Friday, October 2, 2015
Touching Base - Part 282
4 Oct 15
TOUCHING BASE 282
Series: Living in the Margins
Part 2 -
1 Peter 1:3-12
During our series, Living in the Margins, based on the book of 1 Peter, we are going to be turning our Touching Base into a prayer guide. This aligns with how we want people to be growing at Bethel. Being prayerfully engaged is one of the marks of a disciple, it characterized Jesus’ life and ministry and is essential as we learn to walk with Jesus. We encourage you to use this prayer tool in your Life Groups, and in your personal prayer time.
What would you say to a person (on Sunday we called her Lucy) whose expectations have been crushed by the weight of reality? Do we say, “Pray and God will turn it all around?” “You deserve better so expect better.” “Suck it up Lucy and live with the bitter pill of your reality.” What does Peter say to a group of believers who might say “we did not sign up for this!” Peter’s audience are not living where they want to live, they are Jews scattered across the Roman Empire. Their RBC account might be floating belly up, but there is another account that Peter reminds them of, an account that speaks of their true wealth. This account reminds them of their true riches regardless of life circumstances. Let’s pray together into this all important issue for ourselves and those around us. As you pray think about this question, what account are you living out of?
Text: 1 Peter 1:3-12
V.3—12 Note that Peter starts right off with telling them WHO, not what, is praiseworthy. We live in a WHAT-focused world, but this is a WHO-focused account. He does not tell them things will turn around, although they might, but that is not his point. His point is to remind them of their wealth. As a group or alone, take some time to review v.3-12 and discuss key terms that describe this account that Peter is talking about. How would you describe it? How is the WHO described? What is our response to be? What did the prophets think of the WHO? Also think about how this account is so different than the account our culture lives out of, which is focused in on the WHAT! For example, where the original audience was concerned, their world did not extend to them a lot of mercy, their identities were beaten down and their hope was, for the most part, dead. That account amounted to pennies. Once you have discussed, pray back v3-12 with words of thanks and praise. Here are some definitions of some of the key words:
Mercy -- mercy refers to God’s unmerited favor toward sinners in their hopeless condition. One of the big differences in this account is that what is in it, is what God has put in it. The other account often represents what I have earned, worked for, think I deserve etc.
Born Again -- this can be a politicized phrase in our current day, but biblically it means a radical change of state, referencing a change of spiritual state reminding them of their new identity. Their first birth brought them into a world of chaos and injustice. Their second birth brought them into the Kingdom of God. Their first birth reminds them that the world has crushed them and circumstances have demoralized them, but their second birth reminds them of their new spiritual identity - something Peter will touch on later.
Living Hope -- note that this is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Contrast this with their dead hope. For many today, what represents a dead hope?
Inheritance that does get moldy (my words) -- note the cumulative emphasis Peter gives to this by using three key adjectives to describe this inheritance.
Guarded -- The word guarded is a military word. Another exciting aspect about this account and our future inheritance is that God is guarding us for it. As you could imagine, many of these persecuted Christians were kept from their earthly inheritance because of the “scattering” (1 Pet 1:1) or because it had been taken by the Romans. Some had even died for the faith, and therefore, could not receive the earthly inheritance of their fathers or grandfathers. However, the believer’s inheritance is different. God is guarding us for it.
On Sunday we talked about Lucy. Lucy represents people who have put all of their hope in the wrong account and experienced huge disappointment. Her expectations were for a full account but her reality is that it is loose change. Take some time to brainstorm on her dilemma. What does she feel, think, how does she act? How radically would her heart change if she was able to live out of the account that Peter is talking about? Got any Lucys in your life? Take some time as a group to pray for these folks. These may be believers or non believers who are living out of the wrong account.
Be blessed by God, not stuff! Live out of the right account.