Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LESSON EIGHT: “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study”

Lesson 8 of “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study” led me to consider my own mortality and how I am serving Christ in light of the fact that my life is a fleeting vapor that appears for a short time then disappears.

In Ecclesiastes 7:1-4, Solomon says that death comes to every man and is better than birth. I believe that very few of us acknowledge that we are going to die. We fear death. But we shouldn’t fear it if we’re Christian because death means being in Christ’s presence.

Still, the point should be that we’re not dead, yet, so what does God want us to do with our time on earth? Peter places great priority on prayer. An authentic, consistent prayer life is greatly enhanced by clear-mindedness and self-control. Both of these qualities afford a discipline to my own prayer life that makes that part of my life engaging and satisfying.

Discerning and serving the Lord and others in the realm of our spiritual gifts is another way we should be spending our time on earth as we await our reunion with Christ. I’ve used each of my spiritual gifts at one time or another. Currently, I speak God’s truth (prophecy and teaching) as I share in my Bible study groups and Sunday School. I encourage my Christian siblings with notes and cards. I also contribute financially (contributing to the needs of others) to my church and other Christian organizations.

In light of the blessings ahead for faithful believers, we should commit ourselves to God and continue to do good, even in hard times. James says that we should consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds because we know the testing of our faith develops perseverance which must complete its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

When Christ returns, I don’t want Him to find me lacking.

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