- What have been some helpful applications for you through week 3 of this series?
In John 8:32 Jesus says that the truth will set us free. In John 14:6 Jesus asserts that he is the truth, so he will set us free.
- What is the truth about Jesus?
- How does this truth set us free?
- Is this how you see your relationship with Jesus? (Freedom)
- Or is faith in Jesus more of a list of do’s and do not’s?
Read Mark 10:17-22
It seems like this young man had turned faith into a list of do’s and do not’s. What do I need to do, Jesus? What can I not do? Yep, I have checked all of those off my list. The problem is that this way of thinking doesn’t demonstrate a genuine relationship with Jesus. In John 14:15 Jesus says that those who love him will obey what he commands. We do all of these things and avoid evil because we love Jesus. We know who he is and what he’s done for us, and we want to know him more. But when our faith revolves around the checklist, our lives turn into a cycle of guilt and shame. We try to do the right things, but we ultimately fail. It can lead to a miserable existence, one where our relationship with Jesus doesn’t seem all that loving; it seems more like having to face a ledger of all that we’ve done wrong.
- How does Jesus free us from “checklist theology?”
- Why is obedience to Jesus important?
- Why does Jesus ask us to be obedient? (For our benefit, too)
- Why does checklist theology lead to guilt and shame?
- What tends to be the end product of a relationship filled with guilt and shame?
- How can Jesus free us from guilt and shame?
Jesus came to set us free. Most of us agree with this, but it gets difficult to maintain because we give ourselves over to lesser things. We become slaves to things that were made for us (success, food, security, joy, sex, peace). All of these things were designed by God, so inherently good, but they are only good with God. Unfortunately, we pursue these things instead of God, and we become slaves to their pursuit.
- Why are these things only good in conjunction with God?
- Why do we pursue these things instead of God?
- Why is God greater than all of these things?
God is the greatest of all; that’s the truth, and that’s the reality that will set you free from slavery to lesser things. You need to pursue God first, and then the rest will accompany your relationship with God (Matthew 6:33). But you have to believe that and live it. You have to choose God above everything else.
- Is there anything you wouldn’t give up for God?
- If so, why?
- Pray for focus to keep your relationship with God as your priority.