Sunday School Lesson


Spiritual Encouragement

Private obedience leads to public blessings.

The Bible promises that if we obey God, then He will bless us. In Deuteronomy 28:1-2, Moses told the Israelites, "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God." The next fifteen verses list all sorts of blessings that God will give His people.

It sounds really good to be radically blessed, but notice that there is a condition: you must "fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands."

Obedience can be difficult, but if you consistently obey God in secret, then "your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:4).

You may freely choose between obedience and disobedience, but know that "a man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).

Obey the Lord in all things—private and public. Then you will see "all these blessings ... come upon you."

 

Listen to your prayers, because they locate your level of spiritual maturity.

What are you praying for? Are you asking God to give you more stuff--a bigger house, a new car, a bigger salary? What you pray for indicates what is important to you.

It is a great lesson to examine what the people in the Bible prayed for.

King David, in Psalm 27:4, prayed, One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. He asked God for just one thing: that he would dwell in God's presence. David clearly knew that in God's presence he would receive everything he needed (see Matthew 6:33).

Paul also didn't pray for worldly things. Instead, in Philippians 1:9, Paul prayed that the church would walk in love: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more. Paul knew the importance of love, and so he made it a point to pray that the church would grow more and more in love.

Furthermore, he prayed that believers would be strengthened spiritually: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16).

In short, your prayers can tell what you consider to be important. If you are only praying for worldly stuff, then you are neglecting what is of lasting value: knowing God, dwelling in His presence, walking in His love, and being strong spiritually.

Therefore, decide to adjust what you're praying for. Learn to listen to your prayers, because they locate your level of spiritual maturity.

 


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All scripture quotations are in italics. Some portions of scripture have been placed in bold by the author for emphasis.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION©. NIV©. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright ? 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission

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