Month: May 2015

God’s greatest desire for us

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2 Peter 3:14-15

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.

Even though we just finished 2 Peter, I wanted to come back to this section for today.

As we look forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ, we are to know that we are to live without spot and blameless before man and God.  As we live this way we will live in peace.  It amazes me how many church members don’t live in peace.  Nearly every NT epistle begins with this expression, “May grace and peace be upon you.”  Peace always follows grace so if someone is without peace it seems to me that they are also without grace.

But going forward, Peter tells us that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.  This has continually run through my mind since the devotional when we talked about it.  God’s desire for all is salvation.  The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.  From the first recorded history between God and man God has been interested in the salvation of that man.  From that point forward the recorded history of God and man has shown God’s interest in the salvation of man.  As man became more and more sinful God was grieved and desired man’s salvation.  God placed His grace on Noah and his family and saved them.  God placed his grace on Abraham who believed in God and found His salvation.  God sent Jonah to Nineveh desiring to save them.

Do you see this?  God developed an entire nation upon which He could grant His grace.  He gave them His Law so that they could follow Him.  He taught them the atonement and prepared them for the coming of the Lamb of God who could take away the sin of the world.  Jesus came not just to teach us but to save us.  This is God’s desire, He is patient longing to bring us to salvation.

As you go through your day and your life, interpret all of scripture through this thought: “The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.”  God in His love for us His creation desires to save us.  Because of sin we transgress God’s law and find ourselves separated from God.  Separated from Him we need a Savior as we cannot bring ourselves back to a holy God.  What a great realization, God’s greatest desire for us all is our salvation.

Hard to believe that it is Friday already.  Whew, what a fast week!  I am going to a funeral this morning.  Pray for the friends and family of Eddie Estrada.   His drug use finally caught up with him.  A very sad life that did not have to go this way.

Pray for Pastor Bill’s community services today. 

Remember to spend time in prayer laboring in prayer for RU tonight.  Last week, fourteen people came.  Tonight pray that those who need to be there will not be held back.  Pray for the opening of spiritual eyes and spiritual hearts to accept and to believe God’s word.

Sunday, I will be bringing a message from Isaiah 38 looking at a seemingly impossible situation of sickness where Hezekiah prayed to God when God said that he was going to die.  We face situations like this all the time.  Here is an example that will be good for you to become acquainted with.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

Is Trust in Jehovah Folly or Wisdom – Isaiah 36-37

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/129011181″>Is trust in Jehovah folly or wisdom? Isaiah 36-37</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user3461934″>Pastor Steve Schroeder</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Are we sponges or mirrors?

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2 Peter 3:18b

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

As the Apostle Peter closes his letter, his salutation reminds us of the purpose of his life and the prescribed purpose of our lives.

Peter, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, was a changed man.  Before the death and resurrection, Peter, along with the others, was pretty self-centered wanting to be an important part of the earthly kingdom of Jesus.  The disciples wanted to be on the right and left thrones, they wanted to be leaders, they wanted to be BIG in Jesus’ coming kingdom.  But after the resurrection, they realized who they were in the light of who Jesus was.

When they were big in their own eyes, the disciples fled when Jesus was arrested.  But when Jesus was big in their eyes they stood boldly for Him on the Day of Pentecost and later in front of the Sanhedrin, and for the rest of their lives.

Can we say that we want the Lord to receive all of the glory both now and forever?  Do we live to give Jesus Christ all of the glory for all that we do?  There are things that you and I are good at, do we give the Lord Jesus glory for what we are good at?  When we realize that we don’t have anything that He has not given us and that all of our gifts have come from Him, then we can give Him the glory.  When He is big in our eyes, He receives the glory for all that we do.

May we never be sponges absorbing the praise of men but may we be mirrors ever reflecting the praise of men up to God thanking Him for all that He has given us enabling to do all that we do.

To Him be the glory both now and forever.

Pray with us today.  Pray for one another today.  Pray in the Spirit today.  Ask God who needs prayer and let Him lead in your prayer.  We need the prayers of one another.   I am thankful for your prayers.  We will not know until we get to heaven just how much the prayers of one another matter. 

 

Pray for our kids in school.  They are in a busy time of tests and projects and concerts and graduations.  Some of them are busier than they have ever been.  Pray for their strength physically, mentally, and spiritually during the next two weeks.

 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

Grow and keep growing

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2 Peter 3:18

18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

In light of all that Peter has taught us in his epistle, we are to grow in grace and in knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The word “grow” is a present, active, imperative.  As such, we are to be growing in every present moment of our lives.  Active means that we are to be acting on this.  Imperative is a command.  So the Lord wants us to continually, every day, by our actions, be growing in Him.  This is the command of God through Peter to us.

