January 26 2016

Pastors and Elders

After several chapters of instructions about how to deal with suffering, and how to conduct ourselves as Christians living in a potentially hostile world…Peter is going to shift gears a bit in chapter 5.    In chapter 5, he has some words regarding church life – how we get along with our fellow Christians.   Today, we look at the first 4 verses---he has some things to say to the elders in the church.   He has some words regarding how this group of men should be serving the church.    

I'll admit to being a bit "out of sorts" as I preached this message.   The text was, after all, largely about me -- my function in the church.   I don't like to talk about myself in church.    I don't believe the role of a pastor, and the sermon the pastor preaches should be about himself.  Sure...we can use our own lives for illustration on occasion, but the Bible is not about me.    But today's text is about Pastors.  Let's open up to 1 Peter 5 and see what God's Word says today.   

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January 20 2016

To God Be the Glory

God’s Word today again talks about trials and suffering.  This is an ongoing theme in 1 Peter.    He’s addressing Jewish believers that had fled persecution and were living in areas where they were foreigners.    Along with that, they took a new faith – Christianity.     Christianity wasn’t a world religion then, as it is now.  It was still very small, and unknown.  These believers were suddenly tossed into environments that they weren’t familiar with, and they were worshiping a God that no one around them had heard of.    Because they weren’t like their neighbors….they were looked at as strange.  They were mistreated for the name of Jesus.   They were outcast, and ostracized because of him.   

And now…Peter is going to give them some words to live by regarding the trouble.    His words ring true today for ANY Christian living in the 21st Century.    We would do well to read these, and to take notice of what God’s Word says.      

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January 11 2016

What is My Purpose?

Purpose.    What is our purpose?   Have you ever wondered that?   It’s always been the question that has plagued mankind throughout history.     Man has always wondered……”Why am I here?”       

Today, we look at 1 Peter 4 to see what God's Word says about it.    Let's open our Bibles and see.   

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January 6 2016

Jesus, Take the Wheel

“Jesus, take the wheel” is a song that tells the story of a young mother who had been drifting away from God.   Driving home on a snowy night, she hits a patch of ice and skids out of control.   Crying out to God for help……she and her baby miraculously wind up safe and unharmed.      The message of the song is that through God saving her, she renews her faith.    

It’s not a bad song……as far as country music goes.     But I wonder…..do many of us only have faith in God as far as he is willing to drive us safely?       What happens if the trip turns out differently than we hoped?   

Last week, we saw how Peter says in his letter willing to suffer – to deal with injustice….for the benefits that it brings.   One benefit of suffering is that it glorifies God.   Yes, God IS glorified when we suffer wrongly – and we stand strong in our faith, pointing to HIM as our rock and our redeemer.   

But there is another reason:    For our SANCTIFICATION.   Sanctification is simply a big word that means the act or process of God making us holy.       It is not to be confused with another big word:    justification. 

Justification is the moment we place our faith in Christ – when we trust in what he did for us on the cross, and it’s when we move from being guilty before God……to be justified, or declared innocent.    It’s when we have our guilt swapped out with the righteousness of Jesus.     

All Christians are declared Justified – so we’re all clean before God.   We no longer need to worry about offending God – our eternity in heaven is guaranteed….if we know Christ.    

Sanctification simply means that God will change our lives to glorify him.    We’re already saved – and going to Heaven….but God wants our WHOLE LIVES…not just a portion of them.  

So remember…..as we look at today’s text, this is based on the assumption that we are Christians, and that God is in the process of sanctifying us – of making us HOLY – and more like Jesus  

1 Peter 4:1-6

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