We have come to a turning point in our story. Everything leading up to this point was the story of Obscurity; now, we will be following the story of Jewel.
Before we do, I thought it would be good and appropriate to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve read so far. Just like I did on Day 7, I have created some questions based on the readings. You can use them for personal reflection or group discussion. If you have older children who have been reading along, this is a great opportunity to show them where this story can be found in Scripture.
1) In Day 8, the prince and Obscurity have a conversation about the difference between shame and being sorry (repentance). Have you ever thought about the difference between those two words? Read 2 Corinthians 7:8-10. Here, Paul is talking to the Corinthians about the sorrow they felt when he confronted them about their sin. What is the difference between godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world?
2) Day 9 talks about the prince’s kingdom. Why is it important that the prince’s castle can be seen by everyone in the Enchanter’s kingdom? Read Romans 1:19-20 for a clue.
3) I spend some time talking about work in Day 9. Summarize my description. Do you think your labor is important? Do you think it brings glory to God? If it doesn’t, why not? Do you wonder if your particular role is more or less important than others? Is this attitude correct? If you’re not sure, check out 1 Corinthians 12, particularly verses 20-26. Now read Ephesians 4:11-16. What does God’s Word say is the purpose for these differences among us?
4) Depending on your understanding of man in relationship to God, you may have had a hard time with Obscurity’s complete lack of redeemable qualities. I chose to make her the most vile creature the people had ever seen to highlight the fact that we can offer nothing to God in exchange for our salvation. We owe Him everything, and if we boast, it is in what He has done in and through us. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 is a great reminder of who we were before Christ, and who gets the credit for the person we are after.
5) How do you react when sinners come to church? If you see a man who obviously hasn’t taken a shower in days, or woman who looks strung out, or a gaggle of neighborhood kids who are rude and disruptive during the service, how is your heart toward them?
6) The prince’s marriage vows came from Hosea 2:19-20, Deuteronomy 31:6, and Matthew 28:20. It was important to me to include the words of Hosea because they are a love song to a harlot. Over and over again, God compares His people to a harlot because over and over again, we leave our Prince to seek out idols of our own. But God chose us, knowing who we are, and redeemed us anyway. It is an amazing story!
7) What is the importance of name? Your parents gave you a name when you were born, but what about the name inside your head? Maybe it is something good like Mommy, Artist, or Joy-filled. Or perhaps it is a name you wear with shame: Can’t-Have-Children, Chronic Spender, Lazy. One of the great promises of the Bible is that God is going to give us each a new name, one that speaks of our true identity in Him. Isaiah 62:2 is one of those promises. You can read Revelation 2:17, 3:12 as well. God already knows your name! What do you long to hear Him call you?
8) The praises of the people reach all the way to the Enchanter’s kingdom. Praise the Lord. When we praise the Lord, even in whispers, the enemy hears it in shouts, and he trembles. Psalm 150 is a very short, but very powerful reminder that we should give thanks to God in everything. “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!”
9) Make an effort to remember both sides of your story today. You cannot have the Jewel without the Obscurity. Be reminded of the awesome, incomprehensible love of God toward you!
10) My prayer for us today comes from Paul, who more than anyone else in Scripture, knew how to pray for those who were once in darkness. He himself was a vile offender, the worst of sinners, a persecutor of the church, but Jesus found him and rescued him and gave him a new name. Hear what he has to say to all of us.
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.
Ephesians 3:14 – 21
*Join us tomorrow for Day 13