Author Archives: Jason and Kimberly

About Jason and Kimberly

Jason is the former pastor at First Baptist Church in Greensboro, Florida. Kimberly homeschools our three awesome kids. We enjoy being together as a family in wherever so long as we are together! Grace and peace to you in the Lord Jesus Christ!

A Prayer Born from John 14

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Before writing this prayer, I would like to point out something pretty amazing. My last post gave a brief but important observation about the purpose of Jesus’s love. He loves in such a way to lead people to believe in the greatest news in the world–the gospel!

In the immediate context, the death and resurrection of Lazarus was the means by which Jesus deployed to make himself known. And more precisely, to make it known that God the Father had sent him into the world to save his people.

Some who witnessed this amazing work believed but others went to tell the religious leaders of the day what had happened. These leaders then say this: (Jn. 11:48) If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

In other words, if they let him go on raising people from the dead everyone will believe he is Messiah. First, it’s almost like your 2 year old raising their finger to the parent that is towering over them and saying, “NO!” to their commands. Can you imagine saying something like this: I’m taking down that guy who raises people from the dead.” In other words, that guy is so powerful that he can call the dead back to life but I have enough power to make him dead.

It is pretty funny to think about. It’s also funny that they think they can stop his works by only stopping that guy, Jesus. What they do not realize is that his works will continue on without his bodily presence. And part of the means by doing so is allowing them to “make him dead.” Jesus’s death was the payment for sinners in need of salvation. The works will continue as a result of the finished work of Jesus which is reworking his broken people to do his works in the world.

The Father did His works in Jesus. Jesus is and will do his works in his disciples which glorifies Jesus and ultimately glorifies the Father!

Let’s now, pray the promises of Jesus!

We come before you, merciful Father, to ask in the Name of Jesus that which he has promised to do. He told us that whoever believes in him and the works that he did will do greater works. Because Jesus went to you, he promises to give us whatever we ask in his Name so that You may be glorified.

Jesus came to save his people and we want to join him in that mission. Lord, we want to make disciples of Jesus. We want the nations to know You. We want to share the gospel and baptize those who receive the gift of salvation. We want to teach them how to walk in Your ways.

Holy Father, send us out. May You cause us to do these greater works in the power of the Holy Spirit. Give us a place and opportunity to do these works among a people who will make more disciples that make more disciples. And ultimately, Your great Name is glorified!

We plead these promises. Your Son said he would do anything we ask in his Name. We are Yours. Do with us as You please, Lord. May we do the works of Jesus in bringing glory to You.

Eternal Father, You know we are seeking a place and people in the Name of Jesus. You know all the places we have “knocked” but nothing has opened. We “seek” but we have not found. We are asking You, oh great God of highest heaven, to open a door of opportunity to us.

We ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen!

John 11-12 Observation

Jesus loves in ways we might not understand. He demonstrated love by not going to Lazarus when Jesus knew he was sick and would die. But why?

  • and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” – John 11:15
  • So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” – John 11:41-43
    • …that they might believe…
  • When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. – John 12:9-11
    • …many were believing in Jesus

Jesus’s love had purpose.

Jesus’s love resulted in his intentions.

Jesus’s love was painful but temporary.

But Jesus’s love is also eternal.

How does this change how you encounter suffering and pain in your own life as a believer?

How does this change how you see suffering and pain in the lives of others around you?

The Lausanne Covenant

I think this covenant should be adopted by churches in addition to their statement of faith. And I furthermore believe we should regularly be reminded of this covenant so that we can make adjustments to our lives when we drift away from the purpose and mission of our Lord Jesus.

Consider reading this document or rereading it.

The Lausanne Covenant

John 10 Devotion

One of the most frequent topics of early Christian art was undoubtedly that of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Maybe Psalm 23 was as dear to the heart of the early church as it qis now. For whatever reason, it is an amazing and comforting truth.

It seems this identity of Jesus (and certainly Jesus is more than Shepherd) is a very humble title for the Son of God. Yet, David writes that same thing when he says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1.

That’s not the only humble image we have in John 10. Jesus is also called the door or gate. We know that a door or gate is the entrance point of a walled city. We might think of a pasture that has a fence around it and the gate would be the place to enter.

