God's Expectations for Life

Intentionally Living Above the Standard…

Author: Dan Wagner

Is it Shameful?

Ephesians 5:1-14

 
 

[5:1] * Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. [2] And * walk in love, * as Christ loved us and * gave himself up for us, a * fragrant * offering and sacrifice to God.

[3] But * sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness * must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be * no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, * which are out of place, but instead * let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that * everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous ( * that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [6] *Let no one * deceive you with empty words, for because of these things * the wrath of God comes upon * the sons of disobedience. [7] Therefore * do not become partners with them; [8] for * at one time you were * darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. * Walk as children of light [9] (for * the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), [10] and * try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. [11] * Take no part in the * unfruitful * works of darkness, but instead * expose them. [12] For * it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. [13] But when * anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, [14] for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

* “Awake, O sleeper,

and * arise from the dead,

and * Christ will shine on you.”

 
 

 
 

[12] For * it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.

 
 

How far do we take this?

Should we avoid books that “profane” God or discuss things we know are not according to God’s truth? “It’s just entertainment” – “It’s the normal language of the character” –

 
 

That TV show we are watching presents a “lifestyle and/or relationship” that we know is diametrically opposed to the Word of God – should we turn it off, not watch it?

 
 

“it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret”.

 
 

How about the news – when media is openly anti-God? Should we turn it off?

 
 

[29] * Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give * grace to those who hear. [30] And * do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, * by whom you were sealed for the day of * redemption.

 
 

Are we “grieving the Spirit of God” in what we hear say and do?

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Holiness Is Not Optional

Monday, May 1, 2017

8:08 AM

 
 

  • What is holiness
  • Why is something holy
  • Who is or should be holy
  • Where Holy? Or When? Does it matter?
  • Justifying My unholiness?
  • More questions
  • Acting on what I know!?

     
     

     
     

Was the last election tampered with? YES!

Was the last election tampered with? YES!
Yes it was and I have proof

– no it wasn’t the Russians
– no it wasn’t the Democrats
– no it wasn’t the Republicans
– not even the CIA
– want to know who it was?

It was God and the Scriptures are the proof…
(now if you don’t believe in the Scriptures well… stop reading now – but if you believe, no matter what your political persuasion read on and heed)

Romans 13:1 -For there is no power but from God; the powers that be are ordained by God

God to Pharaoh in Egypt “Indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16)

“Praise the name of God forever and ever … He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings” (Daniel 2:20-21)

What is our task of all Christ Followers in this? [

4] “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: [5] * Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. [6] Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. [7] But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and* pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jere 29:4-7)

So regardless of your views – you need to pray for our leaders that God has appointed…

Consider Holiness

? When we consider the Expectations of God the central thought is “walking in Obedience”Is Obedience important to God?

[1 Samuel 15:22] And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Obedience is the crux of our response – we must obediently Acknowledge, Walk, Pass On and Wait – God Expects this of us
(Click here for a fuller discussion of God’s Expectations)

From the very beginning God expected obedience – why because of Who He Is!

Who is this God we are to Acknowledge?  The Scriptures say He is Holy – is Holiness a Character trait of God? As we will see Holiness is not a character trait – Holiness is the very nature of God – it is the Who – What – Why and all of God – it is a state of being – it is not one of many character traits – Holiness is the sum-total of who HE is – not something arrived at – something is either Holy or it is Not Holy!

I recently was captured by the passage in Ezekiel 44:23

They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common,
and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.

God had commanded the leadership to “teach the difference between the holy and the common” and to “show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean”

To understand this I want us to look at one event in the Old Testament…

God gives us a visual life picture in Leviticus 10…

Turn on that “cranial tv” of yours and visualize this event at the beginning of the Levitical priesthood. God had given very specific instructions to His newly appointed priests and how He took their role seriously.  It took two men, sons of Aaron to help the people see the seriousness of obeying this Holy God and help them also see what is considered “Holy and unholy” in God’s sight.

Leviticus 10:1-11 (ESV)

[10:1] Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. [2] And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. [3] Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

God commanded Aaron and his family not to morn – they were to stay in the Tent of meeting and not come out because the anointing oil of God was upon them – they were Holy… (you get a picture here of it is that God cannot have what is unholy in His presence… more on this later…) It goes on in Leviticus 10:

[8] And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying, [9] “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. [10] You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, [11] and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.”

