Grow Deep - Spiritual Conversations Edition - Week 4
Week 4: February 23-29
A Conversation of Two Crosses
Memory Verse: “We were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
2 Peter 1:18-19 ESV
It was above and beyond anything they had ever even imagined … light … dazzling white clothes … streams of glory. That’s what Peter, James and John experienced on the mountaintop where Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. While they were there, Peter—bold, brash, jump-right-in Peter—wanted to build three shelters. Perhaps he wanted to stay there. Perhaps he wanted to “memorialize” that moment when he witnessed the majesty and glory of heaven displayed in the person of Jesus.
And how about you? Are you really any different from Peter? Don’t you want to hang on to your “mountaintop” experiences with Jesus? Don’t you want to capture those times when you feel His presence in a deeper, more intimate way? I do! But God doesn’t want us to build monuments; He wants us to be encouraged and strengthened on the mountaintop. He wants us to listen to Him and follow Him down the mountain into the valleys.
It’s in the valleys where there is work to do. It’s in the valleys where everyday life happens. It’s in the valleys where Jesus was called to carry the burden of our sin on Calvary’s cross. It’s in the valleys where Jesus calls us to pick up our own crosses and follow Him. Jesus came down from the mountain to serve people. He touched them, He loved them, He spoke to them. And as cross-carrying disciples, Jesus calls us to do that, too. He calls us to carry His message of grace and love into our relationships and into our everyday conversations.
Today we stand on the doorstep of the liturgical season of Lent. Let God’s Word speak to you and flow into your conversations this week as we journey with Jesus toward the cross.
Sunday, February 23
Read: 2 Peter 1:18-19
“We were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” ESV
Reflect: How does “paying attention” to the prophetic Word make a difference in your daily conversations? How should it impact your everyday conversations? How can you pay attention more fully to God’s Word every day?
Monday, February 24
Read: John 3:16
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” ESV
Reflect: What is a distinguishing characteristic of God’s love? How is it different from our love for one another? How can that difference become a catalyst for a spiritual conversation with another believer? With an unbeliever?
Tuesday, February 25
Read: John 3:17
“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” ESV
Reflect: What one word stands out to you in this verse? What does it mean to be condemned within the context of this verse? Why is that an important understanding to share with someone?
Wednesday, February 26 (Ash Wednesday)
Read: Matthew 16:24
“Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.’” ESV
Reflect: What is the cost of following Jesus? What does it mean to deny yourself in everyday life? How can spiritual conversations with other Christians encourage you?
Thursday, February 27
Read: Philippians 2:4-5
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mindset among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” ESV
Reflect: Why is it so hard to put the interests of others above our own? When we do, what is the resulting impact in our families? Our churches? Our communities? How are you encouraged to engage with others in spiritual conversations after reflecting on these verses? How do these verses explain, in part, what it means to be a cross-carrying disciple of Jesus?
Friday, February 28
Read: Philippians 2:6-7
“Though He was in the form of God, [He] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” ESV
Reflect: What do these verses tell you about Jesus? How can you emulate the actions of Jesus as described in these verses?
Saturday, February 29
Read: Philippians 2:8-9
“Being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.” ESV
Reflect: Jesus humbled Himself, was obedient, and God lifted Him up. In what one way can you be obedient today? How does His humility and obedience encourage you to include Him in your spoken conversations today?