Month: April 2015

When God opens eyes and ears

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/126371518″>When God opens eyes and ears – Isaiah 29</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user3461934″>Pastor Steve Schroeder</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

In spite of us having God’s word, false teachers abound

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2 Peter 2:1–3

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Yesterday, Ben read a blasphemous quote from the great atheist, Richard Dawkins.  From inside the church we recognize Dawkins as both brilliant and against God.  We recognize that he does not recognize that even his brilliance is a gift from God before Whom even he will one day stand.

But the Apostle Peter is not talking about deceivers outside the church.  He is warning of false teachers within the church.  It is deceivers within the church who are far more dangerous than those on the outside.

Beware of any who: 1. Sneak in private teachings.  If someone pulls you aside to tell you their pet doctrine, take it to the pastor and ask the pastor if this pet doctrine is in line with the whole of scripture.  False teachers do teach the whole church just those whom they think they can influence. 2. Deny the Lord Jesus in either His person, He is 100% God, or His work, He fully paid the price for God’s judgment of our sin.  Anything less is heresy.  Those who teach that Christ is less than God and has done less than fully pay for our sin will bring destruction upon themselves. 3. These false teachers are covetous.  They are teaching for their own benefit.  Beware of preachers who get rich off of their congregations.  If they are in the ministry for personal gain they are in it for the wrong reason.  Their doctrine will follow their covetousness. 4. Use deceptive words to make their case.  The Bible is clear.  God intended for it to be clear.  When teachers begin using words that twist the clear meanings of scripture or use words with shady connotations beware.
God wants us to know that He is aware of all false teachers and that their judgment is in His hands.  In the meantime, we need to be aware that false teachers have been in the church for a long time and have infiltrated the people of God long before the formation of the church.  Thus we must be students of the scriptures able to discern truth from error lest we be pulled away by a deceiver.

I plan to be bringing a message from Isaiah 30 this Sunday.  We will see that God wants us to look to Him for all of our personal and national security.  When we trust God and God alone He is able to watch over us and care for us.  This timely message for us today was timely 2500 years ago.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

 

The Bible is God’s word carefully given to us

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2 Peter 1:20–21

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

In this verse we have one of the most comprehensive statements on the inspiration of the Bible.  It teaches us that no one woke up and decided to write down the Scriptures.  No one, in a moment of frustration, decided to write something in hopes of getting the attention of his audience.  No one with a creative dream decided to write it down and start a religion.  No one had a vision apart from the Holy Spirit and wrote it down to be thought holy.  The Bible is a book that was written only when holy men of God spoke when they were moved by the Holy Spirit to do so.

With that understanding, we understand that the Bible is God’s words to man.  We understand that the book we hold in our hands is the inscripturated word of God.  We also understand that what we read in the Bible is God’s unique message to us.

There are a few points of verifying the words of a prophet.  One question we must ask is this, did his prophecies come true?  Many of the OT prophet’s prophecies did come true.  Those that did not were not supposed to yet.  Secondly, did the prophet’s prophecies agree with the prophecies of other prophets?  Again, as we read the OT we find a common theme of redemption throughout the OT and the NT.  Since the Holy Spirit of God was behind all true prophecies then the words the prophets spoke and recorded agree with one another, and they do.

Having said this, let’s look at the first part of this verse today.  “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.”  That means that no one has the right or authority to make the Scripture say what they want it to say.  I cannot make up an interpretation.  I must study the Word to find out what God meant when He gave it and seek to understand His meaning and interpret it from there.  When we determine what God meant when He gave His word then the word of God has the power and the authority to save our souls and to change our lives.

It is Wednesday and this is the first devotional of the week.  So sorry to be inconsistent with this. 

 

In reading for Sunday’s upcoming message I was reminded that God alone wants us to place our trust and our confidence in Him.  We cannot trust the Supreme Court, the politicians, the laws or even the Constitution.  God wants us to have confidence and security in Him.  As we pray for our country, and we had better be praying for it, we must at the same time place our confidence in the perfect will of God.  He is in control and is preparing the world for His ultimate plans and purposes. 

 

Join us for tonight’s prayer time.  We will be praying fervently for our country and for the souls of men and women in our community. 

 

Pray for a man named Tony who needs to make a life-changing decision.  It is difficult for him and we are praying that he will follow the Lord in this decision. 

 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

Do you believe the Word of God came from God? Peter did.

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2 Peter 1:17–19

17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

The Apostle Peter was thoroughly convinced that the Word he heard was from God. Men and women from Peter’s day until today have questioned what he “really” heard and have cast doubt upon him having heard the voice of God. But Peter knew what he heard. He had no doubt about it and wanted the people of his generation to know that there was no doubt as to the Word of God that he heard.

