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Grow Up

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2020 6:00 am

Grow Up

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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We are in a series called together we endure to study for Peter's first letter to the church. So if you got a Bible once you grab it and turn there if you don't have one run to the other room right now and get it out make meaningless small talk until you get back. Peter's first letter in the New Testament is written to a church in distress.

Peter encourages them according to a common hope in a common power that is at work among them that binds them together last week to illustrate the theme of first Peter, I barred an illustration for Matt my gym coach who explained when Cowles encountered a storm. They tend to run away from it and scatter as they go, leaving themselves exposed to above Buffalo. By contrast, instead of running away from the storm actually gather together they turn toward the storm and they walk into it.

Not only does that shorten the duration of the storm because were literally walking through it, but it also allows them protection of being together as they they combined their their strength in the one, and that's a little bit of what Peter is trying to do here is trying to say.

Don't be like the cows be like the buffalo I'm come together your body of Christ even when you are are scattered and and celebrate that common hope and press into the promises of God together today in the first 10 verses of chapter 2 redefine the command that Peter gives to us and then he gives us an explanation for how to accomplish that command. What's the command of very simple the command is grow up. Look at chapter 2 verse one. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit. Dr. C in the and all slander like newborn infants desire the pure milk of the word so that by it you may bear those words grow up into your salvation. Now Peter does not phrase this is an imperative year but but this is clearly his desire for these believers is concerned because some of these believers don't appear to have gotten past that that the baby stage, the infant stage in Jesus and he fears that if they remain as spiritual toddlers. There are not to be able to endure the persecution or that the ups and downs that that Peter believes are coming their way and could I just ask you are you a little bit like that, you the kind of person who is spiritually caught on fire for God one day, but then but then cold the next.

You gotta your high school student you get a camper reviewed a Christian event or maybe spend some time with us spiritual friend, you hear a sermon you listen to a great worship CD and things are spiritually hot in you but but then it just, kind of phase 1 minute you're really confident in your faith and the next are filled with questions and doubts.

One minute you're praying fervently that the next you're unsure if any of this is even true. Peter says if that's true, it's because you haven't grown up yet always thought Peter's analogy here with young children, with infants is really helpful. Think for a minute about young children young children can be unstable in their emotions right young children can go from there. From the heights of exultation to the depths of despair in a matter of seconds. When my kids were younger. Somebody took a toy from them. Her mom left the room, they would go into travail of soul, but if you go over to him he gave him a lollipop or you put them in the tell me they just are giggling, they go from one extreme to the other, really, really fast. Sometimes emotions are even mixed together there there laughing and crying at the same time like you like. I'm not even sure are you laughing or crying or which one is that see a lot of Christians are like that. Also, they can be on top of the world spiritually overflowing with the love of God in them.

The slightest thing and just come on a dime alone. A little financial trouble. Relational breakdown the spiritual setback.

It upsets them and makes them question everything. Most adults are like that adults are a more steady in their emotional stamina kids. Kids can sometimes be insecure. Kids need constant reassurance that their parents care about them and that they are going anywhere that when my son Adam was or what was really on the always had a real attachment to his mom to the point of that if she was not around, he eat constantly ask him where his mom wears mom like every two or three minutes. Dad was trash but but mom was where it was at once what he was about three years old. She left to go to the grocery store and after about five minutes. He asked where she was just really really worried and I was kind of annoyed trivia. So I said well she left forever now.

To his credit, he seemed to know that I was kidding but my five-year-old who was also in the room she overheard me say that it's wrinkled up her face and she was like what she's gone forever. Christians can be like that there insecure about the goodness in the promises of God's of the bad happens in the why God, why have you forsaken me. Where are you were on a trip and if I tell my my kids especially when they're younger that we wouldn't stop and get ice cream and oil. They would ask me like 100 times that we can stop get ice cream really start your get ice cream baby Christians can be like that, like God. If you don't fulfill this promise right now if you don't do this miracle right now. I assume you're not real or are you don't really love me baby Christians need constant miracles and miraculous manifestations of warm fuzzies to Phil. I got its real, which is why by the way many of them. Many baby Christians like the church is where were there promise those things about this one.

