Mini Study 3 – It is Better to Obey
You have probably heard the old saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” There are several people around each of us that appear to think: as long as the intent of my actions is good, it doesn’t matter if the actions are good or bad. The Bible does not agree. The Bible tells us that our whole duty is to obey God. (Eccl 12:13 – “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”)
One example of this is in I Samuel 15. Samuel, a prophet of God, told Saul that the Lord commanded him, “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” I Samual 15:3. So Saul went. He smote the Amalekites BUT he took the king alive. AND he spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings and the lambs (v9). Saul told Samuel, “I have performed the commandment of the Lord” (v13). But Samuel said, Why then do I hear the bleating of the sheep? (v14). Saul then explained his good intentions. He brought the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto God, but the rest he utterly destroyed (v15). Saul’s intention of sacrificing to the Lord was good, but he disobeyed a commandment the Lord had given him in the process. In v22 Samuel explains to Saul. “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” Saul realizes that he has sinned and trangressed the commandment given to him by the Lord (v23).
In conclusion, our duty is to obey. We should not think that we know more than God and need to help God. God simply wants us to OBEY.

Mini Study 2 – Remember Jesus’s Death
Everyone has had their minds on love and Jesus the past few days because of the holiday season. I ask you to continue these great feelings as Sunday approaches.   The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes (Eccl 7:1) that the day of death is better than the day of birth and in the New Testament (Luke 22:19-20, Matt 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, I Cor 11:23-25)) God tells us to remember Jesus’s death on the cross by braking bread and drinking the cup on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). So as Sunday approaches please be sure to set aside time to worship and take communion for in doing so we do show the Lord’s death til He comes (I Cor 11:26).

Mini Study 1 – Follow God’s Instructions
In the Old Testament God gives us an example of a man that was given specific instructions to follow for God to cleanse him of leprosy (2 Kings 5).  The man’s name was Naaman and his instructions were simple:  Dip in the Jordan river 7 times.  We understand that if Naaman had not followed these instructions exactly, he would not have been cleansed.  If Naaman had went to a different river, he would not have been cleansed.  If Naaman had only dipped 6 times, he would not have been cleansed.  We know that Naaman had to follow God’s instructions exactly before he could receive God’s cleansing power.  

Today we are given specific instructions to follow for God to cleanse us from sin.  Our instructions like Naaman’s are simple and must be followed exactly.  If we do not follow God’s instructions exactly we will not be cleansed from our sins.  Our instructions are:

HEAR –  Romans 10:17
BELIEVE – Hebrews 11:6
REPENT – Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30
CONFESS – Romans 10:9-10
BE BAPTIZED – Acts 2:38

Have you followed God’s instructions exactly?