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|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:14-16 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 4
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him without spot or blemish.
We can be at peace with no fear of the end of the world or the judgment to come because we have and are trusting in Jesus alone for redemption. I can live a righteous life because it is no longer through my own effort but because the Holy Spirit lives in me.
Galatians 2:20 (CJB) When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
The assurance of our salvation, our future entrance to heaven, is that the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us (making us more and more like Jesus).
2 Peter 3:15 Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. 16 He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.
As stated before, the delay of judgment gives more time for us to witness. It gives us as believers time to fulfill our job description as salt and light, as His ambassadors to bring people to an understanding and we pray an acceptance, a heart knowledge, of the gospel. The apostle Paul had urged believers through His letters to continue proclaiming the message of Christ. Peter is clearly equating Paul’s writings with the Old Testament Scriptures. Paul, himself, was aware that the apostles wrote the message of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.
As in Peter’s day, there are many twisters, those who contort the word to fit their own purposes.
Chew on this: Over and over, Peter has warned us about these human tornadoes and urged us to recognize them and avoid them. If the weather forecaster says a tornado is headed my way, I go to my safe place or drive to the safest place to avoid it. The forecast is that false teachers will multiply like rabbits as the Lord’s return nears. The safe place is found in the word of God, relying fully on Jesus, and having discernment to run in the opposite direction from the twisters!
|Posted on October 25, 2016 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
Session 9 - 1 Peter 5:10-11 – Alert Living – Day 4
1 Peter 5:10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 11 The dominion belongs to Him forever. Amen.
Suffering, although it may be intense and seem endless, is a temporary state for us as believers, especially when compared to eternity in the home Jesus is preparing for us. God is using even the enemy’s attacks against us to perfect us and make us more like Jesus since we have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28-29). Then what does Peter say God will personally do for His children? The Christian’s suffering is for the purpose of molding and making and building her into the divine design that God knows we shall be. The Amplified version shed some more light on this promise:
1 Peter 5:10 (AMP) After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be].
God will finish the sanctification process. God is the one who strengthens us for our journey on this planet and will be the one to enable us to be all He intended us to be. He will not leave His masterpieces as half-painted canvases.
Philippians 1:6 (AMP) I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].
God is sovereign, the King of kings, forever. Or as the Message translation so aptly expresses 1 Peter 5:11, “He gets the last word; yes, He does.”
Hebrews 12:2 (AMP) [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
Chew on this: God does all the work of saving us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. God is also the one who sanctifies us by His power and for His purpose. So, what is our responsibility in all this? Surrendering to His will, abiding in His love, and immersing ourselves in the Bible in order to hear Him clearly. As Oswald Chambers is quoted in My Utmost for His Highest, “There is only one thing God wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender.”
|Posted on July 19, 2016 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Sent into the World
John 17:15 (ESV) I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Jesus didn’t ask God to take His believers out of the world but to use them in the world. We shouldn’t try to escape from the world or from relationships with non-Christians. Jesus prayed the Lord would protect us from the Evil One, i.e. Satan. Since we are to serve Jesus here on earth until He calls us home to be with Him, we will be confronted by evil. However, Satan can do only that which God allows, and if God allows something it is ultimately for the believer’s good and God’s glory. Also, God tells us that there are ways to resist the temptations that we all face.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (Complete Jewish Bible) No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and God can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.
Our Jesus not only did everything necessary to save us from our sinfulness, but He also is the one who enables us to turn from sin and pursue Him wholeheartedly.
John 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Because we follow Christ, even though we are in the world, we are not like the world. We have been called out of the darkness into the light.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are 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.
We are different from the world because salvation makes us different as we follow the narrow path of God, not the wide path of sin. When I was a child, I loved the gospel song with the lyric, “This world is not my home; I’m just a-passin’ through.” As we allow the Lord to minister through us in this crazy, sinful world, we do well to remember that this is a temporary situation. This life is but a breath when compared to eternity with Jesus.
James 4:14 (NASB) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
For those who trust in Jesus, after the vapor of life here dissipates, there will an eternity of incomparable joy. The problems we face here will be wiped away and we will share in the glory radiating from our Lord.
Romans 8:18 (NASB) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
With this in mind, I can continue to serve the Lord with gladness here and now. I believe that this is true, but sometimes in the temporal moment, I am not experiencing it as “light.” When you are in the throes of temporary difficulties that feel permanent, it is hard to remind yourself that it is just a vapor of affliction. I believe that is why God put it in writing in His love letter to us, so we could be reminded that the One who keeps His promises is true; and we can bank on glory and joy that will surpass in intensity anything painful we have experienced.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
We become sanctified (set apart for sacred use or holy purpose, cleansed) through believing and obeying the Word of God by the power of the connection of our relationship with God. We are sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling us enabling us to understand the truth and apply it in our lives. We are called to live holy lives, but our holiness comes from Christ living in us and through us. Sanctification is a lifelong process that will not be completely finished until we are with the Lord, but the Christian should be experiencing a transformation even now.
John 17:18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
The Father sent Jesus to redeem His people, gather disciples, and help believers understand the way to live. Jesus sent His believers to finish the work of that gathering. We are called to be “the salt of the earth and the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus radiated the Father’s glory, and we reflect Jesus. As the moon reflects the sun, Christians reflect the Son. We must abide in Christ. In this intimate, holy relationship, the Holy Spirit will flow out of our lives to others. Jesus consecrated Himself to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice to provide the way for believers to be made clean and to be continually set apart to serve Him in this world. The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives enables us to be witnesses for Jesus as we are sent out into this hungry and dying world.
Q – Have you experienced the cleansing that comes from surrendering your life, your entire existence to Jesus? Are you being sanctified, made to look more and more like Him? If so, you have been sent out to serve God in this world. That does not mean that every Christian will be a full time vocational minister. What it does mean is that as we go about our daily business on planet earth we are to reflect the SON to those around us, to share His gospel with our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. We are to carry the love of Jesus wherever we go.