Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 25

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This is the final week of our study, and Peter finishes his epistle with strength and conviction. Urging his readers to remain steadfast in their faith and in the truth of God’s Word, based on what God has done for us in Christ, he begins this final section with a “therefore.” This reminds us to look back and consider the context of what he has already written to understand what he is writing here at the end. Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 24

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This week’s passage from 1 Peter needs to be kept in the context of that which we studied last week. Peter was then addressing the doubts voiced by the scoffers, and he now turns to the believers who may be asking the same things, though from faith and not unbelief. “It is not only the scoffers who are concerned about these questions… The New Testament epistles were written in order to strengthen the faith of God’s people and comfort them.”[1] He once again addresses with tenderness these believers who, as many of us might, are wondering when our Lord will return. Continue reading

Reflections

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By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

Last week our Women’s Ministry Team met to reflect and share notes on our recent women’s conference, Compassionate Community, with Susan Hunt. The focus of the conference was Biblical Womanhood, as expressed in Titus 2 Spiritual Mothering relationships. As one, we all agree that Susan’s message to us was not only precisely what the local church, but also the Church as a whole desperately needs to hear. We were overwhelmed by the positive response to the conference—and by positive response, I mean women who were starving for this message were brought to feast on the bread of God’s Word and they left nourished, but hungry for more!

The following is the talk given by Jana to open our meeting, based on her own reflections on the conference as they corresponded with her devotional reading in John’s Gospel. We are all excited to see what the Lord will do not only in our own women’s ministry, but in the ministries and churches represented at the conference. May we be willing vessels, believing his promises and carrying out the works for which he has prepared us, firm in our faith, with humility and love for one another. ~Barbaranne Kelly


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Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 23

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This week, with the context of Peter’s warnings against the false teachers fresh in our minds, we turn to his encouragement to believers. The broader context of this epistle as we have read thus far has included the certainty of the return of our Lord and the day of judgement, the trustworthiness of the Scriptures, the ultimate punishment of evildoers and the rescue of the godly. Peter now turns to the specifics of the scoffers’ denial of the return of Jesus and encourages his readers to be strengthened in their faith by remembering the prophecies and history of the Scriptures. Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 22

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

In this week’s passage (actually, last week’s, as I was late getting this finished) Peter calls out false teachers and strips away their masks and pretenses to reveal the sordid truth behind their lies. This passage is not only difficult to read, it is necessary. For the same reasons parents everywhere warn their children to stay away from strangers, Peter is warning Christians to avoid false teachers in the church. At the end of his first epistle Peter wrote, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The false teachers are on mission from our prowling adversary, attempting to lure the Lord’s sheep away from the safety of the truth, and Peter, appointed to shepherd God’s flock, is warning the sheep to be wary. It’s a warning we must heed even still. Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 20

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

In last week’s lesson, we studied Peter’s discussion of the apostolic witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This week we will look at how that train of thought flows into his discussion of the divine origin of Scripture. Remember, this is important to Peter’s readers—and to us—because of the false teachers who were—and are even still—infiltrating the church with subversive doctrines and attempting to woo believers away from the truth. Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 10

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

On any given day, if I don’t think about it too much, I’m rather content. Now, Scripture calls us to contentment, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Most days I’m content to simply be average: averagely comfortable, moderately productive, and conveniently involved in the lives of others. I will see what’s happening among others in my church community or ‘out there’ in the world and I can get energized or upset by current events, but only until it pushes me against my comfort zone, and then—that’s quite enough already; simmer down; back to average comfort. After all, I’m an introvert. A low-energy introvert. Don’t even talk about looking inward. This is how God made me. Leave me alone—I mean, I’m fine. Continue reading