Introduction: Have you met someone who you thought was, “All
talk and no action?” Or as they say in Texas, “All hat and
no cattle?” No doubt we have all met people like that. The
challenge in our Christian walk is to not be that person.
We want to engage the culture for Christ and not just talk
about it. Consider your current situation. Hopefully you are
part of the discussion during the Bible study time on
Sabbath. You attend church and listen to sermons that bring
the challenges of Christian living to your mind. But after
all that talk do you actually do something to advance the
Kingdom of God? Our series of Bible studies in the coming
quarter are on how we move from talking to acting. Let’s
jump into our study of the Bible to begin our journey to

I. Understanding God’s Desire to Come Close

A. Read Genesis 3:1-5. What was Satan’s strategy when
he said to Eve, “Your eyes will be opened, and you
will be like God?” (Satan wanted Eve to believe
that God did not have Eve’s best interest in mind.
She needed to take things into her own hands to
protect her interests.)

1. Was there any truth to that implied charge?
(History shows us that life went downhill
instead of uphill for Adam and Eve after she
ate the fruit.)

B. Read Genesis 3:8-9. Adam and Eve have now both
sinned. If you were God is that how you would start
the conversation? (I would have started with, “Do
you realize how much trouble you have started? How
could you be so foolish? When did I ever give you
any reason to distrust Me?”)

1. Why do you think God said what He did? (He is
asking to meet with Adam and Eve. He wants to
connect with the two who had so substantially
harmed His plans for the future.)

2. Didn’t God know where they were located? Why
would He ask “where?” (God wanted Adam and Eve
to explain their terrible deviation from His

3. If you were in God’s place, would you have
left Adam and Eve alone for a while to stew in
their worry about their current situation?

4. What does this teach us about our relationship
with God? What does it teach us about God’s
care for us?(God’s first impulse is not to
punish or to accuse. Rather, His first impulse
is to come close to humans to discuss what
they have done.)

II. God and Our Stench of Sin

A. Read Genesis 27:17-19. Do you know the back story
to these verses? (God had a special relationship
with Jacob’s father and grandfather. God’s promise
to them was to work His will through that family –
and that they would be God’s people. Jacob’s father
intended to give the birthright, as was the
practice, to his eldest son Esau. But Jacob, with
the help of his mother, decided to take the
birthright for himself by deceiving his father,
Isaac, as to his identity.)

B. Read Genesis 27:20. Why do you think Isaac asked
this question? (Doubt arose in his mind about
whether this was his eldest son or someone else.)

1. Whose name does Jacob invoke to explain his
quick success? (God’s name.)

a. How should God view using His name as part
of a fraud against Isaac?

C. Read Genesis 27:21-24. Isaac still has doubts about
the identity of the person in front of him. Should
Isaac have called someone else to come to confirm
that this was his eldest son?

D. Read Genesis 27:28-29. Isaac blesses Jacob. The
fraud works. Read Genesis 27:42-44. What is the
consequence of the fraud? (Jacob has to run away
from home so that his elder brother will not kill

1. Put yourself in the place of God. How would
you view Jacob? Should God go along with the
fraud and continue His work through Jacob?

2. Would you work with Jacob? Would you make him
your business partner?

E. Read Genesis 28:10-13. How does God react to
Jacob’s fraud? (He decides to continue to work
through Jacob.)

1. Why? What does this tell us about our God? (We
have skipped over information that tells us
that the elder brother would not be a very
good fit for God’s work. But that does not
change the fact that Jacob and his mother
committed fraud. The good news about our God
is that He was willing to follow through on
His promise by working with the flawed Jacob.
That tells us that God works with flawed
people like us.)

III. God and the Rescue Mission

A. Read Matthew 1:18-21. Have you ever had a “needy”
friend (one who constantly needs help)?

1. How do you react to friends like that? Do you
drop them as friends?

B. Read John 1:14. Think about what the neediest of
your friends required of you, and then compare that
to what Jesus did for us. Think not only about
becoming a poor human, but also about His tortured

1. What does that teach us about God’s attitude
towards us?

C. Read John 1:16-18. When verse 17 tells us that
“truth” came through Jesus Christ, what truth was

1. “Truth” seems to be compared to the law. If
I’m correct, what truth is missing from the
law? (God’s grace. God’s love. The way that
God would interact with us.)

2. Verse 18 explains that Jesus made God the
Father known. Have you thought that the Old
Testament presents a much different picture of
God than the New Testament? If you answer,
“Yes,” how does this tell us we should
reconcile the different pictures? (We need to
go with the Jesus’ picture. It is Jesus who
has made God “known.”)

3. Why do you think we even have the Old
Testament picture of God? (Grace. God’s holy
standards drive us to righteousness by faith
and reveal, if we are honest, that our works
fall far short of God’s standard.)

D. Read John 3:16. What does this text tell us about a
correct picture of God the Father? (This focuses on
the love of the Father. He loves us so much that He
gave His Son to be humiliated and tortured so that
we can live.)

1. Would you have done that if you were in God’s

2. What does that teach us about the degree of
God’s love for us?

E. Read John 14:16-17. What other gift has God given
to us? (I think we fail to fully understand the
extraordinary effort that God is making on our
behalf. Jesus came to live, die, and be resurrected
on our behalf. After that, God made a permanent
assignment of the Holy Spirit who “dwells with you
and will be in you.”)

1. How important is the presence of the Holy
Spirit in your life? (This morning I read yet
another article about the rising level of
anxiety of the people in the United States.
I’m in my 48th year of litigation. I often
found myself arguing in unfamiliar, hostile
courts. This is not simply public speaking,
add in fielding tough questions, and
responding to debate. The Holy Spirit has been
key to dealing with my times of stress.)

F. Read John 14:1-3. What is God’s ultimate goal for
us? (To live with us in a world made perfect again!
We will have a condominium in that massive
condominium city/building (see Revelation 21:16)
called the New Jerusalem.)

G. Friend, the first step to taking action is being
convinced of the extraordinary love of God for us.
Since God loves us that much, will you take the
first step to loving someone else by asking the
Holy Spirit to bring to your mind someone for whom
you should pray?

IV. Next week: God’s Mission to Us: Part 2.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.