October 13, 2008

Monday Morning Message - The Stones of Hope

A too full plate requires a seriously stripped down version of the message (I'm gonna' have to re-title this thing the Monday Afternoon Message...) Here's the bare bones outline - you flesh it out.

Scripture - 1 Peter 1:22-2:12

Let me remind you this little letter was written to believers. This is critical to the understanding of this letter. (If you are not a believer this message is ultimately not for you. It can be and I pray that it will be.) Peter wrote this to believers that were living in the midst of a culture that severely persecuted them and was openly hostile to their way of life. They, like us, needed to be reminded of hope.

Last week we discovered the stamp of hope has a plan (in place from before the foundation of the world - 1 Peter 1:20), a pattern (it is a living hope - 1 Peter 1:7) and it is transferred to our lives by pressures (1 Peter 1:9). God is still working this hope filled plan into our lives and the lives of those we encounter.

Notice first it is a holy hope. (1 Peter 1:22-2:1) This is not a hope the world has. It is a hope set apart for those who are in Christ. It affects our lives and the way in which we live them. If we are not accurately reflecting the character of God to a watching world we need to examine the quality of the hope that is in us.

This hope is also a wholesome hope ( 1 Peter 2:2-3) Peter talks of the pure spiritual milk. How can we know the truth in spiritual matters? Peter gives the answer in verse 3, "taste and see". If you've ever had spoiled milk you know it doesn't take long to figure out it's not good for you. Much the same with bogus spirituality, both of the "Christian" and "non-Christian" varieties. A little experience with toxic spirituality is enough to convince one of it's deleterious effect. Conversely, a little experience with the truth always leads to a desire for more truth.

This hope has a firm foundation (1 Peter 2:4-8). It is founded upon Christ the cornerstone. Once the cornerstone of a building was set everything else about that building was determined; the angle of the walls, the level of the succeeding courses of stone, etc. God sets the agenda for His people.

This hope is also a functional hope (1 Peter 2:5-12). Worship is the central calling of the church. This is not limited to the hour on Sunday morning. Indeed, every action of the believer is an action of worship performed before a watching world. Church is not just a religious association formed by saved individuals to give united expression to their faith. It is to be a living, breathing body responding to God's direction in our day to day lives.

In Number 6:22-27 God instructs the priests concerning the blessing they were to give. In 1 Peter we are given the astounding news that we are now the priests! We are part of God's plan to bring hope to the world.

1 comment:

Sojourner said...

May all of God's people strive to be "living, breathing..(bodies that respond)...to God's direction in our day to day lives." In doing so, may "we...(be)...part of God's plan to bring hope to the world." It's easy to fill in the blanks when you have a good outline!