Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Bridging the Great Divides
Week 4: Bridging the Personal Divide
- This weekend, Pastor Dale spoke about the division between You and You. What did he mean by that?
- Read Psalm 86:11: Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
What does it mean to have an “undivided heart”? What does it feel like, when you have a divided heart?
- Read Romans 7:21-25: So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
In Romans 7, Paul is describing a tension that he felt within himself. Often times, even though he wanted to do good, he felt a strong pull to do the wrong thing instead. What causes this inner battle that many of us experience?
How does Jesus provide a way out of this tension?
- Read Luke 10:38-42: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed– or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
What did Jesus mean when He said, “Mary has chosen what is better”? What was the better thing that Mary had chosen?
- Read James 1:5-8: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
James also spoke of the possibility of division in our mind and heart. He indicated that if we allow double-mindedness to slip into our lives, it can make our spiritual lives unstable. If you’ve ever experienced this, tell what that was like.
- Spiritual formation is the process by which our inner self (our character) and our outer self (our words and actions) come into alignment.
John Ortberg, in his book The Me I Want to Be, describes the potential gap people often have between our inner self and our outer self, and some things people might use to fill this gap.
- The Me I Pretend to Be
Why do people sometimes pretend to be something they’re not?
How is social media making this tendency even worse than usual in our current culture?
Rachel Cruze’s book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, is helpful on this subject.
Pastor Dale said, “Genuine brokenness is way more appealing to God than fake spirituality.”
- The Me I Think I Should Be
- Have you ever tried to live into someone else’s ideal for you, instead of just being yourself? Describe how that felt.
- The Me Other People Want Me to Be
- The Christian life isn’t about following certain rules and trying to be perfect (as defined by others). It’s about putting Jesus first and loving Him, and letting Him lead you. Explain the difference between those two ways of living.
- Read Luke 10:41-42 again: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed– or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
What might you need to leave behind in order to choose the best thing…. Living in a loving relationship with Jesus?
- Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
What does Jesus mean when he says, “all these things will be given to you as well.”?