An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

Abiding In God – Lesson 4: Designed by God

Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 43:4-12 ; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Memory Verse:For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10

Introduction:

What do you do when you feel like a black sheep? How do we discover who we are in God’s eyes versus our own mirror image? We all go through times in our lives when we feel inferior to others. The black-sheep syndrome sets in when we question our physical characteristics, personality, abilities, or personal success. It is an unfortunate fact that many people live their entire lives unhappy with and about themselves.

“Does God do a good job in designing some people and a poor job in designing others? Does he sometimes make inferior or worthless products unsuited for the purposes he has in mind? Does his hand slip at times, marring his work; or did he merely let us happen and later try to make the most of the result?” (1:p. 42)

God uses what is considered foolish and depressed in this world to reveal His truth so that He alone will receive the glory. Otherwise, the powerful would boast that they had found the truth. God’s plan of salvation does not conform to the world’s priorities, yet in reality, eternal salvation is more valuable. God’s designs are often very specific; His examples of planning, His precision, and His sovereignty, His purposes always win out. He maintains control of history and brings that vision of hope we still need today.

On these and other similar questions the Bible gives to us definite insights. We spend billions of dollars on research and products that enhance our outward appearance. To make cosmetic improvements is not necessarily wrong; however, in the final analysis, we need to know “Who We Are.”

Study Questions:

  1. What does the Bible say about our existence? Psalm 139:13-16.
  2. To whom do you owe your existence? Colossians 1:15-18; Revelation 4:11.
  3. What are we saying when we say these kinds of expressions: If I could change one thing about me I would . . . or, I hate the way I . . . Romans 9:19-24; Isaiah 29:15-16; Isaiah 45:9-10; Matthew 6:27. Is there any way we can change these expressions?
  4. What wrong methods do we use to evaluate ourselves? Does what other people think about us affect us?
    2 Corinthians 10:12-13.
  5. What is the most important thing we need to recognize about ourselves? Ephesians 2:10. What are some synonyms (a word that means the same, or almost the same, as another word in the same language) for workmanship? Consider Isaiah 19:25; Isaiah 29:23.
  6. Does God use ordinary people with human limitations and flaws? 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7. Note: God controls trials and uses them to strengthen His people.
  7. Does God have a better viewpoint to evaluate us? 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Peter 3:4. Note: The state of a man’s heart is more significant than natural ability and physical appearance.
  8. Is it possible for God to use even those born with the most extreme handicaps? John 9:1-3. Can you think of an example?
  9. In the final analysis, we all have a tag proclaiming “Designed by God.” Isaiah 45:12-13; Psalm 100:3-5.