Sunday School Material 6-24-12: Love God; Love People

(Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 16:18-20; 6/24/12)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God wants His people to obey His will. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to obey God’s will.

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Read Deuteronomy 10:12-16
I. Lord’s Requirements.
God calls His people to observe His commandments. God owns everything, and yet He chose the people of Israel. The people are to circumcise their hearts, instead of being stiff-necked.

Applications –
- Observing God’s commands.
Notice in vss. 1-2 of our Sunday School material that God requires His people to observe His commands. We are called to do it with fear or deep reverence. We are to walk or live in obedience to His will. We are to do it with love in our hearts towards God. Service towards God’s agenda should be normal.

And vs. 16 implies that the people were being called to turn from being stiff-necked or rebellious to being obedient. In other words, even though they were the people of God, they were not behaving accordingly. Let’s work on observing or obeying the commands of God.

- Chosen by God. Notice in vss. 14-15 that God chose His people, they did not simply chose Him. There is no room for boasting about anything we have done regarding our salvation. As in the text, we are saved by grace. We are saved because God saved or rescued us from the penalty of our sin.

Let’s behave like we understand that God chose us, instead of our having chose Him. Such behavior should be known for gratitude and obedience towards God and humility towards others.

Read Deuteronomy 10:17-18
II. Lord’s Nature.
God is great. He is over all other gods and lords. He is known for sound character and defending the cause of the weak.

Applications –
- God’s sound and charitable character.
Notice in vss. 17-18 of our Sunday School material that God has sound and charitable character. God is above partiality and being bribed. Even though He is most powerful, He has active concern for the weak and vulnerable – orphans, widows, and aliens. We should be more than happy about God’s sound and charitable character.

Too many people would abuse the power that God has, if they had it. Too many people would over look our need for grace, if they were in the position of God. But God keeps on loving us without partiality and without bribes. Let’s live like we appreciate the sound and charitable character of God. Such living should be known for both enthusiastic worship and obedience to His word.

Read Deuteronomy 10:19-21
III. Israel’s Duty.
The people of God are to be kind to the weak, especially the aliens. They are to praise God. God had been so good to them. Judges and officials are to be appointed. And they are to serve with sound character.

Applications –
- Blessed to be a blessing.
Notice in vss. 19-21 of our Sunday School material that the blessed are to bless those who are coming along behind them in fear, praise, and obedience to God. Because the Israelites had been aliens, they were to have a special sensitivity towards those who are aliens.

In like manner, we who have been in unfavorable places and have lived at lower qualities of life than we enjoy today should have an extra sensitivity towards those who are less fortunate than we are. For example, former drug addicts should help those who are still struggling. Former poor people should help those who are still poor.

Former abuse victims, those who used to be poor stewards of their health, those who used to waste the money God put in their trust, those who used to be apathetic towards being involved in their church and community should help those who are still struggling with such. Let’s bless others with the blessings that God has blessed us with.

- Rehearsing history. Notice in vs. 22 of our Sunday School material that it is important to know and rehearse what God has done with our fore parents, as a means of encouraging current and greater obedience. Being historically illiterate is both a sin against those whose shoulders we stand upon and a sin against God who gave them the shoulders.

From history we can learn in unique ways that what God has done for others, He is able to do the same and more for us. Let’s work on learning and being inspired by the history of God taking care of our fore parents. The importance of printing and reading the church’s history, publishing of memoirs, recording the testimonies of saints, and more should be obvious.

- Godly leadership. Notice in vss. 18-20 that the developing of leaders who have sound character is essential. Character and competence should be obvious characteristics of those who serve in leadership positions. This is true of the family, church, and community.

Consequently, the church would do well to give serious effort to helping people develop both the character and competence needed for leadership. Our Training Union and leadership requirements aim to help us evaluate and nurture the character and competency of those involved.

If you cannot follow redundant instructions and scripted catechisms with supervision then your ability to handle the duties of leadership with less supervision is highly questionable. Let’s work on nurturing godly leaders to serve in families, church, and community.

- Blessings and obedience. Notice in vs. 20 of our Sunday School material that there is a great blessing in obeying God’s will. The text suggests that life and possessing the land are connected to obeying God. In like manner, the more we do what God’s word tells us to do, the more blessings we can expect to have in our lives. On one hand, we say “amen.”

But on the other hand, too many fail to live accordingly. Saying “amen” but failing to tithe, failing to be involved in ministry, and failing to do something as simple as being enthusiastic in worship is contradictory. Let’s live like we believe that obedience leads to blessings. At the core of God’s commands are the issues of loving Him and others as we love ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God’s will. God has much for those who obey Him.

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