These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
- If time and money were not an issue, what skill or discovery or talent would you give yourself to developing?
- Would you rather lose all control of your money or your time?
Put on the New Self
Read Ephesians 4.17-24
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
- In verse 17, Paul uses the phrase, “the futility of their thinking.” What do you think Paul is talking about? What might be an example of futile thinking you have experienced?
- Paul encourages us “to put off your old self” and “to put on the new self.” There’s not a quick and fast answer to this, but…What does this mean? What does this look like?
- Let’s go a step deeper…When have you – specifically – experienced this new self?
Read Romans 12.1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Here, Paul talks about this “true & proper worship.” What? This makes it sound super spiritual or stiff and formal…as if being a Christian is like having tea with the Queen every day at 4:00. No…what Paul is trying to say here is much closer to this…becoming like Jesus, learning to live like Jesus, following Jesus…that’s it…that’s how we worship God…by becoming who he has created us to be…that’s the highest honor, the highest praise, the truest worship… So, how does this change your idea of worship? How does this change your idea of pleasing God?
- We are being formed, we are being transformed (whether we realize it or not) constantly. If we want to be transformed to be more like Jesus, that is not possible on our own. How have you found the Holy Spirit to be a huge part of this process? What has been your experience?
Created to Be Like God
Reread Ephesians 4.24
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
- If we are created to be like God, like Jesus, then becoming like Jesus is how we become our genuine, true selves. So, in short, God is inviting us to live full, healthy, meaningful, (not perfect) lives. Okay, but this “becoming” doesn’t happen automatically. In what area of your life do see a need for God to give you wisdom, strength, grit, or fill-in-the-blank? In other words, how do you need God’s help?