Archive for category Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge

Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge – Day 6

Well, the challenge has come to an end. I hope it was as refreshing for your heart as it was for mine. And, if you made it all the way through, congratulations! Be sure to leave your comments on what you learned today (Luke 22-24), as well as from this whole experience.

Observations:

  • Jesus does not see any conflict between the absolute sovereignty of God that determines things to take place and the human responsibility of people to do what is right (22:22).
  • At the very end of his ministry, Jesus is still teaching his disciples that greatness in his kingdom is defined differently than the world. They, like us, seem to be slow learners (22:26). [This is also an encouragement in ministry that you need to say the same things over and over and it will take many people a long time to get it]
  • Jesus has obvious love for his disciples (22:28-30, 32).
  • Jesus’ death is a fulfillment of Scripture and prophecy (22:37).
  • Jesus surrenders to his Father’s will (22:42).
  • Even those who are strongest and closest to Jesus will still have times of profound failure (22:60-62).
  • Jesus, the true King of Kings, is mocked as though he weren’t king at all. Ironic (23:11).
  • Jesus was not guilty (23:22).
  • Jesus is willing to forgive even those who are unjustly killing him (23:34).
  • Grace is amazing, undeserved, and available to even the most surprising people (23:39-43).
  • Jesus saw the whole of Scripture pointing to himself (24:27) [Wouldn’t you love to have a recording of that conversation?!?!]
  • Jesus rose with a real, tangible, able-to-eat-fish, physical body (24:39-43).
  • Jesus sends his people out with a message: “repentance and forgiveness of sins” (24:47).

How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

  • I would be thankful, humble, and eager to follow the Savior into any path of suffering or difficulty for the sake of others. His grace is awesome, in every conceivable way. I would also be assured of our victory in Jesus and bold to live out of the strength and power he supplies.

What about you? How is God using this passage in your life? Questions or Comments?

Advertisements

, , ,

6 Comments

Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge – Day 5

Well, we’re coming down the home stretch! Those of you that are still with us, congratulations — don’t let up now! We’d still love to get your comments and thoughts on what you’ve learned in Luke 17-21.

A resource that you might find helpful related to chapter 18 is this excellent Modern Parable video, “The Widow and the Judge.”

Observations:

  • Leading others into sin is one of the worst things a person could do (17:2).
  • Jesus views obedience as a normal and expected part of life (17:10).
  • Jesus knows that real life doesn’t consist of the temporary pleasures of life (17:33).
  • Jesus views prayer as a natural part of what it means to be the elect (18:7) and the evidence of whether we have faith (18:8).
  • Jesus never minimizes the cost of following him (18:18-30).
  • Jesus sees radical repentance as evidence of salvation (19:9).
  • Jesus expects his people to bear fruit until he comes again (19:11-27).
  • If we don’t worship Jesus, the natural creation will (19:40).
  • Jesus teaching was irresistibly engaging — “all the people were hanging on his words” (19:48).
  • Jesus fearlessly speaks against those he knows are seeking to destroy him (20:9-19).
  • Jesus is wise and refuses to get trapped by the crafty evil of his opponents (20:20-26).
  • Jesus is thrilled when we give out of our poverty. Sacrificial generosity most reflects his character (21:4).
  • Jesus is coming back. Get ready! (21:25-36).

How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

  • If I believed that Jesus was coming back at any moment, I would live with a greater sense of urgency and desire for radical holiness (That is actually what the focus of our upcoming Advent season will be). As Jonathan Edwards once resolved, “Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.”

What about you? How is God using this passage in your life? Questions or Comments?

