:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Peter Chapter 5

vs. 1-4- Directions for Elders

- Peter says that he too is an elder and so therefore, he can give admonition to the elders. He was also an eye witness to the sufferings of Christ, which means he has first hand knowledge of this salvation.

- We will share in the glory when Christ is revealed to the whole world. We as followers of Christ will share in all that Christ is and has because we are joint heirs with Him in the Kingdom of God.

- So elders, care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly. Not because you hope to get anything out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

- John 21:15-19
- Acts 20:18-32

- You know, I just had a conversation with my friend last night about God's callings on our lives in general. And this was kind of the result of that conversation...

- A calling is perpetual. It is something solid that never changes. A calling means that I will do this for the rest of my life. Thus it cannot be an occupation.

I am not called to be a teacher. I am not called to be a wife, nor am I called to be single. I am not called to be a pianist. I am not called to do Sunday school.

All these things can change in an instant. Life is never what we think it is... This is not a calling. This is life. These are methods of doing what I am called to do.

We are called as Christians to be a witness. To be God's reflection. To show love where none has ever existed. To pick up the broken and bleeding and lead them to the healer.

We are called to be in love with God. To focus on Him and only on Him. We are called to desire HIS heart in all matters.

We are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)
We are called to belong to Christ (Romans 1:6)
We are called to be a holy people set apart to God and to live holy lives. (I Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:18, I Thessalonians 4:7, I Peter 3-11, Ephesians 4:1-8)
We are called to be saved (I Corinthians 1:24, I Peter 2:9)
Our calling means that we are to serve God where we are (I Corinthians 7:17)
We are called to live in freedom (Galatians 5:13)
We are called to live in peace (Colossians 3:15, I Peter 3:9)
We are called to share in His Kingdom (I Thessalonians 2:12, Hebrews 9:15, I Peter 5:10)

We may be gifted to do things. Like teach, or preach, or music... But that's not the calling. We are called to a higher purpose than just to do a job here on earth.

To get focused on a calling as an occupation means that you are forever searching and wanting something more than what you have. You are never completely content with what you have because you're always trying to reach a goal that you may never reach...

Ephesians 4 talks about being called by God to be humble, gentle, patient, united with one another in the Spirit, peaceful... called to one glorious hope for the future... And then it goes on to talk about the gifts that Christ gave the church... apostles, prophets, teachers, preachers, evangelists... These were given to equip us to do His work and build up the church.

Paul or Peter never said they were called to preach. They said they were called by God to spread the Gospel... they said they were called to imitate God.... they said they were called to live a life worthy of being called by God...

God calls us all... He calls us to come to Him. Feel His love. Bask in His presence... and when we come... Then He says, hey, go show others that they can have this too... because I've called to them... but they still haven't come...

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”- Ephesians 5:1-3

- So even if you aren't an elder, you have still been entrusted with a work in the Kingdom... so do it with all your heart. Do it as unto God.

- Whatever you have been entrusted with... Charity, love your students. Charity, show them God every chance you get. Charity, see them as lost souls, broken hearts, not as annoying whiners and constant complainers or as gross snotty noses and germs waiting to attack your own body...

- “Don't lord [your position] over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.”

- “but I'm not in charge of anybody!” Sure you are. Those assigned to your care, are anyone you come in contact with. The lost souls you see every day are your assignment. Maybe it's just to show an example to your own kids of what it is to live a life for God. Maybe it's your own parents that need shown the love of God in a living and active way. Maybe it's a co-worker. Maybe it's a complete stranger... Whoever it is, you are to lead them by YOUR example. And Whose example are WE to follow? Christ Himself is to be our example.

- And if we complete our assignment, then when Christ appears again, we will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. Because HE is glorified and honored... so we share in HIS glory and honor. (Not because we ourself have done some great thing...)

- Philippians 3:17-21
- Titus 2:1-15
- I Corinthians 9:19-27
- Hebrews 13:20-21

vs. 5-6- Under Authority

- Just as those in leadership positions must accept the authority of God (if no one else...) So must we who are under the authority of someone here on earth must accept their authority. Especially those who are our spiritual leaders.

- We are to serve one another in humility. God opposes the proud, but favors the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God. At the RIGHT time, He will lift you up in honor. When is the right time? When HE is honored, then will you be honored.

- Titus 3:1-8
- James 4:7-12

vs. 7- Worry Not!

- Why worry about anything?

- “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? And don't be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don't worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over he world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.” (Luke 12:22-31)

- When I think of all the petty things I sit and worry about... it's so time consuming! Sunday night, I laid in bed for most of the night thinking about all the things I had to do this week and all the things I needed to make sure I took to the conference this weekend and so on and so forth... and by the time the alarm went off Monday morning for work, I hadn't slept hardly at all! Maybe an hour! And for what!?

