Obedience

The Book of Luke

The Path of Obedience, Part 1

Theme: Profession without Practice
 
This week’s lessons stress the necessity of obedience if one is truly a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Scripture: Luke 6:46-49
 
Jesus spoke about obedience toward the end of Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount. He had been followed by people who made verbal profession of discipleship.

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The Book of Luke

The Path of Obedience, Part 2

Theme: How Does Jesus Speak?
 
This week’s lessons stress the necessity of obedience if one is truly a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Scripture: Luke 6:46-49
 
Several years ago, when I was in northern California, I turned on the radio and heard part of an unusual religious program. It was called “Have You Had a Spiritual Experience?” and was conducted like a call-in talk show.

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The Book of Luke

The Path of Obedience, Part 3

Theme: Living in the Book: Daily and Systematic Bible Study
 
This week’s lessons stress the necessity of obedience if one is truly a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Scripture: Luke 6:46-49
 
Everything I have been saying so far leads to a practical conclusion, and it is this.

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The Book of Luke

The Path of Obedience, Part 4

Theme: Living in the Book: Comprehensive and Devotional Bible Study
 
This week’s lessons stress the necessity of obedience if one is truly a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Scripture: Luke 6:46-49
 
Yesterday we mentioned what systematic Bible study is.  We now need to see how one does it. Certain procedures should be followed during study. First, the book itself should be read through carefully as many as four or five times, perhaps one of these times aloud.

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The Book of Luke

The Path of Obedience, Part 5

Theme: The Liberty of Obedience
 
This week’s lessons stress the necessity of obedience if one is truly a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Scripture: Luke 6:46-49
 
Over the last two days we looked at four Bible study methods.  Today we begin by mentioning one more.
 
5. Study the Bible prayerfully (Dan. 9:1-3).

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The Book of Psalms

Friday: The Shining Face of God

Theme: We Shall See God
This week’s lessons teach us of God’s gracious intention to call a people for himself from every nation, and of our great privilege and responsibility to make the gospel of Christ known to them.
Scripture: Psalm 67:1-7

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The Book of Psalms

Tuesday: Obedience While Waiting

Theme: God’s Mercy and Truth
In this week’s lessons, we see that obedience, Bible study, and prayer lead to true freedom. 
Scripture: Psalm 119:153-168
Apparently, the problem of profession without practice was present in the early Christian community, as proved by the epistle of James:

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The Book of Psalms

Wednesday: Obedience While Waiting

Theme: Peace and Security
In this week’s lessons, we see that obedience, Bible study, and prayer lead to true freedom. 
Scripture: Psalm 119:153-168
The psalmist learned various things about God as he studied his Word. In yesterday’s study we looked at two things the psalmist learned, including that (1) God is merciful, and that (2) God’s Word is true. In today’s study we continue with two more points.

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The Book of Psalms

Friday: Obedience While Waiting

Theme: Obedience Leading to Freedom
In this week’s lessons, we see that obedience, Bible study, and prayer lead to true freedom. 
Scripture: Psalm 119:153-168
In yesterday’s study, we talked about the need to study the Bible daily, systematically, and comprehensively. Today we will look at two other necessary elements if you want to know God as he speaks to you through the Bible.

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The Book of Psalms

Monday: Looking Up

Theme: Lifting Our Eyes to the Lord
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to lift our eyes to the Lord, remembering his mercy, and striving to please him in all things.
Scripture: Psalm 123:1-4

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The Book of Psalms

Tuesday: Looking Up

Theme: Being Faithful Disciples
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to lift our eyes to the Lord, remembering his mercy, and striving to please him in all things.
Scripture: Psalm 123:1-4
Spurgeon writes, “We must use our eyes with resolution, for they will not go upward to the Lord of themselves, but they incline to look downward, or inward, or anywhere but to the Lord.”1
He continues:

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The Book of Psalms

Wednesday: Looking Up

Theme: When Opposition Comes
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to lift our eyes to the Lord, remembering his mercy, and striving to please him in all things.
Scripture: Psalm 123:1-4

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The Book of Psalms

Thursday: Looking Up

Theme: Our Need for God’s Mercy
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to lift our eyes to the Lord, remembering his mercy, and striving to please him in all things.
Scripture: Psalm 123:1-4

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The Book of Psalms

Friday: Looking Up

Theme: Pressing on in Obedience
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to lift our eyes to the Lord, remembering his mercy, and striving to please him in all things.
Scripture: Psalm 123:1-4
Let me suggest here that the only thing that will ever lift you out of your sin and complacency, put you on the pilgrim trail, and keep you there throughout life is a profound awareness of the mercy and grace of God.