, ,

5 Comments

Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge – Day 4

How’s it going? You hanging with us in the challenge? It has been a lot to read, but it has also been so refreshing to be washed over with God’s word. Below you’ll find some of my thoughts and observations on Luke 12-16. The comments so far have been great, so keep them coming. Also, here are a few resources that might help you go deeper into a few different aspects of today’s reading:

Observations

  • Jesus makes it so abundantly clear that having a good relationship with God is the most important thing a person could have (12:5, 8, 21).
  • Jesus says that our life is more than the abundance of possessions (12:15).
  • Jesus says that the times that we might be most worried about our finances is the time that we should be generous and trust God (12:22-34).
  • The more you know, the more God expects of you (12:47).
  • Human and natural disasters should serve as warnings that we need to repent (13:2-5).
  • The Sabbath was designed for healthful, life-giving rest, not restriction (13:16; 14:5).
  • People from all over the world will be saved (13:29), but the door into the kingdom is narrow (13:24).
  • Jesus-centered living is humble (14:11) and wildly generous (14:12-14).
  • The things that keep us from Jesus are not always the bad things, but the ordinary good things — like land, oxen, and a wife — that we love more than him (14:18-20).
    • About this, John Piper has written: “The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for Heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable…“The pleasures of this life” … are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.” (John Piper, Hunger for God, 14-15)
  • Following Jesus is costly and the decision to follow him should be taken seriously (14:25-33).
  • God is seeking after those things that are lost, and has great joy when they’re found (ch. 15).
  • God seeks after the rebellious younger brothers and the self-righteous elder brothers, both of whom are alienated from his heart (15:20-32). Listen to Tim Keller preach about this here.
  • Jesus says you can’t serve two masters (16:13).
  • Hell is serious business (16:19-31).

How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

  • There is a new level of gravity and life-or-death seriousness that marks Jesus’ teaching in this passage. If that truth were explosively alive in my innermost being, I would take sin more seriously in my own life, more boldly share the gospel with those far from God, fearlessly challenge those who claim to know Christ but don’t have much fruit to show for it, and see people with the compassion that God has for them. That really would be a way of thinking that would be setting my mind on Christ.

What about you? How is God using this passage in your life? Questions or Comments?

, , ,

2 Comments

Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge – Day 3

I hope you’re hanging in there with the challenge. I’m sure enjoying all the rich lessons from immersing myself in Jesus this week. Be sure to leave your comments and questions. We’d love to hear how this is shaping you!

Observations:

  • Jesus’ ministry is constantly proclaiming good news with his mouth and being good news with his deeds.
  • Jesus expects that his people will obey him. This theme is relentless (6:46; 8:15, 21; 11:28).
  • Jesus has authority over nature (calming storm), legions of demons (the Demoniac), sickness (the woman with the issue of blood), and even death (Jairus’ daughter).
  • Following Jesus means following him into costly suffering (9:22-27, 57-62).
  • We should listen to Jesus, God’s Son (9:35)
  • Jesus equates following him with “proclaiming the kingdom of God” (9:60).
  • Jesus longs for kingdom workers to go to the harvest fields (10:2).
  • Loving our neighbor happens anytime his need meets our opportunity (10:25-37).
  • Our serving should not get in the way of our humble listening to Jesus (10:41-42).
  • Our prayer life should begin with adoring God’s fame and seeking first his kingdom, even before our needs (11:2).
  • God would love to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask (11:13).
  • Jesus cares more about the heart than the outward appearance (11:39-44).

How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

  • I would not only be willing to serve those in need, but eager to do so. Jesus seems eager to bless people, help them, and care for them. Even when the crowds get overwhelming or the need seems too great, he doesn’t get flustered. Rather, he helps them with grace and truth. May God make me a man who loves to serve!

What about you? How is God using this passage in your life? Questions or Comments?

, ,

3 Comments

Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge – Day 2

Wow — there is so much great stuff in Luke 4-7! Lots of challenging truths and examples. It’s wonderful to just take a plunge into Jesus’ life, teaching, and ministry. Here are some of the ways this passage is encouraging me. Be sure to leave your comments and questions.

Observations:

  • Jesus was constantly led by the Holy Spirit (4:1, 14).
  • The word of God was soaked into Jesus life in a way that helped him overcome temptation (4:4, 8, 12).
  • Jesus’ ministry was holistic — he cared about the whole person’s life (4:18-19). This was reflected in his teaching, healing, and demon-outcasting.
  • Jesus taught and did ministry with unique authority (4:32; 7:7-8)
  • Jesus can and does forgive sin (5:23-24).
  • Wildly sinful people LOVED to be around Jesus (5:29).
  • Jesus bathed his big decisions in extensive prayer (6:12).
  • Jesus’ values were counter-cultural and upside down from the world (6:20-36).
  • Jesus expects us to obey him. To call him Lord and not obeying him would be ridiculous (6:46).
  • Jesus was so much fun to be around that he was accused of being a glutton and a drunk (7:34).
  • The natural response to radical grace is radical worship (7:47).

