Summary: Christians are called to live changed lives, lives that share hope!
SHARE A LITTLE HOPE
I PETER 3: 8-17
SUNDAY AUGUST 25, 2002
INTRODUCTION: An older sister was sitting next to her younger brother in Church one Sunday morning unsuccessfully trying to keep him still and quiet. Finally she said, “I wish you would calm down.” “I can’t”, he said, “it’s just so boring.” With that his sister turned and said, “It’s supposed to be boring.”
Maybe you have thought that this is the purpose of the Church, be let me share something else with you.
Bill Hybels writes, “Recently, I saw a letter written by a relatively new Christian to the person whose life had influenced hers so greatly. She actually lists about a dozen qualities she found contagious in the life of this older Christian. Listen to some of what she wrote:
You know when we met; I began to discover a new vulnerability, a warmth, and a lack of pretense that impressed me. I saw in you a thriving spirit - no signs of internal stagnation anywhere. I could tell you were a growing person and I liked that. I saw you had strong self-esteem, not based on the fluff of self-help books, but on something a whole lot deeper. I saw that you lived by convictions and priorities and not just by convenience, selfish pleasure, and financial gain. And I had never met anyone like that before.
I felt a depth of love and concern as you listened to me and didn’t judge me. You tried to understand me, you sympathized and you celebrated with me, you demonstrated kindness and generosity - and not just to me, but to other people, as well.
And you stood for something. You were willing to go against the grain of society and follow what you believed to be true, no matter what people said, and no matter how much it cost you. And for those reasons and a whole host of others, I found myself really wanting what you had. Now that I’ve become a Christian, I wanted to write to tell you I’m grateful beyond words for how you lived out your Christian life in front of me.
Basically, she was saying, "Thanks for being a Contagious Christian." Reading a letter like that motivates me to live as a contagious Christian too. How about you? I’ll bet you want your life to count for a whole lot more than trinkets and toys and zeros on a paycheck, too.
From Becoming A Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today talks about a life that matters. It talks about living a changed and a different life than that of the world outside of knowing the Lord as Savior. It speaks of having an impact within the culture you find yourself. In short, it speaks of sharing a little hope with a world that seems so hopeless. It is about NOT BEING BORING! It’s about sharing hope!
THESIS SENTENCE: Christians are called to live changed lives, lives that share hope!
So, what does it look like to live a changed life, one that shares hope?
I. SHARING HOPE IS HOW WE RELATE TO THE CHURCH [(EACH OTHER) VV. 8-12]
A. RELATING IS ACTIVE
1. Live is a verb and so is love.
2. Look at how Peter tells us to live (vv. 8, 10-12)!