Without a doubt Nadab and Abihu offered something unholy – unclean to the Holy God – they profane or unauthorized fire. God reacted immediately to their attempt to come before Him. God then spoke directly to Aaron with some very specific instructions concerning the priests while serving in the tent of meeting.  They were to keep a clear mind so they could discern for themselves between the “Holy and the common”

This discernment was to be between the holy things and the unholy, and also between the clean and the unclean. The reference to holy and unholy things referred to the service in the tabernacle covered in Lev. 1-9, whereas the clean and the unclean referred to the instructions about personal cleanliness given in Lev. 11-15.

In the last verse of chapter 9:24 God had revealed Himself to all the newly appointed priests, and all Israel, by accepting their first offering before Him, by setting it on fire – with His fire – God lit the fire – it was fire from God – Holy fire – letting all know His pleasure.

The instructions concerning the offerings were given in Leviticus chapters one through seven. In chapter eight the priests were ordained and in chapter nine the priests began to offer sacrifices for the people.

At this point, the Bible records: “Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar.” (Lev. 9:23b24a).

God was pleased with the offerings because they were performed in accordance with all that He had prescribed.

The fire from God was still burning on the altar after God consumed the burnt offering because the ordinance was that this fire was not to go out (Lev. 6:13). This fire from God was then available for all future offerings. But it seems that, Nadab and Abihu chose to do something different.  This was not in accordance with God’s command. “Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.” (Lev. 10:1)

This story helps us understand what God means when He states we must “discern between what is Holy and common (unholy).

So What About The Holy and the unholy?

An object, place, season or person was considered holy in the Old Testament if it was set apart from common use and dedicated to God.

The tabernacle,  its furnishings, utensils were considered holy (Num. 4:4-15).

The offerings were holy (Lev. 2:3; 6:25; 7:1).

All of the priests were consecrated in holiness (Ex. 39:30; Lev. 8:9, 30).

The Sabbath day was holy (Ex. 20:8).

 

A key point her is that only those things which God designated to be holy, according to His word, could indeed be holy.

The Scripture notes that God commanded the laws of the various offerings (Lev. 9:7, 10, 16). Thus, they were holy, consecrated to God, because God so ordered them – by His Word.

This was the problem with the profane fire offered by Nadab and Abihu.

“Then Nadab and Abihu . . . offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.” (Lev. 10:1)

All was holy because they were separated unto God by His command, which reflects His will.

It is God’s word that declares what is to be Holy.

As God alone is holy, so His very nature must be involved in order for something thing to be holy.  The items for service in the tabernacle were holy in being set apart for God, but they were also anointed with the anointing oil, in the Old Testament “anointing oil” represents the work of the Holy Spirit. And here the anointing oil is instrumental in making the object/person holy. (Lev. 8:10, 30).

In this regard, we should remember that the fire God wanted Nadab and Abihu to use was to have God as its source. The fire had fallen from God upon the altar in Lev. 9:24. The very nature of God was in that fire – it was Holy Fire.

Understand and get this – only those things which are in accordance with God’s word, and which have their source and energy from God’s Spirit, can be Holy.

We need to be absolutely clear about the matter of “holy versus unholy.” We are not talking about “good versus evil.” The Bible is making the distinction between what is OF God and what is NOT OF God.

As time went on we see in the OT in the service of the tabernacle, the priests were failing in their duty, the people were not being properly taught, and God Himself was being profaned –all because the priests could not make this distinction (Ez. 22:26).

This word “profaned”  is used 31 time in the Old Testament, it speaks of the priests profaning something Holy including God Himself – 21 of those times it is found in Ezekiel.

Notice this was all related to the priesthood and the temple – correct?

So what does this have to do with us today?

 

The call to the genuine priesthood

1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV)

[9] But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [10] Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ESV)

[14] Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  [15] What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?

[16] What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God;

as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  [17] Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, [18] and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

We are the New Testament priests, serving Him in His house, the church, and building up the body of Christ (1 Pet. 2:5; 1 Cor. 14:12, 26).

