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DAILY RESURRECTION POWER

In Tender Mercies (one of my all time favorites!)

God uses a young widow to love “Mac,” a recovering alcoholic,

into the Kingdom. Her son, “Sonny” and “Mac”

are baptized one Sunday. On the way home, they reflect.

tender-merciesSonny: “Well, we’ve done it, Mac. We’re baptized.”

Mac: “Yeah, we are.”

Sonny: “Everybody said I was going to feel like a changed person. I guess I do feel a little different. But I don’t feel a whole lot different. Do you?”

Mac: “Not yet.”

Sonny: “You don’t look any different.” (Sonny sits up to look at himself in the rearview mirror.) “Do you think I look any different?”

Mac: “Not yet.”

Rankin Wilbourne said he knew after receiving Jesus, that Jesus promised rivers of living water would flow out of his heart,

but it seemed more like a trickle than a river.

Likewise, It took forty years between John Newton’s conversion

and his conviction regarding the slave trade,

forty years for the gospel to truly change him.

I too feel like I have grown so much in the last fifteen years,

but I am so sad it took me so long too really “get” some truths.

Wilbourne articulates these truths in Union with Christ. As I read them, 

I thought,

“Yes — that’s why I’m finally experiencing more of the power of His resurrection.”

philippians-3-10-that-i-may-know-him-brown-copy

We will look at two secrets of “union with Christ” Wilbourne articulates over the next two weeks: dying with Him and glorifying Him.

unionwithchrist

This week we will consider the truth of “dying with Him.”

It’s the same one that is the backbone of Ann VosKamp’s new book,

The Way of Brokenness.

Ann writes:

annvoskampbroken

Christ was broken on the cross and it led to life.

Yet we are afraid of being broken, of being “crucified with Christ.”

Rankin writes that the first test to “determine whether the radical nature of union with Christ is sinking in is to ask this:

Are you threatened by it?

Before you can rest in the comfort and experience the peace of your new identity in Christ, you have to sense how frightening it can be.

We love our idols — and letting them go feels frightening.

Though many of you have seen this testimony from Rebecca before,

watch it and find where she tells about how “she was scared – and why.”

SUNDAY, JAN 15TH Afraid to Die

1. What stood out to you from the above, and why?

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Crucified with Christ, We then LIVE!

alive-in-christ-a-sermon-for-confirmation-from-romans-6114-1-638

Union with Christ means He is in us, and when we die with Him, suffer with Him, we also rise with Him and experience the power of His resurrection!

Prepare your heart with this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0_1jazh454

 

As I consider my life, there were many times I died to myself voluntarily, and God blessed it. Yet often I did not die — either because I was rebelling or I did not see my sin, my hidden heart idols. Yet when God took Steve, it caused me to press into Jesus like never before — for where else could I go? The husband I had so relied on, even to the point of idolatry, was gone. And through that, I had to turn to the True Husband who would never die. So “being crucified with Christ” may come upon us involuntarily when our world falls apart, or it may come upon us voluntarily when, by faith, we choose it. But either way, the way of brokenness can lead to life, to experiencing more of the power of His resurrection, the power that brought Jesus out of the grave!

resurrection-power

 

2. How wise we are when we choose to die to ourselves by faith, when we recognize sin, turn from it, and allow God to fill the place. What fruit followed Rebecca’s choice to die to her nightly ritual and replace it with communion with Christ?

3. Where have you died to yourself and seen Christ bring a resurrection?

dead-to-sin-alive-to-god

4. Meditate on Romans 6:1-8

A. Read through vs.1-8 and find as many phrases as you can that describe union with Him.

B. Which phrases are frightening and which give you hope?

C Baptized means “immersed.” He is not talking about literal baptism here, though baptism, especially immersion, pictures this truth. What promise comes with immersing yourself into His death, according to verse 4?

D. What promise is in verse 5? This doesn’t just mean heaven, but an eternal life beginning on earth.

E. What reasons are given in each of verses 6, 7, and 8 for being united with Christ into His death?

5. Mediates on Romans 6:9-14

A. What must we do according to verse 11? Where must you consider yourself dead today?

B. According to verses 12-13 we must stop doing something and start doing something. Explain and then explain how this applies to you.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY: SERMON “Perfect Freedom” Tim Keller

LISTEN TO THIS AND SHARE YOUR NOTES AND THOUGHTS. IT’S ESSENTIAL KELLER (AND FREE) ON ROMANS 6. EVEN IF YOU’VE HEARD IT BEFORE, LISTEN AGAIN. As Keller says, “Romans 6, 7, and 8 are vital in understanding the power to be found.”

6. Notes or comments from Perfect Freedom.

SATURDAY:

7. What is your take-a-way and why?

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2017

 

We are hard-wired for glory,

but in our sinfulness, instead of seeking glory for God,

we crave it for ourselves.

The first principle articulated in the Westminister Confession is:

cathechismlooking-at-the-big-picture-57-728We have deceitful hearts, and it is easy to think we are glorifying God, when what we are really doing is feeding our idols. As a young speaker, I told many stories of how God was meeting me, and He was — but looking back I realized it was more about me (and feeding my approval idol) than glorifying God. Liz Curtis HIggs (one of the funniest women alive) told me — “I realized people remembered my funny stories but not the message about Jesus.”

Kathy Keller, when Tim was a young preacher, often gave him a thumbs down after preaching. But she said, “When you get to Jesus, that’s when my heart begins to melt.” He took her criticism to heart and became the preacher he is today.

Isn’t it amazing that even in ministry (from parenting to preaching to pro-life volunteering) we can still be seeking our own glory instead of God’s!) This week we will look at John 12 for insight into replacing our quest for our own glory with a quest for seeking God’s glory. Though we thinking seeking our own glory will lead to joy, it does not. Instead Lewis says:

quote-the-scotch-catechism-says-that-man-s-chief-end-is-to-glorify-god-and-enjoy-him-forever-c-s-lewis-81-59-461. What stands out to you from the above, and why?

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study (Take two questions a day)

PREPARE YOUR HEART WITH THIS:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax_NMWLEb6U

hard0wired

We are hard-wired for glory, but in our sinfulness we corrupt that desire, and seek glory, not for God, but ourselves. We see the contrast in our opening passage.

2. Read John 12:1-8

A. Whose glory was Judas seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for him?

B. Whose glory was Mary of Bethany seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for her?

C. Ask yourself today, each time you begin a new task or venture, “Whose glory will I seek in doing this?” Come back and report how it impacted you.

3. Read John 12:9-19 and find passages that show whose glory the chief priests were seeking. Explain why you think that is true.

4. Read John 12:20-26

A. What hour does Jesus say has come, and what does He mean?

B. How does Jesus explain and illustrate “the broken way” and how it leads to fruitfulness?

kernal-of-wheatmaxresdefault

C. Through this illustration, how can you see how the truths of dying with Christ and glorifying God are linked?

D. “Losing your life” sounds frightening — it is the upside down way of the Kingdom. Share a recent time when you faced this trauma and either failed or succeeded in obeying and what happened.

