If the recent hurricanes in Houston and Florida have shown us anything, it’s that we are not promised “our best life now” here on this earth. We often fall into the trap of thinking life in Christ will be all sunshine and balloons, all the time. But that isn’t what the Apostles’ lives were like. Why do we feel we should have any special bubble-wrapped protection from the tragedies, the hardships, the fallenness of this world? This is the perfect time to be reminded that our lives are not our own—if you belong to Christ, you’ve been bought with a price. We are his instruments to bring light into dark places and hope to the hopeless, keeping our eyes on Jesus no matter what. Here today to show us exactly how to do that is teacher and author of the book “Broken yet Blessed,” Kathi McCarty.
Table Talk Notes
2 Pet 1:1-9 | Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so near- sighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
- Peter was writing to those who had obtained faith (v1)
- Grace & peace is multiplied when we know God (v2)
- God’s power has given us everything we need pertaining to life (v3)
- He has given us great and precious promises to help us partake of His nature & to help us overcome the world and our carnal nature.
Heb 11:1 | “Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.” (CEV)
Many of life’s circumstances can disrupt our faith.
Satan hates our faith.
Even though our faith is shaken at times, even though our faith is disrupted, we must understand that behind it all, God is at work!
Examples of God’s power
The same power that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us.
Mark 5:30 – Jesus is that power…
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”
Luke 4:14-15 – The Holy Spirit’s power is with those who choose to deny themselves and walk in righteousness, no matter the circumstances…
(after Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Luke 5:17-25 – There is power in the Word becoming true to us…
On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.
Romans 1:2-4 – Resurrection Power…
the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
2 Cor 12:7-10 – Power is perfected in human weakness…
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
A Paraphrase: “You have faith! Your intimacy with God increases grace and peace in your life. The power of God helps you to live your life in victory. His promises help you to become like Him, and to avoid the worldly things. And, because of these things, be diligent. Since you already have faith, add the following…
Godliness & love
Moral excellence & knowledge
Since you have a relationship with God, be a person of character.
Character: Who you are when no one’s looking; what you do even if no one will ever know about it.
Notice that character precedes knowledge. Pressing on in faith during life’s storms requires that we know our God.
Perseverance & Godliness
Perseverance: To endure under pressure
Phil 3:13-14 | “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet…I press on toward the goal for prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.”
Godliness understands that God is holy and Sovereign.
We reverence God and desire purity of heart.
Agape love: a love that doesn’t add requirements to it – unconditional.Faith & love go hand in hand. Click To Tweet
1 Thess 5:6-8 | So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
According to Peter, faith is “fueled” with our moral excellence, our knowledge of God and His Word, persevering under pressure, godliness in our lives, and loving God and one another.
Character without faith is a cheap veneer. Knowledge without faith is useless information. Perseverance without faith is empty at the end. Godliness without faith is mere religion. Love without faith is not true love. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
And finally, beloved…
Heb 5:4 | “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith!”
Heb 12:1b, 2 | “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”