Thursday, October 8, 2015

Touching Base - Part 283

11 Oct 15
Series: Living in the Margins
Part 3 -
When the Who Makes a Difference in My How!
1 Peter 1:13-25

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.

Perhaps you used last week’s TB as a prayer tool in your Life Group or in your personal prayer time. Well, this week’s TB might help you walk out some of what you prayed into last week. Peter moves into the next section with, “therefore”, in other words now that I have said what I have said, here are some of the “so what’s”! Here are some ways you can flesh this out. In other words the WHO, referring to God and all He has done (v.3-12) needs to make a big difference in HOW you and I live. FAITH HAS FEET, and Peter is about to get somewhat specific in what that can look like. Use Peter’s instruction to help shape your prayer time and discussion time this week.

Anticipate (v.13) - Therefore, preparing your minds for action….

To prepare is to plan in advance. We all prepare at the simplest level, i.e. packing my daily lunch, to the more complex level, planning for a strategic meeting. Note that the mind is to be prepared, not for just pie-in-the- sky, up-in-the-clouds thinking but boots on the ground - FOR ACTION. In other words we ANTICIPATE, we look ahead (with a keen mind) to the path we are setting out on. One way we can do that each and every day is through prayer. Note v.17 where Peter talks about calling on the Father.

Principle - It is what you do before the moment that helps prepare you for that moment!
Think of a situation coming up this week - How will you respond differently if you anticipate? What do you need to be aware of, how can you best “pack” for that meeting, altercation, project? How can you pray about that right now?

Differentiate-…. and being sober minded….

Sober means to not be drunk. Peter is using this idea figuratively, referring to intoxicating thoughts, inebriating thinking patterns. Faith that has feet not only anticipates, but differentiates and distinguishes between Drink’n Think’n and Godly Thinking! Note the references to Drink’n Think’n in v.1:14b, 18; 2:1,11; 4:1-5. Anticipate a situation coming up this week. How will you respond differently if you differentiate between Drink’n Think’n and Godly Thinking? How might this inform you on how to pray?

Concentrate - … set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Set means to stand in a specified place or position. Note where we are to stand? You cannot read this without noting context. Our footing needs to be on what God has done (see v.3 these people have been born again and received mercy), is doing (v.2 we are recipients of grace and mercy, v.3, living hope is something that God fills our hearts with today) and will do (v.4-9 and v.13 speak of what we look forward to). In other words we need to concentrate, set our hope fully on all that God has, is and will do! For our faith to have feet we need to stay focused, concentrate, be fully committed to keeping God’s truth in clear view. Note in the text that it is clearly the word of God that defines for us what God has, is and will do for us. (v.22-25) How can you pray for each other in this area of focus? How challenging is it to set your hope FULLY on all God has, is and will do?

Appreciate- v14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,…

Note the statement “passions of your former ignorance.”. I think we would agree that not all passions are equally tempting. Sometimes the passion might have the most power over us is our history with that passion. Unless we appreciate and understand where we are most vulnerable, we may be prone to fail.

Anything we have history with, a past with, may represent an issue we need to be extra cautious of. “Conform” literally means to give the same shape, to comply with. With this understanding would it be fair to say that previous passions have a mold, a shape that they often want to entice us to go back into, a certain mold when it comes to thinking, acting, relating? Agree? We need to appreciate our areas of vulnerability that are unique to us. Faith that has feet is not naive to how old “lovers” may try to seduce us.

Think of a situation coming up in the next few weeks. How will you respond differently if you appreciate your area of vulnerability? How can your prayers be shaped by this point that Peter is making?

Saturate (v.15-16) - …but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.

“In all your conduct” is a pretty all inclusive statement. Faith that has feet realizes that God’s truth impacts every area - total saturation in terms of practically living it out, even with those old “lovers” that may want a pass on being reigned in. Jesus certainly was the example of holiness, where holiness impacted all areas of His life and where holiness was a result of being empowered by the Spirit. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 4:18? “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,…”
Read Matthew 4:1-11 and see Jesus’ holiness in action. Satan’s temptation did not reveal an area in Jesus life that was unyielding. Note his use of the word of God. Take some time to thank Jesus for his example of living a holy life - 100% yielded to the Father!

Congregate (v.22) - Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,…

Often when we think of walking out our faith we think of one set of feet, the (un)holy trinity - me, myself and I . However in order to walk out our faith we need other feet, other sets of eyes and ears and voices in our lives. Peter is addressing a community, people walking out faith issues together in a pretty hostile world. If you are in a group setting, discuss how your community (congregate) helps you walk out your faith. Take some time to thank God for people in your group or outside your group who have been instrumental in helping you put feet to your faith.

Faith has feet. As we anticipate, differentiate, concentrate, appreciate, saturate and congregate, we can live out of the account (v.3-12) that God has asked us to draw from.

Mark Kotchapaw

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