I believe it’s clear that God wants us to discern the difference between the holy things and the unholy things in our work of building up the church – “God’s People”:

Ezekiel 36:22-23

[22] “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD:  It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name,  which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. [23]  And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them.  And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

Ezekiel 39:7-8

[7] “And  my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and  I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And  the nations shall know that I am  the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. [8]  Behold, it is coming and it will be brought about, declares the Lord GOD. That is the day  of which I have spoken.

Hebrews 10:19-25

[19]  Therefore, brothers,  since we have confidence to enter  the holy places by the blood of Jesus, [20] by  the new and living way that he opened for us through  the curtain, that is, through His flesh, [21] and since we have  a great priest over the house of God, [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts  sprinkled clean  from an evil conscience and our bodies  washed with pure water. [23]  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see  the Day drawing near.

What an exciting and comforting message – right… but read on… verses 26-31

[26] For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, [27] but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. [28] Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. [29] How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? [30] For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” [31] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

If the priest of the OT were judged – how much more are we if we profane the blood of Christ?

And consider that we are not only His Priests, but also His Temple – when we defile one we defile the other and God’s Expectations proclaim we are accountable before Him – as believers we are accountable – though forgiven we will still face God’s “discipline” 

Be not discouraged one more passage to consider …

1 Corinthians 3:10-17

[10]  According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled  master builder I laid a  foundation, and  someone else is building upon it.

Let each one take care how he builds upon it.

[11] For no one can lay a  foundation other  than that which is laid,  which is Jesus Christ.

[12] Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— [13]  each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed  by fire, and  the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

[14] If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives,  he will receive a reward. [15] If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved,  but only as through fire.

Hear these words…

[16] Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? [17] If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.

For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Remember Nadab and Abihu they brought strange fie into the temple – and God consumed them – they wanted to in some sense “APPROACH GOD WITHOUT GOD” – Like many today they plan on doing a great work for God – good things – but God is not in it – they plan it then ask God to be a part of it – they get it backwards.

 

 

My challenge to you – let God’s Expectation’s become a part of your life – review them every day when you “rise up” and every night when you “lay your head down” and all the time in between (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).  God’s Expectations in review:

Acknowledge God for Who He is and What He has done and is doing

Walk Obediently in Him

Pass on the Knowledge of the Holy to the next generation

Wait on Him to do all He has promised

Acknowledge God for Who He Is

This is the 1st  part of a 4-part discussion on God’s Expectations of us – – we encourage you to take this, read it and use it as a discussion guide with your family and others as you get together.  Your interaction is welcome…

God created all therefore everything belongs to God…
The first expectation of God is that…

I. WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD FOR WHO HE IS

In this article we are going to concentrate on how to practice this …
Another word for Acknowledging God for who He is – is Worship –
It’s giving to God the credit HE deserves.
In order to acknowledge God for who He is we must:
Know Him,
Believe that He is and is worthy to be acknowledged
And also the better we know Him the better we can acknowledge Him.

We need to come and worship God and worship Him with everything that is in us.
We need to let our bodies in on what’s going on!

Is it OK to:
• sing in church
• stand, sit, kneel in church
• clap our hands
• lift our hands
• applaud the Lord (give praise and honor the Lord right now?)
• dance
• jump, leap, cry laugh….
It’s all found in Scripture – God wants us to come to Him with our whole being

From the Scriptures we can assume that God created for a purpose -Look at His Word – God wants us to enjoy Him and honor Him:

Rev 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”

II. WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD BECAUSE WE ARE CREATED FOR HIS PLEASURE

Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in His people…

Read Nehemiah 8 – How is the Word of God treated and responded to? What do the people do when they hear the Word? Do they acknowledge God? How?

We are created for God’s pleasure …

Go through Psalm 139 – How does the Psalmist emphasize our need to Acknowledge God?

Psalm 139 reveals how God owns everything and we need to acknowledge Him for what He has done. Because He has created us for His Own Pleasure!

ALSO…
III. WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN OUR DAILY LIVES

It’s one thing to acknowledge God in worship at church
What about our daily lives.
Look at Deuteronomy 6 Acknowledging God

Is continuous God – all the time – everywhere – everyplace – that’s not popular but that’s what it takes to live in victory in this world – spontaneity of the heart

People in the Old Testament times got into trouble when they failed to acknowledge God –

The children of Israel did some pretty stupid things crossing the wilderness – picture it…

God brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand – through many signs and wonders – even to the death of every first born in Egypt including the first born of the animals.

