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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Words of Encouragement July 22, 2018

This morning we had another good Sunday School with our substitute teacher sharing on wonders of nature. Of course, the producers of the program credit the intricacies of the creatures to “eternal engineering” and “nature”. We give creation credit to our God. And we wonder what wonders await us in heaven: 1 Corinthians 2:9 'no eye has imagined'.

Pastor continued his series on “The Strong” covering 1 Peter chapter 4.
1 Peter is a message telling the new church (new followers of Christ) what they need to do to survive as they face opposition and trials.

This week Pastor referenced unexpected construction road blocks. We don’t run into these so often anymore if we use a GPS on our car dash or on our smartphones. But even when we do, there are those who are tempted to drive around the barriers to get to their destination instead of following the detour. Often, they discover that the way really is blocked, and they end up having to turn around and go back to the detour anyway.

God's word is a path to the followers of Christ. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

We are not supposed to live without God. Whether we are a Christ follower or not, God is always there with each person, calling them and trying to guide them. Our humanness in our fleshly bodies tries to live without God, but we end up on the wrong path and usually in trouble needing to be rescued.

1 Peter 4 tells us to be ready to suffer too, like Christ. Love for this human world will cause pain. Peter admonishes us to “be finished with sin”. (Verse 1.) Don't chase your own desires but anxiously seek the will of God (Verse2.) Live differently which will put you at odds with your former friends. (Verses 3 and 4.)

Point: The strong know that trials come but victory is had by trusting fully in Christ.

Remember that all will face judgment with a pass or fail test: ‘Yes, you know and accepted Christ’ or ‘No you didn’t accept Him’. (Verses 5 and 6.)

Be glad for trials that make you a partner with Christ and if you must suffer, suffer for knowing Christ. (Verses 12-16.) Judgment begins with each of us – how we live and treat others. (Verse 17.) “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (Verse 18.) Therefore, keep on doing what is right and trust in God who will never fail you. (Verse 19.)

Be careful that you don’t try to take back control in your human, fleshly weakness. This happens when we stop reading the word, stop praying, stop giving time and tithe; when we disconnect from church.

If you don't trust God, you are believing the lies of Satan. You are back in prison, a slave to sin. Be strong. Trust God fully. Live different. It is yes or no.

I found this song today which I think fits for the message.
A Verse for Today:
1 Peter 4:18 (NIV)
18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"

Lord, I pray for today and every day: Help me be strong in You. Help me to live different than the world.

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