Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

AUDIENCE OF ONE

Life In This World

AUDIENCE OF ONE

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,       Colossians 3:23

And Jesus said, "Follow Me."

 

Rarely, when asked directly, "Who are you?" would we ever respond with something other than simply our name.  Yet, we answer that question more thoroughly every day by our thoughts, our words, and our actions, especially in the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of our lives.

When at a social gathering, we define ourselves by what we do or by our position or by who we know.  There is no more unsettling time in our adult lives than when we are "between jobs,” because we are seemingly without identity, not needed and unproductive.  When we are with people who don't know us well, we present ourselves as defined by what we've accomplished or achieved.  Many see their own lives through the lens of the roles they live out—as parent, spouse, etc., or through the lens of what image they want to present to others.

Our identity, who we really are, is that place deep within ourselves from which every thought, emotion, choice, deed, prayer, hope, etc. springs.  It may be our heart in the sense that the heart initiates all perspective.  How do we view ourselves?  A disciple of Jesus does not define himself through the eyes of the world, by job, position, or achievement.  Nor does a disciple define herself through the eyes of others by what people say about her.  Rather, each follower sees himself or herself how God does.

Perhaps Satan most attacks us here.  Paul Torniner says, "People become who you believe them to be."  Chris Thurman, PhD, says, "Most of our unhappiness and emotional struggle come from the lies we tell ourselves.  "The devil says things like, "You are unworthy of love.  How could God love you with what you've done and thought?  No way are you God's Beloved.  How could you be the Beloved of Christ and feel the shame and guilt you feel?  "We cannot hear God's gentle voice of love over the screaming voice of the deceiver and many of life's experiences.  Satan uses the world's demands to provide us with what one writer calls "less-wild lovers."  This causes our true identity as God's Beloved to fade into some success or position in the world.  However, just as real as we sensed God's lure or call long ago in our inner being, and just as real as we heard Him say "I love you so much that I am dying to be near you," is the reality of Jesus' love for you today.

 

A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.  An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought.  It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving “face” and social standing.  It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry.

                                                      Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • What circumstances in your life take your gaze off of Christ?
  • Where do you find yourself living for the bigger audience, rather than for Jesus?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

verses related to this topic

  • Psalm 23

    Psalm 23

    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

  • Psalm 29:1-2

    Psalm 29:1-2

    Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array.

  • Psalm 118:8

    Psalm 118:8

    It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6

    Proverbs 3:5-6

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

  • Proverbs 29:25-26

    Proverbs 29:25-26

    The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord.

  • Isaiah 25:1

    Isaiah 25:1

    O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

  • Isaiah 26:3

    Isaiah 26:3

    The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.

  • John 4:34

    John 4:34

    Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

  • John 6:67-68

    John 6:67-68

    So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”

  • John 17:3

    John 17:3

    “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

  • Romans 12:1

    Romans 12:1

    Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:20

    1 Corinthians 6:20

    For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31

    1 Corinthians 10:31

    Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

  • Colossians 3:23

    Colossians 3:23

    Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

books related to this topic

  • The Practice of the Presence of God

    The Practice of the Presence of God

    Beginning with pure faith in God, Brother Lawrence teaches that we should always draw near to God, and that God should so occupy us that we leave aside all other thoughts. Brother Lawrence’s advice is practical, focused, single-minded, and wise.

  • The Seeking Heart

    The Seeking Heart

    The name Fenelon has stood for spiritual depth and insight for 300 years. Seeking Christians throughout the years have turned again and again to his writings for guidance and help in their quest for a deeper walk with Christ.

  • Counterfeit Gods

    Counterfeit Gods

    In Counterfeit Gods, Keller shows how the Bible reveals the unvarnished truth about our faith and our hearts' desires. This powerful and inspiring message will cement Keller's reputation as a critical thinker and pastor, and comes at a critical time--for both the faithful and the skeptical.

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