Bible Study: Confusing Promises and Blessings

Christian Life Resources


Story:

Tommy is 7-years-old and has been told to clean up his bedroom. Instead, he finds his way to the family room where he sits down and watches cartoons. He gets several warnings from his mother to clean his bedroom, but it is too late. He is already mesmerized by the television.

Unexpectedly, mother’s hand reaches over and presses the “off” button on the television set. She announces that for his disobedience, he will not be able to watch television for three days. Tommy throws a tantrum, runs to his room and cries on his bed, refusing to clean his room or do anything, even in the face of the additional threat of possibly not being able to play with is friends for the day.

Discussion Questions

Why is Tommy upset?
Tommy confused his privilege (watching TV) as though it were a right.

How do you think Tommy was led to confuse his privileges with his rights? What do you think of Tommy’s stubbornness even in the face of additional consequences?

Transition

  • Read Titus 3:3; Philippians 3:12-15

What does this say about our ability to correctly distinguish right from wrong, privileges from rights, blessings from purposes?
It is a growing process. As faith grows we spiritually mature. As we mature we strive to conform our practices to be consistent with God’s will. It is a process.

What is a person’s purpose in this life?

  • Read 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 9:27; Mark 8:36

Purpose # 1: Come to faith, accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • Read 2 Corinthians 3:18; Matthew 25:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5, John 5:39; Romans 10:17

Purpose # 2: Grow in faith through study of God’s Word.

  • Read Matthew 5:16; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 2:9-12

Purpose # 3: Share the faith by spreading God’s Word

  • Read 1 Corinthians 10:31

Purpose in a Nutshell: Glorify God in all you do.
Thought: These are clearly defined purposes for life. All other things are blessings — gifts from God which he provides in different measure to different people. To some he even gives it for a while and then takes the blessings back (i.e. Job).

  • Read Matthew 19:16-23; 2 Corinthians 12:27-31; Ephesians 4:11-12

Discussion Questions

1. What kind of purposes do people adopt for their lives?
Temporal pursuits such as popularity, riches, happiness, etc.

2. List some blessings in life that people confuse as purposes:
Happiness, wealth, spouse, children, health, life, etc.

3. What happens or what kind of “tantrum” do people throw when they confuse their blessings with the purposes?
Often death is sought. The woman with an unplanned pregnancy may wish her unborn child to die so that she might accomplish her purposes of popularity, education, etc. The elderly or disabled may die because they feel life has lost purpose with the loss of health or happiness.

4. Discuss how different blessings can be used to carry out God’s purposes for our lives.

Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven, it was your purpose to save us from our sins when you sent Jesus as our Savior. It is now your purpose for us to be saved, to grow in our faith and to share that faith with others through a lifestyle of glorifying you. Teach us to recognize and use our blessings for these purposes so that in the end others might know you as their Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


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