I know this is late getting to you. I've been horribly distracted by the sweetest little face. I promise I'll try not to use that excuse too often.
I did enjoy our last lesson but I feel like there's a couple of verses I just glossed over. Verse 7 says "The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so you can pray". And then verse 8 tells us "above all love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins". In my head I want those to be two separate thoughts but I've come to realize how closely they're linked together.
Jesus said "Lo I am coming soon" but He didn't say how soon. He intentionally said He wouldn't tells us when because He knows us. If He mailed to me a post card the said "Look up in the sky next Wednesday" It's not likely I'd spend the next week and a half cleaning up my act. I'm a great procrastinator . I keep my house a few steps above being condemned most of the time and then clean like a mad woman in the hours before company arrives. What makes me think I'd start sooner if I knew I had 10 days until Jesus.
If we link those verses we see a different picture. Since Jesus could literally show up any minute for a second time we should be consciously thinking of all those people in our lives who haven't yet grasped that Jesus was real the first time He came. We should love them so deeply that it hurts our hearts when we think of being in Heaven without them.
I consider how many times I asked God to give me the right words to make my husband come to Christ. I can't even count them because I took to heart the verse that said "pray without ceasing". I so wanted God to change him. When I truly love deeply I see my own need to change. Now my prayers are more often for God to change my heart so I can be a suitable helpmate while I'm waiting for God to soften his heart to be more receptive to truth when he hears it. And then I allow God's love to cover my sin of pride. It's crazy to think I'm the only one to lead Peter to Jesus. His love covers a multitude of sins and I've got plenty of those. Pride is just the tip of the iceberg.
Love, as always, Renée
Now on to this week's lesson:
Read 1 Peter 5:1-14
Memory verse 5:8 " Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"
1. Who in God's flock have you been called to serve?
2. What is your attitude like as you serve them?
3. What aspect of your service attracts others to God?
4. We've spent a lot of time in this study considering submission and here we go again. How well did you submit to your elders in your younger days and how does that compared the way you submit now?
5. Vs 6 tells us that if we humble ourselves under God's hand He will lift us up in due time. How would you describe that waiting time betweeen your humbling and your lifting?
6. How have you experienced God's care in anxious moments?
7. Do you find it easy to let go of anxiety? Why or why not?
8. Who in your life most needs to hear the truth that Satan is real and takes great joy in devouring is?
For personal growth: I see a lot about attitudes in the way Peter closes this letter, especially when he asks that we care for those under us "..not because you must but because you are willing". Is your service something you must do? What are you doing right now that you think nobody else can do? Is it because no one else has your unique skills or because no one else does it your way? How clear are you that you've been specifically called to your current service? How will you know when you've been called out? What steps are you taking to prepare others to take over for you? And since God's servants don't retire, where might God be calling you to serve next?
For the good of the group: Peter credits Silas with being a faithful brother. Who is you most faithful brother or sister?