Friday, July 28, 2017

Avoiding those who would lure you back to sin

Avoiding those who would lure you back to sin

S- 2Peter 2

They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.] And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

O-  Peter is speaking here of false prophets or people who will act like your friends , even act like Christians and then lead you away from God's ways.   Peter is telling us that as believers we have received great joy through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior ,  but that we are susceptible to being led a stray and therefore ought to be on guard for those that would lead us away froom our new found life in Christ.

A - The application for me is not to avoid sinful people,  God still wants to reach them and show them His love and mercy,  but in living in the world not to join those in their sin and wandering away from God's ways.   It a fair warning because we all like to be liked and when integrating into a new community like I am now,  I must be careful in my joining into a shipyard or navy culture where sin at some level is acceptable.  In the recent past I think this was more of an internal battle with powers and principalities in the spiritual real challenging me to give up my new way of living and go back to the old.  I perserverved and endured through that season but not with out scars and exhaustion.  Peters warning to me today is to avoid it all together.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.   I pray Lord that you would help me to see what you see in people and circumstances,  to avoid the sin, and love the sinner,  help guard my heart and mind from any tempation to go back to my old ways.  In Jesus Christ I pray,  Amen.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The most effective habit - Growing your faith

The most effective habit - Growing your faith

S- 2 Peter 1
2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Growing in Faith

3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

10 So, dear brothers and sisters,work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

O-  This is such a great revelation for me this morning.  Up until now I have had this 2 peter chapter as something I have been studying , meditationg and journaling on as a study of habits of highly effective Christians.   Today I recognize it as not many habits but one.   Grow your faith and God will give you more grace and peace which is the personal victory.   Verses 5-8 simply point out how to grow your faith all for the purpose of becoming more  productive and useful in the kingdom of god.

A -  The applicatin for me is again simple, because it is all encoming  in this chapter,  grow my faith, by striving for moral excellence,  growing in knowledge, mastering self control,   building patient endurance,  and becoming more godly.   With all of that I am to practice loving other Christians,  and learning to love all like Christ.

P - Dear heavenly Father,  thank you for what You have shown me through this scripture,  I pray you would help me to continue to grow my faith, and grow more into the man you are calling me to be.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Humble servant leader

Humbe servant leader

S -1 Peter 5
5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

O -   Sometime the words in the scripture are more than enough to descibe exactly what I need to know,  God opposess the proud, and gives grace to the humble,  just give your worries and cares to God,  for He cares for  you.

A -  I must continue to grow in the direction of living this out , a life of a humble servant, and servant leader,  who gives all I have to serve God and serve others.   I must only give my cares and worries over to Him whenever they get in the way of my ability to do either  one.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I am thankful Lord for this day you have given me, for you have taken all my cares and worries away,   I ask that you show me how I might serve you today, and how I might show your love to others who you have given me to work with.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Living for God and suffering for being a Christian

Living for God and suffering for being a Christian

S -1 Peter 4
4 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
...
Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

O -  What freedom we have in Christ,  freedom from the weight and consequences of sin.   We often are encouraged by this but forget the whole package deal -  we are now partners with Christ and shouldn't be surprised when we still face trials and suffering.  Christ was free from sin, and one with the Father and yet he faced trial and suffering and so will we.  Instead of being depressed by this we should understand the partners we are in our shared suffering knowing in the end He has made it through and won the victory. 

A -  The application for me is to look back at the season I just went to and realize , Christ faced similar suffering and trials.   First my experience was like the 40 day and nights that Christ went into the desert, fasted and was tempted by the devil.  I too faced a similar internal suffering and faced many tempations and battles in my mind, and for my soul.   Later Christ faced great internal strife as he faced the cross and the feeling even of abandoment by God.    I feel I faced a similar crisis of faith where I wondered if  God abandonded me or somehow was irrellevant in relief of my suffering.    But in the end I feel great peace and joy as the I once again feel the presence of God, the guidance of the Holy spirit and the favor of my Father in Heaven. 

P - Dear heavenly Father thank you for word today, may it be sealed to my heart.  I first off want to thank you for your promises shown true in my life through a season of trial and suffering.  Second I would ask Lord that you help me to be like Paul who learns to be satisfied in all things both times of plenty and times of few, times of great peace and times of great turmoil and yes even suffering.   I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Trust in the Lord

TRUST IN THE LORD
S -isaiah 40
“Shout that people are like the grass.
    Their beauty fades as quickly
    as the flowers in a field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fade
    beneath the breath of the Lord.
    And so it is with people.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”
...

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

O -  The Lord our God is beyond our ability to imagine all that is and does, and can do.   This is why we celebrate His glory because first off He deserves it, but second off we need to remind ourselves who is on our side, who is for us.   Our lives are subject to time and the elements, we get to enjoy this life but the elements will have its affect on our physical lives,  but the one thing ever stable and never changing is the word of God.   Not only is His word trustworthy, we have a God that enduring and powerful,  and gives help to us who are exhausted and weary.    With Him we can run and not grow weary.

A -  I am reminded today that scripture can serve so many needs in my life, one is often correction and direction giving me guidance on where I need to go and how I need to change.   Another is exampled in today's verses from Isaiah,  to remind us of the greatness of our God,   the kindness and everlasting love and gentleness He can provided.  My application then is just to be reminded who is on my side, and what that means to my worry and my exhaustion.

P - Dear Heavenly Father,  thank you for today's lesson may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that your spirit would ever refresh and remind me of who you are, and that Lord you would help me run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint.  I want to soar on wings of eagles as I serve you in this place.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Living members of God's church

Living members of God's church
S-1 Peter 2
5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,
    chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him
    will never be disgraced.”
Once you had no identity as a people;
    now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
    now you have received God’s mercy.
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

O -  My only observation is how comforting this passage really is to me, that  God chose to create the new temple with us as His living stones, and Jesus as the Cornerstone.    We are to be seen to the world as God's church, and we interact with those who don't know him to be intermediaries between God and man.    We have been made residents of God's Kingdom and are now temporary residents of this world, and as such we should no longer live pleasing the worldly desires but those which are kingdom building.

A - The application for me is to recognize I am a new creation and a temporary resident here.  I have a purpose and a calling to represent the Church and Christ in all that I do.  To intercede for those that do not yet know God and to share a clear picture of his love, mercy, and kingdom.  

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this mornings lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.    I pray Lord that you  show me where I am to work in this season ahead to represent you and share your love and mercy with others.   I pray all this in Jesus,   name,  Amen.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The joy we have to look forward to

The joy we have to look forward to
S 1 Peter
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
...

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.

O - The scripture seems to be a lovely exhortation to the life of good christian living and what to expect and how to thrive.    Peter speaks to the people who now know the joy of salvation but will face trials ahead which will test and strengthen their faith.

A-  Peter also leaves us advice on preparing our minds and exercising self control to endure the trials ahead.   I am to live as obedient child to God's direction and will for my live,  in an effort to please God, and not fall back to satisfying my own desires.  

P - Lord my prayer is that you would help me build on the foundation of faith  you have given me through enduring trials and waiting patiently on the Lord.  Help me to restore and refresh my marriage, and relationships that lapsed during this past trials,  and help me live with a renewed spirit of joy and peace over your hand on my life.  I pray all of this in Jesus name, Amen.