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Showing posts from August, 2022

Are You Just Comfortable or Truly Committed to Christ? 1 Peter 1:3-12

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  An organization that seeks to bring awareness to persecuted Christians called Voice of the Martyrs publishes a list of imprisoned Christians that you can pray for and also petition for their release. Here is one of the stories that currently appears on their site, prisonalert.com. Chinese Pastor Li Juncai is currently serving a prison sentence of five and a half years after protesting the government’s attempts to remove a cross atop his church building in 2019. When authorities brought a crane to remove the cross, a group of Christian senior citizens, mostly women, met the plainclothes policemen and their crane. They sang hymns and prayed while attempting to keep the authorities from taking the cross.   Police beat and arrested the protestors before forcing the church gate open and removing the cross. The next day, Religious Affairs authorities removed signs from inside the church building and forced church members to fly China’s national flag from the front of the church. Many churc

Chosen to Suffer, 1 Peter 1:1-2

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  In general, we choose to avoid suffering. But we understand that we might suffer as a consequence of our choices. That sort of suffering we regret. We learn from it and make better choices going forward to avoid it. But then there are some things we suffer as a consequence of someone else’s choices. We understand that sort of suffering, but we sure don’t like it. And then there are some things that you will suffer throughout your life that are God’s choice. That sort of suffering we don’t like and we sure don’t understand. The Elect Exiles Peter addresses his letter to the “elect exiles.” The word exile describes someone who is suffering displacement. They are forced from their home. Their identity and any stability are taken away. They no longer belong. A recent situation that would help us to identify with this would be the 12 million Ukrainians that are currently living in exile because Russia attacked their county and has decimated their cities. Peter’s audience is displaced beca