Walking Through 1st Peter #21, To the Elders

Walking Through 1st Peter #21, To the Elders

Encouragment
Teens know it’s coming. Those always present last words for their safety as they go out. “Be careful!” “Drive safe!” “Don’t do anything stupid, ok?” Well, maybe it’s not just teenagers that hear those words. I plan on visiting my 93-year-old grandmother today. After the “I love you’s” and the hugs of goodbye, just before I walk out the door she’ll say, “be careful going home.” It’s a given, like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Likewise, Peter has shifted his letter from his main concern to some “be careful out there” final instructions.Welcome to our twenty-first installment in our walk through 1st Peter Don’t fret (unless you’re a guitar player), the previous articles are on Lambchow.com if you’d like to catch up.Peter wrote, “Therefore, I exhort the elders amo
Walking Through 1st Peter #20, Your Kingdom Come

Walking Through 1st Peter #20, Your Kingdom Come

Encouragment
I hope you have your hiking boots on and not some fancy slippers. Our next step in 1st Peter is a difficult one on several levels. It deals with heartache, suffering, persecution, and judgment – many of the things we’d rather avoid even thinking about. But in our journey through 1st Peter, we’ve learned that this is why Peter is writing the letter in the first place. Lambchow reaches many nations with varying levels of acceptance and persecution. But here’s the thing, Peter’s conclusion is for everyone, no matter the situation or circumstance.Welcome to our 20th installment in our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if you’ve missed previous articles. By the way, they can be found on our website – Lambchow.comPeter encourages, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fier

Walking Through 1st Peter – Good Stewards of God’s Grace

Encouragment
One way or another we all care about something or someone. A child cares for their toys. A student stewards their time and focus. A factory worker sees to their machine. A husband and wife manage the home. Your pastor shepherds souls. A farmer husbands his field, flock, and harvest. We are all stewards of something. Peter reminds us that those who have chosen Jesus and walk with him are called to steward the gifts of God.Welcome to our 19th edition of our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if this is the first article of this series you’ve seen. Previous articles are on our website – lambchow.com.Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another
Walking Through 1st Peter: Suffering Sin

Walking Through 1st Peter: Suffering Sin

Encouragment
We, as followers of Jesus, can be carried away by our convictions. It is good that we’re sensitive to the Holy Spirit and desire to live a life that pleases God. The problem comes when we lay those burdens on others who haven’t yet decided to follow Jesus or been pricked with conviction from the Holy Spirit. I cringe when that happens. The words may be well and true, but the soil isn’t ready for them yet. Especially so when accompanied with condemnation. The result is often a wounded heart that is less receptive to God’s good news. I know because I’ve done it. Our next step through 1st Peter touches on that topic but centers on something else we don’t like to think about.Welcome to our 18th step in our walk through Peter’s first letter to the believers of Asia Minor. Don’t worry if
The Wind of the Spirit

The Wind of the Spirit

Encouragment
There is an unpredictability to life in the Spirit that can be unsettling. In this day and age, we do our best to be predictable. We plan our course. We set goals, write mission statements, and announce our intentions. If we don’t know how to get somewhere, we consult maps, GPS, or some other mapping software. Our lives are often regulated by the clock and calendar. Filling our hours and days well in advance with little space left free. Somehow we think that choosing a restaurant at the last minute is spontaneous all the while knowing we had planned to go out. All this leads me to one question – Who is in control?I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be good stewards of time or that we shouldn’t have plans, goals, and the like. What I am saying is that we can fill our lives to the point whe
Rooting Our Expectations

Rooting Our Expectations

Encouragment, Hope
Expectations are tricky things. They can elevate our hopes to rarified heights, darken our fears, or land somewhere in between. We can even fear to hope lest that we somehow jinx our plans. For instance, when our daughter Rebekah was in High School, she refused to get excited about an upcoming mission trip to Mexico out of fear that her hopes would be dashed. I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another.We also have a set of expectations about God. Things we hope for or dare not hope out of fear of failure. Our expectations are often based on what we’ve seen or heard from the experience of others. But I propose that the root of our expectations needs a completely different source.One day early in Jesus ministry Philip was called by Jesus with the familiar “follow me.” Phili
Walk Through 1st Peter – The Big Picture

