Sunday, November 27th
For what are you striving? What are you clinging to in order to get to where you want to be? Me-centered living often seems the best way to live. It can work for a short while, but it ultimately fails us. So how can we put God at our center trusting Him with all things and live a more profound yet Centered Life?
Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family to talk through what you’re learning!
- As you enter into this holiday season, how are things going? Where would you rank yourself on a scale between calm and chaos in terms of the external circumstances of your life and your internal private life?
- Do you tend to believe the states of your internal and external world are correlated? Which do you tend to focus on more? Are there specific ways you’re currently trying to change one or both of these states?
- Read Daniel 11:36. What traits about this king could be considered appealing? Do you ever find it tempting to live a life that is all about you? What would that look like?
- Read Psalm 16:4. What kinds of sorrows have you, or someone you know, experienced when you have gone your own way and lived for yourself?
- Read Mark 10:43-45. How did Jesus define greatness? What are some of the costs you’ve experienced living the way Jesus describes here?
- Read Daniel 12:13. What kind of life are you inspired to live based on the hope expressed in this verse? How can this help keep your internal private life at peace even when there’s chaos in your external circumstances?
- What can you do this next week to serve those around you? What can you do to truly love those who are different than you?
Daniel 11:36 — “Then the king will do whatever he wants. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will say outrageous things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, because what has been decreed will be accomplished.”
Psalm 16:4 — “The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply”
Mark 10:43-45 — “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Daniel 12:13 — “But go your way till the end. And you will rest and will stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
New endeavors have an advantage. They’re embraced and enjoyed not just for themselves but for the fact that they’re new. Following Christ is no exception to these realities. The new follower of Christ is discovering new ideas and new realities that are transforming one’s life. This is both good and exciting, but it’s also temporary. The seasoned follower of Christ knows the power and importance of both steadiness and perseverance. Scripture abounds with stories of those who have persevered in their faith, decade after decade, and consequently developed profound depth in their lives. Over and over in Scripture we hear exhortations akin to, “Be strong, and take heart, and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). If we’re perpetually trying to “fix” things ourselves rather than maintaining a steady and persevering spirit, we’ll miss the depth and richness God has for us through the commitment to one long pull in the same direction.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES — Steadiness & Perseverance
Learn more about the Centered Life by working through the STEADINESS & PERSEVERANCE outcome.
One of the more stunning statements of Scripture is Jesus’ description of why He came: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45). Jesus made His purpose clear. He came “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). Those who follow Christ will do as He did. We will be freedom fighters, liberators and healers. We will look for ways to serve those around us — both physically and spiritually — and not be consumed with our own prestige, power or comfort.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES — Serve
Learn more about the Centered Life by working through the SERVE outcome.