2nd Sunday of Easter
Trust Christ and His Word
Text: 2 Peter 1:16-21
“Did God really say?” Those are the first words spoken by Satan in Scripture. That once perfect angel who rebelled against God and then was cast into hell was determined from the very beginning to bring down all creation with him. The most prized prey for his vicious attacks though would be the crowning jewel of creation, the ones made in the very likeness of God—human beings. Though they bore the righteous image of God, it would take one phrase to beguile humans and set off their race in a tailspin of sin: “Did God really say?”
That was enough. That was enough to get Eve to question God’s command and then alter God’s command and finally to disobey God’s command. “Did God really say?” was enough for Adam to stand there idly by, quietly conceding and consenting with his wife’s first sin.
That question is so powerfully evil that the devil figured he would just keep on using it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So he whispered, “Did God really say he would make you into a great nation?” into the ears of Abraham and led him to take matters into his own hands and lie about his wife Sarah, calling her his sister to protect her. And he coaxed into complaining some two million Israelites by causing them to ponder in the desert, “Did God really say he would lead you to the Promised Land?” That one worked so well he used it for over 40 years on the same people! Read the rest of this entry
I challenge you!
Stuck in a rut? Looking for some strength? Some courage? Some comfort? Wish your relationship with God was better? Wish your knowledge of the Bible was greater? Wish you could have all of the above–and now?
I’m challenging you to do something that might seem impossible. It might seem daunting. It might even be scary. But I’m also challenging you to do something that will totally change your life–now and forever.
Are you ready?
I’m challenging you to read the entire Bible in 60 days. Starting November 1, 2011, see if you can read all of Holy Scripture in just 60 days, or before 2012 begins. I’ll even throw in New Year’s Eve as a spare day to make it 61 days!
It’s not as hard as you might think. Only about one hour a day should do it. If you break that up as 20 minutes when you wake up, 20 minutes in the middle of the day, and 20 minutes before bed, that’s not too bad at all!
Or, there are 66 Bible books, which would be almost one a day. So set a goal of one bigger Bible book per day (like Matthew, Luke, Revelation) and shoot for several smaller books on other days (like Jonah, Micah, Nahum). The really big ones (like Genesis or Psalms or Jeremiah) could then be split up for two days.
With either pace of about one hour or one Bible book per day, you can easily achieve this goal!
But the point of the challenge is not to climb the Mt. Everest of literature or knock something off your bucket list. (Though it would be a nice accomplishment to have on your spiritual resume.) Rather, God promises us that his Word, “Will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” When we read any of the Bible or all of the Bible, we will most certainly be blessed by it. We will learn more about the Lord and we will grow closer to him.
The apostle Paul reminds us also that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” First of all, the Bible is in fact God’s Word. He breathed in every word and every letter. It is fully and completely his Word, penned by his authors. Secondly, God’s Word is useful. It’s useful for our everyday lives as Christians. It’s useful for equipping us to live God-pleasing lives. It’s useful for helping us to share that very Word with other people.
It’s quite the challenge, isn’t it? At our church I’ve encouraged people to read the entire Bible in one year before. Some have accomplished the goal. More have not. So how could this be done in just 60 days then?
Well it can be done. The time commitment isn’t that much (especially considering the value!). Most importantly, the value is beyond compare: You will train yourself in a habit to carry forward for the future. You will find that you will grow in your desire to read and to learn more. You will grow in your knowledge of God’s Word. You will grow in your faith. God promises that!
So I challenge you: 60 days, 66 Bible books.
I’m not leaving you alone though! I’m challenging myself, too! I’m joining you on this journey the whole way. I intend to read the whole Bible in 60 (or 61) days as well. I’ll also be blogging about my experience along the way. Check in and see how I’m doing. Compare your daily challenges and struggles with mine. And if you want, feel free to E-mail me or call me any time with any questions about what you are reading. I’m happy to help you understand God’s Word better!
Consider the opportunity! Consider the possible achievement! Consider the possible growth!
And consider yourself challenged: 60 days, 66 Bible books. Starts November 1, 2011!
Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sermon on 2 Peter 1:16-21
A True Story of Glory
1. It happened to strengthen Jesus
2. It was written to strengthen you
Text: 2 Peter 1:16-21
Way up high, beyond earshot and eyesight of the others, something spectacular happened. Suddenly his face began changing. It was glowing, like they had heard happened to Moses when he was on Mount Sinai. His clothes were suddenly dazzling. They were whiter than these new white paraments here at church, whiter than any amount of ERA, Tide, or ALL could ever make them. His clothes were so bright they were like a flash of lightning.
As Peter, James, and John woke from their sleep to see this magnificent sight, they also saw two others with Jesus. It was Moses and Elijah! The two greatest prophets in all of Israel’s history! They were right there in front of them, talking with Jesus!
With knees knocking and sandals shaking, they then found themselves enveloped in a great cloud, a cloud of glory. A voice thundered from this Majestic Glory and pierced their ears with these words, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
What a sight! It sounds almost unreal doesn’t it? It sounds like a great piece of fiction from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars. It sounds like something you would see in the theater, graphics made on a Mac with CGI. It sounds like an old wives tale. It sounds like a campfire story.
But it’s not! It’s not any of those things. Peter says in the first verse today: “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” This is the real deal. This really happened. Peter was an eye- and ear-witness of the transfiguration. This is A True Story of Glory. Read the rest of this entry