This series was something inspired by Pete Scazzero’s Emotionally Health Spirituality Book. We actually did the series while we were working through the Emotionally Spiritually Discipleship Course. Check out the course and Pete Scazzero’s other resources and podcasts.
8.26.18 God and You: Beneath the Surface
Emotional Health and Spiritual Maturity are Inseparable
- Externally we appear one way
- Inwardly we are not like that at all
Proverbs 23:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
7 For as he thinks within himself, so is he.
He will grudgingly say, “Go ahead and eat all you want,” but in his heart he resents the fact that he has to pay for your meal.
- Consider the iceberg…
- We barely look beneath the surface… we barely recognize what is truly there.
- We do not change…. We cannot grow beyond what we see
Peter Scazzero noted that “we often neglect to reflect on what is going on inside us and around us and are too busy to slow down and be with God.”
This is the problem. We never address what is beneath the surface.
#1 – Trying to be the “Good Christian”
Being sure to do things that look “Christian-like” so people see you and think you are so great but it doesn’t have much (or anything) to do with God.
Matthew 15:8 The Passion Translation (TPT)
8 These people honor me only with their words,
for their hearts are so very distant from me.
***How is YOUR HEART?
#2 – Ignoring your emotions (anger, sadness, fear…)
We minimize feelings and deny feelings
God has emotions, we were designed to be emotional
If we hide our emotions, how can God address them?
Psalm 34:17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
17 Yet when holy lovers of God cry out
to him with all their hearts,
the Lord will hear them and come to rescue them
from all their troubles.
***Acknowledge your feelings so God can work through them.
#3 – Not addressing the past
The past has caused you unhealthy, even destructive patterns. If the past goes unaddressed, it prevents us from living as God designed — loving God and loving people.
***Realize your past is past, but there are many scars that still linger on in your life, causing you to act a certain way, think a certain way, live a certain way.
#4 – Separating your life between Christian & secular
We live compartmentalized double lives.
We live our church life and then we leave the building and there’s a whole other “you” that appears.
We divorce as much as non-Christians.
We give/donate as much as non-Christians.
People can see no difference between us and non- Christians
We cling to the title of Christian and yet our actions are far from Jesus
James 1:22-25 The Passion Translation (TPT)
22 Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!
23 If you listen to the Word and don’t live out the message you hear, you become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning. 24 You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin. 25 But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do!
***Pray about who you truly are— ask God to show you. He knows you better than you know you. Stop dividing your life into compartments. There is no church you and home you… you are you. There should be no pretending, no costume— because the masks don’t help you to grow nor do they glorify God.
#5 – Serving God instead of communing with God
We often get caught up in serving God that we don’t take time to just spend with Him… to rest, to grow, to simply enjoy His presence.
Remember, you can only give what you have!
Psalm 16:11 English Standard Version (ESV)
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Pete Scazzero noted, “Work for God that is not nourished by a deep interior life with God will eventually be contaminated by other things such as ego, power, needing approval of and from others, and buying into the wrong ideas of success and the mistaken belief that we can’t fail.”
***Consider ways you can spend time with God this week.
#6 – Sweeping conflict under the rug
Being the “good Christian” and sweeping any disagreements under the rug to best represent Jesus. This causes you to continue to experience the pain of the unresolved conflict… Now you become bitter but at least you were a “good Christian.”
We do this by telling someone one thing to their face and talking about them behind their backs… by saying yes when we mean no, by giving in because we are afraid we won’t be liked, by telling half truths…
Ephesians 4:15 The Passion Translation (TPT)
15 But instead we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth. All our direction and ministries will flow from Christ and lead us deeper into him, the anointed Head of his body, the church.
***Don’t shy away from conflict. Speak the truth in love.
#7 – Covering up your brokenness
2 Corinthians 12:9 The Passion Translation (TPT)
9 But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.
***Don’t hide your flaws. Allow God to work through them.
#8 – Living without boundaries / limits
We each have limits and we should respect them.
We need to take care of ourselves first and foremost.