Having made his point about the source of this Word, it was from God, Peter then tells what this Word does. He says that the Word of God is to be heeded, that is, it is to have attention given to it. To heed is more than just to hear. My kids often heard my voice but did not heed it. We need to heed God’s word, to give it the attention due it.

He also tells us how to heed this Word: we are to heed it as a light that shines in a dark place. Light keeps us from walking into things. When we heed the Word of God as a light we don’t bump into the things in life that bring destruction. Just as you would not intentionally walk into a wall in a lighted room so in life when we have the light of God shining before us we don’t walk into spiritual walls but are able to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, discerning what the will of the Lord is.

Finally, Peter tells us how long to walk heeding the Word of God. We are to heed God’s word until the day dawns and the morning star arises in our hearts. We await the return of Jesus Christ who will be the morning star of eternity. We now walk in the light of the written Word of God but the day will come when we will walk in the presence of the living Word of God, the very Lord Jesus Christ. Heed the Word, walk in its’ light and do so until the Lord Jesus comes to make all things light and clear.

Today, I ask you to pray for a woman who has allowed my mother to take God’s word and to show her the Bible’s teaching on following Christ, man’s condition, sin, atonement and justification. This woman grew up in a culture that misused the concept of being saved to the point of bringing great confusion to many. Pray for my mom to have the power of the gospel flowing through her so that this dear and pained woman would give her sin and her life to follow Christ, find Him blood able to forgive her an come to hear God calling her to His offer of justification.

Pastor Bill has already finished at Spring Meadow but will have a service at Sunrise Assisted Living this afternoon. As always, keep him in your prayers.

RU will meet tonight. Pray for the darkness of sin in people’s lives to be held back so that they can see the Light of Christ, come and be saved from their sin. Pray for our staff to be spiritually ready to meet those whom God will bring.

Sunday morning I plan to bring a message from Isaiah 29. If you could read ahead it would prepare you for the message. Pray for God to use this for His honor and glory.

Finally, and of great importance, pray for our Supreme Court today to hear the voice of God above the voice of the sinful crowd. Our children and grandchildren will know of the verdict that comes from today’s arguments. May God be glorified and may we be spared.

Sunday, there is concert at Wentz Hall in Naperville. Both the Glee Club and a mixed chorus called the Voices of Hope will be performing. Voices of Hope is a chorus of cancer survivors who rejoice in the gift of life given back to them. If you are a cancer survivor tickets for you are free. The concert is at 3:00.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

What evidence do we have of our faith?

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2 Peter 1:16–18

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Of all of the religions in the world, Christianity is the most believable and the one under the most attack.  When was the last time you heard someone attacking Buddhism, or Catholicism, or Mormonism?  Yet Christianity is under constant attack. The world even defends Islam and permits its practice in the American schools and workplace.  But Christianity is the religion of fools, the whipping post of every liberal movement and the enemy of evolutionism.

And yet, of all of the religions in the world, Christianity is the faith system with the most evidence of truly coming from God to man.  In today’s verse Peter tells us that he and the other Apostles did not follow cunningly devised fables.  I submit to you that every other religion is filled with cunningly devised fables which people flock after.  Not our faith.  Our faith is based on eyewitness accounts of the very glory of God.  Peter was at the mount of transfiguration and saw Moses and Elijah but more than that he saw Jesus in His glory.  He was an eyewitness of Jesus’ majesty.  Not only did Jesus glow with glory but Peter also heard the very voice of God confirming the person of Jesus Christ.

All other religious systems lift up their founder, men or women who are lifted up as great and holy.  Christianity does not lift up men but lifts up God.  Peter could have started his own church but he did not do that.  No, he spent his life lifting up Jesus Christ as God for He was God.  Peter followed God and led others, even us, to do the same.  Do not be a follower of religious people and ideas but be a follower of God Himself.

Sandy’s surgery went well, thanks to God.  She and I prayed that we would know that the God of heaven stepped in.  Her surgery went long, four hours.  And after three hours the doctors were ready to give up and bring her back later for open heart surgery.  At that point the doctors decided to try one more time to insert the stint and the last try they were successful.  We thank God for interceding on Sandy’s behalf.  She will be going home today.

The Syroteuk’s granddaughter, Isabella, has contracted pneumonia.  Keep this little on in your prayers. 

Dear friends of our family are mourning the loss of their father.  Tom Verway went to be with the Lord yesterday.  Kris Korich used to attend our church, Tom is her father.  Keep the Verway family in your prayers this day. 