5. Read John 12:27-36  Why was Jesus’ soul troubled” What caused Him to submit to the hard path?

6. Read John 12:36-43

    A. Why did many of the authorities, though they believed, refused to confess it?

    B. Ask the Lord to show you where you are seeking man’s glory. What does He show you?

    C. Pray for yourself here.

Thursday-Friday (Message from Rankin Wilbourne)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8-EgmP1UX8

7. What comments to you have on the above? 

Saturday

8. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

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262 comments

  1. Romans 6:9-14   I must consider myself dead to control over my own life & desires; alive to what the Spirit wants to do in & thro me. I need to be a better listener & not interrupt my husband, & not try to fix or take the reins, stop trying to prevent conflict between my husband & kids. How hard this is sometimes! I appreciate your honesty Susan, & identify with so much of what u say as my husband is not a believer either. How we need the wisdom, discernment & self control & Love of the Holy Spirit! Very hard to watch our kids struggle also, but the Lord has His plans for them & He will draw them to Himself in His way.                 Verses 12-13: I need to stop yielding to my cravings & selfish desires & YIELD to the Holy Spirit. Yield all of myself…physical, emotional, mental, spiritual…to the God who made me & knows best. I’ve been noticing YIELD signs more as I drive now haha   They are called GIVE WAY signs in Aussie, & I’ve been thinking about how we have to stop when we come to those places where God impresses on us to stop, & YIELD or GIVE WAY to Him or to others. Let them go first & trust the Lord to lead us, & use us as His instruments of righteousness  🙂   This brings joy & peace.

  2. Praying for you Mary E.   & that the stent will be successful & relive pain & discomfort; that you can rest in the arms of Jesus your Shepherd.

  3. Relieve! 🙂

  4. 5.A. What must we do according to verse 11?
    Again, the amplified version is so good!
    “consider yourselves to be dead to sin [and your relationship to it broken], but alive to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
     
    Where must you consider yourself dead today?
    I must die to offenses.  The evil one uses the to distracts me; he tries to lure me away from what I am focusing on (usually prayer and praise) to “percolate” on offenses.  Many times I am able to refocus and be aware of the ploy, but other times I am drawn in and then frustrated that I am so easily lead astray…another weapon.
    B. According to verses 12-13 we must stop doing something and start doing something. Explain and then explain how this applies to you.
    We must stop allowing sin to reign and our obedience to it; we must offer ourselves and ability as instruments of righteousness.
     
    This applies to me in a variety of ways…the sin of allowing offenses to take root, to allow them to “marinate,” the sin of comparison, envy, and discontent, and yielding to obligation rather than “right” heart motivations.  The Lord wants me to let these go and focus on Him and “us” and His (our) family.  He wants me to turn from these worldly, sinful focuses and actions and turn to praise, gratitude, and contentment; to trust His steadfast love and faithfulness. 

    1. Nanci, I love the word “marinate” when it is used in reference to meat. Oh the taste and the enjoyment of food well marinated. But in the context of our sins, that word is frightening indeed. Hard to imagine marinating in our sins and letting it infuse our whole being. That word will stay with me for a while and I need to make sure not even a “drop” of it touch my soul-on;y, only, by the grace of God. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.

      1. “marinating in our sins and letting it infuse our whole being”
        This is what occurs…I sometimes allow myself to ruminate on the offense, I “chew” on it, and find it distracts me.  
        I loved Tim Keller’s practical advice that he gave when he was talking about Saint Augustine… (italics mine)
        “I used to be the kind of person that ruminated on offenses, but I am someone else in Jesus.  I will not allow myself to be baited by Satan by offense; I will redirect my mind to the Lord rather than ruminate.” 
         
        My morning devotional was just perfect for me (thank You, Lord!)…
        (January 21, “Always Jesus”)
        “Take a look at your mind’s contents.  Though your thoughts are no visible to other people unless you choose to share them, I see each and every one.  When you realize your thinking is unworthy of Me, make every effort to change the subject.  If you are struggling … with an idea that recurs again and again, try connecting it to a favorite scripture or brief prayer.  This forms a bridge for your attention … For example, praying, ‘I love You, Lord’ can quickly direct your focus to Me.  If you have to repeat this process many times don’t be discouraged.  You are training your mind to seek My Face”

        1. This is wonderful, Nanci. I am going to try this process as I need to also die to offenses.

    2. Nanci, I was arrested by your reference to the SIN of comparison.  Someone close to me pointed this out to me just recently that I spend a lot of time and energy comparing my lot with others.  It certainly does breed discontent and envy which does not help me at all.  I am now hyper aware of this SIN and realizing that it is intertwined in every part of my being.  It’s so interesting to me to hear someone else saying they struggle with this and to call it sin.  I want to be rid of sin in my life, but only God can deliver me. 

  5. For any who don’t do FB (myself included) the procedure today when incredibly well.  Could hardly have been any better!  The IV was popped in on the first try (often it’s a huge big deal, cause I only have one available are, the other side has had lymph nodes removed from the underarm so no needle sticks or blood pressures allowed on that side) the one available arm has had chemo in the veins and that tends to ruin them, but this went right in.  Every single person who had anything to do with me was nice and kind.  The procedure went off w/out a hitch and I feel very well.  A little symptoms that resemble having a bladder infection, but very tolerable.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  He is SO good to me and He has kindly responded to your cries for help on my behalf.  

    1. Thank You Lord Jesus!

    2. He is so faithful in answering our prayers!

    3. Mary – A few weeks ago Wanda had graciously alerted me to the deepening trial of your cancer journey (I believe Liz did let me know as well…).  Because of that, I have been silently checking in on the blog much more than I had planned to – longing to hear news of how you are doing.  I am dumbfounded by how much of Jesus I am seeing in you….it seems that He is shining brighter in your life week by week, even day by day.  Oh, how He is using you powerfully to bring courage to my own heart, in my own journey!  I was able to join with many of the sisters here, as well as your church body, in praying for you the other night specifically….and I am rejoicing so with you in the many, many kindnesses of God to you in your procedure yesterday.  That is but one DROP in the showers of GRACE that He has for you. My sister, to say that you are a gift of untold value to the Body of Christ is pure understatement.  Much, much love to you from Maryland – as I believe Wanda was apt to point out, you are prayer covered from coast to coast and then some!  

      1. Yes (in agreement with Dee.)  I miss you, Jackie, but I know that life gets busy and we go through seasons (I’ve been off and on with the blog at times also.)  Words could never due to adequately express my deep gratitude for all the prayer support I have received from the women here.  People often express to me how well they think I handle this but they just are not understanding that handing this “well” is not in my nature, it is God’s response to all the prayers being offered on my behalf, it is His Spirit doing a work in me, and it is His grace and mercy lifting me back up when I fall (OFTEN.)  My response to all this is fickle at times.  Sometimes I handle the cancer better than a bad cold (which I had a couple weeks ago, and complained about OFTEN!)  Just so grateful to be on the receiving end of His grace and His promise to bring to completion the good work He begins in us.
        Again, please know how truly grateful i am for all your prayers, everyone! 
         

    4. Mary, thanks so much for taking the time to fill us in on how the procedure went. God is gracious! I truly hope the bladder infection does develop into anything serious. May God continue to heal you and bless you!