God made such an impact that the Egyptians begged them to leave and paid them to do so – they left wealthy beyond their imaginations.

God lead the out – through the Red Sea on dry ground – they saw their enemies buried at sea – guided by a pillar of cloud that blocked the hot sun during the day – and a pillar of fire at night that kept them warm. This was a very visible sign of God’s presence.

God provided them food from the sky (manna and quail) and water from rocks – for 40 years of wandering their clothing never wore out.

Did they acknowledge God for His provision?
They complained over and over again – often asking to go back to Egypt where they had leaks and garlic (forgetting their slavery).

They never trusted or acknowledged God for who He was and is for very long.
They were into the trinity of self “Me”, “Myself”, and “I”!

God disciplined them – they had failed in responsibility, accountability and there were dire consequences for their failure.

Often even the most godly failed to acknowledge God – Moses and Aaron at the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20:24; Ex. 17:7) and they never entered the promised land. They let their anger against the people cloud what God was doing.

Once in the land of Canaan (Joshua 9:14) – the Gibeonites come to Joshua and the leaders pretending to be from a distant land (in reality they were from just over the hill) – the make a treaty with them without consulting God. Failure to acknowledge God

We fail to Acknowledge God when we do it on our own, in our own strength (we act or plan first, then ask God to bless us).

In the New Testament – it was Ananias and Saphira who failed to acknowledge God – they sold land and lied about it to the Apostles and God – the consequences was death.

When we fail to acknowledge God there are consequences.

We must be Acknowledging God in our Daily Lives

IV. WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD FOR WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE AND IS DOING

We need to acknowledge God in our daily lives.

Begin by asking God when you rise up: “Lord, how can I acknowledge you today?” – Then start looking where God is going to show you where and how for that day.

At the end of your day ask God as you lay your head on your pillow – “Lord where have I acknowledged you today and where have I failed to do so?” (Confess and start afresh – see Lamentations 3:22-23)
It might be something as simple as a quick quiet prayer acknowledging God several times throughout your day.
It might be something more direct of responding to someone’s need with the Love of Christ.
Sometimes you “Praise the Lord” publicly, verbally, honestly, other times quietly between you and God – but it must always begin in your heart – see what Jesus said in Luke 6:45 and John 4:24…

Acknowledging God is not hard when we remember that we must – but we have an enemy who doesn’t want us to do it –
He ties us up in all sorts of cares and things of the world that make us forget or even worse tells us – it’s all about ME not HIM (God).

V. WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD – ON PURPOSE – PROACTIVELY – WITH A PLAN

Think about:

A. How am I personally going to seek to Acknowledge God on purpose daily?

B. How can I help my loved ones learn to Acknowledge God more?

C. Who am I going to share this expectation of God with this month?

Walk Obediently in Christ

This is the 2nd part of a 4-part discussion on God’s Expectations of us – the first was to Acknowledge God – we encourage you to take this, read it and use it as a discussion guide with your family and others as you get together.  Your interaction is welcome…

 

I.     What does it mean to Walk In Him?

 

Colossians 2:6 says:

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, strengthened in faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. (Notice what this walk looks like and consequences)

 

1 John 1:6-7

If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,

      we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son, purifies us from all sin. (looks like – consequences – “fellowship” = partnership with each other)

 

In regards to walking in Him James 4:17 says…

      … one who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.  (If we are not walking in HIM we are in sin!)

 

Simply –

What are we to do? Walk In Him

 

What does the Word say about this?

We are talking about OBEDIENCE:

God requires whole hearted obedience

Jesus said in Matthew 22:37

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul … mind

           (Sound familiar? That’s the Deuteronomy 6:5 passage)

 

 

Obedience is the price of success

      Joshua 1:8

Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

 

 

Obedience is better than sacrifice

1 Samuel 15:22-23

But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination,  (witchcraft – deserved death) and arrogance like the evil idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,       He has rejected you as king.”

 

Obedience secures entrance into the kingdom.

Matthew 7:21

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, But only he who does the will of my Father …”

 

Obedience is the duty of life.

