Sunday School Material 9-21-14: Anticipation of a New Future

(Jeremiah 32:1-9, 14-15; 9/21/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God will both punish sin and restore His people. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live by the promises of God.

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Read Jeremiah 32:1-5

I. Living Under Siege. In our Sunday School material the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, while he was under courtyard detention.

The King of Judah was holding him because of his negative prophecies. Jeremiah prophesied about the overthrow of Jerusalem and King Zedekiah.

Applications -

- Receiving a word in detention. Notice in vss. 1-2 of our Sunday School material that even though Jeremiah received a word from the Lord, he still ended up in courtyard detention.

First, we should thank God for His sending a word to us. The Bible is the best way to know God and His will for our lives today.

Second, just as Jeremiah had some rough days, in spite of doing God's will, we should expect that no matter how faithful we are, we can expect some rough times as well.

Third, we should develop the faith needed to endure the rough times. Prayerful study and obedience with the support of other disciples can help us develop our faith.

Let's work on appreciating God's word to us and developing enough faith to endure some rough days.

- What God says vs. what people want. Notice in vss. 3-5 that sometimes what God wants us to share with people is not what they want to hear.

First, Christians are not at liberty to change the word of God to fit what is politically or culturally correct. We are called to share with the world what is correct in God's eyes. 

Second, we learned from our Sunday School material that it is not strange for people to reject a message that says they are wrong and bad things are going to happen to them. However, sometimes that is the message.

The message is not always "you are alright and God will take care of you." Sometimes the message is "you have sinned and God is going to punish you."

Let's appreciate that we are called to share what God says is right and that people may reject our highlighting how their sins lead to their punishment.

Read Jeremiah 32:6-9

II. Buying Distressed Property. In our Sunday School material the Lord told Jeremiah that his cousin was coming to sell him some land. The cousin showed up to sell the land. Jeremiah purchased it.

Applications -

- God's mysterious ways. Notice in vss. 6-9 how God works in mysterious ways through the use of a cousin and a land transaction. In like manner, God is still moving in mysterious ways.

We just don't know what God is going to do next and whom He is going to use. Let's work on treating everyone right and being open to God doing whatever He chooses to do.

There are too many who seem to be too closed to God's use of family members and something as unique as a property transaction.

- Acting like we trust God. Notice in vss. 8-9 that Jeremiah trusted God so much that in spite of his confinement, he paid for distressed property in hard assets. 

What we do with our money says more about how much we trust God than what we say.

Think about how our talking about how much we trust God compares to our failure (i.e., “our” is a reference to the majority of those in our churches) to give to God in proportion to how He has prospered us (i.e., tithes and offerings).

Let's handle our money in ways that show that we really trust God.

Read Jeremiah 32:14-15

III. Preserving the Proof. In our Sunday School material The Lord told Jeremiah to put the ownership documents in a clay jar.

The jar was to protect the documents. God promised that houses, fields, and vines would be sold in this distressed area, in the future.

Applications -

- God's timing. Notice in vss. 14-15 that it may take some time for God's promises to come true, but they are trust worthy. In like manner, we can still trust that God's promises will come true.

God promises to bless obedience and punish disobedience. Let's live like we trust the promises of God. Such living should include joyful obedience.

- Stewardship. Notice in vss. 8-15 of our Sunday School material the idea of financial stewardship. There was a system in place to keep property and assets in the family.

In like manner, we would do well to work on being wise stewards of what God has placed in our trust. Wise stewardship can allow each generation to have ample wealth to live on and build upon.

Stewardship calls for financial literacy and discipline. The church can help with education and support. Let's work on being wise stewards of what God has placed in our trust.

Conclusion: Let's work on living by the promises of God. God has much for those who obey His will. 

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