Thursday, March 31, 2011
This is from Mark ....
Just got through writing a sermon over 2 Peter 1:1-11... Peter affirms that once we are saved our salvation is forever. Jesus took and chose born again believers to escape a hell bound life. Once we have escaped, there is no returning. We get to experience grace and peace and get to multiply it in the knowledge of our Lord, and He granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness through His salvation. God dwells in our body as 1 Cor. 3:19-20. How can we ever neglect such an honor to think that we lose our salvation because it continues to say that we are not our own but we were bought with a price and we are to glorify God in our body. Our salvation did not come from our own thinking or own good works, but Peter writes in verse 3 that Jesus called us by His own glory and excellence. By His calling and election on our lives, “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises.” The promises Peter talks about is the eternal life living in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Peter does not just finish talking about how we should know our calling and election so that we can be sure of it until we enter into heaven, but Peter continues by explaining to us that we should be actively growing in our calling and election. As you read verses 5, 6, and 7, Peter lists certain qualities or virtues that Christians should be actively demonstrating in their life and we should add them or supply them to our faith. Those qualities are:
· Moral excellence- meaning above the world’s standards. The same standards in which we escaped from.
· Knowledge- meaning we should read our Bible and put God’s words into our hearts and minds actively pursuing the true knowledge of God
· Self-control- being able to control ourselves in our emotions and desires so that we are no longer are controlled by sinful desires and emotions especially our lust and sensual appetites.
· Perseverance- enduring through the difficult times in order to achieve the goal
· Godliness- is to give God reverence in all things in life and to put him above all no matter the circumstance or situation
· Brotherly Kindness- is to show a type of love toward other believers, as you would your brother or sister. It is to put away bitterness and hatred toward one another in the church.
· Love- (last but not least) Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments.
Peter makes it clear that if we are to make these qualities a part of our everyday life and let them increase “they will not render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the TRUE KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
How much more sweeter it is as we get to know our Lord who called us into salvation to escape the hell bound life. He took our place in the punishment of our sins so we would not have to.
You know as well as I do, that we deserve to be punished for our sins. You have lied, you have cheated, you have had impure thoughts, you have had hatred toward another person, and/or you have just disregarded God as your creator worthy of all worship. We all have sinned and do not deserve such joy and peace, but God loved you and I enough that He took upon our sins so that we could experience eternal life.
To get to know our God in the truest sense is an honor we should strive to accomplish. Peter says, “for as long as you practice these qualities, you will never stumble.” Not only do we get to know our God by making these qualities a part of our life, but also these qualities give us a benefit so that we will stand firm in our lives never to stumble.
What a promise!!!
The best is yet to come if we are to continue to grow in our calling and election by practicing these qualities … so that (v.11), “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”
To wrap up this paper in a few sentences, the truths of what Peter is talking about is:
Know your calling and election… Once saved, always saved! You have escaped and are free from the corruption of the world. Your salvation brings peace and grace into your life and gives you everything pertaining to life and godliness.
Once you know your calling and election,
Grow your calling and election… you should make the certain qualities (virtues) a part of your everyday life so that you will be effective and fruitful, and you will have a full and rich reward in God’s eternal kingdom.
The guys went into Mozambique a few weeks ago for the Leadership Training. We wanted to share a few pictures with you.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Mark's sister, Stephanie, came to visit for 7 days. We spent 2 days, one night, in Kruger, worked the mission's Annual Golf Day, went to the Ranch to see the lion cubs and just hung out. Way to fast but tons of fun! We are taking her to Joburg tomorrow for her flight back home. We are praising the Lord that she was able to come spend time with us here and we can't wait for her to be able to come back and stay longer.
Nothing like a good belly rub!
Spent two days in Kruger and this is the only giraffe and lion Steph saw!
Sunday we went to The Ranch and she saw the giraffes and the lions and even got to hold a lion cub.