- Jesus said not to worry about food or clothes even. Does that mean we should all walk around starving and naked? Lol no... however, it does mean that to worry over how we're going to get what we need and how we're going to provide for our families is pointless. We are children of God and He as Father will always provide what we need. Does that mean we'll get the raise we want so we can buy a new house, or a new car, or so we can buy more expensive groceries... no...

- I think the main thing is this... God said don't worry. About anything... Instead, PRAY (Philippians 4:6-7). If we worry about things, we forget to trust. And worry, leads to fretting, which leads to panic. And panic, means we're not thinking straight at all... When we start worrying and we start panicking about all these little things, we are in essence doubting God. Because we're questioning His authority. We're trying to fix things on our own because we question God's capabilities.

- Does this mean we should never plan anything ever? No. But in planning, don't think of the 30 ways things could go wrong and all the back up plans you may need... Charity... lol

- So I'm getting ready to start stuff for the school's Christmas program and so on right now. There's over 600 kids to get ready for a Christmas thing. Last year, things went great. They didn't go as planned AT ALL, but it was okay, because it turned out as well as I could have wished. The kids did absolutely wonderful and they were great... but you know... this year, as I sat down to plan things out, the first thing that happened, was I started thinking of all the things that went wrong last year. Have to fix those and take as many preventative measures as possible to make sure it's as good as last year. Oh my gosh! What if it's not as good as last year?! What if it doesn't meet expectations?! What if we have as many snow days as last year and we don't have time to practice?!

- Can you see this exploding? Lol I finally realized the other day that I hadn't even started planning the program. I got so caught up in all the things I was hoping didn't go wrong, that I didn't even know what SONGS the kids were going to sing! I was worrying about back drops and props and the sound system and hadn't even started working on the actual PROGRAM!

- How pointless was that?

- What will be will be. God says, don't worry, PRAY. “Hey come talk to me. Vent all your frustrations. Let me help you work through these concerns. Let me help you. Seek MY help. Look to Me for what you need. Understand how much I care for you. I care for your needs even more than you do!”

- Psalm 55:22

vs. 8-9- Sound the Alarm!

- Stay alert! We are in a war zone! This is no time to be taking a nap! Satan prowls around like a roaring lion.

- Okay so there was this movie about these African lions. True story. “The Ghost in the Darkness”. So these lions were brothers and they had turned into man eaters. They were literally just after the taste of human blood. They would creep up on tents and all of a sudden just grab hold of some poor guy by the leg and run away with him. HUGE lions. And you never knew when they were coming. It would be completely silent and all of a sudden, there they are, attacking the camp.

- Satan is EXACTLY like that. He may wait till dark, he may not. He sneaks in close and waits for a vulnerable moment. You may have a gun, but unless you're watching the grass for any sign of movement... that lion could have a hold of you before you realize that you need to pull the trigger...

- Job 1:6-12

- So stay alert. Stay ready. Watch each other's backs. Stand firm against the attacks of Satan. Be strong in your faith.

- Ephesians 6:10-18

- And remember that your Christian brothers and sisters are going through the same kind of suffering... all over the world. Satan is no respecter of persons. He doesn't care who he gets as long as he gets them... This is not all about you. You are not the only one who has problems or who is getting beat over the head so to speak.

vs. 10-11- Assurance

- God has called us to share in His eternal glory through Christ. He has offered to us His Kingdom. He has opened His arms to us and has called us each by name to offer us an adoption into His family.

- I Thessalonians 2:12-16

- So after you have suffered, He will restore, support, and strengthen you. He will place you on a firm foundation in Him.

- footnote- “When we are suffering, we often feel as though our pain will never end. Peter gave these faithful Christians a broader perspective. In comparison with eternity, their suffering would last only “a little while.” Some of Peter's readers would be strengthened and delivered in their own lifetimes. Others would be released form their suffering through death. All of God's faithful followers are assured of an eternal life with Christ, where there will be no suffering (Revelation 21:4).”

- So all Power to Him forever!

- II Timothy 2:8-26

vs. 12-14- Benediction

- Peter says that he is sending this letter through Silas. Silas was one of the men chosen to deliver the letter from the Jerusalem council to the church of Antioch.

- Peter's purpose in writing this letter was to encourage his reader and assure them that they were experiencing things that were truly part of God's grace for them.

- I Thessalonians 5:9-11
- Ephesians 4:23-32
- Proverbs 12:25

- So stand firm in this grace. This is your rock. When the storms come, cling to the fact that you are saved by grace and have an advocate with the Father.

- Peter ends by saying that the church in Babylon sends their greetings as does Mark.

- Greet one another with Christian love and peace be with all of you who are in Christ.

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