- Talking about our identity as God’s people, especially, in light of election season and how divided and hostile or pervasive politics are right now
- How do we be God’s people in the midst of challenging circumstances
- Last week -Royal Priests
- access to God – Jesus made a way for direct access to the Father
- ambassadors for Him – mission – reconcile people to Him
- Today – focusing in on our identity as God’s Holy Nation within this nation
- Our purpose is to show others how good God is
- How gratitude for who God is changes not only us, but also those around us
1 PETER 2:9 A HOLY NATION TO DECLARE HIS PRAISES
1. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN A NEW IDENTITY
1 Peter 2:9a But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. NLT
- Chosen // Royal Priests // A Holy Nation
- Wanted // Purpose // Perspective
- Holy, set-apart, called out from among – a Nation within a Nation – Citizens of Heaven (Phil 3:20)
2. OUR PURPOSE IS TO DECLARE HIS GOODNESS
1 Peter 2:9b As a result, you can show others the goodness of God… NLT
- We are to SHOW and TELL who He is by our lifestyles and our words
- 1 Peter 2:11-21
- Matt 5:16-17
- Titus 2:10-12
- 1 Peter 2:9
- 1 Peter 3:15
- Romans 10:17
3. WE HAVE REASON TO REJOICE AND BE GLAD
1 Peter 2:9c … for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. NLT
- Gratitude for God’s goodness keeps us from getting consumed by challenging circumstances
- We cannot be thanking God and criticizing others, at the same time. We have to choose which we will focus on.
- Psalm 118:24
- Col 1:13-14
- Ps 119:7 // 1 Thess 5:18 // Phil 4:4 // Hab 3:17-18
Practical steps •
- 1- Write out some identity statements based on God’s Word and read them aloud daily
- For example: “I am loved, chosen, and adopted by God. It brings Him great pleasure, bringing me into His family.” Eph 1:4-5
- 2- Invite others in to give feedback on how you’re doing at SHOWING and TELLING His goodness
- For example: “Is there any area of my lifestyle that doesn’t line up with what I talk about?”
- 3- List our 10 things you’re thankful to God for and read any time you’re getting caught up in the crazy
- For example: “God, I thank you for… providing for my financial needs. You’re a good Father. Thank you.”
- Let’s continue to be a church that remembers who we are in light of Whose we are
- Let’s continue to encourage each other to SHOW and TELL His goodness to those around us
- Let’s continue to be a people that live lives of gratitude for our Great God and Father
- Article on how the practice of gratitude changes our brains and therefore our lives for the better ( http://bit.ly/3zKB0ED )
- Book, Thriving in Babylon, by Larry Osborn – about the life of Daniel, an exile in a godless culture, living a life of faithfulness and great impact for God’s purposes
- Book/Digital PDF by David Platt, Before You Vote: Seven Questions Every Christian Should Ask – helps us have a bigger and biblical perspective
For Small Group Discussion:
Opening Question: If you were to build your own Utopia, what would it look like? What is one thing that would be there? And one thing that would not?
Main Point: God cares more about relationships than how we react/respond to situations in our culture, community, and country.
Read/Tell the Story: Luke 16:1-13
- When have you been trusted with something important?
- Why was the manager commended by the rich man for his shrewdness?
- Much like the master from this parable, God cares a great deal about how we interact with the world, even if it is at the expense of our (His) stuff. Who have you known that has used “worldly wealth” in a good way?
- What do you tend to prioritize over relational connection with people? i.e.- money, politics, work, government, hobbies, retirement, being “right”, etc.
- How do you think unbelievers see the church in regard to our nation’s cultural climate?
- Are you more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world? What’s one thing you should commit to focusing less on this week? And one thing you should commit to focusing more on?
Supporting Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9-10, Colossians 4:5-6, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Ephesians 4:1-2