Church Family,

Good afternoon everyone! Today we are continuing our study of “The Art of Neighboring”,  which speaks to the cultural situation we are living in and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  Like the previous Bible Study, we will be utilizing RightNowMedia.  Below you will see a link to sign up (free), if you do not have an account as well as the link for the first video. If you have problems signing up or have questions about the Bible Study, please contact the church office. 

Sign up: http://tiny.cc/HarvesterSignUp

REMINDER OF CHANGE IN OCCURRENCE: We have decided to scale back the number of Bible Studies per week from two to one, which will occur on Tuesdays.  We are sorry for any inconveniences this will cause.

This Bible Study series, “The Art of Neighboring”, is going to be a bit different than what we have studied before, for it is a topical series.  For the next few weeks, we will be looking at various passages of what it means to love our neighbors.  This study can be done individually, but I encourage you to do so as a family, a couple, or a small group.  Today we are looking at the topic of “Overcoming Fear—Neighboring Can be Both Messy and Powerful” while looking at 1 Peter 3:8-17.

I encourage you to do the study in this way.  Read opening and pre-video questions, then watch the video, then go through the Bible Study, followed by the application questions. I hope this study is impactful to you as it has been for me.

Opening Questions:

  • Describe a time when you were afraid. What were the circumstances surrounding your fear and how did you handle it? What specifically made you afraid and why?

Fear is one of the most crippling things we deal with in life. It holds us back from making certain decisions, keeps us stuck in immaturity, and stunts our growth. In this session, we’re going to learn how important it is to rely on God and live by his Word when fear creeps into our lives.

If we want to be good neighbors, we have to rid ourselves of the fear and worry that can come with meeting new people.

Pre-Video Questions: (Things to think about while watching)

  • What does Dave say we have less of? How is it affecting us?
  • What myth does Dave talk about that we often believe about our time?
  • Why is it important to slow down and be in the moment as much as possible?

Teaching Video and Questions:

https://www.rightnowmedia.org/content/series/392825?episode=3

  • What are some factors that might make someone afraid to engage with their neighbors? What kinds of fears come when meeting new people?
  • We have to understand that some of our next-door neighbors are going to be different from us—they might have a different culture, religion, or dress. In what ways have you allowed someone’s differences to keep you from getting to know them? How did you conquer that fear?
  • How should our relationship with Jesus impact our desire to reach out to our neighbors?
  • Our courage in the midst of the world’s fear should draw our neighbors to Jesus. People should desire to know about Jesus after seeing how unafraid we are. How can an attitude of courageousness give a good impression to our neighbors of what it means to follow Christ?

Bible Study Questions:

Read: 1 Peter 3:8­–12.

  • What types of actions does Peter list off that would help improve a relationship with someone else? Which of these actions do you find easier to do naturally and why? Which one is the most difficult and why?
  • What could it look like to display these attributes practically toward our next-door neighbors in our everyday lives?
  • We live in a culture that values independence, selfishness, and an attitude that says we should repay evil with evil. How does this passage speak against our cultural norm? How is loving on our neighbor’s counter-cultural?
  • Verse 8 says we are to be sympathetic and to love one another. What could it look like for you to show sympathy to one of your neighbors this week?
  • Verse 9 talks about refraining from repaying evil with evil, but to repay it with a blessing. Describe whether it is typically easy or hard for you to still be kind to a neighbor who was rude to you. What helped you to continue being kind?
  • What kinds of actions could be a blessing to a neighbor who has done evil toward you?
  • Some neighbors may not want to hear about Jesus or accept an invitation to church—but they might respond to our compassion, love, and interest in their personal lives. How could our neighbors who are unbelievers be positively affected by this kind of treatment toward them?

Read 1 Peter 3:13–17.

  • Verse 13 asks us who could be there to harm us when we are zealous to do good. What could being eager—or zealous—to do good for our neighbors look like?
  • For many of us, we might read the question posed in verse 13 and agree that doing good keeps away suffering. But in many cases, people in the world can still harm us, no matter how many good things we do for them. How would you answer the question in verse 13? How does Peter answer it in verse 14? How can we respond in faith when we know that we could suffer for doing good?
  • Based on verses 14–17, what could living without fear do for those around us? For us?
  • What are some ways you could address and overcome a particular fear you have about engaging with a neighbor this week? What could it look like for you to trust in God as you address that fear?

God has not given us a spirit of fear, and the more we make decisions based on those fears, the more stunted we become in our own spiritual growth. The command to love our neighbor is built on a fearless attitude with the goal of showing others the love of Christ. If we push fear aside and rely on the Spirit of God to help us, we can better serve and love our neighbors.

Take a moment and meditate on this question: If God is always with us, what do we have to fear when obeying his command to love the people next door?

Pray: Pray and ask God to help you push through your fears in order to engage with more of your neighbors.

Look for a post on Tuesday (6/23) as we continue our study “The Art of Neighboring”.  To God be the glory!