Richvale Church
Sunday, March 28
  • Song
  • Good Morning welcome to service -- Today is PALM SUNDAY the begining of the passion week ..
    Jesus told two of his disciples to go into the city of Jerusalem and fetch a colt… HE tells the disciples if anyone asks them who needs the colts ...say the Lord needs them.. and he will send them at Once..
    The city was full of people preparing for the feast of passover ... When Jesus came into Jerusalem we told that the city was stirred up… Some people were asking who is this? ..then there was this chorus that began to ripple through the crowed… People be began to cry...
    “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
    ... Palm branches were cut and laid before Jesus as he came in to the city…in this kingly coronation.
    PALM SUNDAY... was a day of praise... A DAY declaration that the Messiah had come…
    We are in a sermon series in the book of 1 Peter entitled Standing Firm..and
    There is a connection between Palm Sunday and our text in 1 Peter
    and has to do with our deceleration of praise…in the midst of despair ...
    The lesson of Palm Sunday is that a victor has come to defeat that which defeats us.. and not only that but enduring character of that victory, even when matters seem to take a turn for the worse.
    Peter is writing to exiles in Turkey.. who are in despair… the future is uncertain..
    Peter reminds them that they Elect Exiles chosen by God.... He reminds them what they have been called too… they are citizens of heaven… sojourners in the world.. they have purpose in their current situation… ..
    Peter them to know that not only do they identify with the Saviors sufferings....But also identify.. resurrection and ultimately His glorification..
    Peter was there on the day of the Triumphal entry in Jerusalem.... Peter was present …when Jesus was betrayed - ... Peter in the garden of Gethsemane tried to protect Jesus and lopped off the ear of the Roman soldier…Jesus ended up rebuking Peter and supergluing it back on… Peter followed Jesus to the cross from a distance and he saw him being beaten and bruised...
    he saw the sufferings of Christ on the cross — but He also witnessed Jesus resurrection..and ascension… and glorification of Jesus..
    For Peter the gospel is more than doctrine or dogma... more than statements of belief.... rather the Gospel is to be experienced.. We are connected to Christ… Christ being the resurrection stone and anyone who touches Him ...Becomes a new Creature Born again into a living Hope…
    Peter tells us that there is hope beyond despair..
    T/’s He teaches us how to live for the Lord....in a hostile environment… and is all how we respond and react to life… He encourages us to walk in His steps... Peter shares specific steps which we should follow.

    1. Focus on Purpose rather than on Problems.

    Matt Emmon’s had the gold medal in sight. He was one shot away from claiming victory in the 2004 50-meter Olympic rifle event.
    ◦ All he needed was a score of 8.1 or more and he would have taken the gold medal...Which for an Olympic Athlete like Emmon's would be (cake) relatively easy.
    ◦ Emmon's however, made a huge Mistake... Standing in lane two, he fired at the target in lane three. He had an excellent shot and hit the target perfectly but it was at the wrong target.
    ◦ Instead of walking away with the Gold medal, Emmons ended up coming in eighth place.
    ◦ What we learn from Emmons is that it doesn't matter how accurate you are if you are aiming at the wrong target..
    — When we are surrounded with all kinds of challenges… it is hard to focus on the right target… Peter says focus on your purpose rather than your problems.
    1 Peter 2:11–12 ESV
    11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
    Peter opens up with this affectionate title of Beloved… He wants them to Focus on the Fact that they have been included into all of God’s blessings
    - Being part of the beloved is a precious and privileged position it… speak of this group of people who belong to God…those who previously were not a people but now a people… whose who hadn’t received mercy but now they have received mercy…. In light of being included in this marvelous fellowship called the beloved...
    He calls them to abstain from the passions of the Flesh…
    … sometimes we think the Bible wants us to ruin all the fun…
    Peter gives us THE reason to abstain from passion .. is that these "passions" wage war against your soul (thoughts, feeling and heart)
    … the passion of the Flesh .. IS NOT REALLY YOUR FRIEND… OUR CARNAL NATURE…
    is constantly fighting to overthrow the Lordship of Christ in our lives… … We have to see this as a battlefield… Flesh is constantly attacking.. us…Our sinful nature is constantly trying to bring us DOWN.
    I grew up during the Rhodesian war… and we used to travel everywhere in Convoys… IT WAS GUERRILLA WARFARE.. AND
    in Guerrilla warfare there is no fair fighting.. it always involves the element of surprise… and there were many times that there were surprise attacks on the road we drove on...
    So, the only way to handle a surprise was to expect it… to be prepared..
    The sinful passions and desires are like this… always ready to pounce at an opportune time… Peter says.. prepare for the battle.. One of the Ways is to get out of harms way… the best way to deal with temptation is to avoid it.... abstain from it...
    The famous preacher D L Moody said, ‘I have more trouble with D L Moody than with any man I know.’
    Peter says first Abstain … then the second imperative is to live Honorably...
    12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable...
    As people marked by the grace of God, we must refrain from some things while at the same time giving ourselves to what is honorable..
    To live Honorable lives means to live in the Light of our calling to holiness…
    The purpose of holiness is not separate us or isolate us from the world… It is not to show others how moral we are… Quite the opposite...
    Holiness is a purpose word… Everything in the temple was consecrated to God for a purpose… the same with the believer… the purpose of abstaining from worldly passion … Is so that we might be used for his purposes..
    When I was younger I remember going shopping for rugby cleats.. it always felt good getting new shoes felt like I had super powers.. I always felt new shoes would make me a better player...
    Here is the thing… are there for a purpose… they have to be taken out of the box… shiny and perfect and shape... However, they dont remain like that if they are going to fulfil the purpose for which they are bought. They are meant to be plunged into the mud where they can do their job.
    In similar fashion, Christians who have such wonderful present and future privileges, must get involved in the muddy world where God has placed them.
    When we live lives that honor God… that are willing to get involved.. People will find authenticity.. instead of finding hypocrisy.. They see your good works… and will ultimately glorify God…lead to other desiring the same kind of goodness and wholeness… on the day of God’s visitation!
    John Piper tells us that The day of his visitation... is probably not talking about the second coming, but of their conversion through the witness of the churches good deeds..
    How do we Respond to rather than react to life? What filters do we use?
    T/S How do we Respond to rather than react to life? What filters do we use?
    Peter shares specific steps which we should follow in living good lives before God, the world, and one another.
    1. Focus on Our Purpose rather than on the Problem.

