1. Moses went up to God to hear a word from Him. In what ways do we expect to hear God but fail to do so when we neglect to “go up to Him”? How can we be more faithful at doing so? We fail to go to God seeking His will and direction because often we feel as if we know what is best for our lives. Yet we still expect God’s approval of what we’ve decided to do! Our feeling is often that we can handle things on our own, so why should we bother God with these things? As long as He isn’t interfering in what we are doing, then that’s the same as having His approval—so we think.
A regular period of quiet devotions and Bible reading is invaluable. During one of these daily quiet times, try this: invite God to put a halt to your plans if those plans don’t fit His will. And don’t be surprised when He honors your request!
2. History reveals that God is the provider, sustainer, and protector of His people, in what ways has God carried you and your church “on eagles’ wings”?
God has been faithful at providing for His people all those things necessary for eternal life. God has sustained us through good and bad, in sickness and grief, as well as in joys and victories. God has protected us through storms, in travel, and many ways that we simply take for granted. We also look at the way missionaries in difficult places are protected and provided for by God. Even when martyrdom occurs the result is more growth of the church. The attacks of Satan and the ravages of war have not been enough to stop the church.
3. Starting from Genesis 4:7 through to Revelation 22:19, Scripture is filled with the conditional word if, in what ways do people sometimes bypass the ifs of God’s Word? Why?
For some, there is a false understanding of grace. Paul spoke of this in Romans 6:1 when he asked. “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
At other times Christians want to justify their sin. They desire to be able to sin and not have to accept personal responsibility for doing so. It is imperative to remember the teaching of Scripture: “Not every one that saith unto one, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
The “surely God would not “, line of thinking is a very dangerous way of predicting how God will and won’t react to our sin. This mode of thought often can be traced to ignoring (intentionally or unintentionally) the ifs of Scripture.
4. What are some ways that you fulfill your priestly role as God intends? What will interfere with your priestly service?
Priests are a select and special group. We are sacred, set apart for God. This means that as Christians we are a special people to God. First Peter 2:5 states that Christians are a holy priesthood. Our task is to live holy lives that reflect the holiness of God. Without holiness as a backdrop our priesthood won’t mean much. First Peter 2:9 states that we as Christians are a royal priesthood. As royalty we represent the spiritual kingdom in which we live. Our king, who grants our royal position, expects holiness because He is holy, (1 Peter 1:15, 16).
A job of priests is to offer sacrifices to God. These sacrifices include our time and our finances. We intercede with one another in prayer. As priests we recognize that we are to be living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God (Romans 12:1). We fulfill the role of priests when we recognize that we are not our own but that we belong to God.
5. Telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is not always appreciated. In what ways do preachers and teachers fail to tell “all the words of the Lord”? In what ways do people close their ears to these words of truth?
Those who preach the gospel may, at times, fail to teach the whole truth out of fear of losing a job. In Sunday school classes teachers may avoid touching sensitive or controversial issues for fear of creating dissension. On the other hand churches have been known to tie the hands of preachers and teachers by telling them to stay away from certain topics that “hit too close to home.” Is our church guilty in any of these areas?