TRUST AND OBEY 01/12/2018

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TRUST AND OBEY


Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6, KJV).



Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11


Objective: to be faithful to the One who is always faithful to us.


 Introduction: What is your mental image of God? This view can be distorted by bad experiences with authority figures. Some see God as controlling. If He were, He would've made robots, not humans. Instead God has created us with an incredible amount of freedom — even the freedom to harm others, if we choose.

Rather than physically preventing us from harming others, God gives us the responsibility to do His good will by obeying Him. For some, this means God is bossy and egotistical. If He were, His Word (the Bible) would be just a big rule book. lt’s not.

The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to us. He wants us to know Him. lt’s full of stories of God patiently working with people who often didn’t do His will. At times, these people harmed each other, and they themselves suffered as a result. However, even when they failed God, He remained faithful and continued to want the best for them. lf they followed God's good will, they would find His blessings. If they didn’t, God couldn’t bless them.

 From cover to cover, story after story, we see‘ the theme of “trust and obey” in the Bible. God wants to give us the blessing of a personal relationship with Him, and that begins by trusting in God's omniscient good will, rather than in our own understanding. We demonstrate our trust by our obedience. The Bible tells us of individuals who trusted God and how God blessed them with meaningful lives as a result. Their paths weren't easy, because depth and meaning often come by choosing personal sacrifice. They chose to fulfill God’s purposes now and trust in His future reward.

While salvation isn’t one of those rewards (it is a gift from Jesus through faith, not works), the Bible does speak of many rewards for those who do the work He’s prepared for them to do (Psalms 19:11; 58:11; 1 Samuel 26:23; Matthew 5:12; 6:4; 10:42; 16:27; Luke 6:35). Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (KJV). God wants to bless us. We find His blessings when we trust His Word and obey His will.

Hebrews 11 is known as the Faith Chapter. ln it we see men and women God used in great ways. Each faced scary, life-threatening circumstances, but they believed in God's goodness and acted on that belief. They didn’t know if or how God would intervene; they just knew what God wanted them to do in that moment. That’s trust. That’s obedience. That’s faith in action. These men and women didn’t start out with great faith, but their faith grew from a pattern of trust and obedience. Because they had been faithful in the small things along the way, God used them in mighty ways (Luke 16:10).

We tend to wonder if we would have had that kind of faith had we lived back then. We forget that God gives us that same opportunity right here, right now. Don't miss it! If you are faithful in the small things, be prepared for God to use you in greater ways as you continue to grow in Him.


Questions for Study and Discussion


1 According to Proverbs 3:5, 6, how do faith and action relate? What does this passage suggest gets in the way of trusting and obeying God?   


2 What is faith, according to Hebrews 11:1? What does that mean? What is impossible without it, and what does genuine faith entail? Verse 6.


3 Review the Faith Chapter (Hebrews 11), and locate the pattern of trusting and obeying in each example. Which is your favorite, and why?


4 How does Hebrew 11 illustrate that the Bible is more about relationship with God than a rulebook from God?


5 What is your chief motivation for trusting and obeying God? Ex- plain the difference between God’s gift of salvation and His re- wards for our obedience. Ephesians 2:8; Luke 6:35.


Conclusion: What a privilege for God to trust us with the freedom He's given us. We can choose to follow our own understanding or trust in His leading. If we choose to obey Him, we’ll have the joy of knowing that we're pleasing Him. That’s relationship. That’s love.


Apply This Week Make a list of the ways that your trust in God naturally leads to a life-style of obedience. Examine areas where obedience has been difficult, and trace that deficiency back to the quality of your trust in this area of life.


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