01.13.2019 | “First Things First | Wk 2: Suffering and ‘The Beautiful World'”

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Breaking Ground

Catch up from the holidays: What were some of your high points of Christmas/New Years?

Were there any low points or struggles?


The Dig

On Sunday, Eric introduced the concept of the “40% Factor”, which is basically the idea that when your brain tells you, “You’re done, you can’t do any more,” you are actually only at 40% of your potential.

So if you can run 4 miles and your brains says, “that’s it,” 4 miles is actually only 40% of your true capability (10 miles).

If your brain tells you that after 1 hour of studying you’re at capacity, you actually have the capacity to study for 2.5 hours.

What if this applied to spiritual growth as well?

What if, instead of declaring, “This is as loving/ compassionate/kind/giving/etc. as I’ll get,” you instead recognized that you are capable of much, much more?

Do you have an area of your life in which you have experienced a “40% moment”?

What is it?

In truth, the Bible tells us that we are actually capable of even more than that. Each person—every human being on the planet—contains inside of them God’s DNA.

Read 1 John 3:9.

The seed of a plant contains its DNA, its genetic blueprint. The seed of an oak tree looks nothing like a 200 year old specimen, but the potential is all there.

John plays this thought out in an interesting way: read 1 John 4:7-8.

If God is love, and we have the genetic blueprint/DNA of God inside us, how loving are we capable of becoming?

We are not discounting our brokenness or our mistakes. “First things first” is about choosing to believe that life change is possible, and to wrestle with the question, “What is my life actually capable of becoming?”

Is there any area of your life that you desire to see significant growth and change?


Getting Out of the Hole

Don’t settle for last year’s life. Choose discomfort and commit to growth, and also choose to break it down into daily habits and choices to bring about the change you’d like to see.

Pursue a life of impact and fulfillment in God’s Kingdom.


Additional Resources

The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard, and a Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster are two in-depth studies of how we can partner with the Holy Spirit to see true life transformation.

In addition, How People Grow by Henry Cloud, is a great practical trainer on how to experience life change.

Here are some New Testament scriptures that hint at how we should view suffering:

1 Corinthians 12:9-10
Hebrews 13:12-13
1 Peter 1:20b-21
1 Peter 4:1-2
James 1:2-4
Luke 9:23-24 (also found in Mark’s and Matthew’s gospel as
Ephesians 5:1-2

Lastly, you can hear a little of David Goggins’ story here: https://youtu.be/vyJ_hhninDw