Matthew 26:41 The Passion Translation (TPT)
41 Keep alert and pray that you’ll be spared from this time of testing. You should have learned by now that your spirit is eager enough, but your humanity is weak.”
Parker Palmer said, “Self-care is never a selfish act— it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have.”
***Consider how you can be a better steward of yourself.
#9 – Judging the walk of others
If you spend so much time watching someone else’s plate, you aren’t paying attention to your own plate.
How can God speak to your through His Word if you are listening for something to share with someone else?
If you are too busy noting the faults of your friends/ family/co-workers, you have no time to recognize your own faults, acknowledge them, and allow God to move.
Matthew 7:4-5 The Passion Translation (TPT)
4 How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? 5 You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.
***It is now time to spend these next few weeks looking at our own journey, and allow God to work through the part of the iceberg we don’t see, the part of the iceberg you don’t even know is there. May God be glorified!
Emotions and You: Authentic
Authentic… Genuine… Real… True… Accurate
- God is our only source of identity
- You are Created By God
Genesis 1:27 English Standard Version (ESV)
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
- You are Made in God’s Image
- God has a Plan and a Purpose for YOUR Life!
Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
2. God created us with emotions… with feelings
1. You can only bury your feelings for so long — then they will spill out
2. If you deny your feelings — then you will become less human, you will transform into an empty shell.
3. Experience feelings. Reflect on feelings. Respond to feelings in Christ Jesus.
Pete Scazzero noted, “We often neglect to reflect on what is going on inside us and around us and are too busy to slow down to be with God. Only the love of God in Christ is capable of bearing the weight of our true identity.”
So where do we go from here?
Spend more time with God in silence and solitude
Psalm 46:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Allow God to open your eyes to what is beneath the surface
Matthew 6:6 The Message (MSG)
6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
Deal with your feelings
Dan Allender and Tremper Longman wrote, “In neglecting our intense emotions, we are false to ourselves and lose a wonderful opportunity to know God. We forget that change comes from brutal honesty and vulnerability before God.”
Recognize & acknowledge your true feelings which brings change
Mark 7:20-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 New Century Version (NCV)
22 You were taught to leave your old self—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do. 23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts, 24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy.
Experience the freedom of living an authentic life
Romans 7:18 The Passion Translation (TPT)
18 For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but will-power is not enough to accomplish it.
Galatians 1:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
It is exhausting trying to keep up the lies (false reality)
It is draining trying to be something we are not
Luke 6:43-44 New International Version (NIV)
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.
Romans 12:2 The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:3-6. How does this passage give us hope for authenticity?
Read 1 Timothy 1:5.
What are the three things listed in this verse with which to love others deeply?
How can you call these things your own?
Read 2 Corinthians 11:3 and Philippians 4:8. Tonight’s study focused on living an authentic life— a real life. Part of this reality involves our focus. On what should we focus? What is the danger?
Emotions: God and You – The Past
Carrying so much — some cannot imagine life without the heavy load — it may be all you know.
The Bible shows us that blessings and sins go back 2-3+ generations
We cannot go forward without dealing with the past
Hebrews 12:1-3 The Passion Translation (TPT)
12 As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.
2 We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
3 So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures.
How can you let go of every wound that has pierced you and the sin we so easily fall into?
1. Forgiveness of the Past
let go of the piercing wounds
George MacDonald noted, “Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.”
Ephesians 4:32 New International Version (NIV)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Accept God’s forgiveness for EVERYTHING…
let go of the encircling/surrounding sin
C.S. Lewis noted, “We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin.”
Acts 3:19 The Passion Translation (TPT)
19 And now you must repent and turn back to God so that your sins will be removed, and so that times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence.
1 John 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Psalm 103:12 New Living Translation (NLT)
12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Charles Spurgeon noted, “We repent of sin itself as being an insult to God. Anything short of this is a mere surface repentance, and not a repentance which reaches to the bottom of the mischief. Repentance of the evil act, and not of the evil heart, is like men pumping water out of a leaky vessel, but forgetting to stop the leak. Some would dam up the stream, but leave the fountain still flowing; they would remove the eruption from the skin, but leave the disease in the flesh.”
