I love that we've spent the last 5 weeks reading books that seldom get studied. They're just so short and yet each one is packed with nuggets of truth.
Obadiah led us back to an ancient family feud. We saw sibling rivalry taken to the extreme so that 1000 years after Jacob and Esau were born there was still bitter rivalry between the nations each spawned. If only they'd have had a chance to hear Psalm 133 " How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity". We’re lucky. We can read those words, and we have their example of what not to do and the Holy Spirit to convict us when we come close to modeling bad behavior.
We left Edom in the dust and read Philemon, the shortest and most personal of all Paul's letters . We got a little insight into Paul's heart as he begs for leniency for Onesimus based on love. We also saw the depth of Paul's trust as he released his beloved friend back to the slave's former master. He didn't know what the outcome would be, but he knew that God was in control and that was enough.
In John 3 we saw two more examples of godly friendships with Gaius and Demetrius being recognized for their good character Sadly, it wasn't all happy happy joy joy. We also took a good look at Diotrephes and saw him taken to task for his divisiveness. This inspired me to examine my own heart to see how well I build others up and where I allow division to occur because I keep my mouth shut rather than speak out. I'm a work in progress friends.
Then in 2 John and Jude we examined the divisiveness of false doctrine and the dangers of false teaching. Corrupt teachers have a perverted view of God's grace and liberty. They prefer their own ideas to God's truth. Ultimately there's a price to pay and Jude does a good job of reminding his readers that they need to do two things : keep themselves from sin and rescue others from stumbling towards it.
This in part is why I look forward to our next study. Peter does a great job of putting all of this teaching into perspective. I look forward to spending the next several weeks hearing wisdom from a man who could be known as Christ's right hand man from the very beginning. I love that we get to see the after Easter version of the man who fell on his face so often before. And I love that we get to walk through this together. See you each next Tuesday.
Love, as always, Renée
Now on to this week’s lesson
Read 1 Peter 1:1-12
Memory verse 1:8 “ Though you do not see Him you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexplicable and glorious joy”
1. Look at a bible map and try to figure out how far people scattered to practice and protect their faith.
2. Verse 2 speaks of people being chosen according to the foreknowledge if God. Do you believe this means some are not chosen and how does this tie in with your understanding of salvation?
3. Where in your life could you use an abundance of grace and peace?
4. How have you experienced God’s great mercy?
5. How hard is it for you to imagine the permanence of your salvation?
6. Have you ever tried to seal the deal with works or extra effort on your part?
7. How might these words give you the confidence to correct wrong thinking about works-based salvation?
8. Peter speaks of the prophets comforting future believers. Which verse from any Old Testament prophet brings you comfort?
For personal growth: Vs 6 reads “in all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials”. Are you prepared to suffer for your faith? How much are you willing to endure? How much have you endured already? Are you willing to lose friends, family or finances for your faith? When you read about people who are martyred for your faith do you secretly fear you would deny Christ to protect yourself or your loved ones?
For the good of the group:
What does it mean to you to read that our inheritance ( read Salvation) is guarded in Heaven?