Monday, October 28, 2013

let's get back into it!

Huge apologies everyone for neglecting the updates here for the last few weeks.  I am SO sorry!  It's been a wee bit crazy around here lately and I'm ashamed to say, blogging this study missed out.  Not good.  I will make sure I don't let that happen again.

 Hopefully, you were able to access the study and work through it independently in the meantime.

Now where were we....

From Independence to Surrender:

As a believer, Scripture tells us we are under Christ's authority, "God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things" (Ephesians 1:22)

We've talked in previous studies about what we were like before our "makeovers".  Stubborn, rebellious, independent.  Um.....don't know about you, but I'm STILL stubborn, rebellious and independent.  The difference is that as a Christ follower I need to acknowledge that I am required to submit to a higher authority than my own.  Why would I do that?? {This is what baffles a lot of non-Christians}.

Have a think about that for a moment.

What are some of the words or feelings that pop into your head when you ask that question?

In today's increasingly secular society - how do we communicate submission to a Sovereign God?

Key Scripture:

Colossians 1:15-17

The Supremacy of the Son of God
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Isaiah 64:8

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
    We are the clay, you are the potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.

Romans 9:20-33

The Message (MSG)
20-21Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right?


I find the "Potter & the Clay" metaphor incredibly helpful. Sometimes I feel that perhaps God has given me a wonky handle or a lopsided tilt - has he taken his eyes off what he was doing?  Maybe he was a bit tired when he was forming me - perhaps he'd just formed a whole batch of supermodels and Nobel Laureates and he was depleted?  The truth is, the deeper I delve into Scripture the more comforted I am and secure about my perceived "shortcomings".  I can acknowledge that whilst far from perfect in the worlds eyes, in His eyes I am exactly what is needed at this time for a specific purpose.  If I just keep walking in faith, relying on His grace and not getting bogged down in what the world thinks I should be resentful about, I will find peace and purpose.

As usual, Tim Keller says it perfectly:

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” 

Here's some other thoughts....just sort of stream of consciousness stuff which I thought would be helpful to journal.

Next up.....

or how to bring our mind, will and emotions under Christ's loving guidance.

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