Monday, November 21, 2016

What are YOU thankful for?

In this week of Thanksgiving, if you need something to be thankful about, this week's study will hopefully meet that need!  Many of you are going through hard times right now. Whether it’s health-related issues, job transitions/pressures, broken relationships, or maybe even a crisis of faith, the “here and now” can be overwhelming sometimes. We can be so focused on what we don’t have and miss the amazing promises of God as to what we do have, both now and for eternity.  Peter gives us a clear reminder that things are not only going to be OK, they are going to be perfect. Below in our notes, I phrased the comments to emphasize that these promises are for YOU, not just believers in general, so that you can feel and absorb these truths in a new and personal way.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Things to think about (and to be thankful for):

  • Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He’s not just a wise teacher, a prophet, a good role model, He is the Son of God.
    • YOUR Lord is God in the flesh
    • He wants to be with YOU
  • God is merciful.
    • Mercy is the quality of not getting what you deserve. Why is mercy important?
    • Thanks be to God YOU don’t get what YOU deserve!
  • He has given YOU new birth
    • can you describe your feelings when you held one of your children right after they were born? 
      • I think about all of the promise that is represented in a new life
    • have you ever wished you could push the reset button on life and have a do-over? In a sense, God has done that for YOU. Jesus taught Nicodemus that he must be born again, not of flesh but of the Spirit. John 3
  • He has given YOU a living hope
    • this hope that we have is alive and real.  It is not a fanciful idea or a compelling philosophy. It has been bought and sealed by the finished work of Jesus dying on the cross for YOUR sins and God raising Him from the dead.
    • YOU have every reason to hope because YOU have nothing to be afraid of! The two worst things that can happen, death and paying for YOUR transgressions, have already been taken care of.
    • there is no need for fear, there is no need for guilt and shame
  • YOU have an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade
    • Earthly investments can be fleeting things. Bubbles and crashes can wipe out years of savings and perceived security.
    • God is keeping YOUR inheritance in the safest place possible - Heaven, shielded by God’s power.  Now that’s better than the FDIC!
  • Salvation is the big prize waiting for YOU, ready to be revealed at the last time
    • YOUR life will end on the most amazing high note possible - verse 9: for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
  • My prayer is that YOU can take a step back from the real challenges of YOUR life and be thankful for the unspeakably great blessings God has for YOU

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