"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Perseverance is a key to working through the symptoms of a life-controlling problem.
Our growth in Christ is progressive. In 2 Peter 1:5-7 we see the elements of that progression. We come to Christ in faith. As we live out that faith, our lives are characterized by goodness (or moral excellence). As goodness is exercised, we develop a greater knowledge of who we are in Christ. Exercising that knowledge enables us to master our appetites and experience self-control. As we practice self-control, God will give us the ability to persevere. The word perseverance here refers to the calm, determined, resolute, unflinching resolve to go with God.
And that's what it will take to overcome your life-controlling problem. Perseverance--all the while fixing your attention on Jesus.
Consider this …
God doesn't just tell us to persevere and then leave us alone to figure out how to accomplish that. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us how we can stand strong in our struggles. More help is available in passages like the one found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
God has provided us with an arsenal of powerful spiritual weapons to fight with--but we have to make our own choices. He made us as beings with a free will. We can choose to go with God--or we can choose to go with the urges and desires of the flesh.
What do you choose?
Father, thank you for the promises in your Word. Thank you for the spiritual weapons you have given me to fight the battle. I choose to go with you. Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus and to persevere. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.
- It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
- It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
- It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
- It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
- It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
- It helps prepare people to minister to others.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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