Keep our Supreme Court in your prayers that they will make a decision on marriage that is righteous in the sight of God.  Pray that they will not cave in to the desires of men. 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

How much can “these things” be emphasized?

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2 Peter 1:12–15

12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

The Apostle Peter is an old man now and is writing this letter knowing that his death is near. Both while he is alive and when he is gone he wants his dear friends in Christ to be reminded of “these things.” What were “these things?”   If you read back to the beginning of the chapter you will find that “these things” refer to the qualities that Peter admonished us to add to our faith.

2 Peter 1:5–7 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  If these things be in you abound…

The qualities of faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love were vital points of Peter’s life message. He wanted these things taught in his life and he wanted them taught after his death. If the aged Apostle, Elder, leader of the Apostles, and pastor of the church in Jerusalem gave this much emphasis on “these things” we must give them more than a passing attention. It would do us good to meditate upon these things, write them out, put them in the car, on the desk, on the refrigerator, and on the computer. Wherever we go “these things” should be before us as we seek to add them into our lives every moment of every day.

Remember in prayer today Sandy Petrelli as she is having a stint put into her heart. One artery is 100% blocked. We are praying that they will not have to do bypass surgery.

Mark Massey’s dad died Monday morning. He is in Florida preparing for a memorial service for his dad on Saturday. If you want to email Mark you can do so at mm@vafb.org If you want his phone number ask me for it.

Pray for Victory in Mark’s absence. The enemy knows when to attack.

Join us in prayer tonight.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Spiritual Myopia

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2 Peter 1:5–9

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

As the Apostle has taken time to teach us what we need to add into our lives so we can be fruitful for our Savior, he also takes time to warn us of what happens when we don’t chorus these qualities into our lives.

In verse 9 the warning is clear and concise. Those who call themselves Christians but don’t have these qualities in their lives are short-sighted. The word used here is the word we use for an eye condition called “myopia.” According to Webster this means a condition of the eye that makes it difficult to see objects that are far away. So why does Peter use a medical term to define a spiritual condition?

The parallels between physical myopia and spiritual myopia are very similar. When you cannot see things in the distance you cannot plan ahead to make a directional decision until you are closer to the object. There is danger here as you might come too close to a cliff, a wall, or a dangerous situation. Spiritually speaking, when you cannot see ahead you are not prepared for the life-decisions that need to be made and you can end up in a dangerous or an evil situation that you could have avoided.

Spiritual maturity and spiritual sight go hand in hand. If you want to see where your life is headed, you need to add these spiritual qualities to your life.

If you reject the addition of these qualities to your life, not only are you spiritually blind but you also have forgotten that you were forgiven and cleansed from your sins and before long will end up both blind and arrogant of your blindness.

Avoid this spiritually dangerous position by adding these qualities into your life.

Yesterday we had Pastor Rick Cross from Frontline Missions in our church. Rick brought a timely Sunday school lesson on the need of corporate prayer in the church. The NT church understood this and spent much time in corporate prayer. I long to see our church committed to corporate prayer both in church and in homes. Ask God how He would lead you to be a part of a new emphasis on corporate prayer in our church.

This week, the Supreme Court of the U.S. is hearing arguments regarding the national legalizing of homosexual marriage. This is the Roe vs Wade of the homosexual movement. We should be aware of the danger of this to the freedom of religion in our country. If this passes and becomes national law Christians who hold to the Bible’s view of marriage will be breaking the law, arrested and imprisoned. Make no mistake, this is the goal of the homosexual movement. They want freedom from religion and freedom to open expression of all perversion. We who hold to biblical values, led by the Holy Spirit, are their enemies. Take time this week to pray for our Supreme Court to reject this decision.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

Life in 6 words Gospel presentation

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http://www.lifein6words.com/#sthash.rn6aNK7E.dpbs

This is from Dare2Share with Propaganda giving the GOSPEL

Abounding in our Christian life

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2 Peter 1
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These wonderful qualities that we have looked at the past few days have God-ordained purpose. Yes, they are good to live by and have, they make us more like Christ, but there is another value to adding them into our lives. For when we chorus into our lives these qualities and they abound in us and are seen through us we will not be barren in our faith nor unfruitful in our knowledge of Christ.

First of all, our faith will not be barren. This is a term used to describe a woman who cannot bear children, she is barren. When we have these spiritual qualities in our lives our faith will not be barren, that is, it will give life. The first life that our faith gives us is our own. We were dead in trespasses and sins and God has saved us and given us life. The second life our faith produces is spiritual life in others. As they see the effects of Christ in us they will see their need of Him and crying out to Him will also come to life. Our faith will not be barren.

