Posts Tagged With: persecution

Check the Record!

Ready for a good old fashioned heart-stirring, soul-elevating, and spirit-encouraging Bible study?

You’re about to hear one, right here in this PODCAST.

Thank you for listening, and for sharing this message!!!

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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You are Proof of This!

As you will hear in this PODCAST, I am amazed.

Gloriously so.

My hope and prayer is that after hearing this, you will be amazed too.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Why We Don’t (and Won’t) Give Up!

Just the fact that you are choosing to listen to this PODCAST is proof-positive that you haven’t yet given up.

We have one most-compelling reason never to give up.

Hear what that reason is right here.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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The Man Who Bore the Scars

In this PODCAST, you are about to hear One.Amazing.Story.

A story about One.Amazing.Individual.

Though I would sincerely doubt that he saw himself as amazing.

See what you think.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“Wonderful Joy Ahead!”

As you will hear in this PODCAST, how ironic that Peter should invoke this image, and we discuss it, on the evening of the Winter Solstice, 2019.

As we bring the lovely little letter called 1 Peter to a close, you are in for copious amounts of much-needed encouragement.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“Fiery Trials”

This PODCAST will cause you to gather your loved ones a little closer to you, and to hug them a little tighter. Which is a good thing!

A remarkable story indeed, courtesy of our dear old friend, Peter.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“Render Unto Caesar…”

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, it’s always been a delicate and debatable dance — a Committed Christ-Follower’s relationship to the government.

This tension forms a theme that meanders throughout the pages of the Old Testament. It spills over into the Gospels and Acts. It’s certainly mentioned in several epistles, as it is here in 1 Peter.

Fortunately for us, the Bible is quite clear, concise, and unambiguous on this topic.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

May these words, humbly offered, be a blessing to and in your life.

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God, bless You!

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, Peter begins his first lovely little letter literally with a literary explosion. It’s as if he has so much that he wants to say so quickly, that the syllables come pouring out of him like a waterfall of words.

Believe it or not, verse 3 all the way to verse 12 is one long and winding and wondrously scenic sentence. You heard that right. A grand total of 315 words (in the NLT), all of which form one single sentence. Only the first part of which we will discuss now, with so much more rich and glorious truth to follow in the coming weeks.

There is an life-altering, soul-stirring insight embedded in verse 3 that we would do well to consider. Since verses 1 & 2 serve as Peter’s greeting, the letter itself actually begins with Verse 3.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

A rather remarkable statement given dire circumstances in which Peter’s original readers were living. We’ve already detailed them for you in the previous two podcasts. I’ll simply remind you that due to circumstances beyond their control—an empire-wide persecution at the bloody hands the infamously ruthless Nero—these were precious people—committed Christ-followers each, each our ancestors in faith—who had literally lost everything.

Even to the point of potentially losing their freedom and even their lives.

Theirs were the darkest of clouds with no silver linings.

A very fragile people living on the precipice with no safety net, clinging to their lives lived under the capricious actions of an unpredictable madman.

So if you were Peter, someone who fully understood and appreciated their seemingly insurmountable challenges—fears, insecurities, uncertainties—why would you begin your letter to them with the words,

“Blessed be the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”?

Does that not sound like a typically empty Christian cliché?

What prompted Peter to write with such audacity as to command his readers—including us—to bless God:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Even in the absolute worst of circumstances?

Obviously, Peter’s words, “Bless be the God,” did not come out of a vacuum. Fact is, there is a long and rich history to these words, and the life-altering, soul-stirring insight embedded within them.

Peter’s opening line was anything but a cutesy little Christian cliché. Not to his original readers. After hearing this podcast, not to us.

Although this does raise one intriguing question:

Bless God?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”?

I thought God blesses us.

How in the world do you and I bless God?

The answer to that question will change your life.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“We Must Never Forget…”

 

What perfect timing!!! This PODCAST coming not a moment too soon!

Last week you might remember, I referenced the fact that so many of our precious Safe Haven family—You, not to put too fine a point on it—are going through profoundly challenging and difficult times.

Well guess what? In God’s perfect timing, that just happens to be the theme of 1 Peter.

“God’s Sustaining Strength Through Our (Your!) Sustained Sufferings.”

Be it physical, mental, emotional, relational, or spiritual—I know that many of us come stumbling into Safe Haven on a Saturday night, or click the link to this podcast—some of us feeling as though we are teetering on the breaking point.

Here is what I want you to hear: So did Peter’s original readers. This is a letter written specifically to them/to us/to you!

Get this: In the five short chapters that make up this beloved little letter, Peter will reference the suffering of his readers (including you!) 16 times.

“God’s Sustaining Strength Through Our (Your!) Sustained Sufferings.”

By way of this podcast, welcome to Peter’s world.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“About That Time…”

Acts 12 begins with this poignant—or pregnant with meaning—phrase, Κατ᾽ἐκ-ε-νον δ τν και-ρν,

“About that time…”

Words that, as you will hear in this PODCAST, could just as well have been translated,

“At the same time…”

“In the meantime…”

Or,

“Meanwhile…”

  • Meaning that while our old friend from last week, the Prophet Agabus, was in beautiful downtown Antioch 300 miles to the North, warning of a coming famine to Jerusalem and Judea in the South…
  • Meaning that while the predominantly non-Jewish believers in Jesus were taking up a love offering to help to alleviate mass starvation and woeful suffering among their Jewish brothers and sisters in Jesus in Jerusalem and throughout Judea…
  • Meaning that while this gloriously beautiful unity of all of these first-generation Christ-followers was being realized throughout Israel and beyond…

Κατ᾽ἐκ-ε-νον δ τν και-ρν, “In the meantime,” much was going on in Holy City of Jerusalem itself—gut-wrenching, faith-challenging, life-altering events that rocked the world of these early believers. Profound challenges that had nothing to do with Agabus’ future famine about which they didn’t yet know.

Our passage tonight—a modest four verses in total—goes to the very heart of the #1 longing of every human heart—including our own.

As well as the #1 question that has plagued the human race since time immemorial, including us.

Four short verses that describe what was going in lives of early believers particularly, and the residents of Jerusalem generally.

“About that time…”

All of this, ALL of this, so insightful for us, today, in our time.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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