Introduction: All of us have had times when we thought that something was so important in the moment, but later on we discovered that it was not worth it (e.g., car, relationship, career, etc.)? This series helps us see that some things are just not worth it. Today’s discussion centers around the sibling rivalry in our text. The thesis is, “We should be mindful of parents, adults, and children of God.”
1. Parents should consider their children. Notice in Judges 8:30-31 that Gideon had 70 sons from his many wives and a son from a concubine.
It is not clear if Gideon considered how having so many children with so many different women would impact how the women and children got along with one another, especially after he was dead. You should remember that what you do impacts those around you and those coming along behind you (see I Cor. 3:8).
The question is not, “Are you sowing”? The question is, “What are you sowing – wheat or weeds (see Gal. 6:7”)? It is bad enough to have to answer to God for our own sins.
But it adds another level of fear, when we consider God’s questions about how our behavior impacted others (e.g., our example of living a moral life, taking care of ourselves, contributing to our church and community, etc.). Let’s not only consider our children, but let’s also do what we can to help them live godly lives.
2. Adults cannot blame their behavior on others. Notice in Judges 9:5 that Abimelech killed his brothers. He may have blamed his behavior on how he was treated as a child or any number of things. But he will be held accountable for his own behavior.
Remember that no matter how rough your upbringing may have been, how poorly people have treated you, or how many strikes you have against you, you are responsible for your behavior (see Jer. 31:27). Thank God that through Christ (see I Jn. 4:4), we have the power to choose right over wrong.
You don’t have to be as angry, irresponsible, hypocritical, or negative as others. Holding on to any type of anger or negative emotions is not worth it. Let’s work on living like we know that we are responsible for our behavior.
This kind of living should include our focusing on making sure that we are saved by faith in Christ and loving God and others, as we love ourselves (see Jn. 3:16; Mk. 12:29-31).
3. Children of God should be able to get along with one another. Notice that John 13:34-35 teaches that the way that people will know that we are disciples of Christ is our loving one another.
Whenever you can murder your brothers and sisters for your own agenda, you have much more than an interpersonal conflict (you and another person). You have a spiritual conflict (you and God).
No matter how churchy you may look on the outside, a murdering spirit shows you are wicked on the inside. Most will not kill physically. But too many will kill a person’s character and hard earned reputation. Let’s work on loving people because of our spiritual maturity.
4. Love and respect God. Notice that John 14:15 reminds us that if we love the Lord, we are to obey Him. The fact that God thinks so much of your sibling means that you should value what God considers precious.
Think about a grandparent who loves an old picture of a house they used to live in down south. The new generation respects the picture for the grand parent’s sake, similar to how Christians should respect what is precious to God for God’s sake.
Since God is everywhere at the same time, we should always strive to love people, in the presence of God. Let’s work on loving people like God is worthy of our respectful obedience.
5. God is worthy. Notice how passages like Psalm 100:1-5 teaches that God is so worthy of our love and respect. Think about how God made the heavens and the Earth and then commissioned humanity to rule over it.
God took care of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, despite all of their sins. God brought His people out of Egypt, through the wilderness, through the Judge and King ruled periods, and then through the silent years between the old and new testaments.
God moved through the gospel writers, Paul, John, and others for the furthering of the kingdom. God has moved through African American experiences (i.e., from cotton fields to CEOs and company owners).
God has blessed each one of us in various and wonderful ways. God has blessed us with the marvelousness of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. All of this should be more than enough for us to demonstrate that we love and respect God enough to obey His will, even His will for us to get along with especially other believers.
Let’s live like we know that God is worthy of our obedience.
Acting churchy without striving to obey God’s command to love one another is not worth the trouble.
What is one thing you will take from this session and work on, in regard to your discipleship goals?