2. Redemption of the Past
Ephesians 1:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
7 Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace.
Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 The Passion Translation (TPT)
28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.
Pete Scazzero noted, “God never loses any of our past for His future when we surrender ourselves to Him. Every mistake, sin, and detour we take in the journey of life is taken by God and becomes His gift for a future of blessing.”
3. Restoration from the Past
Putting off sinful patterns of family past
You are being made new in Christ Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:17 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
17 Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.
1 Peter 5:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
katartizó: to complete, prepare
Original Word: καταρτίζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (kat-ar-tid’-zo)
Short Definition: I fit together, prepare
Definition: (a) I fit (join) together; met: I compact together, (b) act. and mid: I prepare, perfect, for his (its) full destination or use, bring into its proper condition (whether for the first time, or after a lapse).
Acts 3:21 New International Version (NIV)
21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
Revelation 21:4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
FORGIVENESS OF THE PAST
Let go of the piercing wounds
Let go of the sin that surrounds you
REDEMPTION OF THE PAST
Jesus Christ has paid the price
God continues to redeem all things for His good purpose
RESTORATION FROM THE PAST
Through the Holy Spirit, God continues to make you new
One day, all things will pass away — there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth!
Emotions: God and You – Power and Control
Stuck on Us
The plan God has for us is to continue on the journey through the season to the next season.
He stretches us.
He grows us.
We are a masterpiece — His masterpiece — and He isn’t finished with you yet!
We often hit a wall and stagnate when we refuse to trust God into the unknown
We don’t allow God to probe deeper within us
When we hit a wall, we either:
- quit moving forward
- go backward
St. Thomas Aquinas noted, “This is the ultimate knowledge about God, to know that we do not know.”
Matthew 23:25-26 The Passion Translation (TPT)
25 “Great sorrow awaits you religious scholars and Pharisees—frauds and imposters! You are like one who will only wipe clean the outside of a cup or bowl, leaving the inside filthy. You are foolish to ignore the greed and self-indulgence that live like germs within you. 26 You are blind and deaf to your evil. Shouldn’t the one who cleans the outside also be concerned with cleaning the inside? You need to have more than clean dishes; you need clean hearts!
God wants to go deeper with you.
Are you stuck?
Why are you stuck?
How can you get un-stuck?
1. Power is His
Living on your own power will only get you so far
1 Corinthians 4:20 New Living Translation (NLT)
20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.
Ephesians 3:20 The Passion Translation (TPT)
20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Rest in the power of God
2 Peter 1:3 The Passion Translation (TPT)
3 Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness.
2. Control is His
Trying to control everything keeps you from God’s will
Jeremiah 10:23 Good News Translation (GNT)
23 Lord, I know that none of us are in charge of our own destiny;none of us have control over our own life.
Proverbs 16:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
Submit to the control of God
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Micah 6:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
3. Glory is His
When you rest in the power of God and submit to the control of God, He is glorified
Isaiah 42:8 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
8 I am the Lord. That is my name,
and I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
1 Chronicles 29:11 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all.
Breakout Session Questions
1. What are some of the reasons you have been stuck in the past?
2. Read Philippians 3:13-14. This passage certainly does not describe a stagnate walk with Christ. What can you glean from this passage that points to allowing God to continue to lead us to always be moving forward on our journey?
3. The dictionary says that power, is the “ability to do something or act in a particular way.” Control is “the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.” Why are we deceived into thinking we have power? Why are we deceived into thinking we have control?
4. How can we intentionally live recognizing the power is God’s? How can we intentionally live recognizing the control is God’s?
Emotions: God and You – Limitations
EVERYONE has LIMITS
A point beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass
A restrictions on size or amount of something permissible or possible
Psalm 103:14 The Passion Translation (TPT)
14 You know all about us, inside and out.
You are mindful that we’re made from dust.
