a people possessed

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church‘s LIFE groups tomorrow night. This discussion guide works the same subjects and primary texts as the Sunday morning sermon. You’ll find these guides categorized each week under the category title LIFE group guides.

Aim

To raise our awareness and increase our sensitivity to the fact that as a community of faith, the church is a people possessed by God and that that fact should be obvious to all of the church and to the entire world.

Scripture

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light.” (1 Peter 2:9 CEB)

Open

Icebreaker questions are intended to get all of us talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. What is something you have owned that you had a special affinity for; perhaps to the point of being unwilling for others to use it or even touch it?

2. What are some truly “peculiar” or “special” ways (i.e. – as in “Oh, that’s just messed up!”) that you’ve seen Christians or churches come to be known for?

Dig

These questions are meant to help us grapple directly with the sermon’s primary Scripture text.

1. Compare the various translations of 1 Peter 2:9 in the Bible versions represented in your group. How else is the fourth phrase of the first sentence translated aside from “… a people who are God’s own possession …” (CEB)? For example, the KJV used the phrase “a peculiar people.”

2. How do the first four phrases of 1 Peter 2:9 relate to each other (i.e. – chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, and people belonging to God)?

3. According to 1 Peter 2:9b, what is the express purpose of our being people who belong to God? How do we live out that purpose?

4. According to 1 John 4:8-12, what odd thing grows out of people who love God?

Reflect

These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us through his word.

1. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “peculiar” or “special?”

2. A.W. Tozer once said Christians today tend to be “too much at home in the world.” After reflecting on that statement, would you say you agree or disagree? Why?

3. Recall the quote from the beginning of this morning’s sermon. Does the church today look to you the way it did to the author of the fifth chapter of the Letter to Diognetus? Why or why not?

4. Are there particular people who come to your mind as exemplary demonstrations of being “possessed by God?” What in their life says such to you and what does that do for you and your faith?

5. How have your earliest experiences with life in the church – regardless of whether or not those experiences were “healthy” – shaped your view of Christian community?

6. As a group, brainstorm a list of what happens when God’s people are not much different from the world in terms of beliefs and behavior.

7. Which is more challenging for you as a Christian to grasp, the concept of Christ as our model (pattern) for living or Christ as our means (power) of living? Explain.

8. What will you commit to doing this week to become more intentional and deliberate about belonging to God, for the sake of Christ’s church, for the benefit of all who are yet to believe, for your own benefit in terms of spiritual growth, but most of all simply to declare praise to God?

this went thru my mind

Aging: * The Quarterlife Crisis: young, insecure, and depressed. New research by British psychologists shows educated twenty and thirtysomethings most likely to be hit by pre-midlife blues. * The 10 Best Things About Being a Senior Adult by Joe McKeever.

Criticism: How to Offer Criticism by Ed Stetzer. Four parts have been published thus far: onetwothree, and four.

Education: An infographic of U.S. Education Spending and Performance vs. The World.

Families & technology: How Technology is Influencing Families (a Barna Group study).

Gossip: There are Better Things to Talk About Than Others by Joshua Becker. Amen.

GTD: The Only Way to Get Important Things Done by Tony Schwartz. Sane, simple advice.

Ministry: Jim Martin’s 10 Lessons I’ve Learned After 19 Years With One Congregation is good, good stuff. Here are links to part one and part two. Amen, brother.

Note-taking: Recovering the Lost Art of Note-Taking by Michael Hyatt. During classes, meetings, sermons. Wherever.

Parenting: Ten Specific Compliments to Give Your Children. The most practical link you’ll see in this post.

Sainthood: Do You Know How the Catholic Church Proves Someone Is A Saint? I didn’t. You might be surprised. Interesting.

Security: Ensuring Your Information is Safe Online.