Word Alive! Bible Study ©2023
Fall /Early Winter Series:
God Never Gives Up On You!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tues., 10 & 17 Oct. 2023 Lesson 1, Parts 1 & 2
Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up On You © 2023
Quiet Time: Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up… Pages 1-11
WeWe Don't Always Glow – In this series, we will look at one of the great attributes of God. God is patient with us; His grace and mercy are divine messengers, sent to us know that God seeks to fulfill His purpose in our lives. The perfect, sovereign will of God, reminds us of how frail we are as humans; yet through our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, “we belong to God.” The Scriptures have taught us, any attempt we humans implore to create our own deities will never work, and only cause chaos in our lives. While we are capable of accomplishing many endeavors, the psalmist says, “Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” (Psalm 39:5b, NIV). The fact that God is patient with us, is not to say we can ignore the Word, and live willfully contrary to God’s principles. We all will be held accountable for our actions. The psalmist reported God as saying, “There is none righteous.” He most likely meant that a flawless life is not attainable in our human flesh; which, sometimes unwittingly often rebels against God. In his recent book, God Never Gives Up On You, max Lucado said if we Christians see ourselves wearing a halo; the halo is not affixed on our heads, but tilted. Lucado says, “[As Christians] we have breakthroughs for sure, but breakdowns as well, often in the same hour.” He says further, “We could use refresher course on God’s refusal to give up on us.” The fact that God refuses to give up on us, does not mean, He is passively tolerant of our sins and wrong behavior. What is meant as we study the Scriptures in their totality, is God redemptive love for us; and how we can reciprocate through repentance and reconciliation. The Apostle Paul was very transparent about his imperfections. He said the struggle between the flesh and spirit is real; yet, Paul knew Jesus Christ ultimately transformed his life. (Read, Romans 7:21-25, NLT). Paul also came to learn that the Holy Spirit active within him, broke the power of sin in His life. (Read, Romans 8:1-2, NLT). Because we “belong” to Jesus Christ, we can never be separated from the God who never gives up on us. Sometimes we may assume that activities in our past lives, disqualify us from full acceptance by God. This is not the case aa all. While people may treat us cautiously and with trepidation; it is God’s grace the welcomes us to the table of the Lord. No amount of hard work or service will give us full acceptance among others; God’s grace will, and that is enough. (Read, I Corinthians 15:8-10, NLT). This study will be a journey in the Word; looking intently at how God seeks to bring us into reconciliation with Him. It was not long after our Biblical parents disobeyed God’s command and fractured their covenant relationship with Him; the voice of God was heard in the Garden pursing them. God is intentional toward us; seeking us! (Read, 2 Peter 3:9, NIV).
We Don’t Always Glow, Part 2 – The idea of a perfect or saintly life was depicted in Christian art by a halo, many centuries ago. Max Lucado has said, if there is such a disk with pointed prongs pultruding out and glowing; it would be a tilted or crooked halo on most of our heads. God does not pursue us because we’re perfect; but for the opposite; and solely because He initiated love for us. (Read, I John 4:16-19, NLT). The language in the Scriptures portrays a God who constantly reminds His people how much He cares for them; they are not ignored. (Read, Jeremiah 31:3-6, NLT). None of the language in Scripture suggests God gives us a “look the other way” for our sins; however, God is always willing to offer His love to us. Many of the men and women we read about in the Scriptures; in fact, most of them, were far from perfect. God still chose those people as part of his great plan for redemption, despite their failures. Jacob was such a person whose life was filled with deception and failures. While not condoning Jacob’s wrongs, God worked with and through Him to fulfill the promise of the Messiah. When dying, Jacob passed the inheritance to his grandsons, assuring the fulfillment of God’s promise. (Read, Hebrews 11:21, NLT). Because of his disobedience, God could have given up on Jacob and his descendants. Fron birth, there were signs that the lives of Jacob and his elder twin, Esau, would be a difficult journey. (Read, Genesis 25:21-26, NLT). Whatever our inclinations are at birth, as we grow and mature, we must take responsibility for our behavior and actions. God warned an emerging generation in Israel of this need to be accountable for one’s own sins and mistakes. The mercy of God and his unfailing love is far greater than the total of our human issues and proclivities. In the Book of Ezekiel, the Lord said, “Why do you say, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are on edge.” As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb again…For all people are mine, to judge both parents and children alike.” (See, Ezekiel 18:2-4a, NKJV). To whatever degree of sin, each of us is held accountable. In spite of our failures, God never gives up on us. one of his prayers, David acknowledges how much God cares for us. David prayed. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning. For I am trusting in you. Show me where to walk. For I give myself to you.” (See, Psalm 143:8, NLT). When we pray, we must have the confidence to believe that God’s grace and mercy, are greater than the missteps we make. We should become better, because of God’s unfailing love. We could never exhaust God’s grace; we must not willfully sin, thinking there are no consequences. God does not forgive us, so that we would continue in sin; but to help us move in a direction from sin. The Apostle Paul candidly asked about the continuance of sin, and answered his own question. Paul asked, “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” (See, Romans 6:1-2;4, NLT). However bounced and bruised, grace does not give up!
What We Believe!
“God’s grace never quits.” – Max Lucado
Romans 7:21-25, NLT “I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is in me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
Romans 8:1-2 NLT “So now there is no condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
I Corinthians 15:8-10, NLT “Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I ‘m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is because God poured out His special favor on me – and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.”
2 Peter 3:9, NIV
“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you. not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
I John 4:16-19, NLT
“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid of the day of judgement, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear… We love each other because He loved us first.”
Jeremiah 31:3-6, NLT
“Long ago the Lord said to Israel; “I have loved you my people with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines. Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountain of Samaria and eat from your own gardens there. The day will come when watchmen will shout from the hill country of Ephraim. Come let us go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord our God.”
Hebrews 11:21, NLT
“It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed to worship as he leaned on his staff.”
Genesis 25:21-26, NLT
“Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the Lord about it. “What is this happening to me?” she asked. And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve the younger one.” And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did have twins. The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair… So, they named him Esau…The other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel, so they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born."