Depending on where you live in the world, you may experience the grandeur of God's handiwork in nature on a daily basis, or on occasion when you take a drive to the coastline or up to the mountains. Everyone experiences the daily wonder of a sunrise, a sunset, and the magnificence of the Creator of the universe holding all the stars in place...and yet, we so often take it for granted. All of it. In our productive, industrious lives, we somehow plow right past all the wonder and implications of living amidst the daily miracle of life and creation. We are so busy working to sustain our living that we forget what it is to have life.
And so it is with the truth, the gift, and the gloriousness of the Gospel. The Gospel:
"...the incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, burial, bodily resurrection, ascension, and eternal reign of the Son of God, Jesus Christ." (Because He Loves Me, pg. 37)
We are so blown away by the grace of God, displayed through the love of God, upon first hearing it...but so often pay little attention to it as we purpose to mature and grow as Christians. That is why Elyse Fitzpatrick implores her readers to consider:
"...if you neglect to focus on God's love for you in Christ, your Christianity will soon be reduced to a program of self-improvement--just one of many methods to help you 'get your act together.' And although that might see like a worthy goal, it isn't true Christianity at all. True Christianity is not a program of self-improvement; it's an acknowledgment that something more than self-improvement is needed. What's needed is death and resurrection: gospel words, gospel constructs, gospel motives, gospel power--a loving Redeemer." (pg. 25)
Oh how we truly need the Gospel to permeate our DAILY lives! How we need to be reminded of the truth of our condition and the truth of who we are in Christ. That, my friends, is why we are reading this book!
Because I know you, too, are weary from trying so hard...
Because I know you, too, struggle with all the demands of motherhood, work, home, and heart...
Because I know you, too, sometimes find yourself a Martha and not a Mary, forgetting to abide at His feet for all the serving you are attempting to do for Him...
...we begin this study today...
Because He loves me. And you. And His love is not just a feeling, but a truth we can trace clearly from the heart of God to the redemption of man.
And it does transform our lives.
So...welcome to Week 1 of the Because He Loves Me Book Study! We're so glad you're here. Join Joy, at Grace Full Mama, next week, for Chapter 2!
Now let's talk about it...
1) What are your hopes and expectations as you begin this study?
2) Did you see yourself in one of the responses in the "Time for a Heart Check" section following the scripture passages that told the story of redemption? (pg. 35-36) If so...which did you resonate most with and why?
3) Do you find yourself focusing on performance, or fearing God's wrath? What is your response to Elyse's assertion that we will always struggle in this way if we are not convinced that Christ's love is "ours, right now, fully and unalterably ours?"
I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can do so in two ways...
*Leave a comment below, and feel free to discuss with others there!
*Write a blog post either answering these questions or with your own reactions to the chapter, and link up your blog post below! (Remember to add the title and url for the specific post and not your blog url and name. Thanks!)
And please grab this button if you are joining us so that others can find us here!
(It's not too late to read along. If you haven't purchased a copy of the book, you can do so here.)