Welcome to week five of “Pursue the Intentional Life”
This week you will need to read:
Chapters 17-20 (p. 111-129)
The key verse(s) for you to memorize and/or meditate on this week are:
Note: No video this week. Will be back next week.
As you jump into chapter 17 this week, you’ll notice it flows out of the previous chapter, as she explores how Jesus’ invitation to “come” (seen in chapter 16), is an invitation to be a lifelong learner–to learn of Jesus, from Jesus, and with Jesus for the rest of our lives. The next three chapters all have a common theme of fruitfulness–each one looking at it from a slightly different vantage point.
Discussion questions for this week will include:
In chapter 17, Jean talks about learning from suffering as Jesus did. Think of an especially painful time in your life. What would you say you learned from this?
On p. 116, Fleming says that fruit is not the goal, but the by-product. What does she mean by this?
On p. 118, she says that “the fruit of righteousness is not about being a good citizen, or living by high ideals, or even striving to be a good Christian; the fruit of righteousness is the observable evidence of the life of God in the soul of man.” What “observable evidence” can be found in your life that points to Christ living in you?
Read John 15:1-17. Based on these verses, what does it mean to abide/remain in Christ? What stood out to you from Fleming’s conversation about this in chapter 19?
On p. 121, Fleming talks about being able to ask God boldly when we are abiding in him. As she mentions there, do you find this kind of bold asking presumptuous? Why or why not?
On p. 128 she says that at every age and stage of life, the Christian’s calling is to help others come to full maturity in Christ. Living out this calling does look different in different ages and stages, and it looks different from person to person based on their personality, interests, and gifts. However, the call remains the same. What does engaging this look like in your life at this time?
On p. 126, Jean addresses a tension between two realities: first, that we can do nothing to effect a spiritual result in another person, but second, at the same we see Paul passionately laboring under great hardship, with great effort and emotion, to present mature believers to Christ. Fleming wonders if perhaps her response to the truth that God alone does the work has led her to be too passive. Think of children, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, and others you long to see enter into a deeper relationship with God. In what ways have you experienced the tension between those two realities in relation to them? How do you navigate this?