FINDING GLORY Wednesday

Having hope is not always a reasonable thing. When a diagnosis, finances, relationships, or other circumstances are troubling and unchanging, we can struggle with doubt, confusion, denial, anger and even indifference. But God would want us to keep looking to Him with hope and anticipation — knowing that His compassion and power work for our good and His glory. He does not want us to give up on Him.

Let’s seek God together through this scripture and discussion question today:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

There is an enemy at work battling for your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and understanding of God’s will. According to this passage, what does your spiritual weaponry look like?

What are some practical ways you demolish obstacles that come up against your hope, joy and peace in Christ?

These “Finding Glory Wednesdays” posts are an online discussion series based on the books Finding Glory in the Thorns and the companion Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide by Larry and Lisa Jamieson. For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visit http://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.

A Life Radically Poured Out for Christ

This weekend, we attended the funeral of a man we have treasured since we met him 15 years ago. George was one of those guys with a big presence and powerful influence in the lives of many people. He was passionate about his love for God and often exuberant in His expression of care for others. In fact, he was so compassionate towards the suffering of others, he could easily become tearful hearing the story of someone facing challenges.

Our family was never connected with George beyond the confines of the church building and its programs but he would frequently and enthusiastically grab my shoulder or Larry’s asking how things were going. When we were in the throes of our early years of struggle with Carly, I remember having many conversations with him. He would attentively ask questions and brainstorm ideas about how God may want to use resources or methods to bring healing into her life. When I looked into George’s eyes, I always saw a man prayerfully and urgently anticipating the release of God’s power.

George’s relationship with Jesus started in 1984 when he was a young dad. It affected him in radical ways. Sometimes people were shocked by the intensity of his faith and many were profoundly inspired by it. He was a man who lived — all out LIVED — a life of worship.

Reflecting on George’s life has come at an interesting time for me. Over the last month, I’ve been exploring what it means to be a worshipper, the ways I outwardly express my growing relationship with God, what gets in the way of my worship, what purifies my worship, and so on. Last week I had been planning to write Monday’s blog about the woman who anointed Jesus at Bethany. Certainly that was a display of radical worship! Not until I started writing today’s post did I have a hunch why that post got delayed a week.

In light of George’s wholly devoted life, these verses I highlighted have even deeper meaning. I am praying they will have deep meaning for you today also.

While (Jesus) was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Mark 14:3

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; 
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11

HOLY LORD, thank you for showing me that you deserve my all-out devotion. Make me unafraid to express my love for you, even when it appears radical to the world. Help me to live out my relationship with You in such a way that others are drawn towards You. Most of all, I just want to grow increasingly entangled with You, Jesus, because You are worthy and have designed me for exactly that! AMEN

FINDING GLORY Wednesday

God wants to do BIG things with the intersections of our lives so we hope that you’ll do more than just experience this series privately but also step out in new levels of faith and share what you’re thinking and learning. Your comments here are valuable to people reading all over the world. But your perspectives and faith stories shared in the daily moments of your life at work or school, on the playground and at the dinner table have the power to bring Light into other people’s lives for something eternally good as well. Keep talking about the good gifts God is giving!

Today’s scripture and discussion question are:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
PSALM 19:7-8

What connections exists between God’s Word and having joy?
How have you experienced that in your life?

If you are part of a past or current Finding Glory Group, please give us your feedback about what is going well, what could be better, and how God is working. Your comments help us develop and improve future resources. Write us at larry@walkrightin.org or lisa@walkrightin.org.

For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visit http://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.

FINDING GLORY Wednesday

Today’s scriptures and discussion question are, once again, taken from the Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide. Please join the discussion. Share your comment below and invite others to join these conversations. The more the merrier!

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” 1 JOHN 4:12-16

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” EPHESIANS 2:19-22

How does the idea of being part of that Body (Christ’s sacred Body) inspire and challenge you to embrace joy, practice gratitude, and share in the ministry of the Holy Spirit by loving one another?

For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visit http://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.

Today’s reflections are copyrighted excerpts taken from Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide.