Starting the week out meditating on these verses from our Bible Study last night...SO challenging, convicting, encouraging, and especially timely...2 Peter 1:1-4:
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love our church? We are tiny, but God is doing great things, and we are so excited to see what He is going to do in and through us from here! I love our church family, I love the simplicity of our worship, I love the truth preached boldly by our pastor, and I love the laughter and fellowship. I also love teaching youth Bible Study on Sunday nights. I love that our whole family is studying the same truths through the Answers in Genesis Sunday School curriculum we're using for Sunday night Bible Study.
Last night's lesson was on studying the Bible. The above verses from 2 Peter were part of that lesson. I had never noticed before the last part of verse 2..."those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours". I was struck by Peter's emphasis there...he was one of the 12 disciples, an apostle, one of the closest people of all to Jesus during His three years of ministry...and Peter makes a point of saying that the standing of our faith is equal to his. What a reminder...there are no "lower-level" Christians. If we have been called as followers of Christ, we have equal standing with the likes of Peter! That is not only an encouragement, but a challenge...we have no excuses...we have everything that Peter, James, John, and Paul had.
That thought was reinforced in verse 3..."His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness", or as the NIV says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life". "All things", "everything we need"...as I've heard over and over from various preachers/teachers through the years..."all means all". If we are His, there is nothing that we lack that is needed to live a godly life. He has already given it to us. Again, encouraging and convicting all at the same time...and so timely, as I've struggled lately with being overwhelmed in so many areas, and over the weekend God has lovingly but firmly pulled me up short and done a heart-and-mind-cleaning.
One of my favorite quotes from Bro. Kent is "We don't have to MAKE God's Word relevant; IT IS relevant." SO true. As Hebrews 4:12 (which also happens to be part of this same lesson, which we'll get to next week :)) says,
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
God has shown His Word to be living, and active, and sharp once again. There is much more great, meaty truth in those verses from 2 Peter, as well...I'm planning a little project so that I can have those verses hanging above my desk soon. I need to be reminded of them often!
This post is already longer than I'd planned, but I have to share a little bonus photo in this post, speaking of our church. Yesterday I posted this status on Facebook,
Things you don't hear at just any church on Sunday morning...."Rachel, come look at this cow!"
A friend responded that we must be close to a pasture. I had to giggle just a bit...because we are not just "close to" a pasture...we are right in the smack dab middle of one! That's another of the little things I love about our church...being able to look out the window and see the cows looking in. :) Occasionally we'll even hear them mooing during the sermon! So...I thought I'd share a picture or two of our church in the pasture and of the cows our children enjoy so much. :)
|Our "Church in the Pasture" :)|
|These are the cows across the highway. I love this view. :)|
Linking up with Michelle DeRusha's "Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday" today...please visit her to see what others have to share this week!