Friday, April 26, 2013

A License to Sin

Peter, John and Jude deal with false teachers, and though the teaching varies, there is a common theme behind those who pervert the truth.

Jude 4 "turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ."

1 Jn 1:4 "the one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' yet doesn't keep His commands is a liar."

1 Jn 1:9 "The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness."

2 Pet 2:19 "They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Desiring God like a Screaming Baby

My wife and I are blessed to have a one-year-old daughter, Eliaya, and a second child on the way. This week, our daughter has not been sleeping well at all. When she does sleep, she wakes up early and very, very hungry. I think I have learned to pour milk and seal her sippy cup in about 4 seconds. When she does not have her milk, she cries or screams (very similar).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stand Firm. He will Make you Stand Firm

Often the apparent contradictions in Scripture, upon careful reflection, blossom into some of the most beautiful truths we can find.  Such is the case at the end of 1 Peter.  It comes from the apostle who was singled out for his desertion of Christ at the Lord's darkest hour before being crucified.  Peter is uniquely qualified to discuss God's grace to restore us and keep us steadfast, while in the same breath commanding that Christians stand firm in the faith to the end.

Choose to Serve God Above Anyone or Anything Else

1 Pet 3:15, "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." When we decide to obey God, it is an internal decision. We essentially say, "we trust you above anyone else, and we want to please you above anyone else." Thus, to some degree, we become His slaves, and He our master, or our Lord.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dead Come Alive

In 1 Peter 2:18-25, Peter encourages Christian slaves to submit to potentially harsh treatment from un-Christian masters. He says, "if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God," (1 Pet 2:20). His justification for this command to endure is the example of Christ who, "when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats," (1 Pet 2:23). One strong reason for Christ enduring such persecution willingly and humbly, is because His Father called him to that, and promised that not even death would be able to hold him. We, through belief in Christ, have the same enduring hope beyond the grave - so we can endure suffering with patience and humility. I find it immensely encouraging when I feel wronged to know that the God I serve is judge of all and promises to one day make all things right. So, I can trust my immediate and permanent futures to Him.

Epoch Church of Jacksonville, FL showed this video recently emphasizing this point: Click Here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Timely Encouragement

In 1 Peter, the apostle who once buckled under pressure, denying Jesus three times, encourages other believers to stand firm under trials. His key reason is that all that Christ has done for us far outweighs our present sufferings - He has purchased for us a place in eternal paradise.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Never Stop Talking with God

James 5:13, "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."

I read this verse this morning and took great encouragement that no matter the circumstance, there is no reason to stop communicating with God. He cares about our troubles, and so we take those to Him. And we trust that He provides our joys and the blessings in our life, so we praise Him for those. Either way, we don't stop talking to our good and all-powerful God.