Richvale Church
Sunday, April 11
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  • Song
  • Good morning and welcome to service... We are starting our Community groups — this week...We have three groups that will be meeting... we have two starting today... Frank's group will be in Gridley and the Richvale's group will be meeting a Denis Thengvals house at 12:00... . Esther’s group at park place meeting in the midweek..
    In 2011 I found myself at Philadelphia international airport just before hurricane Irene hit the east coast.. I was on one of the last planes to leave the airport.. it was the calm before the storm... the airport was empty... and there was an Erie feeling as I walked with my suitcases through the empty concourses to the gate... ... as we boarded the plane...there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to experience turbulence.... Sitting on the tarmac looking up at the clouds — it looked ominous.... there were a lot of safety concerns… But the reason we got onto the plane on the first place is that we trusted our Pilots to navigate us through the storm… While we as passengers are concerned about weather and turbulence… Pilots are not as concerned about those things… Partly because they know the planes are designed to fly in all kinds of storms and weather conditions... but also they have experience they been through numerous weathers systems..
    We are in our series in 1 Peter the Church has been scattered throughout Asia minor.. and they are facing turbulent times.. but
    Peter is like one of those calm Pilots and confident in navigating the church through turbulent times…the reason is He knows that His Faith is on solid foundation.
    Throughout his letter Peter grounds our hope in the reality of what God has done and will yet do for us through Christ. He sums up his letter in chapter
    James 5:1b
    ‘I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it’
    In other words God has given us everything we need to get through whatever we are facing.. whether it is pressure that comes from within or without… whether it physical, Financial, relational health…
    He says don’t give up.. keep on moving forward.... because Christ's Grace is more than sufficient for every Struggle we face in life.…
    T/s Peter guides us on how to thrive in challenging seasons of our life? How do we thrive in a post Covid world?
    Firstly...

    1. Be Invested Fully In your Spiritual Growth

    There is a popular theology today which is espoused by some.... which suggests that the sun always shines upon the Christians, that our grass is always green, and that the spiritual temperature around us is always ideal…. Peter reminds us in this letter that such teaching is based on false assumptions... In fact, the truth is quite the opposite int that Christians will often suffer for doing good....
    What has been interesting about Covid is that impacted the whole world… Normally we here about Tsunamis and earthquakes in other parts of the world… and we have our fires here in California… We can distance ourselves from suffering… but globally we all experienced this pandemic together… We can have real empathy for those who suffered looses..
    Peter himself suffered greatly for his faith...
    Tradition tells us that Peter himself was crucified on a cross upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same way as Jesus died..
    Peter says if we want to grow Spiritually look to Jesus as the prime Example of Faith..
    lets look as our text..

