Faith at the End of All Things [Daniel 12]

I concluded our series on the book of Daniel last weekend at Eastbrook Church by focusing on the final words of the book found in Daniel 12:5-13. This concludes the final vision of Daniel, which is also the longest vision, stretching from 10:1-12:13. This message brings together themes of persevering in our faith and the hope of the resurrection.

You can view the message video and sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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Exile Community (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Exile Community,” which is the final part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 5.

  1. We conclude our series, “Exiles,” on 1 Peter by looking at chapter 5. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak into your life, and then read that passage aloud.
  1. Peter draws his letter to a close by discussing some final matters about the life as God’s exile community on earth. He begins by addressing “the elders among you,” which is a reference to the leaders of the church. What does Peter call these leaders to be and do in verses 1-4?
  1. What should motivate these leaders of the church, according to verse 4?
  1. With verses 5-6, Peter turns his attention to the rest of the church. It is most likely that “you who are younger” is less a reference to age than it is to the rest of the church who are not seen as ‘elders’ or leaders. What does Peter call the rest of the church to do in relation to the elders? What do you think this means?
  1. What should the defining attitude of the church be according to verses 5-6? Why?
  1. What do you think it means to “clothe yourself with humility”? What is one way you could clothe yourself in humility this week?
  1. In verses 8-11, Peter contrasts the work of the devil and the work of God. What is the work of the devil in relation to the sheep and the shepherds (compare to verses 1-5)?
  1. What should our response be to the work of the devil?
  1. According to verses 10-11 God is at work in the middle of all of this. What do we know about God and what can we expect from God?
  1. What does it mean to you that God will work with and for you according to verses 10-11?
  1. The personal greetings of verses 12-14 remind us that Peter himself lives as an exile (“in Babylon”) and is surrounded by others who are living out the exile faith-life with God. His summary statement is found at the end of verse 12. What is it and what do you think it means for you?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study today or through the entire “Exiles” series? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

Exile Community

Exiles Series Gfx_Web HeaderThis past weekend at Eastbrook Church I concluded our series “Exiles: A Study of 1 Peter” by looking at chapter 5. I spent a good deal of time talking about the first four verses which offer the distinctive exile understanding of leadership.

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

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Occupied with Suffering (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Occupied with Suffering,” which is part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 4:12-19.

  1. Have you ever personally experienced or heard about someone else suffering for their faith? What happened?
  1. “Exiles” continues as we look at 1 Peter 4:12-19. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak into your life, and then read that passage aloud.
  1. In this letter, Peter returns again and again to the theme of suffering as a Christian. In 1 Peter 4:12-13, what sort of attitude does Peter encourage his readers to have about their suffering?
  1. It may sound odd to encourage someone to rejoice in the midst of suffering. In verse 13, what reason does Peter give for the joy we can have in suffering now?
  1. With verses 14-16, Peter turns his attention to the practical reasons that we may suffer at the hands of others. If we are Christians, what does he say is the right reason for suffering and what is the wrong reason for suffering?
  1. In some ways, Peter is challenging believers to persevere for our faith, even in the midst of suffering. While most of us do not face threats of death for our faith, we still may suffer in some ways for our faith. What does it look like for you to persevere as a Christian in your everyday life?
  1. In verses 17-18, Peter unfolds an interesting idea that the judgment of God upon the world actually begins with God’s people. Comparing what you read in these verses with what he wrote earlier in 1 Peter 2:1-10, why do you think this might be the case?
  1. Peter suggests that the suffering to come upon “those who do not obey the gospel of God” (4:17) is worse than what the believers were experiencing presently. What does the Scripture say about this idea? What do you think Peter is talking about?
  1. 1 Peter 4:19 returns to some themes from throughout Peter’s letter: suffering, God’s faithfulness, and doing good. Why would Peter summarize this section on suffering for Christ in this way?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

Occupied with Suffering

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What is a Christ-centered perspective on our suffering?

That question was the focus of my message, “Occupied with Suffering,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church as I continued our series, “Exiles: A Study of 1 Peter.” Suffering is a theme of Peter’s letter, but he brings it into sharp focus with 1 Peter 4:12-19 by exploring the significance and approach to suffering because of our faith as disciples of Jesus Christ.

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also view the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

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Hidden Victory within Suffering (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Hidden Victory within Suffering,” which is part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 3:13-22.

  1. When have you seen God use difficult circumstances in your life to show you or others more about who He is? What happened?
  1. Our journey through 1 Peter, “Exiles,” continues as we look at 1 Peter 3:13-22. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak into your life, and then read that passage aloud.
  1. One of the themes of 1 Peter is suffering that comes as a result of being a Christian. Peter continues with that theme in this passage. Based on what you read in verses 13 and 14, what would you say is the specific aspect of suffering that Peter is addressing?
  1. Make a list of some specific things Peter asks the believers to do in the midst of their life as exiles for Christ in verses 14-17. Which of these is most difficult for you? Why is this the case for you?
  1. As with other sections the letter, Peter ties his words about suffering into Jesus’ life and, particularly, the resurrection. From what Peter writes in verse 18, how do Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection provide a type or example for believers as they suffer for Christ?
  1. Verses 19 and 20 are some of the most debated and confusing verses in this letter. Take some time to consider what Peter is saying here. How do you think these verses help support or illustrate the theme of suffering in the midst of doing good?
  1. Verse 21 on baptism echoes the words of verse 16 about having a ‘clear conscience’ before God. How does baptism illustrate our salvation and clearing of our conscience?
  1. How might Peter’s words in verse 22 about the victory and authority of Christ encourage the believers who are suffering?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

[Next week: We continue our “Exiles” series by looking at 1 Peter 4:1-11. Take some time to read the passage ahead of time and reflect on what God is saying to you.]

Hidden Victory within Suffering

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Is it possible for anything good to come from suffering?

That question is the starting point for my message this past weekend at Eastbrook Church as I continued our series, “Exiles: A Study of 1 Peter.” We journeyed through 1 Peter 3:13-22, where Peter brings together our unjust suffering with Jesus’ unjust suffering.

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

Read More »