Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Embracing Obscurity- Chapter 4

(A few friends and I are reading this book together. Each week we are reading one chapter. On Fridays, I am posting my comments, then giving them the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)

Chapter 4: Embracing Significance

- In this chapter the author show that embracing obscurity does not exclude us from having significance.  Instead, he points to the Scriptures to show where we can find true significance and not the pseudo-significance that the world often chases.

- The thought that "we are the object of His desire" (Page 57) is mind-boggling enough.  However, the thought that I am the object of His desire is even less understandable.  I can somewhat see why God would pursue mankind- His creation in general, but what a blessing that He pursues me individually!  What a great God we have!

- In the chapter, the author gives five principles that point us to true significance:
1. We have been created by God.
- "Only God has ultimate, eternal significance, and the only way we mortals get it is by joining our lives to His."  (Page 59)
2. At salvation, God gave the Holy Spirit to live within us.
3. Jesus Christ calls us His bride.
- We find significance through His love and through the relationship we have with Him.
4. God has adopted us made us His heirs. 
- Our inheritance includes resurrection from the dead, a new body, and an eternal home with our Savior.
- "You, who have absolutely no right to anything of God's, share in everything He is and owns."  (Page 63)
5. God has something for us to do.
- "The visibility of our part stops being such a big deal, as the reality of being on the cast at all sinks in." (Page 67)  I find it so easy to compare my "role" with those of others, and always find something in their role that I would wish for my role.  This pointed me to the fact that when I do that, I am showing my ungratefulness for God's grace in my life and my discontentment with what He has given me.

- The section about our value prompted some questions in my mind.  He made the case for us having inherent value by being in Christ, a value that is outside ourselves.  Is there a difference then between value and usefulness?  If the author is correct, then would we say that my life has value regardless of what I do, but I am more useful to God when I obey?  I am not sure if my questions arise from my own faulty mindset or my incorrectly processing the thoughts he presented.  Do you see what I'm getting at?  Anyone have thoughts on this?

- In the discussion questions, he asked which source of significance means the most to me personally.  I think the one that stood out to me the most was the first one- God created me.  More specifically, I appreciated the thought that only God has inherent eternal significance, but He gives that to us when we become His.  I am thankful for that encouragement.

- Once we understand the source of true significance, we each can more easily and more heartily embrace obscurity!

I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapter 3
Discussion on Chapter 5

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