We cannot do everything
We cannot be everything
This keeps us HUMBLE
The word humility is from the Latin word “humus” which means “of the earth”
We struggle with limits… limits are linked to loss
We see LIMITS from the very beginning — ex: Adam & Eve in Garden were made in God’s image, but limited (not to eat from forbidden tree)
Psalm 39:4 The Passion Translation (TPT)
3–4 My heart burned with a fire within me,
and my thoughts eventually boiled over
until they finally came rolling out of my mouth.
“Lord, help me to know how fleeting my time on earth is.
Help me to know how limited is my life
and that I’m only here but for a moment more.
- Our age is limited — FACT: You will get older and eventually die
- Our dreams are limited — FACT: Many of your dreams will not be fulfilled
Ex: football player blows out knee
- Our life is limited
How do we handle our limits… our loss?
- We deny the loss
- We bury the loss (avoid it, distract ourselves from it) — ex: addictions
- We make excuses — try to justify our limits / our loss
- We blame self / others
Loss = New Birth
John 12:24 The Passion Translation (TPT)
24 Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.
Loss is a seed planted
Surrender to Limits & Accept Loss
God uses limits & loss to grow/stretch you
1. Keep your eyes open
Pay attention to God
Pay attention to what is going in inside you
Acknowledge what is
2. Wait on Him
Don’t just stop doing anything — but be still expecting God
Psalm 37:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
7 Quiet your heart in his presence and pray;
keep hope alive as you long for God to come through for you.
And don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity
are better off than you.
3. Recognize the blessing
Every good thing a gift from God
James 1:17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
17 Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change.
Suffering too is a gift
Draw near to Him & He draws near to us
James 4:8 The Passion Translation (TPT)
8 Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.
James 1:2-4 The Passion Translation (TPT)
2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! 3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. 4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
Emotions: God and You – Stopping
Stopping / Having quiet time – Isn’t about adding more to your busy schedule…
… It’s about resetting — Getting back to your rhythm
Genesis 2:2-3 New International Version (NIV)
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
When you look at the Ten Commandments, notice how much more time is spent on the Sabbath. It certainly is important.… it is a beautiful gift for us to celebrate.
During the Sabbath, you can stop and enjoy what has happened during the week.
Exodus 20:9-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Surrender to God – TRUST HIM…
…lack of trust is at the heart of the sin in the Garden
Adam and Eve did not trust what God said
When we do not observe the Sabbath, we are showing a lack of trust for God to provide — we are saying we need to continue the work to ensure we have what is needed.
Mark 2:27 The Passion Translation (TPT)
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for the sake of people, and not people for the Sabbath.
So how do we STOP?
Matthew 6:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Lamentations 3:25-30 The Message (MSG)
25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.
BE FIXED ON GOD…
1 Chronicles 16:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
The Sabbath is about TRUST…
God is in control
The Sabbath is about REST…
The Sabbath is about DELIGHT…
Delight in God
Genesis – “good” & “very good”…
…slow down & enjoy
Pete Scazzero noted, “Sabbath, when lived, is our means as the people of God to bear witness to the way we understand life, its rhythms, its gifts, its meaning, and its ultimate purpose in God.
Observing the Sabbath, we affirm: ‘God is the center and the source of our lives. He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of our existence.’ We trust God to provide and care for us.”
Breakout Session Questions
1. Read Psalm 1:1-4. How is quiet time described? How is quiet time beneficial?
2. Read Mark 1:35-37, Luke 5:15-16, and Luke 22:39-45. These passages focus on the quiet time Jesus has with His Father. He demonstrated the importance of quiet time with Him.
Looking at these passages, what time (and in what circumstances)
did Jesus observe quiet time?
How can you become more intentional with your quiet time?
3. Being quiet before the Lord is difficult except for when we don’t know the words to say. Read Romans 8:26-27. How does God help us with our quiet time moments when we don’t know what to say?
Emotions: God and You – Loving Well
Each person is a person
Loving well means that we treat each person that way
We always separate our lives — Your life / My life
We have very few true deep connections
It’s all about ME
We are supposed to honor everyone
We are supposed to love everyone
Matthew 22:37-40 The Passion Translation (TPT)
37 Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’ 38 This is the great and supreme commandment. 39 And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’ 40 Contained within these commandments to love you will find all the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.”
