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ONLINE STUDY

ONE WEEK STUDIES

                    DAY FOUR-GOD'S CARE-Dt. 10: 17-20; Exodus 22: 21-27
        Nobody really cares for the poor and oppressed.  Not only is that a common perception, especially among the
        poor and the oppressed, isn't that often true?  Yes and no.  The God of all the universe cares.  Some theologians
        have labelled this "a preferential option for the poor".  However, God cares for those who nobody cares for.  If
        God had not cared, the evil would have crushed the poor and the oppressed long ago.  Yet, his care is expressed
        by forcing those who are entrusted with worldly power and wealth to live up to their duties. 

                    DAY FIVE- GOD'S JUDGEMENT-Luke 18: 18-27; Matthew 25: 31-46; Jeremiah 22: 1-5, 13-19
        God demands that those with power and wealth change the situations of those in poverty, weakness, and need.
        One of his primary means of doing this is to judge those with power and wealth who fail in this duty.  The
        scriptures are filled with passages about how God will harshly judge with those with power and wealth who fail
        in their duties.  Jesus is one voice of judgment.  In fact, there are many more condemnations concerning this
        topic than sexual immorality.  I have chosen the smallest sliver of scriptural condemnations against the hard-
        hearted rich and powerful.  In a day when evangelical pastors are preaching the hard-hearted message as that
        of the gospel, let the scripture speak to you.  We must face the true facts.  There will be many rich American
        evangelicals calling "Lord, Lord" from the fiery, burning pits of hell.  I hope that you and I are not among
        them. 

bullet WORSHIP      

            DAY ONE- GOD'S DESIRE-John 4: 23-24; John 8: 31-32       
God desires those who worship in spirit and truth.  Spirit is real but can not be seen.  What does worship in spirit mean?  First, it means that it really can't be seen but it is still real.  In practice, this means that there isn't any visible system of worship that is the "one godly system of worship".  Jesus disabused this notion in his discussion with the woman at the well.  Secondly, God wants worship in truth.  Well what is really truth.  Truth has a strong experiental component to it.  Jesus makes it clear.  Step One to truth is to obey Jesus.  This will lead to Step Two, knowing the truth.  Finally, the truth will set us free.  So, obedience is crucial to worship, not simply the musical style. 


            DAY TWO-GOD'S WORSHIPPER- Dt 10: 16-20; Dt. 30: 6
God demands that we "circumcise" our hearts.  Circumcission was a visible sign of devotion to God.  When God said that we must "circumcise" our heart, he means that our Christian faith must penetrate into our total lives, not just outside appearance.  This will result in an obedient attitude toward God, justice, love toward our neighbors, and love for the stranger.  God is looking for someone who worships from the inside-out, rather than just the outside.

           
            DAY THREE-GOD'S HEART- Ps. 98; Is. 43: 18-19; Micah 6: 8
God desires worshippers who witness to his continuing goodness and are creative.  We are to remember and recount not just the old story but the new story.  We are to sing a "new song".  We are to live godly, just, and love God and others.  This type of life will overflow into our daily lives and naturally result in worship and witness.  Praise is a natural result.  Good works are a natural result of godly living. 


            DAY FOUR-GOD'S SABBATH DESIRE- Mark 2: 27-28; Isaiah 1: 10-17
God desires worship that comes from a heart and being that is just and righteous.
Worship that comes from an unjust being and heart is not desired by God; in fact, God reviews such worship as repugnant.  Jesus himself noted that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  What does he mean by that?  Quite simply, the Sabbath allowed for a set-apart time to praise God from a righteous life.  However, worship from an unjust and unrighteous life is repugnant to God.  Confession and repentance must precede any such worship from one with an unjust or unrighteous life. 


            DAY FIVE-GOD'S RELATIONSHIP OF WORSHIP-Psalm 22
Psalm 22 begins with the famous line that Jesus uttered from the cross, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"  However, read on to the end of the Psalm.
The Psalmist humbles himself and cries to God for help.  He concludes the Psalm with praise and witness.  He notes that the downtrodden, the helpless, and the nations will praise the Lord.  Basically, our relationship in worship is threefold:
1).  A humble acknowledgement of need;
2).  Thankfulness for God's help in our distress, weakness, and sin;
3).  Open praise for his goodness.