The Season of Ordinary Time
JULY 26, 2020
9We have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
As we focus on Peter’s first letter over the next few weeks, go further in your study by watching the Bible Project’s overview of 2 Peter. This video breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In 2 Peter, Peter calls for faithfulness and confronts corrupt teachers who distorted the message about Jesus and lead others astray.
Following the weekly gathering, you’re invited to respond to the service by engaging in group discussion with those gathered with you. There are also additional activities if you’re looking for more ways to respond!
The first two virtues of a beautiful life, virtue and knowledge, are often competitors in society today. In reality they are joined, but how? How does knowledge stimulate virtue and how does virtue cultivate more knowledge? In other words, how do we get smarter without becoming insulated or arrogant? To link these two virtues we need to practice the Biblical vision of both as expressed in these prayers of Paul.
1. Knowledge and Virtue: Think of someone who balances those well. How do they do it? If you were to get better at one, which would you choose today?
2. What is one thing you could do, starting now, to grow in your knowledge of God? What keeps you from doing it?
3. Name something you’re good at. How might you use that skill or knowledge to serve others even more?
Want more to do?
In the beginning of the Bible, God transforms a desolate wilderness into a garden through a stream that waters the ground and brings life wherever it goes. This image gets developed throughout the biblical story as wells, cisterns, rain, and rivers all become images of God’s creative power and even a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. Paul uses this imagery when he speaks of the Spirit producing fruit in us.
In this video, the Bible Project explores the “water of life” theme through the biblical story and see how it leads to Jesus, who presents himself as the one bringing living water to a world that is desperately thirsty and our call to do the same.
Take the following portion of this week’s text and “transpose” it into a prayer for someone the Spirit brings to mind. Challenge yourself to come back to this prayer throughout this week considering how you might even participate with Christ in answering it.
I pray that your love
will overflow more and more,
and that you will keep on growing
in knowledge and understanding.
For I want you to understand
what really matters,
so that you may live
pure and blameless lives
until the day of Christ’s return.
May you always be filled
with the fruit of your salvation—
the righteous character
produced in your life
by Jesus Christ—
for this will bring much glory
and praise to God.
OTHER WAYS TO RESPOND
The Sunday Worship Service is the start to a week of continued worship service. God’s kingdom-values are revealed to us each Lord’s Day so we can respond by more faithfully living out those values in our home, work-place, market-place, and all our relationships.
If you would like some practical ways to love others well, specifically during this season of special circumstances, click below to find opportunities.