Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unstuck Week 2 - Releasing Your Past

I'm from Texas which in many ways is both a blessing a curse. It is a really cool place, but the Texan mystique is about being fiercely independent and totally self-reliant. It is a place that breeds some great things like  the ACL Music Festival, Dell Computers, and the Texas Rangers! But it also breeds tremendous ego and an unrealistic sense that the world revolves around you. Blessing and a curse for sure.

I think that we all run the risk of believing that we are the same as our mistakes or accomplishments. When we meet people we ask them "what do you do?" which is different than "who are you?" Honor, achievement, fat bank accounts - all good things,  but they don't define us. I believe that's what this guy from the Bible named Paul found out about himself. He was a man full of the right credentials, right family, right education, and right job. He was also a dude that had a bad habit of having people murdered. Hmm, blessing and a curse. Paul ultimately found a way to redefine both his successes and failures into something better. If you missed the message last weekend, click here.

Here are some things to think about...


  • Have you noticed how many of the people of the Bible have kind of shady pasts? Did you know the heroes of the Bible include common laborers, a hooker, an adulterer and murderer, and a town tramp? Click on the links and see how God has used people with questionable backgrounds to do amazing things. 
  • If you want a more modern day example of a person who redefined themselves through a relationship with Jesus, check out Nicko McBrain from the British Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden.
  • or Brian "Head" Welch, previously of the band, Korn.
  • Here's a good short article about reshaping our perspectives. 
Digging way deeper...
  • Read John 3 this week and focus on the conversation that Jesus has with a man named Nicodemus.
  • Then read John 19 with special attention to verses 38-42.
  • Why do you think Nicodemus met with Jesus at night at first?
  • Google Nicodemus and see what you can find out about him.
  • What do you think happened to change Nicodemus from a person that met with Jesus in secrecy to publicly aligning himself with Jesus (ch.19)?
  • How can you let go of both successes and failures to discover your identity in Jesus?

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