You might already know but our English word for pastor comes from shepherd. The shepherd or pastor would take the livestock out to pasture. Of course, there were no fences. That’s why we no longer have shepherds in America. The fence keeps the animals in and hopefully keeps the predators out.

The shepherd/pastor was responsible for leading the sheep to food and water. He was also responsible to protect them. The sheep were absolutely defenseless against bears or lions. There were no fences to keep them out.

Now having said that, do you not ask questions when the text says this: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. – John 10:11. Does he mean to say that the Good Shepherd would lay down his life to protect the sheep? Is that what he means? Certainly that is true but is that what he means?

In other words, if the shepherd lays down his life for the sheep who then will protect the sheep? Do you see? That’s why I think this means more than Jesus’s willingness to lay his life down. One answer or way he can continue to protect the sheep is this: For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. – John 10:17

So, even though the shepherd lays down his life for the sheep he will also take it up again. In other words, he will rise from the dead. You might have another question. Why did the shepherd have to lay down his life for the sheep and if he has the power to raise himself from the dead why didn’t he just protect the sheep with that power?

Let’s hear these amazing truths and then answer that question.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
30 I and the Father are one.” – John 10:27-30

You only read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) for the first time only once. And even then, many of us heard about the cross before we read the Gospel Story. So, the Gospels intend for you to read them with the cross of Christ in mind.

Therefore, when you hear Jesus, the Good Shepherd, say things like laying down his life for the sheep you know he has the cross in mind. And when he says take his life up again you know he means the resurrection.

So, these glorious truths of the Good Shepherd calling his sheep by name and they hear his voice is a clear picture of when we hear the gospel and the Spirit opens our eyes to hear and believe.

That which we believe is in part that Jesus laid down his life for my protection from not just wolves but from God. My greatest enemy is my sin. Sin destroyed the relationship mankind had with the Creator in the beginning because God is holy and just.

And for God the remain just He must punish all sin. That’s bad news for sinners and all of us are sinners. However, God is not only just. He is also merciful. Mercy is not getting what I deserve. But how can God forgive sinners and remain just? Someone must pay for the penalty and guilt of our sin.

Sin brings death. Therefore Jesus, the Good Shepherd, took our death for us…in our place so that we could be forgiven and have a right legal relationship with God.

If you will repent and believe in Jesus you will have eternal life and you are forever protected by the Good Shepherd!

John 9 Observation

John 9:6-7 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.

The Potter remaking the broken clay vessel for his glory! Amazing!

John 6 Devotion

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5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.

(Jn. 6:5-6)

The definition of test is this: (2) put to the test, examine, try (RV 2.2); in a good sense of God’s actions toward his people prove, put to the test, try (HE 11.17)

This scene of feeding the 5,000 and the Bread (i.e. manna from heaven) of life explanation parallels the scene in Exodus.

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.

(Exod. 16:4)

The wilderness was the testing grounds. Upon crossing the Red Sea on dry ground and merely watching the Lord destroy the entire Egyptian Army, you would think that when they encounter the need of water and food they would consider the power and love of God and then trust and ask Him to provide that which they need. As you know, they complained and quarreled with Moses and God.

They had just listened to Miriam sing a song of triumph! They rejoiced over the fall of Pharaoh and his army. They worshiped! And then they murmured.

What happens in John 6 is very similar. Phillip was present when Jesus turned the water into wine. Jesus asked Phillip where bread could be purchased to feed this crowd. Israel thought God had saved them from slavery in Egypt only to let them die in the wilderness. Phillip makes quick work to show Jesus how absurd it was to consider buying only enough bread to barely feed them a bite.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this. I suppose it’s easy to watch these stories unfold and see more clearly than they did. But I’m pretty sure we are/were just like them. I know I still struggle to believe sometimes. It is only by God’s amazing grace that I see anything.

Let’s hear how Phillip responded to the Lord of the test. “Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” (Jn. 6:7).

What would it sound like to believe when Jesus tested him? And just know that we have an advantage in this story. Jesus didn’t say, “Oh, by the way Phillip, I’m testing you,” It’s similar to reading the book of Job and seeing the behind the scenes meeting in heaven. Job wasn’t at the meetings.

Since hindsight is 20/20, what should Phillip have said? How would you have responded? Or better yet, how have you responded?

