September 6, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 5:1-14

Chapter 5 of 1 Peter starts off with some of the characteristics of an elder and shepherd. One common theme in these characteristics is humility, which is scary when it seems like a different mega-church pastor/author is fired or accused of being domineering and prideful every other week now. Of course it makes sense with the role of a shepherd, where they are to be tough in protecting their sheep and God’s doctrine, but tender in mercy and with people over all. 

This is also the chapter in 1 Peter where God reminds us of how we are to respond with anxiety. I feel like I meet with people and counsel people on this topic more now than any other time in ministry. We are an overworked, over worried society, where anxiety runs rampant and true faith is found too far in between. And that’s not diminishing the genuine stress and worry people have in life. For some, it can be a thorn in their side as a reminder of how they need to depend on Jesus. For others, it is a mental health issue that telling them to just trust God more will not help without additional physical and medical help. But God is not lying when saying we can cast ALL anxieties on Him, even if they don’t instantly go away and He wants to teach us something through that stress and worry. He also isn’t lying when saying He CARES for us in the midst of those troublesome times. What a sweet relief in that truth alone. We’re not alone in that worry because the Creator of the Universe and Savior of our Souls CARES for us. After all, like v. 10 say:

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor


September 5, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 4:12-19

Expectations are everything. They define how we react to everything in our life. One of the things Christians must realize is that our expectations will either be set by the Bible or by the world. Peter is attempting to help us set our expectations in a gospel-centered way.

He actually wants us to rejoice in our sufferings! In this context, suffering means suffering because of our association with Christ. “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (ESV) 

The point of suffering for the sake of Christ is to be reminded of God’s sufficiency in all things in our lives. Suffering for the sake of Christ might not be a reality for you right now, but that does not mean that you will always be immune from this type of suffering. How are you making God supreme in your life right now so that when suffering does come, you are prepared?

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate

September 4, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 4:1-11

Today’s passage talks about the difference between the life of someone who does not have a relationship with Jesus and someone who does have that relationship. We see that the life of someone who does not know Jesus is “living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry”. Along with that, they do not understand why believers in Jesus will not partake in the same kind of activities (v.4). 

For believers, Peter says that we need to “arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin”. This is key, because if we are willing to suffer as Christ has suffered then we will not give into temptations that the world may throw at us. Also, if we do this then our lives show we are living “for the will of God” (v.2b). 

Peter ends this section with telling believers to be self-controlled, sober-minded, loving, being hospitable, and using the gifts they have, so that “in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (v.11). 

Some things to think about:

  • Are you living like the world (v.3) or are you living as a follower of Jesus (v.7-11)? 
  • Are you willing to share the Gospel with those who are spiritually dead? (v.6)
  • Everyone will be judged on the final day, are you ready to give an account for everything you have ever done? (v.5)

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice

September 3, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 3:13-22

When God saved you, He called you to be His representative.  You can’t have one without the other.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.  Acts 1:8

… He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19b

There are a number of reasons why we don’t obey God in this area…

  • We’re afraid
  • We’re ashamed
  • We don’t care about others like we should
  • We don’t know what to say

Verse 15 reminds us to be ready…

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

How can you be ready?  Prepared to Share? Center Point offers training for this often… matter of fact one is coming up in October – be listening for it and take advantage of this training.  

How we share is important too.  Peter instructs us to share with gentleness and reverence.   We all have heard the horror stories of people who didn’t do that.  It does so much damage. Verse 16 tells us to keep a good conscience with those outside of the church.

Why is sharing our faith so important?  Because the Gospel is what changes people.  

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.  (v.18)

Take a moment today and thank God for sending His Son so you could know Him.  Thank Him for giving you the ministry of sharing with others. Make plans to obey these incredibly important commands.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor