Friday, January 30, 2015

A Worshipper Who is Humble Puts Aside His/Her Pride

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:1-3
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Insights:  I do not have time to cover all that I spoke about regarding these verses, but I will do the best I can to summarize.  The basic gist of these verses is to instruct us to put away our pride.  If you look at those first five character traits that Peter referenced, you will recognize they all stem around the fact that the person practicing these attributes is trying to put themselves above other people.  In my sermon I explained how each of these five actions brought about that result.  Next I focused on how slander is a type or form of gossip, but with an attempt to destroy another persons character.  So, for a brief time I explained how gossip is, in my opinion, the most prevalent and destructive attribute of the American church.  We constantly are talking about other people to the detriment of the body of Christ.  I then shared how we stop gossip from spreading.  Basically, when a person approaches you with words about another person, stop them by saying something like, “I appreciate your concern regarding this situation.  I will be praying for you, but I also encourage you to go to X-person and share with them your concerns.”  What will this person do at that point?  They will leave you and go and find someone else and try again to share their concern.  But what if that person gave the same response?  And the person after this second person did the same thing?  Eventually the gossiper would realize that in this church they don’t tolerate gossip.  They will eventually change or move on to a church that does accept gossip.  Beloved, let me encourage you to stop gossip and slander from spreading and damaging the body of Christ.  I concluded this section with the reality that if one is going to see or taste the kindness and glory of the Lord, then he/she must be humble.  The way we become humble is by feasting on God’s Word and letting it heal us of ourselves.  If we will strive to know the Lord, then these other sinful attributes Peter mentioned will not even be in appearance in our lives.  Beloved, let us walk humbly with our Lord.

1.  Would others characterize you as being a prideful person?
2.  Are you learning the secrets of being content in the Lord only means becoming humble in His sight?

Prayer: Father, so often I am absorbed with my own passions and pleasures.  I seek after my prideful heart.  Lord, forgive me for this sinful rebellion against You.  Humble me I pray and help me to walk in obedience with You.  Amen.

A Worshipper Who is Humble is One Who Perseveres

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:23-25
for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.  For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever.”  And this is the word which was preached to you.

Insights:  In today’s verses we see another example of why we hold to the doctrine known as the perseverance of the saints.  In Southern Baptist language we refer to this doctrine as once saved, always saved.  Our belief in this doctrine, as it relates to today’s verses, comes from the type of seed with which we are born again.  In other words, man’s seed, his sperm, is perishable.  At some point his offspring are going to die.  God, on the other hand, conceives us from His Holy Spirit and births us spiritually with an imperishable seed.  God’s seed never dies.  If a person could really lose their salvation, then with what kind of seed had they been born again?  The answer is a perishable seed, but this passage tells us we are born again from an imperishable seed.  Peter goes on to use the illustration of the grass and the flowers.  These two items fall away, but God’s word endures forever.  God’s word is the seed that brought about our salvation.  In fact the verse actually stated, “…imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”  I have often quoted the old adage, the author of this line is unknown to me, which states, “faith that falters was flawed from the first.”  The point of this simple little line is that if one were capable of walking away from their salvation, then they were not really born again with from the beginning.  Is it possible for a truly born again individual to go through a season of carnality in their spiritual walk with the Lord?  The answer is yes.  Paul even uses that language of a carnal Christian.  I think Lot from the Old Testament is an example of one who was born of imperishable seed that was carnal for a season.  I believe he was restored after the Sodom and Gomorrah judgment because in 2 Peter 2:7-8 we are told Lot was a righteous man.  He may have for a time wandered from the Lord, but the Lord never stopped drawing him back to Himself.  It was for this reason that Lot was rescued from the destruction which fell on these two cities.  His seed with which he was born was imperishable.