Well, Phillip should have said, “Lord, I saw you turn water into wine. I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus, you have the power and authority to cause bread to fall from the sky. And our forefathers picked up manna from heaven. You can cause quail to be gathered before us all. You can make water flow from a rock. Lord, we don’t need to go anywhere to buy bread. We don’t need any money for supper. If you are the Son of God, then you can do all things. Nothing is too hard for you.”

“Furthermore, I believe you are the Bread from heaven. I need nothing else but you, Jesus.”

There were two tests that day. Jesus tested Phillip but Phillip tested Jesus. Phillip failed the test but Jesus didn’t fail. We need a Savior who doesn’t fail. Indeed, he is sufficient for our failings. I trust you know what to do if you have experienced the merciful salvation of Christ. If you have not, please comment below and I would love to help you know how to be saved.

If you have the Bread of Life, you will never hunger again!

Life is a test. Do you believe in Jesus or not?

John 5 Devotion

The first half of John 5 displays Jesus at work! The second is Jesus explaining why he’s working.

It’s a simple observation, but Jesus only does what he sees the Father doing. So the work that Jesus does is the work and will of the Father. That means God is on a mission to restore and save the world THROUGH His Son.

Over and over you hear Jesus repeatedly say that the Father has sent him and his works bear witness. The Son does the works that testify that God had sent him. His work is that of salvation. The Father is saving broken humanity through the Person and works of His Son.

God is on mission to save by sending and witnessing through His Son. That same pattern continues. God is on mission to save through the finished work of His Son THROUGH those Jesus has saved. Salvation, in part, has the distinct purpose of being sent by God to bear witness about the salvation accomplished by His Son.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

– John 5:24

This was Jesus’s mission and we who believe have the same mission to tell the gospel to others that they too might hear and believe and have eternal life with Jesus!

How can you make steps towards being on mission with God to make known this glorious gospel?

I had a friend of mine remind me of the purpose of the story of David and Goliath. It’s not about selecting the right stones. It’s not about facing your giants. But rather it is so that the nations would know that there is a God in Israel! (1 Sam. 17).

Who has the Lord put in your path and/or on your mind that needs to hear the gospel? God is on mission through you. You have been sent to bear witness about Jesus!

Is that something you are thankful for or something you dread? I have prayed for every person that reads this blog post to gladly go and make disciples of Jesus. As I was reminded from John 6 this morning: Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” – John 6:27

A Simple Observation

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: – 2 Peter 1:1

When Peter introduced himself in this letter, he stated that he was a servant first and an apostle second. I think that’s very important to see.

As followers of Christ, we are all servants of Jesus first. We may serve in various ways as Peter served as an apostle.

This is important because it serves as the foundation from which we serve the Lord and others. That means, we should seek to serve in the various ways that may be needed.

It’s easy to disregard lesser tasks when your foundational understanding of who we are isn’t a servant of Jesus. May your identity be a servant who seeks to serve Jesus in the capacity and gifts and needs that come up around you.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. – 1 Corinthians 9:19

May this be so!

1 Peter 5 Devotion

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:10-11

I didn’t see much in the Word today but the contract between suffering for a little while and the eternal call of God was very encouraging. Because His dominion is forever not just a little while.

That’s it. That’s all. Blessings!

1 Peter 2:4-10 Sermon Manuscript

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The Mission of the Church: Offering Spiritual Sacrifices and Proclaiming His Glory!