How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

  • The main thing that struck me here was the radical holiness of Jesus mixed with his incredible liveliness and fun. If this truth were explosively alive in my life, I would be deeply committed to personal holiness and godliness while also being lots of fun. It’s usually not hard to try to have fun, but it is harder to be radically holy. Then, when I am focused on holiness, it’s easy to get kind of stodgy, uptight, and overly serious. May God make me both holy and fun, so that extreme sinners would love being around me but would always sense an authentic commitment to costly obedience.

What about you? How is God using this passage in your life? Questions or Comments?

, ,

4 Comments

Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge – Day 1

It’s an exciting start to the “Set Your Mind on Christ” Challenge, where we’re exposing ourselves to who Jesus is and what he’s done (via the gospel of Luke) so that we can set our minds on him and be changed through the process. Below you’ll find some of my observations on Luke 1-3 and how God is working on me through this. We’d love to have some good interaction over this, so be sure to leave your comments and questions.

UPDATE: Here are a couple of helpful online commentaries on Luke: J.C. Ryle, IVP New Testament Commentary

Observations

  • Our understanding of who Jesus is comes from a detailed historical account, designed to help us know what we believe with certainty (1:1-4).
  • God can do impossible things, like allow senior citizens and virgins to get pregnant (1:24-38).
  • Jesus is a Savior (1:47, 2:11).
  • Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and the Old Testament prophets (1:55, 69-75).
  • Though he was disciplined by the Lord for his unbelief, Zechariah was filled with joy at the “tender mercy” of God (1:78).
  • Jesus was born in poverty and humiliating circumstances. He was born in humility (2:7, 24).
  • Jesus was first revealed to insignificant shepherds. There is hope for us ordinary people (2:8-20).
  • Jesus would be a light for revelation to the Gentiles — he is a Savior for the whole world (2:32).
  • Jesus, fully human, grew in strength and wisdom (2:40, 52).
  • Jesus submissively obeyed his parents (2:51).
  • True repentance bears fruit — it leads to real life change (3:8).
  • One of the marks of repentance is how we deal with our money and possessions. Do we become generous or stingy? (3:10-14)
  • The Trinity is present in affirming Jesus’ ministry (3:22).
  • Jesus spent 30 years in relative obscurity before he began his ministry. Again, lots of humility (3:23).
  • As a descendant of Adam, Jesus is the Savior for the whole world — anyone affected by Adam’s sin [which is everyone] (3:38).

How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

  • There are a lot of possible things to focus on here. The thing that struck me the most was the humility surrounding all of these people and circumstances. If Jesus, who is fully deserving of all fame and honor and glory and power, was born and raised in obscurity and humility, then how much more appropriate would it be for me–a lowly sinner–to be humble? Life is about God, who does the impossible. It’s not about me. Even John, who Jesus calls the greatest man who ever lived (Luke 7:28), said that he wasn’t worthy to do something as low as untying Jesus’ sandals. How much more should I delight in humbly serving Jesus?
  • If this truth were explosively alive in me, I would not care about people’s opinions of me. I would not care who gets credit for good things. I would willingly accept responsibility for my failures, sins and shortcomings. I would be increasingly dependent on Jesus, expressed through prayer.  All of that would be very sweet.

What about you? How is God using this passage in your life? Questions or comments?

,

17 Comments

Take the Set Your Mind on Christ Challenge

The “Set Your Mind on Christ” Challenge is a 6-day exposure to the person and work of Jesus Christ, based on the challenge in Colossians 3:1 to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is.” Want to take the challenge?

1. Read the following passages over the next 6 days:

2. As you read, ask yourself these questions:

  • What does this tell me about Jesus? Are there examples to follow or avoid, commands to obey, or promises to claim?
  • How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?

3. Come back to www.secondmilechurch.wordpress.com to read some devotional thoughts and comment on what you’re learning.

1 Comment