    2. Focus on Posture rather on Politics.

    Well this is a hot button!! right..
    Lets be honest with each other..
    We are living at a time when Political tensions is at all time high…… Never before have the lines been so clearly drawn in the sand…between parties… The problem is that it is not only impact groups of people but also causing divisions within families… that’s a huge problem.. socially and Spiritually...
    What is incredible is that the Bible actually has a lot to say on how to live within a political system - whether we deem it just or unjust system....
    The Bible deals with our Posture rather than Politic ... Peter show us what our posture needs to be..
    1 Peter 2:13–15 ESV
    13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
    Peter says.. Be subject.. to human institutions and governments… all the way from the Emperor down..
    Where are the lines… When do we say that there is this separation between church and state… ...
    Warren Wiersbe… in his commentary that was written 25 years ago... says something really interesting in regards to Church and it responsibility to government…
    Wiersbe.. says..The government has no right to control the pulpit or the business meeting, but it has every right to control matters that relate to safety and operation. If the law requires a certain number of exits, or fire extinguishers, or emergency lights, the church must comply. The state is not persecuting when it sets up the code, nor is the church compromising when it obeys the code...
    Government has the right to safety an operation… interesting… But there are exceptions..
    When man’s laws come into conflict with God’s laws or “Higher Laws”, we must always go with God.
    Peter himself when standing on trial before the Sanhedrin who said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
    Lordship sometimes requires civil disobedience. He is our Lord and King. We are His servants. We are citizens of His kingdom.
    But this is not the norm...
    Peter is more concern with our posture than our politics..
    Notice he doesn't say grin and bare it ... but rather don't do this grudgingly.. submit to your leaders…as you would to the Lord..
    .. being subject means coming under the Lord... let your life reflect Christ within the system.
    THAT IS THE POSTURE..
    We might think it is too painful... too difficult of an ask...
    When you think about the audience who Peter is writing to… they are scattered in the Empire... they are not getting any protection from the Emperor - in fact it is quite the opposite... they are being blamed for things that are wrong...
    Christians were falsely accused of great crimes in the early church. Christians accused the church of eating flesh and drinking the blood of a baby in a cannibalistic ritual. They said that Christian “agape feasts” were wild orgies. They said that Christians were antisocial because they did not participate in society’s immoral entertainment. They said that Christians were atheists because they did not worship idols.
    You can understand many of feeling that life is not fair we need justice…
    PETER SAYS THE POSTURE IS TOWARDS THE LORD.... Peter says for the Lord sake submit... to Every human institution.. from the Emperor to your governors..
    Why because they have been given the role of justice - to punish and reward.. those who do good and evil... Peter says this is the will of God...
    When we show submission to authorities over us… it has a way of silencing the critics… because this will silence/muzzle … foolish and arrogance... ..
    How do we Respond to rather than react to life? What filters do we use?
    1. Focus on Our Purpose rather than on the Problem.
    2. Focus on Posture rather on Politics.

