So many of you have joined the journey we have been traveling these last two years. We have come to think of Jesus as “The Stonecutter” who reveals, removes, and replaces the hidden idols of our hearts. Many of us felt that had to be the title of the book that is scheduled for release in October.
When I met with my publisher I was asked if I would be open to another title, and I said I would be if they could find a better one, but I felt an anointing on The Stonecutter. Yet if there is one thing I have learned in this journey on seeing our heart idols, it is that my predominant heart idol is control, and it has caused me, the Lord, and others grief. I really respect this publishing team, know they too are seeking God, and have expertise that I do not have. I didn’t want to be working at cross-purposes with God’s best, so I told them I would be open.
Along with a long and very dear letter of explanation, came this cover. I want you to see it — and then I’ll share some of their thinking.
I don’t know how you feel upon seeing it, but God did a work in my heart, for I loved it. I found it arresting.
Their fears about the title “The Stonecutter” is that people wouldn’t know what it is about, and many people never get to the sub-title. Also, it doesn’t address what publishers call “a felt need.” People want a book that will meet a need in some way — and this does, for people don’t want to be deceived, and want to be set free of those lies.
The Stonecutter imagery is still throughout the book, and the first of the three sections is called The Stonecutter. I have a peace about it, and hope you do too, for you are so a part of this book! I like the play on words (idolize) and we do need to see how we are being lied to, how these soul idols are destroying our lives.
Next January I want to do a study on this book, Idol Lies, and ask people to get the actual book.
Next week we are beginning a new study, which though it will also be on idolatry, will be on it through the lens of the fascinating book of Jonah. Jonah’s real problem was — guess what! A heart idol.
I also want to share with you another provision God has made for “Idol Lies” and the curriculum. There is a camera man at “our” Rebecca’s church who has a heart for ministry, and was willing to put together a video of her testimony. His name is Tim Mahony, and we’re pretty impressed with what he did. This is a rough video — he’s going to edit it more, re-take her interview in the shade, but I can’t wait for you to see what we are working on!
How God Set Rebecca Free From The Power of Sin
I am going to make the homework lighter for the next two months, for I know April and May can be as busy as Christmas time for women. Next week we’ll do a review of idolatry for those who are new (and I’m counting on the older members to mentor them!) and then we’ll dive into Jonah. I’ll list all the sermons at once, which include some free ones and 10 dollars worth of paid ones — but it will last us into mid June. If you think Jonah is boring, it isn’t with Keller!
This week I want us to look at Rebecca’s “idol lie” and how she found victory over it.
Then I want to practice some soul talk.
It’s going to be a great week!
1. What are your comments on the cover — the title?
2. We’re going to look at Rebecca’s testimony in more detail, but for now, what stood out to you and why?
Monday-Wednesday: Rebecca’s testimony and Bible Study
3. Watch the video and answer:
A. Why did Rebecca initially come on the blog? (I think this is key to her success!)
B. Why are you here?
C. When she saw it was on idolatry — what was her initial reaction and why?
D. Where are you in understanding idols of the heart? What do you think they are?
E. Heart idols are an attempt to solve a problem, but, what does Jonah 2:8 say they really do?
F. What was Rebecca’s heart idol and how did it boomerang on her?
G. What is your heart idol (if you know — and you may not yet!) and how has it hurt you?
H. Rebecca compared intimacy with God to a stream. Have you experienced this with the Lord? If so, explain.
I. Can you encourage our new friend Tim Mahoney with comments on this video?
Thursday – Friday: Soul Talk and Sermon
I’m going to give you two scenarios where an idol can lie to you — and I want you to do two things:
A. Find the idol lie so you can run away from the idol that really will destroy you.
B. Combat the lie with the truth so you can move forward in faith toward the real God.
4. Let’s start with the lies Rebecca’s comfort idol was telling her:
Your life is so stressful (that’s the true part 🙂 ) you need this time at night to watch the news and eat so you will be less stressed.
A. Find the lies. (Be merciless and specific! Genesis 4:7 might help)
B. Rebecca told us she was afraid if she didn’t do this, that God would let her sit in her pain. She would have to suffer for a time — but find the truth in the following passages:
* Isaiah 40:29-31 (Imagine you are in Rebecca’s place and use this to speak truth to your soul.)
* 1 Peter 4:1-2 (Again, imagine you are Rebecca, and soul talk.)
5. Think of one of your deep idols and name a lie he tells you.
A. What is the lie? Have you experienced the pain of this idol lie? If so, share.
B. What is the truth that could help you move toward God? Will this involve suffering?
C. Also, take this same lie, and reflect on The Great I AM’s we studied during Lent and
speak again to your soul, refuting the lie that Jesus won’t be enough, can’t really
rescue you from this, with something that quickened you during Lent.
SERMON: This is actually a lighter sermon on The Great I AM from R. C. Sproul (amazing it is light considering the preacher!) — one you can listen to while you work. He’s got one main point, but it is a good one, and one that has stayed with me from his humorous illustration. Listen and articulate it.
6. What thoughts to you have on the above message from R. C. Sproul?
7. What’s your take-a-way for the week and why?