1.  Are you truly born again?
2.  Do you understand that your salvation came from an imperishable seed?

Prayer: Father, thank You for my salvation.  Thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love.  Thank You that You have placed within me a new heart that longs after the things that please You.  Let me, by Your grace, grow and mature and understand this new heart even better each day so that I pursue You more and more.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Worshipper Who is Humble Loves Other People

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:22
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

Insights:  In today’s verse we see that another attribute of a humble worshipper is their ability to love other people with a fervent love which comes from the heart.  In other words, because of Jesus’ profound work on the cross and our position in Him we are supernaturally able to let love flow through our lives toward other people.  This reality comes out in two primary ways.  Firstly, if we truly love other people we are going to want to serve them.  Jesus said the greatest among us would be servant of all (Mark 9:35).  Secondly, if we truly love other people we are going to forgive them when they have hurt or wronged us.  Jesus said, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matthew 6:14-15).”  Beloved, when we are willing to serve others as Jesus served us then we are showing a true spirit of humility.  Think about the example He gave us in the upper room on the night in which He was betrayed.  He took on the role of a slave and washed His disciples feet.  When our lives have been truly transformed by the Lord, then we are going to want to serve others for Him.  There will actually be joy in serving others for Him and it will wash over into our worship.  This second aspect of forgiveness is also modeled by Jesus on the cross when He said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).”  Even at His death He was showing the extent of His mercy and grace.  There is nothing that any person has ever done to us that compares to what we did to Jesus on the cross.  If He, in His perfect love, can forgive us of such vile acts of hurt toward Him, then because of His Spirit that indwells us, we are able to forgive others of their insignificant pains they have caused us.  Let me encourage you this day to look for opportunities to serve others and if the Lord has brought a person to you mind as you have read these words with whom you need to forgive, then let me encourage you to do that also.

1.  Do you have a tangible love for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus?
2.  Are you harboring any feelings of unforgiveness toward them?

Prayer: Father, because You are love, teach me to love others as well.  Grant me a spirit of forgiveness toward those who have harmed or hurt me and allow me a spirit of service toward them and all of humanity.  For Your great name.  Amen.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Worshipper Who is Humble Recognizes His/Her Position

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:17-21
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.  For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these 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.

Insights:  A. W. Tozer in his book The Crucified Life uses the illustration about a deaf man reading a book during a Mozart concert and a blind person being yelled at while at the Louvre for not looking at the paintings.  Tozer’s point was that these two individuals did not have the capacity to appreciate the music for the deaf man nor the sight to enjoy the art works for the blind man.  He applied this reality to the lost world.  One who is not born again does not have the capacity to enjoy the things of God.  They are not able to look at creation, for example, and be drawn into intense worship of our Creator because they don’t know the Lord in this fashion.  One, however, who has received the precious gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ is positionally right with the Lord God.  This individual is a new creation because they have been born again spiritually.  They now have the rights and privileges of an adopted child in the Kingdom of our God and King.  Today’s verses conclude with the phrase “so that your faith and hope are in God.”  Beloved, we have a faith and hope that is IN God.  It is not in ourselves.  It is not in the government.  It is not in other people.  It is not in economics or technology.  Our faith and hope are IN God.  This truth is a very byproduct of being in the right relational position with our loving Father.  Let me encourage you to spend the day thinking about the power found in this one aspect of your relationship with Jesus.  Worship Him without reservation because of this positional reality you are experiencing.

1.  Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
2.  If you have, do you understand and recognize the positional significance of such a surrendered life?

Prayer: Father, I must admit that I often forget what pleasure I have in being Your adopted son.  I am permanently and forever in Your family.  This privilege alone ought to make me a worshipper of You, my Savior and Lord.  Please forgive me when I take my position for granted and ignore the cost this gift to me really cost You.  Be glorified my Lord.  Amen.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Holy Worship is Marked by One Being Set Apart FROM this World and FOR God's Work

