Because He Loves Me: Discussion #2
If you are reading this before having read chapter 2, try writing down the answers to these questions in your journal.
1. Answer this question, “Who am I?” (Go beyond your name.)
2. Answer this question, “Why was I born?”
3. Answer this question, “How do the incarnation, sinless life, death, bodily resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God intersect with (or impact, or change) your everyday life?
NOTE: The way to fully answer #3 is to list each of these aspects of Jesus’ life down the left side of your paper, and then write out how each one is important to your everyday existence.
OK: If you’ve read the chapter, here are other questions to chew on.
1. Revisit the bullets on page 41-42. Take the time to write out answers for yourself personally that are as God centered and gospel saturated as you can possibly make them.
2. Elyse invokes the metaphor of drunkenness-induced amnesia to make this point:
“This disconnect between our stated beliefs…and our practical beliefs… is alcohol induced; it’s caused by our willful consumption of the intoxicating ‘wisdoms’ of the world. Rather than being inebriated with God’s mercy, grace, and Spirit (Eph. 5:18), we’re staggering around under the misconception that we really do need to love, accept, and respect ourselves to make it through the day. We’re reeling from the belief that the most important factor in any given day is our success or comfort.”
Can you relate this to yourself in specific terms? Where do you see disconnects between Bible assurances of the love of God and the meaning of life and your habitual responses to trials, temptations, hardships, or other adverse circumstances?
3. What is at the root of our spiritual amnesia? What does Elyse remind us of? (Hint: look at the first line of the last paragraph on page 46.) Now, read 1 John 4:8-9. Read it again. Do you see the progression? First, we let it sink in that God loves us (as He irrefutably shows in the story of the gospel). Then, and only then, can we love Him and others, as He commands us to do.
4. Elyse makes some pretty strong claims on pages 47-48 that our spiritual amnesia is willful. She says that we “…want to believe that we really can improve ourselves… that we “desire the approbation and accolades of our peers”… that “the attitudes of the world–self-improvement, self-reliance, self-love, self-promotion, pride, independence, and self-worship–resonate within each of us and drown out our Redeemer’s loving words.” Can you identify habits of thinking about, reacting, or responding to others and to your own thoughts that you can pinpoint to agree with Elyse?
5. “Who are you? You’re his, he is yours, and you’ve been cleansed from sin. And that’s all the identity any of us need” (p. 49). Honestly: how would this truth–understood deeply and consistently–change your life? Write down specific responses to the sin patterns (or weaknesses) that you identified in question #4.
6. Take some time to pray, by which I mean, talk honestly with your heavenly Father. He loves you so much and is eager to spend time with you.
- Have you been drunk on worldly wisdom? Have you forgotten the depths of His love as expressed in the gospel? Yes? Then tell Him all about it! Ask for forgiveness. Cry on His shoulder. He wants to tell you all over again how much He loves you and how He’s working everything out for your good! (See Romans 8:26-39 for added assurance.)
- Have you been walking in the good of the love of God already? Rejoice! Take time to thank Father again for sending His Son, and thank Jesus for willingly coming to die for you. Spend some time soaking in the good of this truth: God loves you and will be with you all day long, to help you as you work with your children and husband to bring His Kingdom to your home.
Below are links that will help you navigate the discussions easier. (You can also use the Archives section of this blog.)
Discussion #1 for this book.
Discussion #3 for this book.