Acts 5:29

Peter and apostles when told not to preach by the powers to be responded…

“We must obey God rather than men!”

 

To walk in Him means that
obeying Christ and His Word becomes
a way of life.

 

II.     How then are we to walk?

 

The best way to discuss this is to look at what Jesus has said – look at these passages don’t get side tracked with any one command or issue – I want you to see the overall picture of what God expects of us in Walking in Him. Just let the Word speak.

 

We will begin in the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-7

“but I say…”  5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44

“when you…” 6:2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 17

 

What is Jesus saying?  Can one come to Him and sit back and relax – living in any way he wishes? Does HE have expectations of us?

 

Look at what Jesus says in

Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

 

Let’s look further at what Jesus says:

Matthew 25:31-45

      How are we to walk? Reach out to those in need!
Sometimes we can become so heavenly minded that we become no earthly good.

 

Next, how about Christ’s command to all believers in

Matthew 28:18-20   (The Great commission)

           It says “teaching to obey everything”

– you need to walk by being in His Word

 

Philippians 2:3-4 says “do nothing from selfishness or vain conceit”

:14 “do all things without grumbling or disputing”

 

Read Colossians 3:1-17 

          

How are we to walk?
In
obedience to the love of Christ!

        

Read:  1 John 1:6-7

Read:  1 John 2:3-6 “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

                          This is our accountability!

 

III.     What are the consequences of our walk?

 

There are consequences for those who are saved and don’t walk in obedience…

Read:   1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Some approach the Christian life saying I’m saved – and I’m free I can do what I want – we are really good at justifying our actions and way of life …

 

You might have your fire insurance and it will take care of the house – that it will be rebuilt – Fire insurance can never replace those priceless possessions created in love. Those pictures hanging on the fridge, the scrap book your child made just for you…

 

The same is true with our relationship with God – we might have eternal life but it doesn’t stop there – and if all you care about is “eternal life” then I question your salvation? Because all the evidence points to so much more …

 

In John 10:10 Jesus said: “I come that you might have life and have it abundantly – to the full”

 

What can we do?

 

Recognize that we have an enemy who wants to get us off track – to take us away from all that is of God – and if he can’t take away our salvation – he’s going to try and ruin our lives by getting us to go in a different direction.

Read:  2 Corinthians 10:3-6

 

The place to begin is your mind:  Philippians 4:8-9    

 

TALK ABOUT OBEDIENCE

 

  1. Define obedience? What does it look like?
  2. Is obedience difficult? Easy?
  3. Do you struggle with obedience? In what way?

Pass On The Knowledge of the Holy

This is the 3rd part of a 4-part discussion on God’s Expectations of us – the first was to Acknowledge God – the second was Walk in Obedience – we encourage you to take this, read it and use it as a discussion guide with your family and others as you get together.

 In Review:

  • Prime Assumption
    • Grasp it – we belong to the living God!
    • He has not created us and stepped aside He is actively involved in our world and lives on a constant basis
    • How we live – things we do and think effect our lives for all eternity – beginning with our need for salvation found in Jesus Christ
    • If we belong to God and He is involved in our lives we better know what He expects of us and live accordingly
    • We have been given the responsibility and God holds us accountable to live up to His expectations and there are consequences for all of creation.
  • What does God expect of us? His creation!
    • This is for everyone – all of creation – saved or unsaved – man or woman – adult or child – everyone who has ever lived and who ever will live.
    • This month we will look at
      • Pass On the Knowledge of the Holy to the next generation – more than the 4 Spiritual Laws

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;  2And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;  3And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”  4So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  5Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. (Gen 12:1-5)

 

Can you picture this event?  I want you to turn on that cranial TV – use your imagination – close your eyes if it helps – I want you to see this picture – this event…

You are a member of the family of Abram – he is your relative – and head of your family – your parents depend on him for leadership and wisdom and follow his leading.

Your great uncle Abram is not a young man – he is 75 years of age and you have just left the comfort of your home in the city Haran – probably the largest city in the world of that day – where you had a nice home, friends, if you wanted something all you had to do was to go to the corner “Lochs and Bagel shop” – the local market and get what you wanted.

Now uncle Abram announces one day that the entire family must depart and leave – where are we going someone asks – he says, “I don’t know but God says go and we are going.”

