March ALIENS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
1 Peter 2
A verse to remember:
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” Philippians 1:27
March 19 IT’S YOUR LIFE THAT REVEALS THE GOODNESS OF GOD
Gospel Story: Washing of the disciples feet John 13:1-18 “Do you understand what I was doing?”
From 1 Peter 2:9-12
9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
Jesus was able to shift Peter’s pride towards humility…the shift allowed Jesus do what he wanted to do for Peter. Peter wants the same for us. In 1 Peter 2:4-8 he acknowledges the flesh’ inclination to reject the work of God in Christ. However, in todays verses (9-12) he goes on to say, “you are not like that”.
You are in fact, “a chosen people”, royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession… citizens of heaven, Aliens in the Neighbourhood!!! Why is this so important?
I hope we can begin to see clearly that who you are in Christ is the “result” of what God has done through Jesus in you life. “As a result” of this new reality concerning your life, “you can show others the Goodness of God”.
Let me (jeff) try to suggest something I am trying to get my head and heart to understand… ITS MY LIFE THAT REVEALS THE GOODNESS OF GOD….NOT ME. For years i have encouraged people to “reveal” God’s goodness to others. Bill Johnson, mentor at a distance, often says we owe the world an encounter with God—heal the sick, cast out demons, etc. These are all things we are encouraged to “do” by Jesus himself. And we can because of the “result” of what God has done for us through Christ. It’s all part of our desire to know him more, love him with all we are and live to bring him glory. In the words of another man I admire, “we want to make Jesus famous”.
That said, I want to take some of the “work” out of “showing others the Goodness of God”. What if this showing is just letting our life itself reveal the Goodness of God to others. When Mike DeRose in our Selah Fire family connected with Jesus, his little office in the middle of the factory he worked in became a “no swear zone”. It wasn’t because Mike put up a sign that said, “no swearing”. It was because the atmosphere that filled and surrounded him changed.The “result” of being chosen, of becoming a “royal priest”, part of a Holy Heavenly Nation, brings others into the presence of God. Our lives “reveal” reveal to others the goodness of God.
When Peter called the “other” fisherfolk to help with the catch (LK5) it wasn’t because he was trying to show others the goodness of God. The call for help was the “result” of what God was doing in his life. A life he felt was “not worthy” of God’s goodness.According to Jesus, God felt differently. God wants your life to reveal His goodness—crave Jesus and you will become an alien in the neighbourhood. It’s what Peter is encouraging us to “do”, more importantly, to “be”- “foreigners” in the neighbourhood.