SERMON SERIES:

be restored in '24

01/21/2024

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We continue our series Be Restored in ’24 with a simple but powerful sermon, Pursue. So far in the series we have explored the practice of praying, the practice of persevering, and now the practice of pursuing a dynamic and life-altering faith. Sometimes we confuse practicing faith with good works. This can become a path to burdening our lives with legalism. Faith becomes a checklist, not a communion, or a weight that drags us down, not a way to lighten our load! The other extreme is a lazy faith that is perceived as lip service rather than a living faith! It does not offer any real help to change, grow, or give us strength. In the face of the problems of life, it is too pale and anemic to share with us hope, joy, or peace! This is not a new problem! In 2 Peter 1:1-11, Apostle Peter who was one of the most volatile disciples, writes to the early believers who were struggling with the same problem. Even though he struggled with things like discipleship and self-control, he writes to tell these struggling believers how to pursue a faith that can share with them power and strength for their lives. We will all pursue what we believe to be most important. Part of our national creed is the “pursuit of happiness,” but it is easy for us to lose our way. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter wants to help us overcome our blind spots to find the God who has promised us so much more through his son, Jesus. What are you chasing today? Our prayer is that you will find the goodness and mercy of our gracious Savior pursuing you so that you will be filled with strength for today, hope for tomorrow, and joy forever, as you read 1 Peter 1:1-11.

2 Peter 1:1-11 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. (NIV)