    1 Peter 4:1–2 ESV
    1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
    Peter begins by saying..
    “Arm yourself with the knowledge that Jesus suffered for you.”
    Arm yourself… this is interesting language… It is the picture of a soldier arming himself/herself for battle..
    In other words --- there’s a whole lot more to living the Christian life than believing something-- arming yourself with the word is not just reading something.. to know information... it is using that information in the real world..
    How does the word of God combat my worry anxiety.. what does heal relationships.. instruct me my finances..break habits...
    The word of God has to be armed to be effective...
    Tim Keller says.. you have to take the word of God and pray it in... you have to soak it in…
    Meditating on Scripture is a lot like trying to start a fire with a magnifying glass. You don’t have total control over it. Sometimes you have a cloudy day…but every day you bring out that magnifying glass and you say, “ I’m going to take time. I’m going to give thought. I’m going to be open to the possibility of what the word is saying to me today.. …”. that is what it means to arm yourself.. That’s taking the magnifying glass every day, bringing it out there, and putting it between you and your heart. When you put a magnify glass between your heart and God, and some days you will catch fire...
    b. When we invest in our Spiritual Growth…we arm ourselves --- but we do it with the same attitude or thinking that is in Christ Jesus...
    The word THEREFORE, is connected to the thoughts before it .. There is a basic rule for interpreting scripture and that is when you see a therefore… ask why is it therefore… You see...often in scriptures “the therefore” comes before the prescription… Peters Prescription on how to deal the tension of our sin and failures.... is the connection to Christ and his sufferings..
    Peter is referring back to
    1 peter 3:18 where Peter tells us that Christ suffered once for sins... he gave himself that we might be made alive in the spirit...
    1 Peter 3:18 ESV
    18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
    When Peter asks us to consider Christ’s suffering what he is saying that CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT..
    Sufficiency.. simple means simply we have all that we need... The bible is sufficient because it contain all we need to life and godliness… we don’t have to add or subtract from the Bible, because every word that comes from God.
    In the same way...Jesus’ death and resurrection is sufficient to save us… He dealt fully with sin and its consequences.. and because Christ himself is raised in victory ---we also can live life in the victory of the cross....
    What Peter is saying that if you want to deal with sin... and our attraction to sin.. the way to overcome sin... think of what Jesus did on the cross.
    John Owen the well know puritan pastor -- said "if you take your sin to Mt Sinai...expect sin to be more powerful... because you will try and the problem in your own strength... but if you take if you want sin to loose its power take it to the cross... because he already paid the penalty for sin... there is no debt to be owed..
    Peter tells us that since Christ suffered already for our sins.. the bill has been paid for in full... there is no obligations to the sinful nature….It is baptismal language… that the victory over sin comes with identification with Christ in his death burial and resurrection…
    T/s Peter guides us on how to thrive in challenging seasons of our life? How do we thrive in a post Covid world?
    Firstly...
    1. Be Invested In Your Spiritual Growth

    2. Set Your sights Fully on the Glory of God.

    If you were inside the cockpit of an airplane just before liftoff, you would hear the copilot or captain call out, “V1,” which means the “point of no return.”
    As the airplane accelerates toward the end of the runway, the pilot must decide if the plane is moving fast enough for a safe takeoff. This speed must be determined preflight based on several factors, including the air pressure, temperature, speed of the wind, and weight of the aircraft.
    The pilot holds the throttle as the plane approaches the V1 speed so that the takeoff can be aborted if something goes wrong. However, after V1 the plane must take off.
    This is what Peter tells the church that as Christians, we also have a V1 commitment. Once we have placed our faith in Christ alone, we have reached the point of no return. We need to adjust our sights, apply full throttle, and take off…
    1 Peter 4:3–5 ESV
    3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
    The Greco Roman world was pretty corrupt... they were morally bankrupt.. Peter lists life style that is dominated by the flesh.. those living after sensual passion.. drunkeness, wild parties..worshiping idols... these things were acceptable in the Greek culture... in fact the Greek culture would have been surprised that you didn't join them because you don't join in.
    Peter actually makes the assumption that some of these Christians have spent time living and engaging in some of the cultural norms..
    Peter acknowledges there is the temptation to go back... to the culture… go back to that life style.. There are number of times in the scripture where people were either tempted to go back.. or did go back...
    When God delivered lots family from the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.. he destroyed the city and told them not to turn back.. but Lot's wife turned back towards the city and immediately turned into a pillar of salt... When Israel when delivered out of Egypt as soon as things got difficult they wanted turn back to Egypt.... the Galatian church who were saved by grace wanted to turn back to ceremonial laws instead of walking in freedom..
    Peter says don't give the passion of the flesh a second glance... you have spent enough time before Christ with a passion for the things in the world... now set your sights on passions on the will of God… You are beyond the point of return..
    When you live like this.. for the glory of God.. -You are going to stand out…because you have made up your mind…
    Peter warns that you will be a target of attack… Have you noticed that when you have resolved in your heart to serve the Lord… the enemy suddenly appear on the scene… He won’t bother you when you blending in… but if you going to stand out… you become a threat to his kingdom… Peter says
    Don't be worried about what the culture says... there will be those who think it is strange that you won't take part..
    Don't let that bother you.. rather live according for the Glory of God. When live for the Glory of God we proclaim life to those around us… It is the will of God — that our friends and family members all come to the knowledge of Chris.t.
    1 Peter 4:6 ESV
    6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
    Peter refers again to those who are dead… . in chapter three reference to Christ preaching to those who have died.. (debate whether this is is literal or speaking of Jesus preaching to those in hades.. or more metaphorically of the Gospel being preached through Noah... ..regardless of our understanding of the verse...the truth is that an opportunity was given to those in Noah's day and they refused.
    The Goal of Gospel proclaimation whether it is through our words or through our services is to bring people from death to life…in this vital living relationship with the Savior.
    T/s Peter guides us on how to thrive in challenging seasons of our life? How do we thrive in a post Covid world?
    Firstly...
    1. Be Invested fully In Your Spiritual Growth
    2. Set Your sights fully on the Glory of God.

