ALL OR NOTHING Series: Of God and Kings Text: 1 Kings 13:11-32
In today's commitment-phobic world, keeping our options open is socially acceptable and even encouraged. By contrast, going all out in obedience to God seems irrational, something only fools would do. Are we willing to be 'fools' for Christ?
God desires our wholehearted obedience. Share with one another what comes to your mind when you think of the words "obedience" and “wholehearted” (it could be the idea of selective versus whole, beginning to the end, internal and external). How would you explain to a 10 year old what "wholehearted obedience" means? What are some key differences between "half-hearted" and "wholehearted" obedience? Do you think it's easy to be wholehearted? Why?
Who do you know exemplifies wholehearted obedience? What qualities does he/she possess? What does it say about their relationship with God? What motivates us to obey God? Can we obey Him for the wrong reasons? Discuss. What happens if we do the right thing on the outside, but we're motivated by the wrong thing on the inside? How does the wrong motivation affect our relationship with God? Looking at Jesus' life, what do you think motivates Him to obey the Father?
Identify common reasons why believers struggle to be wholehearted towards God. How have we, in any way, become selectively obedient to God? Why is it easier to obey God in some regards than others? Recognising the potential barriers in obeying God can enable ourselves to be more aware of our weak spots. Which areas of your life did you fail or will likely fail in obeying God wholeheartedly? What do you think led to that failure? How do you think God sees the failure? How would He want you to respond now? How can we emulate Jesus in His radical and complete obedience towards the Father? What is stopping us from doing so?
Sometimes obeying God requires us to take a stand against even people that we respect. Do you see that happening in your home, school or workplace? Learning from the man of God's interaction with the old prophet, how should you respond to someone who tells you to do something that is clearly against God's instruction? How can we respectfully reject advice that contradicts God's word? Share some ideas with the Life Group. Pray with the group to keep one another accountable.
How would you explain to a 10 year old what "wholehearted obedience" means?
How have we, in any way, become selectively obedient to God?
Looking at Jesus' life, what do you think motivates Him to obey the Father?
How should you respond to someone who tells you to do something that is clearly against God's instruction? How can we respectfully reject advice that contradicts God's word?
Broken commitments can have disastrous consequences. In the history of Israel, the kings’ unfaithfulness to God led to the end of a kingdom and captivity of God’s people.
The kings learnt the hard way, but we don’t have to – if we heed God’s call to commitment today. This September, let us learn from history, and see the value of undivided commitment.