Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

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Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple — 1 Peter 1:22-2:3

Life is complicated. God keeps it simple.

I. Love the people around you. (1:22-25)

  • Love’s mutuality — “love one another” (22)
  • Love’s source — “from a pure heart” & “a sincere brotherly love” (22)
  • Love’s intensity — “earnestly” (22)
  • Love’s origin (23-25)
    • From God’s vantage point — born again through the seed of His Word (22-25)
    • From our vantage point — obedience to the gospel (22)

II. Long for the Word given to you. (2:1-3)

  • The passion — “long for the pure spiritual milk of the word” (2b)
  • The picture — “Like newborn infants” (2a)
  • The pursuit — “that by it you may grow up into salvation” (2c)
  • The pull — “if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (3)
  • The price — “So put away all …” (1)

My Spiritual Identity

My Spiritual Identity — 1 Peter 1:1-2

Identity + Validity = Destiny

I. Who am I? — My identity

  • I am chosen by God . . . and therefore rejected by the world. (1a)
  • I am an exile upon the earth . . . and therefore not yet home in God’s presence. (1b)
  • I am scattered into a specific locale . . . and expected to bear fruit. (1c)

II. How did I become this? — My validity (how do I know my identity is valid?)

  • I was foreknown by God the Father. (2a)
  • I was was set apart by God the Spirit. (2b)
  • I was redeemed by God the Son. (2c)

III. Where am I headed? — My destiny

  • I will glorify God through suffering (1:6, 8; 4:14, 16)
  • I will glorify God through salvation (1:5-7; 2:12; 4:13; 5:1, 4, 10)

The Power of Perspective

The Power of Perspective — 1 Peter 1:3-12

I. Consider the magnitude of your salvation. (vv.3-5)

  • You have been given a living hope. (v.3)
  • You have been given an incorruptible inheritance. (vv.4-5)

II. Consider the significance of your trial. (vv.6-9)

  • Your trial purifies your faith in Christ. (v.7)
  • Your trial personalizes your experience of Christ. (vv.8-9)

III. Consider the desirability of your position. (vv.10-12)

  • The prophets envy you. (vv.10-12a)
  • The angels envy you. (v.12b)

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Christmas in the Middle East

This Christmas is a little different for my wife and me. We’re well over 6,000 miles from our children. For the first time we won’t be spending Christmas together. We’re not snuggled in our cozy home with a fire in the fireplace. We’re not gathering at our familiar Christmas Eve service. We’ve not come together around the familiar and comfortable. My heart aches.

This Christmas we find ourselves much closer than we’ve ever been to the where all the action which brought us Christmas took place. A mere 640 miles away is Bethlehem, the site of Jesus’ birth. Just down the road from ancient Nineveh and a few clicks north of what was once Babylon we are once again entering into our Christmas celebrations.

We rejoice over and with new friends. We have a new faith-family with which we gather, give gifts, and sing the songs of hope and faith that are familiar to us. We share food, laughter, love, and hope.

We celebrate Immanuel, “God with us” (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23). My heart rejoices.

Be it surrounded by the comfortable and familiar or the new and sometimes strange, He remains.

Though those we love deepest are distant and ones we newly embrace are at hand, He remains.

Though I cannot hug my children and though I still struggle with simple greetings here, He remains.

We are not alone. God is with us. The celebration continues. Praise His Name!

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