Sow in Tears, Reap in Joy

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As parents of two high functioning toddlers, my wife and I have the expressed privilege and responsibility of training and instilling “the ways of the Lord” into their hearts and minds. It is a delight, on the one hand, to observe their minds  grasping the concepts while their hearts slowly respond to the instructions. But as any parent knows, it is painstakingly difficult at times to persevere in a spirit of patience as you reiterate the same commands repeatedly throughout the day. Yet, we have come to realize that we are not that much different. It’s remarkable how much our children help expose our own need for change in the ways we respond and practically live under the Lordship of Christ. As children of God, we are continually in need of the basic reminders that convey the virtues of Christian living. In 1 Peter 3 this week, the author echoes what we read from Paul in Ephesians 4 last week. We are to be living harmoniously with one another in a spirit of humility (3:8). Much of how this is evidenced is fleshed out in how we speak. Peter says we are to keep our tongues from evil and deceit as we seek and pursue peace. Ironically, this sounds a lot like what my wife and I communicate to our daughters on a daily basis. And yet, here I stand, recognizing my need for the same instruction. How this is achieved ultimately has to do with my heart, not just my mouth. Peter goes on to say, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart” (3:15). When I fail to fulfill these basic commands outlined in Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 3, I am guilty of sanctifying or honoring something other than Christ in my heart. The Bible calls this idolatry. Let us submit to His authority and revere Him as more worthy than our feelings, comforts and pursuits. And may God help us to live with the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts acceptably before Him (Ps 19:14). –Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

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