Peter’s Tribulation Manual

Peter’s Tribulation Manual

The book of 1 Peter, I would argue, is Peter’s “manual” for how not to embarrass Christ amidst Tribulation (as Philippians is Paul’s). An interesting passage to consider in regard to Tribulation is 1 Peter 4:12. In it Peter exhorts us, “not to think it strange”. 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; Do you think it strange when pain, persecution, suffering, testing, trials, temptation… tribulation enters into your life? (although there are some slight differences in the meaning of the words above, for the purpose of these articles, I use these words essentially as synonyms) Some irony with this verse is that earlier in his life, Peter thought it strange concerning Jesus: If we look back in the Gospels in Matthew 16, Jesus is telling the Apostles His plans to go to Jerusalem, suffer many things and be killed. Peter responds and essentially says: “NO WAY, I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN”. Thus he provokes Jesus’ rebuke in Matthew 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Jesus understood something that Peter did not at that point in his life. Specifically, that tribulation is normal in the life of God’s children. Are you more like Peter or Jesus in this manner? Do you understand that tribulation is normal in your life, even GRACIOUS? To the degree that you think tribulation is strange (to the...
The Discipleship Process

The Discipleship Process

The Discipleship Process Dawson Trotman’s Obedient Disciple Wheel 80 some years ago, Dawson Trotman created the “Wheel” as a discipleship icon, (icon: a sign whose form directly reflects the thing it signifies). This small icon demonstrates the habits of a Jesus disciple. This illustration is not perfect nor exhaustive but is a good test barometer for you to check yourself. These habits will help train you in the ways of Christ. Let us review each the rim of the wheel: Obedience: Our message from God is the Bible. The product in our life is for us to be committed to a life of obedience, i.e. to live life as Christ would have us live it. It is clear in Jesus, and the subsequent scriptures taught, that the call on the believer is to have a life of obedience. The world is telling you that “disobedience” is ok, i.e., sexual mores, lying, stealing, dishonoring parents, permissive child rearing, etc. Some of the Christian world will say that kind of misbehavior is covered in Christ’s blood. They say God is a God of love and so is Christ. So, the Godhead will just overlook your disobedience out of love at the judgment… But the scriptures note to you that this thinking is wrong: John 14:21, 1 Cor 3:11-15 There are four spokes in this wheel Witnessing: Do you know how to woo a nonbeliever into a relationship with Jesus, where they would listen and hear the Holy Spirit? A person coming to Christ is not usually a lightning strike of a single event but an accumulation of many thoughts that eventually...
Five Crowns for Believers

Five Crowns for Believers

  1. CROWN Of Righteousness:  2 Timothy 4:8 Given to all those who eagerly looked forward to and loved His appearing. When I was a young man working for IBM, we use to have a label for people who were leaving the business. They were called “short timers”.  All their focus was how they could position themselves to leave in good shape, take all they could get and land in a prosperous way. They were motivated by their best interest and their future. God is offering us a better deal in Heaven.  Let us face it, we are short timers on earth. I find few people in the Christian walk focused on Jesus coming back or the fact we are going to Jesus. Most Christians are focused on improving their temporal circumstances or creating a theocratic society. The attitude today is because Jesus loves me, there will be no judgment or accountability in Heaven. So don’t worry about being accountable. That thinking is unbiblical. He loves me and will discipline me. I am accountable. Be motivated and live life with a short timer’s attitude and be assured, you will see Jesus soon. This thinking is in your best interest. Application: Do I think about Jesus return daily? Do I pray and do I desire that He come back today? How would Jesus grade me on this mindset? What do I need to do to get myself better focused on this mindset? Would you be eligible for this CROWN? 2. INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN   1 Corinthians 9:25-27 Given to those who disciplined their bodies and exercised self-control. 1 Co 9:25 And everyone who...
Finding Your Purpose

Finding Your Purpose

Most of us live our life with a drifting commitment to our purpose in life, i.e. Mom and Dad, school, job, wife family, self. These are not bad but God says He has a purpose for us in our lives. Most of us do not figure that out and align our life with God. This is a study we all need to go through for our life’s journey. 1 Chronicles 12:32 And from the sons of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, the heads of them were two hundred. And all their brothers were at their command. Rom_8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Eph_1:11 in whom also we have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, Joh 17:4 I have glorified You upon the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do-Jesus declaration that He knew God’s purpose for Him. A key need we all have in our life is finding what our purpose for being here is. There is a booklet on Establishing your Purpose that you can get from Pikes Peak CBMC or MIMbooks.com. *Like it or not our life is adding up to something. We all need to know what we want our life to add up to and why am I investing my life in a certain way. Remember, you have a choice, either...
Honoring Your Parents

Honoring Your Parents

A problem most all of us will face is our aging Parents. When this occurred to me that my parents were older and the roles were reversing, I asked, what does it mean to honor my parents? The era of aging parent disrupted my family life and created a major struggle in my life. Mat 15:4a For God commanded, saying, “Honor your father and mother”; To totally explore this topic is an extensive, long study. There is a book “Honoring Your Parents” at Amazon or Pikes Peak, CBMC for further study. To get started on this topic, first let me note the word honor here means to “ascribe value to”. Irrespective of your childhood or the misbehavior of your parents, you are to ascribe value to them. In some cases, I have seen from some dysfunctional families that about all that is left for them to “ascribe value to” is that the parents were chosen by God. We are called and commanded to respond in accordance to our observation of them. The accuracy to the application performed in trying to honor the parent is secondary to the attitude that “they are of value”.  No matter what your plan is you will probably meet resistance in your siblings, society, your church and your parents. Remember you will answer to God on your thinking and plan. Questions on your study and thinking on Honoring Your Parents are: 1.   Do I have any area where I need to forgive or be forgiven by my parents? 2.   Do I have any area where I need to forgive and be forgiven by...