Typically this is where I would post a review of a book and share what I liked about. A simple book review. However, I signed up for something a bit different this time and I'm inviting you along for the ride. For the next nine weeks, I will be sharing what I'm learning in my personal Bible study.
Kregel Publications is hosting a "graduated blog tour" of the book 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times by Sue Edwards. Each week a group of bloggers will be completeing the weekly lesson, blogging about what we've learned, and linking it all up on the Kregel page (you can find that here).
Sue Edwards has created a unique Bible study. There are three levels of questions for each day's study. There are six days in each lesson and the book contains nine lessons. The "core" questions hits the nitty-gritty of the study. These are the questions that will help you delve into the study but only take about a 1-1/2 hours total for the week to complete. Then the "digging deeper" questions allow you to do just that - dig deeper. You'll need some extra materials such as an atlas, Bible dictionary, and a concordance to complete the questions. Then there are the "summit" questions. You'll need a few more resources to complete them (such as an interlinear Greek-English text and Vine's Expository Dictionary). You'll also create things such as outlines, charts, and essays. These questions are for those who really want to dig deep and come away with a greater appreciation of the text being studied.
Now on to this week's study...
~ Revel in Your Resources 1 Peter 1:1-12~
What would you do if you knew you would be hurt for proclaiming your belief in the one true God? Thousands face this every single day. As the author shares in the introduction to this week - more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all past centuries combined. While we live in the US and do not face this on a daily basis as many of our Christian brothers and sisters do in other parts of the world, it seems like it's more of a possibility every day.
Peter knew first hand what it would feel like. He chose to deny Christ - three times. Christ even told him that it would happen and even looked him in the eye as the rooster crowed. Jesus chose Peter and even trained him personally during his three years of ministry on earth along with John and James. Jesus knew that this would strengthen Peter's faith so he could go and strengthen the faith of the young church after Jesus was gone.
We are exiles in this world. Peter even addresses this in the greeting in his letter - to the "elect exiles." I have a friend who loves to say that she is "peculiar" and we are called to be so by the Lord. We need to be set apart from the world. We need to appear different, weird even. Our focus needs to be on heaven, not on earth. This is not our home. This is not where our heart should be. Our heart and focus needs to be on our Father in heaven.
I also love how Peter greeted those in his letter - a standard of the time - "May grace and peace be multiplied to you." (1 Peter 1:2b ESV) What if we greeted everyone we met that way? Would it change our perspective and focus?
The last thing I'll share this week is one of the last things I read. In studying the last few verses of the week we examined the prophecies and how the prophets of old were searching. They knew the longed for Savior was coming but they didn't know when. They knew what would happen and what would show his coming, but they still waited. In verse 12 of 1 Peter it says "It was revealed to them [the prophets] that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look."
That really struck me. The Holy Spirit was revealing things to the prophets that even the angels didn't quite know for sure. They longed to know when the Savior was coming as well. It kind of explains all the rejoicing that happened on that Bethlehem hill so long ago doesn't it?
If you'd like to check out what other bloggers are saying about week 1 of the 1 Peter study, you can check the list out here. Just click on "week 1 reviews."
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book through the Kregel Publications Blog Tour program. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions stated above are mine alone.