    3. Give yourself fully to Grace Gifts.

    Eileen Egan, who worked with Mother Teresa and with the Missionaries of Charity for thirty years, described Mother Teresa’s outlook like this:
    “One day, after my conservation had been filled with a litany of problems, Mother Teresa remarked, ‘Everything is a problem. Why not use the word Gift?
    With that began a shift in vocabulary. Shortly thereafter, they were to fly from Vancouver to New York City. Eileen
    was dismayed to learn that the trip had to be broken en route, with a long delay, and was about to inform her of the problem. Then she caught herself and said, ‘Mother, I have to tell you about a gift. We have to wait four hours here, and you won’t arrive at the convent until very late.’ Mother Teresa settled down in the airport to read a book of meditations, a favorite of hers.
    One of the ways we are thrive in a post covid world is to embrace God’s grace gifts…
    1 Peter 4:7 ESV
    7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
    Peter tells us that the end of all things is hand... It was common teaching in the early church that Lord was coming back in their life time… In fact this has been key to Christian doctrine past 2000 years… Living in light of his Return is an issue of Stewardship...Making the best use of our time -
    A “steward” was one who served as a house manager; he had no wealth of his own, but distributed his master’s wealth according to his master’s will and direction…
    Jesus in the parable of the talents talks about different amounts that were given — One 5 talents… another 3 and another 1 talent… Both the 5 and 3 talents doubled the master money… but the man with the one talent buried it… with no interest… Jesus called him foolish because even what he had would be taken from him and given to another… Jesus then says what ..is required of a steward He be faithful..
    Peter gives three areas for us to steward..

    1. Steward our Prayers.

    Peter says be sober and self controlled so that your prayers will not be hindered..
    Peter instruction to be clear minded and self-controlled.. so that our prayers will be effective…Prayer is an important piece of faith… The disciples asked Jesus how to pray.. he taught them the Lords Prayer… There have been many methods on prayer.. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication… When I was in seminary learned how the Lectio Devino… prayer from the 3rd Century monastics.. the Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate.
    What is prayer…
    To pray is not merely to talk at God but it is to commune with God. Authentic prayer includes listening to God and responding to Him.
    Andrew Murray had this insight:
    “Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.” Andrew Murray
    D. L. Moody once stated, “Spread out your petition before God, and then say, ‘Thy will, not mine, be done.’
    The most important part of prayer is praying...Hebrews tells us..
    “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15–16).
    Peter gives three areas for us to steward..
    1. Steward our Prayers..

