Living in Hope
Sun, Dec 15, 2013
Duration:41 mins
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7) Gaining humility, it seems, is like trying to hold water in your hands. While you can do it for a few seconds, it seems to seep out quickly. This week, as we close our series in 1 Peter, we will examine this important quality. It is one that was modeled by Jesus and to which we are called. But what does it look like? And how is it attained? Is it just having poor self-esteem or is it something else? Take some time to reread 1 Peter 5 to prepare your heart and mind.
Leading In Hope
Sun, Dec 08, 2013
Duration:49 mins
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;(1 Peter 5:1-2, ESV) I've been called a lot of things--not all of them good--Reverend, Padre, Priest, and even Father once. But Pastor is the most common.'s a weird title. Even though I've done this for a while, I still tend to look around when someone calls me by it. But what does it mean? What should it look like to be a pastor? Is it different than an elder? How did Jesus use these titles? And how did Peter use them? This week Peter turns to the leaders of the church. He wants them to care for and lead this suffering church. He calls them to lead in a specific way. To prepare your heart for Sunday, take some time to read through 1 Peter 5. We will also continue our celebration of Advent.
A New Life of Hope
Sun, Nov 24, 2013
Duration:48 mins
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2, ESV) Pain and suffering has a way of putting life into perspective. Or it can distort and consume our view of reality. Throughout 1 Peter, Peter desires that his readers suffer for the right things and with the right perspective. In this text, he returns to this recurring theme. But more than just enduring pain, he wants to see it produce something of lasting significance in their lives. As we continue in our journey of this book, take some time to read through 1 Peter 4-5. What does he hope suffering produces? How does it produce it?
Understanding God's Grace
Sun, Nov 17, 2013
Duration:41 mins
Understanding God's Wrath
Sun, Nov 10, 2013
Duration:46 mins
Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. (Joel 1:2-3, ESV) We are confused about what God is like. We tend to split him down into parts. And to be honest, there are some parts about him that at best confuse us, or at worst, offend us. We like to think of God in all the most pleasant ways. But when we read through the scriptures, we bump against descriptions and actions of God that don't fit neatly in our categories. Often times, we would rather not think about those attributes of God because they are unpleasant and are the fodder for angry, backwoods preachers. But they are there in scripture. So what do we do? Over the next two weeks, we are going to wrestle with who God is by looking at the small, minor prophet book of Joel. This book describes God and his actions in judgment. But, in the midst of it, we also find that God's judgment not only describes him but shows other angles of him as well. Kevin Mays will be taking this time to breakdown this book. I want to encourage you to read through Joel several times over the coming weeks so that as Kevin explains and teaches the passages, you will be familiar with the text.
Relating to Another in Hope
Sun, Nov 03, 2013
Duration:50 mins
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9, ESV) We all know the "Golden Rule," right? Treat others the way you want to be treated. We expect kindness in exchange for kindness. We expect our gestures of good will to be returned. But what happens when they aren't? What happens when they are met with disdain and disgust? How will we respond? If you have felt left out the last two weeks because you are not a servant (everyone is by the way) or a spouse, then this week is for you. Peter turns his attention to everyone. He wants us to examine how we respond to people within and outside the church, and especially those that are adversarial to the faith. If you have trouble "loving your enemies" (and we all do), then this week is for you. Take some time to read through the remainder of 1 Peter 3 to get a preview of this coming week. Then, I want to challenge you to write down and bring with you the names of a few people that you consider your enemies.
Marriages of Hope
Sun, Oct 27, 2013
Duration:57 mins
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands . . . Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:1-7, ESV) Throughout the book of 1 Peter, Peter has been connecting our living hope, Christ, to our lives. He has helped us understand how this hope causes us to suffer well. He has helped us see how our security in Christ gives us hope in any circumstance. But now, he gets personal. It would seem a huge oversight if he didn't help us understand how this grand hope related to the most intimate of our earthly relationships, marriage. In the opening of chapter 3, he turns to husbands and wives to point them toward Christ. I want to challenge couples to not only be there on Sunday but also be prepared to hear (and not poke your significant other). As I look at our community and our church, one of the major battlegrounds is our marriages. I believe that Christ wants to bring His living hope into our homes. Will you take some time between now and Sunday to slowly read through chapter 3. Ask yourself, "What would it look like for me to take one step forward with this truth in mind?'" Then come on Sunday ready to receive and worship together.
Hope in Injustice
Sun, Oct 20, 2013
Duration:41 mins
For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:20-21, ESV) "That's not FAIR!'"she screamed, as she stomped with her arms-crossed and tense body out of the room. "Well, sorry. But life ain't fair. Get over it." Dad said with sarcastic resolve in his voice. It was a conversation that was rewound and replayed hundreds of times in their household. She believed that fair meant everything and everyone would play by the same rules and get the same outcome. He believed that fair just meant fair. This would be an argument that they would both perpetually lose and always be on different sides of the aisle. We all want to be treated fairly. But the reality of life is--disparity will happen. Sometimes it comes with malicious intent. Other times, it happens out of sheer ignorance. Regardless, when it happens, how will we respond? In this text, Peter addresses the house servants of his day. We could easily overlook this passage as penned for another time and place. But, I believe that we would miss some of his heart for us. Here he lays down a mentality, as well as the power to live in those moments of disparity, that not only endures but elucidates the gospel. Take some time to read through 1 Peter 2 before Sunday. Think of a time that you were treated unfairly. How did you respond to the situation? How did you respond to the person? Then, come with your heart ready to worship, receive, and take. In light of this passage, we will be celebrating communion together. Plan to be there.
People of Hope in a Foreign Land
Sun, Oct 13, 2013
Duration:48 mins
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. (1 Peter 2:13-14, ESV) The rules of polite company say, if you want to make friends and influence people, don't ever talk about religion and politics. Well, this Sunday, I guess I'm shooting to lose friends and destroy my influence because we are going to talk about both. In today's political environment, it is an intensely practical and confrontational time to examine this passage. But, this is where we have landed. So here we go . . . I want to encourage you to do two things before Sunday. First, take some time to slowly read 1 Peter 2. Second, take some time to pray for our political leaders of all stripes and convictions during this time.
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