Sunday School Material 9-14-14: Hope for the Future

(Jeremiah 31:31-37; 9/14/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God promises that a new covenant is on the way. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we appreciate being under the new covenant.

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Read Jeremiah 31:31-32

I. New Covenant Promised. In our Sunday School material the Lord declares that the days of a new covenant are coming. It will be unlike the one made with the reader’s ancestors. The ancestors broke the old covenant.

Applications -

- Deliverance. Notice in vs. 32 that God remembered how He delivered His people out of Egyptian bondage. In like manner, we should have some stories in our minds of what God has done for us.

Every saved person can reflect on how God saved us from going to Hell. But we probably have some other stories as well like coming through a surgery, surviving with very little money, being delivered from mean people, and more.

Let’s live like we appreciate what God has done for us. Such living should be noted for joy and obedience.

- Our ancestors. Notice in vs. 32 of our Sunday School material that the ancestors broke the old covenant. On one hand, we should respect our elders and be thankful for how whatever they did has influenced our being here today.

But on the other hand, nothing is gained by distorting how holy they lived. If the truth was told, many of our churches would be so much further along, if our ancestors had engaged in more evangelism and discipleship development.

Let’s be thankful for our ancestors but also learn from their mistakes. Think about the good and bad lessons learned from our ancestors regarding financial stewardship, political stewardship, taking care of our health, and mentoring those who will succeed us.

Read Jeremiah 31:33-34

II. New Covenant Described. The new covenant will be internalized. There will be no need to teach, because it will be on the people’s minds and in their hearts. Our Sunday School material  says God will forgive and remember their sins no more.

Applications -

- God’s timetable. Notice in vs. 33 that God has a timetable. There was a time for captivity and a time for restoration. In like manner, there are still times when we have to go through some trial and tribulations. And there are some times when we can relax and enjoy the blessings of God.

Let’s work on appreciating that God’s timetable includes storms and calms. We should not panic in the storm. And we should remember that our calms are supplied by the grace of God.

- Internalizing God’s will. Notice in vss. 33-34 of our Sunday School material that the new covenant is to be written in the minds and on the hearts of God’s people.

There is some debate about does this mean that there is no necessity for a human priests from the tribe of Levi or does it point to some time after the second coming of Christ.

We don’t know. What we do know is that God wants His people to internalize His will for our lives. A great way for us to do that today is to prayerful study and obey God’s word. Let’s work on internalizing God’s will for our lives.

- Forgiveness. Notice in vs. 34 that God will forgive sins. To say that He will remember the people’s sins no more means that He will no longer hold their sins against them.

First, we should thank God for His forgiveness because humanity was not living up to the laws of God. Second, we should live like we are thankful for God’s forgiveness. Obeying His will is a great way to show our gratitude. Let’s work on living like forgiven people.

Read Jeremiah 31:35-37

III. New Covenant’s Permanence. God is God of creation and nature. He declares that He will be faithful. Israel will maintain a special place in the sight of God.

Applications -

- Long-term commitment. Notice in vss. 35-37 of our Sunday School material that God makes a long-term commitment to keeping His part of the covenant. In like manner, it is important for us, as people of God, to be known for having long-term commitment to keeping our word.

Too many say “yes” but do “no.” Let’s work on being committed to doing what we say we are going to do.

- God’s power. Notice in vss. 35-37 that God is above creation/nature. God is a big, powerful, and loving God. He is not some puny but sympathetic God.  Let’s live like we understand the power of our God.

Such living should be known for confidence in God’s taking care of His own. Such living should be known for our obedience to God’s will for our lives. At the core of God’s will are the issues of making sure that we are saved, loving God, loving people, and loving ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we appreciate being under the new covenant. God has much for those who obey His will.

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