Because He Loves Me: Discussion #6
Pre-reading exercises for you and your journal:
- How is it that a believer apprehends (grasps or receives) salvation?
- Read these passages in preparation for reading this chapter: Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:1-21. A “type” in the Bible is a story (with real people and events) that foreshadows greater and future realities yet to come, thus preparing the way for the latter. Write down the types of the gospel story offered in the account of the Israelites and the fiery serpents in the wilderness.
During (or after) your reading of the chapter:
- “Pious, scholarly Nicodemus was helpless” (96). Why was it necessary for Jesus to tear Nicodemus’ worldview to shreds? How has God helped you in your life by removing things that you counted on? What things has He put in their place? Be specific!
- Elyse reminds us that “There is one qualification for the reception of these [gospel] blessings; that qualification is faith” (96). “Faith, then, is simply a believing that there is a God who loves us, in spite of the poison of sin coursing through our soul” (97). Sit before the Lord for a moment or two. Ask Him to show you specific stumbling blocks that you place in front of your feet as you attempt to walk by faith. We all have unbelief; we all have thoughts or experiences that tempt us to doubt. Find at least three that you know are stumbling stones to your simply looking to Christ and believing that there is a God who loves you. Write these down, and ask God to help you to put them out of your pathway, by His grace! Now read John 6:40 and affirm to the Lord that this is the only pathway you care to walk!
- Similarly, Elyse quotes Hebrews 11:6 as she expands on a working definition of saving faith. Read this passage and do a similar exercise of asking God to show you where your worldview, life experiences, disappointments, or fears tempt you to disbelieve that “God is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Faith is a response: God is calling you to choose to believe, and to clear stumbling stones out of your path so that you can know Him better and enjoy the life that He has lovingly called you to more!
- “What will you discover when you turn your eyes in dependence upon the Lord? You’ll find him gazing back at you, eagerly waiting to bless” (100). Again, this can be foreign to our legalistic, self-reliant hearts. As homeschooling moms, we carry a significant responsibility, and often without much support. We can so easily slip into self-reliance, where the energy for, course of, and outcomes of our homeschooling efforts come to rest on us alone. We can grow into habits that tempt us to not look to God, to not rely on Him for strength and favor, and to trust in our own efforts–even as we fear the outcomes! How good it is to be reminded that God hovers over us to bless us the minute that we turn to Him in helplessness and dependence!
- On page 104, Elyse offers a bulleted list of Scriptures that demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is given to us by God to enlighten us and strengthen our faith. Which of these speaks most strongly to you today? (Care to share on this or any other point we’ve covered? I’d be encouraged if you did! Hit the “comment” link above, if you feel so led.)