The beauty of the grace and knowledge of God is that we can spend our whole lives learning of Him and will still find aspects of Him to learn.  Doctrines we have known for years will still bring a thrill to our soul when we study them again and again.  You may exhaust the knowledge of your field of work, but you will never exhaust the knowledge of God.

I am concerned over Christians who stop growing and think they have arrived.  They think that they don’t need to grow anymore.  They don’t see the need to be in church and to learn from a message that has been studied carefully to teach them how to grow in a certain area.  I am concerned over Christians who resist discipleship and available Bible studies with no apparent interest in them.  We are to be growing!  Those who are growing are seeing greater maturity in their lives, greater victories, greater blessings and more.  Their God-awareness grows as they grow in grace.

Let us all submit to growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.

Tonight is our Wednesday night Bible study, prayer time, Kids4Truth and Youth Group.  See you at 7:00. 

I had a great time at Sunrise yesterday.  Do pray for a man named Rich.  He is a young man to be in a nursing home but has severe Parkinson’s.  He is a dear brother in Christ and loves to chat about the Lord.  When I spend time with him I realize how few problems I really have.  Kim called me last night and asked for prayer.  Keep Kim and her daily needs in your prayers.  If you are ever going by Alden Nursing homes on Army Trail Road and Glen Ellyn Road, stop and see her. She would love it.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

Now you are warned, be ready

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2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

Someone once said, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” If an enemy was coming to attack our city and we had a 24 hour warning, we would prepare ourselves to meet the enemy. Peter has taken time to warn his readers of all ages of the attacks that are coming in our lifetimes. In 2 Peter We have read warnings of attacks on the Bible, attacks on salvation, false promises of liberty, and contradictory teachings of all types. If you took the time today to read back through 2 Peter you could identify several warnings.

If we were coming under attack and ignored the warning we would be totally overtaken by our enemy. Their victory would be our fault for not heeding the warning and preparing ourselves. Naperville and Aurora will probably never come under attack. But our spiritual souls come under attack regularly. Take Peter’s warning and constantly prepare yourself with both defensive and offensive spiritual weapons.

The spiritually wicked of this world are following error. Recognize this and avoid the error. Do not be deceived with their good sounding words but as a student of God’s word remain steadfast in His truth.

We surely did have a blessed day yesterday. It rained at the beginning of our picnic then cleared up and the sun came out. We ate and talked and ate and played and ate and sang and ate some more. Rob brought a reading for Memorial Day, my mom talked about her brothers in WW II, and we prayed. It was just a wonderful time together with God’s people.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Be faithful with the Scriptures

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2 Peter 3:15–16

15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

I find it interesting that the Apostle Peter told his readers that some of Paul’s writings about salvation were hard to understand.  The truth is that you cannot casually read the book of Romans.  Skimming Romans is like skimming the ocean.  You miss its’ treasures beneath the waves if you never dive in.  Peter did not say that one could not understand Paul’s writings.  Any diligent student can dive into Romans and find treasure in it.  First of all today, be a student of Paul’s writings, it is worth the effort.

Then Peter tells us that unstable people twist Paul’s writings to their own destruction.  When I read a homosexual explanation of Romans 1 I was amazed that it could be so twisted to accept their perversions.  I Corinthians 14, which so clearly defines the use of the gift of tongues in the church, has been twisted to allow all types of perversions of its teachings.  And on and on it goes.  Be certain that anyone you read or listen to interprets the scriptures in such a way that they are consistent with all of the rest of the Scriptures.

The third point that Peter makes here is that his and Paul’s writings are on the same level of authority as the rest of the Scriptures.  God has given us what He wants us to have and wants us to treat all of it with carefulness in study and application.  We are not allowed to twist any of the Scriptures to defend our disobedience to God.  Anyone who uses the Scriptures to defend their sinfulness is untaught and unstable, twisting the Word to their own destruction.  Blinding themselves to the truth about the Word they remain in their sin with self-justification.

Be a discerning listener of Christian talk radio, of Christian preachers and teachers.  When something doesn’t sound right, take it to the Scriptures.  Don’t listen to false teachers even if they are on Christian radio or published by a Christian publisher.  Don’t allow their blindness to blind you. Keep your eyes open to the Scriptures at all times and in all matters.

It is Friday.  Besides Pastor Bill’s services at Sunrise and at Spring Meadow, I will be conducting a service at the Devonshire.  Pray for these opportunities to proclaim God’s word. 

RU is tonight.  Pray for God to bring back the ones who came last week.  Pray that they come with hearts open to receive God’s word.  Pray for our workers to come with hearts longing to share hope and excited about the Savior.

Tomorrow night some of us are going out to do street witnessing in Naperville.  We will be out from about 7:00-8:30.  Anyone who wants to join us certainly can.

See you Sunday.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

Six Contrasts of life and eternity from Isaiah 33

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/128494747″>Six Contrasts of life and eternity from Isaiah 33</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user3461934″>Pastor Steve Schroeder</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>