What do you hope in? When you were young, you were told could do anything you put your mind to; "Dream big!" they said, and you began to develop hopes for a happily every after marriage, a successful career, and the good life. If you were of the world, then those hopes would make sense. It would make sense to aim so low, but you are a Believer who is saved and bought by the blood of the Son of God. In this message, Peter tells us what our hope should be and even better, how to attain it.
Some things are unbelievable unless you see it for yourself. You may search for the highlights of an incredible catch, or find a video to hear if someone actually said something you heard. We run into a believability issues when there are situations which cannot be replayed. What do you do now? How do you know what to believe? What is the truth? When Jesus finally catches up with Thomas after the resurrection, He has the opportunity to help Thomas believe. There are times we won't believe in Him because we don't see what we think is necessary. It's time to move past that......
Ever feel like your life is stuck in a vice, being pressed to the point of cracking or worse? Pressure is a fact of life, and for the most part, we realize this even if we don't like it. What we forget is the Will of God brings pressure, and we may struggle with why. Maybe we think God's Will should be easy since we're giving our lives for Him. Afterall, where His children, and He has the ability to smooth out the rough areas in life. Jesus followed God's Will and that Will took Him to the cross. We seem to be okay with the suffering of Jesus because we know it was necessary, but we forget the suffering we have for obeying God's Will is also necessary. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus shows us how to bear up under the pressure which may come because of our obedience to God's Will.
It's easy to set goals, but much harder to achieve them. You come up with a good idea, develop a solid plan to attain it, and set out confidently to do what you've decided. Not so fast! Issues develop you didn't anticipate - people want to tweak your plan and make it better, or some resource critical to your success is no longer available. Now what?!? It's easy to give up and disband the idea altogether when you've been blindsided by the unexpected. The Apostle Paul referred to this as a "cut in." That's where you started out, were making good progress, and then one day, someone or something cut in on your path. All of us at some time will experience a 'cut in' as we are living for Christ, so will you allow that to slow you down indefinitely, or even cause you to change course? It may be of no fault of your own, but its time to learn how to keep the course even when it seems the way has been blocked.
Have you ever become comfortable because of what you know? We find a level of confidence in knowledge. If I'm driving my car in the snow and it begins to slide, I know that steering against the slide will straighten out my car. Yet, when the car actually does slide, what good is my knowledge if I cease up in panic and never apply my knowledge? Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit we seem to know how it should be applied; we know the right things to do, but do we do the right thing? I see a person needs help and kindess would take the time to assist them, but my schedule doesn't allow for that right now, and we believe we are kind people because of what we know even though we don't do a thing with it. Listen in as we discover how kindness is love in action.
You start the morning like any other Monday. It is hectic, making lunches, getting the kids off to school, and getting yourself to work on time. Every day is filled with deadlines, to-do lists, and work which is scheduled and unscheduled but of the utmost importance all the while your boss is breathing down your neck to get everything accomplished on time. You leave work in a mad dash to pick up the kids, get them to some sports practice while going through a drive-thru for a quick bite to eat. When you finally get home, you are exhausted and spent. Peace seems like a distant island of paradise we only get to visit a few times a year, but it doesn't have to be this way. How do you achieve peace in your life no matter how busy or demanding life may be? Pastor Doug and Angela, in this teaching, help us find our way to peace no matter what season our life may be in.
Most people would rather have joy than sadness any day. So, where is joy found? Many people look for it in their personal interests, hobbies, and work, but the search seems to constantly change. One day, you may find joy in a relationship and the next day, you don't. If there's no joy then we automatically look for it somewhere else. The joy this life gives is fleeting, and we are always searching for more of it because it seems difficult to hold onto. Our understanding of joy must change, and we have to find joy in what is pure. Joy doesn't have to be conditional. It can be found so you can live through any season of your life in possession of joy.
With the summer getting closer, you may begin to have a desire for watermelon. You rush off to the store to get one, but you find they don't have any. Why? Because they are not in season yet. You either find something else to satisfy your craving, or you just patiently wait another few months. Many times, when we think of the Fruit of the Spirit, we think in seasons. There's times when I want to love, and love is in season, but then there are other times when you don't, so love is absent. If this is how you think of the Fruit of the Spirit, you're missing the ability and necessity for you live in season, all the time, no matter how you feel. In our new series, we're going to learn how to live with the Fruit of the Spirit no matter what season of life you find yourself living in.
Giving a well-thought out gift to someone can be one of the most rewarding of experiences. Unfortunately, there are times you probably would like to do much more than you are able to; you have limitations. You only have so much to give even though you may want to do so much more. God feels the same way and wants to give us a gift which can transform how we live and our effectiveness for Him. He is not limited, but I can limit what I receive from Him. Why would I want to withhold from myself what God so freely has decided to give me? Maybe if we knew the value of His gift for us, we would be more open to receiving it!
Peter is a disciple many like to pick on and pick apart but the reality is this: many of us are just like him. Peter discovered what we each need to realize.....you cannot live out your salvation in your own power. If you've ever lacked the ability to live for the LORD, or even lost the desire to, then this is the evidence you've been trying to live on your own power. Peter couldn't do it, and you can't either, but he eventually did live with consistency and power. How? The answer is in Acts 2, and you can have the same experience and power he had.