How might our identity relate to our sense of stability and certainty in our daily lives?
What types of circumstances tend to cloud your belief and confidence that you are part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)?
How have you reminded yourself of your identity in Christ when you have felt shaken by circumstances?
With an identity rooted in Christ, what does it look like, in practice, not to retreat from culture, nor assimilate into culture, nor try to overpower culture? Who have you seen do this well?
Which of those errors (retreat, assimilate, overpower) do you most often fall into? What does falling into one of those errors reveal about where you might root your identity?
Where do you feel tension between your loyalty to Christ and your life in the culture? How do you personally deal with that tension?
Read Jeremiah 29:1-14. Make a list of the commands that you see in this passage. Which one(s) do you think were most difficult for the Israelites to obey? Why?
Why do you think it was important for the Israelites to establish themselves and to settle down in Babylon? Why would God tell them to thrive in a nation whose people did not know or love God?
God reminds His people in this passage that their situation of exile was due to His sovereign choice. In what sense is that fact actually good news? What are His good purposes for His people, even in hardship?
What are some practical ideas and ways believers can seek the welfare of this community, this region, this state, or this nation?
Who do you know personally who you feel does a good job of modeling in their own life what God was calling His people to do while living in exile?
What practical barriers might have existed for the Israelites to carry out God’s commands in this passage in their Babylonian setting? What practical barriers exist for us today as believers to apply this passage in our current setting?
How can we lament our status as exiles in this world while still embracing it at the same time?