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The Book of Psalms

Monday: God’s Blessing on the Home

Theme: A Wonderful Word
In this week’s lessons, we see how we ought to think and act biblically, and the blessings that the Lord provides when we do this.
Scripture: Psalm 128:1-6
“Blessing” is a wonderful word. In spiritual matters, it has to do with God’s particular favors to his people. Because God is generous and great, his blessings are generous and great as well. Once we have begun to experience them they seem to be without limit. God’s blessings go on and on.

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The Book of Psalms

Wednesday: God’s Blessing on the Home

Theme: Acting Biblically
In this week’s lessons, we see how we ought to think and act biblically, and the blessings that the Lord provides when we do this.
Scripture: Psalm 128:1-6
Yesterday we looked at the first important responsibility for the person who would experience God’s blessings, namely, to fear the Lord.

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The Book of Psalms

Wednesday: The Ascent of God’s Ark to Zion

Theme: Our Acceptance before God
In this week’s lessons, we see what God will do for those who, as pilgrims in this life, look to him in faith and obedience.
Scripture: Psalm 132:1-18
The next section of this psalm (vv. 6-9) recounts how the Ark was found in the fields of Jaar” in David’s time and how it was brought to Jerusalem. It is an accurate piece of historical remembrance.

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The House on the Rock

Monday: The House on the Rock

We come to the very last words of the Sermon on the Mount, the section in which Jesus Christ pictures the difference between those who hear His teachings and do them and those who hear His teachings and do not do them as the difference between a wise man who builds his house upon a rock, and a foolish man who builds his house upon sand. It is a picture that all people know. And it is one that most of us have sung about, in one hymn or another, since the time we were children.

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The House on the Rock

Tuesday: Christ Is the Rock

In these closing words of His sermon Jesus was stressing the importance of an adequate foundation, and He is asking the question, “What is your foundation? On what do you build?”

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The House on the Rock

Wednesday: The House Will Stand

The second important point to be seen in these verses is this: A life built upon Jesus Christ will stand. That is a simple point, of course, but we need to have it clear in our thinking and to get it planted deeply in our minds. A life built upon Jesus will stand, even in the midst of the tribulations of this life or the judgments of eternity.

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The House on the Rock

Thursday: “The Old Gospel”

Now there is one last point here, and it is a point for Christians. What are you building? Oh, you are on the foundation all right. Christ is your Savior. But do you know that it may be possible for Him to be your foundation and yet for you to go through life building things that are worthless and that will not remain as fruit for eternity, even though you will be saved personally?

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The House on the Rock

Friday: What Are You Building?

What are you building upon the foundation that is given you by God? Are you living to yourself? It is entirely possible for Christians to do that. Or are you living for Him? Are you using the talents, blessings, opportunities, influence, and wealth that He has given you to build Christian character and bring men to the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior?

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Deuteronomy: An Introduction

Tuesday: Moses’ First Address: Deuteronomy 1:1-26:19

Now let me give you an outline for Deuteronomy. You have a preamble in the first five verses of chapter 1. Then you have three addresses by Moses. Now scholars break them up in different ways, but generally we can divide them up like this: Moses’ first address (Deut. 1:6-4:43) gives a review of the people’s past journey from Mount Sinai to the borders of Canaan; Moses’ second address (Deut. 4:44-26:19) summarizes, restates, and applies God’s law and urges it on the people; and Moses’ third address (Deut. 27-30) is an enactment of the covenant between God and the people, according to which they are going to be blessed for their obedience and cursed for their disobedience. Following this is a short historical section, and then what I have called the second song of Moses (Deut. 31-32). And in the final chapters, Moses blesses the tribes, and his death is recorded (Deut. 33-34).

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Deuteronomy: An Introduction

Wednesday: The Greatest of the Commandments: Deuteronomy 1:1-26:19

The second address is a much longer one, amounting to twenty-two chapters and making up the substance of Deuteronomy. The first part (Deut. 5-11) reiterates the law of God as it bears on the people’s relationship to God. The second part (Deut. 12-26) reiterates the law of God as it bears on the people’s relationship to the land and to other people. This division concerning God on the one hand, and people on the other, should ring a bell because that’s exactly what you have in the Ten Commandments. The first table of the Ten Commandments has to do with our relationship to God. We are to remember Him, worship Him only, have no other gods before Him, and remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. And then the second table begins with the family and the need to honor your father and mother, and then concludes with the commandment not to covet. Those two parts of the Ten Commandments are reflected in a dynamic way in Moses’ second address.

