2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself … entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
1 Peter 2:4-12 (NIV) 4As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him– 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” 8and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NASB) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV) For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
Hebrews 12:1 (NLT2) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Deuteronomy 6:12 (NRSV) Take care that you do not forget the LORD…
Deuteronomy 4:9 (ESV) “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.”
Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV) “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Isaiah 43:1 (ESV) 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.”
Ephesians 4:16 (NLT) He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-20. What does God do through Christ (v. 18)? Through us (v. 20)? For us (vv. 17-18)?
According to 1 Peter 2:11-12, how is our new status with God to influence the way we live?
Before Jesus calls us to do, he first calls us to be. From that place of intimacy, where we are chosen, loved, known, and accepted, we can learn to hear the voice of God calling to us. He is calling you today. How will you respond?
Of the three attitudes that pacify us, which one do you struggle with the most? James tells us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. Is there anything you need to confess with your small group?
What will you do this week to engage in God’s calling for your life? Discuss with your small group.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.