Dying To Live, Week 1

Day 1: Surrendering Our Mind to Christ

In his devotional book, My Heart, Christ’s Home, Robert B. Munger offers an illustration of whole-life surrender to Jesus by using the home as an analogy. At the beginning of each week, we will consider together how to surrender each area of our life to Jesus. This week we will consider surrendering our mind to Jesus. In his booklet, Munger writes, “Pack [your mind] full with the Word of God, study it, meditate on it and keep clearly before you the presence of the Lord Jesus.”

Questions to consider:
  • What is Paul instructing believers to do in this passage?
  • Take a moment to write or discuss a definition for each word Paul uses to instruct our thoughts.
  • What things does your mind dwell on most often?
  • How does Jesus fulfill each of the descriptions Paul gives here?
  • What is a practical way you can surrender your mind to Jesus this week?

Day 2: Eternal Life—A Relationship

Eternal life is often thought of as a destination of the future. However, Scripture seems to define eternal life as a relationship rather than a destination. Jesus says eternal life is about knowing God rather than doing good. Today, we will consider how Jesus described eternal life and how that changes our life.

Questions to consider:
  • What word does Jesus use to describe the action of eternal life?
  • What relationships are the focus of eternal life?
  • How is this different from today’s common understanding of eternal life?
  • What has been the priority of your Christian life?
  • Take some time to consider the incredible grace that God’s desire is for you to know Him, not just do something for Him.

Day 3: Keeping Every Area of Our Heart Surrendered

In King Asa we find two sides of the coin in experiencing all the benefits of our relationship with the Lord. On the one hand, the Lord is looking for those whose hearts are completely His, that He might “strongly support” them. On the other hand, when we trust our own striving and strategies instead of the Lord, we forfeit His strong support, and are left to our own devices. Opportunities are missed, and we are robbed of blessings.

Questions to consider:
  • Who do you tend to rely on instead of trusting the Lord with difficulties?
  • Are there relationships in your life with people who will be honest with you when you are making a mistake?
  • How do you usually respond to spiritual rebuke?
  • Can you think of examples in the past where you relied on the Lord and saw His strong support?
  • Invite the Lord to show you any areas of your heart that are not completely surrendered and talk with Him about them.

Day 4: Maintain The Lord as Your "First Love"

The church at Ephesus was well grounded. It was established by the Apostle Paul and nurtured by others. These believers had a reputation for hard work and doctrinal purity. Yet in Revelation we find them rebuked because working for God had become more important than walking with God. The focus of the rebuke is not about emotion, but devotion. They had lost sight of the importance of an abiding relationship with Christ and slipped into just being religious. Christ’s solution was to remind them of where they used to be, and to call them to return to personal fellowship with Him. If they didn’t, they would still be His, but their light would no longer shine brightly.  

Questions to consider:
  • What sort of things would others compliment you for in the spiritual realm?
  • What would the Lord have to say about the state of your “first love”?
  • Can you remember times when you were closer to the Lord than you are now?
  • What sort of things did you do then that you aren’t doing now?
  • What changes are needed for abiding in Christ to be placed before “deeds and...toil and perseverance”?

Day 5: The Righteous Will Know God

If one is righteous, they will know God. If that is the case, how is righteousness then accomplished? If you look upon this passage, you will quickly see that even the “best” of human efforts still fall drastically short of the righteousness required to know God. He made a way for us to experience the righteousness required, though. It is provided to us by the life of Christ and laid upon us by the declaration of His word. Because of Christ’s righteousness given to us, we can truly know God.

Questions to consider:
  • Why is it that righteousness is a requirement in order to truly know God?
  •  How does righteousness by faith in Christ differ from our attempt at righteousness?
  •  What does it look like to live your life according to your attempt at righteousness? What’s the end result?
  •  What does it look like to live a life according to trusting in Christ’s righteousness? What’s the end result?

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