1. Culture is hostile to non-conformity, v. 19-23
“Oil and natural gas are east Texas’ greatest mineral blessing. Without them this school would not be here and none of us would be here learning our lessons.”-Message on chalkboard recovered from New London school
2. God is with us when we suffer, v. 24-25
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”-Isaiah 43:1-2
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murdered or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God: and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”-1 Peter 4:12-19
- a. Suffering is a test, not a form of punishment
- b. People who suffer have a proportional capacity for gladness
- c. Suffering as a Christian magnifies the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel
- d. There will be occasions where it is God’s will for you to suffer
- e. When suffering, entrust your soul to God and do good.
3. Who we trust determines what has power over us, v. 26-28
- -trusted in him
- -set aside the kings command
- -yielded up their bodies
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”-Romans 12:1-2
4. There is a difference in appreciating God and knowing God, v. 29-30
- In what ways, if any, do you not conform to culture?
- Do you think it strange when you suffer?
- What is your capacity for gladness?
- How do you use your body to demonstrate what you believe?
- What is different about a person who has a relationship with God and someone who just appreciates God?