You set off – after 3 or 4 days the kids start complaining ….

 

So, Father Abram sits everyone down and tells the story…

  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was [1] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light,  that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.     (Gen 1:1-5)

 

I would imagine that Abram – went on and told the story – up to the time that God called Him to go forth from his own country to a new place God would show him.

 

Do you get the idea of what Abraham was doing? We don’t know if it happened in this way but I believe something like it happened.

 

Pass On The Knowledge Of The Holy To The Next Generation

God always required His people to pass on their knowledge of Him to the next generation. Obedience to this command would ultimately spread the knowledge—and blessing—of God throughout the whole earth.

Read Deut. 6

 

As we look through the Biblical record we find …

 

Adam shared with Eve God’s expectations concerning the Garden of Eden. These two, in turn, taught their children what they knew about God. Since they had been cast out of Eden, there was an even greater need to pass on God’s expectations since their relationship with God had changed.

God chose Abraham and created a great nation through his offspring, so that the knowledge of the Holy would be preserved and presented to every people group and nation.

In the Gospels, this expectation of God reached a new level.

When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He traveled to various towns and preached a message of repentance: “the Kingdom of God is at hand”. (Matthew 4:17)

When He called His disciples, He told them they would become “fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

Jesus then sent them throughout Israel to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 10)

Many of Jesus’ parables were directly related to the hearing and sharing of the Word of God. A good example is the Parable of the Sower, (Matthew 13:3-23) where Jesus explained the meaning to His disciples so they would understand His intent.

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) They were commissioned to pass on the knowledge of the Holy to the next generation.”

God expects His Church to pass on the knowledge of the Holy.

Every word in the Book of Acts ultimately fulfills this expectation. In fact, this is the theme of, which fulfills the Great Commission: “be my witnesses . . . to the utter most parts of the earth.”(Acts 1:8)

This truth is further emphasized in the final verse of the book of Acts: “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:31)

 

Passing on the knowledge of the Holy is primary to God’s plan.

Remember this is more than the “Gospel”.

 

Talk about it – everywhere …

 

  1. What do you have to pass on to the next generation? (See Psalm 71:16-18 “…Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”
  2. What do we need to be sharing and with whom?
  3. Are you pro-actively “passing on the knowledge of the Holy”?
  4. What holds you back, stands in your way, prevents you from sharing?
  5. Can you do this “as you go”?

Wait On God to Fulfill His Promises

This is the final part of a 4-part discussion on God’s Expectations of us – the first was to Acknowledge God – the second was Walk in Obedience – the third Pass On the Knowledge of the Holy now the fourth, Wait on God, we encourage you to take this, read it and use it as a discussion guide with your family and others as you get together.  Feel free to respond and interact with this.

 

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all learned to acknowledge God because their parents passed on to them the expectations of God—the knowledge of the holy. They learned to wait on God for His timing and purposes.

For four hundred and thirty years, God worked with His people in captivity, requiring them to wait on Him, to watch for Him. Generations came and went as God’s chosen people waited as slaves in a foreign land. God had four major expectations of His people during this time.

 

First, they were to remember God and trust in the promises He made in the past.

God told Adam and Eve that a Promised One would defeat the evil one permanently.

God told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that they would become a great nation and be a blessing to all the earth.

Through Joseph, on his deathbed, God promised that He would visit the Hebrews and bring them out of the land of Egypt into the Promised Land. (Genesis 50:24)

 

Second, they were to walk faithfully and with integrity.

Joseph is one of the greatest examples of walking faithfully before God.

This expectation was imparted through the stories of Joseph’s life as they were passed from one generation to the next.

Joseph walked with God in integrity, no matter how difficult his circumstances became. (1 Kings 2:4)

The third, and perhaps most difficult, expectation was to wait on God.

For four hundred years the children of Israel waited, always looking for the promise to be fulfilled, for the deliverer to come.

God had given them many examples to follow.

Abraham waited and wandered in the wilderness “looking for a city whose builder was God.” (Hebrews 11:10, 14, 16)

Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph waited for God to bring His promises to pass.

Impatience often tempted them to fulfill God’s promises before His time, but they learned to wait for God’s perfect plan.

The 4th expectation lays the foundation for the rest:

God expected His people to pass on the “knowledge of the Holy” to the next generation.

