In Part 1 we discussed, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and that in John 10:10, "The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy, but I (Christ) have come for you to have life and have it to the full."
Part 2 covers Peter's redemption story and the call to "Follow Christ", but what exactly does it mean? How do we lay down our lives to follow after Him?
In this episode, we follow the Apostle Peter's journey to Pentecost where he first tells the Jews what it means to be saved and follow Christ. Then dive into 1st and 2nd Peter outlining his instructions on how to live as we await Christ's return.
"Part 3 Shepherds: The Good The Bad and The Ugly", Episode 9 Transcript
Hi, it's Katie with Bountiful Living, welcome to part three of "Shepherds: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". So this journey all started with me wanting to share a little bit more about the key verse of Bountiful Living which comes from John 10:10, which says," The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. I have come for you to have life and have it to the full."
Jesus is such a beautiful contrast to the enemy. In part one, we took a look at Jesus the Good Shepherd and came to terms with the reality that our enemy is real. He has an assignment to steal, to kill, and destroy things in our life.
In part two, my research took me on a surprising turn to a story about the Apostle Peter. Jesus gave Peter the directive to follow Him and that's where I want to pick up in the podcast today, what does that look like? How do we actually lay down our lives to follow Christ?
There comes a time in our life as believers,
that we should be producing the fruit of righteousness.
Our salvation and our new life in Christ also bring about a new way of living.
We are to begin being hope to the hopeless, we are to be holy, as He is holy.
We are to fear the Lord and grow in the knowledge and grace of our God.
And why do we devote ourselves to these things?
He came and walked among us.
He paid the price for our lives with His blood and
we must begin to take seriously this role of righteousness.
Do not allow our enemy, the god of this world to distract you or keep you in chaos.
Satan is here to take us out.
He wants to discourage us.
He wants to defeat us.
He wants us to be ineffective for God's kingdom.
Christ came for us to have life.
Not just an ordinary life, just okay life, but a full life, a life that overflows!
So, I ask you today...is that how you can describe your life? Are you filled to overflowing?
And before I answer, I want to turn our thoughts back to Peter. Someday I want to do a complete study on this incredible character. He starts out as a kind of hostile follower of Christ. Even though he's one of the first to admit that Jesus is the Son of God. There are other times in his dealings with Jesus, Jesus looks at him and says, "Get behind me Satan!"
You would think that people that actually walked next to Jesus and observed everything He did, would not falter or make mistakes. Yet even His own disciples faltered. And just as there was grace and redemption for them, there is grace and redemption for us today.
In doing my research, I was fascinated to find this scripture from Luke 22:32 where Jesus is giving Peter a promise and a commission He says, "I've prayed for you, Peter, that you would stay faithful to me, no matter what comes, and remember this after you have turned back to me and have been restored," which we know that happened we discussed this restoration in part two of this series, Jesus commissions, "Make it your life's mission to strengthen the faith of your brothers."
Peter throughout all of his ups and downs, eventually rises to the occasion with some help.
In Acts chapter two, we see Peter give one of the most excellent sermons of all time.
Sometime after their breakfast on the beach when Jesus tells Peter, "Follow me." Jesus ascends to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father. But Jesus did not leave us to do everything alone without help in this world. He told His followers to go to Jerusalem and wait and there the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and is now accessible to all who repent and believe in Christ Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is our comforter.
He helps us to make good choices.
He is vital for our Christian life.
The Holy Spirit reveals the truth of God's word to us today, just as he did back then.
When the Holy Spirit came, Peter gave this incredible sermon, he was a brand new person. I want to give you just a few of the highlights from his sermon. It unfolds in Acts chapter two, I encourage all of you to read it because it was the first time the gospel was preached.
Acts 2:16-19, TPT
"Everything that is happening is the fulfillment of what was prophesied through the prophet Joel for God says, 'This is what I will do. In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on everybody and cause your sons and daughters to prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will experience dreams from God. The Holy Spirit will come upon my servants, men, women alike, and they will prophesy. I will reveal startling signs and wonders in the sky above and mighty miracles on the earth below."
