of the sacredness of marriage (V31-32).

Words have meaning and they have power. We are to be a people of the Word and a people of our word (V33-37). How we treat others is especially important to God even if it’s an evil person. More is expected of those who follow Jesus (V38-48). We are to love God and love our neighbours even if that neighbour is an enemy.

Jesus reminds us that it is easy to forgive those who forgive us, but the love with which God wants us to love, loves even when we are not loved back. We are to do these things in increasing measure as we grow in the Spirit towards perfection (V48).

Walking Blameless…

Read: Luke 1; John 1
Marked: Luke 1:6, And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Throughout Scripture righteousness is declared on those who walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.

I find, as I consider Scripture, that I can’t pick and choose what I will and won’t obey. Either I obey them all or I obey none. I can’t be blameless if I only obey the things I want to obey.

When I am in doubt as to what I should do when Scripture is unclear, I lean on what is clear and do what best glorifies God.

Discipleship Matters – Growing Deeper as a Disciple

I STRUGGLE WITH OBEDIENCE: How have you struggled with obedience in the past? How has that hindered you? What is the specific area you are struggling with obedience?

I was born into a family that taught us that God wanted us to be obedient to our Mom and Dad. It was essential because of how God had established His law in the Bible.. This is the 5th of the 10 commandments given to Moses and the children of Israel. This was built into my life as we grew up. I wanted to obey my mom and dad. However, the time I damaged the Volkswagen I was dishonest and did not tell my dad that I had dented the car. I was ashamed and wanted to hide my error. I was afraid. My dad helped me to learn that I should always be honest with him. Being honest was a form of obedience. My grandpa would always say “Tell the truth even if the stars fall”. How do I refresh my heart to obey?

The disciples had just been invited to follow Jesus. He gathered them up and taught what is called the Sermon on the Mount. In the first 16 verses, he outlined 8 areas of thinking which relate to the foundations of obedience.

Matthew 5:1-11

1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His
disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

1. When you think of obedience, what comes to your mind?
2. What can we learn from Matthew 5:1-16 about the obedience to Jesus?
3. What part of Matthew 5:1-16 do you resonate with the most?
4. How does understanding the Kingdom of God relate to obedience?
5. What hinders you from loving obedience to Christ? Name an area that is hard for you?

6. What would be a vision for future obedience in that area?
7. What lies at the root of your motivation for obedience?
8. What kinds of foundational work do you see you need to grow in to strengthen your obedience?
9. Which one of these beatitudes will need some work?
10. What steps can you take to grow in these areas of life?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

Discipleship Matters – Developing Convictions

How do the Scriptures impact your everyday life? What is your greatest challenge in obeying Scripture?

“I see many people who claim to be Christians all over the country. They attend church less than two times a month”, observed Tom. “It seems like being a Christian and obeying God’s word is not a high priority in their lives.” As he viewed other Christians at work and in his neighborhood, he wondered if they were being obedient to the commandments of Jesus. He wondered if they were loving God with all their heart, their soul, their mind and their strength and their neighbor as their self. Then he reflected on his own obedience to God. He wondered and knew he needed help. He needed someone who would help him understand what it meant to be a follower of Christ. He wanted to know where to go for help.

Let’s look at the verse James 1:22,
“You be doers of the Word and not hearers only.”

1. What does it mean to be a doer of the Word?
2. What is the context of this verse?
3. How can we become hearers only?
4. Why do you think the author wrote this at this time to Christians?
5. How would you know if you are a doer of the Word?

6. What steps can you take to know what instructions from the Word that you should obey?
7. What areas of obedience do you struggle with?
8. What does obedience to God say about our relationship with him? (see John 14:21)
9. What is one step we can take to strengthen our conviction about obedience?
10. When will you take that step?

1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

For further information check out: https://coachthebible.com

Hearing God…

Read: 1 Chronicles 6
Marked: 1 Chronicles 6:28, The sons of Samuel [were Joel] the firstborn, and Abijah the second.

Chapter 6 is the genealogy of the sons of Levi who were set apart for special service to God. From Levi came the priestly line of Aaron, but while all priests were Levites, not all Levites were priests.

Then at verse 28, almost as if it is inserted as an afterthought, is the name Samuel who would serve God as prophet and priest and be used by God in the lives of two kings, Saul and David.

I may not be remarkable among others, but if I am willing to serve God, He can use me, as He did Samuel from an early age.

I want to be more like Samuel who said to the Lord, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10)

Have We Acted Corruptly?…

Read: Nehemiah 1-3
Marked: Nehemiah 1:7, We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Word came to Nehemiah concerning the deterioration of Jerusalem and the remnant of its population.

The first thing Nehemiah does is pray and confess his sins, and the sins of his people for not keeping the word which God had commanded Moses. Nehemiah understood that their state resulted from their sins.

When a life falls apart it is often the result of “acting corruptly” against God and His commandments. God has promised those who love Him that blessing will follow when we keep His word and act according to it.

It is wise, when experiencing difficulties, to consider if it is the result of sin and confess that sin. God is faithful and just and will forgive.