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Deuteronomy: An Introduction

Thursday: God’s Electing Love: Deuteronomy 1:1-26:19

The second thing the people are encouraged to do is to impress these laws—above all, the duty to love God wholly—upon their children. After Moses tells the Israelites to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength, he then says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9).

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Deuteronomy: An Introduction

Friday: A Prophet Like Moses: Deuteronomy 1:1-26:19

If you have an opportunity to teach, whether it is in your home or in church, and whether to children or adults, don’t be afraid to repeat, repeat, repeat the teachings of the Word of God. People need to hear the law, they need to hear the Gospel, and they need to hear both of them again and again and again. It is significant that in the middle of this repeated law, we find the greatest of all the commandments: love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. As we learn to love Him, by the grace of the Lord we also learn to obey.

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Curses and Blessings

Monday: The Heart of Deuteronomy: Deuteronomy 27:1-30:20

Some scholars regard the book of Deuteronomy as the heart of the Old Testament, and some call chapters 27-30 the heart of Deuteronomy. In these chapters, Moses forcefully urges on the people the kind of life that is based on what God has done. In chapters 4-26, he has given the chief substance of the teaching. As a preacher, Moses is pressing this point home upon the people. He is about to die and will soon leave the people he has led for decades. He urges the people to choose righteousness and obey God, because that’s the way of blessing. The other way is the way of death.

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Curses and Blessings

Tuesday: The Altar: Deuteronomy 27:1-30:20

The second point of our outline has to do with the blessings and curses. When the people came into the land and had written the law on the stones and the altar had been set up, the Israelites were supposed to stand on these two mountains, in the area of the country known as Samaria now, about 3,000 feet above sea level. At one point, the two mountains come close together. Half of the tribes were to take their places on Mount Gerizim and the other half on Mount Ebal. The Levites were to recite the blessings and the curses. And after each curse and each blessing, the people would answer by saying, “Amen.”

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Curses and Blessings

Wednesday: The Cursings and Blessings Described: Deuteronomy 27:1-30:20

The third point is to urge the people to obey. Moses was a great preacher, and he rises to heights of eloquence here in Deuteronomy 29-30. Even after he spelled things out as sharply as he does in Deuteronomy 27-28, he goes on to urge his applications on the people even more. Moses reminds the people of the past, describes what entering into the covenant really means, gives an additional specific warning of disasters to come, and finally promises prosperity in the future, if, after having fallen away, the people repent of their sins and come back to the Lord they have deserted.

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Curses and Blessings

Thursday: Entering into the Covenant: Deuteronomy 27:1-30:20

Moses already went over the people’s history before. Why is he saying it again? Moses explains that even though he said it before, the people didn’t really see it. It didn’t get through to them. The people were blind to the implications of the work of God. We need spiritual sight, too, and such spiritual healing only comes to us from God.

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Curses and Blessings

Friday: Spiritual Life or Spiritual Death: Deuteronomy 27:1-30:20

If you know you are a sinner, go to Christ, confess your sin, and find salvation in Him. Then, by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, get on with living the Christian life. Paul says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom. 10:9). Is salvation that simple? It is. But it is of vast importance. And whether we believe and act on our belief is a matter of spiritual life or spiritual death.

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The Second Song of Moses

Monday: Four Charges: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47

Don’t get into the habit of thinking you can retire in the Christian life. You may retire from your job, but as long as you are living, there is work to be done and there is a testimony to bear. This is true of Moses, and he does his work to the very end.

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The Second Song of Moses

Tuesday: The Importance of the Written Word: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47

We are fighting spiritual battles and we are doing it in a hostile environment. There are citadels of unbelief to be overcome. We need courage to do it, and we get that courage from reading the Bible, from praying, and from being encouraged by one another. We need to encourage one another. Moses is encouraging Joshua, God is encouraging Joshua, Joshua is encouraging the people, and the people are encouraging Joshua. Sometimes, life is relatively easy, but then difficulties come into our lives. We need Christian friends to say to us, “Come on, don’t be afraid now. God will be with you and He will bless you.” That’s a great ministry for any Christian to have. Ask the Lord whom you can encourage to press on.

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The Second Song of Moses

Wednesday: Looking at Moses’ Song: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47

I’ve called it a “second song” of Moses because there is an obvious parallel between this song that comes here at the very end of his life, just before the people are to enter the promised land, and the song they sang after they were delivered from Egypt forty years earlier. The song at the beginning of their desert wandering was filled with joy, while the song at the end is filled with warnings. Yet at both the beginning and the end, the people are singing.