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:14-16
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Insights:  Our final point this week is similar to the second point, but with a slightly different nuance.  Our second point this week was that we were to serve others.  In our verses today we see that we are called to live holy lives.  What you need to understand about that word holy is that it has two parts to it.  The word holy literally means to be set apart.  Here is where the two parts come into play.  We are set apart from this world and we are set apart for God’s work.  Today’s verses indicate both of these aspects of holiness.  Notice in verse fourteen that we are to not be conformed to our former lusts which we practiced in ignorance before we came to know Jesus personally.  This rejection of our former life is the same as being set apart from this world.  Verse fifteen, however, reflects the second aspect of holiness when it tells us to be holy in all our behaviors.  Our new behaviors, as a result of our lives being saved, ought to be different.  This difference is what is found in our being set apart for God’s work.  Now, having defined our terms, let me express the slightly different nuance between our second point this week and today’s point.  In the second point we learned we were to serve others.  In this fourth point we have finally gotten to the motivation of our service and that is because we have been set apart, made holy in God.  Our lives ought to look differently than the people of this worlds.  We are born again.  Our life style ought to be so radically different that a lost world would begin to question why we are so distinct in character.  We know the answer is because of God’s life changing work in us and His imputed holiness in our lives.  As we live this kind of distinction out before a lost world we are actually serving them, but the service is a byproduct of a changed life in Christ Jesus.  It is for this reason that we are able to say that our worship is relevant because we are holy people in Christ.

1.  What old habits and patterns are your being set apart from in this world?
2.  What new habit or pattern are you being set apart for God’s work and Kingdom?

Prayer: Father, I understand that I am not holy because of me.  I am holy because You have imputed Your holiness into my life when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  My prayer Lord, is that I am pleasing in Your sight as I walk a holy life in this world for Your glory.  Amen.

Holy Worship is Marked by Biblical Meditation

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Insights:  This third point this week is similar to the first point, but with a slightly different nuance.  The first point this week was that we needed to be having a daily quiet time in God’s Word.  Today’s verse takes that quiet time one step further.  Notice that today’s verse tells us to prepare our minds for action.  It also tells us to keep sober in spirit.  Finally it tells us to fix our hope completely on the grace of God.  My question to you would be, “How do we do these three things?”  The answer is simple and the answer is to memorize God’s Word.  Psalm 119:11 tells us to hide God’s Word in our hearts, that we may not sin against Him.  When we are in the practice of regularly memorizing Scripture an amazing thing happens to us.  As we are living life, we often are saying those verses we are working on in our minds.  Something might happen at work and those verses will pop into our minds and we will have a brief moment of reflection on them and how they are applicable to our lives.  We stay more focused and committed to the high calling we have in Christ Jesus when we have His Word memorized.  There is another thought I would like you to consider regarding the memorization of Scripture.  We are living in a world that is increasingly becoming hostile toward Christianity.  What would happen if some kind of legislation were passed that could have you arrested for being a follower of Jesus?  What if in this scenario that they refused to allow you to read God’s Word in your prison cell?  If that happened, would you have a large portion of God’s Word to feed off of daily or would you only have a handful of His word bopping around your head?  Beloved, let me challenge you to memorize Scripture.  Memorizing Scripture has an amazing way of helping us to meditate throughout the day on God’s Word.  As we are meditating on God’s Word, then we are in the process of preparing our minds for action.  Those Scriptures help us to be sober in spirit; and finally, they help us to fix our hope on Jesus’ return.  One last thought, as we memorize Scripture, the more our lives reflect holiness.

1.  Are you memorizing Scripture?
2.  If you were locked in prison with no access to the Bible, how much of God’s Word would you have?