Walk Through 1st Peter – The Big Picture

Encouragment
In 1884 George Seurat painted A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It’s a large work that is over six feet tall and 10 feet wide. The amazing thing is that it is painted completely in small dots of pure color. It’s a process that we are well familiar with but rarely think about. TV’s, computer screens, even our smartphones use a similar technique to create pictures filled with color and texture. As we approach our next step through 1st Peter, it’s vital that we keep the larger picture in mind or all we’ll see is confusing dots of color.Welcome to the 17th installment in our walk through 1st Peter. Today’s passage may seem a bit large and daunting at first. It may also seem a bit confusing and may seem to challenge well-understood theology of salvation and the resurrecti
Walking Through 1st Peter – 16, A Call to Action

Walking Through 1st Peter – 16, A Call to Action

Encouragment
Inherent in just about everything we read, see, or hear is a call to action. Sometimes it’s just a subtle suggestion. An unspoken hint that life would be better or more fun if we owned, say, a particular car. Often the call to action is brash and bold. “But wait there’s more, call now and get two miracle magic whatchamadings for only 19.95 (plus shipping, handling, and whatever else we can tack on).” The call to action may be the adoption of a way of thinking or feeling that is being played out in the novel we’re reading or the show we’re watching. Our next step through 1 Peter also contains a powerful and challenging call to action.Welcome to our sixteenth step of our Walk Through 1st Peter. In the past few articles, Peter has laid out some challenges for his readers regarding the rel
On The Road

On The Road

Encouragment
There are many stories around the event of Jesus’ resurrection. Some of them are recounted in the Gospels. Some are only hinted at. We often limit our Easter morning reading to the encounter between the risen Jesus and the women that had come early in the morning.Also on that same day were two men. Two disciples or followers not listed among the primary twelve disciples. We know the name of one. We know they were saddened by the weekend events and unsure about the report of the women. We know one other thing – they were on the road somewhere between Jerusalem and the small village of Emmaus.“That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talke
Walk Through 1st Peter – Wives and Husbands

Walk Through 1st Peter – Wives and Husbands

Encouragment
The next step in our walk through 1st Peter is like a walking a high tension wire over a deep canyon. Peter bravely steps into our closest relationship, drops words that are challenging for some and troubling to others. We can think of a thousand exceptions and nearly as many objections. We can either skip over this part and declare it to be a cultural abnormality. Or we can take it hyper-literally and change our most intimate of relationship into something akin to slavery. I will endeavor to do neither. I trust God’s word, and so we will wrestle to find the balance inherent in Peter’s words to walk the wire.Welcome to our 15th installment in our Walk Through 1st Peter. Previous articles can be found on our website – Lambchow.com. Peter wrote, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive
A Better Me

A Better Me

Encouragment
What’s wrong with you? Come on, be honest. When you look in the mirror what would you change? If you could hold a mirror up and see your heart, your personality, your passions, and your attitudes – What would you change there? A friend of mine recently quipped, “I’d like a better me.” I think that we could all say amen to that.We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. It could be that our nose is too big. Our hair is graying. Or maybe it’s straight, and we want it curly. Or curly and we’d love for it to be straight. Some of these things we can temporarily change, many we can’t. Since I was a teenager I’ve had a malformed ribcage, basically my sternum forgot how to grow. So what about you? What would you change?Maybe your thing isn’t a physical attribute but something else l
Walking Through 1st Peter – Like a Straying Lamb

Walking Through 1st Peter – Like a Straying Lamb

Encouragment
Why do sheep stray?  It may not be the most cosmically important question to ask, but knowing why sheep stray tells us something about ourselves. The long and short of it is that sheep stray because they’re hungry. With head down they nibble, step, nibble, step without even looking at where they are going. If we’re not careful, we can do the same thing, allowing our appetite to determine our direction.Welcome to the 14th installment in our walk through 1st Peter. Previous articles are available on our website – lambchow.com. In today’s verses, Peter continues to comment on suffering for doing right. “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His