    5. Mary, I am on FB but thank you for posting here as well! Continued prayers for you Mary!

      1. Mary, I too appreciate your posting here…in thinking about all our “silent” blog sisters that may not comment or be associated with the FB site yet still engaged in our “family,” it is nice that you shared this information here so they are aware.  
        (nice to see you, Jackie…hope all is well…continued prayer for you and yours.)
        Praising God!…continued prayers and praise, Mary.

    6. Mary, this is good to hear but I am with Dee and you are much braver than I in regard to the bladder infection feeling. I am so glad Lizzy keeps us posted on FB

  6. 5. Mediates on Romans 6:9-14 
    A. What must we do according to verse 11? Where must you consider yourself dead today? 
     
    We must die to sin, but ALIVE to God -through Jesus.
     
    B. According to verses 12-13 we must stop doing something and start doing something. Explain and then explain how this applies to you.
     
    We must stop sinning and start living with Christ in all we do. We must get rid of the sin in our lives. We need to stay away from places and things that draw us to sin. For me, I need to find peace in Him when I head to the kitchen for my comfort food. I need to draw nearer to Him when I feel like speaking unkind words. I should speak to Him first when I am feeling vulnerable instead of reacting negatively to a situation.

  7. 5. Mediate on Romans 6:9-14
    A. What must we do according to verse 11? Where must you consider yourself dead today?
     
    We must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. “In Christ Jesus” reminds me once again of the importance of the phrase “in Christ” which Dee pointed out as we began this series of studies on “Union with Christ”. Today, I am so aware that the siren calls of self-indulgence are calling to me toward self-pity. Emotionally, I am in pain. I am struggling to stop my ears from the cries of my idols and listen instead to the song of Christ in love for me, calling me to deny myself and today take up my cross and follow him. 
     

    1. Diane, I am praying for us to defeat the enemy. Stay strong!

    2. Diane, I so much believe that the knowledge of the love of Christ for me alone can deliver me from my idols.  When we are loved, what else matters?  My prayer for this year is that I would know the love of Christ more deeply – and yet it passes knowledge. 

  8. I couldn’t love Tim Keller even more after listening to him on the topic of freedom. I have listened twice since he sounded like he knew me (smile) really well. 
    I took a lot of notes but want to contain myself here: Still long-sorry.
    Tim Keller
    Chapter 1-5 Salvation is received not achieved. 
    Why then should I change if it is all grace anyway?
    Chapter 6-8
    3 keys to real profound change
     
    1.    1.   Recognize the shape of your slavery        v. 15-16   As Christians, there are only 2 groups that we can belong to. No matter what we believe, we are either devoted or slaves  to God (citing the 1st Commandment) or to something else other than God. There is no third option. There is no one who does not have a god. Everybody lives for something that is our main way of significance or security- to feel valued and significant- a main way to be secure. Power, approval, political cause, romance, money. You are going to live for something. Whatever that is, it your spiritual master. You are being controlled by it. A good thing has become an ultimate thing for you.  
         Three signs (spiritual master) to look for:
    Anger               epi-angry  you lose it, become bitter, or blow up 
    Fear                 if it is epi-fear  you fall apart, you can think straight
    Sadness           It is ok to grieve but if it is epi-sadness you throw yourself off the bridge, no meaning in life
    2.        Realize the scope and  breath of your unity with Christ 4-5 (united with death and then resurrected) the converted (given their lives to Christ not just super Christians), 
    We are united with Christ engrafted with the root, with Christ past and future. Colossians 3 you have been raised with Christ-seated at the right hand of God your life is hid in Christ. Right hand of honor- Jesus at the right hand of God; look at what He has accomplished- everything that Christ has done is legally true of you; the Father sees you with the beauty and greatness of the Son as if you have died yourself.Future certainly (not conditionally) the moment you believe you have the future of what you have in Christ. There will be the palengenesia. There is a single point to where history will end- everything will be new fullness and wholeness- when Jesus sits on the throne cosmic renewal will happen; what power when the Son of man will be on his throne; history will be changed. Titus 3:5(personal salvation) not because o but by the washing rebirth (palengenesia) of the Holy spirit palengenesia not personal renewal but cosmic rebirth will come in the future but is also working in your life right nowYou just did not get a free pass.You are not just pardoned. We want a little here and there. C.S. Lewis we are like a house. He is intent in building a palace in us and not just a cottage. He will live in us. The process will be long and maybe in parts painful. 
    3. 1.       You must live daily out of your new identity v. 6 (our old self is crucified-you are not the same person anymore) the body the way you live, your actions, your decisions) break the reign of the old self, count your self-remind yourself you are new. You are not lacking of resources.
    You need to deploy your resources.(not automatic) You are not remembering who you really are when you are not living and changing. You have forgotten who you are.
    a.       How does that work?   He gave the example of Augustine, his change from being a slave to sex to a redeemed man.  “It is I,” said the prostitute. Augustine replied, “yeah, I know but it is not me anymore.” Sex was a spiritual master. I am free to love. It is not me anymore. I don’t need what I use to think I need.
                 b. Why is it taking it so long? It takes time to grasp our change of status. It is not just symbolic-it really happened.
                 c.       Why is it so hard? We have an enemy who continually beset us with lies. Keller reminded us of the lies the serpent said of God at the garden. He also gave the example of Lan and Hai (movie Three Seasons)-unconditional love
    Lie: Offer yourself to God and He will be a bad master.
    Truth: What can look as slavery is freedom when we have  Christ
    Philippians 2: John 13 Jesus laid aside the immensities of His being so He can purchased a home for us in the land of His Father.
    The only Master who offered Himself for us and who became a servant.
    Purchased us with the cost of the cross; to buy a place in heaven for us. Give yourself to the one Master who became a servant.
     
     

    1. Thanks for your sermon notes, Ernema…they are wonderful!  I feel like I am re-listening to the sermon when reading through your notes…:D
       

      1. Your notes are thorough…please no apologies for length.

    2. I agree with the others, Bing!  Great notes here!

    3. Thank you for these wonderful notes, Bing!

  9. There is a good review on Gospel Coalition, of the Broken Way–and Ann posted a comment in response, to clarify one point, and it is beautifully said, worth reading: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-review-the-broken-way

    1. Thanks Lizzy…you are correct, very interesting review; the clarification by Ann Voskamp was super.

    2. I saw that, too, Lizzy. Ann has really taken the humble route and I know God is pleased with that. 

    3. Yes, that was very well written.  I’ve not gotten that book yet, but sounds fairly good, but I would have had the same issue about her “God believes in me” statement as the reviewer had, so good to get that perspective on it!  One thing is for sure, there is only one perfect book author, and He wrote only one Book, so I try to look at all others under the umbrella of that truth.  But this one does sound worth reading! 

    4. Lizzy,
      Thank you for posting this review from the Gospel Coalition.  Well worth reading.

  10. Bing, the sermon notes are great! The sermon really spoke to me and I listened twice. Yes, why does it take so long?
    Because we continue to be afraid that the Master will  “abuse us”. It is the serpent’s lie…
    Die to my anxiety, fear… yes. Alive in Christ! My take for the study.
     

