This weekend my sermon title comes directly from 1 Peter 4:1 that literally says, “…arm yourselves…” So, are you armed? I’m not asking if you have two appendages connected to the upper part of your body! Nor do I mean are you “packing heat” with firearms. What I’m asking is, are you prepared, equipped, ready for whatever challenges are ahead of you?
If you’ve been with us for the previous chapters of 1 Peter, you know Peter is encouraging Christians to stand firm in the midst of suffering for their faith. He’s already described the mocking, insults, and slander that Christians encounter because of their commitment to Jesus. But starting in chapter 4, it’s not just a frontal assault, but Peter also describes the “surprise” and then “malign” response that those closest to us may have when we won’t participate in their worldly ways.
Most of us haven’t been put in jail or been personally attacked because of our faith. But all of us have been in situations where just “going along with the crowd” would make things MUCH easier. We’ve all been tempted to compromise our convictions when it might cost us social standing, relationships, “likes”, job advancement, respect, honor, or popularity. Talk about practical! That’s right where we live and breathe.
Peter gives us five big guns to be able to respond in situations like that, not by shooting bullets, but by loving people the same way Jesus did! As we’ve seen before, that’s no small thing, because we tend to respond with fight, flight, or fright when we’re threatened. Our friend and fellow pastor, Thomas Sorrentino, is going to share his testimony about who and what he lost when he came to Christ. It was no easy road. But he’ll also share what he gained and why he’s fearless about sharing the Gospel now.
Our Church on the Grass outdoor worship service is this Sunday, May 2 at 10:45 am. Bring your own lawn chair and/or blanket. If you haven’t already done so, you can register with this LINK. You can also register via this webpage. Please read through the instructions on safety before you attend. If you are unable to join the outdoor service, please attend one of our two online options. Just visit valleychurch.org and click on the colorful join us online banner.
See you soon!