Introduction to Session 1:
Read Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst – Chapters 1-3
Following notes are taken from https://uninvitedstudy.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/first-blog-post/
In Case You Missed It:
“Living loved” is the foundation of the Christian faith. Until we understand how truly loved we ARE, right in this very moment, we will never be able to receive all that God has in store for us to the fullest capacity. When we are living tethered and bound by the wounds of past rejections and current negative opinions, we are allowing ourselves to be continuously disappointed and driven by fickle feelings. Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me. We can’t expect stability from a broken identity. We must be honest with ourselves and with God and allow Him to come in and shed light into the dark and broken places. We can’t expect imperfect people to fill the deepest yearnings, cravings, and desires of our heart. Only our Creator can do that perfectly. Things of this world will all eventually reveal what incapable anchors they really are.
If our foundation that we build our identity upon is based on the amount of friends we have, the number of Instagram likes, how our husband or children or peers or coworkers are treating us that day… that would be a pretty fragile, flimsy, and faulty foundation. The beliefs we hold should hold us up even when life feels like it’s falling apart. You are LOVED AND WANTED- and according to Colossians 3:12, YOU are “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.” We must align our truth with His truth. We must dig deeper in the Word, and build our lives upon His foundation- the only truth that is solid, unchanging, and stable through and through. Don’t hide the best of who you are behind a wall of insecurity! Therefore, I have to keep my mind focused on what the Holy Spirit whispers, not what my flesh screams. The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or breaking of my identity. God is good at being God. We may live in a sin-saturated world, and we may get our hearts broken from time to time from the result of that- but there is no situation or person too far gone who is out of reach from the gentle, restoring power of the hand of God. Living loved is sourced in the quiet daily surrender to the One who made you.
Matthew 5:1-16 says blessed are the underdogs, blessed are those who suffer for Me for My name’s sake, blessed are the kindred hearts, the poor in spirit, the peacemakers. As children of God, we are ALL blessed. ALL the time. We are blessed even when we don’t feel good. Negative feelings, absence of feelings, or adverse conditions cannot take away the blessedness of those who exist in relationship with God.
–Read Matthew 5:1-16 for yourself and ask yourself these questions…
- Who does Jesus say are blessed? What surprises you about this list?
- Why might we call these people blessed, even though their circumstances might not be producing happy feelings?
- In what sense are you blessed right now?
- How would your daily life be different if you lived convinced, deep down, that you are blessed, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to you, that your hunger will be satisfied, that you are loved by the Maker of the universe?
- What does God’s word say about times when you feel left out, lonely, or less-than?
- Do you see yourself as the light of the world? Why or why not? How does your perception of yourself affect how you treat others?
-Read Matthew 6:26-27
- Write down what this passage says about God’s deep love for you.
–Read Matthew 7:9-12
- What do these verses say about God’s love for you?
All too often we allow our rejections to scream louder than the truth of God’s word. Read Zephaniah 3:17 out loud: “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
- What do you think it means to be quieted by God’s love?
- Have you rehearsed your hurts more than you’ve rejoiced in God’s love? How can Zephaniah 3:17 help you change that pattern?
- What is a daily way you can dwell in the deep assurance of His love so His voice is the loudest in your life?
We must invest our time in our Heavenly Father. He must be who we run to first when problems arise, when anxieties and worries seem too much to bear. We must let Him into our everyday lives- the messy, the imperfect, the hidden places, the everything. And watch and let God do what only He can do- bring Love and Light and Warmth into the most dismal, cold, barren areas of your heart. The Lord is not trying to trick you and He’s not trying to manipulate you into loving Him. It’s your choice. He longs for you to ask Him for help; He longs to give His children GOOD gifts. He will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly in Him (Psalm 84:11). Let Him love you- and mold you and shape you into everything you were created to be!
“You are the light of the world; a city on a hill cannot be hidden.” ~Matthew 5:14