  11. 7. What is your take-a-way and why? The Keller sermon really hit home. I’m going to listen to it again.  The part about thinking deep down that if I give myself fully to Him, He will abuse me. It isn’t something that I have ever consciously thought and nothing that I would ever say out loud, but given my behavior this past week I think that it may be true.
    An example of this is something that may seem rather insignificant to others. At my place of employment we have daily work assignments. The way that the supervisor assigns positions is unfair (in my opinion) and pointing it out makes you look petty and actually makes things worse. I got tired of getting the short end all of the time and I changed the work assignments for the week. When people were talking about it I acted as though I knew nothing about it, I’m not the only one who gets abused so there are a lot of other people who could have done it. I knew that it was something that I shouldn’t do and I chose to do it anyway. Obviously I’m not trusting God in this or I wouldn’t have taken matters into my own hands. Oh how I wish that I could die to self more quickly!!

    1. Dawn, I hear you. The struggle to take matters into our own hands is very real. And dying to self is hard.

  12. Just finished the Keller message about Perfect Freedom.  Very meaty and so good, as usual.  I like the analogy he used (which was David Lloyd-Jones analogy, I guess) at the end about the people who had been enslaved by an oppressor for many years and even once they are declared totally free, it’s hard to really live in that place of freedom when you have been used to being oppressed and you might even fear that your new master (God, in our case) will demand too much, horrible, oppressive things of us or treat us badly.  The thing is…sometimes He does demand a lot, but He’s with us through it.  He is our Friend who comes along side us and gives us what we need to do those hard things…to bear up under them.  Something the Lord showed me in a new way this week, I recently shared with Lizzy, I was thinking about sharing in the “fellowship of His suffering”, and then I realized in a new way,  the most major difference between Jesus’s worst suffering and anything I may have to endure:  Jesus was utterly alone and forsaken, even by His Father, His Daddy.  He endured the worst suffering imaginable and He endured it totally alone.  I’ll never have to do that.  Because He was forsaken, I will never be.  What’s more, I have the entire Body of Christ lifting me up in prayer as I experience my “momentary, light affliction.”  So, on the one hand, our new Master actually may ask us to endure quite a lot, but unlike our old master, what He asks us to endure is always for our ultimate good and His glory (which blend together perfectly) and He never asks us to endure it alone.  

    1. Yes, Mary. We would never have to bear our sorrows and pain totally alone.

  13. That will be my take-away too. 😀

  14. Saturday:
    What is your take away and why?
    Dying to self is hard-it takes intentionality (which I am weak in) and a pausing in my thoughts and actions. Going through the grid of Philippians 4:8 and Micah 6:8 takes time. Is it true? Is it noble? Is it pure? Is it right? Does it show justice, mercy, humility? Only in abiding in the vine, the true source of all things Philippians 4:8 and Micah 6:8 am I able to die to self and gain daily resurrection power.
    Between this blog, Dee’s book Idol Lies and listening to Ann V. (thank you, Nila), I am a mess of tears this week. But it is OK-God is near and He is faithful.

  15. Wow, Bing! You have such a way with words! Thanks for your notes on the sermon…I’m loving Tim Keller. I had heard of him, but had never heard one of his messages till this blog. Your takeaway is so true & I echo that. We have to “keep our hearts with all diligence” & be intentional. It is hard & I’m inconsistent & often fickle, but trying to live aware of Christ in me daily. Being willing to yield to the Spirit & take the high road with Him & not the easy way out.    Mary, I’m so glad & thankful that your surgery went well & you are an inspiration!  Yes “He never asks us to endure it alone”!  🙂               

  16. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?  I love the Lewis quote, that to glorify Him is to enjoy Him.  As you mentioned, our hearts our so deceitful that much of the time it is hard to tell when we are truly motivated by a desire to glorify Him or just ourselves.  But when we do stumble upon an actual incident of glorifying Him, then there is that joy Lewis speaks of.  This is one of the reason I look forward to heaven and no longer having a deceptive heart.  In heaven there will be no need to analyze motives all the time.  My heart will be finally pure.  

      1. YES!!!

    1. This is also what stood out to me, Mary e.: “to glorify Him is to enjoy Him.” God has used C.S. Lewis in my life in so many ways. I think I need to spend time pondering how to “enjoy God”. Then I will glorify Him as He ought to be glorified.

  17. 6. Notes or comments from Perfect Freedom.
     
    Love the reader at the beginning; isn’t he the one who reads my bible to me on Youversion??
     
    Love the story of the vietnamese prostitute and the cycler who loved her. Tears. Made me realize (again) how much He loves me; ME. Thank You Jesus.
     
    We are strong-held by our idols; enslaved to a “master” that will never satisfy. I want, so badly to be sin free completely.

  18. I too enjoyed the sermon. Worth listening to again. I took the time to look up the Vietnam movie Keller he spoke of called “Three Seasons”. I found it on Youtube – in Vietnamese with subtitles in English. It was interesting. It tells three stories of Vietnamese people simultaneously – the story of the cyclo driver and prostitute is one of them. They are all interesting stories, somewhat redemptive in nature. I find stories based on another culture fascinating so I enjoyed it.

  19. What stood out on this second Sunday?  The need to be replacing our quest for glory with a quest for seeking His glory.  And the C S Lewis quote that to glorify God is to enjoy Him.  This morning in Sunday School we were talking about glory.  Here was the posted explanation: ” the glory of man is human opinion.  As such, it is shifty, uncertain, and often based on error.  God’s opinion is true glory.  Giving glory to God is ascribing to Him His full recognition.”

    1. That is a great quote from your Sunday School this morning, Mary B!

  20. I too loved the C S Lewis quote. I think when I enjoy God, He enjoys me too! Amazing but true. He is glorified when I am filled with Him & sing His praises, love others from His overflowing Love & delight in His Truth. I think I enjoy God most when I’m out in the wonders of nature, seeing His beauty & majesty in His creation! But also when I reach out to someone who is hurting & I see them respond, & also when I sing at church & proclain His Truth.  He is glorified & I am filled with His joy. This way we enjoy eachother. What a wonderful God, that He could enjoy & delight in us, His creation. We are precious to Him.  🙂

  21. Laura Dancer : I dont know if you saw one of my former posts to you? Are u in Coastguard, or were u? Your pic looks like USCG flag behind you?

    1. I missed your post Jenny. It’s not a flag; it’s my husband’s tie against his  beige suit jacket! My mom always said you should have a bit of red in a picture; it make it “pop.” It really helps when I am scrolling through posts quickly (finding my post to see if I need to reply). Are you coast guard? We are trying to get our youngest to enlist in the coast guard ?.

  22. What stood out to you and why? “I realized people remembered my funny stories but not the message about Jesus.” Liz Curtis Higgs
    How can I make it to be about you, Lord? Your message? The natural man in me cries for a quick fix, to feed my idols-comfort, approval, control. That I should come to you in utter dependence and know you are enough. Set your mind, O self on heavenly things and yet still be of earthly good. May the appetites of this world lose its appeal. Let Jesus increase and I, decrease.

  23. 2. Read John 12:1-8
    A. Whose glory was Judas seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for him?
     
    Well, he was wanting to make sure the money was not wasted. He felt that the money could be multiplied by selling the oil and giving the money to the poor. I guess he was trying to make himself look good by suggesting something like that? He may have been trying to seek the glory of the pharisees also. I’m not sure what, in the passage helps me to know this information though. Ultimately he died.
     