Acts 2:21, TPT
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
In Acts 2:37 you hear the response to Peter's words," when the people heard this, they were crushed, and realized what they had done to Jesus. Deeply moved, they said to Peter, and the other apostles, 'What do we need to do, brothers?'
And Peter lays out for them the way to salvation in Acts 2:38-39, TPT
"Repent, return to God and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed, then you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit. For God's promise, the Holy Spirit is for you, your families, and for those yet to be born. And for everyone who the Lord calls to Himself."
That day, 3,000 people came to Christ and were baptized.
Guys, can you imagine this? I know I say that a lot. But I always try to visualize and picture what it must have been like at the beginning of the church when 3,000 came to Christ in one day. This was just the beginning of many missionary journeys leading up to us today. We are a part of this. If you have decided to be a follower of Christ, you are a part of this family of God, you were entitled to these promises and prophecies.
There's so much we could talk about, but I want to keep our focus on Peter. In his two epistles to the church, he wrote to them around 62 AD.
Peter wanted to encourage and strengthen the faith of other believers in writing these letters.
He wanted us to know how to persevere.
He wanted us to be empowered to overcome.
Peter wanted to encourage believers to remain faithful to Christ.
I want to start with Peter's closing words. Because oftentimes, the last thing you say to someone could be the most important or even the most urgent.
I'm reading today from 2 Peter 3:10-14
"The day of the Lord will come like a thief.
And then the heavens will pass away with a roar and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt away as they burn!
But according to His promise, we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. And therefore since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Christ, without spot or blemish, and at peace."
Peter is reminding us not only to be diligent and to be holy but also at peace.
If we're putting our hope in the things of this world and not in the Lord. The status of our world right now can easily rock us and tear us apart.
2 Peter 3:15-18 says, "And count the patience of our Lord, our salvation, just as our brother Paul also wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in these matters, these are things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction as they do the other scriptures. You therefore beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the air of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory now, into the day of eternity. Amen."
If you haven't noticed already, I spend a lot of time reading the word on this podcast, because I could use my own, but mine will crumble and fade. His Word will remain forever and ever. I don't ever want to misquote something that is in His word, because even if I don't explain everything I'm reading the word of God works in a way that it's precise like a surgeon's blade; it hurts to heal.
God's word will not return void.
It will accomplish what it is set out to accomplish.
God's word is sharper than any two-edged sword.
My prayer for you today, as this word rests upon your heart and your spirit is that you do not fear. Because I know at times people fear what they don't know or what they don't understand. I want to tell you, that there is no reason to fear the end. At the end of time, Christ's return is where we have our hope. That is how people who are put through the most strenuous things like Corrie Ten Boom or Dietrich Bonhoeffer who when suffering through the Holocaust, were able to have hope, able to survive because their hope and their faith were not in this world but in something imperishable, in Jesus. They held on to something that couldn't fade that couldn't be destroyed that couldn't be taken away. Even though they took away every dignity that they could take away from a person in a concentration camp during World War II.
I want to tell you today not to fear, but to put your faith in the One, who from the beginning has wanted nothing for us, but peace. I am confident the Lord wants to you know and understand these truths about how our life, our hope, and everything rests in Him.
Today of all things, when I prayed with my prayer group John 10:10 was one of the verses we prayed and at my women's Bible study, just an hour later the pastor read in his sermon, John 10:10. This is not a coincidence, rather God is confirming what He wants you to know about Him today.
All the way back to the very beginning, in Genesis 1:1, God created this perfect world. It was a world that didn't know, about suffering, it didn't know jealousy or death. It wasn't just this utopia of Adam and Eve skipping around singing, "Oh, I've got no worries."
They didn't know what it was like to have someone slam them on social media or to suffer through cancer and grieve a miscarriage. It is hard to even fathom what a world like that would be like, yet that's the world God created for us. It is the world He intended for us.
