Sunday School Material 6-14-15: God Is Not Fooled

(Amos 5:14, 15, 18-27)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is the people are being called to live according to God’s will, so they can be blessed, instead of punished. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on living by God’s will, so we can be blessed, instead of punished.

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Read Amos 5:14, 15

I. Desires of God.In our Sunday School material God is calling His people to do good, instead of evil. There is the possibility that God will bless such behavior. The people are referred to as the remnant of Joseph.

Applications –

- Living by God’s will. Notice in vss. 14-15 that God is calling His people to do good and justice, so they can live and have real fellowship with their merciful God.

First, God doesn’t save us to simply avoid doing bad. God saves us, so we can do good. Making sure everyone is treated with respect and given a fair chance is good.

Second, the more we line up with God’s will, the more blessings we are likely to experience. God has so many blessings that He wants to shower into our lives.

Third, our saying that we are in fellowship with God doesn’t make it so. Instead of simply claiming it, we need to make sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior and are striving to live by His lordship.

Let’s work on seeking good, as people of God, so we can experience more of God’s blessings.

- Avoiding evil. Notice in vs. 14-15 of our Sunday School material that God does call us to avoid evil. First, as saved as we claim to be, we can still find ourselves guilty of being evil. When we do things that God says don’t do that is a sin of commission.

When we fail to do things that God is calling us to do that is a sin of omission. Both are essentially evil in God’s eyes.  God’s perspective is the one that we need to be lining up with, not simply what seems right to us. Let’s work on avoiding those things that God considers evil.

Read Amos 5:18-23

II. Day of the Lord.In our Sunday School material God calls the readers to examine why they desire the day of the Lord.

This day will be a day of great punishment for them. God rejects their worship.

Applications –

- Living by God’s perspective, instead of our own. Notice in vs. 18 that the people had a distorted perception. In our Sunday School material they thought that the “Day of the Lord” was going to be a great situation for them.

When in reality, the “Day of the Lord” would be a day of darkness and despair for them. In like manner, we need to make sure that our perception and understandings are in line with God’s will.

What seems right to us may very well end in our harm or even death. Let’s seek to understand and live by God’s will for our lives, instead of our own. This calls for prayerful study with a mind to obey God’s will.

- Punishment avoidance. Notice in vss. 18-20 that God punishes sin. It is a terrible mistake to think that God has grown soft towards sin. God still punishes the sins of those whom He loves. Hebrews 12:6-8 teaches that those the Lord do not punish are not considered legitimate children.

Let’s live by God’s will, so we can avoid His punishment. Life is challenging enough without God sending pain into our lives and withholding comfort from us.

- God pleasing worship. Notice in vss. 21-23 of our Sunday School maternal that God is repulsed by the worship rendered by people who are not striving to live by His will.  Think about how God is repulsed by people who are robbing Him of His tithes and offerings, not using their gifts for Christian service, and not striving to be kind to those in their circle of influence.

Let’s work on worshiping God with our lips and lives. With both of these sacrifices God is pleased (see Heb. 13:15-16).

Read Amos 5:24

III. Demand for Justice.In our Sunday School material God wants His people to be known for justice. He wants them to be known for righteousness. Justice and righteousness are compared to bodies of running water like a river and never failing stream.

Applications –

- A mighty stream of justice. Notice in vs. 24 that God wants His people focused on justice and righteousness in a mighty way.  First, we should be working on insuring that all people are treated with respect and given a fair opportunity at the opportunities that are available.

If a person is charged with a crime, they should receive a fair trial without regard to their socio-economic status.  Second, God wants justice and righteousness to flow like a mighty stream.

In America, this calls for not only prayer, but our participation in the political system. We must aim to elect good people who do a good job or are replace them with someone better. Let’s work on being a part of there being a mighty stream of justice and righteousness today.

Read Amos 5:25-27

IV. Declaration of Penalties.God mentions the people of Israel’s sins of idolatry. He notes that the people will be sent into exile. In our Sunday School material God announces Himself as the author of what is being said.

Applications –

- Motive and punishment. Notice in vss. 25-27 that God punishes wrong motives. First, we can do the right thing for the wrong motives. We can worship for the sake of making ourselves look good. Or we can pretend to worship God, when we are actually worshiping humans or our circumstances.

Second, God has a way of getting around to punishing us for our sins. As fore stated, we have enough challenges in our lives without God sending His punishment. Let’s work on living by God’s will, so we can avoid God’s punishments.

At the core of God’s will are the issues of making sure that we are saved and striving to love God and others, as we love ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living by God’s will, so we can be blessed, instead of punished. God has much for those who obey His will.

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