The pattern of my life is not pleasing to God.
But Jesus pleased him to the fullest extent possible. (Mark 1:11)

I don’t make much of an effort to spend time alone with God. I don’t think praying with God is a good use of my time.
But Jesus got up early and left everything to be with God. He was convinced that God would lend his limitless power to those who pray. (1:35; 9:29; 11:22–24)

I want people to think highly of me. I want to get them to do the things I want so that I will feel happy and fulfilled.
But Jesus put other people first and saw himself as their servant. (9:33–37; 10:35–45)

I like to supplement God’s law with a few of my own.
But Jesus refused to accept any manmade law that interfered with God’s will. (7:1–13)

I’d rather keep my life back for myself instead of giving it to God.
But Jesus gave up his life, submitting to the will of God. (8:34–38)

I like using my time and money in intelligent and practical ways.
But Jesus prefers inefficient and awkward displays of devotion to him. (14:3–9)

I only like to do God’s will if it’s easy.
Jesus was willing to do God’s will even if it meant being abused and forsaken by everyone he knew and loved. (14:36)

I tend to get focused on the daily grind, on projects and goals and minor details.
But Jesus cared about people and wanted to save them. (1:17)

I prefer simple, rigid rules and laws.
But Jesus understood that God’s law is all about giving people what is good for them. (2:23–28; 3:1–6)

I don’t want to allow suffering people to complicate my life.
But Jesus acted out of pity for them even if it inconvenienced him. (1:40–45)

I like being around attractive, well-mannered people who have their lives together.
But Jesus would much rather be around dirty, messed-up sinners. (2:13–17)

I don’t think about other people’s needs; I’m obsessed with my own needs.
Jesus was concerned about other people’s needs for food and rest. (6:31; 8:2)

I don’t worry much about people who have no spiritual leader.
Jesus longed to fill the void for people who didn’t know he was the Good Shepherd they should follow. (6:34)

I focus on physical problems more than the real problem of sin in my life. I don’t think it’s a big deal.
But Jesus knew that sin was the most fundamental problem that people have. He was horrified at the danger which sin posed to people and the judgment they would face for it. (2:4; 9:42–50)

I tend to think of myself as a pretty decent person who sometimes does bad things.
Jesus knew that people are rotten deep down and that bad things come from bad hearts. (7:14–23)

I keep thinking I can get eternal life by being a well-mannered, well-meaning person.
But Jesus knew that only humble, childlike, desperate people will enter the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:13–31)

I want to exclude people who don’t belong to my church or theological tradition.
But Jesus knew that God’s kingdom includes people who aren’t just like me. (9:38–41)

I don’t like it when people challenge my ideas about who God is and how he acts.
But Jesus loved to turn people’s beliefs about God upside down. (12:35–37)

Sometimes I get into arguments with stubborn people who refuse to change their minds.
But Jesus knew when it wasn’t worth the fight. (8:11–13)

I shy away from demanding change from people who need to change.
But Jesus was bold in proclaiming repentance and the gospel. (1:15)

I’d rather back down when confronted by spiritual forces that hate me and people who don’t want me around.
Jesus beat up the spiritual forces and rescued a suffering man. (5:1–20)

I often don’t know how to respond when people challenge my beliefs about God.
But Jesus knew exactly how to challenge the mindset of his accusers. (11:27–12:34)

I’m easily impressed by religious people and powerful institutions made by men.
But Jesus couldn’t stand religious people and declared that the kingdoms of man would be torn to the ground. (12:38–13:37)

I sometimes worry that the church will eventually be smothered by the world.
But Jesus was confident that he is stronger than Satan. (3:23–27)

I don’t get upset when people treat casually the things God says are holy.
But Jesus became incensed when he saw the temple treated as a marketplace. (11:15–17)

I treat marriage casually, as simply another important relationship in life.
But Jesus insisted that marriage was God’s special creation. (10:1–12)

I’m not so sure that God will always be there to rescue me.
Jesus wasn’t bothered by little things like life-threatening storms. (4:35–41; 6:45–52)

I doubt that God has much power to heal people who are sick or raise the dead to life.
Jesus himself has the power to heal chronic illness and raise the dead. (5:21–43)

What wondrous love, what mysteries
In this appointment shine:
My breaches of the law are his,
And his obedience mine!
—John Newton

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