Saturday Morning, 13 Jul 2019 – 2 Peter 1:1-11 ~ Make every effort to respond to God’s promises.

Saturday Morning

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:  (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Reading from the Book of 2 Peter 1:1-11 (NLT)

Greetings from Peter

This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.

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

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. 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.

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, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

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

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. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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Morning Reflection:

Make every effort to respond to God’s promises.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
– 2 Peter 1:3 –

Peter’s Second Letter has the marks of a “spiritual” last will and testament. His purpose was to encourage believers to grow in faith, even as the world around them became more unbelieving (apostate). His counsel speaks to our need today – to grow in godliness as strangers and aliens living in an unbelieving world.

Peter reminds us that God has given us all we need to live godly lives, specifically his Word and his Spirit. God’s Word is filled with God’s promises and God’s Spirit reminds us of these promises and applies them to our lives when we need them most. There is power in the promises of God because they are backed by the power of God himself.

+ God’s promises are mediated through God’s Son, Jesus Christ – the more we know of him and grow in him, the more these promises are realized in our lives.

+ God’s nature becomes infused in our lives the more we know of Christ and the more we become united with him through faith.

Peter views “godliness” as a choice – actually, a series of choices – to love what God loves, or to love what the world loves. Here are the godly choices Peter sets before us –

“Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence,
and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control,
and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,
and godliness with brotherly affection,
and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”

– 2 Peter 1:5-7 –

Christlikeness is the goal of growing in godliness. Peter says we have everything we need to do just that.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you think of yourself as a godly person? Please explain.
  • God’s Word and Spirit are the powerful means given us to grow in godliness. What role do they play in shaping your life?
  • When you review the choices Peter sets before us, where do you need to grow? What would have to change to make that possible? Please explain.
  • As a Christian, what do you want your children to know about your faith? What have you learned about living a godly life? What example have you set for them? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for Grace to Seek God in Every Way: (Benedict of Nursia)

Gracious and holy Father, please give me intellect to understand you, reason to discern you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, a spirit to know you, a heart to meditate upon you, ears to hear you, eyes to see you, a tongue to proclaim you, a way of life pleasing to you, patience to wait for you, and perseverance to look for you. Grant me a perfect end, your holy presence, a blessed resurrection, and life everlasting. Amen.

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“Standing on the Promises” – Christian Gospel Choir

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Friday Morning: 05 Jul 2019 – 1 Peter 1:1-12 ~ Live with Heaven in mind.

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose beloved Son first suffered pain and crucifixion before entering into glory: Mercifully grant that we, walking in his footsteps, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – 1 Peter 1:1-12 (NLT)

Greetings from Peter

This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.

The Hope of Eternal Life

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 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.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
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Morning Reflection:

Live with Heaven in mind.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.
– 1 Peter 1:2 –

The Apostle Peter sent his letter to believers, mainly Gentiles, living as foreigners in the northern regions of Asia Minor (modern western Turkey). His purpose was to encourage those who were facing persecution for their faith to stand firm.

In today’s reading, Peter reminds us of our identity as believers: we have been chosen by God, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and made holy by the Spirit at work within us.

+ In Christ, we have hope – because He lives, we shall live. Our new birth gave us this life. Consequently our hope is both alive within us and part of our new life in Christ.
+ In Christ, we have joy – even in our trials, because we have hope, faith, and love. Our present joy is infused with God’s glory; it’s a foretaste of the glory we will experience when Christ returns.
+ In Christ, we have a model of suffering in obedience to God. Both suffering and joy are normative aspects of Christian life.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you see yourself as a foreigner in the place where you live? How does that affect your understanding of citizenship? Please explain.
  • When you think about who you are (your identity), how is your self-image shaped by what people say about you? How is your self-image shaped by what God says about you? Please explain.
  • Can you think of an example when faith in Jesus Christ changed your despair into hope, your sadness into joy? Please explain.
  • Do you view suffering as normative for Christians? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Times of Suffering or Weakness

Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: I hold up all my weakness to your strength, my failure to your faithfulness, my sinfulness to your perfection, my loneliness to your compassion, my little pains to your great agony on the Cross. I pray that you will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as you would have it lived, without cowardice and for you alone. Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition, and true love. Amen.

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“This World is Not My Home” – Charity Youth Bible School

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Daily Reading: 03 Aug – The Apostles’ Teaching: A Living Hope – 1 Peter 1:1-2:12

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:19.c – The Apostles’ Teaching

A Living Hope – 1 Peter 1:1-2:12 (NLT)

Greetings from Peter

1 Peter 1  This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.

The Hope of Eternal Life

priceless

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

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.

8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

A Call to Holy Living

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.”

1-holiness

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.

21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,

“People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. 25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

1 Peter 2  So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Living Stones for God’s House

cross build the church

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

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.”

7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”

8 And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

10 “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.”

John Bunyan - Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress

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.
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Prayer

Merciful God: I come to you through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ – who paid my ransom by shedding his blood on the cross for my sin. Thank you for adopting me into your family. I greet this day with joy-filled expectation – knowing that, whatever my present circumstance may be, a priceless inheritance awaits me in heaven.

Holy God: Make me like you – through the transforming power of your Spirit at work in me. Holiness, Christ-likeness, that’s what you want from me – and yet it seems like such an impossibility in my deeply flawed life. Forgive my deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and unkind speech. Today, once again, I place my life in your hands; work your purpose in me as you choose.

Heavenly Father: This world is not my home, I am a “temporary resident and foreigner” in a strange land that is becoming stranger every day. Give me wisdom and sound judgement that I may find favor with you and my unbelieving neighbors. May my identity as one of your children display your goodness, and bring honor to your name.

I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“This world is not my home” – Ricky Scaggs


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Closing Sentence

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!