1 Peter

November 11, 2018

(excerpt from “The Essential Bible Companion”)

How can believers find the strength to face suffering and trials in their lives? Peter writes to remind Christians that in this life they are strangers and aliens in a foreign land. Their true identity is as God’s children and their true home is in His presence. This certainty can enable believers to face any adversity with faith, hope, and perseverance.

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Relationships Will Be Healed

November 8, 2018

(Today’s message is from Our Daily Bread – odb.org)

He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6 

My father was a good father, and, in most respects, I was a dutiful son. But I allowed my father to starve for the one thing I could have given him: myself.

He was a quiet man; I was equally silent. We often worked for hours side-by-side with scarcely a word passing between us. He never asked; I never told him my deepest desires and dreams, my hopes and fears.

In time I woke up to my reticence. Perhaps the perception came when my first son was born, or when, one by one, my sons went out into the world. Now I wish I had been more of a son to my father.

I think of all the things I could have told him. And all the things he could have told me. At his funeral I stood beside his casket, struggling to understand my emotions. “It’s too late, isn’t it?” my wife said quietly. “Exactly.”

My comfort lies in the fact that we’ll be able to set things right in heaven, for is that not where every tear will be wiped away? (Revelation 21:4).

For believers in Jesus, death is not the end of affection but the beginning of timeless existence in which there will be no more misunderstandings; relationships will be healed and love will grow forever. There, the hearts of sons will turn to their fathers and the hearts of fathers to their sons (Malachi 4:6).

Father, thank You for forgiving me and allowing me to experience a restored relationship with You. Help me to seek reconciliation in my broken relationships and deeper connections with others close to me even as I await the healing that will come in Your presence.

In God’s power and love, draw closer to others while there’s time.

INSIGHT

Scripture is very realistic about the difficulty of reconciliation. A community made up of broken people (Ephesians 4:17–24) will struggle with unity. Still, Christ’s victory over all evil (vv. 7–10)—including in our hearts—means that we can have profound confidence that believers, as Christ’s body, will grow in unity as His love brings us together (vv. 15–16).

But believers must “make every effort” (v. 3) to cultivate a community committed to “speaking the truth in love” (v. 15)—holding each other accountable for exchanging our natural lifestyles (vv. 25–29; 5:3–18) for the Spirit’s “way of love” (5:2, 18–20).

Most important, cultivating unity requires a forgiving, grace-filled spirit (4:32; 5:2) through the power of Christ’s Spirit, who loved us long before we loved Him.

This side of eternity, persistent sin may make it impossible for some relationships to be fully restored. Yet we can rest in Christ’s victory, trusting that His love and power will one day bring all of God’s children to perfect unity.


My Sin Has Been Erased, I’ll Never Be The Same

November 3, 2018

I love the words and music to this song!


The New Earth 🌏

September 16, 2018

To envision the new earth, simply look around and imagine what all this would be like with no suffering, corruption, sin, and death.

THE BEST IS YET TO COME!


Exposed Motives

August 26, 2018

(Teacher:Chris Tiegreen)


Workin’ for God

August 19, 2018

(Todays lesson is from ourdailybread.org)

When we’re in relationship with Jesus, any job we have to do gives us an opportunity to reflect His presence in our lives. No task is too small . . . or too big! Tackling our responsibilities—whatever they may be—with joy, creativity, and excellence gives us an opportunity to influence those around us, no matter our job.  

Lord, help me to tackle everything on my plate today with grace, enthusiasm, and joy, knowing that my attitude may affect others in ways I’m not even aware of.

The best way to do satisfying work is to do it for the Lord.


Wisdom Is A “Who” More Than A “What”

July 1, 2018

(Teacher:J.A. Medders – jamedders.com)

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Cor. 1:24)

“Jesus is Wisdom. He is the Proverbs wrapped in flesh. They are animated and fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus Lived The Proverbs For Us.

And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 1:30–31 ESV)

The Proverbs fill in the blanks for us on Jesus’s life that the Gospels didn’t set out to give us. We don’t have to wonder, “What would Jesus do?” The Proverbs tell us. They show us what He did. They show us what He didn’t do. The Proverbs give us insight into how Jesus faced the everyday matters of life, therefore discipling us into our everyday lives.

The wise life is to have the proverbial righteousness of Christ play out to every edge of life.

Wisdom is not smarts or morality. It’s not knowledge to win trivial pursuit. If we want to know what perfect wisdom looks like, there is one place to look. The Son of God. The Son of Man. Jesus.

The Hebrew word for wisdom basically means skill. It’s used to describe skill in war, art, and craftsmanship.

Wisdom is Christ-empowered skill to live for the glory of God.

We cannot live wisely without Him. His cross, His resurrection, His Holy Spirit empowering us is the only way we can be biblically wise.

This is the grace of wisdom. It’s a gift, a fruit from the gospel, freely given to us by Jesus Himself. He is the Sage of the sages. He is the wisest of the wise. He is greater than Solomon (Matt. 12:42).

Jesus Lives The Proverbs Through Us.

The Proverbs are not problematic for us—we have the risen Christ at work in us (Gal. 2:20). Yes, the Proverbs go against the grain of our flesh—calling us to humility and away from pride, calling us to think before we speak, etc. The bar is high; and Christ met it. And now we can live out the wisdom of Proverbs, the righteousness of Christ, with fear [of theLORD (Prov. 1:7)] and trembling, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”(Philippians 2:13).

If we want wisdom, if we want the Christ-empowered life, we must hear from Him in the Scriptures. “Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right” (Prov. 8:6 ). We must take His counsel. “Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold” (Prov. 8:10). We must listen to ourselves far less, and listen to Him far more.

Jesus is our wisdom. And in His grace, He freely offers it to us. “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me” (Prov. 8:17). If we go to Jesus for help, we will not find a cold shoulder. We’ll find nothing but love. Nothing but grace. Jesus sits on a throne of grace; not one of finger-wagging and tsk-tsks. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16)

The Proverbs are the practical righteousness of Christ, His life, played out in our sanctification. Wisdom isn’t a nebulous concept, or ancient advice for life. Wisdom is draped in Nazarene flesh. Wisdom is the Ancient of Days. And now, by the gospel of grace, Jesus is our wisdom, and our righteousness, and our sanctification.”


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