Read Chapter 14 from Fearless and we'll discuss the questions below.
Memory Verse: “Arise, and do not be afraid.”
Gracious and loving God, we are seeking Your Word and what You have to say about living fearlessly. We desire to listen, to talk, to love and to be loved. For whatever reason we find ourselves here, Lord, may we be open to You and to others around us so that we may experience Your love and Your will for our lives. Help us put aside all the burdens and distractions that burden us so that we may experience this lesson's gift. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
We need to view God in His earthly glory and get Him out of our do-me-a-favor and make-me-a-buck boxes. We need to see God’s radiance, because with a Messiah like Him, who can fear? This week we’ll take a look at the Transfiguration to see how the disciples’ images of Jesus were blown to bits when His glory was revealed on a hillside in the holy land.
A taxi driver in Brazil rubs the plastic miniature Jesus on his dashboard when he needs a parking space, calling on his do-me-a-favor Jesus. The late-night cable TV preacher asks for your money, trusting in the make-me-a-buck Jesus. Our sin tempts us to conjure different genie Jesuses when we need a favor or a good-luck charm, but it is devastating to our faith to reinforce a false view of God.
Question #1 - In what ways have you reduced Jesus down to a handful of doctrines, attempting to fit Him into boxes of your life?
Box-sized gods. You’ll find them in the tight grip of people who prefer a god they can manage, control, and predict. This topsy-turvy life requires a tame deity, doesn’t it? In a world out of control, we need a god we can control, a comforting presence akin to a lap dog or the kitchen cat. We call and he comes. We pet and he purrs. If we can just keep God in His place. . .
Question #2 - Many of us don’t want excessive amounts of responsibility – having the job of U.S. president, for example. Nevertheless, we try to control God. Why?
As Peter, James, and John witnessed Jesus’ divine transfiguration, we can’t help but wonder about their frame of mind. Their friend and daily companion was radically transformed into something larger than life, something divine, something glorious. Don’t we half-expect them to repeat their Sea of Galilee question: “What kind of man is this?”
Question #3 - Do you think we have any chance of grasping Jesus’ glory without witnessing it firsthand? What has to happen before God will get out of the box you’ve created for Him?
Most of our fears are poisonous. They steal sleep and pillage peace. But fear of the Lord is different. As awe of Jesus expands, fears of life diminish. A big God translates into a big courage. A small view of God generates no courage.
Question #4 - How long has it been since a fresh understanding of Christ has buckled your knees and emptied your lungs with awe? When times get tough, how can you foster a correct view of God?
We need to know the transfigured Christ. The One who spits holy fires. Who convenes and commands historical figures. Who occupies the loftiest perch and wears only the true crown of the Universe. God’s beloved Son.
Question #5 - How do we get to know the transfigured Christ? What have you learned over the last six weeks about the connection between our relationship with God, our understanding of Him, and our fears
We made it! What a journey . . . I have really "enjoyed" blogging with you all! My prayer is that we are living less fearful than when we started this study. It's interesting - Max Lucado notes "there are 365 verses in the Bible that say, 'Fear not.' God provided us with one 'fear not' message for every day of the year! Do you think God is saying, 'Get the message. Don't be afraid!'"
Keep a look out for our next On-line discussion group on Paul's letter to the Ephesians starting next week!