    3. Focus on our freedom rather than on Fairness

    Have your ever had that feeling of real relief?
    One of the moments that I experienced real sense of relief… is when we were immigrating to the United States… We all on the plane and had just gone through customs in Zimbabwe... as the plane took off…I literally felt a weight drop off my shoulders… Even though we were heading really into unknown future with faith that God was leading us… I’ll never forget flying into New York over Staten Island… and like many of before me looking our for Lady Liberty…
    The statue of Liberty has this beautiful inscription written by Emma Lazarus,
    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
    Peter is going to tell us to live as people free…
    Many people think that freedom is the license to do whatever a person wants, but true freedom is the ability to do what is right. It takes obedience in order to have true freedom.
    I can sit at a piano and be at liberty to play any keys that I want, but I don’t have freedom, because I can’t play anything but noise....
    I have no freedom to play Bach, or even “Chopsticks.” Why? Because it takes years of practice and obedience to lesson plans to be truly free at the piano.
    Then, and only then, does one have the freedom to play any piece of music.
    The same is true of freedom in living. To be truly free, we must have the power and ability to be obedient. Peter tells us to live free as the servants of the Lord.. .
    Christians have been freed from sin and its penalty and its power.
    Instead of living wound up and uptight... Focus on freedom…in Christ…
    Freedom is more the crutch -- more than a sentimental feeling... lip service.. Freedom is not a license to do what ever I want..
    When freedom is misused it is like a mighty river flooding its banks and bringing terrible destruction upon all in its path.
    . As Paul wrote, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh” (Gal. 5:13).
    On the other hand.. freedom can be used as service ...like a mighty river flowing within its banks bringing life and refreshment to all who drink of its waters.
    How Do we harness the Power of Freedom? Peter says...
    Honor Everyone..
    Honor all people..
    The community of believers
    The Emperor..
    Peter gives the example of Servants…
    1 Peter 2:18–20 ESV
    18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
    Have you ever worked for someone that didn't deserve your respect?
    When you are put into a situation where you might feel under appreciated?
    Peter tells us how to focus on freedom rather than fairness..
    How?
    Peter says live as those who are subject to masters... show respect -- to both the good and the unjust.
    Peter tells us something quite the opposite to our natural response… We would say that this Servant is being treated unfairly…
    Peter says focus on your Freedom in Christ rather than fairness...
    Focus on service and honoring the Lord…
    Peter tells us…
    What benefit is it too endure suffering without the right attitude.. (nothing).
    but if in your suffering you do good ... this is pleasing to God… Think of Joseph who endured so much… If there was anyone who complain it would have been — unjustly treated by his brothers… by Potiphers wife… When the baker and butler forgot him in Prison… he kept on honoring the Lord… He endured suffering with the right attituded and the Lord brought him up from the pit to the palace..
    How do you live in a hostile world?
    1. Focus on Purpose rather than on the Problem.
    2. Focus on Posture rather on Politics.
    3. Focus on our freedom rather than on Fairness

    4. Focus on the Servant rather than on Suffering

    When our children were younger play this game where they would I stand on my shoes and I would walks with them... Sometimes my stride would be wider then theirs... they had no idea where I was going they just followed... they went where ever I walked..
    Peter tells us that we ought to walk in his steps..
    1 Peter 2:21–25 ESV
    21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
    Peter tells us that we are called to live a life that is honoring and this means endurance..
    We should not expect to avoid some degree of opposition or persecution and suffering...
    Peter says following in his steps is bing - mindful ... think of the sufferings of Christ -- who suffered by the unjust...
    When it comes to suffering we follow Christ.... We follow in His Steps...
    Jesus example -- did retaliate... did not threaten... but continued to entrust himself to the Father who always judges justly
    1. He didn't respond in a hurtful way... He did not talk himself out of it... He did not threaten others.. he did not revile or abuse back.. He continued to entrust himself to the judge... If you struggle with submission..
    look at Christ and the brutal scene of the cross... He himself bore our sins in his body... He felt the pain.. ...
    Martin Luther summarized the example of Christ well when he wrote, “When I consider my crosses, tribulations, and temptations, I shame myself almost to death thinking what are they in comparison to the sufferings of my blessed Savior Christ Jesus.”
    What is accomplished through suffering? Peter quotes the book of ​Isaiah 53:3 ESV3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
    Peter and the Prophet Isaiah both viewed the Cross but from different Isaiah looked into the future and saw the finished work of Calvary. He said, “… by His stripes, we are healed.” Peter witnessed the Cross firsthand. He looked back at what Jesus had already done and said, “...by whose stripes you were healed.”
    Now when you read the Word, you can know with full assurance that your healing has already been provided and paid for.Declaration of Faith: By His stripes, I was healed more than 2,000 years ago. I receive and stand in what Jesus did for me. In this, God is glorified.. By His wounds we have been healed... By his suffering we have been made whole...His sufferings brought us back.. we have returned to the shepherd of and overseer of our souls...
    Conclusion
    Palm Sunday - is all about focusing on Praise…
    Peter tells them to live a life of Praise Regardless of your circumstances… Don’t have that knee jerk response… Respond with Praise and blessing… instead of reacting to life…
    speak blessing... Even when you don't see it... When those who govern badly... stop complaining... start praying... start blessing...
    Those who find themselves in difficult work places... maybe your boss lacks compassion or understanding... don't get mad... don't talk behind his back... Start Praying and Blessing... when things are not going well in the home... start Praying... start doing things that will bless... that person.... treat them the way God sees them... Worthy of his love and compassion... Peter Says we CALLED TO OBTAIN BLESSING.. that means following in his steps... .
      • 1 Peter 2:11–12ESV

      • 1 Peter 2:13–15ESV

      • 1 Peter 2:18–20ESV

      • 1 Peter 2:21–25ESV

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