Take time to interact with the resources below. [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]
Every one of us has a different learning style and are affected in different ways by different things at different times. With this in mind the “into” part of this section is intended to look at the content brought up by the book from multiple angles. Video clips, blogs and other interactions will help bring this information from our heads (information) to our hearts (transformation). You are encouraged to relate your story, your emotion, your perspective to the current content and see where God brings you.
The Gold In Us
The gold is in our hearts. God made us in His image, it comes with the original packaging. You see, we were made to shine in our glory. We often think we need to achieve or become something, but who we were meant to be is already inside of us. Are you willing to dig for it?
Romans 8:30 The Message (MSG)
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
Who Are You?
If you have seen the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books, you know that Gandolf, the great, good wizard starts out as Gandolf the Gray. He is powerful and good, helping the little fellowship move towards its seemingly impossible task. When escaping the Mines of Moria, in a hero’s sacrifice, Gandolf turns to face the demon that was chasing them to allow the rest to flee. The fellowship mourns Gandolf’s death and until this moment, believes he is gone.
In this incredible scene Gandolf is literally shining. Through great battles and suffering he went through some kind of transformation. He is no longer Gandolf the Grey, he is Gandolf the White. He is so transformed that his previous identity is only a distant recollection. He is sent back until his task is complete.
Do you see the parallels to your life? We have an old self, a heart of stone that we have lived out of for a long time. Jesus offers to remove this heart of stone and reveal in you the true self that has been there all along. With this new heart and identity comes specific responsibilities and a mission in the Kingdom of God that you are tasked with.
Write down a few thoughts as you think about this analogy.
Joint Heirs With Christ
Joint Heirs with Christ
We continue to put ourselves down as less than Christ. Thus, we avoid the full honor as well as the full pain of the Christian life. But the Spirit that guided Jesus guides us. Paul says: “The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).
When we start living according to this truth, our lives will be radically transformed. We will not only come to know the full freedom of the children of God but also the full rejection of the world. It is understandable that we hesitate to claim the honor so as to avoid the pain. But, provided we are willing to share in Christ’s suffering, we also will share in his glory (see Romans 8:17).
Henri Nouwen – Daily Meditation
Review the key points for this section.
Ransomed and Restored:
|Somethings has gone wrong within the human heart and we all desperately need transformation- a new heart|
|Through the cross our heart of stone is removed|
|We receive a good and holy nature that now comes from a good heart in Christ|
The Glory Hidden in Your Heart:
|There is a glory to your life, unique and powerful, waiting to be released|
|We are under a religious fog that keeps this glory hidden|
|It is time to embrace your glory and learn to wield it|
Pick a few of these questions to react to. Write down your unedited responses. [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]
We don’t often take time to push the “pause” button. This puts us in a position of having an overwhelming amount of stimulus and an underwhelming amount of time and space to process life. Journaling takes the thoughts, emotions and even actions and captures them for a moment, giving us time to become more self-aware. The more self-aware we are, the more we can connect with God. There are no right or wrong answers so take a moment to write down your unedited response to these questions.[/wpex]
We Have a Desperate Need:
What happens in the stories that you love? What happens to the hearts of the main characters? Why do you think these themes may be important to you?
|Are you aware of a yearning for transformation, a true, deep, and lasting change? If so, describe your yearning. If not, is it because everything is really quite good with you? What would stir a desire for transformation?|
|Have you tried to transform your inner life and your external behaviors? If so were you successful? Do you want more?|
Christ Removes Our Heart of Stone:
What is Christ’s motive in rescuing/ransoming you? What is his ultimate desire for your restoration?
|Read pp.62-63 again. What has your experience of Christianity been related to these pages? How would it be different if you truly experienced freedom?|
Christ Offers Us a New Heart:
Why are the resurrection and ascension such good news?
We Have a Glory:
Is this a new thought, that the life you’re living now isn’t the full life Christ has in mind for you? What has your understanding been?
|God’s heart toward you is one of fierce love. He’s coming for you, insisting you come out of the shadows, out of hiding. Has anyone come after you like that, ever?|
|What part does God play and what part do you play in realizing and living in your glory?|
|Read this paragraph (pp. 78-79, God endowed you…) What emotion do you feel after reading this paragraph? What does it stir in you? What does it make you want to do?|
|We Are Under a Spell
If it is true that we all have a glory, then why do you think we don’t live it most of the time?
|What’s been taken, stolen, prevented in your life? How has the enemy kept you enchanted – under a veil all these years?|
|What false self have you substituted for your true glory?|
You Must Embrace Your Glory:
If the Accuser, the Thief, will throw everything and anything at you to keep you from knowing who you truly are and moving into your glory, what must you do to counter it?
|If you were to be curious for a moment, what are the ways that you have come through for others in your life? What are the things you are passionate about? What are the things that energize you? Could these things be a part of your glory?|
Find a quiet space and time to spend with God. Ask Him questions and then listen to God and your own heart. Have your journal ready to capture what surfaces. [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]
Often times the way God communicates with us is described as a still, small voice. We may be tempted to believe that God doesn’t speak anymore, but what if we just aren’t taking the time and effort to listen. Just like a small child learning to speak their native language, over time there becomes a familiarity and ease in which communication happens.
Sometimes a quiet place is a quiet room in the house or a walk in the woods. Allow your heart and mind to be quiet. If you get distracted from God or the question you want to ask, don’t beat yourself up, this is natural. Just say, “Okay God, I come back to you”. Ask the question again and notice your heart, thoughts, images, or words that come to mind and see what God is saying to you.[/wpex]
|Find a quiet space to be with God. Consider listening to some peaceful, lyric-less music to get your heart in a good place. Ask God, “Who am I?”, “What do you think of me?” “What’s the glory you have bestowed on me?”|
A few times a week pause your life to worship and connect with God. Recalibrate what is most true about you, the world and God. [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]
Taking time to worship God by ourselves in our everyday lives is essential to continue to move towards the intimate connection to God that we need. In watching the video, meditation or interacting with some other form of worship is not intended to be prescriptive. You don’t have to sing along, just be present. Instead of trying to make something happen, we want to have a posture of open receptiveness towards what God has for us. We can just soak in the goodness of worship with God and it does something to our hearts whether we know it or not.[/wpex]
King of My Heart
Have you ever thought about who the king of your heart is? Is it you? Is it your achievements? The things you have? Whatever makes you happy? What about God?
Here we have a chance to declare that God is the King of our hearts and no one and nothing else.
Take a moment to describe your takeaway from this section in the comments area below. What did you learn? How can you apply it in everyday life? [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]
When we share with others our own perspectives it allows us to process in a different way. When we get a chance to experience someone else’s perspective ours is broadened. In just a few sentences we can practice synthesizing down what we have learned to a 30,000 foot overview.[/wpex]