PCC’s One Kingdom Indivisible series will provide an overview of the Kingdom of God, as it is taught throughout Scripture. The hope is to provide a Christ-like lens for how the Church can be a unified voice of good news in a uniquely and profoundly divided country. This week we learn from the Israelites as they are exiled in Babylon.
1. When coming to PCC about 2 years ago, Meritt Lohr Sawyer, our Sunday speaker and Executive Pastor, faced an overwhelming agenda. Think of a time in your life when you faced an overwhelming agenda or task before you. Describe that time to others, or reflect on what that was like.
2. Meritt surrounded herself with God-fearing women. Women to pray for her, to be her sounding board, to encourage and challenge her, and to just be fun! Who are your circle of friends, who support you when you face life challenges? Given the shelter in place, can you think of creative ways to meet and support each other safely? How diverse is your group? (Think gender, race, political affiliation, marital status, etc. ) How does your love of God and your allegiance to God make a difference in your circle, especially if you are different? See Proverbs 27:17 and James 5:16. How do these verses align with having a support group?
3. Allegiance is a big word. What does it mean to you? Look up the word allegiance. How do you show allegiance to your country? To God? How did Jesus show the ultimate allegiance to the Father? See Luke 22:42 and John 6:38-40. What does this mean to you?
4. Read Jeremiah 29:5-7. How does Jeremiah tell the people to live during the time of exile? God didn’t tell the people to wait until they had been set free to live. He wanted them to live fully right where they were. He doesn’t want us to wait until our “Covid” is over, until we are set free from _______ to start living. He wants us to tell our story now. This is OUR/YOUR God story...in YOU. Will you let God use you right where you are, to bring love and salvation to a world that is hurting? What action is God calling you to? We are God’s people, agents for change, to bring peace to the world. Discuss this in your group or reflect on this with the Lord.
5. Israel waited 70 years to be set free from Babylon. Their faith slowly eroded, drifting away, passively accepting and worshipping many gods. Like Israel (Judah) we, too, can be prone to slowly drift away from God. But how could the words the Lord spoke to the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:8-14 act as an encouragement to your faith in your current circumstances?
Prayer: Lord we, too, are a hurting people. We are waiting for you to work in our country and in each one of us. Help my faith to remain steadfast and for me to keep my eyes fixed on you, lest I, too, fall away from you. I know you are with me and that you will never leave me. You are my refuge and strength. Give me boldness to tell others how you are working in my life. Help me to be an agent of change, to bring peace into a world that desperately needs you. And may it increase your kingdom and bring glory to your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Resources: (see links below)
Bible Project Video: Gospel of the Kingdom
PCC Series Web Page: One Kingdom Invdiisible
The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation by Miles McPherson
PCC Family Ministries: Table Talk for August 2, 2020