Motivate Who are some people or organizations to which we give our allegiance? our country (the Pledge of Allegiance) our spouse our church our employer our team our friends our family a fraternal or service organization Transition

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Date 5/2/04 Trusting God

  1. Motivate

Who are some people or organizations to which we give our allegiance?

  • our country (the Pledge of Allegiance)

  • our spouse

  • our church

  • our employer

  • our team

  • our friends

  • our family

  • a fraternal or service organization

  1. Transition

Today we discover why the God we serve is worthy

  • of our trust

  • of our allegiance

  1. Bible Study

3.1 Trust in the Lord

Listen for verbs that tell us what we are to do.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; [6] in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

What were the verbs in the passage that instruct us what to do?

  • trust (in the Lord)

  • do not lean (on your own understanding)

  • acknowledge (God)

What are some problems involved when you rely or lean on your own understanding

  • it is limited

  • it is often flawed – you actually don't understand the reality of the situation

  • it can be mixed up

  • your biased views can cause wrong decisions

What are some things that hinder us from acknowledging God as the authority in our lives?

  • we think God doesn't really understand us

  • we don't believe God is able or interesting in helping us

  • we think God is too far away, to big, to distant

How can we overcome such attitudes?

  • know God's Word

  • study His Truth

  • learn about how much He loves you, cares for you, is able to help you

What is the promise to us if we follow these instructions?

 God will make our paths straight

What does this mean, "make your paths straight"?

  • give good counsel in making decisions

  • keep us living lives that are pleasing to God

  • keep us from heading our lives in the wrong direction

  • give us wisdom when we don't know what is the right thing to do

3.2 Depend on Jesus' Work

Listen for what Jesus does for believers when we fail, when we sin.
1 John 2:1-2 (NIV) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. [2] He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
What do you see in this passage that God desires for us concerning our sinning?

  • that we do not sin

  • that if we do, they can be forgiven

  • they can be atoned for

How has God provided for us when/if we do sin (after becoming a believer)?

  • we have an advocate

  • we have One who speaks to the Father in our Defense

  • Jesus, the Righteous One is our defender

  • He, Himself, was the atoning sacrifice

  • He was the propitiation – the sacrifice which appeased the anger of God against our sin

What does this passage say about why it had to be Jesus who was the atoning sacrifice, the propitiation?

  • He is the righteous One

  • we could not do so ourselves

  • animal sacrifice was not sufficient for human sinfulness

  • only someone who did not deserve death could be the substitute for someone who did deserve death

In what other ways do you imagine that Jesus is our advocate?

  • takes our prayers to the Father

  • brings to the Father our needs

  • because Jesus was human, He helps God the Father understand what it is like to be human

  • He helps the Father realize our frailties, our desires, our individual struggles

3.3 Keep God's Commands

Listen for the significance of the word "know" in this passage.
1 John 2:3-6 (NIV) We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. [4] The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. [5] But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: [6] Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Suppose a private investigator were trying to prove one's relationship to someone else, what is the most convincing evidence – what would the surveillance tapes show?

  • we spend time with them

  • we talk to them, communicate with letters

  • we bring them gifts, they give gifts to us

  • we do things to please them

  • we talk about them to others

What does this passage say about someone who truly knows God?

  • obey His commands

  • God's love made complete in him

  • walk as Jesus did (this is where the WWJD concept is derived)

  • we imitate Him

What do you think John meant by the phrase, "the truth is not in him"?

  • he is fooling himself

  • he makes claims that are false

  • nothing he says can be trusted

  • also, God's Truth is not in him – either such a person does not know Truth or does not apply what he does know

How do we get the Truth "in us"?

  • read it

  • apply it to your life – see that what it says applies to you personally

  • put it into practice – the specific commands, the principles

  • give God's Truth the highest priority in your life

  • of all possible "theories" floating around concerning how to live, God's Truth is the one we give credence to and live by

3.4 Love Other Christians

Listen for a command that is said to be both old and new.
1 John 2:7-11 (NIV) Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. [8] Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. [9] Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. [10] Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. [11] But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

How did John contrast love and hate?



  • love seen in Jesus

  • love seen in believers

  • demonstrates the "light" of God's truth at work in us

  • opposite of love

  • a demonstration of "darkness" in one's life – the lack of love

  • demonstrates that such a person does not know how to act rightly

How was loving others an old commandment?

  • Jesus talked about two greatest of the Old Testament commandments

    • loving God,

    • loving neighbor as self

From John 13:34 (NIV) "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. "

Jesus said this at the last supper … how had Jesus demonstrated "as I have loved you" at the beginning of the event?

Consider how this demonstrates the kind of love we are to have for one another?

  • we choose to do for one another

  • we set aside our own comforts to help or provide for someone else

  • we put others ahead of ourselves

 This is what Jesus did for us … even to the point of His death

 This is the attitude we are to have!
How should our collective relationships as a church convince the world about the love of Christ?

  • they will see Christ's life in us

  • recall the children's song, "Do you know, oh Christian, you're a Sermon in shoes?"

  • how we act towards each other will be distinctly differently than does the world

  • that attitude towards one another will be attractive to people who do not know Jesus

  1. Conclusion – Application

4.1 As a devotional exercise, read the words to the song, "Trust and Obey"

  • think about how trust and obedience are related

  • ask God to show you areas in your life where you need to be more obedient to Him

  • trust Him to make it so

4.2 Think this week about how to depend less upon your "own understanding"

  • faithfully reading God's word will give you God's understanding

  • write out a prayer that would tell God in your own words specific ways in which you are going to acknowledge Him in all your ways

4.3 Look for ways in which you can demonstrate the kind of love that Jesus did when he took the role of a servant

  • what task can you identify that needs to be done for someone else?

  • ask God to show you ways in which what you say and what you do will demonstrate the love of Jesus to others

  • write a card, send an email to someone who needs a loving encouragement or affirmation

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