I have to begin by telling you how incredibly proud I am of all the hard work you girls are putting forth in this book club! I know all this material is lofty but I truly pray that a fresh understanding and appreciation for the sovereignty of God is taking hold in your Spirit. Your answers are very insightful and I've enjoyed reading each and every one. FYI: I've had several emails from those who weren't able to start at the beginning but aren't sure if they can still participate. OF COURSE YOU CAN! Anyone is SO welcome to jump in every chance you get so please don't hesitate to join the discussion.
Many things resonated with me in last weeks responses but I got a little stuck on Kelly's (Love Well) quote here:
"I actually think it’s easier to magnify God in the big trials of life, because we are pushed to the limits then. We either magnify God or die. I find it harder to continue to choose His glory in the mundane details of life, when it’s tempting to slide into mediocrity, one inch at a time."
Is anyone but me feeling that one? I think Kelly's response speaks to where many of us live and that is our propensity to throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus only when circumstances are dire and not so much when we've had to clean up one too many poopy messes that day. Often it's not the tire iron to the heart that gets me, it's the constant yet lesser tappings that make me want to give up and try again later.
Obviously a woman reading who has lost a child or endured divorce or is battling a life-threatening illness may argue that mediocrity brought on by the exhaustion of motherhood or a lackluster faith born out of apathy are not comparable. On the most obvious level I wholeheartedly agree. But when we get right down to it, anything and I do mean ANYTHING, whether it be life's trivia or trauma that robs God of the glory due Him in my book is spectacular indeed. As we learn in Chapter Two, ALL things were made by, through, and for Christ and therefore we must surrender every single event in order to display His greatness.
Oh my goodness. I have no idea if that made any sense whatsoever. I'll be trusting the Holy Spirit to make the appropriate applications if any are indeed in order. :)
1. I loved your quotes so much from the first session I'm going to ask you to share your favorite from this chapter!
2. Re-read Colossians 1:15-16. Piper makes special mention that of all the things Paul could list that were made by, through, and for Christ, that he specifically mentions evil powers. In answering why Paul did this, Piper pulls an example from 2 Timothy 1:8 to show how he used weighty doctrine to address Timothy's practical issues of anxiety and fear that threatened the effect of his ministry. Considering Paul thought the 'heavy' things of God would help Timothy deal with everyday matters, how does knowing God created beings that He knew would turn from good to evil translate to your everyday life? (Use paragraphs 2 and 3 of page 36 to help form your thoughts.)
3. Five summary statements are given on p. 37 as to why God wants us to know the truth of Christ's sovereignty over 'rulers and authorities' and the way they are involved in the most spectacular sins of the universe. Which one is most meaningful to you? How does it comfort you and/or give you courage against the evil that we know has been disarmed by Christ?
4. Okay, this question is more of an assignment. Look at the previous commenter's answers and respond to one of her(his?) insights. If you are the first commenter, you can refer to this original post. Let's get some discussion going! :)
This was a short chapter so we'll stop here. Looking so forward to hearing your thoughts!