    B. Whose glory was Mary of Bethany seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for her?
     
    Mary was mesmerized by Jesus. She wanted to solely respect Jesus. She used her most precious oil that was extremely expensive. She shared with her master with no hesitation. She was blessed in the end.

  24. 1. What stands out to me is that it is so easy to think we are serving God for all the right reasons when really we are just seeking approval from this world and in many ways I think we are seeking approval from HIM…but that is not what we are supposed to be seeking. We are supposed to be seeking to glorify HIM. To remember that HE already approves of me, He is already madly in love with me, there is nothing I can do that will make HIM love me more, that is my greatest challenge.
    Also, I learn best from stories. I don’t remember a lot from the first time I heard you speak Dee, it was in the late 90s  I believe. BUT I do remember the stories of your sister coming to your house annoying you to death about Jesus (and how later you bowed your knee to him because of her) and how your husband was ready to give up his school for you and that you saw your selfishness. that led my to look at my own selfishness. I LOVE personal stories, they go strait to my heart…like the profit Samuel spoke to David with the word picture of the lamb. If you had said I was being selfish I would not have heard it, but the story spoke to my heart. I do not think they were self serving or used to seek approval. Just sayin 🙂

      1. It is pretty amazing that over 15 years later I still remember your words! I would like to hear that Keller sermon. As I prepare to speak to groups about special needs adoption it would be good for me to learn what stories are best!!!
         

  25. 3. can you imagine being the leaders of the church, used to respect and fear and loyalty, and then some carpenter comes on the scene steals it all away? These were men who had given their ENTIRE LIVES to their religion and now some kid who had never even gone through the training to become a Rabi had more power than they ever dreamed of. And HE spoke of the God that they feared as if HE were loving and merciful and graceful. Could this be the same God that killed men who went into the holy of holy’s unclean? could this be the same God that insisted on sacrifices and cerimonal washing and the 100s of rules that they had been taught that they had to follow in order to even hope for HIS approval. How confused they must have been.
    How confused WE are when we are told that we don’t have to earn HIS love. We have to earn good grades, we have to earn our parents approval, we have to perform to gain the approval of our coworkers and often of our husbands and family. How then can it be true that GOD..THE MAKER OF THE UNIVERSE can really love us just because we are us?!?! How can it be true that all he seeks is our love? This is a truth that we can only fully comprehend when HE floods us with HIMSELF and we experience who HE is. only HOLY SPIRIT can make us truly believe such a thing, for our human hearts on their own can not comprehend this kind of unconditional love. And when HE fills, when he comes, when HE takes our hand and says “you are mine” the joy and the peace that comes…. their are not words.
     

  26. Strange–I posted a paragraph last night–and Liz even responded–but not seeing it now! No big deal–not worth re-posting! Just wondered what happened

    1. Lizzy, you posted a comment under the previous lesson “Higher Ground …” and Liz responded to it. I sort of wondered why you did that! 🙂

      1. Oh good, at least it’s not gone then!  Maybe you could just copy and paste down here! 😀

  27. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    How good intentions can go awry…one can begin with full intention to glorify the Lord, but then this can slowly, gradually, almost unnoticeable fade into “self” glorification.  Small, gradual changes can sometimes go unnoticed, but when one becomes fully aware of the change on the larger scale it is crazy to think how you got there.  I liken this to how when you you live with someone every day, the small daily changes can go unnoticed.  It is when you look at a picture from the past or someone visits who hasn’t seen them for awhile that awareness of the changes are fully noticed.
     
    2. A. Whose glory was Judas seeking? Judas was seeking his own glory.
    How can you tell? The criticalness of Mary’s act of honoring Jesus was not rooted in authentic concern for the poor, but in his ability to pilfer a greater amount of funds.
    Where did this ultimately lead for him?  Isolated and guilt-ridden, taking his own life.
    B. Whose glory was Mary of Bethany seeking?  Jesus’
    How can you tell? Mary’s only motive was to honor Jesus; she was not concerned with the expense of the perfume being poured on his feet or what people might think of her with the entire gesture, including her hair being down and showing to wipe Jesus’ feet. 
    Where did this ultimately lead for her?  2000 years after, people are still taking about her gesture of loving-kindness and honor to her Lord.  Mary is known for her loving heart.
     
    3. Read John 12:9-19 and find passages that show whose glory the chief priests were seeking.
    v.10, “the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away [from the teaching and traditions of the Jewish leaders] and believing in Jesus”
    v. 19, “the Pharisees [argued and] said to one another, “You see that your efforts are futile. Look! The whole world has gone [running] after Him!” ”
    Explain why you think that is true
    The religious leaders were used to control, they liked that people looked up to them, they enjoyed their façade of authority, perfection, wisdom, etc.; they were “fed” by approval, popularity, control, and position.  Jesus was revealing their façade and pretentiousness; the religious leaders could not admit to this and needed to find a way/means to bring Jesus down in an effort to maintain their own perceived position.  
     

  28. Cyndi: I loved your words about Jesus! yes, how He must’ve thrown the Pharisees in to confusion. I love the way He is always breaking out of the little boxes we put Him in!!    1) Whose glory was Judas seeking? He was seeking his own; motivated by money & greed for more, & probably approval of the pharisees. It led him ultimately to despair & suicide  🙁      Mary on the other hand, wanted to glorify & worship Jesus at great expense to herself; spent $ on perfume, spent herself & didn’t worry what others thougth of her. She was willing to humble herself & even be ridiculed. She received praise from Jesus Himself, & her testimony has been used thro the ages! Lord, may I be more like Mary!  I’m going to try & remember to ask myself this week: “Whose glory will I seek in doing this?”

    1. Hi Jenny, yes, he has a way of blowing up our boxes doesnt HE 🙂 I saw that Laura missed a comment that you directed to her. Some if us do not get to ALL the comments on here so if you want to make sure a certain person sees your comment to them you can always hit the word reply on the top of each comment and write to them under the comment you are speaking to so that they are sure to see it 🙂 I know you are kinda new and wanted to make sure you knew about that. Im so glad you are here with us.

      1. Thanks Cyndi! What a revelation!! haha  It works!  🙂

  29. C. Ask yourself today, each time you begin a new task or venture, “Whose glory will I seek in doing this?” Come back and report how it impacted you. 
     
    To to be honest, I forgot to do this yesterday, kind of…I did find myself wondering if I was being “Christ-like” in my actions yesterday though. Very tough day for me ?. I failed several times, which means I was not glorifying Him. I will try again today. 
     
    3. Read John 12:9-19 and find passages that show whose glory the chief priests were seeking. Explain why you think that is true.  
     
    The firdt passage I see is verses 10-11: “So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭12:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/jhn.12.10-11.esv
     
    The chief priests felt threatened by Jesus. They wanted the townspeople to be afraid to follow Him so they could control the situation and the people.
     
    “So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.””
    ‭‭John‬ ‭12:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/jhn.12.19.esv
     
    This statement is in response to those who continued to talk about Jesus and His raising Lazurus from the dead. The Pharisees, again, are complaining because they have lost control of the crowd. People are witnessing and the Pharisees are distressed. The people are following someone they don’t quite understand and the leaders don’t know what to do. Again they want to be the focus and get the glory.
     