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The Second Song of Moses

Thursday: Following in God’s Way: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47

n verse 8 of the fourth section, a universal note is struck when it pictures God as the Most High God who gives to every nation the territory that it is supposed to have. With a very nice turn of phrase Moses says in verse 9, “For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.” Paul refers to verse 8 when he preaches his sermon before the Greek intellectuals on Mars Hill, telling them that God has given all the nations their own portion of land as their inheritance (see Acts 17:26).

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The Second Song of Moses

Friday: A Matter of Life and Death: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47

The final section (vv. 39-43) of this song deals with the nature of God and final victory. At the very end, the word atonement suddenly appears. He will “make atonement for his land and people” (v. 43). They would probably think of the Day of Atonement, which is pointing forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. You see, it’s only because of the coming of Jesus Christ that you and I are ever going to escape the judgment which hangs over us. Christ shields us from all wrath; outside of Christ, we are exposed to all wrath. Moses’ great song teaches that judgment is coming, but God provides deliverance from it by making atonement. The people need to find refuge in Him.

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The Death of Moses

Monday: Dying Words: Deuteronomy 32:48-34:12

Moses, the servant of God, had many dying words. In a sense, they are the entire book of Deuteronomy. It consists of three addresses, and we looked at two of them. The first was urging godliness upon the people, and the second dealt with a challenge to the people. Now, in Deuteronomy 33, Moses gives his third address, which is a blessing upon the tribes. As this book concludes, we see that Moses’ last words are in praise of God, and the last thing God has to say in this book, in the last three verses, is praise of Moses.

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How Then Should We Live?

Monday: Doctrine Applied

With the start of chapter 12, we come in our studies of Paul’s letter to the Romans to the practical section of the book. Ours is a practical age and most people want “practical” teaching. But to call these chapters practical suggests that the doctrinal sections are not practical, and whenever we find ourselves thinking along those lines we are making a mistake and contributing to great misunderstanding.

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How Then Should We Live?

Wednesday: The Importance of “Therefore”

In Monday’s study I commented on Francis Schaeffer’s book How Should We Then Live?, saying that “then” is the all-important word. Now I note that when we come to the first verse of Romans 12 we discover exactly the same thing, only in this case the important word is “therefore.”

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How Then Should We Live?

Thursday: Connecting the Doctrine

“Therefore” is a linking word, as I have said. We have looked back to what it refers to. Now we should look forward to see what the doctrinal material of chapters 1-11 connects with. I am handling it in seven sections.

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How Then Should We Live?

Friday: The Difference True Conversion Makes

True conversion makes a difference in a person’s life. If there are no differences, there is no genuine conversion. But what are the differences? They are precisely those that are spelled out in the remaining chapters of this letter. Laws in themselves change nothing, or at least very little. It is changed people who change everything. And the only thing that ever really changes people is God Himself through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have been called to faith in Jesus Christ, you are part of a radically changed community, the new humanity. It is your privilege to begin to make changes in our world.

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Dying We Live

Monday: The Principle of Self-Sacrifice

I do not like the word “paradox” used in reference to Christian teachings, because to most people the word refers to something that is self-contradictory or false. Christianity is not false. But the dictionary also defines “paradox” as any statement that seems to be contradictory, yet may be true in fact, and in that sense there are paradoxes in Christianity.

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Dying We Live

Tuesday: Redeemed

The principle of sacrifice is so foundational to the doctrine of the Christian life that we must be very careful to lay it out correctly, and in order to do that we need to review the foundations for this foundation.

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Dying We Live

Wednesday: “Died to Sin”

Redemption from sin by Christ is not the only doctrine the Christian life of self-sacrifice is built on. A second foundation is our having died to the past by having become new creatures in Christ, if we are truly converted.

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Dying We Live

Thursday: The Blessed Life

So I ask, who are you willing to believe? Yourself, reinforced by the world and its way of thinking? Or Jesus Christ? I say “Jesus” specifically, because I want to remind you of His teaching from the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. He speaks there about how to be happy. Indeed, the word is even stronger than that. It is the powerful word “blessed,” meaning to be favored by God.

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Dying We Live

Friday: Living Sacrifices

Paul’s words in Romans 12:1-2 are an urgent appeal to us to do something, to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God. This is not done for us. It is something we must do. This leads to the fourth and final foundational truth. It is the “obedience that comes from faith,” which Paul wrote about early in the letter, saying, “Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith” (Rom. 1:5).

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