Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God blesses or punishes based on obedience or lack thereof. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on being obedient, so we can be blessed.
Read Jeremiah 31:27-30
I. Reversal of Judgment. In our Sunday School material, the Lord sends word about future events. Whereas the Lord was tearing down His disobedient people in the past, He promises to build His people up in the future. Each person will be held accountable for their actions.
- A time to tear down and build up. Notice in vs. 28 that there was a time of God watching His people being tore down and over thrown. And there will be a time of God watching His people being built up and planted.
The sins of the people were a great determinant. When they sinned, destruction was near. When the repented, rebuilding was near. In like manner, we should expect to reap what we sow.
Therefore, let’s sow obedience, so we can reap blessings. At the core of obeying God are the issues of accepting Jesus as our savior by faith and loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Parental influence. Notice in vss. 29-30 the emphasis on individual responsibility. Instead of children being punished for the sins of their parents, each generation will answer for their own actions.
First, although it may not be punishment, there are still generational consequences for our actions. Think about a heroine addicted mother birth to a heroine addicted baby or a HIV positive mother giving birth to a HIV positive baby.
Second, even though some of us may have been highly influenced by the sins of our parents, we should avoid adopting a victim mindset. Through Christ, we can do better than our parents and others who may not have set the best examples. Let’s work on living the best life for Jesus that we can, in spite of the influences of others.
Read Jeremiah 31:31-34
II. Reversal of Relationship. In our Sunday School material, the Lord talks about a new covenant being implemented. The Lord remembers that previous generations broke the former covenant, even though the Lord was faithful.
The new covenant will be in the minds and on the hearts of God’s people. God will be God of His people, and the people will be the people of God. God will forgive and remember the people’s sins no more.
- Our faithfulness and God’s faithfulness. Notice in vs. 32 that humanity was unfaithful to God, even though God was faithful to them. First, we should thank God for His faithfulness, in spite of our unfaithfulness. There are many people who use our lack of faithfulness as an excuse for their unfaithfulness. But this is not the case with God.
Second, we should strive to be faithful to God, instead of counting on His patience with our sins. The core of being faithful focuses on accepting Jesus as our savior by faith and loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
Third, God can be faithful and still punish our sins. We should not think that God will always patiently look the other way, when we willfully and rebelliously sin against Him. Let’s work on being faithful to our faithful God.
- God’s ruling word. Notice in vss. 33-34 of our Sunday School material, that the new covenant will be on the minds and in the hearts of God’s people.
First, there are scholars who suggest that the ultimate fulfillment of this text will be when Jesus returns. Therefore, in some respects, we are still waiting.
Second, we can still work on having God’s word on our minds and in our hearts. That is, we should make sure that our life governing beliefs are built on God’s word – the Bible (loving God, self, and others, as believers). Let’s work on living by God’s word.
- God’s forgiveness. Notice in vs. 34 that God will forgive His people. He will not bring to His memory (he will not remember) their sins.
First, we should thank God for His gracious forgiveness. Thank God that He doesn’t keep throwing our past up in our faces.
Second, remember God will forgive them after He has punished them. We should strive to live as obediently as we can. God’s grace should not be a used as a license for our sins. Let’s work on living as best we can and then accepting God’s grace, no matter how much the devil wants us to feel guilty.
Conclusion: Let’s work on living by God’s will and seeking
restoration, when we fall. God has much for those who obey His will.