WHO I WILL BE
Because of Jesus, we can bring Heaven to Earth. And one day that process will be complete. There will be no more hurt, no more sickness, no more struggle, and no more death. In the ocean of temporal life, we have an eternal anchor in hope, and that is Jesus.
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. If you discovered you won the lottery for one million dollars, what would you do with the money?
2. Where are you in your journey of faith? Are you exploring who Jesus is? Are you growing in your relationship with Him?
3. Read Mark 8:34-36.
-At first glance, Jesus’ words sound contradictory, but how is it possible that losing one’s life in order to follow Jesus is actually saving it?
-How is the call to “deny yourself and take up your cross” countercultural?
-If you take Jesus’ words to heart, would this change your answer to question one? Why or why not?
4. Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. Watch this Bible Project video for background on 2 Corinthians: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/2-corinthians/
◦ Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
▪ Who is talking?
▪ What is the circumstance?
▪ Any repeated phrases?
▪ What surprised you?
▪ What stood out to you?
◦ Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
▪ What questions do you have?
▪ Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
▪ What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
▪ What do you learn about yourself and your choices?
◦ Now make some applications (what’s my response)
▪ How do you respond to what you are reading?
▪ How does this apply to your life?
▪ What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
▪ Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
5. From your study of the passage above, what enables Paul and Timothy to keep following Jesus and preaching the gospel even though they are facing tremendous suffering and persecution because of it?
- If you know and follow Jesus, what obstacles do you face in your life as a result?
- Do you consider your current life as preparation for the life to come? Or, do you tend to treat it like this is all there is?
6. What is one new thing you learned (or needed reminding of) about your identity through this series and how does who Jesus is and what He has done for you impact your understanding of your God-given identity?
7. What is one new thing you can do this week to lead your heart toward surrendering to Jesus and growing in Him so that you might be equipped for the life to come?
Mark 8:34-36 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
2 Corinthians 4:7-18 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
TAKE A NEXT STEP
1. Consider reading through 2 Corinthians on your own alongside this blog post by the Bible Project: https://bibleproject.com/blog/2-corinthians-paradox-cross/
2. Use this bookmark as a reminder of the affirmations that Carlos read on stage: https://www.gatewaychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/This-Is-Who-I-Am-Bookmark.pdf
BOOKMARK TEXT: This is Who I Am…
I am infinitely loved by God.
I am chosen and celebrated.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am worthy of the best that God has for me.
With Him, I have everything that I need.
He never leaves me or forsakes me.
I am able to do hard things because the Lord is with me.
I am not my past and I am hopeful for the future.
I am forgiven.
I am free.
I love the people God has put around me.
I’m here to be a blessing to them.
I choose to live a generous life.
I am a grateful person.
God’s Spirit makes me powerful, not fearful.
He hears me when I call, and He answers me.
When I turn to Him, He makes me new, good, and holy.
I am free from the pressure to perform, because I am saved by grace.
I am valuable and confident.
I am victorious.