I met with several men early this morning to study the Bible. We are currently going through the book of Galatians. As we went through chapter 2, we got to the point where Paul had to confront Peter because of his wrong behavior. (Galatians 2:11-14) Peter was clearly in the wrong, which was why Paul had to bring correction.

After this, one of the guys asked a question. “Peter has been walking with Jesus for quite a while. And this incident happens after Pentecost. Isn’t it discouraging that after all this time, we still mess up?”

True. We still mess up. And it sometimes feels like we move two steps forward and one step back. But here’s the deal: God is not done with us. Life is actually a series of midcourse corrections.

An airplane never gets to its destination in one straight line. It may veer a bit to the left or a lot to the right. But with the Pilot steering, midcourse corrections are made.

Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. The goal is not spiritual perfection but spiritual progress. The aim is to not to make a mistake but to relentlessly pursue Christ. The objective is not to never veer, but to stay the course. “He who calls us is faithful, and He will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

That’s what sanctification accomplishes.

At the end of Peter’s life, we are told by tradition that he was crucified for following Christ. And he asked to be crucified upside down because he didn’t feel worthy to die the same death as his Master.

He may not have started well. He may not even have been perfect in his walk with Christ. But he kept His eyes on Christ and stayed the course.

Remember, “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

 

How does one stand in the midst of persecution?
When we understand and appreciate the new birth we have received, then it enables us to stand firm in the faith in the midst of testings.

Bishop Manny Carlos shared an insightful message yesterday at Victory Fort and I’d like to share it with you.

1 Peter tells us that we have been “born not of perishable seed but of imperishable seed through the living and abiding the Word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)

The regenerative work of the Holy Spirit inside us that turns us from lost to found, dead to alive, causes us to experience the new birth and in turn transforms the way we live.

Here are the blessings of the new birth:

1. The new birth brings spiritual insight.

Jesus said that unless we experience a spiritual rebirth, we cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

We are given new lens when we are born again spiritually. Being born again is not a religion but an experience once we embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a result, scales from our eyes fall and we see things from a different perspective.

2. The new birth imparts spiritual life.

Because we have experienced rebirth (1 Peter 1:23), we just don’t live in the physical but also in the spiritual.

There is now genuine joy, authentic peace, sincere love for we have received it from the one who is our Joy, our Peace and the One who is Love Himself.

3. The new birth produces spiritual hunger.

Appetites change as new cravings are replaced.

1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Because we have experienced rebirth, we are now alive spiritually. And hunger is a good indicator of life. When a baby gets hungry, it means s/he is needing nutrition to continue to grow. A child who never gets hungry has a major problem. If this continues, soon, he will be lifeless.

If you and I have truly been born again, a hunger for the Word will surface for His Word brings daily sustenance.

Job declared in Job 23:12, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”

May we love God’s Word, treasure it, devour it and apply it to daily life.

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Here’s a simple 21-day guide that will start you off in this journey. Blessings!