Prayer: Father, You tell me that I have the mind of Christ.  Let me learn Your Word because You have it all perfectly memorized.  Help me to be disciplined in my memorizing the Bible.  May I then meditate on those Words I have memorized through out my daily routine of living life.  Amen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Holy Worship is Marked by Service for Others

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:12
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

Insights:  In today’s verse we observe another truth regarding those prophets of old.  Not only did they spend time in God’s Word, but they did this so that they could serve us.  Notice that verse twelve tells us they were not serving themselves, but us.  How were they serving us?  By reading the Scriptures and allowing God to speak to them through those words, they were able to receive new insights from the Lord regarding the coming Messiah.  As the Holy Spirit would reveal those prophetic messages these men of God would write them down for us.  As a result there were over 360 prophecies about the Messiah and the Messiah, Jesus, had to fulfill every single one of them in order to be the Messiah.  If He failed to meet just one, then He was not the Messiah.  By God’s providential love and plan, Jesus has indeed met them all.  He is the Son of God.  In writing those prophetic words those prophets were really serving us so that we would be ready to recognize the Messiah when He came.  We can learn from their example that for our worship to be holy, then some kind of sacrificial service to other people must be a part of our lives.  I think this may be one of the areas in which we are the weakest in the body of Christ, the local church.  What I mean by this sentence is not that we don’t serve, but rather that our service is often inwardly focused only.  We do a great job of serving the local church and its membership, but the service of the prophets was to reveal to those who did not have a relationship with the Lord about His coming in flesh.  If we honestly recognize this distinction, then we must ask ourselves how well we are at serving the lost community around us.  It is my fear that we would not get a very good evaluation for this kind of effort.  Beloved, let me challenge you today to look for an opportunity to serve a person you believe may be lost and in need of the saving power of Jesus.  Once you find the opportunity, go all the way and serve that person.

1.  Are you looking for ways in to serve others in your worship of the Lord?
2.  What have you done most recently to serve another person?

Prayer: Father, forgive me of those times in which I have felt Your prick to serve another person and I rebelled against Your love.  Help my heart to be more serving in nature so that I reflect Your love to a world in desperate need of a Savior.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Holy Worship is Marked by Biblical Study

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:10-11
As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

Insights: This week we focused on how worship is relevant because it helps to produce holiness in us.  Today’s verses help us see that holy worship is marked by Biblical study.  You may be asking yourself, “What, I don’t see that?”  The answer is found in today’s verses when Peter wrote, “the prophets … made careful searches and inquires.”  With what do you thinking they were using to seek and inquire?  They were using the Old Testament Scriptures that they already had.  Think about the time in which the wise men asked king Herod where the King of the Jews was to be born.  The scholars with which Herod consulted went to the book of Malachi and determined that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem.  Beloved, the point is that it was through these prophets times in the Scriptures that they grew in their love relationship with the Lord.  The Bible is the primary tool in which God speaks to us.  The more we get to know Him the more we are compelled to worship Him.  We worship Him for who He is and what He has done.  We call those two aspects of worship praise and thanksgiving.  When I observe other peoples decision making patterns I can fairly quickly determine if a person has been spending regular time in the Bible.  If their decisions are starting to go in contradiction to the Word of God, then I know they are not reading.  If all of a sudden I don’t see them for lengths of time in corporate worship, then I can fairly safely say they are not reading the Bible.  So, far, I have not been wrong on those occasions in which I have had opportunity to confront one making these poor choices.  Beloved, the Word of God has a way of helping us know the heart of the Lord.  Knowing His heart helps strengthen us to want to please Him.  Pleasing Him is allowing His Spirit to live and rule in our lives and that will result in holiness being imputed into us.  Let me admonish you to spend consistent daily time alone with God in the Bible.  You will be glad you did.

1.  How consistent are you at having a daily quiet time in the Word of God?
2.  Are you aware that the Scriptures are the primary way in the Lord is going to speak and communicate with you?

Prayer: Father, please don’t allow my daily readings of Your Word to become just a ritual or earthly habit.  Rather, may my times in the Bible be times of refreshing and renewal as we grow in our love relationship together.  Amen.

