Monday 30 April, 2018

2 Peter 1:16-21

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

For something a little different, I decided to paraphrase these verses.

“Sorry all, I know I might sound like a broken record but I am going to tell you again, and this will not be the last time I tell you either… because this is a true story, I witnessed it myself, as did James and John. And it was mind blowing. It changed my whole perspective. In that moment when I saw Jesus in his radiant glory and I heard God honour him with words of such intimacy and honour “This is my Son who I love and with whom I am delighted” it was then and there, on the mountain, that I realised who He really was. Suddenly I understood the Promises of old. In Jesus, the Son of God, they were fulfilled. No longer were they fading hopes and long awaited for words. No, then at that moment I could see they were embodied in this glorious and radiant Jesus. And I knew that they were real and true, and He was real and true. Really and truely the Messiah, the promised one. I gained a new admiration for the scriptures, truely they are Holy Spirit inspired. Man is only the tool for the writing.”

Note: If you would like to see the original account of the event that Peter refers to in this passage it is recorded in Matt 17:5, Mark 9:7 & Luke 9:35 and is often referred to as the Transfiguration, as Jesus is shown/revealed in all his radiant glory.

Sometimes it’s easy to get familiar with the stories of Jesus the man and lose sight of the majesty of who he really is. My mind finds it hard to hold the picture of Jesus the one who is fully man and yet also fully God. But He is that, as this passage so powerfully reminds us.

Jesus please reveal yourself to me, as you did to Peter. May I see your radiant glory, and get lost in awe and wonder. May I truely honour you with all that I am. May I love your word with a new passion. Thank you that your word is the Holy Spirit inspired book that is accessible to me every day to reveal Jesus.

Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart

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Sunday 29 April, 2018

2 Peter 1:1-15

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

I love how God, in all His amazing glory & power, chooses to partner with us to see His plans come to pass. Reading this passage, I’m reminded again that God desires to work in us and through us so that we get to be a part of all that He is doing. Verses 3 & 4 show that God provides us with His divine power & that His desire for partnership with us isn’t because of what we can do for Him, but because He wants to include us in His abundant goodness & grace. What an honour!

There is however, a call on our end to respond. We need to respond to the honour of God’s call by living as Peter writes in verses 5-7. This means never taking for granted that we have been cleansed from our sins not just for our own sake but so that we can walk alongside God to bring Him glory in the way we live.

God, you are so good to us! You don’t just save us & then leave us – you include us in your great plans & give us purpose! Help us to choose to walk alongside you and to live as you would desire us to so that we can honour the call & purpose you have for each of us and bring glory to you.

Written by Ps. Madelaine Tarasenko

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Saturday 28 April, 2018

1 Peter 5:8-15

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

The enemy’s actions are described earlier in the gospels, as like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, hidden, deceitful, blending in, almost stealth like. In today’s passage, the enemy is described as a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. A roaring lion is hardly hidden, or stealthy prowling around, but is rather more obvious and easily seen, and heard.

But still the warning is to be self controlled, to be alert, to resist him, and to stand firm. For without these actions, the roaring lion might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing! We all therefore have a self responsibility to act on these virtues, which mainly come about by regular prayer and being fed by the Word.

It is important to note that in this passage, there are two points that show that we will surely face times of hardships. The phrase “resist him” indicates that we will face the enemy at times, and then “after you have suffered a little while” also demonstrates that the battle will occur and will not be easy.

But the wonderful exhortation is that the “God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, …..  will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. “ (NIV)

This is the promise we can take into any situation. And so friends, let us be, and encourage each other to be, self controlled, alert, to resist him, and to stand firm.

Father help us all, in Jesus’ Name. Amen

Written by Steve Fell

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Friday 27 April, 2018

1 Peter 5:1-7

5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

This passage is awesome; it allows us to understand what our responsibilities are as shepherds and as sheep, because we are called to be both.

It calls us to be people who lead from a place of watching. We aren’t called to lord over people, force our opinions on others or have them do what we want. Our job is to serve them with a willing heart, helping them succeed and reach their potential in Christ.

