Grow. Connect. Serve. Tell. In 2018
Today Elder Lynn Miller led our Men’s Bible Study at the Coachlight on 1 Peter 2:4-12. Fifteen men were present for this wonderful study in God’s Word that Lynn took us through. As I reflected on our study, I was reminded that this passage is the basis for our church mission statement. As we enter New Years, and think about what we are called to in 2018, now is a good time to be reminded of what our purpose as the church of Jesus Christ in Marquette is. Remember, Jesus’ Great Commission is to make disciples, which we have defined as becoming Christ-followers. That’s the over-arching goal. Becoming and following are actions. As Peter defines for us what that entails, he emphasizes four actions. They involve engaging in a process that makes us more and more like Jesus. Are we engaged in this process?
Grow. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good, 1 Peter 2:2-3. Notice Peter’s priority is for us to grow up into salvation. This matches his very last words to the church: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18. Growing in grace and knowledge are the keys to a maturing faith. The Lord uses those keys to make us like Him which then leads naturally to the next actions. When our salvation is growing, we naturally want to do the things that Jesus has for us.
Connect. As you come to Him…you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, 1 Peter 2:4-5. Peter says when we come to Jesus, the living stone, He incorporates us into His Church as living stones in His house. Following Jesus is not a private matter only, but it includes being connected to other believers in deep fellowship in a local church. When a brick house is built, leftover bricks are left lying around. They are useless not attaining their purpose in making a house. That is what an unconnected believer is – not only useless, but not attaining Jesus’ purpose for which He saved us. He intends us to be committed to connection.
Serve. To be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God thru Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:5. The Levites and priests alone served God at the Temple with physical sacrifices. Now that is open to every believer in the great truth called the Priesthood of All Believers. We are to discover our gifts and use them in serving the other believer-priests in Christ’s Church. Each believer has a task, a place, and is needed. In this way the body grows and is built up.
Tell. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, 1 Peter 2:9. Peter tells us we have a task to the outside world – that you may proclaim. Christianity is a telling religion. All it takes is for one generation to stop telling the good news and the Great Commission ends. Jesus won’t let that happen, for He said, I will build my church, emphasis on will. He will not fail, but we have a role to play. And it is a happy role, despite that some are offended by our message, 1 Peter 2:7-8. For others believe and join us as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. No wonder it’s called marvelous.
Your friend, growing, connecting, serving, telling, Pastor Brian (:-}).