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Before the Foundation of the World ~ 1 Peter 1:20-21

“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1: 20-21 Before God gave the earth its shape, before He laid the oceans in their place, or hung a star in the sky He had a plan….He knew what He was going to do to rescue the people He was about to create from the futile lives we all would choose over Him. Our sinful passions were not unknown to Him before a single stone was set on the earth, our preference for possessions and earthly things over Him who made all things wasn’t a shock or surprise…. He knew about it before the foundation of the world and […]

Held in God’s Power ~ 1 Peter 1:5

“..who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5 Some days we just feel like we will not make it. Other days we feel as though we could conquer the world. I’ve experienced these emotional ups and downs, and sometimes during the same day! The important thing is; however, that when we open our Bible’s and turn to a verse like 1 Peter 1:5 that we read it and see that we are being held in God’s power. This changes everything and brings our ups and downs into balance because we see that it’s not really about us. Now I realize that the idea of being held in someone’s power can carry some negative connotations, such as, controlling, manipulative, or a task master, but in this case things are entirely different. God is all powerful and […]

Hope in God’s Mercy – 1 Peter 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3 I sin every day. That’s my confession and I shouldn’t think it is shocking, especially to anyone who knows me well. I don’t get up in the morning planning on sinning, in fact, I get up early and pray that Iwon’t sin. However, my sin reminds me of my need for my Savior and my deep gratitude for God’s mercy. Let me just be crystal clear about this though, I don’t practice sin (remember “do not get up in the morning planning to sin”)… I practice righteousness; that is, I rely on the Holy Spirit to teach me how to be holy as God is holy. Kind of like a piano […]

Celebrating Grace – 1 Peter 1:2

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 “Amazing grace how sweet the sound….” Everyone knows this song, most of us can sing it by heart. Can we sing it from the heart? Why did John Newton write that the sound of grace was sweet? Answer: Because it saved a wretch like me! It is the grace of God that takes a person who is living life according to their own desires, blind to the consequences of their sin, and gives them the ability to see the truth of the gospel and to repent. In order to sing Amazing Grace […]

Elect Exiles – 1 Peter 1:1

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” 1 Peter 1:1 The apostle Peter is about to address a group of diverse Christians; followers of Christ from different territories, who spoke different languages, were integrated into different cultures, and were made up of both Gentiles and some Jewish converts. The one thing they had in common? Chosen by God to live by faith and to not fit in. There are three valuable gems that I want to examine in this one single verse that opens the door to book of 1 Peter: this letter is applicable to all Christians, followers of Jesus are God’s chosen people, we are currently separated from and awaiting our true home in heaven. Concerning All Christians I have heard people say, both Christians and Non-, that the Bible isn’t entirely relevant […]

Deceptive Traps

Pharisees and Scribes set Traps for Jesus – Luke 11:53-54 Opening Thoughts: After several months in Luke 11 I am finally closing this chapter. The Bible is so packed with information that is so easily missed if we simply treat it like some type of daily duty, spending 30 minutes slamming through our four chapters, simply to make it through our “Bible in a Year” program. I’m not entirely dissin’ the Bible in a year idea, but if we are not stewardly with our time spent in God’s Word, we incur the risk of coming to false conclusions, getting caught in traps set for us, and ultimately we take the chance of misunderstanding the Gospel all together. Instead we can end up mistaking it for more of a self help guide for “your best life now road map, with a twist of  see you at the top because I’m a kingdom child” attitude, rather than a […]

Moment of Truth – A Rhyme by Shane Martin

MOMENT OF TRUTH! I LIKE people who SPEAK the TRUTH, who are FEARLESS of what is said about them, I LIKE people who PREACH the GOSPEL including God’s wrath and judgement but are careful they don’t condemn men. I LIKE people who hold to TRUTH over Popularity, I LIKE people who aren’t afraid to WALK ALONE in the world even when it means they will forfeit prosperity. I LIKE people who TEACH the scriptures in CONTEXT rather than making up their own interpretation, I LIKE people who aren’t AFRAID to say ABORTION is MURDER instead of trying to protect their denomination. I LIKE people who risk it all and Consider that SUFFERING is part of the CALL. I LIKE people who LOVE & PRAY for their HATERS instead of retaliating like some young punk skaters. I LIKE people who are SO HEAVENLY MINDED that the WORLD does not deserve them. I LIKE […]

God Plans

God doesn’t just know, He Plans – Matthew 26:20-15 God only knows? Have you ever used the phrase, “God knows”, in reference to a difficult or uncertain situation? I know that, for us anyway, we’ve said it a lot. When we’ve been in car accidents, or when something tragic happens to someone we know, or even if it’s something minor like locking our keys in the car we have often shrugged and said, “Well, God knows. He’ll take care of it.” There is nothing wrong on the surface with a statement like this, it’s just incomplete. Several months ago we decided to change our go to phrase from “God knows” to “God plans”. Of course God knows what is going on in our lives, but it doesn’t catch him off guard and it’s not a mess he has to clean up. God doesn’t just know, he plans, and he does […]

Wasted on Jesus

Matthew 26:6-13 “And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim…” When you become a follower of Jesus everything in your life becomes about the eternal. Possessions lose their luster in your sight, media of the world becomes bland in comparison with the Bible, vacations and holidays are enjoyable and nice but don’t even come close to the place you know that Jesus is preparing for you. Granted, we occasionally lose sight of these truths when we become distracted by life’s trials, but a true follower always regains his footing on the straight and narrow towards the beautiful before all is lost. “Whether fine or stormy…” Recently I started reading The Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor to my 5 year old son. I am amazed at how the story can hold his attention (he is a very active 5 year old boy), it’s always “one more chapter […]

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Opening Thoughts: When I was reading tonight’s text my mind was racing through several scenes that I’ve seen in a few different war movies. These are scenes of victory. Some of the most victorious scenes for me come from Braveheart. I can just see the celebrations now as they come back from the battle field. Or what about in Lord of the Rings when after many grueling and relentless battle’s they win the war and return rejoicing to the shire. This is kind of what we see here in Luke 10. Jesus had just sent the 72 disciples out to minister, and now they are returning very excited and doing victory dances… Scripture: Luke 10:17-20 ESV [17] The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” [18] And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. [19] Behold, I […]