Sunday School Material 3-25-18: Keep My Statues and Ordinances

(II Chronicles 7:12-22; 3/25/18)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God warns Solomon of the wrath that comes with disobedience and the blessings that come with obedience. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live obedient blessed lives, instead of disobedient and punished lives.

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Read II Chronicles 7:12-18

I. Promised Blessings. In our Sunday School material, the Lord responds to Solomon’s prayer. The Lord talks about how He will bless His people, when and if they repent of their sins. The Lord talks about how He will bless Solomon and his descendants, if they obey the Lord.

Applications –

- God’s response to our prayers. Notice in vs. 12 that God heard and answered Solomon’s prayer. First, God hears our prayers, when we pray. Too many don’t pray enough.

Second, God answers our prayers as He sees fit. Sometimes God answers with a “yes,” sometimes a “no,” and sometimes a “wait.” Let’s pray like we believe that God hears and answers.

This kind of praying should be known for scheduled and spontaneous prayer. It should be known for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. It should be known for confidence that God will do what is best for His people.

- Repentance. Notice in vs. 14 that the way back to God’s grace, when He has punished us, is to repent. First, God is subject to punish us, especially when we are willfully disobeying Him.

When we willfully disobey God’s will regarding inviting and trying to bring people to worship and growth groups, His will about being loving towards people, His will about enthusiastic worship, and His will about studying, serving, and giving, we can expect punishment.

Second, if we repent -  turn back to God - God is willing to turn off the punishment and turn the blessings back on. God gets more joy out of blessing our obedience than punishing our disobedience.

Let’s live like we believe that repentance is the way back to God’s grace. This kind of living should include our repentance and expectation of God’s grace.

- Individual promises. Notice in vss. 17-18 that in addition to what God promised the group, God also had promises for Solomon. In like manner, in addition to what God promises all believers, God has some blessings with our individual names on them.

If you and I obey God’s will, God has some blessings for us. Therefore, no matter what is going on with the larger group, we should always strive to have individual obedience to God. Let’s work on obeying and trusting God both collectively and individually.

Read II Chronicles 7:19-22

II. Promised Discipline. The Lord goes on to talk about what will happen, if the people turn from obeying Him. The Lord promises disaster. Others will be appalled at the destruction. This is the consequence of disobedience.

Applications –

- The cost of wrong decisions. Notice in vss. 19-22 that there are terrible consequences to sin. First, as in the Sunday School material, the people of God can use their free will to turn from God. We can know right and still do wrong.

The greatest need of our churches is not more knowledge and Bible studies but more obedience to what we already know to be true.

Second, as in the text, we are able to serve and worship false gods. Some treat themselves as a little god. Think about all that we do for our personal pleasure and to avoid personal pain compared to what we do for God’s sake.

Some treat their peers as little gods. Think about how some love the praises of people more than the praises of God (see Jn. 12:42-43).

Third, as in the text, God can destroy the Temple and anything else that we think is important. Our lives are challenging enough, without God sending or allowing destruction of any type into our lives. Let’s work on turning from our sins, so we don’t have to experience God’s wrath.

- Motivated by God’s blessings. Notice in vs. 22 that those who were delivered from Egypt should be known for obeying God, not worshiping false gods.

In like manner, when we consider all that God has done for us, we should be the first to worship and obey God, even if no one else joins us.

As African American believers, we have the blessings of being free from American slavery; seeing African Americans do great things in politics, business, sports, and much more; and being able to live better than many of our fore parents.

Let’s use the many blessings that God has given us as motivation to obey Him. It is so wrong for us to take the blessings of God and then give more attention to ourselves or others than to God who gave us the blessings.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living obedient blessed lives, instead of disobedient and punished lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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