Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Shack Ch. 13


183 Do you have any idea what God is doing right now? Could you make an educated guess? What does your answer suggest?
How long does it take for God to put our sins in the past?
A From His perspective of eternity, they are always in the past. From our perspective according to 1jo 1:9 it happens upon confession.
Why did Papa say she did not even want Mack’s sorrow for his judgmental attitude?
A Our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west, buried in the sea, remembered no more, made white as snow. They were paid for and the power of sin was broken on the Cross.
Have you ever heard someone try to explain a tragedy like Mack did? “Did Missy have to die for you to change me”.
Why do people think that way?
Have you ever seen God work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies?
Why doesn’t grace have to depend on suffering to exist?
A Grace is a part of the very nature of God. It exists because He exists. Evils just make it more apparent.
186 What did Papa mean: “She was not your sacrifice Mack. She is and always will be your joy”?
A 2Ti 2:5 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.
How does ceasing to be a judge make a person’s burden lighter?
A Judging brings with it the requisite assessment. When we judge someone as guilty we feel the burden of assessing a penalty or some form of consequences to correct and or prevent possible future breaches. Even if we have correctly judged, we have no inherent ability to assess any consequence or penalty. Typically any attempt will only serve to create a festering wound in the relationship making any meaningful progress impossible. Since we have plainly violated scripture about judging we now have our own problem to deal with. When we allow the Holy Spirit to be the judge, jury and administrator of consequences we are free to carry out the most basic of Christ’s commands, to Love one another. Personally, as a pastor I am tired of seeing my joy robbed by other’s sins that I can realistically do nothing about. By loving the sinner I am not condoning the sin any more than Jesus did when he ate with Zaccheus or accepted Mary’s perfume or shared the secrets of water with the woman at the well. I can live free and light trusting God to protect his own name and draw others to himself. Perhaps my love will do that. Judging surly will not.
Why do people see God as Mean and Jesus as nice?
A They do not understand the significance of the cross or God’s role in it. Wayne Jacobsen explains this in detail in HE LOVES ME, ch 14-16.
Why is that impossible to be true?
A In the paradox of the three in one and the one in three, it is impossible to separate Christ and the Father in nature or essence even though they have different functions. Jesus is a mirror reflection of the attitudes and actions of the father.
How literal is it when Papa said “we are all in him”?
A Totally literal. Any good theology of the trinity has contradictions and no doubt some inaccuracy. The concept is one that is incomprehensible this side of Glory. It works perfectly, exactly how is part of the Mystery of God.
Why did God chose to love Mack? You?
A God loves and is especially fond of all mankind. Unfortunately not all mankind is especially fond of God.
187 Why doesn’t God get exasperated with our continual failures?
A According to Romans 8 28ff, the ultimate fate of all God’s children who come to him is inseparable Love and being conformed to the likeness of Jesus. Each failure is viewed in the light of the eventual eternal success. In scientific testing, each failed attempt brings the scientist one step closer to the final accomplishment. God can glory in the process (v28) be it failure or success knowing the final outcome is eternally secure. There is nothing to get exasperated about.
What is Guilt good for? (hint, it’s the same as the 60’s war song, WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! HUH!)
A Don’t be shy, sing it with me!
Why will guilt prevent us from finding freedom in Christ?
A Guilt focuses on external performance. Freedom is found in internal relationships. Guilt makes us work harder to get what cannot be earned, only received.
What does it mean to “hide in lies”?
A The chief lie is “my way”. The lie that we can somehow manage life independent of the only source. The lie that we know what is best for ourselves. The lie that God is anything but what he claims to be, Our loving father. The lie that I can make it on my own. Lies are any ideology, plan, practice, method, path, direction that does not have God’s love and relationship with me at its core.
What lies do people typically hide in?
Hide from who for what?
A Mostly we lie to ourselves because we want to pretend we have a security/power that does not exist. The truth is we are sinners, failures, completely and undeniably incompetent to live this life alone. We want the security and approval of others around us to leave our inner lies unchallenged, so we all agree to the same lies that no one really believes, but most readily accept.
In what way is a lie a “little fortress”?
A It provides a safe place of retreat from the probing spirit. We justify our actions with a noble sounding purpose that is really another brick in our fortress of lies.
How was Mack lying about not telling Nan about the note?
Do you ever lie to yourself just to feel better or avoid some internal pain or conflict? How’s that working for you?
What was Papa’s cure for lies?
A Tell the truth, unvarnished, plain as simple.
How is Papa bigger than lies? What does that mean?
A Although lies hurt people, Papa is still in absolute charge and will weave any fractal into a beautiful scene.
189 Why will faith not “grow in the house of uncertainty”?
A Faith is a risk, what if God fails? It is a key ingredient in pleasing God according to Heb 11. To tell the truth, Mack must believe God will work it all out in spite of or because of anyone’s reactions.
Papa said: “my life inside of you / will appropriate risk and uncertainty / to transform you / by your own choices / into a truth teller”. Break the meaning and process of this down section by section.
A My life: The miracle of the new birth. Colossians 1: 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. COL 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Will appropriate: Phil 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Transform you: RO 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
By your own choices: Matt. 4: 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
MT 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." MT 19:22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Into a truth teller: RO 9:1 I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit-
Mack asked for forgiveness, Papa said “did that a long time ago…..ask Jesus, he was there.
What is our imaginary independence?
A The deep seated conviction that I have or soon will have everything under control.
How is Love a lot bigger than stupidity?
A Romans 8:28
If you have been really stupid, does that mean you are really, really loved?
A Luke 7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Compare question with Jesus statement about the woman who anointed him with oil.

