My 8/12/18AM sermon Ready To Suffer for Doing Good from 1 Peter 3:13-17 is now online. It’s difficult to preach a sermon like this. The heart of the passage is that we should expect suffering. But, the passage didn’t leave us there. It showed us a compelling way to live in light of suffering. We are realize we’re blessed. We set Christ apart, utmost in our affections. And, we voice the hope we have with humility. Finally, this passage called us to trust God, who can deal with our “opposition.” I hope this sermon encourages you.
My 8/5/18AM sermon, Living as the Church from 1 Peter 3:8-12, is now online. Peter has called his readers to live as exiles and sojourners (out of the identity they have as God’s people). This passage shows how we can forsake sin and do good, for effect. Specifically, there are sins of speech, a drift towards revenge, and evil we are called away from. Positively, we’re called to do good, seeking brotherly love, blessing others, and pursuing peace. The effect? This leads to blessing, or as v.12 puts it: God’s eyes seeing and His ears being attentive. I hope this sermon encourages your living with others in the body of Christ.
In August 2018, Crestview will be learning the song A Christian’s Daily Prayer from Sovereign Grace Music. Part of what drew me to this song is where we’re headed in 1 Peter, with all the realities of doing good in the face of suffering. We need God’s help to live this way. And, this song shows our need for God in the morning, during the day, and at night. Here are the lyrics:
As morning dawns and day awakes,
To You I bring my need
O gracious God, my source of strength,
In You I live and breathe
Each hour is Yours by wisdom planned,
Each deed empowered by sovereign hands
Renew my spirit, help me stand;
Be glorified today
As day unfolds, I seek Your will
In all of life’s demands
And though the tempter tries me still,
I cling to Your commands
Let every effort of my life
Display the matchless worth of Christ
Make me a living sacrifice;
Be glorified today
As sun gives way to darkest night
Your Spirit still is here
And though my strength fades like the light
New mercies will appear
I rest in You; abide with me
Until our trials and suffering
Give way to final victory
Be glorified, today; be glorified, I pray
Music and Words by Matt Merker, Jordan Kauflin, and Dave Fournier © 2017 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved. Administrated worldwide at www.CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding the UK which is adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family. www.SovereignGraceMusic.org
I hope this song helps give language to your need of God as you strive to live as a sojourner and an exile here in this world.
Like I mentioned in June, I’m trying to do a better job this year of keeping track of books I’ve completed reading. As usual, there are some books/things, I’m always working in like the Bible (praying through the Psalms of the Day and doing lots of reading in Ecclesiastes in different translations), Sonship, as well as Crestview’s Leadership Pipeline material.
Some titles I worked through in July:
My 7/29/18AM sermon, Living In The Home, from 1 Peter 3:1-7 is now online. There are specific charges to wives and husbands in this passage. This passage challenges us to overcome how the world lives. We need to see how our homes are places to show our identity in Christ. I hope it encourages you.
…that you might live. Today, consider the amazing grace and mercy of Jesus. He bore your sins in His body on the tree, that you might die to sin and live to righteousness.
Don’t be paralyzed by your past or the “what ifs.” You’ve been set free to really live because of Jesus. So, step out today. And, live!
I was able to attend Youth Camp with our students this past week at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO. Our camp was put on by Generate (a program of YM360). It was a great week (as most camps typically are). Three things stand out:
- Relationships – camp enables relationships to flourish in ways they typically don’t throughout the year. There’s intensive time to talk to students, hear their concerns, give some advice, share time in the Word together, and get a similar experience. This is really the end game. Our group (mostly pictured above) was also able to make new friends (Webstar from Kenya is in the middle of this shot). Camp is really about relationships.
- Fun – camp is a fun place to be. The setting we chose this year stood out…surrounded by the Rockies on every side. But, games of rec, fun in the rooms/free time, and even meals give camp an energy.
- Teaching – our camp pastor was Afshin Ziafat. He did a great job of incorporating daily devotions, the theme of the day at camp, and helping us make progress through a wise understanding of the Bible. He was a blessing to us.
I don’t know if you attend camp, but you’d be welcome to join us next summer as we head back to Estes Park for Generate 2019, July 15-19.
My 7/22/18AM sermon, Living Like Christ (1 Peter 2:21-25) is now online. This sermon really helped show how Jesus empowers our living. We are sojourners and exiles in this world. How do live lives of forsaking sin, doing good for effect? We live like Christ. I hope this sermon encourages this kind of living in you.
My 7/15/18AM sermon, Living in the Workplace (1 Peter 2:18-20) is now online. This sermon continued to explore who we live as sojourners and exiles in the world. The workplace affords us a great opportunity to avoid sin and do good for effect. I hope this sermon encourages you. Here’s a graphic made to go with the sermon, too:
In this case, the passage highlights ways Christians may be treated unjustly. Peter’s wanting us to showcase our identity in Christ, though. This should be what is heard when we’re treated unjustly.
My 7/1/18AM sermon, Living Under Governing Authorities from 1 Peter 2:13-17, is now online. While there’s much I could point out, this sermon sought to unpack how we need to forsake sin and do good for an effect in the world we live.
I opened with a quote from Jonathan Leeman’s recent book, How the Nations Rage, which really captures Peter’s heart in this passage. Leeman writes:
“God’s common grace grants many a nation better than it deserves, but I have little confidence that America will long remain strong, prosperous, and free without any concept of God’s righteousness and justice somewhere in the background. That’s not because I believe in a civil prosperity gospel: obey God and the nation will be blessed as his chosen people. It’s because I believe the way of God’s righteousness and justice is the way of wisdom. And prosperity and flourishing ordinarily come to the wise. The nation can be strong apart from God’s righteousness, like a totalitarian state is strong. Or it can be “free,” in some impoverished and mangy sense of that word, like a stray dog is free. But it won’t be both. Which brings me back to healthy churches. If there is hope for the nation, it’s through the witness and work of churches. Our congregations have the opportunity to live transformed lives as a transformed culture through a transformed politics in their own fellowships right now—all for God’s glory and our neighbors’ good (p.238).”
There’s a lot of areas for growth here, but Peter’s words are stiff enough. I hope this sermon encourages you to do good in the public sphere.