Not only does it provide insight into how to lead but also how to be led. Submission, it is probably one of those words that people of this generation struggle to understand, something that doesn’t come naturally but is something that opens the door for growth.

It takes a lot to be someone who can submit, remaining teachable, allowing others to impart, correct and shape them, but as this passage instructs us, when a leader knows how to lead it opens the door for great success. The way we lead and the way we are led go hand in hand and only work and reach their potential when they are both done in accordance with the will of God.

Finally I love how at the end Peter just tacks on “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. “ I love this! We can give him all our crap, all our struggles because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords cares for us, loves us deeply and sacrificially.

Lord, Thank you that you care for us so deeply that you are willing to take all our anxieties and burdens so that we can live in freedom. Help us today to lead with passion, follow with diligence and to live free, casting all our anxieties on your for you alone can save us. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Written by Annique Botta

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Thursday 26 April, 2018

1 Peter 4:12-19

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Suffering. It’s not the easiest thing to deal with but it could be because I have a different view to suffering compared to God’s view.

I’m grateful that I don’t have to suffer as Jesus did by dying on a cross. Nor have I suffered publicly like Peter when he denied Christ. Peter was so distraught by what he had done that he wrote himself off, believing that God had cast him aside because he failed. Sometimes I feel the same way.

But this is not God’s view. Our Father didn’t leave Peter in his misery but instead restored him back to life.  And this is the viewpoint from which Peter writes. He writes from the other side of his suffering, from God’s viewpoint: don’t be surprised by suffering – it is a normal part of life. Where we might disqualify ourselves, God restores us. Through Peter, I am reminded not to write myself off but instead commit myself to my Father God and continue to do good.

Father, I thank you that You speak Your truth to me about life telling me that there will be hard times but I don’t have to give up or think I’ve disqualified myself but rather turn to You and commit myself to You again. Thank you for loving me graciously and kindly through every step of my life.

Written by Gab Martin

1 (reply)
  1. Kim says:

    I love v 19, keep on doing what is right, & trust your lives to God who created you, for he will NEVER fail you! What a wonderful promise to hold onto!
    Thank you Jesus

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Wednesday 25 April, 2018

1 Peter 4:7-11

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I work in the film & TV industry, and for every shoot we receive a ‘callsheet’ which contains all the details you’d ever need – arrival time, the location address, what the weather will be like, the day’s schedule…what time lunch is! But on top of this, the producer will often put the most essential info in big bold letters at the top of the email, such as: “IT WILL BE VERY HOT, SO WEAR SUNSCREEN AND A HAT” or “THE LOCATION IS A WORKING FACTORY, SO BE EXTRA CAREFUL WHEN MOVING THROUGH SET”. In other words, “if there’s one thing you need to know, it’s this.” Even if someone neglects to read the nitty-gritty details of the callsheet, at least they have the key thing in big bold letters in front of them.

Here I feel Peter gives us similar big bold letters. In my own words, “If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s to continue to show deep love for each other.” Not to dismiss his encouragement to be generous and to serve one another with our gifts, but if love is our goal then everything else gets taken care of.

Where in my life can I be showing deep love for those around me? Where has my love dried up or gone cold for my friends, my family, my church, or my neighbour?

Lord, help me to love every person I encounter with the same love You have shown me. Thank You that Your love is greater than any other force in my life, and that I am free to continue to show deep love for those around me.

Written by Matt Samperi

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Tuesday 24 April, 2018

1 Peter 4:1-6

4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

It is clear to me that we cannot be ‘part time’ with our faith. Living out the call of God in my life has got to go beyond intellectual discussion – there is no real cost to me in that. The test of my commitment comes when I literally am prepared to feel the cost. For Jesus the cost of following the will of God was physical, emotional and spiritual.

For me the cost of my faith is to live real in a counter-cultural way. I have to be prepared to be laughed at, misunderstood or even rejected for my decisions. In some parts of the world I could face not just mockery or rejection but physical harm for following Jesus. For Jesus the cost of following the Father was worth it for our salvation. I need to be sure my heart is like Jesus. I want to be prepared to follow the call of God no matter what.