    4. Read John 12:20-26 
    A. What hour does Jesus say has come, and what does He mean? 
     
    The time for Him to be glorified has come. The people need to know that God will prevail. They will soon learn this because they will witness the horrible events that lead to Jesus’ death and then the glory of the resurrection.
     
    B. How does Jesus explain and illustrate “the broken way” and how it leads to fruitfulness?
     
    Jesus tells a parable about a grain of wheat. The seed that falls and isn’t buried and watered just dies, but the seed that is buried and watered lives and grows into a fruitful stalk. I find these stories hard to understand so I read several versions. I guess the message helped me the most:
     
    ““Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭12:24-25‬ ‭MSG‬‬
    http://bible.com/97/jhn.12.24-25.msg
     
    I suppose we we are to not love the life of this world, but trust in a new life that is better in His world.
     
     

    1. Laura, your honesty is always so refreshing! Love it. I’m sure the Lord must love it too  🙂

  30. I thought I posted this already, but I did have trouble with the site recognizing my email for some weird reason. Sorry if it posts twice?
     
    C. Ask yourself today, each time you begin a new task or venture, “Whose glory will I seek in doing this?” Come back and report how it impacted you. 
     
    To to be honest, I forgot to do this yesterday, kind of…I did find myself wondering if I was being “Christ-like” in my actions yesterday though. Very tough day for me ?. I failed several times, which means I was not glorifying Him. I will try again today. 
     
    3. Read John 12:9-19 and find passages that show whose glory the chief priests were seeking. Explain why you think that is true.  
     
    The firdt passage I see is verses 10-11: “So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭12:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/jhn.12.10-11.esv
     
    The chief priests felt threatened by Jesus. They wanted the townspeople to be afraid to follow Him so they could control the situation and the people.
     
    “So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.””
    ‭‭John‬ ‭12:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/jhn.12.19.esv
     
    This statement is in response to those who continued to talk about Jesus and His raising Lazurus from the dead. The Pharisees, again, are complaining because they have lost control of the crowd. People are witnessing and the Pharisees are distressed. The people are following someone they don’t quite understand and the leaders don’t know what to do. Again they want to be the focus and get the glory.
     
    4. Read John 12:20-26 
    A. What hour does Jesus say has come, and what does He mean? 
     
    The time for Him to be glorified has come. The people need to know that God will prevail. They will soon learn this because they will witness the horrible events that lead to Jesus’ death and then the glory of the resurrection.
     
    B. How does Jesus explain and illustrate “the broken way” and how it leads to fruitfulness?
     
    Jesus tells a parable about a grain of wheat. The seed that falls and isn’t buried and watered just dies, but the seed that is buried and watered lives and grows into a fruitful stalk. I find these stories hard to understand so I read several versions. I guess the message helped me the most:
     
    ““Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭12:24-25‬ ‭MSG‬‬
    http://bible.com/97/jhn.12.24-25.msg
     
    I suppose we we are to not love the life of this world, but trust in a new life that is better in His world.
     

  31. 2. Read John 12:1-8
     
    A. Whose glory was Judas seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for him?
     
    Judas was seeking his own glory through stealing from the money bag, thinking that money would satisfy his longings. He objected to the expensive perfume being “wasted” on Jesus. If he had loved and cared deeply for Jesus, he would have been happy to see his Lord honored in this way. His self-glorification ultimately led him to betray Jesus for money.
     
    B. Whose glory was Mary of Bethany seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for her?
     
    Mary was seeking to give special honor and glory to Jesus by taking the most expensive possession she had and using it on Him. I wonder how long she’d had that “pint of pure nard”, what she was originally saving it for, before Jesus came into her life, and the moment it came to her mind to give it to Him. It led to deepening intimacy with her Lord.
     
    C. Ask yourself today, each time you begin a new task or venture, “Whose glory will I seek in doing this?” Come back and report how it impacted you.
     
    This is a good thing to keep in the forefront of my mind. It is so easy to want that “pat on the back”, to want to be recognized for what I’ve done. I can even think of something that I do quite often, and it’s work that is done when no one is around to see, and I’ll think about how God is seeing, and then, I often want to tell someone else what I did, and how hard it was, and how much time it took….

  32. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
     
    (I forgot to answer this first) I think it is the C.S. Lewis quote and what Dee wrote just before it, that we think seeking our own glory will lead to joy, but it does not. I suspect that is because seeking our own glory is all mixed-up with our heart idols. We think they will bring us so much satisfaction and that we will finally arrive, but as Dee says, they only slip their chains around us and leave us wanting more, or they turn on us. But this message of self-glorification = joy is all throughout our culture. Great example is the movie Chariots of Fire. Liddel ran to glorify God and felt joy; Abrams ran to get glory for himself and when he lost, he had no joy. God’s way of thinking is always backwards!

  33. Assorted events and a nasty cold-type illness have put me behind. I am so far behind, I’m not sure whether I should even try to catch up. Because I am pretty sure I am contagious, I have canceled all events for this week. So now I have the time, but am low on energy. Please bear with me, sisters!

    Because of assorted events and a nasty cold-type illness, I am very behind. In fact, I am so far behind, I wonder if it is feasible to begin now. Please bear with me, sisters.

    1. What stood out to you from the above, and why?
     
    Dying to self, dying with Christ, being resurrected with Him.    Gee, it is so easy to say all of this, but the reality is that it is so hard to do.   It seems my  human default mode is for everything to be about ME.    Even those people who bring it off looking well on the outside, probably have a tough struggle on the inside – it takes a heap of intentionality!   But when we manage to do it, the resurrection feels so wonderful!
     
    2. How wise we are when we choose to die to ourselves by faith, when we recognize sin, turn from it, and allow God to fill the place. What fruit followed Rebecca’s choice to die to her nightly ritual and replace it with communion with Christ?
     
    Rebecca really did the right thing – not only dying to her comfort idol with the food, but also replacing it with Christ.    When we can tap into Christ’s strength, we can pull it off!  Then comes the true comfort – that exhilarating feeling.  
     
    3. Where have you died to yourself and seen Christ bring a resurrection?
     
    Presently in my marriage.   As you have heard me explain previously, my husband is l6 years and l6 days older than I am, which means he is 90 (will be 91 in March).   I have had to die to myself in a myriad of ways – he is no longer a good traveler, so we are pretty well stuck where we are.    He is on a low-sodium diet, so we can only go to a handful of restaurants that will accommodate his diet on special order. Sometimes I get so hungry for Magic Wok, but I don’t want to eat that stuff in front of him.  There is a lot more, but I won’t go into it right now
     
    Also at church, I have voluntarily died to myself a few times. About a month ago I was asked to explain to the congregation about the possibility of our merging with another church (it is unclear yet if we will actually do that).   It was ticklish task!   I received suggestions from a couple of other people who knew I was preparing this talk.    Sometimes I don’t take advice so well, but this time I did; and I included all the suggestions others gave me.   The talk was well-received, and no one panicked – that was good!    

  34. Sorry I repeated myself at the beginning of the last post.   The first time I submitted it, those lines were missing, so I typed it again using slightly different wording.  Then when it finally submitted, both entries were there.    

