Life You've Always Wanted Participant's Guide: Six Sessions on Spiritual Discipline for Ordinary People

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Overview

In the six-session small group bible study, The Life You?ve Always Wanted, John Ortberg guides you and your group through the spiritual disciplines and teaches you how they can transform your spiritual life.

What does true spiritual life really look like? And what keeps you from living it? What can you do to pursue it?

If you?re tired of the status quo ? if you suspect there?s more to Christianity than what ...

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The Life You've Always Wanted Participant's Guide: Six Sessions on Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

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Overview

In the six-session small group bible study, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, John Ortberg guides you and your group through the spiritual disciplines and teaches you how they can transform your spiritual life.

What does true spiritual life really look like? And what keeps you from living it? What can you do to pursue it?

If you’re tired of the status quo – if you suspect there’s more to Christianity than what you’ve experienced – John Ortberg invites you to join him on a road to transformation and spiritual vigor that anyone can take.

Cultivate new intimacy and confidence in prayer. Discover the freedom of secrecy. Taste the benefits of slowing life’s frenetic pace. Learn how to be guided by the Holy Spirit…and much more.

As in a marathon, the secret lied not in trying hard, but in training consistently. Proven by followers of Jesus over the centuries, the spiritual disciplines are exercises that strengthen your endurance race on the road to growth.

This Participant Guide is designed for use together with The Life You’ve Always Wanted DVD (sold separately). When used together, they provide you with a practical tool that can grow your faith.

Sessions include:
1. It’s Morphing Time
2. Slowing Down and Celebrating
3. Praying and Confessing
4. Meditating on Scripture and Seeking Guidance
5. Practicing Servanthood, Finding Freedom
6. Going the Distance with a Well-Ordered Heart

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
'John Ortberg takes Jesus' call to abundant living seriously, joyfully, and realistically. He believes human transformation is genuinely possible, and he describes its process in sane and practical ways.' — Richard J. Foster, , Author

'What John learned is transferable to all of us ordinary people—because all his truths are from the Bible. His transparency, honesty, and ability to laugh at himself will show you, his reader, how you, too, have this God-given potential [for change] in you.' — Evelyn Christenson, , Author

'A readable, helpful study of things that Christians have practiced for centuries that modern people need to apply today.' — D. Stewart Briscoe, , Elmbrook Church

'John, in his winsome 'let's sit down and talk about this' style, has crafted a powerfully convicting book on the process of spiritual transformation.' — Dr. Joseph Stowell, , Moody Bible Institute

'John Ortberg opens to us the age-old wisdom of the spiritual disciplines. In a practical, witty, and deeply insightful way, he not only creates in us a hunger for transformation, but paints a brilliantly attractive picture of the life that God can live through us.' — Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., , Professor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310255888
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: Workbook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 308,938
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who is this Man, The Life You've Always Wanted and If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. John and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.

Stephen and Amanda Sorenson are founders of Sorenson Communications and have co-written many small group curriculum guidebooks, including the entire Faith Lessons series.

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Read an Excerpt

The Life You've Always Wanted Leader's Guide

Six Sessions on Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People
By John Ortberg Stephen Sorenson Amanda Sorenson

Zondervan

Copyright © 2004 John Ortberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-25588-0


Chapter One

The good news as Jesus preached it is that now it is possible for ordinary men and women to live in the presence and under the power of God.... It is not about the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven when you die. It human life-your life. It's morphing time.

1. To be transformed means to be changed, and transformation is taking place all around us all the time. What examples of transformation-of any sort-come to mind?

2. What is required for transformations such as those you have mentioned to occur?

3. Although we use the term spiritual transformation, we often use it casually without giving it much thought. Describe what spiritual transformation means to you.

4. What do you consider to be the indicators of spiritual transformation? How can we tell if another person has experienced a spiritual transformation?