Friday, January 16, 2015

We have a Love Relationship with Jesus

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:8-9
and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Insights: These verses are some of my favorite verses because of the beautiful way it portrays my faith.  I have not “seen” Jesus, but I do love and believe in Him.  As a result of this faith filled love relationship I am able to rejoice with joy inexpressible the glory of God.  Our relationship with the Lord is just like our earthly relationships.  When I make that statement I have a very specific meaning in my thoughts.  In other words, just as an earthly relationship with someone is dependent upon time spent with them, so our relationship with the Father is dependent upon the time we spend with Him.  If I do not spend any, or very little, time with the Lord, then the relationship will not be as strong and healthy.  If on the other hand I do spend a great deal of time with the Lord, then I will be able to recognize His expressions of love more easily.  We are back to the adage, “You are as close to the Lord right now as you want to be.”  He is always there, ready and willing to expand the relationship into deeper waters and more extravagant expressions of His love.  We, on the other hand, are often times reluctant to seek the deep things of faith because we believe the cost will be too great.  Let me tell you, there is a cost, but whatever that cost is, it is worth it!  Beloved, let me encourage you to be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary in order to have a vibrant love relationship with the Lord.  You will never regret one moment of that kind of relationship with our heavenly Father.  Grow in grace and may you experience the Lord’s love this day!

1.  In what ways are you receiving God’s expressions of love to you?
2.  In what ways are you returning expressions of love back to God?

Prayer: Father, it is so difficult at times to express my love to You and for that I am sorry.  You, on the other hand, perfectly express Your love to me.  I, however, do not always receive it well.  I pray You remain patient with me as we grow in our love relationship together.  Amen.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We are Purified through Trials

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the aproof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Insights: Did you catch how Peter ties rejoicing in God’s protective power to bring us into eternity with Him and the various trials we go through here on earth?  If I may be a little transparent with you for a moment, it is difficult for me to rejoice when I am the one going through a trial.  Now it is true that eventually I am able to look back and rejoice in the situation, but while I am in it, I only have moments of grace in which I truly rejoice in the Lord.  Even though those statements are true, I do understand that most of my spiritual growth has truly come from learning how to be dependent on the Lord in the midst of my trials.  I am getting better and better at worshipping the Lord even for my difficult situations and trials of life.  The reason I am getting better is because each of the trials I have gone through has been a tool in which the Lord has purged more and more of me out of my life and replaced it with more and more of His Son, Jesus.  Beloved, we must grow in the grace of the Lord and rejoice in our trials.  We must become worshippers in the difficult times as well as the good times because God has saved us through both.  May God be brought praise, glory and honor through your times of difficulty.  Glory to God in the highest!

1.  Are you presently going through a trial?
2.  What is God teaching you in this trial or your most recent one?

Prayer: Father, it is difficult for me to thank You for the trials I go through, but upon reflection I see how those truly forge me into the man I am.  I intellectually understand trials are one of the tools You use to bring me through the sanctification process and upon reflection I can give thanks.  Grow me to receive trials with a thankful heart while I am in the midst of them.  Transform me into the likeness of Jesus who was a perfect worshipper of You.  Amen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We are Protected by God's Power

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:5
who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Insights: Let me jump on my old soap box today.  I guess the reason I get on this particular soap box so often is because I constantly run into people who are being tricked and manipulated by TV preachers.  By no means I am saying every TV preacher is a con-artist, but most of them on the “Word of Faith” networks are manipulators who are self-serving.  These preachers, if I can even call them by that title, teach their followers that God wants us to be healthy, wealthy and wise right here, right now.  They further spew venomous words like God wants you to have your best life now.  Today’s verse goes right along with this kind of foolish dogma of the “Word of Faith” movement.  They take this verse, which is referencing God’s protective power of our very souls for eternity and down play it to some kind of earthly genie in the bottle kind of protection.  Now, is it true that the Father often times does protect us while we are here on earth?  Obviously, the answer is a resounding, yes!  But to take the true power found in this verse and to water it down to just earthly protection makes a mockery of God’s true power.  It is verses like todays that baptist hold to the doctrine called the perseverance of the saints which means in everyday vernacular, once saved, always saved.  What kind of hope is there in a salvation that is not powerful enough to protect us to the day of our salvation?  The answer is not a lot of hope; but if, on the other hand, we did know God was powerful enough to protect our soul for salvation in eternity, then what kind of hope would we have?  The answer is an overwhelming kind of hope.  We who have this kind of hope only have one true response we could give back to the Father for our salvation, and that is to worship Him.  When we demean the power of God to just some kind of rabbits foot here on earth, we belittle His glorious might.  We ought to be grateful for all of God’s protection He gives to us here on earth, but we must always keep this protection in the proper context of our eternal protection.  Beloved, worship the Lord for His power to bring you into His glorious kingdom.   