  35. 4. Meditate on Romans 6:1-8
     
    A. Read through vs.1-8 and find as many phrases as you can that describe union with Him.
     
    1.  Grace may increase.  
    2. Have died to sin
    3. Baptized into Christ Jesus – baptized into his death. 
    4. Buried with him through baptism.  
    5. We too may live a new life. 
    6.  Crucified with Him
     
    B. Which phrases are frightening and which give you hope?
     
    We don’t really like to talk about death, dying, crucifixion, etc.  Those things are frightening for us.    However, we find hope in words about grace and a new life.  
     
    C Baptized means “immersed.” He is not talking about literal baptism here, though baptism, especially immersion, pictures this truth. What promise comes with immersing yourself into His death, according to verse 4?
     
    That if we die to our sins (idols), we will find the joy of resurrection with Christ.   Our evil desires, our bondage to sin, and our love of sin die with him.  
     
    D. What promise is in verse 5? This doesn’t just mean heaven, but an eternal life beginning on earth.
     
    We will share in His resurrection.   Not only will we have the promise of heaven, but while we are here on earth, we can experience the joy of being united with Christ.   
     

  36. E. What reasons are given in each of verses 6, 7, and 8 for being united with Christ into His death?
     
    We can put our old sinful self behind us, and we can enter into a new life with Christ  – a life filled with His joy, and not having to think ever again about our old sins.   
     
    5. Mediate on Romans 6:9-14
     
     
    A. What must we do according to verse 11? Where must you consider yourself dead today?
     
    In the area of our desires and past sins.   
     
    B. According to verses 12-13 we must stop doing something and start doing something. Explain and then explain how this applies to you.
     
    We have to turn away from our sins and not repeat them over and over.  I once heard a sermon in which the pastor said that we bring our sins and we pile them on the altar before God for Him to take away. We turn them over to God in our repentance.    But the only problem, he said, is that we tend to reach back up and take those sins off the altar again.!     I am supposed to live my life as though those sins are gone, not even thinking of the temptations associated with them.   I think sometimes it is as if I don’t believe I have been truly cleansed, and I think that I am still dragging my sins behind me – so how can I possibly be motivated to live righteously, when I still have so much guilt tugging me backwards?    This is when I need to focus on my union with Christ!!  
     

  37. 2B.  You can tell Mary was seeking Jesus’ glory because she wasn’t thinking about herself, but only about Him.   It ultimately led to her seeing the risen Savior, and to being lifted up in Scripture forever.  (Matt 26:11, Mark 14:7)  not that we should strive for God’s glory with that in mind, but it is worth noting that often what we seek after and give up for Him, comes to us later in a more pure form.
    C.  Whose glory will I seek?  Laying in bed last night and thinking about this.  Nothing in my schedule big enough to plan ahead to seek His glory.  And then realizing that in every little thing that fills my day, He wants me to be thinking about Him.  So when I read scripture, it is about getting to see Him.  And when I eat, being so thankful to Him for the food.  Looking forward to blogging, because it means getting to read of others encountering Him, and sharing His showing up in my life.  Similar to what Nancy J said.  All day long, the opportunities to look for Him, talk to Him, tell others about Him…. Glory!!
     
    3.  The Pharisees and priests were jealous and indignant at not being first, or maybe even that others didn’t have their same First.  I know I can get bent out of shape because someone else doesn’t want what I want, when I think it is a good thing.  The priests thought they were being zealous for the temple, and that people following Jesus would lead to the Romans taking away the temple (John 11:48).  Ironic, that they were actually rejecting the Place of God meeting with people, which was ultimately in Jesus, in their attempt to guard the temple, which was historically the place of God meeting with people.  And in the long run they lost both the temple and Jesus.

  38. I just had to share this prayer link from Scotty Smith from his site “Heavenward”. It is a jewel and so fits with our current study. Let me know if the link doesn’t work.
     
    Marinating, Abiding, and Remaining in the Love of Jesus

    1. Diane,   the link works just fine — and I totally agree with you that it fits with our current study so well!  Thank you for sharing it. 

  39.  
    6. Notes or comments from Perfect Freedom.
     
     
    Bing’s notes were absolutely wonderful!    I followed her notes while I listened, and I listened to the sermon twice (once last week and once this week).    The only additional thing that jumped out at me was Keller’s illustration of the people who were enslaved and then given freedom; but still whenever they encountered someone of the oppressing group, they trembled with fear and continued to serve their oppressors.     The comment was made that it is at that point that most of us are  right now.     I thought that was a powerful story, along with Keller’s statement that if you haven’t changed , you have forgotten who you are.      

    1. Deanna, I like that you did all this here because it helped me review the past week’s content! Thanks!

  40. 4.A.  When Jesus says the hour has come for Him to be glorified, He means the death and resurrection, right?
    B.  When a seed is planted, the shell gets waterlogged and breaks and dies, and something entirely different in appearance comes out, and in time bears many seeds similar to how it itself started out.  But the only way for multiplication to happen is to quit keeping and guarding life as it is, and be willing to be brought low, or humbled, placed in a dark and damp place, seemingly forgotten and left to ‘rot’.  But it is the only way to truly bearing fruit.
    C.  This is really speaking to me.  As long as I try to preserve what I think of as my rights and even myself, no new life happens.  For me, for others, or for the Kingdom.  But when I humble myself and look to Him, allowing Him to do whatever He chooses, then I bring glory to Him even in my dying, as did Jesus.
    D.  It does sound very frightening.  I used to think that I could temporarily focus on Him, and then go back to me.  But now I see that it means letting Him bury me and in a sense, leave me there for however long He decides.  That is very scary!  The only way is to keep eyes and heart on Him, no matter what.
     
    5.  Jesus was troubled because He knew that He was about to lay His life down in the dust of death.  And not a peaceful death, but a violent, painful, and humiliating one.  What caused Him to submit?  His relationship with the Father, and choosing to trust Him with it all.  He remains the perfect pattern for us.

  41. Okay, now I am REALLY confused with the blog posts ?. I spent a very long time yesterday morning answering questions and then posting. When I posted, it seemed to post ok. When I went back though, it was gone. I then reposted and BOTH postings (same thing) showed up. I apologized for the double post. Now this morning BOTH posts are gone. I can’t remember what I answered yesterday morning. I also am frustrated with trying to remember what we have been studying; the two week thing is not really helping me I fear ?.

    1. Now I feel stupid! I just scrolled up and found my double posts! I swear I couldn’t find them a few minutes ago! I am having trouble with the new system, I fear. Too many posts to go through and I’m losing my place and focus.

      1.  Sorry for not understanding the process. I will refrain from too many links in the future!

  42. 4. Read John 12:20-26 
     
    C. Through this illustration, how can you see how the truths of dying with Christ and glorifying God are linked? 
     
    I think when we are with Christ (dying to Him)  we are doing the things God wants us to do and that definitely glorifies Him.
     
    D. “Losing your life” sounds frightening — it is the upside down way of the Kingdom. Share a recent time when you faced this trauma and either failed or succeeded in obeying and what happened.
     
    Well, I am in the process of “dying to self” in a situation with my husband. I struggle so much here. When I “behave” I realize that this is how it should be (his Gof wants it), however getting to that “dying” point is hard. It’s like when Paul says he knows what to do but just can’t do the right thing!
     
    “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/rom.7.15.esv
     
    I know I should act a certain way, but I can’t. ?

  43. Just a comment about the post I just posted…it usually says “Your comment was posted.” It did not say that this time, it just posted it.

  44. 6.  A.  Those who believed, why wouldn’t they confess it?  Two things.  They were afraid to be put out of the synagogue, and they loved the praise of men MORE than God.  Their identity was tied up in being leaders of the synagogue.  If they gave that up, who would they be?  I can relate, having wondered in the past if when God was done removing parts of me that were sinful and selfish, would there be anything left of me?  The second part hits home because they did love God, just not as much as men’s esteem.
    B.  Where am I seeking self glory?  The knee jerk answer is, where am I not?  Like Nanci J said, whatever we do with pure motives easily twists within us.  I can start to do something because God called me and I am being obedient.  But then I start feeling special because I am being obedient and want others to notice.  Conversations are hard because they are all about how are you, what have you been doing, what are your plans… Even trying to deflect glory onto God for something I said or did often sounds fake or self righteous.  I struggle with posting here, wanting to share what God shows me and then hating myself for wanting to see comments on what I posted.
    C.  What a wretched person, You in Your glorious love, have saved.  Lord, thank You for Your word and the honest examples You give us there.  Thank You that You stooped down to save even me.  I want to cover my ears with wax and my eyes with blinders so that I am not lured to my glory, but instead seek only Yours.  Help me keep You first and foremost.  In any way You choose, praise Your Holy Name in and through my life, so that You are the One who gets noticed and remarked on.  Amen.

  45. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
     
    We are hard-wired for glory, but in our sinfulness we corrupt that desire, and seek glory, not for God, but ourselves. 
     
    It is so easy — we do that without even realizing it, and then later it sinks in:  my motives were not pure! 

  46. 2. Read John 12:1-8

    A. Whose glory was Judas seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for him?
     
    Judas was seeing to his own situation.   We are told that he did not say that because he was concerned for the poor — he just wanted plenty in the coffers so he could help himself to it.   His greed later led him to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.   After the terrible deed was done, he tried to give it back, but it was not accepted, and he ended up throwing it away. He ultimately committed suicide.

    B. Whose glory was Mary of Bethany seeking? How can you tell? Where did this ultimately lead for her?
     
    I think Mary of Bethany had her heart in the right place.  This was act of humility, down on the floor applying the ointment to Jesus’ feet — using her hair to wipe His feet.   You can’t get much more self-effacing than that!   Where did all of this lead her?  Jesus spoke up and defended her actions. Later she was one of the first to know about Jesus’ resurrection!   

    C. Ask yourself today, each time you begin a new task or venture, “Whose glory will I seek in doing this?” Come back and report how it impacted you.
     
    I’m going to have to choose another day — I am sick and staying at home, so I won’t be interacting with anyone.   Will watch for an opportunity to do this!

     

  47. 4. Read John 12:20-26
    A. What hour does Jesus say has come, and what does He mean?
    B. How does Jesus explain and illustrate “the broken way” and how it leads to fruitfulness?

  48. 4. A. What hour does Jesus say has come,
    The hour for Jesus to be glorified and exalted
    and what does He mean?
    It means that Jesus knew that the time was near when you would suffer, die, and be resurrected.  Jesus was aware that His death and resurrection would provide the payment for all sin and conquer death once and for all.

    B. How does Jesus explain and illustrate “the broken way” and how it leads to fruitfulness?
    Jesus give the example of a grain of wheat…the illustration is how a grain of wheat by itself is one single grain, but when planted in the ground (death to the single grain), that grain’s yield is much greater producing “a harvest.”
     
    C. Through this illustration, how can you see how the truths of dying with Christ and glorifying God are linked?
    In being united with Jesus in His death, it is death to my sin and my sinful ways.  It brings God glory in the recognition that He is the One and Only, true Lord and God; it glorifies Him in the yielding of my will for His will to be done.
     
    **I need to think more about item 4.D. before responding.
     
    5. Why was Jesus’ soul troubled?”
    Jesus knew what awaited Him, not only physical and emotional suffering which would be great, but even more so, the spiritual pain and suffering in being separated from the Father.  Jesus was cognizant of what an absolutely excruciating experience this would be and it troubled Him.
    What caused Him to submit to the hard path?
    Jesus knew that this was God’s plan, God’s will…this was what would cure “sin sickness” and death, what was required to reconcile the sinful sons and daughters to the Father and squelch the evil one; this was what was required in obedience.  Ultimately, it was the love of the Lord (Jesus’ love for us, Jesus’ love for the Father) that caused Jesus to submit to “the hard path.”  

    6. A. Why did many of the authorities, though they believed, refused to confess it?
    They were fearful of losing the approval of man.

    **6.B. is another item I need to ponder before responding.
     

    1. 6.B. Share a time when you failed or succeeded in obedience.
      We have a group of friends (14 when we all attend) that frequently get-together to watch Packer games (longtime, childhood friends and family/friends). There is one gentleman who will use Jesus’ name in vain when a poor play, penalty, or officiating occurs… it is “nails on a chalkboard” for me, very disrespectful to our Lord. I have felt inclined more tmes than not to say something (this man professes to be a Christian and really is a good-hearted guy). I have yet to bring this to his attention…why? Largely because of appearances…I don’t want to be viewed as a “bible thumper”…  I know…sad, but true…?

      1. Oops…this is actually 4.D.

  49. 3. Read John 12:9-19 and find passages that show whose glory the chief priests were seeking. Explain why you think that is true.
     
    I so much liked Cyndi’s answer to this question on Monday.    Really right on!    Not only had the chief priests given their entire lives for their religion, they felt they were the “protectors” of the religion.   Everyone “bowed and scraped” for them, and they were used to it.   To think that this young whipper-snapper named Jesus came along and would turn the adoration away from them was more than they could stand!

    4. Read John 12:20-26
    A. What hour does Jesus say has come, and what does He mean?
     
    Jesus knew he had to die to pay the penalty for our sin, and he also needed to show his power over death.  So the hour had come when he could/should no longer avoid this scene (his trial and crucifixion).   He needed to go forward with God’s original plan.   
     
     
    B. How does Jesus explain and illustrate “the broken way” and how it leads to fruitfulness?
     
    He used the illustration of the kernel of wheat:  when it falls to the ground it germinates and produces more wheat, but that kernel has to die in the process.   The kernel is broken/sacrificed in order to produce something more wonderful.    If Jesus had remained alive, and had not illustrated how eternal life works,  the impact on his followers would have been far less powerful.  

  50. 5. Read John 12:27-36  Why was Jesus’ soul troubled” What caused Him to submit to the hard path? 
     
    He was troubled for the events that were to occur however, He says He came for this purpose and it must be this way to glorify God’s name.
     
    6. Read John 12:36-43 
        A. Why did many of the authorities, though they believed, refused to confess it?
     
    They didn’t want to confess it because they might be “put out of the synagogue.” They loved the glory here on earth more than Jesus or heaven. They loved themselves.