Sometimes young kids can be gullible excessively gullible kids will believe you much anything when I was a young kid, my dad used to tell me that he had a button in his car, they could control the the red light green light. What he learned to do is just watch the know that the light going the other direction the crossroad when it turned yellow. He knew he had about four seconds so he'd always see that it's okay we 0321 the presses button and the light would turn and I will hold my dad is the most powerful man in the world right kids tend to be a little bit gullible. The apostle Paul says a lot of a lot of baby Christians like that. Also in Ephesians 414, Paul says to the Ephesians. For example, he's like you like children get blown about by every different wind of doctrine. A lot of Christians are young Christians are suckers for a powerful speaker, a miracle story or the latest best-selling book you believe just about any teacher with slick production and a good worship band used to get really depressed when I would hear of somebody would been a part of our church moved to another city and start going to a church. It was just really different leaves and taught different things we do. They don't really preach the gospel in and they were about this deep spiritually, but they had good music and they had fancy camera equipment and so this former member would tell me oh I found the church in the city just like the summa church I learned that that what they meant was about the church with good music with young, good looking people in the in the pews and a preacher who tell funny stories and because they're still immature spiritually. That's about all they can discern their still there still infants and young children tend to be to be gullible unless along a little too easily. Here's one more. Kids can be possessive right. Every parent knows that one more declaration that defines arguments between young siblings. It's intended to settle disagreements by by fiat what that word one word. My I hold tightly to what I want because my happiness depends on possessing and holding that thing if my kids especially when they were younger that they wanted something the other one hat they felt like the quality of their lives. From that point forward depended on whether they had that doll or that Lego piece right now I gotta have that one.

Now I know there are 217 others right here, but I need that one, we see immature Christians can be like that.

And when they when there like that. That leads us to the to the list that Peter open the chapter with chapter 2 verse one Peter tells us to rid ourselves of malice and deceit and hypocrisy in Indian slander those things come from a from a childish and insecure.

A possessive way of looking at the world that that isn't content with the promises of God.

It needs things and it stands right now. A few years ago I was I was flying back from Dallas with one of our church planters Andrew Hopper and the two guys in the in the seat in front of us get into this like elbow wrestling match over the arm rest and Andrew and are looking at each other while this is going down as it is escalating and we both like is this really happening.

The flight attendant comes back and she's trying to resolve situations in their complain about each other and survive if I attend looks at me and and Louisville interactions as you mind switching with this guy because as you can get along. He gets up, which is places in the sky gets back he sits down next to me so immediately I put my arm there on the armrest to make sure that he just knew know where he was sitting down but the point is he's grown men were acting like children. I believe that that's my many Christians Peter Peter Peter laments many Christians are unstable and their emotions there insecure there gullible and really possessive with their stuff there, just not content with that. The promises in the hope that Peter is talking about Peter just tells him you need to grow up know why is that so important well because because living in a harsh world requires grown up hope not. Warm fuzzies are the constant need for a stream of signs and wonders back eating warm fuzzies and meeting constant miracles is not a sign of spiritual hunger. It's a sign of spiritual immaturity unit grown up unwavering faith that is built on the solid rock. Hope of the empty tomb. Okay, that's the command when next he tells you how to obey the command. One thing I love about the apostle Peter I told you the first week is that he didn't smack you upside the head. He gives you you practical ways to obey these to give you for practical ways that you can grow up here they are. It's imbibed the word establish your foundation. Embrace your identity in the number four excel at your purpose. Let's take those one. The time number one he says imbibed the word verse two like newborn infants desire. He says the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow up into your salvation. And in that word he says. If you have tasted indeed that the Lord is good.

A quote from Psalm 34.

