Mens Fellowship Gathers with John Abramovich (5/9/14)

Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Abramovich, Friends & Fellowship, GroupPresentations, men, UMM | 0 comments

Our United Methodist Men’s Fellowship group gathered this morning (Saturday 5/10) to hear the teaching of John Abramovich. John and his wife Dasia are serving the Lord in Poland by organizing youth camps and by leading Bible Studies.  We have been supporting them for years and are blessed through our connection with the Abramovichs.

Dasia & John Abramovich (4/8/14)

Dasia & John Abramovich (4/8/14)

John and Daisa have been in the US for the past few months, but will soon return to Poland.  This morning, we were blessed to learn from John’s Bible teaching, as he led us through the opening verses of the book of 2 Peter.

We often hear about the things missionaries are doing while they’re in foreign countries, but it was enlightening to experience for ourselves a sample of the teaching that is being provided.

 

 

 

2 Peter 1:1-11

John led us to the opening chapter of the book of 2 Peter, but we didn’t get very far into the book!  He led us into a deep study of this scripture, exploring what Peter had to say verse by verse, and then applying it to our daily lives in the 21st century.

– – –  Verses 1-2 – – –

2 Peter 1:1-2

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

NIV

This was the last word from Peter.  He was probably in Rome when he wrote this letter, and he probably knew that he would be crucified soon.  What would he want the people to remember  when he’s gone?  Would the church continue after he was gone?  In this letter Peter didn’t focus his own experiences, as remarkable as they were.  Instead, he focused on the Scripture. He went back to God’s word for the facts.

Apostle AND Servant…

Peter was an Apostle of Jesus Christ; he had been there with Him.  He had seen Jesus’ miracles and heard His teaching first hand.  He was an Apostle- a representative of Christ, given unique insights and responsibilities. 

But he also calls himself a servant.  Only a few are called to be Apostles, but we are all called to be servants. 

Peter is saying that our faith is just as important as his.  Our value to God is just as important as his value.

 – – –  Verses 3-4 – – –

2 Peter 1:3-4

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 

NIV

Peter calls us to “participate in the divine nature.”  The “Divine Nature???”  We can be like God in some way?  Awesome Grace!

We’re not puppets!  Even though we’re saved by God’s grace, we have to join in and constantly “participate” in God’s call to reflect His love and holiness.  We must purposely study God’s truth and take a stand for what’s right.

 – – –  Verses 5-7 – – –

2 Peter 1:5-7

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;

6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 

NIV

Because God invites us to participate in His “Divine Nature,” we must respond.  There’s a dichotomy at work here.  Yes- we are “elected” and saved by grace.”  We can’t earn our salvation.  But, God calls us to to respond and to grow into His likeness; to add to our character.

“Add”…

The Greek word that is translated as “add” in this verse has an interesting meaning.  During Peter’s time, theater was performed using drama and spoken word.  But sometimes, the experience was enhanced when they hired a choir and “Added” in music to the production.  This “Addition” would cause the audience to to take notice and introduce a “Wow Factor” to the production.

Peter is telling us to add a “Wow Factor” to our character.  Make people notice that there is something different about us.  Invite them to ask questions and explore the grace of God.

“Preach a sermon… use words if necessary!”

 – – –  Verses 8-9 – – –

2 Peter 1:8-9

8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

NIV

Keep moving forward. Even while humbly accepting God’s grace of salvation and forgiveness, keep intentionally growing to be more and more like that “Divine Nature.”  If you’re not growing, you’ve forgotten the value of salvation.  You’re blind.  God calls us to be fruitful and to demonstrate His love and plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.  For those who watch our behavior, this is a matter of life and death! 

 – – –  Verses 10-11 – – –

2 Peter 1:10-11

10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,

11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

NIV

God called me, but I must respond. God elected me, but I must choose Him.  And that choice happens day in and day out, minute by minute.  Your salvation is sure because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but you must decide to live in a way that shows that you were called.

When an athlete returned from a victory in the Olympics, the city would set up a special gate into the city to welcome him.  His return to his home town would be greeted and cheered in love and admiration.  One day when we “return home” to heaven, God (in His amazing grace) will welcome our return even more deeply as we continue to grow and honor Him in our participation in the divine nature.

 

+     +     +     +     +     +     +

To learn more about what the United Methodist Men are up to, Click Here.

To learn more about the Abramovichs’ mission service in Poland, Click Here.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *