Home Work: Eat dinner or otherwise gather together as a family sometime this week. Have an 8.5x11 piece of posterboard for each person, and markers or crayons. Everyone personalizes a card by decoratively printing his/her own name on it, large enough to see easily but small enough that most of the card is blank. Hang cards in a prominent location in your home and establish the rules: 1) No one may write on his/her own card. 2) Cards are for encouragement and positive comments only; a way to let someone (and everyone else) know you’ve noticed him/her doing something right! As a parent, be emotionally prepared for your card to remain blank. Use your children’s cards as a “log” to record all the good you catch them doing from day to day, including perhaps praying together and memorizing Scripture!
Main Idea - "When God had created man he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death... Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God" (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Answers 12 & 13).
How can anyone be expected to worship a God who would punish the slightest sin so severely?
"The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation" - Exodus 34:6-7.
"But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy'" - I Peter 1:15-16.
The Covenant of Works means God is holy and just. His character therefore requires that holiness be maintained and justice be enforced. Thus the consequences of human sin become readily apparent; separation from God and our status as objects of his wrath (Ephesians 2:3).
Chew on this...
If God were not faithful to his word (see Exodus 34:6-7) he would be neither holy nor just. Which would be more difficult: to worship a holy God who justly punished Adam's sin as he had promised, or to worship a God who failed to punish sin and was thus unfaithful to his own word?
What can happen in a marriage if a husband (or wife) focuses less on who his wife (husband) is, and more on what she (he) can or cannot do for him (her)?
What can happen if a mother or father focuses less on who their children are, and more on what their children can or cannot do for them?
Who are we in relation to God? God is our Father and we are his ________. Does God love us for who we are or for what we are able to do for him?