Posts

Showing posts from November 26, 2017

Precious

What does this word mean? It could mean of great value as in "precious jewels," "precious words" or "precious actions," like giving help to someone. It is also used about a person, indicating of them that they are beloved or dear. However, we don't presently use it much when talking about adult men and women, unless they are very elderly. Gabriel, an angel of God, used it to encourage Daniel three times. Daniel was a devout Jew who was taken into captivity as a teenager and would never return to his homeland, but we find in the first chapters of his book that he was determined not to defile himself although surrounded by power and wealth. Because of his virtue and devoutness, God honored him with dreams and visions and great wisdom uncommon in younger men. Daniel was promoted to high positions in the kingdoms that were ruling the earth. But he never lost himself in the positions and power he obtained. He remained true to the God of his fathers. Late in …

Obedience

This is a word that most Americans strain under. You were once a child and that dependence required you to obey your parents, but then you took the reins of your life and became independent and thought you no longer needed to obey. You felt freed, then you joined the Army and your sergeant required your obedience. Then you got out of the Army and found a job but you weren't free there either. Then you started paying taxes and found they would punish you if you didn't obey the law. Then you got a physical trainer to help you strengthen your body but they would only work with you if you obeyed them. Then you got a ticket for running a red light. I could go on but you get the message. Obedience is not a thing you once did as a child and now no longer need to do. It is an action that continues throughout your life. It is a good thing. The Apostle Paul in the Bible shared many situations in which you were to obey. They included as a child to your parents  (Ephesians 6:1), as slaves …

Fire and Peace

Fire ravages all that gets in its way. Recent fires throughout the western part of the United States illustrate that truth. Whether homes, cities, businesses and whether grass lands or heavily treed areas, when fire swept through all were blackened. It was enhanced by wind and gobbled up all in its path. It was no respecter of persons or property. In the third and last chapter of Peter's second letter to believers, he spoke about the end of the world. He said, "the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire…the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire…it is going to be destroyed…" (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 11) Peter was writing under inspiration as a prophet of God, foretelling the future destruction of all that his listeners held dear. However, in light of this cataclysmic future event he said the following; believers should live "holy and godly lives." (3:11) And he said, "while you are wait…

Slavery

The world has always had slavery. Conquering empires have always put the conquered into some kind of slavery. Even philosophies of life create slavery. Consider Communism, False Religions, and even those who live as "elites" who want to hold on to their power, they all produce slavery under them. Peter dealt strongly with false teachers. He said they "cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them." (2 Peter 2:1) Many would follow them and God would not spare them. Peter said, "false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed." (2:12) He went on to say, "They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception…" (2:13b) Then he said this, "They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you." (2:19) Here it is. The false teachers were slaves, even as they sought to put others in…

Must

"So think clearly and exercise self-control." (1 Peter 1:13) This challenge to believers by Peter had the following "musts" that accompanied it. In fact, they were the outward evidences of these two internal actions: Obedient Life: You "must live as God's obedient children." (1:14) We are God's children, adopted into His family, but are we obedient? To obey is to do exactly what you are told to do, immediately or when you are told to do it, and always with the right heart attitude. God's Holy Spirit is speaking to us continually. We may hear none, some, or more depending on the connection we maintain with Him. He uses the promptings of the Spirit, His Word, faithful friends and even parents to tell us what to do. When He speaks to us in whatever form, are we listening and are we ready to do it? Holiness Life: You "must be holy in everything you do" (1:15) Holy is to be set apart. In the wilderness wanderings the Tabernacle was holy, a…

Resurrection Results

Resurrection seems to find itself center stage only at Easter because we don't think about it much outside of that. It seems hard to believe that there is lots of life ahead for those who die, but God has designed it to be so. What is the result of the mercy of God rained down on us "because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead"? There are present and future results proved through the raising of Him from the dead. In the present Peter said, "we live with great expectation." (1 Peter 1:3b) There is a new focus to life. We believe and trust that we will soon be in heaven so when we meet others of the same persuasion we connect immediately. It doesn't matter where we meet them; there is a new enjoyment in finding believers who are going in the same direction. So, we are not just expecting more, but having "great expectations" that surmount suffering, loneliness, and even temporal success. And, we realize that in the future lies "a priceless inher…