The Cruciform Life
April 19, 2015
The Way to Freedom (Part Two)
1. What is your favorite station on the radio, Pandora or Spotify? Why?
2. What is your least favorite style of music?
“The greatest saints are not those who need less grace, but those who consume the most grace, who indeed are most in need of grace — those who are saturated by grace in every dimension of their being. Grace to them is like breath.” - Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart
1. We know we are saved by grace and that we need grace for our failures and challenges, but Dallas Willard points out how we need grace for everything, and even greater amounts of it as we grow. How might this perspective impact both our understanding of grace and our ability to grow in grace?
2. Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. If grace is like breath, what insights or parallels might you draw between this simple act of breathing and what it means to live in the cycle of grace?
1. Acceptance. In his book Soul Keeping, John Ortberg contrasts the Cycle of Grace with the Cycle of Works. One begins with acceptance and one ends with acceptance. Which diagram would you say best characterizes your life right now? Share the reasons for your response.
2. Sustenance. The key to the “with God” life is not more church activities or devotional practices or trying harder to be good. It’s allowing God to make every moment of our lives glorious with his presence. Imagine for a moment that Jesus is physically present with you right now. In what ways would this moment be different? In what ways would you be different?
3. Significance. One way to think about your significance is to consider what people might say about you at your funeral. Aside from acknowledging your accomplishments, what kinds of things do you hope the people in your life might say about you and why you were significant to them?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you , you will bear much fruit ; apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15v5
4. Achievement. Achievement is how the grace that has flowed into us — through acceptance, sustenance, and significance — now flows out of us. It is the fruit we bear for God and his kingdom. How does it influence your understanding of achievement to think of it as grace flowing out of you?
Read Psalm 139: 1 – 18 which praises God for his intimate presence in our lives. Drawing on the psalm as a reference, offer up your own prayer. Invite God into the areas of life where you struggle to set your mind on him. Ask him to give you joy and a sense of expectancy as you begin to experiment with practicing his presence each day. Praise him for his constant and loving presence.