Sunday School Material 3-18-18: The People Gave Thanks





(II Chronicles 7:1-9; 3/18/18)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that the people of God are dedicating God’s Temple and expressing thanks for His goodness. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be dedicated Temples of God and express our thanks for His goodness.

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Body:

Read II Chronicles 7:1-3

I. Fire From God. In our Sunday School material, Solomon finished praying. Fire came down and consumed the offering and sacrifices. The glory of the Lord filled the Temple.

The Priests were outside the Temple because the glory filled the Temple area. The people were outside kneeling, worshiping God, and thanking Him.

Applications –

- Our prayer lives. Notice in vs. 1 that Solomon was noted for his praying. In like manner, every disciple of Christ should be known for their prayer lives. Our prayer lives should include some adoration and praise, some confession of our sins, some thanksgiving, and some supplication for others and ourselves (ACTS).

We should have some scheduled times to prayer (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening, and meals) and be open to praying throughout the day. We should also be known for our support of collective/corporate prayer (i.e., prayer services with the church family). Let’s work on our prayer lives.

- Setting the stage for the Lord’s glory. Notice in vss. 2-3 that the Lord’s glory filled the Temple. This seems so interesting or exciting to us. However, we don’t control the Lord’s glory filling the Temple or our church houses. What we do control is being obedient to God’s will, so that the stage is set for His glory.

If God shows up when His people are on one accord and that one accord is focused on obeying His will, is God tempted to show us in our worship services or lives?

Let’s work on setting the stage for the Lord’s glory to fill the house. We should also be aware that even when God doesn’t show up in such spectacular ways, He is always present. And we should always live accordingly.

Read II Chronicles 7:4-6

II. Worship by People. In our Sunday School material, there is a huge number of animals being sacrificed. The Temple is dedicated to the Lord in grand fashion. The Priests and Levites are in their assigned places. The people are standing.

Applications –

- Dedicated Temples. Notice in vs. 5 that the Temple was dedicated. Remember from I Corinthians 6:19-20 that we are God’s Temples today. Do we live as if we are dedicated/set aside for God’s usage only?

A dedicated life should include scheduled time for prayer and study, a Christlike attitude, tithes and offerings, inviting and trying to bring people with us to worship and study periods, service, worship, and more. Let’s work on living like dedicated Temples of God.

- Doing our parts. Notice in vss. 5-6 that everyone had a place and part to play in the worship. Many seem to have primarily stood to show their support of the worship. Let’s make sure that we do our parts in worship.

Everyone cannot lead the song, preach the sermon, or pray in the microphone. Some cannot even stand too long. But we can all pay attention and give some feedback that shows that we are happy about being in the worship service and support what is being said. When we sit like bumps on a log, we are not doing our parts.

Read II Chronicles 7:7-9

III. Further Actions. Solomon consecrates the middle part of the courtyard, in our Sunday School material. The bronze altar could not hold all the sacrifices that were being made. There is a seven-day celebration of the dedication of the Temple followed by seven more days of celebrating the Festival of the Tabernacle.

Applications –

- Remember and celebrate. Notice in vss. 8-9 that a week of celebration was for the dedication of the Temple. And a week was for the normal festival that celebrated God providing another harvest (i.e., Festival of the Tabernacle).

Think about how far people travelled to be a part of this. Think about the work that is being missed for two weeks. But then think about how important it is for all of God’s people to come together from time to time to celebrate how good the Lord has been.

We ought to be able to celebrate what we have accomplished on God’s agenda. Two full weeks of celebrating is a bit much for us today. However, we do need to make some quality time to remember God’s goodness towards us and to celebrate what we are accomplishing for His glory.

This means we must work together to accomplish something for His glory. Let’s work on making time to be together to remember and celebrate.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being dedicated Temples of God and expressing our thanks for His goodness. God has much for those who obey His will.

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