Eight babies. Of course grow by drinking milk lot seven. Several times a day, not one glass on Sunday and another glass next Sunday, but all day every day several times a day. That's what Christians need to do. Peter says with a work I imagine if a mother only fed her baby. One day a week what would happen to that baby. Well, if it even survived, it would likely grow up malnourished with perhaps serious growth defects. The same thing happens with a Christian that is not nourished continually and often on the work I'm Peter in these verses is going to give you three qualities of the word that explain why the word is so necessary to our lives. First he says the word is imperishable. That was actually at the end of the last chapter on verse 23 Peter says you've been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, and then he continues all flesh is like grass in all its glory like the flower of grass. The breath withers and the flower fails with the word of the Lord remains forever. Everything else in the world.

Peter says a temporary but God's word is forever if you build your life on anything else. The approval of people that the strength of your family ties the love of your spouse, your financial security. When you constantly feel insecure and continually anxious. Whatever it is whatever you build your life on eventually will fade. So if your life is built on that thing fades then you along with that will fade. Also, with the result will be anxiety and constant insecurity.

I remember a poem that we read in literature class in high school phone number much about my literature class, but there are two things I loved about this poll number one.

It was really short. You could read the whole thing in less than 30 seconds. Number two. The imagery was really striking.

The poem was by Percy Bysshe Shelley was called Ozymandias the Shelley talks and in the poem about the discovery of a buried monument that was corroded and covered by sand forgotten by history, but had the really faint words etched on that monument.

My name is Ozymandias, the King of Kings look on my works, all you mighty in despair. Shelley's point was, was that what seems humongous and incomparable and prominent in one generation is is completely forgotten or mocked in the next you know if you go to the Dean Smith Center watcher UNC Chapel Hill basketball game. Their jerseys hanging up that that in their day were larger-than-life. They were like gods walking around the campus. Everybody knew who they were that today's students wouldn't even recognize their name in fact is much as I hate to say this, there is a group of high school students grown up now that knows not Michael Jordan. What seems rocksolid and permanent in one generation is gonna completely forgotten by the next. The only way Peter says on permanence in your life is to build it on something permanent and that's the imperishable word of God second. Then he says is it is the word is living.

The Bible is not just a book of knowledge of doctrine of theological truth itself. It's the living, breathing, voice of God in this book you encounter his very voice the same voice that created the stars that healed lepers to give sight to the blind, raise the dead. Scripture is not just about learning ancient truth. It is that everything in this truth all the word of God but the Scripture is.

It is about God speaking to you in real time with real direction importing that kind of life into your soul without that voice of God in your life, your soul will shrivel and die. Third, Peter says the word gives you confidence about the verse three in chapter 2 EEC were he says in the word you have tasted that the Lord is good to give you a little interpretive tip to help you reverse Peter throughout the book of first Peter. Peter interchanges the word of God in the person of Jesus rather seamlessly.

For example the end of chapter 1 Peter talking about building our lives on the word and then in chapter 2 he just shifts to the rock we build on being Jesus ever Peter the word of Jesus are the same in the word of the gospel you meet Jesus, the person who gives you a taste of the goodness of God and teaches you that in all things you can trust him because in him you you know that the Lord is good. For example, in Jesus you see that your worst moment Jesus still love that pursued you and you know that if he loved you. Then he will never leave or forsake you. Now. So Peter says you got I got a nourished yourself constantly on that imperishable living good gospel word drink it like that. The milk of baby drinks to survive and without which that baby will remain severely undernourished for some of you. I'm sad to say the only Bible that you get is from is for me and I just just ask do you do a quiet time to the daily time that you pour the word into you. If not, I can guarantee you that you are shriveling up spiritually. I don't care how long you been a Christian. Many thought, you know I'm able to read or what is it, if you're not hearing the voice of God on a regular basis to his word.

Your soul shriveling you need the constant intake of the imperishable, life-giving Word of God. Listen 10% of everything Jesus is recorded as saying in the Bible was a quotation of previous Scripture 10% saturated in Scripture just flowed out of him. Is that true view also you looking for something to celebrate these days see right here. You got right. It's right on your nightstand.