    2. Steward relationships...

    1 Peter 4:8–9 ESV
    8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
    Peter tells us that love for one another should be a top priority for every Christian.. Above all, Keep on love on another earnestly..The message. says.... love each other as if your life depended on it.
    The word “fervent” is ektené́s, which means “intense” or “without ceasing.”
    The word means to stretch -- just like an athlete stretches his muscles to work out ... love will stretch us ... Peters says exercise to the point of sacrificially giving to others.. this kind of strenuous love... is not blind but sees and accepts the faults of others...
    Love deeply.
    Our Christian love should not only be fervent and forgiving, but it should also be practical. Christianity is being found in His love and then loving out of that love ...
    being a conduit of grace to others.. to the point where you live and breathe love.
    Our love for others flows into Hospitality..
    In ancient times, travel was very dangerous and difficult,.... There were no Best Westerns and Days Inns… But hospitality was a high value in ancient culture… The Mosaic law gave significant instructions how to with strangers.. They were commanded to treat strangers well because of their own background as foreigners in Egypt.. In the NT Jesus urged hospitality to be extended beyond the confines of the home. and tribes..
    The early church were exceptional and hospitality… Acts 2 we are told that church… met constantly to hear the apostles teach, and to share the common life, to break bread, and to pray… With one mind they kept up their daily attendance at the temple, and, breaking bread in private houses, shared their meals with unaffected joy, as they praised God and enjoyed the favour of the whole people”
    The Greek word for “hospitality” is philóxenos which means to be fond of guests or to be a lover of hospitality. To be hospitable means to share what God has given to us with others including our home, our meals, our resources, and our very lives.
    What comes to mind in our culture is the Word Entertaining rather Hospitality… We have Martha Stewart image… where everything has to perfect and in place.. Hospitality is Actually the opposite.
    Entertaining says, .“As soon as I get the house finished, the living room decorated, my housecleaning done—then I will start inviting people.
    Hospitality puts people first. “No furniture—we’ll eat on the floor!” “The decorating may never get done—you come anyway.” “The house is a mess—but you are friends—come home with us.”
    -Hospitality, seeks to minister and to serve that other person...
    Peter says — In our Hospitality ...Serve others without grumbling.... There used to be a guy in our neighborhood in Mainer --(not here in Richvale.) who moved his house three times... every-time he found me and I helped... when we moved he was nowhere to be found... I found grumbling to myself… Hospitality puts no expectations of getting something back...
    That’s why Peter… says… when we love with the right heart it covers a multitude of sin.
    What happens when you fill cup with love... there is less of room for other things.. envy.. hate.. resentment... keep the cup full.. In so doing your

    3. Steward our gifts.

    1 Peter 4:10–11 ESV
    10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
    The word “gift” (charisma) stems from God’s grace (charitos). ”
    His grace is manifested to His church as believers exercise their spiritual gifts in service to each other. His grace is evident in its various forms, that is, it is “manifold” (nasb), variegated, rich in variety
    Peter says Use your gift to serve one another
    Who ever speaks as oracles of God
    Who ever serves by the strength that God supplies
    That through it all God would get the glory..
    Our gifts stem from God's grace.. their are many various gifts.. Peter divides them into ... Speaking... and those who serve.. these two generally overlap.. both of them need dependance on God for his gracious provision ... Gods work needs to be done in his way... if we try and do it in our own strength we will certainly burn out... when we serve in his strength it brings glory to God..
    Do it with excellence to the glory of God..
    Ask yourself and I am doing this to the glory of God... that is the standard... not our neighbor.. not the church down the road... are we using our gifts to the Glory of God??
    take time to find your gift -- everyone has a gift -- don't let your gift get idol.. if you know your gift... master that gift... then use it to serve others.. depend on God to supply you strength to use your gift...
    Conclusion:
    The truth is that you can't give out of an empty heart..
    Peter has given us some real practical instruction on how to Thrive in turbulent times. What is needed is a plan... When it comes to your spiritual growth - plan to arm yourself daily with the word of God.. Be full of the grace of God… so that your life will be conduit of blessing to others…
    One of the ways we can stay on track is do regular attitude checks... Does my life reflect the humility of Christ who was willing to give it all.. Where are my sights... How am I growing in my gift? Who am I investing in?
    What would happen to us as a church if each us fully invested in Spiritual growth... started serving one another in our gifts..
    Lets us Pray...
      • 1 Peter 4:1–2ESV

      • 1 Peter 3:18ESV

      • 1 Peter 4:3–5ESV

      • 1 Peter 4:6ESV

      • 1 Peter 4:7ESV

      • 1 Peter 4:8–9ESV

      • 1 Peter 4:10–11ESV

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