Family Bible Study lesson for September 18: Put First Things First : Friday, Aug. 26, 2005
August 26 2005 by Chadwick Ivester

Family Bible Study lesson for September 18: Put First Things First : Friday, Aug. 26, 2005
Friday, Aug. 26, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for September 18: Put First Things First

By Chadwick Ivester
Focal passages: Ecclesiastes 3:10-14; 12:13-14; Mark 12:28-34

View God Correctly

(Eccl. 3:10-14)

Sound biblical theology is necessary to view God correctly. Theology means the "study of the nature of God." To view God correctly, we must know His attributes and we learn about those attributes through His word.

A great assessment of God's attributes and blessings is stated in the Doxology, "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below!"

For nearly 20 years, I disregarded all of God's blessings and not once felt led to sincerely thank Him. Yet when I was born again in 1992, my view of God changed forever. I realized that even the "nabs and soda" I consume while on the run are a gift from God.

Non-believers don't acknowledge God alone as the source of all blessings. They worship the blessings but deny that God gives the blessings.

Millions of people celebrate Labor Day weekend on beaches and lakes, enjoying the benefits of the sun. Yet many fail to acknowledge that the sun's rays are a gift from God.

The sad reality is that unbelievers are content to worship the blessings and not God, the great blesser. One of the devastating effects of sin is that sinners cannot view God correctly.

Even believers do not always view God correctly. Some who call themselves Christ-followers only follow Him for the blessings. These are "fair-weather" Christians; they follow God as long as He sends them blessings.

At the first sign of hardship or when their blessings are taken away, they cry, "God, how dare you take my blessings from me!" When all they have is stripped away, their faith is also lost.

And true believers often don't thank God enough for all the blessings He has provided. Is it possible to give the Lord too much praise for His blessings? I often find myself overlooking God's "small blessings." But is there even such a thing as a "small blessing" from God? Even the blessings that we consider small are blessings given from the great and mighty blesser whose goodness cannot be measured.

Fear God Obediently

(Eccl. 12:13-14)

John Flavel defines the fear of God as "a gracious habit or principle planted by God in the soul, whereby the soul is kept under an holy awe of the eye of God, and from thence is inclined to perform and do what pleaseth Him, and to shun and avoid whatsoever He forbids and hates."

Psalm 11 says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight" (v.10). Therefore to obey God, one must first fear Him. Obedience apart from the fear of God leads to dry, dead ritualism.

Love God Supremely

(Mark 12:28-34)

Secular humanism teaches to love self supremely, then love others. Man naturally loves himself over all other things, providing great evidence of human sinfulness.

Yet the Bible teaches us to love God, and not ourselves, with all of our being (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Jesus called this the greatest commandment. Its meaning is further revealed in the first four commandments (Exodus 20:3-11).

Jesus then gave the second greatest commandment: to love your neighbor as yourself, which correlates well with the last six commandments (Exodus 20:12-17). The two commandments are related, in that when you learn to love God first, you will have no problem loving others.

The world doesn't seem to have a problem with the horizontal commandments (relating to fellow man). The world hates the vertical commandments (relating to God). Consequently, the world seeks to divide God's commandments by doing away with man's duty to love God with all of his being. Yet, what God has joined together, let no man separate.

8/26/2005 12:00:00 AM by Chadwick Ivester | with 0 comments

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