1.04 The Lordship of Jesus Christ over everything - including over your Uni degree

Thinking about life as a student in healthcare

It has been said that we are all built to worship something/someone and that the human heart is a perpetual factory of idols.

  • In your own words, define what you understand an idol or god to be.
  • Using your definition, do idols exist in the environment of your clinical placement?

Significantly, we can end up serving idols in the absence of conscious decision making.

  • Have any of the idols you identified in your clinical environment become ‘god’ to you? To consider this, spend a few minutes answering these diagnostic questions for, ‘What is my ‘god’?
    • What do you daydream about?
    • What would make you happy?
    • What’s your greatest nightmare?
    • What makes you the most worried?
    • What makes you feel worthwhile?

What does God have to say?

Read Deuteronomy 1:1; 6:1-3; 6:20-25

  • Who is speaking to whom? What's the purpose of this speech?

Deuteronomy is Moses' heartfelt speech to the whole nation of Israel, on the eve of their entry into the Promised Land. They're ex-slaves of Egypt who are now free! But after the tragedy of their disobedience and wandering in the desert for 40 years, Moses wants this new generation not to make the same mistake, not to forget their past, their God and all he's done for them, but to remember & be obedient, so that they will experience blessing in the Promised Land.

  • Read Deuteronomy 6:4-19, but focus on 6:13-15. What two choices do the Israelites have? What does it mean to fear God?
  • What do you think an Israelite parent could do if their child was fed up of fearing God & interested in doing their own thing? (see 6:20-25) What have they forgotten? Where does the motivation come from to live as God wants?
  • What are the similarities between 21st century Christians and the ex-slave Israelites of thousands of years ago? (Compare Deuteronomy 6:20-23 with Colossians 1:9-14, 21-23.) Consider:
    • What have we been rescued from?
    • Who rescued us?
    • Who do we live to please? 
    • What is different about our situation? 

Putting it into practice

Though we haven't been physically rescued from slavery under a military regime into a new nation-state overflowing with physical abundance, every Christian has been just as spectacularly rescued from spiritual slavery (we are utterly powerless to save ourselves from the kingdom of darkness). Jesus has humbly and powerfully come to free us, so now we live to please him, above everyone and everything else. EVERYTHING! We are called to live distinctively amongst a world that worships so many other gods, and worship Jesus alone. The Israelites became tempted, so are we...

  • Your Christian friend (or you!) is drifting from a fear of God; you can tell their heart is more captured by other things. How could you re-ignite a fear of God, without guilt? What can this Christian group do, to encourage each other to have a heart captured by Jesus? 
    As you discuss this reconsider Deuteronomy 6:20-25.
  • How might living with Jesus as your ‘god’, make you distinctive from other students/workers in the way you relate to classmates, your family, your Christian family - 
    • At exam time when everyone's in the library 14 hours per day?
    • When the budget is tight?
    • When in clinic/on the wards stressed, as cases you need to fulfil your requirements continue to ‘fall through’?
    • When on a ward round/in clinic with your registrar/consultant, feeling the pressure to impress?
  • If some other 'gods' have been diagnosed in your heart today, don't miss the opportunity to talk to God about it… about why those other things are so attractive, knowing that even if you're not ready to give them up - he knows this, yet still welcomes you!