Sermons

Summary: Only one consideration can be your PRIORITY! Priority by definition can never be plural!

Looking Forward

I Peter 1:17- 2:3

Australia has two animals pictured on their Coat of Arms. They are an Emu and a Kangaroo. These are some strange choices to those who don’t know why they are there. The Emu is nothing but a big, dumb bird and a kangaroo just looks funny while it hops along to escape danger. But there’s more to it than that. You see, these two animals have a very special characteristic that isn’t found in any other species. It is impossible for them to move backwards. An Emu has 3 toes and they are all on the front of its foot. If he tries to move backward, he falls down. A kangaroo can’t move backwards because it’s long and heavy tail gets in the way and trips him up. So they both must move forward all the time. They were picked to symbolize Australia as a nation that will never fall back but keep moving on against all odds.

God is a god of Forward Movement, forward thinking, forward vision.

1 Peter 1:17-2:3

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,

19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

24 For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,

25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.

2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

(NIV)

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

– Peter Drucker –

When a person meets Christ,

that person will never be the same!

Peter says that:

1 Peter 1:23

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

(NIV)

How easy it is to become distracted. William H. Hinson tells us why animal trainers carry a stool when they go into a cage of lions. They have their whips, of course, and their pistols are at their sides. But invariably they also carry a stool. Hinson says it is the most important tool of the trainer. He holds the stool by the back and thrusts the legs toward the face of the wild animal. Those who know maintain that the animal tries to focus on all four legs at once. In the attempt to focus on all four, a kind of paralysis overwhelms the animal, and it becomes tame, weak, and disabled because its attention is fragmented.

We fill our lives with so many things, when God wants us to focus on the one thing – Christ!

Paul punctuates the fact that all we have build our lives on before Christ is not enough!

Philippians 3:4-12

4 …. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:

5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;

6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

(NIV)

Paul thought he had it made and was on the Highway of success. All of his life had pointed one direction and he had never looked back.

Notice some of the things Paul counted as successes:

vs 5 “Circumcised on the eighth day”

Paul counted his successes from his birth. Obviously his parents were strict adherents of the Law of God. Paul’s parents made sure their little boy was circumcised, a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel.

“of the people of Israel”

Paul considered the fact that he was a descendant of Israel made him successful. He was born into the right family. It is interesting to me that no descendant of Israel ever called himself a descendant of “Jacob”, even though Israel and Jacob are one in the same. No one classified himself as a Jacobite, since Jacob’s name means “supplanter”, the treacherous one. No one wanted to be associated with that. Instead, they chose to align themselves with the name God later gave Jacob: “Israel”, prince of God. Paul’s claim to fame was that he was a direct descendant of “God’s Prince”!

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