  1. Introduction
    1. What is reality?
      1. According to 1 Peter we are aliens and strangers in this world. This is not our home. Our citizenship is in heaven and we await a Savior, Christ the Lord. What we see with our eyes is true reality, but that’s not all. What is our mission and purpose while we wait?
      1. In 2 Kings, Elisha’s servant saw only one of those realities.
        1. 2 Kings 6:15-16  15 ¶ When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
      1. Now the reality was that a huge Syrian army stand before two men. But that was not the whole story.
        1. 2 Kings 6:17   17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
      1. The other reality there was another army. Elisha asked the LORD to open the eyes of his servant. Then he saw the other reality. There was no need to fear! True. A huge Syrian army was there to do battle. Yet, the Army of the Lord was there too!
    1. We encounter a similar thing in this passage of Scripture. Yes. Peter said we are elect exiles. However, we are told in this text that we are living stones and we are being built into a spiritual house—God’s house. Where is God’s house? Is it this building? No. We, believers in Christ, are God’s house. You are God’s house that is no longer in Jerusalem but one that extends over the whole earth!
      1. There are things that we see with our eyes that cause us to fear. But we should not fear for we are in God’s house—a house the world cannot see. They, just like ourselves, could not see that we were dead in our trespasses. They hang over the wrath of God by a thread and do not even know it.
      1. We can sing praises when they lock us in jail like Paul and Silas. We could joyfully receive the seizure of our property by the government because they only have it temporarily. What they take is not ultimately theirs. It’s our Father’s. He will give it back to His children one day. There’s no need to worry or fear.
  2. Reading of the Text 1 Peter 2:4-10
  3. Exposition
    1. Two Points
      1. Being Built Up into a spiritual house to Offer Spiritual Sacrifices (4-8)
      1. To Proclaim His Excellencies (9-10)
    1. Point #1: You are priests that offer spiritual sacrifices
      1. First, our text from two weeks ago ended with a plea to consider if you had in fact tasted that the Lord is good. Those who have tasted that the Lord is good continually come to him. “According to v. 4, the ‘Lord’ of v. 3, who is clearly Yahweh in the OT context of Psalm 34, is none other than Jesus Christ.  2:4   4 ¶ As you come to him…
        1. It is confirmed that “him” is Jesus Christ for he the “living stone.”
        1. This continual coming to him is a “drawing near.” The same word is used of the soldiers coming to Jesus while on the cross to offer him sour wine. Yet, we are to come near to offer spiritual sacrifices.
      1. Peter then describes Jesus as a living stone. This living stone is a difficult image to imagine. Stones were obviously building materials but they would not have been considered “living.” It makes me think of the passage when Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a colt and the Pharisees tell Jesus to stop the people from praising him–Luke 19:40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
      1. Peter will be referencing Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:22 that speak of this “stone” but they do not mention it is as “living.”
      1. Schreiner thinks the reason Peter does this is because of the resurrection! I tend to agree.
      1. The idea comes about because this stone is first rejected (humiliated) but then becomes the cornerstone. Jesus becomes the cornerstone through his life, death, and resurrection! Rejection must precede exultation. That is our pattern too.
      1. Peter makes this clear with the first contrast—“a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious”
        1. Rejected by men=the cross
        1. In God’s sight chosen=resurrection
        1. Peter brings both of these together in Acts 4:10-11  10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead- by him this man is standing before you well.  11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
      1. Peter then does something unexpected. He compares Jesus, the living stone, with the believers, like living stones, in whom he writes! Why does he do this?
        1. The reason I think he does this is because Jesus was the dwelling of God. The tabernacle and temple represented the dwelling place of God but these pointed to something
          1. John 1:14  14 ¶ And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
          1. Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily
          1. Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,  2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.  3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
        1. Yet, Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father. Does that mean the presence of God is no longer on the earth? Well, no. God’s presence now dwells with his people—the church! Not fully like it will be—hence the “like.” We are his presence on earth by way of the Holy Spirit.
          1. Ephesians 2:18-22  18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
      1. For what purpose are believers compared to the living stone—Jesus?
        1. The former “builders” rejected the stone, but we see a new builder now—God himself. 1 Peter 2:5   5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
          1. It is an emphatic statement—“you yourselves.”
          1. God, the new builder, is building a spiritual house where all of his people are priest-like figures who offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God THROUGH his Son! “The church is God’s new temple.” Schreiner
          1. This new temple began with Christ as the cornerstone and is being extended throughout the whole earth through our witness of the gospel. God is building the house but he is using his living stones to proclaim his excellencies all over the world. (Beale)
          1. God is also building a spiritual house that will not fail.
            1. Matthew 16:18   18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
          1. No longer is the priesthood for one tribe among Israel, but to all believers corporately! “The church is the temple and the priests!” Schreiner
