Live Like Christ–But Do it in His Power 1 Peter 4

There is a sense of urgency–We should be living as though Christ is returning…Because he is! It is so easy to become complacent in these current circumstances.  No matter how comfortable things seem, we are living for eternity.  That means we seek God, we love others and we act as he would act.  The great news is that we do not have to do it in our power.  The Holy Spirit comes and fills us and guides us to living a Christ like life. 

So what does that life look like, well according to Peter their are three major components–Love, selflessness and humility. If we are selfless and humble, it does not mean we act like EEOre.  It only means that we are always looking for ways to promote others and show them Christ in our lives. Loving others means that we see the from God’s perspective and as members of our family.  We accept them as they are but steer them to the wonderful journey with Christ.  Life is about selfless, loving humility.

Living that kind of life is a sign we are looking to eternity–not simply existing for today!

God Bless You

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Doing the Right Things for the Right Reasons–1 Peter 2 part 3

While we are not saved or loved because of what we do as children of God, as in any family, our behavior reflects first on our heavenly Father and second on the entire family.  One need only watch the media’s characterization of the Church and of conservatives to realize scrutiny is intense, real and never favorable.  It was no different in the early church.  Both the religious elite and the pagans were looking for reasons to persecute and destroy the followers of Christ. 

In part, it is because we have always and still stand out like a sore thumb. The idea that we are glad to submit and follow the lead of a selfless person is somewhat unnerving to a society bent on protecting and meeting each and every personal interest.

With that said, whenever we as God’s kids break the law or buck authority, the world seizes that moment to show we are not selfless, but merely frail hypocrites. In addition, as quickly as people are to judge—they are equally relentless in holding a grudge. 

That is why this scripture is so important—follow the law and submit to authority, you are representing Christ and his family. It is not complicated, nor is it unfair.  We set the standards—not because we have to, but because we would do nothing intentional to embarrass God or the family.

God Bless You

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Let It Go!!!–! Peter 2 Revisited

Frozen–a great Disney flick! The Part that grips us all is the scene where Elsa sings Let it Go.  She has lived a life in fear and finds that her worst fears are realized.  She runs away to the hills and in a moment of clarity drops all the baggage Continue reading “Let It Go!!!–! Peter 2 Revisited”

Marraige–An Amazing Illustration of Sacrifice–1 Peter 2 Part 1

As a Pastor, I have the honor of performing weddings.  They are a delight.  In the process of preparing for a wedding, I counsel the couples on some critical issues for a successful marriage.  Probably the most intense discussion that occurs always centers on mutual submission.  Marriages require Christ like leadership and Solomon like wisdom.  Husbands are called to lead like a servant–simply put, they are living sacrifices in their marriage.  Their interests always finish last, their minds always focused upon protecting and providing for their family.  Within that framework, wives allow them to lead, but partner with them in their day to day operation.

Husbands, if wise, also recognize the absolute operational savvy of their wives.  After 22 years, I have learned to listen to my wife on all issues related to parenting, building relationships, listening and public appearance–If you remove those categories, pretty much all that is left is Sports and Sci-fi.  When I treat my wife as a partner, I am the winner mainly because she is the BETTER Half.  If I treated her as an inferior or subservient person, I would be wrong 1st and foolish 2nd.  She has shown, throughout our marriage, she holds my interests as primary and our family as the most precious possession. 

It is mutual submission that makes families great and Christ honored.  Do not fear it–Submit to Christ and each other and watch God build a legacy that lasts for generations.

God Bless You

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight…Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Being Holy–I Peter 1 Final

National Pride…One thing we Americans have always been known for is national pride.  We are unique in the world.  We are a nation of free people. We are open to build our lives as we choose.  We stand out on the world stage and are loved by many and hated by many more.  None the less, we continue to be separate, independent and free–with no desire to conform or fade into the woodwork. 

It is the same with our spiritual nationality.  God Calls us to be HOLY–separate and unique.  He asks us as his followers to stand out in the world and be identified as one of his.  We are characterized as ones with peace in the midst of chaos.  We have confidence in our eternal destiny.  We live to follow him and to serve others–pretty unique on this world stage.  God does not want us to conform or blend in.  He wants us to be such a stark contrast– as to act as a beacon to the world to grasp the freedom that is in him.  So the question of the week is–Do people see a difference in you–Is it compelling?

God Bless You

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

Genuine Faith–I Peter 1Part 2

It  is easy to talk a good game.  We can know the lingo, we can do the right dance and say the right things.  We can go to the right functions–but, faith is really lived out when things are a struggle.  After 22 years of marriage (Happy Anniversary My sweet Joni), God has seen fit to allow us to endure trials of various kinds. They were unpleasant and many times felt like the undoing of our lives and family,  but, they were the tool God used to refine us and our kids.

We know our faith is genuine because it has been tried by fire.  And though we have cried and complained along the way, we know God is real and provides and protects his chosen through any and all circumstance.  In addition, he teaches us to be content in our circumstance and hopeful for an eternity with him. James and Peter agree that we are blessed when we encounter trials of varies kinds because it is those trials that mold and complete us! When you can walk in that peace, then you are experiencing “Genuine Faith”.

God Bless You

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The Hope of Glory–I Peter 1–Part 1

When we travel through life, we do so seeking God and hoping for eternity—that is the heart of faith. But what we are looking for is an eternal inheritance. When we try to picture that inheritance, we have nothing on this earth with to compare it.  Everything here fades–beauty, riches, power, life all eventually break down and quit.  That is what makes our hope of Heaven worth the trails and the training.

 As we walk by faith, we do so to see heaven—a place where things do not fade.  There, we will have eternal bodies and rewards that are forever. In heaven there will be no war, no crime, no disease—only Gods chosen and eternal peace and joy.  It will be beautiful and glorious.  It is definitely worth the wait. 

So, in the meantime, we suffer some, we go through trials and training.  We do this with joy knowing that the treasures we are being prepared to receive are for real and eternal.

 God Bless You

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.