january 3/4

MAIN TEXT: 1 PETER 2:10-12

Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

God formed a people for Himself so that they would make much of His name - that they might bring fame to His name in all that they do.

God has shown us mercy through His Son Jesus.  We are His people.  Peter writes in verse 9, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  We are His to make a name for Him.

How do we do this?  How are we to make a name for God?  Verse 10 speaks of who we are and what God has done, verses 11-12 get to the heart of the matter.  These two verses speak of the two battles we are to fight.  One is on the inside, dealing with our passions, and the other is on the outside, concerning our actions.  Let’s take a quick look at these.

 

HEART

Verse 11 speaks of what Peter calls “passions of the flesh” that constantly rise up inside of us.  This is an ongoing battle inside of us, wanting to make much of ourselves and the work of our hands, and instead, we should want to make much of what God has done and who He is.

We must continue to remind ourselves of who we are.  People who are God’s and have been shown great mercy.  This means making God our passion should be what we are all about.  We need to fill our mind with things that exhibit the greatness and truth of God.  Unfortunately, we are a people who naturally tend to what is comfortable, easy and self gratifying.  We must be diligent in cutting out the things in our life that stir up desires that do not bring fame to His name.

 

ACTIONS

As we continue to verse 12, we must recognize that actions are so heavily influenced and directed by our heart’s condition.  This is why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  If the marvelous works of God are going to be made known, and the reputation of God is going to spread, we WILL have to get beyond desires, to deeds that people can see and hear.

Peter makes the case very clear to how we can make a name for God.  He is paraphrasing Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

 

BLESS RHYTHMS

Here is the bottom line: Doing good deeds before an onlooking world is a necessary part of declaring God’s marvelous works and making him a name on the earth.  These good deeds should have purpose, that His name would be made known.  The Bless Rhythms are a tangible way to help bring intentionality to the actions that flow out of our hearts.

We have been blessed through Christ.  May we choose to bless others in our everyday lives with such intentionality that His grace and mercy would be ever apparent.

LET’S BLESS THOSE AROUND US TO MAKE HIS NAME KNOWN

APPLY TO LIFE

This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing as you open God’s Word together.


BLESS RHYTHMS

This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the new commandment “love your neighbor” (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.

Bless
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.

Listen
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.

Eat
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.

Speak
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.

Sabbath
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.

DISCUSS THE MESSAGE

Read: 1 Peter 2:10-12

What does it mean to be the people of God?

In what ways do you see yourself as a part of a community of faith?

How do you bless those in your life?

How does the Gospel become our greatness motivation for doing good deeds?