What did Papa do with Mack’s choices? What does he do with yours? All of them?
A Romans 8:28
Does Papa use pain to force people back to himself?
A True love never, ever, not even once for a really good reason forces. It always offers, the choice is ours.
190 How many people do you know are “lost in your perceptions of reality and yet so sure of your own judgments”?
A Every last person who is not living loved in a personal relationship with Jesus.
What does true love never do? Why not?
A never forces because then it would not be love. Love offers itself up to and including the cross.
Where is the flaw in Mack’s logic for God’s permitting evil to continue: “the consequences of our selfishness are part of the process that brings us to the end of our delusions, and helps us find you?
Make a list of all the evils and tragedies God has prevented in the last 6 months.
Where does evil find its source?
What would happen if God divinely eliminated the source?
“If I take away the consequences of peoples choices, what is destroyed? Why?
A Love, forced love is no love at all
Why does man have a small view of what it means to be human. What does it mean to be human? Is that a big deal?
A Man is the pinnacle of creation and regardless of the depth of the fall, man is still loved .
What are the possibilities for man in Papa’s view of being human?
191 You demand your independence, but then you complain when I actually love you enough to give it to you.
How does Papa define his purposes?
A An expression of His love. All things must unfold.
Why must all things be permitted to unfold?
A Bring life out of death, order out of chaos, freedom from bondage
What did Jesus accomplish in dying? (Wayne Jacobsen’s He Loves Me; Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection is a MUST READ follow-up to the Shack. Ch. 14-16 takes a deeper look into exactly what happened on the cross. The official Shack Study guide will expand on this subject.)
What links our purpose and your destiny forever? Why? How?
A Jesus is the link, everything is about him. How? The cross made it possible to restore the original order of things.
What is God’s plan B?
What did Jesus dying on the cross accomplish? For WHO?
A Reconciliation to the whole world. Some have suggested that The Shack argues for universal salvation of all mankind here, but that is NOT what it says. It is a two way street, man must come to God freely of his own volition.
How big a risk did God take in the offer?
According to Papa, The nature of love is to do what? Do you agree or disagree, why?
A Open the door.

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