When you and another love well, there is a sacred space — God’s presence is manifest
Loving well means you have….
1 Corinthians 13:6-7 The Message (MSG)
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Discover Beauty in Everyone
Romans 12:18-19 The Message (MSG)
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Can’t have peace with lies & fake smiles
We ignore conflict & have false sense of peace
Proverbs 24:26 New Century Version (NCV)
26 An honest answer is as pleasing
as a kiss on the lips.
Proverbs 21:3 New Living Translation (NLT)
3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
Stay away from assumptions
Many times when making assumptions it is believing lies
2 Corinthians 8:21 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
21 Indeed, we are giving careful thought to do what is right, not only before the Lord but also before people.
Listen & speak
James 1:19 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
19 My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,
Proverbs 18:13 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
13 The one who gives an answer before he listens—
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
Proverbs 18:13 The Message (MSG)
13 Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
It’s ok to disagree
Make sure you are heard (understood)
Colossians 3:9 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices
Ephesians 4:25 The Passion Translation (TPT)
25 So discard every form of dishonesty and lying so that you will be known as one who always speaks the truth, for we all belong to one another.
There should be mutual expectations for a relationship
James 3:17-18 The Message (MSG)
17-18 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
Understand Hot Topics
These hot topics will trigger unloving responses
Luke 6:31-34 The Message (MSG)
31-34 “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
Emotions: God and You – Loving Well
Looking Beneath the Surface… allow God to have His way beneath the surface… this will allow God to work through everything that you have hidden, you don’t realize is there, etc. so you can grow.
Be Authentic… be real… Spend time with God in silence & solitude… God is our only source of identity… He will help you be authentic (real).
Deal with the Emotional Baggage… the past… accept forgiveness, forgive others… forgiveness of the past, redemption of the past, restoration from the past
Power and Control… power is God’s, control is God’s, glory is God’s
Surrender to Limits & Accept Loss… keep your eyes open (pay attention to God, pay attention to what is beneath the surface)… wait on God… recognize the blessings
Resting… resetting… getting back to your rhythm… be alone, be quiet, be fixed on God (Scripture & prayer)… Sabbath
Loving Well… each person is a person… love people, honor people… discover the beauty in everyone… have good conflict… have expectations… understand your hot topics
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Goal is to glorify God. This isn’t accomplished being legalistic; this isn’t accomplished by works. Keep it simple!
Time at Work…
Do your best
Everything you do, give it your best
Colossians 3:23-24 The Passion Translation (TPT)
23 Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.
24 For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!
2 Corinthians 9:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
7 Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving—all because God loves hilarious generosity!
Time of Rest…
Plan for Margin
Psalm 46:10 The Passion Translation (TPT)
10 Surrender your anxiety![a]
Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.
I am the God above all the nations,
and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
Ephesians 5:15-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
15–16 So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. 17 And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will.
Protect the Sabbath
Mark 2:27 The Passion Translation (TPT)
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for the sake of people, and not people for the Sabbath.
Time with God…
Matthew 6:33 New Century Version (NCV)
33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.
Psalm 62:8 The Passion Translation (TPT)
8 Join me, everyone! Trust only in God every moment!
Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to him.
Believe me when I tell you—he will help you!
Pause in his presence
Be real – words from the heart
- Talking at God
- Talking to God
- Listening to God
- Being with God
Time with Others…
Be Present / Remove Distractions
What keeps you from focusing on God & others?
Proverbs 4:25 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Watch Where You’re Going
25 Set your gaze on the path before you.
With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead,
ignore life’s distractions.
Colossians 3:12-14 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Love One Another
12 You are always and dearly loved by God! So robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. 13 Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. 14 For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark[a] of true maturity.
BREAKOUT SESSION QUESTIONS
1) Read Psalm 63:2-5. How does this passage speak of a simple life with God?
2) Read Luke 12:27-34. How does this passage speak of a simple life with God?
3) There are many benefits linked to living a simple life. How are these virtues related to living a simple life?