September 11, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Peter 3:1-18

Jesus is coming back – and I believe it will be soon.  People have always doubted that He would (v.3-4). He says He’s coming – but nothing has changed since the beginning of time – where is He?  The problem is, they forgot that God – who created the world – always has a plan, and that He does things in His time.  His time is different from ours – to Him, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.  That’s how it is when you live outside of time.  But make no mistake – Jesus is coming back for His church.  Jesus will come like a thief does – when no when expects it.  

How will that happen?

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Since we know this is going to happen – emanate – at any moment – this should effect how we live (v.11).  We should live our days like we will see Jesus tonight.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:14

Why hasn’t Jesus come back already?  He’s giving people time to be saved. (v.15).  It’s so important for us to make getting that message to our friends and family our top priority.  Time is running out.

So… thinking all of this through should motivate us to:

  • Live holy
    • Think heavenly (Philippians 3:20-21)
  • Witness hastily

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

September 10, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Peter 2:1-22

Today’s passage is something that should not be taken lightly because God does not take it lightly. Peter is warning believers about false prophets and teachers who will arise and try to deceive people. Listen people, this is still happening today! I was approached at the mall the other day by a man who was trying to tell me that there is no Trinity and that God is both male and female. He was even using the Bible to try and make his argument. We have to be aware of this.

Peter gives a description of these wicked people in verses 1-3 and again in 10b-16. The one thing Peter says that stuck out to me is, “Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones”. These people do not care to speak out against God. They are prideful in it.  

Although their pride may be great, notice that God knows how to deal with these people (v. 4-10). He sent angels who sinned to Hell, preserved Noah and his family during a time of great wickedness, He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and rescued Lot. As believers, this should cause us to rejoice. God is not going to let wickedness go unpunished. So while some false teachers may seem to be winning right now, ultimately they will not win at Christ’s second coming. 

Our job as Christians should be to rebuke these false teachers and point people to Jesus. We need to be out in the world proclaiming the truth of the Gospel.

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice

September 9, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Peter 1:12-21

In 2 Peter 1:12-21, we see Peter giving a lesson in the value of reminding ourselves of God and what it looks like to follow Him by consistently coming back to the Bible. The value Peter advocates for is why we teach the Bible on Sundays, talk about it in Connect Groups, use it in discipleships, and encourage the daily discipline of it as well. It’s why we have this blog!
Peter and the other writers of the New Testament have power and authority because their aim is to show readers the beauty of Jesus Christ and they have authority to do so because the New Testament writers either had direct affiliation with Jesus (Peter, Matthew, John, James, Paul, etc.) or were closely related to someone who did (Mark, Luke, etc.).
The beauty of the Bible is that God, through the Holy Spirit, has given us inspired and completely truthful words about Himself. In a sinful, broken world, how could we not remind ourselves daily about the beauties of God and the gospel? We have been given special revelation of the holiness and character of God, and the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to change lives and hearts.
So the question we must ask ourselves is: what about our daily reminders of God through His Word has potential to grow and bear more fruit? If you are not consistently in the Word every day, that is a good place to start! Pick a plan, pick a time, and pick a location, and ask God to give you a heart and desire to know him more through his Word. If you have consistency, do a heart check: are you reading to check it off your list, or are you truly being changed by what you are reading? For me, using the HEAR journaling method has been a great way to slow down and really marinate in what God has revealed in his Word.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate

September 7, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Peter 1:1-11

We kick off 2 Peter with a passage about showing the credibility of our faith in Christ. Second Peter is a three chapter letter that warns against false teachers and shows us that grace and grace alone gives the power to transform a sinner’s heart. Here in verses 1-11, Peter is calling Christians to live in such a way that proves your salvation is real.

Look at verses 5 through 7: supplement your faith with virtue, with knowledge, with self-control, with steadfastness, with godliness, with brotherly affection, and with love. Verse 8, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Many of these qualities are external, while faith itself is internal. Or is it? Peter is saying, “Don’t keep your faith to yourself, but live it out in such a way that you can be effective for the kingdom of God!” This is reiterated in James 2:17, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Don’t confuse this! Peter and James are not saying that your good works will save you, but good works should exist if you’re saved.
It’s so important for us to realize this: we’re not saved because we do good works, but we should do good works because we’re saved. Peter is urging us to put ourselves in positions where we won’t be disregarded as we share the gospel! Trust me when I say you’re not going to be effective in sharing the gospel with the police officer who pulled you over for going 90 mph in a 55.
What are you doing to make your verbal witness real, tangible, and evident? Or is what you say and do causing your witness to be ineffective and unfruitful?

By: Tyler Monroe — Worship Ministries Intern