Do you have any special “August” days that mean something special to you?
Peter said a lie that we believe is powerful and life changing.
The lie we are discussing this week is: Following Jesus will make your life easier
A lie you believe is as powerful as the truth.
Rm 8.20 –23 Not only us but even creation is frustrated because things are not right.
(Rom 8 :20-26 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.)
The truth is following Jesus makes your life better.
2 Cor 4:16-17-18 NIV Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Following Jesus makes life better – better is almost always harder- you and I will have some pain, heart ache along the way.
Pain shatters the illusion that all is well. Reality is this world is not well. The world is suffering under effects of sin and death. Needs redeemed.
Pain offers a unique training experience. Abraham sacrifice of Isaac revealed the kind of faith that Abraham had.
Job had success, family, health and lost it all – At the end of Job he says my ears had heard but now my eyes have seen you. New level of intimacy with God because of the pain and loss.
Rm 8:18 present sufferings not worth comparing.
Lean into this truth
Talk about it:
In what ways have you heard this message, that following Jesus will make life easier?
Why is this easy to believe?
If you believe this lie how will it affect how you handle life’s struggles and pain? What problems are inevitable if you believe this?
How will it impact you personally, and in relating to others and to God?
How hard is it to embrace the truth that life is NOT easier but BETTER when you follow Jesus?
Better usually means harder. Why is that? How do you handle that?
When do you feel frustrated that the world is not what it is supposed to be or this life is not what it should be? How does the truth make a difference?
How could you think differently (truthfully) about the struggles in this life?
CS Lewis said “ In other words fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.”
We call that repentance and CS Lewis said, “repentance is no fun at all” .
“It means unlearning the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years. It means killing part of yourself, undergoing a kind of death.”
What do you think about this quote?
God is in the process of restoring, renewing, renovating.
Redemption – repentance are difficult business. We will miss the entire story if we believe following Jesus makes my life easier.
Giving up self conceit and self will is necessary in being restored to what God intended. Lay ourselves down instead of ‘not my will but your will be done’. We won’t go there if we think life with Jesus should be easier.
He replaces stone hearts with tender hearts.
We become part of the body of Christ here on earth, and the hope of eternal glory,
So life is hard. Hope is in the restoration of all things. While we are in process and Jesus is still redeeming things what can we do?
Explain these 3 “to do” things:
1. Embrace the “Groan” eagerly awaiting God’s restoration
2. Lean into the Renovation messy until done
3. Anticipate the glory
HOPE Rm 8:23 we groan waiting hope in what we can’t see now
Something greater – someone greater
What have you done or been through that was hard but you knew there would be a reward in the end?