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Be Who You Are

Who am I?  This is one of the most important questions a person can ask. Developing a sense of identity is perhaps the most important task of adolescence. Satan works hard to destroy a positive sense of identity in God’s children by exposing them at a young age to messages that convey that their lovability is dependent upon their performance or that their value and worth are evaluated by what they do rather than who they are. Can you list twenty positive adjectives to describe yourself?

Jesus in the Last Sermon...

Drawn by the sound of a violent wind, God-fearing Jews from Cappadocia, Pontus, and the Roman province of Asia stood in a multinational crowd and heard a message from Galileans in their own languages. Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12). At the end of weeks that included a shameful denial, a death, a resurrection, a restoration, and now the flames of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood up and introduced listeners to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.

Servant Leadership

The church needs leaders who will not only lead but also function as nurturers and overseers. Humility should characterize their lives so that they can function as examples of true leaders rather than as dictators.  Elders of the church are called to manifest this spirit of service; youth, in turn, are called to submit to this kind of leadership. Servant leadership takes its vision from the Word of God and, at the same time, provides every opportunity for members to exercise their own spiritual gifts in pursuit of the gospel commission.

Watching “Watchers” Watch Where Jesus Went . . . and Why

Some biblical passages have appropriately earned the reputation of straining the capacity of interpreters to understand and apply them. One such section in the first Letter of Peter to the “exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1 NRSV) can be found in 3:14-22. Teachers and preachers have scratched their collective heads for generations, attempting to articulate clearly what these words must have meant to the people who first heard them . . . and then what they might mean to us. And, what difference it makes.

Living for God

In his first epistle, Peter discusses the universal sinfulness of man and how the cross of Christ resolves the problem of sin. Christ’s power to change the hearts of believers is the focus of the writer. Making one’s conversion effective and living for God involves the suffering of the flesh. The life that is expected of the believer after he gives himself to Christ demands no easy journey. The constant barrage by the enemy and the natural pull of sinful flesh necessitates that church members fortify their soul temples with the life-giving Spirit of Christ.

1 Peter and Social Relationships

I’m an Australian-born, Anglo-Irish, white male of a secular background.[1] I have no reason to regret any of these characteristics as none of them were by my conscious choice. Nevertheless, on occasions I’ve felt embarrassed and even ashamed of some of these features. On my way to Britain, in late 1968, to attend university, I stopped for several days in South Africa. I was confronted with apartheid in its extreme form.

The Cornerstone

Peter was a man close to the earth. Because of his fishing background, he stated things plainly and was not afraid to say what needed to be said. And after denying Jesus, it seems that he was empowered to peel back the layers and reveal the heart of the matter. We see this at the sermon of Pentecost (Acts 2), and we see it in his epistle.

On Becoming a Pebble: The Name God Gave Simon

As far as I can tell, it happened only six times in the Bible. For God to personally name a mortal is a rare and significant event. In the Hebrew culture, names of children were usually indicative of either the time in history when they were born or wishes for the development of their character. Later, the use of family names became more common. When God chose to give a particular name to someone, it seems to have been a response to a specific event or issue in his life as well as an object lesson for the rest of us.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

In the second grade, we had a standing assignment to write a “morning story,” a short story about whatever we did the night before, that we would read to the class the following morning.  I dreaded that assignment; instead of writing about what I did, I would write about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go.  This frustrated my teacher to no end. He was so frustrated that he called my mother in for a parent-teacher conference. 

The Holy Spirit Grieves

Editor's Note: The authorship of this article was previously attributed to Catherine Taylor. Please note that it is actually by Arceli Rosario.

 

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Sat, 06/03/2017
Dr Carole Ferch-Johnson

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