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May 28, 2023 Pastor Prep Notes

FINISHED WITH SIN: LET FIERY TRIALS FAN HOLY SPIRIT FIRE IN YOU!


May 28 Fiery Trials? “Trust your lives to God who created you, for he will never fail you.”


(Pentecost Sunday)


Gospel Story: Acts 4 “O Lord hear their threats and give us your servants great boldness in preaching your word”


1 Peter 4:12-19

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God[e] rests upon you.[f] 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also,

“If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?”


19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.


Reflection:

Even at pentecost, with the marvellous, supernatural, unbelievable out pouring of the Holy Spirit there was the inclination to “ridicule” the disciples. (see Acts 2). But if it is true as Peter continues to assert that we are finished with sin, such fiery trials of ridicule, persecution, suffering that comes from our devotion to Jesus, we need to get it in our hearts that as Peter reveals he Pastor’s heart, tells us, “It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian”.


I highlight that Peter emphasizes that our suffering comes because for being something, “a christian”. It does not come from a zealous self-righteous position that might justify “murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other peoples affairs”. No if you think your position as a Christian gives you this right you’re wrong. BUT ….


6 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also,“If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?”19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

It seems from our Gospel story, both at Pentecost (Acts 2) and many times over, we highlight Acts 3&4 disciples experience suffering for their devotion to Jesus. The same will be true for us. So together let us prayer that in response we may be “finished with sin” and choose to live the “SPIRIT LIFE”. Like the early disciples may fiery trials fan Holy Spirit Flam in you. May the building you are in shake with the awesome Presence of God!


Yes, Father, may the ridicule we know, the judgements we receive and the suffering that follows in its wake, may they produce in us exactly what Paul and Peter know to be true, “these momentary sufferings are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory greater than anything we can imagine” (2 Cor 4:17-18). LIVE THE SPIRIT LIFE, AMEN!

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