- What was something you were really into but your interest or availability to do that thing has faded over time?
- Why did that thing fade away?
Read and Discuss
18 While he was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back.” 20 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” 21 But he strictly warned and instructed them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “It is necessary that the Son of Man suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.”
- Why did Jesus first ask his disciples who other people thought He was?
- How does Peter know that Jesus is the Messiah?
- Who do people that don’t follow Jesus say He is?
- Who do you say Jesus is?
- Why is it important to know Jesus’ identity?
- If there are people around you who don’t know who Jesus is, how could you help them understand?
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25 For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.
- What is Jesus telling people about following Him?
- What does it mean to deny yourself?
- How can you take up your cross daily?
- Why does someone who saves their life actually lose it?
- When it comes to your identity, why is it scary to deny yourself?
- What is one way you can deny yourself this week?
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
- What does Paul say about the identity of those who belong to Christ?
- How can you live by the Spirit and keep in step with Him?
- If we are striving to live by the Spirit, how might being conceited, provoking others, and envying sneak in to that?
- What are some ways you can make sure your passions and desires are from the Lord and not your own flesh?
- What is one way your identity can line up more with Jesus this week?
Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Thank the Lord for giving us a new identity in Him
Adoration- Worship the Lord for being the Messiah
Confess to the times you’ve tried to find your identity in things other than Jesus
Others- Pray for those trying to find meaning, purpose, and their identity in the things of the world. Ask the Lord to let you have a conversation with someone this week who is struggling with their identity.
Self- Ask the Lord to help you deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Him.
Why is it so hard for me to find my identity in Christ? In my head, I know He is the Creator so He knows how life works best. But I fight it. There is a part of me that wars against giving God complete control. What makes me so afraid?
Part of it is fear of missing out. There is a lie in my brain that a life surrendered to Christ is boring. So I tell myself that I’ll have some fun first, then completely follow Jesus.
Another part that makes me afraid is what people will think of me. Will they still like me if I’m Christ-centered in all I do?
The third thing that makes me afraid is I feel like I will lose who I am if I deny myself, die to myself, and let Christ be in control.
Deep down I know these things aren’t true. Actually, a life lived in full surrender to Jesus is a more real, fulfilling life than anything I can come up with on my own. So it boils down to selfishness. Belief that I can do better than God can. Yet, the more I chase my identity in anything other than Jesus Christ Himself, the more empty and unfulfilled I become.
Lord, help me to surrender completely to You. Take away my fear. Take away these doubts. I give my life to You. Take and do with me what You will. Amen.