Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur Week One- Chapter One


Thanks for joining me! This is the first week, so we'll go through chapter one, then next Tuesday we'll go through chapter two and so on.

If you haven't gotten the books yet, go here to get the links!

So, what did you think of Chapter One?

I'll just give my comments on a few of the questions, but feel free to respond to anything in Chapter One.



Rewind

What do people around you think the word Christian means?

     I think that most people today would associate "Christian" with "believing in/knowing about God" but aside from actual Christians, I don't think that people would equate "Christian" as having a relationship with Christ as their Savior and really understand what that means. Growing up in the Bible belt, I'veseen many people claim Christianity because they see it as some sort of social status or social title, or they "grew up in church" or "their daddy was a deacon and their grandaddy was a deacon" so that makes them automatically a Christian, which isn't at all true.

Based on John 10:27, how do Jesus' expectations of His followers compare with the world's understanding of "Christian"?

     Jesus expects us to follow him completely and without a doubt as a sheep would follow it's shepherd, reliant on him for everything and completely lost without him. The world (mostly) accepts the fact that Jesus existed, but was a wise man, teacher or some prophet. Many may say (especially those who claim Christianity in title) that He is the Son of God, but most wouldn't think of being COMPLETELY devoted to Him.



Rethink

What are some characteristics you usually associate with the term slave?

     bound, shackled, not free, crushed, miserable, oppressed

How do these characteristics compare with the concept of Christian mention in question 1?

     Well, I think that many times people think that Christians just live under a bunch of rules, which can seem like oppression in their eyes. But, in comparision as a sheep to a shepherd, the characteristics are a total and stark contrast to what we usually think of as "slave".

Early believers knew that following Christ was synonymous with being a slave. Why is the concept of slavery offensive to some believers today?

     There is probably not a person alive today who when they think of the word "slave" doesn't think of Africans being taken, chained, and sold.. Even today there is still a rampant human trafficking problem. So the image of slave today, isn't necessarily the same image one would have had back in Roman times.
   


Reflect

When Christ says, "Follow Me", what level of commitment is He calling for? What priority should He be in our lives?

     He expects us to be fully, completely and wholly devoted to Him, not once in a while, when we have time, or at our own convenience, but ALL. COMPLETELY. HIS.



React

When you go to church, what are your primary concerns? Are they more about you or God?

    Overall, I have to admit that Christ has been central in my life since I accepted Him But, I do have to say that He has not always taken the first and foremost place in my daily life. It is so easy to get consumed with taking care of home, husband, kids, etc. that I know I've let these things come before Him. These questions were very convicting, especially about church. I want to be focused on Him, but I let myself get focused on getting everyone out the door, to their classes, and whether or not I will need to stay in the nursery with some of the kids, etc. So, this is a good reminder to do a priority check.


What are your thoughts?


6 comments:

Kathleen said...

I have been pondering 1 Cor. 6:20 (For we are bought with a price...) for awhile now because I have been focusing on the treating your bodies as a temple part as pertains to being healthy. But I hadn't really stopped to consider BOUGHT WITH A PRICE. I was bought. Therefore, I am owned. Because of its historical abuse, obviously slavery has such a negative connotation, but I love this in Ch. 1: "The early saints DELIGHTED to count themselves Christ's absolute property, bought by him, owned by him, and WHOLLY AT HIS DISPOSAL. Paul even went so far as to REJOICE that he had the marks of his Master's brand on him..." I wonder how many of us live our Christian lives so that others can actually see Christ's BRAND on us?

I was particularly convicted by the questions about making Christ the priority in each day and about whether or not He is just an item listed on my schedule. For me, many times He is. In fact, I know I have a Homeschool schedule around here somewhere that has 7:00-7:30 blocked out as "quiet time" for me. I think, first of all, to put the priority on Christ every day, I need to start each day by focusing on God. It might not mean that I sit down and read a chapter in the Bible just so I can check that off my to-do list. What it does mean is that I focus on Him by thinking on Him and surrendering my day to Him.

It's important that I become closer to God and develop a more intimate relationship with Him because that is how I am going to become a slave to Him, that is how He is going to become a priority in my life. And when I have that close relationship with Him and am a true slave to Him, there is no "block of time set aside for quiet time". It is Him and me all day.

I think about my relationship with my husband. Because we have a close relationship, we don't have to put each other in our schedules. If he is at home for the day we talk all day long; I don't tell him I can only talk to him from 9:15-9:45. That would be absurd. We enjoy each other's company throughout the day. We do things we know will please the other. My relationship with my Heavenly Father should be even more intimate, I should have even more longing to spend time with Christ than my husband.

Anyway, I didn't mean to write a book here. :) This is a great study you chose, and I look forward to the rest, convicting as it is. :)

Courtney said...

I love what you said about only talking to your husband in a cerain time slot- when he's home you talk to him all day. It is funny how we tend to put God in a time slot! I never considered that analogy before, but it's true. "Okay, I've checked my box. I've talked to God for the day."

Courtney said...

I think it's easy to forget, or let slip by, the fact that we are "bought".I think when I hear the term "bought" it just gets jumbled in with a bunch of other "Christianese" words. But to really think we are BOUGHT with a PRICE, and the fact that the price was His Son's LIFE is really sobering.

Kathleen said...

It really should be an ongoing conversation with God all day long. I read A Purpose Driven Life several years ago, and it really helped me change my prayer life so that I talk to Him throughout the day. I know God loves to hear from us even if we are just telling Him what's going on. I always thought that was stupid because, well, He already knows all of that! But then, after having kids, I totally get it. One of my kids can come tell me something I already know ALL about, but because it's my child telling me, I'll listen because, well, it's MY CHILD telling me. I've *gotten* a lot more of the truth I should have seen long ago since having kids. (Like how, for example, I can take them somewhere I think will be really special and all they do is complain...just like I so often do about the many BLESSINGS God has given me!)

Courtney said...

So true! And even just praising Him all day- Tristan will say, "Mom. You're just awesome." and it's the sweetest thing. I just absolutely love it! And God loves to hear us the same way, instead of just asking for stuff all the time.

Juanita Unrau said...

Well, I don't have the book, but I enjoyed your insights on the chapter. It probably will be therapeutic to me, after spending 5 years in a job that, a lot of the time, felt like slavery. Slavery with shaky security. But in Jesus, we have security, huh?
Thanks for your insights too, Kathleen. Good to know we can come to God anytime, even after our set prayer time. Often, after that, I think of more things to pray for, or to thank God for.....

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