This good news is even better than anything that John Krasinski from the office can bring to you so imbibed the word listen before going to number two was the real talk just a minute if you just don't feel it but you said the right now and I want to crave the word but but but I don't I don't desire the way newborn infant desires, milk, and here's a little prayer I learned from John Piper that I found helpful when I feel like that that's true.

Sometimes he calls it, praying the IOUs.

These phrases are all taken directly from the Psalms and in the great things to pray when you feel dry spiritually. I incline my heart to your understanding oh, open my eyes that I may see wonderful things out of your word. You unite my heart to fear your name S satisfy me this morning with your unfailing love if I will stop right now and we did just that.

What if you prayed those four things there but you're by yourself in front of the computer in your living room stop and just take a minute and just prayed those things directly at a Scripture that God would give you the heart of a newborn infant desiring to work so number two after we imbibed the word Peter tells us establish your foundation talk about on Jesus verse five and six yourself.

He says you yourselves as living stones spiritual house to be built to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture. See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone of the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. A quote from Isaiah 28 part of imbibing the word is establishing your foundation foundation. Of course, is what you build the rest of your life on a keyword underline of these verses is that word cornerstone. Now I'm not a builder. I will freely admit that, but I do know this. The cornerstone is the most important stone. The foundation stone an old building. The cornerstone holds together all the other stones. All of them eventually tied back into that cornerstone and if the cornerstone is stable than the rest of the building is going to be okay.

Martin Luther commenting on this passage said that for each of us our lives have a cornerstone your cornerstone he said is whatever you build the rest of your life on it. Your anger at your foundation at what you turned back to win when other parts of life, crumble around you. In other words, when life falls apart for you, what you retreat in. She wears your heart go to to tell yourself that things are going to be okay in the future you find yourself example thinking well as for the plenty money so I'll probably be okay. Well, that's what you think the money is probably your cornerstone.

Do you find your heart thinking. Well, at least I have a strong family and for together we can get do anything well that's the case then marriage and family are likely your cornerstone or maybe is it I'm talented and and people like me and I can always rebuild right or maybe I'm a good person.

We all know good guys. Eventually, when that's the case then your goodness is your cornerstone. Peter tells us that if if your cornerstone is anything else except for Jesus in your life is going to be characterized by instability. It's going to be manifested in all those things Peter listed out in verse one. Malice and hatred, and in the jealousy of others and deceive lying to make yourself look better.

Hypocrisy, slander, codependency, and many other things that look at what he says about in verse seven, so honor which means longevity and legacy of success that will come to you who believe and make Jesus your cornerstone for the unbelieving of the stone that the builders rejected Jesus, that one is been made. The chief cornerstone of quote from Psalm 118, Jesus will be verse eight a stone.

You either build your life on the one that that that becomes a stone that you stumble over a rock to trip over. In other words, either you build your life on Jesus or the kingship of Jesus ultimately will crush you will come back to that but got us for like to take a minute and just celebrate celebrate the confidence that we have in Jesus are rock, so let's sing Christ alone.

Cornerstone week made strong in the father's love Jesus and maintain the G disease is saying this is an easy being a a a a me and being listings number three. After you imbibed the word and after you establish your foundation number three you embrace your identity at first nine but you are Peter says this is who you are now your chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession. Establishing your foundation is to lead you to embracing this new identity, I want to talk for just a moment about this massively important concept of identity self identity identity simply defined, is the self-definition you live with who you are, what your value is in the role that you're here to play have always found Clayton King's definition of identity really helpful. Identity says is what the most important person of the most important people in your life.

Think about you. He said again, your identity is what the most important person or people in your life, what they think about you that is your identity. The question is who is that for you it was the person or group of people that that what they think about you is your identity.

