Posts Tagged With: Peter

Caiaphas’ House

In our run-up to Easter, please join us in this week’s PODCAST as we follow Jesus step-by-step on this Virtual Israel Study Tour through the final hours of Jesus’ life.

Last week, we joined Peter in the seclusion of the Garden of Gethsemane. This week, we’ll meet again in the courtyard of the High Priest.

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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How Firm a Foundation!!!

Rendering of Caesarea Philippi courtesy of Chris Edmondson

You are in for a real treat, I do believe.

As you are about to hear in this week’s PODCAST, it’s one of the most basic principles of proper biblical interpretation, the ground rule of hermeneutics.

Ready? Here it is: “The Bible is the best commentary on itself.”

Ever heard that before? Well, you’re going to get a classic example of that rock-solid (pun intended) truism right now.

Let’s start with this: Peter, it seems, was obsessed with  stones and rocks. And that for a very good reason.

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 Failed, BUT was Not a Failure (and Neither are You!)

His name was John Mark. A man of whom the world was not worthy.

But as you are about to hear in this PODCAST, he was a man in whom the Apostle Paul saw no worth.

None.

Zero.

Nada.

But here’s the thing: He may have had no worth to Paul, but John Mark had infinite worth to God.

Paul would not use him, but God certainly did.

Spectacularly.

Ever feel as though you have little to no worth? Guess again.

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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LIVING Stones!

Lifeless Stones. Photo courtesy of secrets-of-stonehenge-tours.co.uk

In 1 Peter 2:5a (NLT), Peter painted this amazing picture. Speaking of you and me, he wrote,

“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.”

Living stones. As you are about to hear in the PODCAST, Peter may have been an uneducated fisherman. But he was inarguably the master of the metaphor.

Last week, he referred to us as “priests”—a metaphor rich with a wealth of meaning once we understand the role of priests throughout the biblical narrative.

For this week, “living stones.” What a meaningful metaphor that is—“living stones.”

As we are about to learn, this is perfect for us to consider as we close out 2018—a year that has dealt with most of us in a remarkably unkind way. The challenges we have faced, the trials we have endured, the obstacles we have overcome… And yet, and yet, like “living stones,” you are still standing. And for that, I applaud you!

Now to the point at hand: Does anything strike you about Peter’s reference to “living stones”?

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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Family Matters

There is a play-on-words in 1 Peter 1:22.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, an insightful play-on-words that we miss to our peril.

Coming as it does from Peter’s pen, I can assure you that this play-on-words is most-intentional. Pregnant with meaning poignantly personal to Peter, and to us as well.

This play-on-words is a bit of a pun—not humorous at all, but serious in the extreme—that goes straight to the heart of what it means to be committed-Christ-follower now, today, in our current Christian culture.

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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So Why are We So Surprised?

Paul wrote to the believers in Rome,

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity” (Romans 12:2 JBP).

Never was the need for Paul’s plea more evident than in what you are about to hear here in this PODCAST.

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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“Weight-ing” on the Lord

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, the time has come for us to have a sensible discussion about an issue that has been grossly misunderstood, and consequently grievously mis-taught, in far too many Christian settings. All of this causing so much harm spiritually, mentally, and emotionally to so many.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Oh, my dear friends, get ready to be set free!

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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God, bless You!

Image courtesy of Sabbath Truth

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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Safe and Secure

Image courtesy of mudpreacher.org

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, all you need to know about the precious people to whom Peter wrote is summarized in three telling terms. One phrase, really.

One phrase that so accurately described them.

One phrase that so accurately describes each of us.

κ-λεκ-τος παρ-επι-δ-μοις διασ-πορς—literally, “elect foreigners in the diaspora.”

Now why in the world would Peter begin his first letter with this carefully crafted first phrase?

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect foreigners in the diaspora.”

Because the one question looming in minds of Peter’s distressed audience was this:

Has God abandoned us?

Not to get too personal with you, and at the risk of invading your private space, I cannot help but to wonder if you have ever asked of yourself that exact same question:

Has God abandoned me?

And Peter wanted them—and us—and you!—to know that as he penned this epistle, that same question was looming large in his own mind and his own soul.

Peter knew his audience.

Peter knew them.

Peter knows us.

Peter knows you!

Peter feels our pain.

Peter asks our questions.

Peter understands our doubts.

Peter feels our fears.

Peter can relate.

Peter “gets” it.

Peter “gets” us.

And I, for one, am profoundly grateful that he does.

And in “getting” us, he will assure us in this podcast that NO!!! God has NOT abandoned you. He has NOT turned His back on you. He will NEVER stop loving you. He will NEVER leave you. He will not now or EVER forsake you.

In a word, we are SECURE in His omnipotent hand.

Aren’t you glad?

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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