Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church
Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
7111 La Jolla Blvd in beautiful La Jolla, CA
14 miles north of downtown San Diego, CA

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Strive based on faith, not works

Monday Deuteronomy 8:12-18
When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, "My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth." But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.

It’s easy to forget that God is the great provider when you’re working hard and things are going well. It’s easy to think that your own efforts have produced the results. But everything you have is a blessing from God.

What do you have to be thankful for?

Tuesday Numbers 13:27-29 (NRSV)
They told him, "We came to the land to which you sent us; it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the land of the Negeb; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea, and along the Jordan."

It’s easy to forget that God takes care of you when you’re faced with something so challenging it looks impossible. It’s easy to think it’s all up to you and you can’t do it. (In the example above, the people were told God had given them the land, but they found it occupied by giants they didn’t think they could dislodge.)

If God is behind something, God will provide the resources to pull it off.

What parts of your life do you need God to provide for or you won’t be able to accomplish them on your own?

Wednesday Numbers 14:6-10 (NRSV)
Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the Israelites, "The land that we went through as spies is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only, do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are no more than bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them." But the whole congregation threatened to stone them.

Sometimes people give up hope. They lose faith in God. They put their trust in something or someone who will fail them, instead of in God who loves them. They forget what God has done for them in the past and think they’re on their own in the present and future.

What has God done for you in the past that you need to remember?

Thursday Romans 9:30-32a
What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works.

The Pharisees (and others in Israel) tried to follow the law. But they tried to follow it based on works, not on faith. And they failed.

You need to put faith in God first. Your actions are essential, but they are not what you should trust in. You need to trust God, not your actions. You need to have faith in what God has done, what God is doing, and (most important) who God is.

When you’re trusting in God, you’ll be called on to do some challenging and scary and wonderful things. When you accomplish them successfully, it’s easy to forget that God should get all the glory.

What have you worked hard to accomplish?

Did you strive for it based on your accomplishments? Or based on your faith in God?

Friday John 10:37-38 (NRSV)
If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."

Keeping faith and works in their proper places is tricky, because they are often intertwined. Jesus said you could have faith in him because the works he did demonstrated that God was in what he was doing.

In this case, observing Jesus’ works should prompt faith in Jesus.

What would people guess about you based on your works?

Saturday
What have you done this week because of Jesus?

What do you want to do next week because of Jesus?

What do you need help with?


Check out other Bible Studies and videos for 2013 or messages for 2012 or messages for 2011.


La Jolla Lutheran Church is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, a fast-growing association of churches that believe the Bible. Other LCMC churches in the San Diego area include Penasquitos Lutheran Church at 14484 Penasquitos Drive; and St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 2602 Reo Drive. Check the list of more than 800 congregations to find an LCMC church near you.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

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Worship with us Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

La Jolla Lutheran Church
7111 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, California, 92037
14 miles north of downtown San Diego.

 

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