Most of us live her whole lives played with the question, and I enough and I am not for those people and try to prove to ourselves and and others that we are not them. A man anathema strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough skin enough good enough to live in a culture that seems designed to tell us that were not enough Namenda to make money off of us because we thought were not enough, the boy just about every advertisement that you see on TV is that you're not enough.

You're not a good enough mom lets you use this brand do not good enough unless whatever they commit you that you need to buy so that you can you can line their pockets with your money so that they will have enough right whatever it is you're not enough. We hear it all day every day you're not like enough when she cheats is because you want a good enough manner. Husband when he looks at poorness because because because you weren't good enough. When the kids ruin their lives.

It's because you didn't do well enough and even if you feel like you are enough right now. You live with the fear that one day you won't be that Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of his generation but one day one day he will be surpassed and forgotten. Michael Phelps was the greatest slammer, but but that's not last forever that my family loves the movie the greatest show minutes.

The fictional account of PT Barnum's rise to success. There's this really moving scene where his prospective father-in-law tells him he will never be good enough for his daughter. He says she'll see that when they shall come back to grow tired of the poor miserable life that you're going to give her will see that played to a very deep insecurity that PT Barnum had one that one that really we all have the matter how successful Barnum was EE never really felt satisfied. His wife begged him to realize that he was good enough that he is couldn't shake it, the American College health Association is noted the rising anxiety in this generation of students is entering college may say it's it it's because the primary message children receive now is that is that they better be the best in everything.

There does not make it.

It's made exponentially worse by social media Instagram because everybody on those platforms creates a fake best version of themselves to compete with everybody else's big version and everybody's afraid to reveal their inadequacies in their insecurities. Peter tells us that we can stop this frantic race to the top. This is because Jesus is our foundation. You have a new identity by your chosen race.

He says God shows you to be in his family. What greater place of privilege is there than that it is usual to Maurice's you're a royal priesthood in Israel the chosen people. There was a specially chosen line of loyalty the lot of Judah.

They were the chosen within the chosen and there was another separate specially chosen line of priesthood dealt with a lot of Levi Peter says that in Jesus you're actually both of those you're the chosen of the chosen of the chosen right you can't get into a higher place of privilege that he continues you're a people for his own possession euro value possession that Jesus purchased with his blood of all the things that he wanted. He shed his blood to get you the King of Kings and set his affection on you when he has a plan for you friend.

What more do you need to feel like you are enough you are not enough because you're more remarkable than somebody else because you got to the top faster because your your better your enough because of who loves you because of who stands behind you and because of who is put you into service. Listen, especially you kids and high school students. You will never win enough to feel like you are enough. The good news is that you will need to Jesus one for you. He values you and promises he has a plan to use you for good and that is enough.

Let me show you this required this really help me. You got to choose where you going to build your identity and maybe it's it's it's it's out here in this external spheres because you're smart enough or pretty enough and strong enough athletic popular ridge righteous enough.

Whatever you got something that says I'm enough right. What if that is the case, you're always going to be insecure and fearful of who is more than you on these things, but if you build your identity in here because you are in Christ you will be secure. Build your identity on the outer circle will always be insecure build on the inner circle and you will become a rock that can weather any storm and makes a positive contribution to the world because you become a living stone, built up in his temple, channeling the life and the purposes of God in you and for you. Listen when I say this before we move on to the last point because I think some of you may desperately need to hear this, you need to release yourself from the self-imposed obligation to be enough for others, you're never going to be wife enough to save him ladies man, you can't be husband enough to keep her home at night sometimes you can't be son enough to make your insecure daddy proud ladies you will ever be daughter enough to please your pride filled parents you you can't be their Savior, they need Jesus to fill that insecurity in their lives using to be who God made you to be and fulfill his purpose in your life and let his affirmation and approval be your identity. That'll be enough before you wander last point we just celebrate this. Also, through a song and I would say that's one of my favorites. I am you say I am speaking even the moon and number four Peter says excel at your purpose. This is at the end of verse nine so that you may.

