In this text, Peter exhort us to love the church and love those who wrong us but he doesn't expect us to do it in our own strength, but invites us to draw strength from the grace poured out for us in this cross and given to us in our baptism.
As we close our Non-Negotiables series, we recognize that God, in Christ, has reconciled us to himself and to each other that we might be the place where his healing presence can dwell by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Speaking empty words without action is not faith. Intellectual ascent is not faith. Feelings are not faith. Faith is trusting in Jesus in such way that one’s entire life is oriented around following him.
Our culture simultaneously advocates for hyper-individualism and demands we conform to particular tribes. The Scriptures invite us to see our individual selves as part of the body of Christ. It is here we encounter unity in diversity. And above all, it is here we find the joy of union with Christ.
The Good News of Christmas is that the babe of Bethlehem is Lord of all. This means that our God has drawn near to comfort, redeem, save, and give us peace as we live under the rule and reign of King Jesus.
In a world aching for transcendence, God responds to that ache by sending his Son to be Immanuel, God With Us. Just as Jesus was present with us as the baby born in Bethlehem, he promises to be present with us now, as a foretaste of our future of living in His presence for eternity.
The As We Wait series continues as Pastor Marcus shares a message how God has drawn near. He has come to be present with you, pardoned your sin, and right now he has filled you with the power of the Word.