Week of September 3

Total Eclipse of the Son

Day 1: 2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” A.W. Tozer once said, ‘What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’ So how we see God really matters. Paul is telling us that God Himself helps us know Him. God sheds ‘light’ on our hearts so we see His character and His heart, the essence of who He is. Think about your own view of Jesus and God the Father. What has most influenced your perspective? Think about your earliest memories of God. How did your parents’ view of God shape your view? Consider the most significant influences regarding your current view of God. How has Scripture, prayer, talking with other believers shaping your view of God today? In 3-4 sentences, describe God.   
Day 2: 2 Cor. 4:4 “In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” On Sunday, Jack referenced the solar eclipse as a good metaphor of what happens inside the soul when anything comes between us and God. As the moon passes between the earth and sun, it blocks our view of the sun. Paul says Satan blinds unbelievers by keeping them from seeing who Christ is. Satan doesn’t need to damage our eyes to blind us. If he puts an obstacle in front of our face, it blinds us from seeing anything else. Think of an unbeliever you know well. What stands between them and God? A great question to ask would be what or who has shaped your view of God the most? Consider how you would answer that question. Pray God would give you an opportunity to have a conversation with a friend.   
Day 3: Ezekiel 14:10 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces.” In this passage, God is showing Ezekiel what is going on in the hearts of the leaders of Israel. They ‘set up idols in their hearts’. They loved something more than God Himself. Our idea of an idol is a wooden image covered in gold. A modern-day author, Timothy Keller, says that idolatry is when I turn the good things in life into the ultimate thing. I treasure His gifts far more than Him. How can the moon hide the larger sun from view? Because it’s nearest the earth in a solar eclipse. Try this. Close one eye and hold a penny an inch front of the other eye. The penny really impairs your vision. That’s how an idol can hinder your view of God. It’s all you see. Do you have anything that impairs your vision of God? Because God is a loving God, ask Him to search your heart. He just may reveal something that has become an idol to you.  
Day 4: 
Luke 18:22,23 ‘When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.’ God is the one who gives us the ability to get wealth. (Deut. 8:18) He’s not against wealth unless it consumes us. Obsession with any gift will ruin us. Whether it’s relationships, friends, food, sex, talents, money, hobbies, etc. The moon is most beautiful when it’s in its place. Reflecting the light of the sun. But if it comes between us and the sun, all we see is a black disc. Has a gift from God ultimately hurt you because it captivated your heart. Do you treasure gifts more than God? Has anything in life become so important to you that the idea of no longer having it would totally devastate you? If so, talk to God about it. Confess how it has blocked you from God.  
Day 5
: Luke 18: 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” We often use this verse to remind ourselves that with God, we can do all things. But let’s look at the context of this verse. Jesus just said it is ‘hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God’. Why? Because it’s so easy to love our riches more than God. And it’s so hard to love Him more than anything else. We’re just too self-centered. So, the disciples asked how it’s even possible for anyone to change his own heart. Jesus replies by saying in effect, ‘It is impossible for you to give it up. But God can help you do what you can’t.’ This promise is about the impossibilities of the heart. So, if you desire to be free of what holds you captive, ask God to help you. He will. 

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