The New You
Proverbs 16:18 reminds us “Pride goes before destruction”. Pride leads us to believe that we can, and should be able to, navigate the temptations and trials of life. We fail to turn to God, we fail to recognize our enemy is out to destroy us through our pride of life. Join us this Sunday as Peter closes his letter by reminding us we need to live on guard for the work of God’s enemy and remain humble before God for our deliverance from all of life’s trials and suffering.
God cares about how we lead others for Him, as well as how we respond to the leaders God raises up in His church. The relationship of shepherds and sheep was one of sacrifice for a shepherd, and one of complete trust of the sheep. As God’s church today, our leaders are called to lead gently, and the church family is called to follow humbly, as a testimony to how Jesus shepherds us, and we follow Him.
Insults will follow the name of Jesus in our day, as it did in His own. Peter reminds us, however, that what the world intends to bring us down in shame, God will lift up to His glory. Join us as we study God’s words of encouragement in our times of testing.
If you had all the money in the world and had one day to live, what would you do? Peter is reminding us we are “short-timers” on this earth. God is in the final stages of bringing his judgment upon all the sinfulness, brokenness and evil of the world. Because of our faith in Jesus, we will not be facing that judgment. We are reminded this morning of God’s desire to use all that we are and all that we have in ways that He will be glorified, in the final days.
Thinking Like Jesus
Jesus was not looking forward to the suffering He would endure on the cross, but He knew it was the path of victory over sin for us. Consequently, Jesus remained faithful to God’s Will and never allowed Himself to fall to the temptations of the enemy to live for Himself – seeking the power, privilege and pleasures of this world. God reminds us of our calling to take on the mindset of Jesus as we navigate the temptations of the world, trading the desires of the world, for the Will of God.
When we made our decision to follow Jesus, we were stepping out of the world’s ways and into new ways that cause the world to wonder why we are the way we are. The world is threatened because the light Jesus brought into the world reveals the depths of darkness in which the world is living. Our lives as new creations in Jesus will inevitably raise the question of why we choose to follow Him, serve others, and put aside self. Peter reminds us to be prepared with the answer to the inevitable question – but he reminds us the manner in which we give the answer will be as important as the answer itself.
As a new creation in Jesus, we are expected to relate to one another in new ways; we are expected to place our unity in Christ ahead of our earthly desire for the things of “self”. The new you requires a new mindset – one focused on unity in the body of Christ, love for our brothers and sisters in Jesus, and one that keeps us in a posture of humble servanthood towards one another.
Submission is not a word that we like – unless we are the one being submitted to. Peter presents our calling to submit to others as a testimony to the submission of Jesus to the suffering of the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. What the world sees as an act of surrender, God uses to bless and claim victory.
When we were born again through our faith in Jesus, we were born into a new Kingdom – God’s Kingdom. Peter reminds us this week, as new creations in Christ, we are only passing through this world, and that as ambassadors for Jesus passing through this world, we need recognize our calling is to live in a way that will bring God glory.
The New You
Peter describes us as “living stones”, a “spiritual house”, a “holy, royal priesthood”, a “holy nation”, a “chosen race”, and “a people for God’s own possession”. These are powerful descriptors – ones that could easily go to our heads, if we do not recognize the purpose for which all these descriptions apply to us. Peter reminds us as a new creation in Jesus, God intends for us to “declare His excellencies.” God has built us up and set us apart for His Glory. In our message today, God wants us to remember who we were, who we are, and why we are who we are today in Jesus – in order to declare the excellencies of God.