Friday, June 23, 2017

A Letter to Refugees: From Surviving to Thriving

Sabbath School Helps - Lesson 13 - 24 June 2017


Ringwood Adventist Church, where I attend with my family, is as close to the Kingdom of God as you can get before the return of Christ. Why do I say this? 
Reason 1. A few weeks ago, during luncheon I noticed something about the people with whom I was eating. I commented that the five of us were from five different families, five different nationalities and five different cultures! That's Kingdom growth if I ever saw it!
Reason 2. At least half of our weekly attendees are refugees. Hearing their stories of suffering from around the world, I have learned so much more about the power of Salvation. The Kingdom of God is ever present due to their presence.

Peter's first letter is written to Refugees. He wrote it to give them courage and confidence in their struggles. Let's take a look.

Read 1 Peter 1:1-9

What blessings are declared about refugees (exiles) in these verses? 1 Pet 1:1,2 (chosen by God for the activity of God to be revealed in their lives)

What impact might the following statements have on a refugee:
“God has chosen you and sent you out.”
“God knows your future and His Spirit is with you now, working in you and through you.”
“You are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus!”
“May God’s grace and peace be yours!”

Why does Salvation mean more to those who are suffering?

What has happened to the family inheritance of most refugees? 
What does 1 Pet 1:4 say about the inheritance received by those exiled for Christ?
What would it mean to a refugee to hear of their unending inheritance in Heaven?

What trials do refugees endure today?
How might salvation mean more to them than those who are not exiles? (1 Pet 1:5)

How is suffering improving the eternal character of a refugee? (1 Pet 1:6-7)

Why is it important to realise we are all exiles? (1 Pet 1:3)

How does a refugee state of mind benefit us all? (1 Pet 1:8-9)

What did Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) wonder about our salvation story?
“Shall we be witnesses for the Lord of grace to myriads of worlds which will be wonderstruck when they hear of the incarnate God? Shall we be surrounded by pure intelligences enquiring and searching into the mysteries of God manifest in the flesh? Will the unfallen worlds desire to be instructed in the glorious gospel of the blessed God? And will each one of us have his tale to tell of our experience of infinite love? I think so, since the Lord has saved us “to that intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be known by the church of the manifold wisdom of God” (Greatest Fight in the World, April, 1891).

What do you think it will be like, into eternity, to tell of Christ's gift of Salvation for you?

Read: 1 Peter 1:10-17

What did both the prophets and the angels want to understand? (Salvation)

How does being a refugee make a new King and new Kingdom so much more exciting?

Having God as your new King and Lord, how are you called to live until He returns? (sober minded, hope in Christ, obedient, transformed, holy)

Read 1 Peter 5:1-5

What does this type of person look like in today's world?

STORM Co – In Australia we have a movement of Seventh-day Adventist youth from many different conferences who go into various communities and show: “Service To Others Really Matters”. For a week, these young people do community service projects and run daily worship programs. STORM Co started in1992 and is a regular part of the Adventist culture in Australia. 

What does STORM Co teach our youth? 
What does it teach the children who look up to our youth? 
What does it teach the communities STORM Co serves? 
What does it teach the churches these STORM Co groups come from?

What happens to a family where service to others isn’t modelled?
What happens to a country where service to others isn’t valued?
What happens to a church where service to others isn’t organised?
What happens to a Christian who doesn’t serve others?

Is service to others the fullest revelation of Jesus' character to today's world?
Why or why not?

What character strength is required to truly serve others? 1 Pet 5:5


As you closing prayer, read 1 Peter 5:6-11

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