The graciousness of God shines in this familiar passage of Scripture. Boundaries are not something as a people we crave. Yet experience shows us that boundaries bless and protect. They are normally given and implemented by those who love us. God loved us so much He told us how to be Holy so we could know Him and be His people. However, holding to the standard of His law was and is impossible alone. God knew this and already had a plan in place to hold the standard Himself. Galatians 3:24 instructs that “the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.” - Kim
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Think of some boundaries you were given at home or school growing up. How did you perceive them then? How do you perceive them now? Have you now had to set boundaries with anyone you love? Why did you set them?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
_ Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to highlight truth as you read.
DISCOVER [Exodus 20:1-21] And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”
18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off
19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ Take a moment to briefly restate and write down each of the Ten Commandments in your own words.
_ How is each one a means to protect or bless or both?
_ Which Commandment seems the most surprising? Difficult? Straight-forward, yet demanding
_ If you were among the people, what might you hear, see, smell, feel as God is speaking? Verse 18-19
_ Since Jesus is a “Greater Moses” - how do we see Jesus in Moses’s actions in verse 20-21.
_ How do we see God’s graciousness at work in the giving of the Law (Ten Commandments)?
_ How can believers approach God now, because of Jesus’s sacrifice? How do you approach God personally?
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond to what I learned today with a simple concrete step of action/obedience? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)