If parents did not teach their children about the promises and provision of God, the knowledge of God would die out in one generation. Later on, God commands this of His people. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

God always keeps His promises. Thousands of the promises of God are fulfilled throughout the Gospels.  (examples in your notes)

Jesus waited upon God throughout His earthly life. He waited obediently for His

Father’s perfect timing. (John 14:31; John 15:10) The fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of John highlight Jesus’ submission to the Father and His instructions for His disciples to do the same.

The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke list the faithful souls who waited for God to reveal His Promised Messiah.

Mark began his Gospel with God’s promise to His people through Isaiah: (Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1) “I will send my messenger ahead of you . . .”

God expected His people to wait on Him, trusting that He would fulfill His promises “in the fullness of time.” (Galatians 4:4) Abraham, Moses,

David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others anticipated the Messiah and waited patiently for Him. (1 Peter 1:10-11)

The early believers saw the promises of God being fulfilled before their eyes. On the day of Pentecost, Peter reminded his hearers in Jerusalem of this fact. (Acts 2)

Multiple times throughout Acts, Paul’s travel plans were circumvented by God. In each case, he had to wait for God’s guidance.

Paul learned to wait on God, even when he was imprisoned and had opportunity to escape.

The Spirit physically moved the disciples from place to place at times. (Acts 8:26-40)

Philip was used by God to witness to the Ethiopian eunuch because he made himself available while patiently waiting on God’s leading.

From Peter and the Apostles waiting for the Spirit in the Upper Room to Paul waiting in a house in Rome in the closing chapter, there are an abundance of examples of believers who waited on God throughout the Book of Acts.

How, then, are God’s expectations to be fulfilled?

How does an individual acknowledge God, walk in Him, pass on the knowledge of the holy, and wait on Him?

Believers acknowledge God when His name is on their lips, giving Him credit and praise for their lives.

They acknowledge the fact that God is in control—He is sovereign—no matter what happens in life.

Worship is a priority, and believers refuse to participate in activities that deny their Lord or disparage His name.

Christians reach out to others, making every effort to be “given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13) and to entertain strangers.” (Hebrews 13:2)

The believer must live in such a way that no one can doubt whom he or she serves!

To pass on the knowledge of the holy, the child of God must know the Gospel message so well and from so many different angles that it is second nature to him/her.

The Holy Spirit can use this knowledge and experience to proclaim Christ at any moment in any situation.

In 2 Timothy 4:2 Paul gives the charge to Timothy and to believers to be ready to preach in any situation because the believer’s children must know by experience that their parents belong to Christ.

Churches reach decisions in a variety of ways. Leaders should make a concerted effort to bring church members along in the decision-making process.

People learn by example and benefit by seeing their God-given leaders seeking guidance from the Lord.

Faith and trust are modeled when leaders are willing to wait upon God.

Elders/Shepherds lead and feed the sheep for the good of the Body, not for personal gain or recognition.

Pastors are never referred to as the “head” in Scripture. There is only one head—Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 2:19) The Pastor is just a “gift” to the Church, sent to build up and serve.

The Church, beginning with the leaders, must cry out to the living God like Habakkuk: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help?” (Hab 1:2)

Just as Habakkuk witnessed violence and injustice infiltrating his beloved nation, Christian leaders open up their morning papers and see much the same.

Children are not only the victims of terrible crimes such as murder and rape, they are now perpetrating these evil acts upon others.

Terrorism is ravaging the world, from suicide bombings in Israel to the destruction of the World Trade Centers.

Same sex marriages are becoming increasingly accepted.

How can any believer not cry out: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”

God longs to hear one unified voice, one Body, crying out to Him.

He waits to hear His people offer themselves as His instruments to reach a lost world. This ideal is the ultimate task of Church leaders–to lead all members of the Body into maturity in Christ.

Then the church will truly be “one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

 

I challenge you to make this your daily prayer

  1. Lord, how can I acknowledge You more in my life on a daily basis?
  2. Lord, where am I failing to walk obediently in You?
  3. Lord, how can I pass on the knowledge of the holy to the next generation – to those whom You have put in my path?
  4. Help me O Lord, to patiently and actively wait on you to do all you have promised in my life.