Please check it out and comment at the original source!! (click yours-devotion):
As promised, here’s my follow on/intro post for my previous post on yours-devotion. (directly below unless someone blogs very soon).
So this study gospel in life (from Tim Keller) is quite confronting. And shows you all the parts of the life you turn a blind eye to unwittingly or not. The parts with problems. And Satan rejoices when you do so. So how to change? The study starts appropriate with - the Heart.
Firstly, in the home-study session leading up to the actual group bible study/DVD discussion, I found it very fulfilling. (Yeah, it’s a pun, you’ll realise soon).
Somethings I need to work on (living the gospel, not religion):
- Motivation should be based on grateful joy, not insecurity and fear
- I should obey God to get God, and delight in and resemble Him. Not to get (even good) things from God.
- My self-view is not based on moral achievement. I am simultaneously sinfully lost yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad He had to die for me, but He loves me so much that He was glad to. This should lead me to deep humility and confidence.
- My identity and self-worth are not built on my record or my performance, but on God’s love for me in Christ. I am saved by shear grace so I can’t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me. Only by grace am I what I am. - He is all sufficient! =D
- My prayer life consists of gorgeous amounts of praise and adoration! My main purpose is fellowship with God.
One great analogy/check that the study included was one where I told a couple of people, and I probably did an alright and better job verbally, but here goes concise version:
A farmer presented to the king a giant carrot, saying that this was the greatest carrot he had ever grown, and that he wanted to give it to the king out of love and respect. The king was touched and gave him a plot of land next to the farmer’s that he owned. A noble seeing this, thought that he could gain something much more if he offered something of more value than a carrot. So he gave the king a horse. The king just accepted the horse and dismissed the noble. Seeing that the noble was confused, he explained: the farmer gave me the carrot, but you gave yourself the horse. [Touche right? =P]
Yeah, it was Spurgeon’s analogy, and the king reminds me of Solomon =P.
The bible study is a passage from Luke 18:9-14 about the bragging prayer of a Pharisee and the prayer of a tax-collector. Basically, the tax-collector was justified before God, because only God is able to justify (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God). Main barriers to accepting justification include: pride -thinking you are better than what you really are, beating yourself up, viewing your failures as a barrier and low self-esteem. It doesn’t matter how crappy you are. Everyone needs God to justify them, and Jesus’ sacrifice is infinitely more powerful than your sin could ever be.
From the DVD discussion, we were shown that there were three ways of response to God: looking to God for salvation, looking to religion for salvation (own saviour) and looking to irreligion (own saviour). The DVD talked on the story about the prodigal son. Both the sons wanted the father’s inheritance (things/good things). They just went about it differently. The younger son went ‘irreligious’ and just took it all and wasted it. The elder son went ‘religious’ tried to earn it. Neither were right. But in the end, the younger son wanted the father, and not just his things. He asked the father to accept him and the father did - not letting the son be anything less than a son. What they both failed to see was that the father’s things were theirs as they were heirs. But we need God’s initiating love to see that we need Him. And not His things. Jesus, our true ‘elder brother’ was willing and able to sacrifice part of his inheritance so that the younger brother (us) could be welcomed back home with the feast.
How great is God’s love Agape! Not only does God initiate the loving exchange (even while we were still His enemies and disgusting in His sight)! He sacrifices himself to justify us, clothe us in righteousness and sanctifies us, and gives us an inheritance in Him! Friends, bros and sis’s, be confident in your inheritance in Christ. And humbly and gratefully love and serve the one who first loved us.