Life: disappointment and hope

We shall "morph" indeed

Pseudo-transformation

Trying harder versus training wisely

1. What is the hope of the Christian gospel as John Ortberg describes it?

2. An important concept in The Life You've Always Wanted is that we are always being transformed; we are always changing for better or for worse. This happens physically and, although it's less obvious, spiritually. How might some of our daily practices cause us to be "formed" spiritually in one direction or another?

3. Why did Jesus so strongly challenge pseudo-transformation and the rabbis' "boundary markers" regarding dietary laws, the Sabbath, and circumcision?

4. In what ways does pseudo-transformation creep into churches today, and what are its damaging effects? Can you identify any "boundary markers" in your church?

Pseudo-Transformation vs. Morphing

When our lives are not marked by genuine, God-directed spiritual change, we tend to look for substitute ways to distinguish ourselves from those we consider to be less spiritual. We adopt boundary markers-highly visible, relatively superficial practices intended to quickly separate the "insiders" from the "outsiders." These boundary markers may include conformity to specified forms of dress and speech, adherence to certain rules of behavior, participation in prescribed activities, and so on. They provide a false sense of security and superiority.

The religious leaders of Jesus' day focused a great deal of their attention on boundary markers. Many of their conflicts with Jesus occurred because Jesus took a radically different approach to assessing spirituality. Instead of focusing on visible indicators of spiritual transformation, Jesus focused on what was happening in the heart. His concern was whether or not people were being transformed and growing in their love of God and love of people. His concern was whether or not they were "morphing" into the masterpieces God created them to be.

Let's consider these opposing perspectives on spiritual transformation.

1. Read Matthew 12:1-2; 15:1-2; Luke 18:11-12. Note the types of spiritual behaviors the religious leaders of Jesus' day considered important. What was Jesus' assessment of their spirituality? (See Mark 7:5-8.)

2. What did Jesus say that no doubt shocked the religious leaders? (Read Matthew 21:28-32.)

3. Instead of focusing on external religious practices, what did Jesus emphasize? (Read Luke 10:25-28; John 13:34-35.)

4. What is the evidence of true spiritual transformation in our lives? (Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.)

5. Now let's consider "morphing." The word morph comes from the Greek word morphoo, which means "the inward and real formation of the essential nature of a person." The term was used to describe the formation and growth of an embryo in a mother's body.

The kind of spiritual transformation God wants each of us to experience is a complete "remaking" of our nature. He wants us to see, feel, think, and do what Jesus would if he were in our unique place. What makes such a transformation possible, and why is it important? (See Romans 6:3-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 2:10.)

6. Another form of the word morph is used in the phrase "until Christ is formed in you" in Galatians 4:19. This word, summorphizo, means "to have the same form as another, to shape a thing into a durable likeness."

Our spiritual growth is to be a molding process, a process whereby we are shaped in the image of Christ. Notice what the following verses reveal about the process of spiritual growth God accomplishes within each Christian.

a. Galatians 4:19

b. Colossians 3:5-10

c. 2 Corinthians 3:18

7. In Romans 12:2, Paul used the word metamorphoo, from which we get the English word metamorphosis. The emphasis is that we don't simply learn to do things in a new way, we become the kind of people who are that way. How does this transformation come about?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Life You've Always Wanted Leader's Guide by John Ortberg Stephen Sorenson Amanda Sorenson Copyright © 2004 by John Ortberg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface 7
Session 1: It’s “Morphing” Time 9
Session 2: Slowing Down and Celebrating 29
Session 3: Praying and Confessing 49
Session 4: Meditating on Scripture and Seeking Guidance 67
Session 5: Practicing Servanthood, Finding Freedom 85
Session 6: Going the Distance with a Well-Ordered Heart 103

