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Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Readings can be accessed in full by clicking on the links below:
Monday, April 11, 2011
Pastor: Ryan Laughlin
Series: 1 Peter
Why is it we need to be convinced that we need each other? Are we still hiding with Adam and Eve among the trees of the Garden (Genesis 3:8), isolated from the God Who knows and loves us and peeping up over the leaves at one another? In her wonderful, gospel-saturated book, Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick offers her own analysis of our isolation:
"our American individualism and desire for privacy. We don't want anyone poking around in our affairs and we certainly don't want to be accused of poking around in anyone else's. This idolatry of privacy and individualism is one of the greatest detriments to sanctification in the church today. God has placed us in a family because we don't grow very well on our own."
Whatever the reason for our stubborn isolation, Peter exposes our folly in this passage by reminding us that we need one another to fight, heal, and work together.
In the sermon, Ryan referenced or consulted the following:
- Restrepo (http://restrepothemovie.com/)
, winner of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival for documentary. An incredible glimpse into the beauty and brokenness of men at war. (Parental note: check ratings and reviews before viewing.) Remind me of the quote by Abraham Kuyper: “If once the curtain were pulled back, and the spiritual world behind it came to view, it would expose to our spiritual vision a struggle so intense, so convulsive, sweeping everything within its range, that the fiercest battle fought on earth would seem, by comparison, a mere game. Not here, but up there – that is where the real conflict is engaged. Our earthly struggle drones in its backlash.”
- C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters: In this book, C.S. Lewis presents imaginary conversations between a senior-ranking devil, named Screwtape, and his nephew, Wormwood, who has just been assigned his first “patient,” or human. At one point, Screwtape advises his nephew on keeping his patient’s mind off Satan’s schemes. This is what he writes, “I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that ‘devils’ are predominately comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that he therefore cannot believe in you.”
- John Piper's essay in Christianity Today entitled "Gutsy Guilt" which helped me understand Satan's accusations and how the gospel defeats them. (Parental note: in the essay, Piper speaks frankly about sexual temptation, so preview accordingly: http://www.christianitytoday.
- Tullian Tchividjian's blog @ http://thegospelcoalition.
org/blogs/tullian. I especially enjoyed his entry entitled "I'm Addicted."
- What holds you back from depending on other people? Pride? Fear?
- How does Peter's depiction of spiritual danger motivate us to seek out other people?
- Does Peter's description of our suffering as something we endure "for a little while" helpful for you? confusing? frustrating?
- How specifically do we (as a church, as small groups, etc.) need to work together to extend and experience the gospel?