Ten Choices - August 26, 2018

Ten Choices That Will Change Your Life

Week 7: Exodus 20:15-16

The Ten Commandments instruct God’s people how to live life to the fullest – a life that pleases God, brings blessing, and lights our world. One of the best ways to do this is to live a life of honesty and integrity. Stories of cheating, lying, and stealing are everywhere. And the church is not immune. The 8th and 9th commandments remind us to live with honesty and integrity in the way we handle our possessions and our words. “You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:15-16). Living with integrity is not always easy. But it pleases God. It brings blessing. And it provides a clear opportunity to light our dark world. Let’s choose to honor God with our wallets and our words. Let’s choose a life of honesty and integrity.

 Discussion Starter:

Why do you think that lying or cheating often feels like the easier way to go when we are under pressure or trying to get ahead?

 Getting into the Text:

1.      (Exodus 20:15-16, Leviticus 19:11-18) What do all of these laws have in common? What words would you use to describe a person who habitually violates many of these laws? What words would you use to describe the opposite kind of person? How do these laws relate to loving our neighbor? (See also Romans 13:9-10)

 2.      (Ephesians 4:25-5:2) What connections do you see between the Exodus or Leviticus commands and Paul’s description of living out our new life in Christ here in Ephesians? What positive outcomes or benefits of this lifestyle are mentioned here? How is this kind of living a way of faithfully imitating God? How is it a fitting response to what he has done for us in Christ?

 3.      (Luke 19:1-10) The story of Zacchaeus reminds us that Jesus offers hope for those whose lives have been engulfed in dishonest choices. (Tax collectors in that day often cheated people for their own financial benefit.) Describe the contrast between Zacchaeus before and after salvation? What accounts for this change?

Application:

1.      It is good from time to time to examine ourselves and to allow the Holy Spirit to point out anything in us that God wants to change. Use the questions below and Psalm 139:23-24 as a prayer for the Lord to reveal areas for repentance and growth.

a.      Do I see my resources as gifts from God or purely the result of my own actions?

b.      Do I believe that I am accountable for the way I acquire and use my resources?

c.      Do my thoughts and actions show that I believe God treasures honesty?

d.      Am I living with honesty and integrity right now?

 2.      Choosing honesty and integrity in the moment can be hard. We often feel that we will suffer or lose out by doing so. But choosing honesty and integrity puts God on our side (or us on his!) That is far more important for our long term success. Are there situations in your life right now where you need to choose integrity and trust that God will be on your side? (See Psalm 25:20-21 and Proverbs 12:22.)