            1. This is what Israel was meant to be but failed because of disobedience. Exodus 19:5-6   5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;  6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
            1. This can only happen NOW because of Christ. God’s presence can remain and therefore transform the body of believers because our sins are forgiven and we have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us!
          1. This house offers spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ.
            1. It seems the context points us to v.9 where we are to proclaim God’s wonders to this world.
            1. The church is a display of God’s glory. We share the gospel, his excellencies, to a dying world so that they might be born of imperishable seed and lift their voices in praise to God through the Son!
      1. Peter now sets out to prove what he just stated. 1 Peter 2:6   6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
        1. This is a quote from Isaiah 28:16. God is pronouncing judgment upon the priests of Jerusalem. They were drunk and vomit completely covered the table. The priests had not lead the people in worship. They trusted lies and falsehood.
        1. Peter notices the only glimmer of hope in the passage: that God has laid a cornerstone in Zion. Peter understands this prophesy to have been fulfilled in Christ! If they will trust in this cornerstone “they will escape judgment.” (Schreiner)
        1. But what comfort is this quotation? For those in whom Peter writes have possibly suffered the same displacement God’s judgment had pronounced. In may be that Peter wants them to know “their painful situation did not reflect the displeasure of God. Far from it: God’s plan includes a division of people around the Son, this cornerstone rejected by so many [Israel’s priests], and the most important thing, both for this life and for the life to come, is to be living stones along with him in the temple of which he is the cornerstone.” (Carson)
        1. Peter draws a conclusion of those who will not be put to shame—judgment. Those who believe in the Son, believes in the living stone—the cornerstone—will be honored. 1 Peter 2:7   7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
          1. Peter contrasts those who disbelieve—rebel against God’s word—will not receive honor.
          1. In fact, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”  8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2:7-8  
          1. In this statement, you hear both sides of the same coin. It says they stumble because they disobey the word. They do exactly what they want to do. However, the Lord also destined it. “We have a divine passive verb here that most certainly means God himself appointed them to this end.” (Carson)
          1. We must conclude with McKnight, “God’s act of appointing Jesus as the living stone has become both honor for believers and judgment for unbelievers; this was God’s design, and everything happens according to his will.”
          1. There is much comfort for the readers of this letter in knowing God is sovereign over all things.
          1. When your path crosses the Rock you either believe or reject. You either humble yourself now or you will be humbled. You will receive honor or you will receive shame! There is no in between.
    1. Point #2—The Purpose of the Priesthood is to result in proclaiming his excellencies!
      1.  In contrast to those who “stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”9 ¶ But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:8-9  
        1. Those who have repented and believed in Christ are now, whether Jew or Gentile, a part of the chosen race, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a people of his own possession.
        1. Those who stumble are not chosen. Those who disobey the word are not a royal priesthood that offers spiritual sacrifices. Those who were appointed to do so are an unholy nation. They are not God’s own possession.
          1. They reject the gospel. They reject Christ. They do not proclaim his excellencies throughout the nations. Christ in not praise-worthy in their eyes. He is not glorious to them. They care not about spreading his name over the globe.
        1. But for what purpose are believers a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation?
          1. We are a priesthood. This is a corporate aspect. The church is to display the gospel. In how we love each other and how we maintain our witness in this town and world by meaningful church membership that submits to God’s design of church discipline anytime one of Christ’s church threatens the witness of the gospel.
          1. Our purpose is proclaiming and spreading the fame of Christ’s name. We are in the house of God and his people make him known. This is our mission as a church. This is our goal as the new temple of God that we spread this building over all the earth. That more and more worshippers come to Jesus becoming living stones!
          1. We the church are the lampstand in this new temple that is ever expanding. May we be a light here and to distant nations.
          1. There are no other means by which to expand God’s house than proclaiming the gospel. Are you sharing the gospel? There is no fear. Remember whose house you are in. Remember the unseen reality that unbelievers do not see.
  4. Conclusion
    1. What is our purpose here?
      1. We are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ.
      1. We are to proclaim his excellencies among the nations.
      1. How can we do that?
      1. Let’s start this week by using this last verse as a means of offering up spiritual sacrifices and proclaiming his excellencies.
      1. As you go throughout your day, tell those around this:I was called out of darkness into his marvelous light.  10 Once I was not one of God’s people, but now I am of God’s people; once I had not received mercy, but now I have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
      1. You walked darkness. You were once cut off from God’s people. You were going to receive the just payment for your sin but God had mercy on you.
      1. If you have never experienced this I would urge you to call on the name of the Lord today. Repent and believe in Christ. you must love him more than husband or wife, mom or dad, brother or sister, job and career. You leave everything and follow him. Will you have him?