When we place our satisfaction in things created instead of the Creator, we put our identity and worth into something or someone temporary and unstable. As Scofield was teaching, what “cracked cistern” (Jeremiah 2:13) or idol came to mind for you? What are specific environments where you are tempted to find life in your idol?
What was an idol for you in the past that you have been able to recognize, confront, and disobey? What were some strategic ways you disobeyed your idol? How have you seen growth in that area since then?
How can you practically disobey your current idol(s)? What can it look like for you to be strategic and intentional about choosing the fountain of living water instead? What are some obstacles that you might face as you try to disobey your idol?
If entertainment is an idol for you, what would it be like for you to captivate your imagination with the mission of God instead of with Netflix, cable, recreation, your phone, etc.? Do you have a mission for your family that is worthy of the Kingdom of God? What are some specific ways that you and your family can sacrifice for the Kingdom of God instead of the cheap substitute of entertainment?
If your satisfaction, happiness, joy, or contentment would be threatened if you lost this thing, then you have exposed an idol.
The problem is not that we are thirsty for water and have these desires, it's that we quench our thirst in the wrong place; God created us with that thirst to be quenched in him, the fountain of living water.
We must remove idols and make space for Jesus to satisfy our soul. We do this by identifying our idols, confronting them, and then disobeying them.
Common categories of idols are the affirmation of others, entertainment, and spiritual performance.
Cracked cisterns are a slow leak. If you are blind to areas where you are drinking from cracked cisterns, invite in community to help you identify them. You cannot do this in isolation, and as a church, we have to continually confront our idols.
If you are aware of your idols and you feel stuck, frustrated, or anxious because of your struggle, be encouraged that God can do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine in freeing you (Ephesians 3:20).
How have you viewed the discipline of gratitude throughout your life? Has being thankful been an integral part of your faith? How has the culture influenced you in your ability to give thanks regularly?
Entitlement strangles gratitude. How have you lived from a place of entitlement? In your own life, how has being entitled suppressed the amount of gratitude you produce?
Gratitude is the antidote to discontentment and the key to generosity. In what ways are you currently discontented? How could being thankful help you be content with where God has placed you for this season? In what ways can you be more generous because you are grateful?
Read Ephesians 5:3-4. When our hearts are fully satisfied in God, we are armed to fight the indulgence of sin. Have you ever thought about gratitude being a weapon to fight sin? How could gratitude enable you to resist temptation in your life? What are some practical ways the discipline of giving thanks could be a weapon in your battle against sin?
CHALLENGE: Chris tells us that a recent study about gratitude shows that it actually changes the molecular structure of our brains, and writing in a gratitude journal can decrease blood pressure, aches, and pains and lengthen and deepen sleep. Challenge: Read Romans 8 and write down every blessing that we have in Christ.
If we constantly live out of what we feel like is lack, we will forever be discontented.
God does not just provide for us through nature but reveals himself to us through nature.
Gratitude is not a personality type or a luxury of faith; it is an integral component of faith.
Chronic ingratitude is a symptom of spiritual poverty.
Entitlement strangles gratitude.
The hallmark of a life connected to God is one that is filled with gratitude.
The person who lives in the reality that every good thing we have is from our Father is a person with a grateful and content heart, near to God.
In Psalm 136:1-3, the Psalmist uses three names for God: (1) Jehovah, the self-existing one who needs nothing or no one else to exist. (2) Elohim, the one true God, standing while everything else will fade and fail. (3) Adonai, the governing being of the universe; he holds everything together.
The best gift we can thank God for is that he gave us himself.
We should structure our lives so that we are being discipled and are serving and discipling others. David mentioned two obstacles that often stand in the way: Not allowing ourselves to be honest and vulnerable and not putting in the effort.
Paul gives us a direct template of how our community of faith should operate: we should restore one another, share each other's burdens, participate financially in the church, persevere in doing good, and be a blessing to everyone. Which of these commands is most difficult for you to obey? Who have you seen model one of these in your community, and how has it impacted you?
There has never been a time in history that so many things were available to satisfy our flesh; we have an abundance of distractions to keep us from structuring our lives like Paul challenges us to. What are your distractions? What does it look like for you to lay them aside to pursue the call to be discipled and make disciples?
We don’t just wander into a life of structured, sacrificial love and giving of ourselves—we have to be intentional. How are you going to be intentional moving forward? What is one area where you will take action based on this teaching?
Choose to love people based on structure rather than sentiment.
Sharing finances with the church should be an ordinary, structured part of our lives. As a local church, we do not want to give under compulsion but as a part of our own discipleship.
We will all come to a time of crisis, and the only way to have community, wisdom, and peace in the future crisis is to develop it now.
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Nobody Like You | Red Rocks Worship | iTunes
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Psalm 96 • Isaiah 49:13 • Revelation 7:12
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Ephesians 2:7-8 • 1 Peter 2:9-10 • Colossians 1:21-22 • 1 Corinthians 1:22
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Isaiah 53 • 1 Timothy 2:5-6 • Hebrews 5:5-9
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1 Chronicles 16:31-35 • Ezra 3 :11 • Jeremiah 33:11
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1 Peter 2:9-10 • John 8:36 • Romans 8:31 • Romans 6:17-18
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Deuteronomy 32:1-3 • Romans 8:38-39 • Isaiah 40:26-31 • Jeremiah 10:6
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