I am teaching systematic theology to my Sunday kids. They range in age from 5 to 10. Impressed? You should be. I have never been more impressed with a group of students.
They are like sponges soaking up every morsel of life. They are bold in asking questions and challenging the material. Never do we have a class without a few of these statements: “I don’t get that, explain. Are you sure? Where is that in the Bible?”
Never do they just sit still and listen. They search, read, ask, and then to make sure they understand, they give a personal illustration followed by, “Is that it?”
At this point, I am usually dancing with excitement and tearfully shouting, “Yes!!! You got it!”
Oh how I marvel at the wisdom and faith of a child. They are the true students of the Lord. Believe me when I tell you, these children are destined to greatness in God’s Kingdom.
I am using curriculum from John Piper’s Children Desiring God. Last week’s lesson was about the covenant God made with His people when giving the Ten Commandments. This quote pricked my heart:
People can see what God is like by the laws and commands He gives.
It reminded me of an assignment I was given some years ago. One I started and never finished. (Anyone else relating to unfinished obedience?)
Therefore in order to fulfill my commitment to the Lord, to learn what He has commanded, and to offer you Monday blogs, I am starting a new series.
We are going to study everything recorded in ‘red and white’ throughout the Gospels: in other words; everything Jesus commanded.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, AND TEACHING them everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Emphasis mine, on purpose, so go back and read it again.)
A true teacher is what he/she teaches. A false teacher speaks one thing but lives another. God revealed Himself to His people by the Ten Commandments, the prophets, and His inspired recorded Word. We can read His Word and Know Him.
Jesus can be known by what He spoke. But it goes further for those of us who are His chosen. We must know what He teaches and then apply His truth. In that way we prove, ‘We got it’.
The key word in the Great Commission is ‘and’. We often evangelize but don’t always disciple the new converts with all Jesus is by all Jesus taught. Therefore they (and we) don’t know Him or how to reflect Him. Which may explain why we have churches full of defeated, crippled, and weak Christians.
God wants His treasured people to display His own greatness and value so people would look at Israel and say, “Wow, look at Israel! They are the LORD’s people. If they belong to Him, He must be really great!” (Children Desiring God)
Could it be the world doesn’t want to know Jesus because we are not adequately reflecting our Teacher?
So this series will not only give a devotional thought, a few truths, but also a Bible study. We will have reached our goal when those around us WANT to know Jesus by what they see in us.
You can stop here if you like. Those wanting more, here is an Old Testament foundation before we dive into the Gospels next week.
Read Exodus 3. How did God reveal Himself to Moses?
Had Moses ever seen or heard God before?
Where was this encounter? (Exodus 3:1)
It is obvious this first time encounter forever changed the heart, mind, and soul of Moses. He was never the same. He returned to his past land, to his people, and declared the Word of God he had just met.
How long had it been since the Israelites had encountered God? (Look at Exodus 12:40-42 for possible answer)
How did God show His fame to the nations of Israel and Egypt?
Review Exodus 5-12. Record His mighty works in order.
The plagues showed Yahweh’s power over every false god of the Egyptians. But His grand finale is found in chapter 13:17-14:28.
How would you respond if you had witnessed such grandeur?
The Israelites burst into worship, which is always the perfect response.
Now let’s fast-forward a few weeks. Moses didn’t take the people directly to the Promised Land. He took them to the place where he had first encountered God.
Have you been obedient to take your lost friends to that ‘spiritual place’ where you meet your Redeemer and
Deliverer? Why or Why not?
Read Exodus 19 and 20.
What manifestations did God display to show His Majesty? (19:16-19)
What did He require of the people? (19:10-15)
What three-fold covenant did He make with them? (19:5-6)
In our class, Savannah (age 10) asked, “Aren’t all people His treasured possessions?”
How would you have answered her?
Are you a treasured possession? (Isaiah 66:2)
What is the role of a priest? (Exodus 28 & 29; Leviticus 21; Hebrews 7:26-8:6)
Are we as believers fulfilling the work of a kingdom of priest (set apart as holy; intercede for people; stand in the gap; do the work of the Lord; stand in His Presence; etc?
Holy is defined as being pure of sin, set apart from the world and above all earthly things. We are called to be holy as He is holy. (1 Peter 1:16)
Are our churches a holy nation?
Do people look at you and want to know your God?
Give a personal illustration of what this covenant life would look like when lived out to its fullest glory.
Record your prayer of commitment to become this treasured, priestly, holy possession. Use the Ten Commandments as your standard. Let me get you started,
Father, I bless Your holy name for choosing me to be in covenant with You. I humbly choose to yield my life into Your hands so that Your glory and grace can be lived through me.
Create in me a heart, mind, and soul that loves You above all others. Convict me instantly when I begin to make a false god in any image….