Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 12, 2015

"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Luke 9:23-26

Once you have seen Jesus and understand Who He is, you can never be the same! Peter's confession of Christ shaped his life forever! It was his defining moment.

How did it define his life?

First, it defined His meaning.

Peter was a fisherman become follower. Jesus had promised him He would become a "fisher of men". But had that happened yet? No really. So, what value is there in being a non-fishing fisherman? Not much.

Fully knowing Who Jesus was meant that Peter now would fish differently with different bait, a new hook and a bigger net!

His new bait? JESUS!

His new hook? LOVE!


Second, it defined his mission.

When Peter first decided to follow Jesus he left his nets and his boat to learn about this amazing new Rabbi. He became a follower because of what it could do for him and if it did not work he could always go back to fishing. Peter had a fall back position - a "plan B".

His confession of Jesus would change that forever!

Once you truly understand Who Jesus is and confess Him as Savior and Lord, there is no more "plan B". Either you are all in or you are out! Peter understood that. His mission was to be fully committed to making Christ known to others. The news was too good to keep! Evangelizing became His purpose and His top priority.

Committing to Christ marks the end of casual, aimless living!

How did he do? Read the first several chapters of Acts!

Third, it defined his message.

When you know Who Jesus is, how can you stay silent about it? When you have witnessed miracles and seen people delivered and the dead raised, how can you not tell others about that? You can't! You must!

Others needed to hear it and Peter needed to tell.

How did he do? Read the first few chapters of Acts!

Once you understand Who Christ is and once you confess Him it should dramatically and fundamentally change you! It should change your meaning - has it? It should change your mission - has it? And it should change your message - what are you talking about?

October 11, 2015

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, GODLINESS" II Peter 1:5-6

One of the embarrassing moments of my mediocre athletic career happened when I was playing High School baseball for the Warsaw Tigers. I came to bat with runners on  base and a chance to knock them in with a base hit. The pitch came and it was a late-breaking curve that I started to swing at but then tried to hold up on my swing. However, my bat went too far and made contact with the pitch resulting in a weak little ground ball that the first basemen easily scooped up and tagged the base. I was out. Upset at myself, I  took off my batting helmet as I crossed first base and slammed it to the ground so hard that it bounced back higher than my head.

My head coach was coaching first base and as I turned to head back toward the dugout he was standing there in the coaching box waiting for me. He was clearly angry and he lit into me about how I not only made myself look bad but I made the whole team and Warsaw High School look bad.

I had never seen him so upset and I knew he was right and was justified in his scolding of me. I immediately apologized as I realized I had only thought about myself and my own frustration and forgot that I represented Warsaw Community High School and the WCHS athletic program.

In my disappointment with myself for making an out I lost sight of my "Tigerness".

That is a picture of what Peter means when he call on us to "add to our faith.....godliness..."

What is Godliness?

Godliness comes from the Greek word "eusebia" and is used in the New Testament to express the idea of inner piety or spirituality. Vine defines this word as, "piety, which, characterized by a God-ward attitude, does that which is well pleasing to Him." Thayer says, "Reverence, respect, in the Bible everywhere piety towards God, godliness." And, Arndt and Gingrich says it refers to, "the duty which man owes to God piety, godliness, religion."

Thus, there are two parts to godliness. First, there is the "God-ward attitude" of "reverence and respect." Second, there also is the "doing of what is pleasing" to God, as the "duty" that we owe to Him.

Just as Coach Bock sternly admonished me for embarrassing the team with both my attitude AND my actions, Peter urges these believers to "think like God and act like God".

Godliness loves God and lives like it loves God. Godliness thinks and acts like God so that others think well of God and want to know Him as well.

Do you love God? Do your actions show it?