He says proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.

Once you imbibe the word. What you establish your foundation and embrace your identity. When you're ready to live out to excel at your purpose, our job, Peter says, our role is to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us from darkness to light. I love Peter's imagery here in Genesis, God created the world.

The Latin phrase is actually yellow means out of nothing.

There was nothing and outspoken created everything nothing everything Peter says that's what happened to you and salvation you were completely unrighteous you are spiritually dead and God spoke and made you righteous and alive. Just like there was darkness of their became light so you were unrighteous and God made you righteous and alive you are to proclaim that that whenever you sing a song. What we do. Saying I am you say I am you are declaring that you were here in this world to declare his excellencies, not your own. It reminds them of verse 11 is awkward to sojourners and exiles. You're just passing through. So of course we don't care how many people know our name. What is passing through. We only care about how many people know his name. Many of you know that last week a beloved saint and brother here at Summit church ended a long battle with cancer. Any he went to be with Jesus.

He was is one of the original 300 that was here when I when I came to leave the Summit church in 2000 2002. He was a man whose faith and sacrifice help create this movement, this place after being a leader here and and and or church for many years as a late capacity, he joined our staff a few years ago to help administer benevolence and share the love of Jesus and people in our community who are in a tough place. His name is David Bayer, and David was a guy that everybody knew was wholly focused on one thing that is pointing people to Jesus.

In fact, until his dying breath. One of our pastors Josh Nady oversees her kids ministry here he was with them. Just a few days before he died and David told him he said my nurse here is named any. He said the names that I asked this this guy. He was a believer when I arrived in and he said no he didn't believe it was a higher power but but nothing more. He said so I'm commensal still have a few days left here on earth because I think I'm here to make sure he knows about Jesus. I had a few days left to let people know the excellencies of him who called me from darkness to light, so that's a role for all of us, and in whatever days we have left that David Weber shows us that the measure of our lives is not how many people knew your name. The measure of our lives is how many people you cause to know his name is what Peter says let me close with Peter's warning here Peter says that this word this hope this new identity is offered you freely and Jesus the cornerstone. If you'll just receive it. He's ready for all who would receive him. But if you don't receive him that cornerstone. Peter warns you. He turns into the rock that crushes you like CS Lewis used to say there are only two categories of people. There are those who become insanely happy.

And Jesus than those who find Jesus to be the worst enemy.

Here's how Charles Spurgeon said that to his congregation 1856 and with this I close the who would place himself in front of a fast-moving railway car will be crushed and will be just as foolish as you who are opposing the gospel if the gospel is true. Remember the truth is mighty and must prevail. Who are you to attempt to stand against it. You will be crushed and Lemme tell you when the railway car runs over you the will will not be raised even an inch by your size for what are you the timing that a creeping worm which that will will crushed to less than nothing, and not leave you even a name as having ever been an opponent of the gospel, but all the infidels in the world know assuredly that the gospel will win its way, whatever they may do poor creatures. Their efforts to oppose the gospel are not even worthy of our notice and we need not fear that they could stop the truth and that he thinks he can quench the son go tiny insect do it if you can. You only burn your wings and die. Likewise, there may be a fly who thinks they could bring the ocean drive drink the ocean if you can overfly more likely you will sink in it and it will drink you. Peter says you have a choice. You come to the rock who is Jesus and he will establish your life and give you eternal happiness forever. You oppose him and he becomes the rock that crushes you.

Which category are you in are you in that category of those without security and identity in him are you learning to be insanely happy and him have you made yourself as enemy. You surrendered your life to Christ and his purposes. If not you can do so right now you pray with me right now with heads bowed and eyes closed, Lord Jesus, I know, I know that you are God. I surrender to you.

Say to them from your heart and I receive you as my Savior.

Thank you Jesus for saving me a man that you prayed that prayer we would love you let us know you can just say it right there in the comments. Let us know. Or you could send an email to prayer@summitrdyou.com


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