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February 9, 2014

"The World at War Against Your Soul"

Series: Everyday Church in Relentless Pursuit Passage: 1 Peter 2:11–2:12

1. Our souls are restless until they rest in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:4;1 Peter 1:3-9). Soul-satisfaction is found only in Christ.

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” Augustine

2. The new birth, being born again, becoming a believer is at heart, a heart change in desires, satisfactions, and treasures (Psalm 37:4; 32:11; 100:2; Philippians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

3. The "feeling persuasion of spiritual things (faith) " occurs when the beauty of Christ is understood emotionally and rationally through the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

"To be a Christian is to have a new vital principle of life in the soul so that the commands of God are not oppressive, but are the beckoning of a beautiful spring day and the aroma of a flower-filled garden. By the grace of God we have been transformed into butterflies. The life of God has come to dwell in our soul and it is now our nature to be up and flying for the Savior." John Piper

 “Admiration is the rarest and the highest of pleasures.” Ayn Rand

4. The battle for soul-joy-satisfaction begins at the moment of discovery (1 Peter 2:11).

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

“God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.” Jeremy Taylor

I must have my heart happy in God or I will be of no use to anybody. I’ll use them and try to get them to satisfy my cravings and my vacancies.” George Mueller

5. The war of the world is a war to live "such a good life" that the hearts and minds of those who have yet to see will come to treasure Christ (1 Peter 2:12).

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Life/Community Group Discussion Questions

1. Describe the change when you received Christ? What did you feel differently? Did it come slowly, immediately? Does the change keep happening? Does describing the new birth as praying a prayer under mine this understanding?

2. Why are desires so important? How did it affect your Super Bowl experience?

3. What should you do if you find more joy and satisfaction in making mud pies (exceling at work, sports, school, music, money, etc.) than in Christ?

4. Why are there so many unhappy Christians? Americans? Are you an unhappy Christian? How can this be fixed?

5. How do you display the treasure of Christ in everyday living? Must you use words?

6. Why is the following quote from George Mueller true?

“I must have my heart happy in God or I will be of no use to anybody.
I’ll use them and try to get them to satisfy my cravings and my vacancies.”