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 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

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 9

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This week in our book study we are considering the importance of Scripture in the challenges the church faces in holding fast to truth in a culture of rapidly changing and declining values. Our study of women’s ministry returns again and again to keeping our understanding of biblical womanhood centered on the truth as revealed in God’s holy Scriptures. The challenges come in many shapes; the single issue at the core is: will our homes, our friendships, our fellowship, our ministry, and—frankly—even our Bible studies be shaped by the world or the Word? Continue reading

From The Heart, Chapter 8

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

After discussing Chapter 7 on Community, I wrote about the golden chain that I see being woven as we learn about the biblical themes and principles that shape women’s ministry. This past week, we discussed Discipleship, and I could not help but see the beauty of the golden chain continuing to weave through the biblical call for older women to disciple younger women in the church. Susan shows us a lovely example of this from the gospel of Luke. (Note: My paraphrase of Susan’s account was given in the Tuesday lesson. I polished it up here for you as requested. The words below are 90% Scripture and Susan, and 10% me.) Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 8

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

My husband and I have moved our family and household several times—from Germany to Pennsylvania to Florida, back to Pennsylvania, and now to Texas— with the number of our possessions growing or whittling according to the situation. We not only carry about our own belongings, but family heirlooms passed down from previous generations. Facing an imminently empty nest, the thought of which of our treasures we will bequeath to which of our children when we downsize further arises occasionally (usually while de-cluttering a closet or attempting to finally clean the garage). Continue reading