Hello everyone. It has been two weeks now since my last post. One week I was not feeling well, and I was on vacation the other week. Hopefully I am back on track with my original goal of posting every Monday.
Yesterday I preached from 2 Peter 1:16-21. Peter started out in verse 16 by stating that his message was not a fairy tale or some fable that was cunningly crafted by man. He did not come to them bearing a philosophical approach to life. But he had a message that stemmed from his own personal eyewitness account of Christ when He was transfigured before him, along with James and John. They witnessed Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah along with being clothed in apparel so white that Mark said no fuller could match it. What they had seen was Christ in all of His glory. Then they heard the voice of God come out of the cloud saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” What they had experienced was truly a mountain top experience. I am sure that they felt an emotional high second to none. Who wouldn’t like to experience something this awesome? I know I would. But Peter did not want his readers to believe him simply based upon his personal testimony or his personal experience. He said that there was a more sure way to live their lives, and that was to put their trust in the word of God. Mountain top encounters with God are good, and we need to cherish them when they come. But to live our lives pursuing them as opposed to living “by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God,” (Matt. 4:4) will only produce shallow Christians with a selfish agenda. Many Christians today are praying for God to “bless ME, fill ME, give ME, help ME, heal ME.” There is nothing wrong with praying like this if our intent is to take what He gives us and use it for the glory of God. For instance we need to bring the lost around us face to face with the reality that the wrath of God is presently abiding on them (John 3:36), and that they will stand one day before God in judgment. We should also help those around us with whatever we are able to help them with. But much if the church today is spending so much of their time in church services that they have little or no time to serve in the world. Let Christ be our example. He spent much more time out in the world reaching the lost than He did in the synagogue. He would seek out the lost to save them, He would heal the sick and cleanse the leper. He spent His life helping people in every way possible. Then, just before He ascended to Heaven, He passed the mantle of His ministry on to the church. It is referred to as the Great Commandment. Yes, it is a command of God, not a suggestion. We need to examine our lives through the eyes of God. Are we seeking to do His will, or are we simply doing our own will. If you think about it, we are doing one or the other. We are either doing His will, or ours. May God give us a determination to advance His kingdom according to His written word, and not according to a cleverly crafted fable. May we turn away from the prosperity teaching that has brought nothing but deceit into the kingdom of God, and a multitude of Christians that care only for what they can get from God. May we instead, ask God to empower us to obey His command in Luke 9:22, “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” This is the message that Peter and the other apostles lived. Doing the will of Christ was more important to them than money, possessions, notoriety, and even their only lives. May God cultivate in us a love so deep for Him, that we too will be willing to give up our lives for the sake of the gospel. You see, Peter did not write a fairy tale to excite us. He wrote a letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to correct our way of thinking, and bring it into alignment with God’s thinking.
Hope to hear from you soon, and have a prosperous week in the Lord, according to His idea of prosperity, not man’s idea.
Pastor Gary L Protenic