Secondly, we will not be unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ our Lord. Again we see a term has has to do with reproduction. A fruitless fruit tree is of no value. A fruitless Christian is of no value to the kingdom of God. So, when we add these spiritual qualities to our lives we will produce fruit of greater knowledge of our Lord Jesus. With greater knowledge of Him comes greater confidence in Him and the reality of a fruitful life in both good times and bad times of life.

Are you abounding in the Lord Jesus today? Are these things in you and abounding through you giving life to you and to others. What do you need to chorus into your life for the glory of God?

These days sure do click by. It is hard to believe that it is Friday already. As usual, remember to pray for Pastor Bill as he leads services at Sunrise Assisted Living and at Spring Meadow retirement center. I will be leading a service at the Devonshire at 11:00 and appreciate prayer for that service.

Satan and his hosts are fighting against RU. There are many in our community who are in addictions and need the power of the gospel to save their lives. They are not coming in. They see the sign out front and know we are here. Pray that God will break down the walls that keep them out and bring them in the doors tonight. This is a life or death ministry. People are dying in their addictions and need the Savior to give them His life. Pray for them to come tonight.

Sunday we have Pastor Rick Cross from Frontline missions with us. Pray for his time with us to be a challenge to our hearts.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Add the notes of brotherly kindness and love to the chorus of your life

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2 Peter 1:5–7

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

As we are adding to our faith, chorusing into our lives new chords to make our lives become beautiful music for the Lord, add to faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness, then we are to add brotherly kindness and love.

We have known people who had all of the knowledge right, all of the faith right, all virtue right, all self-control right and all godliness right but did not and would not treat those with “less spirituality” than them with any kindness.  In their knowledge they became prideful and looked down on those with “less spirituality” than themselves.  God wants us to add all of this to our lives and to do it with brotherly kindness toward one another.

John said that the world would know we were Christians by our love one for another.  In the Christian church lack of love is disharmony, it is cacophony, it is equivalent to an instrument in the orchestra being flat or a player being behind a measure.  It does not matter how well someone can play if they don’t play along in unison they stand out in a negative way.  When someone who claims Christ is not loving toward another believer they stand out in a negative way. We are to add brotherly kindness and treat one another with great kindness at all times.

All of this is possible because we add love to our chorus.  When we add love we are showing who our Lord is.  If you are your own lord you will not show love but will show frustration.  I know people who take frustration with them everywhere they go.  They cannot know my Lord for He brings peace and love wherever He goes.  What do you bring into a room when you enter?  Do you bring in love?  Does the Conductor bring in the chord of love when you enter a conversation?  Look in the mirror of your soul today and see if you need to add more of God’s love into your life so that the chorus of your life may be complete and make beautiful music for the Lord Jesus.

We have been praying for Cyril and Lois Cyroteuk’s granddaughter, Isabel.  This week their daughter Holly shared a her liver with Isabel.  Both Holly and Isabel are recovering and both need our prayers. The surgery has been hard on Holly.  She is in pain.  Let’s keep both of these girls in our prayers this day. 

Remember to pray for one another.  Ask God to lead you to whom He would have you pray for today.  Spend time in prayer for them.  Pray for Sunday.  Rick Cross, from Frontline Missions, is going to be with us in the service.  Pray for God to use Rick to speak to our hearts. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Keep adding God’s chords into your life, self-control. Perseverance, and godliness

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2 Peter 1:5–6

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

When we have chorused into our lives faith, virtue and knowledge, the next chord to add is self-control.  By nature, we are not very self-controlled.  We tend to do what we want when we want for as long as we want.  In Christ, we have Holy Spirit power which enables to live self-controlled.  This means that we don’t have to eat that next helping, buy that next item, dwell on that next thought, say that next word, go to that next place, and so on.  We can live a life of self-control keeping us from things and thoughts that bring us and others pain.

After self-control we are to chorus in perseverance.  Perseverance enables us to remain in an action of self-control.  We start off well and with perseverance we can also end well.  Persevere in the power of the Holy Spirit to keep your faith, to keep your virtue and to grow in knowledge.  Perseverance keeps us going.

After perseverance we are to chorus into our lives godliness.  Godliness is the spiritual dimension that keeps us doing all of this for the right reason.  Without godliness we would lean toward pride.  When we successfully add into our lives these important attributes we tend to be prideful of our new life.  When we add godliness we realize that everything we have added came from God and it is God who empowers and enables us to keep this all together.  Never forget the chord of godliness.  Godliness is a God-likeness; it is learning to live as though God were living His life through us.  I can never be proud of God’s work; it is only through Him and in Him that I can add any of these wonderful and blessed qualities to my life.