Lord help me to have the heart of Jesus. Help me to hear your call on my life. Help me to follow your will. Help me to bring Glory to your name. Amen

Written by Christine Knight

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Monday 23 April, 2018

1 Peter 3:13-22

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

God is very encouraging in these verses. I hear God in this passage clearing the way for me to live a life that is free to be eager to do good towards others, with no if’s, but’s or maybe’s attached. If I suffer for my eagerness, God calls me blessed. My eagerness should always be with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience that I’ve done the good thing by my fellow man in every situation. And Jesus is my great example, in that even though he suffered to the point of being put to death, even then God made opportunity for him to make proclamation to the “imprisoned spirits.”

God wants me to live each day eager to do good to everyone that I have the opportunity of crossing paths with. Particularly, God wants me to be prepared and ready to share my hope with anyone who asks – the ultimate good that can be done. And God through this passage arms me with courage for the potential opposition – should I suffer at any point, God’s blessing is upon me, and God makes a way for more good to be done, even as He did in Jesus’ life.

Lord, I am called to be courageous in eagerness to do good to my fellow man. Help me prepare a powerful answer should anyone ask for why it is I hope in you Lord. And I have courage because you declare, even though I may suffer for standing boldly for you, even then I am blessed by you. And none can bless like you bless Lord! Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Sunday 22 April, 2018

1 Peter 3:8-12

8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

It used to be taken for granted that we lived in a ‘Christian’ country, unless people were obviously Jews, Muslims or another definite religion, it was assumed that everyone was, more or less, ‘Christian’.  This has been swept away, and people who really are ‘Christian’ stand out.  In some quarters of society people known as Christians may attract criticism or discrimination, rather similar to first century Christianity and the case for the majority of Christians in the world today.   So how does a Christian behave when surrounded by a world that doesn’t understand what we’re about (although they think they do), and is potentially hostile?

The answer comes in Peter’s quotation from Psalm 34. Seek peace, and follow after it.  It may be hard to find, this ‘peace’ which we’re supposed to be looking for, but we should not expect ‘peace’ to come to us when we whistle.  We have to learn the new habit.  We have to learn it because it is all too easy to lapse into the way many people behave.  Christians are to stand out as distinctive, but when we do, and are mocked for it, we’re tempted to mock and criticize right back—and then we’re no longer distinctive, because we’re behaving just like everyone else!  When Christians ‘give as good as they get’, slander with slander, they are conformed to the surrounding world, just as surely as if we went along with immorality or financial corruption.

Peter reminds us to be: like-minded, sympathetic, loving, tender-hearted and humble. That’s why we are given the holy spirit, to enable us to work at the new habits of heart and life.

Father help us to live out these habits as Peter identifies!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Saturday 21 April, 2018

1 Peter 3:1-7

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

This passage in Peter talks about mutual respect.

God designed both male and female in His image – Jesus had NO problem with believing in women, teaching women and empowering women.  We are equal in every way and should respect all people and all ages.

Marriage is about mutual respect.  How we live is important both outwardly to others but even more so to our spouses and families.  They are the ones who will see our ‘hypocrisy’ if we live different to what we say.

The encouragement of God in this passage is for all of us to be authentic.  Not outwardly concerned about image but true to ourselves and what we say.  Our character is what should shine through.  It is alright to struggle at times, but how we respond in circumstances can have lasting effects.

My prayer has always been “Lord help me not to react, but to respond with love and care”.

I think it is very interesting here as Peter says to the men (to the husbands) – treat your wives well and with respect (with honour, with respect and with equality) – SO THAT YOUR PRAYERS WILL NOT BE HINDERED.

I think this is good for us wives too.

Lord help me to treat my husband and my family and all people with honour, respect and equality.  You judge our hearts Lord.  Father show us where we are wrong and help us to become all you have made us to be.  Let our prayers not be hindered by our attitudes.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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