Monday, January 25, 2010

I Peter 2:1-3

I Peter 2:1-3

Vs. 1- "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2- Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3- now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

If you remember the end of chapter 1 stated that "And this is the word that was preached to you."
Peter was reminding us that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross we are to live holy lives. So in 2:1, Peter is giving us examples of what we are to rid out of our lives. I have often told ladies in Bible studies that we come to Christ like an uncut diamond. Christ knows what beauty is inside that diamond but we have to be rid of the parts that are not in order to shine the light of Christ brightly.

What are these things to be rid of- Malice- this is a characteristic that seeks to hurt others and live in opposition of God. Deceit- This speaks of a deliberate dishonesty. Hypocrisy- This speaks of living a life of insincerity, pretense, an outward show. Envy- This is an embittered awareness of another's advantage combined with the desire to possess the same.
Slander- evil speaking and defamation- this is speech that harms others.
( all above definitions taken from Womens Evangelical Commentary- Patterson and Kelley-2006)

All these traits hurt others and does not exemplify a life of love toward others.

Peter then tells us to crave the spiritual milk of the Word of God like a newborn baby craves for milk. This word crave means to fervently long for, pursue with love, yearn for - (Patterson & Kelley, 2006)

As believers we are told to crave, hunger, desire the Word of God. Recently, we had our Youth Evangelism Conference and our speaker David Nasser challenged us to crave after the Word of God because how will we draw a lost world to Christ if we do not seek after Christ and his Word before anything else. Perhaps part of the reason we do not reach more for Christ is because the world does not see God's Word making a difference in our lives.
This Sunday I was challenged by my pastor who reminded me to be busy following the command of our Lord to go and be a witness. This was a fresh challenge to me to be ready at all times to share the faith that I profess and to remember what Christ did for me and be ready to share at a moments notice.

Time is short ladies- Be ready to share your faith- Hunger for his Word and be rid of the things in your life that will cause your light to dim.

Let's be a shining diamond for Christ in all we do and say.

Encouragment in ministry

I just wanted to take a moment to say how important it is to be a part of an active fellowship of believers.
I am always so blessed after spending time with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and spending time studying God's Word together.
I was blessed to spend a short time with some of our church planters yesterday and my heart was encouraged and blessed to see how God is using them.
I am grateful for the ministry the Lord has placed us in and have just a small part in what God is going to do and is doing in their lives and ministry.

If any of you planter wives are reading this just know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work of spreading the Word and building His church.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Peter 1:22-25

Today we finish looking at I Peter 1.
Vs. 22 - Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

This verse is encouraging us to love others with the same love that Christ had for us on the cross. We are to love with sincerity and love deeply from the heart. ( Some early manuscripts say "from a pure heart") (NIV study Bible post note)

Yesterday we looked at how precious the love of Jesus was for us that he laid his life down for us on the cross. As believers who have been purified by his blood and we believe this truth for ourselves, we are to love others with this same incredible love. How often would we love our fellow sisters and brother in Christ this way. Do we love so deeply that we would lay down our lives for them?

Vs. 23-25 - For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24- For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25- but the word of the Lord stands forever."

The quoted verse above comes from Isaiah 40:6-8- I love how our Scriptures all tie together, the Old Testament with the New Testament. Peter was reminding the people of what God had told Israel from the prophet Isaiah.

God's Word is an everlasting word, it is timeless, imperishable. Even though we will someday die and no longer be on this earth. God's Word lives on forever. One day we will be with "the Word" in heaven someday.

I hope the first chapter of I Peter has been one of encouragement and comfort for you. It is exciting to realize that we have an enduring, imperishable hope in our heavenly Father and that the promises of his Word will never go away. When we go through our life on earth with suffering and pain his Word will always be with us. When we have times of joy and gladness, his Word is with us.

Today lets remember to love others deeply and with a sincere and pure heart. Lets remember his enduring, everlasting promises. Stand strong in the faith and in the promises of his Word.

Finally, the last part of 1Peter 1:25 gives a teaser for tomorrow.
"And this is the word that was preached to you." This will lead us off for tomorrow as we look at 1 Peter chapter 2.

Have a great day ladies and remember his promises- His Word endures forever.

Note: All scripture is taken from Life Application Study Bible- NIV- Zondervan Publishing

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Peter 1:17-21

We are back to our study of I Peter. Sorry for the long break.

The last part we studied was speaking of Holiness and how we are to live holy lives before the father in this world.
Today, the passage continues with verse 17- "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear." (NIV)
God expects us to live out our lives as a testimony to what he has done for us. We are not get too comfortable here on earth because our ultimate home is heaven. So in the meantime, live in "reverent fear" of our holy God. We are to have a "reverential awe" of our God. (Patterson and Kelley, B & H, 2006) This in itself should cause us to live a holy life.

Vs. 18 - For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19- but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (NIV)

Redeemed - Gk. elutrothete- means to be released, delivered, liberated from a payment of ransom. Precious -Gk. - timio- of great price, very costly, especially dear.

As you see from these definitions in the Greek as believers we are delivered, released from the debt we owed for our sins. Who is it that paid that ransom? Our precious Saviour, Jesus!
Just as the Passover Lamb had to be perfect and without blemish, our precious Jesus was also without defect. He was the payment for our sins. The blood he shed on the cross paid the debt we owed for our sins.
This passage just makes me want to shout. Peter wanted us to see the importance of the price Jesus paid for us. Our sins are gone. Our guilt is gone. Hallelujah. I think Peter had to feel the weight of this when he realized how he had denied the Lord and yet he was forgiven and restored. Even though he claimed three times during the trial of Jesus that he did not know him, later after his resurrection Jesus restored him when speaking to Peter about how much he loved him. Jesus charged Peter to follow him and he followed faithfully even unto death.
Peter declared boldly to the followers of Christ to please understand the depth of the love that Christ paid on the cross.

Vs. 20- He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Vs. 21- Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, so your faith and hope are in God. (NIV)

Peter knew that God had redemption in mind when he created the world and he wants us to remember that though he died he was raised from the dead and is now in heaven with the Father. This is our hope for living. All other religions have a belief in someone who is dead. Our Saviour is alive and he is in heaven now preparing a place for us.

My challenge to you today is to live your life understanding the great gift of our redemption in Christ, the hope of the resurrection and the life of joy we can live in this world.

Put your hope in God today and live triumphantly in Christ.

Walking through the valley

I am sorry for taking so long to get back to blogging. Life since Christmas has been so incredibly busy. We have been sorting through piles of books to donate to an overseas library, I have had visits to the local courthouse again with my daughter, more soccer, soccer, soccer. I have also been working some for my sons soccer team. Then school began this week. Lord have mercy, what am I doing. ;) :)

I wanted to write just a moment about walking through the valley in life.

I know Psalm 23 speaks of walking through "the valley of the shadow of death" I must say I am not in that valley but after a disappointing day in court with my blessed teenager once again, I am finding how hard it is to walk through valley's of life with our children that are just difficult to understand. I have been so grateful for her decision to know Christ in personal way, I have seen her whole outlook on life change. Her attitude, her desire to learn and change has been wonderful to see and yet we continue to struggle through consequences for past actions.
I keep praying for God's protection over her future and that he will intervene in a powerful way that only he will receive the glory.
She has a desire to be a social worker and help others that struggle. I just thought "Lord, does she have to learn this much about the process to be able to help others some day?"
Anyway, life just seems to throw us curveballs and we better have our spiritual mitts ready to catch what is coming and stand strong in the battles of life.
I thank God every day for the strength he gives and for the power of his word in our lives. May we never stray from his side so we can stand.