Bible Study: October 6, 2013
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from the YOU! curriculum.
Bible Passage: Psalm 89:1-4, 13-15
What are some reasons we struggle in being faithful to God and the people in our lives? How might we overcome our struggles with faithfulness?
Food for Thought:
We are surrounded by poor examples of faithfulness. We're so fickle, always chasing the latest fads, the coolest looks, and the trending people. We live in a time when there's just not much stick-to-itiveness or faithfulness in our culture. It's more and more difficult to trust people to be faithful to their word and faithful to family and friends. When we get bored, we often just move on to something or somebody else. Thankfully, God is not like that! He is always faithful because He is incapable of anything else.
God is Faithful in His Love
Faithful love in the context of a husband and wife is symbolized by the exchange of rings representing undying, exclusive love and a continual renewal of vows. The ring is continuous and never ending, just as is God's perfect, never-ending faithfulness to His people.
Psalm 89 pleads for God to deliver His people from their affliction based on His faithfulness, not theirs. It is an agonizing prayer offered for the nation of Israel, asking that God would honor the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:8-16).
Believers must be committed to singing, proclaiming and declaring the LORD'S faithful love (vv. 1-2). The psalmist declared, "I will sing about the LORD'S faithful love forever." The psalmist rejoiced in God's perfect, unconditional love for His own people. Faithful love is not a fleeting emotional response, but an unfailing commitment. It's a continual choice we make to honor God and love others, no matter what they have done or how they make us feel.
God is Faithful in His Promises
We need to be thankful God's faithfulness does not flip-flop or fail like ours. His faithfulness is rooted in His perfect, unwavering love for His Son and for us. The prophet Isaiah wrote God's words about His faithfulness, saying: "As heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:9).
When God makes a promise, He does not change His mind; He does not give up on His commitments, as we do. "The LORD said, I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David My servant...." God always assumes responsibility for His side of things.
God also requires something from His people -- from us. Ten key areas in which He calls us to be faithful include: (1) loving God with all we have and are; (2) laying up treasure in heaven; (3) not being ashamed of Jesus or His Gospel; (4) holding on to the pattern of sound teaching; (5) enduring hardships; (6) becoming good students of the Bible; (7) submitting to God's authority every day; (8) praying and worshiping from our hearts; (9) serving God by helping others in need, and (10) making disciples through salvation, baptism and education.
God is Faithful in His Power
God is the model for faithfulness in love, in His promises and in His power. Nothing in creation, whether earthly or heavenly, can ever compare with God's unsearchable wisdom and endless power! He created all creation and controls it by His right hand, confidently lifted high. He is pictured on the throne of universal empire and absolute dominion, exercising authority and executing His laws, with an omnipotent but impartial hand. In verses 13-15, the psalmist praises God's almighty power and connects that power with His faithful love.
Nothing keeps God from being faithful. When we walk in His faithful love, we should become more faithful in our love, promises and in tapping into God's unlimited power. As God loves us no matter what, His love can overflow through us to others. The more we come to know about God and experience who He really is, the more we will long to be like Him and grow in our faithfulness to Him and others.
Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU is biblically based with culturally relevant and affirming lessons to help your members connect, grow, serve and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated, all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.