Sunday School Material 9-25-16: Everlasting Covenant





(Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; 9/25/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God has great plans for His people. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that we are one of God’s people and that we are doing our part.

Body:

Read Isaiah 61:1-4

I. Future Blessings. The Spirit of the Lord is on who Christians believe to be Jesus. The Spirit empowers great ministry to those in need. There will be a rebuilding of people.

Applications –

- Empowered to serve. Notice in vss. 1-4 that the Spirit of God was given for ministry to be performed.

First, this Sunday School material is thought by many to refer to Jesus (i.e., a messianic prophecy). As God kept His promises, by sending us Jesus, we can count on Him to keep all of His promises. He promises to bless our obedience and punish our disobedience.

Second, as the Spirit was given in the text for the sake of ministry, the same is true today. The Holy Spirit is not given, just so we can have a shouting good time on Sunday morning. The Spirit empowers us to respond to those in need, in ways that bring glory to God.

Let’s work on living like we believe that God is a promise keeper and that we have the Spirit in our lives to empower us to do ministry. This kind of living should be known for obedience, which includes using our gifts and personalities in serving the Lord.

- Caring for the poor and oppressed. Notice in vss. 1-3 that God cares for the poor and oppressed. First, if we are poor or oppressed, we should remember that God is still for us.

In a capitalistic society, we can be so concerned with capital that we forget that God cares for the poor and oppressed.

Second, as people of God, we should be known for our active care for the poor and oppressed. Our caring should include a response to poverty that goes beyond temporary handouts.

Our caring should include a response to the depressed spirits of people that goes beyond shallow religious entertainment on Sunday.

We are called to help people get saved and grow in the Lord’s will for His people to have life and that more abundantly. Let’s work on caring for the poor and oppressed like we know that this is God’s calling for our lives.

Think about how this application points to giving money and time to organizations that help in these areas, our church being sensitive and responsive to people who are less fortunate, and our individual attitudes towards people who are less fortunate.

- Being our best for God’s glory. Notice in vss. 3, 9 that God blesses His people, so that He can get the splendor or glory from their lives. The better the people of God look, the better God looks.

God doesn’t get much glory when the people of God are struggling along and have terrible attitudes, as they struggle. Thus, we should strive to glorify God, bring honor to God, by being the best that we can be for His glory.

On one hand, some things are beyond our control. Here, we should pray for peace to accept what we cannot change. But on the other hand, there are things that we can change. Here, we should seek the courage to do so.

Think about how we can always chose how we will respond to a situation – our attitude or mindset. Let’s work on being our best for the glory of God.

Read Isaiah 61:8-11

II. Faithful God. The Lord is said to love justice and hate robbery and wrongdoing in our Sunday School material. There are promises to bless the people of God.

The blessing of the people leads to God being glorified or honored. There is the promise of righteousness and praise springing up before all nations.

Applications –

- Loving justice and hating wrongdoing. Notice in vs. 8 that God loves justice and righteousness, but He hates robbery and wrongdoing.

First, because God loves justice and righteousness, we should strive to be people who live justly and righteously. We should strive to advocate for justice and righteousness.

Think about advocacy groups like the NAACP, National Action Network, Urban League, and others. Second, since God hates robbery and wrongdoing, we should strive to avoid robbing and doing wrong.

Since God considers a failure to tithe and give our offerings robbery, we can start there. We should also stand against wrongdoing in our communities, which is very similar to the previous point of standing for justice and righteousness.

Let’s work on demonstrating love for justice and hatred of wrongdoing.

- Enthusiastic worship. Notice in vs. 10 that there is a demonstrative response to God’s goodness (i.e., delighting greatly and rejoicing). In like manner, we should demonstrate appreciation for God’s goodness. This glorifies God, edifies believers, and helps us to feel better.

What good is coming to a worship service and failing to give our best in worship? Let’s work on enthusiastically worshipping God.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure that we are God’s people and that we are doing our part. God has much for those who obey His will.

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