Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God is calling for His people to demonstrate real repentance and serve Him. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to demonstrate real repentance and serve the Lord.
Read Joel 2:12-13
I. Repentance. The Sunday School material urges the listeners to return to the Lord. The Lord is looking for rend or torn hearts, not just garments. God is gracious and compassionate.
- Real repentance. Notice in vss. 12-13 that God wants real repentance, not just tearing of garments. It is one thing to be sorry that we got caught doing something wrong or even feeling bad about doing something wrong.
However, what God wants is for us to turn to Him from the wrong that is being done. God doesn’t want us to just feel guilty. He is look for change in our lives.
Let’s work on real repentance. Think about what real repentance looks like in regard to our attitude, health, finances, relationships, and service.
- God’s grace. Notice in vs. 13 that God has grace for the repentant. If we come clean with God and turn from our sinfulness, God has grace for us. God already knows about our dirt. God is trying to be patient with our repentance, so He can show heavy duty mercy towards us.
Unlike people who may crush us, when we confess, God desires to be gracious. Let’s live like we trust the grace of God. Such living should be known for our quickly repenting and praising God for the sufficiency of His grace.
Read Joel 2:18-19
II. Rebuilding. The Lord talks about His plans to restore His people in our Sunday School material. Enough grain, new wine, and olive oil are on the way to satisfy His people fully. The Lord promises to never again make His people an object of scorn.
- God can fix it. Notice in vs. 19 that God is able to fix whatever is broke. As believers, we are never hopeless. The same God who sends punishment for our sins is able to reverse it.
The same God who allows bad things to happen can use those things for our good. Let’s live like we trust God’s ability to fix whatever is broke in our lives. This kind of living should be known for hope, joy, and faithfulness.
Read Joel 2:28-32
III. Revelation. There will be a great deliverance for many people. In our Sunday School material the Lord promises that sons and daughters will prophesy. Dreams and visions will be experienced.
There will be wonders in the heavens and on the Earth. The day of the Lord is described as dreadful. However, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
- Empowered to serve. Notice in vss. 28-31 that God had and has
plans to empower His people for service. First, most Christian scholars believe
that this prophecy is still in process of being fulfilled. Especially, the “day
of the Lord” portion may be a reference to future judgment.
Second, God’s plan is to empower His people for service. The power is not for simply ego gratification. It is for God’s agenda.
Third, notice that the young, old, male, and female are all included. Every saved person is a part of the body, and every part of the body has a part to play. Let’s live like we believe that God empowers us for service.
Such living should be known for our discovering and using our gifts of service (i.e., GPS challenge), “in the Lord’s agenda.” “In the Lord’s agenda” means that we are striving to use our abilities to meet the greatest need, not just do what is convenient for us to do.
- The Day of the Lord. Notice in vs. 31 that “the day of the Lord” will be dreadful for those who are not saved. On one hand, when we are saved, we don’t have to fear God’s judgment. God’s grace will insure that we have eternal life.
On the other hand, when a person is unsaved, no matter how moral or religious they may be, they will be found unrighteous before God. Hell is still hot.
Let’s live like God’s judgment is serious. Such living should include our giving serious effort to helping people get saved and discipled.
- Helping people call on the name of the Lord. Notice in vs. 32 that whoever calls on the name of the Lord with a believing heart shall be saved. Gender, race, economic status, nor background will not keep a person from being saved who calls on the Lord with a believing heart.
However, without calling on the Lord with a believing heart, a person is doomed. Let’s work on helping people get saved.
Our evangelistic efforts should include some, if not all, of the following: urging people to get saved and explaining to them how to be saved, passing out literature that explains how to be saved, passing out literature that invites people to church.
It should also include supporting the church’s efforts to secure contact information and following up on people, being enthusiastic in worship for the sake of edifying others, praying for the salvation of others, and working on your discipleship as a “living sermon.”
Conclusion: Let’s work on demonstrating real repentance and serving the Lord. God has much for those who obey His will.