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First Chapter

It's 'Morphing' Time
SESSION ONE
The good news as Jesus preached it is that now it is possible for ordinary men and women to live in the presence and under the power of God. . . . It is not about the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven when you die. It is about the glorious redemption of human life---your life. It's morphing time. ---John Ortberg
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
1. To be transformed means to be changed, and transformation is taking place all around us all the time. What examples of transformation---of any sort---come to mind?
2. What is required for transformations such as those you have mentioned to occur?
3. Although we use the term spiritual transformation, we often use it casually without giving it much thought. Describe what spiritual transformation means to you.
4. What do you consider to be the indicators of spiritual transformation? How can we tell if another person has experienced a spiritual transformation?
VIDEO OBSERVATIONS
Life: disappointment and hope
We shall 'morph' indeed
Pseudo-transformation
Trying harder versus training wisely
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
1. What is the hope of the Christian gospel as John Ortberg describes it?
2. An important concept in The Life You've Always Wanted is that we are always being transformed; we are always changing for better or for worse. This happens physically and, although it's less obvious, spiritually. How might some of our daily practices cause us to be 'formed' spiritually in one direction or another?
3. Why did Jesus so strongly challenge pseudo-transformation and the rabbis' 'boundary markers' regarding dietary laws, the Sabbath, and circumcision?
4. In what ways does pseudo-transformation creep into churches today, and what are its damaging effects? Can you identify any 'boundary markers' in your church?
LARGE GROUP EXPLORATION
Pseudo-Transformation vs. Morphing
When our lives are not marked by genuine, God-directed spiritual change, we tend to look for substitute ways to distinguish ourselves from those we consider to be less spiritual. We adopt boundary markers---highly visible, relatively superficial practices intended to quickly separate the 'insiders' from the 'outsiders.' These boundary markers may include conformity to specified forms of dress and speech, adherence to certain rules of behavior, participation in prescribed activities, and so on. They provide a false sense of security and superiority.
The religious leaders of Jesus' day focused a great deal of their attention on boundary markers. Many of their conflicts with Jesus occurred because Jesus took a radically different approach to assessing spirituality. Instead of focusing on visible indicators of spiritual transformation, Jesus focused on what was happening in the heart. His concern was whether or not people were being transformed and growing in their love of God and love of people. His concern was whether or not they were 'morphing' into the masterpieces God created them to be.
Let's consider these opposing perspectives on spiritual transformation.
1. Read Matthew 12:1--2; 15:1--2; Luke 18:11--12. Note the types of spiritual behaviors the religious leaders of Jesus' day considered important. What was Jesus' assessment of their spirituality? (See Mark 7:5--8.)
2. What did Jesus say that no doubt shocked the religious leaders? (Read Matthew 21:28--32.)
3. Instead of focusing on external religious practices, what did Jesus emphasize? (Read Luke 10:25--28; John 13:34--35.)
4. What is the evidence of true spiritual transformation in our lives? (Read 1 Corinthians 13:1--7.)
5. Now let's consider 'morphing.' The word morph comes from the Greek word morphoo, which means 'the inward and real formation of the essential nature of a person.' The term was used to describe the formation and growth of an embryo in a mother's body.
The kind of spiritual transformation God wants each of us to experience is a complete 'remaking' of our nature. He wants us to see, feel, think, and do what Jesus would if he were in our unique place. What makes such a transformation possible, and why is it important? (See Romans 6:3--14; 2 Corinthians 5:17--20; Ephesians 2:10.)
6. Another form of the word morph is used in the phrase 'until Christ is formed in you' in Galatians 4:19. This word, summorphizo, means 'to have the same form as another, to shape a thing into a durable likeness.'
Our spiritual growth is to be a molding process, a process whereby we are shaped in the image of Christ. Notice what the following verses reveal about the process of spiritual growth God accomplishes within each Christian.
a. Galatians 4:19
b. Colossians 3:5--10
c. 2 Corinthians 3:18
7. In Romans 12:2, Paul used the word metamorphoo, from which we get the English word metamorphosis. The emphasis is that we don't simply learn to do things in a new way, we become the kind of people who are that way. How does this transformation come about?
Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Excellent!

    This is part of a group program. The full book include more than the participant's guide. But the guide and the program are very good. Thought provoking and easy to understand. John Ortberg does a wonderful job.

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