Explore The Bible Study: Gods Expectations (New Title)

10:47 AM

There are so many today who talk about the love of God without ever considering God's expectations. It's as if we desire God to be like a grandfather or a Santa Clause who provides everything we desire without any expectations. It seems, when it comes to God's expectations, we avoid discussions out of a fear of sounding as if we are talking about earning salvation. This is why understanding the Old Testament covenant with Israel is so important. This weeks Explore the Bible Study: God's Expectations focuses on this very issue.

The Israelites were God's covenant people. Their actions did not determine their status as God’s people. That was settled through God’s covenant relationship. However, their obedience or disobedience to God had implications on their fellowship with God, the fulfillment of His purposes for them, and their flourishing within the world. This is equally true for believers today.

LifeWay's Explore the Bible Leader Commentary describes it best: "Believers should remember that God is not only a God of love, mercy, and grace; He is also a God who is holy, righteous, and demanding. In addition, God desires to bless His people. There is no question about the terms that bring God’s blessings—proper worship, personal holiness, and faithful obedience.When God’s people obey God, He blesses them with His presence and a peace that is spiritual and relational. When God’s people disobey Him, they forfeit the fullness of His blessings."

The supplemental teaching ideas provide a guide using an illustration related to the "If-Then" concept that was developed in the 1990's. The premise, based upon secular research, is that, when someone is given if-then instructions, their success rate for accomplishing a task goes up. One study reveals that the percentage of success could double compared to those who weren’t given any specific instructions. An article entitled Developing Good Habits emphasizes that if-then planning can have a huge impact on habit change.

God provides the Israelites, in Leviticus 26, a series of if-then scenarios that describe what will happen if they obey, if they disobey, and if they repent. Hopefully this will lead your group to come to appreciate more fully the relationship they have with God through Jesus Christ and, in return, will respond with willful obedience, recognizing the blessings that accompany such obedience.


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