I really do wish that more and more of you could come to join us for prayer meeting on Wednesday nights.  This is not a guilt trip to get you there, I don’t do that.  This is a longing to see more of you understanding the importance of corporate prayer and joining with us pleading with God to do His work in our church an in our community.  We have a lost community all around us.  Our programs cannot bring people to Christ.  Only the Holy Spirit can work in people’s lives.  Together we plead with God to send His Holy Spirit to break hard hearts for His kingdom and glory.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Obedience is the Key; Jesus is the Cornerstone

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/124935660″>Obedience is the Key, Jesus is the Cornerstone</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user3461934″>Pastor Steve Schroeder</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Adding to our faith, virtue and knowledge

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2 Peter 1:5

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

As we add to, chorus into our faith, Peter gives us specific spiritual attributes that will bring our lives to making beautiful music for God. We begin with faith, which faith, by the way, comes to us as a gift of God. (We may have a measure of faith in our lives but the faith to believe in the person and the work of Jesus Christ as sufficient for our salvation, comes from God. Ephesians 2:8 makes that clear.)

But once God has given us the faith to believe and to follow Him, He wants us to add to that faith. The first instrument that we chorus into this spiritual symphony is virtue. Virtue is moral goodness or moral excellence. By nature, man is immoral. Jesus told the crowds that if a man looks at a woman to lust after her he has committed adultery with her in his heart. Moral goodness is the newness of thought that sees members of the opposite sex as people, as souls, as brothers and sisters, not as potential sexual partners. While all of us face moral temptation at different times and intensities, the church ought always to be a place of moral excellence. We love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We long to see each other grow in grace and knowledge and obedience to Christ. We live together in a close-knit family of grace and peace. All of this is possible because we have added moral excellence, virtue, to our lives.

After virtue we are challenged to chorus in knowledge. Though we believe by faith, it sure does help to understand what we believe and why we believe it. The greater our added knowledge of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Spirit, of the way the Word fits within itself and applies to our lives, the stronger we will be in our walk with the Lord. Those who do not take time to add knowledge of God to their lives will remain spiritual babes eating only the milk of the word and never growing into the meat of it. Discipline yourself to be in the Word of God every day. Discipline yourself to be in church, in Sunday school, in Wednesday night studies, and then in the car listen to sermons to increase your knowledge.

Take time today to ask God to help you increase in virtue and to increase in knowledge.

 

We have our weekly service at Sunrise Assisted living at 10:30.  Please pray with us for this time of ministry of the Word to hearts.

Ladies, tonight is your Soup for the Soul at Lifesprings in Aurora.  If you have any questions please call, text or email Bobbi.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

Adding, chorusing together, God’s qualities in your life

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2 Peter 1:5–7

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

Remember that when you read the Bible be sure to pay attention to connecting words.  In verse 5 we see it beginning we the word ‘but.’  ‘But’ is a connecting word; it connects one thought with another.   He then uses the expression ‘for this very reason’ which is another connecting thought.  So, before we go on to this next paragraph, we need to remind ourselves what the previous paragraph taught.

2 Peter 1:2–4

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Because we have God’s grace and peace, because He, through His divine power, has given us all that we need for life and for eternal life, because we have been given His exceedingly great and precious promises thus enabling us to partake of His divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, we are to diligently add to our faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

The word for ‘add’ is the word we use for ‘chorus.’  As a director brings a choir together to sing a piece of music, she may begin with the sopranos, add the altos, add the tenors, and then add the basses.  If they are singing with an orchestra the director will add the different pieces of the orchestra into the chorus to make beautiful music.  God, our eternal conductor, wants us to add these qualities into our lives so the end result is a life that plays beautiful music for Him.

While we are seeing men and women and teens grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, and while we are seeing these people increase in their obedience and faithfulness to the Lord, we are concerned about those who just are not faithful to the Lord.  I do not diminish the growth of those who are growing.  They are my joy.  I do long for more people to rise to the place of greater faithfulness and submission to the Lord.  Pray with me for those who come but remain on the fringes unwilling to live a life dedicated to Christ.

Pray for Steven and Rachel as they seek the will of the Lord for their lives.  God has not opened any one up in the Pilsen neighborhood.  After over three years there no one from the neighborhood has been reached.  They are taking focused time every night this week in prayer for God’s leading.  Join with them.

The church website is up a www.graceforlifebc.com  be sure to click “Follow” on the lower right hand corner and follow the instructions.  I will stop using Constant Contact soon.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS