Q & A: No Profit from the Prophet

These are suggested answers to the Message Based Discussion Questions from the message presented on July 14, 2013.  The purpose is to provide initial thoughts to spur greater discussion and deeper thinking.

No Profit from the Prophet
Malachi 3:6-15 
How can you profit from God’s Prophet?
1)    Understand God’s Words     Mal. 3:6-9
·         Mal. 4:6; 1:7,12-13; 2:17   
·         Lev. 27: 30-33; Num. 18:20-32; Deut.  12:5-7,10-19; 14:22-29
2)    Obey God’s Words     Mal. 3:10-12
·         Deut. 28:1-4, 15-68 
3)    Humble yourself before God for divine profit  Mal.  3:13-15
·         Ex. 21:17
·         Luke 17:7-10
·         Sin is:
i)     Active rebellion  Gal. 5:19-21
ii)    Passive indifference  Jam. 4:17
iii)   Acting independent  Rom. 14:23
Understand and obey God’s Words
and you’ll enjoy the divine profit!
  • You must seek to understand God’s Words.   
  • Ask God to help you obey it. 
  • Depend on Christ to live through your flesh. 
Matthew 14:14-21; Luke 5:1-8; Ephesians 3:20-21
Message Based Discussion Questions
1)    When was the first time you received a return on work that you did? What did you do?
Digging Deeper: Titus 3:1; 1 Tim. 4:14
2)    What did God promise if Israel obeyed (Deut. 28:1-14)? _________  What did God promise if they disobeyed (Deut. 28:15-68)? ___________ Do you see any relationships?
3)    What do you suppose Ananias and Sapphira were thinking when Peter confronted them (Acts 5:1-11)?_______________________  How does this relate to Malachi?
4)    What do people ask God about in Job 21:14-15? _______________________  Do you think the people are actually saying it, or communicating it by their actions or non-actions?  Why?
Making application of the message to life:
5)    Do you think people struggle with the same thing Isaiah describes in Is. 58:3-8?  How would you encourage someone through this?
6)    How would you explain the profit you receive from serving God to a young disciple?
7)    What five things would you encourage/exhort a young disciple in the importance of obeying God’s Words?
 
Message Based Discussion Questions 
1)    When was the first time you received a return on work that you did? What did you do?
a)    When my dad asked me to wax his 1963 Ford Galaxy 500.  He taught me the value of a dollar, by earning my pennies.
b)    Later I earned money shoveling snow, cutting grass, putting out and taking in docks, cleaning gutters, trimming and cleaning out garages.
Digging Deeper: Titus 3:1; 1 Tim. 4:14
2)    What did God promise if Israel obeyed (Deut. 28:1-14)? _blessing__  What did God promise if they disobeyed (Deut. 28:15-68)? _cursing__ Do you see any relationships?
a)    The relationship is exactly the same, but opposite. 
b)    Obedience seems like a good choice.
3)    What do you suppose Ananias and Sapphira were thinking when Peter confronted them (Acts 5:1-11)?_ I’ll bet God won’t be concerned if we lie about how much we give__  How does this relate to Malachi?
a)    Israel did not think God was very concerned about what they offered. 
b)    Israel decided what they would offer and decided God should be content with that.
c)    Israel made themselves out as the ruler and God as the recipient of their “good” gift.
d)    Israel put themselves in the place of God, when they should have sought to please God with their whole heart.
4)    What do people ask God about in Job 21:14-15? __what profit is there to pray to God__  Do you think the people are actually saying it, or communicating it by their actions or non-actions?  Why?
a)    I do not think the people are really saying it, but they did by their lack of action.
b)    When people do not pray, they are saying that there is no profit in prayer.  Lord forgive me!
c)    We may not see instant answers to prayer, so we give up praying.  What use is it?  What profit is there to pray? We say by our lack of action.
Making application of the message to life:
5)    Do you think people struggle with the same thing Isaiah describes in Is. 58:3-8?  How would you encourage someone through this?
a)    They wondered whether they should really fast or not.
i)     They did not think fasting would bring them blessing.
ii)    Israel fasted, but made the workers continue working.  They exploited the workers to keep working, while they said they were fasting.
iii)   The fast was for themselves and not for others.
b)    I’d encourage people to trust what the Word says, not what they see in life.
i)     It is easy to depend on what we see rather than on what God says.
ii)    It is difficult to press forward without visible assurance.  I’d encourage people to believe what is right after discerning what God’s will is and then press forward with as much confidence as possible.  It is not easy, but then if it were easy, very little faith would be required.
6)    How would you explain the profit you receive from serving God to a young disciple?
a)    Profit comes in many ways.
b)    Profit comes in the blessing of God’s presence Ps. 16:11
c)    Profit comes in the contentment of what God provides Phil. 4:11-12
d)    Profit comes in knowing that God will provide what we need Phil. 4:19
e)    Profit comes in the peace of God knowing that you are trusting God and walking in obedience to His will Phil. 4:6-7.
f)     Profit comes from knowing that you are making decisions to set your life aside for His purposes 1 Thes. 4:3-8.
g)    Profit comes from unity of walking with other brothers Heb. 10:24-25
7)    What five things would you encourage/exhort a young disciple in the importance of obeying God’s Words?
a)    There is great blessing Jam. 1:22-25
b)    There is great fruit produced in your life John 15:1-6
c)    That God’s love is perfected in you 1 John 2:5
d)    Obedience glorifies God Col. 3:23
e)    Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered Heb. 5:8
f)     Obedience brings them into conformity to the holiness of God 1 Pet. 1:14
g)    Jesus was obedient to the point of death Phil. 2:8 and set the world in potential freedom from sin.
 

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