I'm not gonna get into all the ins and outs of Genesis and sin today, someday we will. But if Adam and Eve had not done it, someone eventually would have eaten from that tree, wanting to know the knowledge of good and evil. That day was the day things broke in our world. And there had to be a consequence for sin. Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden, out of that perfect, peaceful world.
However, God didn't abandon them.
God didn't leave them.
The Bible is all of the stories of His faithfulness and His love.
When His people cried out, He came and was merciful.
He was generous.
He was good.
And that is who our God is today.
He is a good Holy God.
Follow Him today.
For those of us who have decided:
I'm choosing to repent, return to God, and believe in Jesus, you have eternal life in Christ.
It is our belief in Jesus, that makes us right with God. It cleanses us from all unrighteousness and the blood of Jesus keeps the enemy at bay. In the name of Jesus, the enemy has to flee!
The enemy is out seeking whom he may devour.
Believers, we have more power in Jesus' name than we assert!
Power to push back against the enemy, against darkness.
These two epistles from Peter warn us to be watchful, diligent, and on guard for truth.
I can't do your homework for you.
I am here to encourage you, just like Peter was told to encourage the body of Christ.
That's what I'm doing today.
I'm I am your encourager.
But I cannot live or walk out your life.
So today, I want to encourage you to go home and read First and Second Peter. It won't take long. You could finish it in the week, probably in an hour. I was going to do a timer to see how long it took and I didn't have time for that before I put out this episode.
Don't just take my word for this.
Look into His word.
It's infallible. It's the living Word of God.
We will not know how to withstand the days that are ahead if we are not armed for battle.
Get on your Ephesians six armor.
The Word of God is our defense against the enemy and the more we know it, the more we have it hidden in our hearts, The Word is a sword that puts to death the enemy when he comes at us with guilt, when he comes at us with, "you're not good enough." When he seeks to lie. Sometimes he can even put good things in front of us that look like they're of God because he's sneaky. He can disguise himself as an angel of light.
We have to be diligent, we have to be on our guard, pursuing and following Christ and His example as closely as we can.
Be holy as He is holy, be righteous as he is righteous.
Peter was kind enough to leave us warnings so that we're not carried away by the error of lawless people. I mean, how many of you have heard some lawless posts on social media lately? I'm personally weary of it. But it's there. This is the world we're living in right now. And we will not have the life Christ has called us to if we're not taking our own personal responsibility to do our part. To deny ourselves pick up our cross and follow after Him.
He's the Good Shepherd. Everything else is false.
He is the way he is the truth. He is life.
My brethren, grow today and the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Do not be satisfied with where you are.
Grow. Grow today, in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ so we are ready.
A pure and spotless bride ready for our bridegroom.
We do not want to be the virgins found without our oil.
Spend time with him today.
And for those of you who have never professed, Jesus as Lord of your life.
You can do that today by repenting of our sin nature, humbling yourself and choosing to follow Christ.
Heavenly Father, we need you today. I could say, "We can't do this alone!" But the truth in your word says, "that you will never leave us or forsake us."
You gave us the Holy Spirit to be with us always.
You gave us other believers that we can walk through this life with. We are not alone because of you. If we feel alone, it's because the enemy lies to us; he wants to steal, kill and destroy.
You are the one who has come for us to have life and have it to the full. We thank you for your grace, for your mercy. We don't deserve it. But, because of your love when we were at enmity with you, you died for us. Thank you.
I could never pay it back. But I give you my life, God. I choose you.
I will not fear I will not be afraid for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
Thank you for Your word. Thank you for the perseverance of everyone who worked to preserve the Bible and those who died preserving it and preaching it. Help us to be faithful and diligent today. Purify us, purify your church, purify us to your spotless bride. Help us to never go out into this world without oil in our lamps. Help us to prioritize You first before everything else.
Your kingdom is all that matters. It is in you that we have our hope. In Jesus' precious name. AMEN
If you made a decision to follow Christ today, the angels are rejoicing as am I and if you are already a follower of Christ, I pray today you take responsibility to be diligent, to be watchful, to be holy, and at peace.
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