Sojourners with a Purpose
Mongolians are very proud of being Mongolian and such national pride is on full display during Nadaam! I had the privilege of being in the capitol of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, during that most colorful celebration of their national history. Like any other country, I suppose, many in the city escape to the country during Nadaam for a brief respite, but throughout the country, Mongolians take great interest in three sports that not only characterize her history, but also mark Nadaam itself: wrestling, archery and horse racing. It is a interesting holiday! Add to the sports traditional food and traditional clothing and it becomes quite a festive time! On a Saturday during Nadaam I had the chance to witness an enchanting pageant of Mongolians, young and old, dressed in their colorful traditional clothing and parading around the central plaza. Many wore the medals they had earned or won during the time when Mongolia was under Soviet rule. They love to display the beauty and uniqueness of their culture and history.
As those who have been chosen for obedience to Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:1-2) we do not belong to this world, but to God, and so we are just sojourners here. But in a very significant way God calls us to put His glory on display for the world around us to see. In our passage for this week, Peter tells us who we are and what our purpose is. We are indeed sojourners with a purpose!
Read I Peter 2:4-10, but our focus will be on verses 9-10. It is a short text this week, but rich in truth!
- In verses 4-8 Peter describes two kinds of people. Who are they? What makes the difference?
- In verse 9 Peter describes his readers using four images that were deeply written in the history of God's people, Israel. Take a moment and read Exodus 19:5-6 and Deuteronomy 7:6-8. What stands out to you in these texts?
- What do you think is the significance of each of the four images Peter uses to describe his audience, those who have been chosen to follow Jesus?
* Chosen race
* Royal priesthood
* Holy nation
* People for His own possession
4. Which of these is the most intriguing to you? Why?
5. What do these four images combined communicate to you about what it means to be a holy sojourner in an unholy world?
6. What does Peter say is our purpose for being these unique people of God (v. 9)?
7. What has God done for us (verses 9-10)?
8. In light of what He has done for us, what are "the excellencies of God"? (cf., Gal. 1:4; Col. 1:13-14)
9. What do you think the Lord wants you to do in light of who you are and what He has done for you? And how do you think you can do that in practical terms?
God be with you, and I hope to see you Sunday!