Dear Comfort Cafe Friends,
In this Bible Study series we are continuing to look at what it means to love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. The lessons run monthly and focus on “Looking Inward,” (relating to and loving God), and “Looking Outward,” (relating to and loving our neighbor). In this series, the entire lesson each month is presented here on the front page. We hope you will join us in applying knowledge of God’s character to deeper levels of life. Previous lessons from 2014 remain available under the Table of Contents and Archive page.
©2013 Kay Smith and Ruth Wood. All rights reserved. Used by permission. User Permission Notice: This study may not be sold or used for profit. However, copies may be made for personal use. Questions? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ruth Wood
As if it were not enough that God redeemed us, He also continually offers His life in exchange for our life. The great news is that at any time we can trade in
- Our shame for his righteousness
- Our inadequacy for his sufficiency
- Our insecurity for his acceptance
- Our unworthiness for his dignity
- Our failures for his victory
- Our impatience for his long-suffering
- Our lovelessness for his compassion
- Our weakness for His strength
- Our confusion for His truth
- Our confoundedness for his wisdom
- Our restlessness for his peace
- Our burdens for his light yoke
- Our fear for his confidence
- Our pain for his joy
- Our despair for his hope
Do you want to live a spiritually empowered life? Trade in your life for His.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
(Recommendation: You may wish to read Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, especially the chapter on the Exchanged Life.)
As believers, the source of our power comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth who abides with us and in us (John 14:17). You may wish to write a prayer thanking the Holy Spirit for his abiding presence and asking him to prepare your heart for this study.
Power for Godly Living
Sometimes, especially as new believers, we worry about not being able to live the Christian life. II Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” How does this verse encourage you specifically?
II Timothy 1:7 says, For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. What kind of Spirit have we received, and what difference does this make in your life?
Power in Abiding
Jesus said, “…apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5b). How much power do we have by ourselves?
Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8). What kind of power will we receive if we “remain” in Christ and his words? For what purpose has God given us power?
Power in Obedience
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:9-10). What does it look like to remain in Christ’s love?
Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). What is Jesus’ #1 command that he asks us to obey? How have you been doing in this area of your life?
Power in Weakness
Paul writes in II Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” What does Paul claim here is the advantage of weakness?
You may have an area in your life that feels impossible such as a prodigal child, a loveless marriage, a chronic disease. Perhaps you’ve lost all hope. Ephesians 1:18-19 talks about God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe,” and that this “power is the same as the mighty strength [God] exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.” That’s pretty strong power! What does it mean that God’s resurrection-strength power resides in you? What implications might this have on your circumstances? On your outlook?