as promised a month ago, i will now be blogging on sunday evening or monday morning, in addition to thursday. each week will include a link to the podcast, in case you missed the talk, along with scripture readings from the talk and questions for personal reflection or cell discussion. you can listen to the sunday talk here, without leaving this page. links to bible passages will take you to biblegateway.com.
august 2 began a series called PETE. we’ll be looking at stories from the 4 gospels that center on peter, the apostle, as well as his two letters found near the end of the new testament.
we began yesterday by reading 2 peter 1.12-15: Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
peter is sitting in a prison in rome, around AD 62, awaiting his execution for being a follower of Jesus. he has been doing this following for about 35 years. now he writes a final letter, reminding all other followers of the basics, and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith.
QUESTION: peruse 2 Peter – it’s just 3 short chapters. what things is peter reminding his readers of?
QUESTION: what do these two incidents, which happened three years apart in real time, have in common?
peter followed Jesus for 35 years after Jesus rose and ascended into heaven, during a time of intense persecution. it was not the easiest of times in which to follow Jesus faithfully. what kept him going? i suggested it was another event. READ LUKE 24.1-12
QUESTION: how would this event have sustained peter for the next 35 years?
QUESTION: we know peter to be the “impulsive fisherman.” what stories about him in the gospels are you already familiar with? do they show him to be impulsive?
an impulsive person usually wants to be first, to be right, to have all the answers. peter was like this, and still, peter was often wrong in his words or actions. and yet,he persisted in following Jesus.
QUESTION: how does the need to be first, or right, or in control, or to have all the answers keep you from following Jesus?
QUESTION: peter eventually became known as the premier follower of Jesus in the first generation of the church, despite his impulsivity. if you were to follow Jesus with peter’s intensity, what would need to change TODAY?
QUESTION: john piper writes that following Jesus means the possibility of ruptured relationships – with people, with our possessions, with our vocation, with our pride. are you facing any of these? what might happen in one of these areas if you truly follow Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
CLOSE: pray about becoming a stronger, truer follower of Jesus. what gets in the way? share your challenges with a trusted friend or the members of your cell. ask them to pray with you and for you.
from the series: “Pete” – week 1 of 7