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Gene Cunningham - January 1, 2011
Message for 2011, Jan 16th
The greatest opportunity in life: to make a choice to believe in Jesus Christ
How do we make decisions that will make this year a blessed year? If we are rightly related to the Lord and obedient to His Word, this year will be a fantastic year, no matter what.
With all the problems in the world, it is clear the world is unraveling. God is still at work, and is working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
1 Peter is about suffering, it is to people who have been persecuted and scattered.
It is becoming very common that widespread areas are being wiped out. Affliction is the norm for life, sooner or later it touches us all; so how do we prepare ourselves?
Peter is encouraging these believers allow their suffering to set them free from clinging to this life, then they are able to unburden themselves, and see not what they’ve lost, but what they’ve gained.
Every day gives you the opportunity to think of ourselves last, and someone else first.
Peter explains how to take trials in life into personal and eternal glory.
All of us are being stalked by disaster, and problems we never expected.
They were called to suffer what they were suffering. Will we rise to the status of a hero, and learn the lessons, or become a victim and blame everyone else, and say, “this shouldn’t have happened”?
Are we going to mindlessly pursue what little prosperity we can scrape together, or to be the one there for others, the one who edifies and prays.
These bad things that happened free us from the distraction of our simple, meaningless pursuits, and instead to look to those who are also in need.
Whatever problem or struggle you are facing, God has purposely called you to it, and He has a reason, just as He had a reason for Jesus’ suffering.
Resurrection is the purpose of the cross. From God’s perspective, resurrection is always the goal of our suffering. 2TI 2:12
What can you do? Reach your own mission field, whoever is around you.
There comes a point in every life where we decide what to do with Jesus Christ.
The last days have begun, how long they will continue, no one knows, but every generation from then on is living is in the process of the unfolding and finishing the plan of God.
Be serious and sober, watchful, for the sake of prayer. You need to recognize opportunities, your own peril, and you need to pray about it. Pray that you: have fervent love for one another (love one another at your expense), be hospitable (show love to a stranger) to one another without complaint (even when they take advantage of your kindness), employ your gift in serving one another (you are far richer and talented through Jesus than you can imagine). God treats each of us as if we were the chief steward of His grace. God is the wellspring of ministry, He knows how to use every weak, foolish, and base to work mightily for His glory.
Maybe it’s my will for others that is covering my own sin, my own nakedness.
So that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus.
What makes Christ’s death so special? He is God, He stepped down from glory, born of a virgin, scorned and mocked His whole life, beaten and abused beyond the laws of Rome and Israel, and hung on a cross. He is the only holy Man who walked the face of the earth, and the only One who would satisfy God in taking our place.
We need to enter 2011 with a serious attitude, and be serious about praying, and pray that God will raise us up out of ourselves, and make us more than we are, and use us in ways we haven’t imagined, for us to love one another, to be hospitable to one another, and to serve one another as stewards of the manifold grace of God.
From Series: "2011 Message at CRBC"
Given by Gene just after the new year to Cross Road Bible Church Jan 2011.