Where to look for lasting peace (Ephesians 2:14)

Ephesians 2:14

Imagine you are in an orchestra. When the orchestra began to play, a horrendous sound went out. All the instruments were out of tune. You tried to fix it by tuning your own instrument to itself. The orchestra remained dissonant. You tuned to the person next to you. Though the two of you sounded good together, still the orchestra sounded like a million cat shrieks. In order for an orchestra to sound harmonious, you need a source tone, a note to which each instrument is tuned.

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Entering the throne room (Thessalonians 5:16-18)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Imagine you have been called into the Oval Office, the private chamber of a Supreme Court Justice, or office of some other person of great power. What might your thoughts and emotions be? Someone so powerful, so revered, perhaps someone you greatly respect asked you for a meeting. You likely would prepare for days for that meeting. Nothing like this has ever happened to you. You are about to shake hands with someone who has more power in uttering a sentence than you have in ten thousand words. Yet, this person has chosen to meet with you.

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Membership Matters Series: The Goals of Growth (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Ephesians 4:11-13

For many the church is a quaint place where religious people meet. As romantic of a picture as that might be, the church embodies so much more. 

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Shepherd Leaders are Willing to Lead (1 Peter 5:1-4)

1 Peter 5:1-4

In out last blog we compared the leadership style of a shepherd to that of a wolf. A shepherd puts the interest of the flock before his or her own. The wolf ravages the flock and leads for their own advantage rather than the care of the flock. If the leadership style of a wolf can be marked by vices such as sloth, greed, and power, the leadership style of a shepherd offers a cure for each of these maladies in the form of a virtue. Let us first look at sloth.

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Lead as a shepherd not as a wolf (1 Peter 5:1-4)

1 Peter 5:1-4

There has never been a greater need for upright leaders in our country than now. It ought not surprise us that the greatest lessons in leadership come not from the latest leadership books but from the Bible. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale were originally founded as training centers to produce godly, Christian leaders. They took their lead from the Good Book.

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Suffering for Heaven’s Sake (1 Peter 4:12-19)

1 Peter 4:12-19

No one likes to suffer. When given a choice between suffering or maintaining a sense of peace and tranquility, almost all will want to choose the latter. This makes sense. We were never meant to be at home with pain and suffering. Pain and suffering did not exist in Eden (Genesis 2:4-25). Nor will it exist in the New Heaven and New Earth, where there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 24:4). Our hearts naturally desire to be in a state of peace, harmony, and tranquility, where suffering and pain are eliminated.

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Our View of the Future Shapes How We Live (1 Peter 4:7-11)

1 Peter 4:7-11

How you view the future dramatically impacts how you live. If you view the future as bleak and hopeless, you will live as if nothing really matters. You will have no motivation to do good, because your dismal efforts carry no lasting weight. On the other hand, if you believe the future depends solely on your actions, you will become frustrated – even violent – if things do not go your way.

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Help, I’m a Christian and Don’t Know What to Do (1 Peter 3:8-12)

1 Peter 3:8-12

At a time of intense division, how can Christians walk straight in the social fog? My dad, who lived through the turbulent late 1960s and contributed to a degree to that turbulence, recently told me he cannot remember the country being as divided as it is now. Like most Americans, I care deeply about our country. I don’t like to see the violence. I can hear the pain in the many voices, even the voices I may not agree with. How can I, a Christian, find my way through the fog?

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What are you craving? (1 Peter 2:1-3)

1 Peter 2:1-3

What do you crave? Success in life? Popularity? Good health? Wealth? Power? Most of the things we crave leave us hungry and wanting more, even after we get them. There is a story of a pastor visiting a couple’s home. Atop the mantle of their fireplace was the painting of a beautiful home large in stature. The pastor inquired about the paining. “Oh,” the couple replied, “that is our dream home.” A few years later, the couple had that very home built. The pastor went back to visit them in their new home, after some time passed. Atop the mantle of their new fireplace was a new painting of an even more beautiful and larger house. The pastor again inquired. “That’s our dream home,” the couple explained. Will our appetites ever be satisfied? Will we always want more?

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Practice Your Independence with Dependence (1 Peter 2:13-17)

1 Peter 2:13-17

At a time when governmental interference into our personal lives is at an all time high, the Bible’s command to submit to our governing authorities may sound like more intrusion than help (1 Peter 2:13-17). However, this command may be the healing balm Christians can offer our fragmenting nation.

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