At Lifeline, we’ve just restarted the Bible study “Lies Women Believe & the Truth That Sets Them Free” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We take extra time to dig deep so that the the ladies can get the most out of it possible, so each “day” in the workbook is a class in itself. I’ve decided to share a few points from each day for anyone who would like to follow along on your own. I won’t get into a whole lot of details (you’ll have to come to my class for that!) but I’d like to share the biggest points and applications from each section.
Here we go:
Introduction and Chapter one: Laying the Foundation
Day 1: The Power of the Truth.
- When you think about your day to day life, would you say that you’re living the high-quality life Jesus says he came to give in John 10:10? I think we often fall into a comfortable pattern of life not being terrible but not good, either. We settle for “an acceptable level of discontent.” But this is not what Jesus came to give us – He came that we may have life to the full! And this life is not just avoiding the worst case scenario, it’s living the best case scenario.
- So what do you want your life to look like? Many times we can easily identify what we don’t want it to look like, but take the time to consider: not just what you don’t want, but what you DO what. Set some goals. Look at the people in the Bible who inspire you and encourage you — decide who you want to be when you “grow up” in Christ. Look ahead, not behind you. Your focus determines your direction.
- When we talk about change and freedom in this life, it’s important to point out that we’re not talking about reformation.
- Reformation is what the world does, but it’s NOT the way God works. Reformation is about people, places, things. It’s circumstantial. It’s self-discipline. It’s making changes on the outside hope to affect the inside; and as a result, it doesn’t last. Self-control only lasts as long as our motivation, and when it comes to reformation, our motivation is usually circumstantial, so that when we get what we want (the guy, the kids, the better job, etc), we lose our motivation, and then lose our self-discipline, and then go right back to where we were. Reformation is outside-in, and it is temporary.
- Transformation, on the other hand, it’s permanent. It’s from the inside-out. It’s what Romans 12:1-2 talks about; renewing our mind, thinking differently, living obediently to Christ. When you have a relationship with Christ, He changes you, and the change in you affects your emotions, affects your actions, and affects your circumstances. And because it’s what God does, not you, it’s permanent. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, behold: all things have become new!” And in 1 John 3 we read that when we belong to Christ, He has set us free from sin so that we cannot continue in it. Romans 8 reminds us that those who belong to God are led by God. If we are enslaved, the first step to freedom is to begin a relationship with Christ; then he can set us free.
- I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It’s actually something Jesus said in John 8. I’ve often heard people talk about the saying and they believe it means if you’re honest, things will work out in your favor. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, a few verses after Jesus says this, he says, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” And a few chapters later, in John 14, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” You see, Truth is a person – Jesus Christ. It’s not something you can do or say that will set you free; it’s Jesus. Jesus IS the truth. That’s why the truth has power – because Jesus is the power. It’s the same thing we understand from Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is the power of salvation to all who believe; first to the Jew, then to the gentile.” The Gospel has power because it’s God’s gospel, and it’s God’s power! And the truth has power because the Truth is Jesus Christ.
- When we are set free, we are not set free to wander, but to do what we were created to do – enjoy a relationship with Jesus. Just as a lion was created to run, roar, and hunt, we were created to pursue Christ, enjoy fellowship with him, worship him, and obey him. That’s why obedience is not a burden; it’s what we were made to do. When we’re set free from our sin, we’re free to obey him and find the satisfaction and peace we’ve always longed for. The struggle is a result of being double-minded and not being ready to get rid of our sin. But if we will commit to forsake everything to follow Jesus, then and only then can we find true freedom. But we cannot have Jesus and the world, and ourselves, and our past, and sin. We must choose – do we really want to be free?
- Truth is a Person: Jesus Christ!
- Reformation, what I do, is from the outside in, and is temporary.
- Transformation, what Jesus does, is from the inside out, and is permanent.
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.