1.  Do you recall the last time you experienced God’s protective power?
2.  Do you understand that the ultimate protective power the Lord offers is to bring you safely home to His kingdom?

Prayer: Father, You are most powerful and able to protect my soul to eternity.  Thank You for this gracious gift of comfort You give to me so that I am content in You.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We have a Living Hope that is Imperishable and Undefiled

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Insights: The first and foremost reason worship is relevant is because we are born again.  If we have truly received Jesus’ gift of salvation, then we are born again.  He dwells within us and we are new creations.  Because we are new creations we are able to have a hope in our resurrection because Jesus Himself first rose from the dead.  He IS our hope and He IS alive.  He is living; and therefore, He is our hope that He will bring about the conclusion of the matter just as He deemed appropriate.  Our inheritance is imperishable and undefiled.  Once again, this reality has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him.  It is because of His transforming and glorious grace that has been imputed to us as righteousness that makes us imperishable and undefiled.  We are going to our reserved place in heaven because of His work, not ours.  When we come to realize the gravity of this truth, we are compelled to worship.  It ought to be the very natural and only appropriate response we give to the glorious One.  So, Beloved, worship the Lord because you are born again and have a living hope which is found in Jesus.

1.  In what do you place your hope?
2.  Have you come to the realization of how the Lord looks on you as His child?

Prayer: Father, thank You for looking at me through the lens of the cross.  Because of Jesus’ work I am imperishable and undefiled.  I do have a hope and future and it all rests in Jesus.  Thank You for this gift.  Amen.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Real Worship

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Insights: It has been two weeks since my last blog, but I am now back on schedule.  Today’s Thoughts by Scott is a reminder of last year and an explanation as to where we are going this year as a church.  Last year we strived to get into the Bible and relay the foundation of our faith.  Every decision and action we take ought to be driven by the truth found in God’s Word.  It is through our time in the Scriptures that we begin to know God and have our relationship with Him grow.  As our relationship grows it leads us into our focus this year: worship!  I have titled our sermon series this year REAL Worship.  The word REAL is an acrostic and will consist of four mini sermon series.  I introduced the R yesterday and over the next several weeks we will be examining this truth through the book of 1 Peter.  Our REAL Worship ought to be Relevant in our lives.  If we can continue in God’s Word and let our relationship with the Lord increase, it will result in worship.  If we are worshipping, then we will be compelled to serve.  It is a truthful cycle that we live.  If we are not growing in the Lord, then we are not worshipping.  If we are not worshipping, then we are not serving and vice versa.  It is for this reason, therefore, that throughout this calendar year we are going to focus on Worship and what it means and looks like in our lives.  Today’s verses in Thoughts by Scott are just the introductory words explaining that Peter is the author of the book and his salutation to his readers as he points them to the Lord God.  It is my prayer that this year will be the year FBCBG breaks through the shackles of form and stagnation and truly worships the Lord to greater service and devotion to Him.  May He send a revival fire that spurs us on to worship and honor for His glory!

1.  Are you aware that your works come out of your worship?
2.  In what ways have you withheld your worship from the Lord?

Prayer: Father, forgive me for my selfishness and lack of worship.  I truly desire to be a whole hearted worshipper of You.  Let Your grace fall on me and lead me into the paths of righteousness.  Amen.