Good morning and Welcome to Church! This morning, as we start the new year, I am going to begin to preach through the New Testament book of 1 Peter. This is a relatively short letter written by Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect. I would like to ask you to please take some time over the coming week(s) to spend time reading and praying through these 5 chapters of this powerful instruction from God’s Word.
In April of last year we spent quite a few weeks studying through 2 Peter. And, in that book, the apostle Peter gives us some very powerful, yet simple, instructions for how we should be living. In 2 Peter 1:5-8, Peter writes this to us, God’s elect: (5) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; (6) and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; (7) and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (8) For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe that these are words that we need to be focusing on more and more. The world is constantly tugging at us and, if we are not careful, we can let the things of the world influence us and keep us from being effective and productive for the Lord Jesus Christ. When that happens, it also means that we allow ourselves to bring that influence into our Church, which can be like a cancer in the body of Christ. But, we are called to be set apart; to be holy.
When we are practicing personal holiness, we will find that we will bring that into the Church and we will be a blessing and a benefit to the cause of Christ in our Church and in our neighborhoods and families, and everywhere else that we go.
This year is a crucial time in the life of our Church. This month marks the beginning of my 5th year as your Pastor. The history of Churches tells us that this is a critical time for us in the 5th year. This is the year that we will choose to stand for all that we have done and declare together that we will do even more; or this is the year that we will turn inward to one another, and then ultimately on one another. The answer begins in the heart of each person who is part of FBC. What will you choose?
All for Jesus,