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A Spiritual House (I Peter 2:4-6)

Peter addresses Christians as to where they are and where they should be, and he uses the concept of a cornerstone to illustrate his point. The cornerstone is the one level stone set in the corner of a new structure, that all other little stones are lined up with and built on. That said, Jesus is our cornerstone. In this message Pastor Troy expounds on the fact that the church is comprised of many "stones" that make up one "body." Those disengaged are like "Rolling Stones", and those engaged are planted, solid, and have extraordinary support. That is what should be in terms of leaning on Christ as the main cornerstone, and assemble as a church body to remain strong and solid.

Spiritual Milk (I Peter 2:1-3)

Peter is stirring up Christians to know who they are in Christ & helping them recognize their new identity. After all, when one is born again, a new, reformed version of you is in development. Peter mentions to them to crave God's Word as a baby craves milk. Milk helps you grow in development and in this analogy, if you're not "drinking the milk", taking in God's Word, and cultivating your relationship with God, you are not going to grow. Peter also illustrates how things such as malice, deceit, hypocrisy, slander, etc. are all regular characteristics of a worldly person. Peter calls out Christians who still do these things. Peter advises them to "take them off" like dirty, filthy, smelly clothes, grow up, and mature. Then from there, you can go from "milk" to "solid food".

Love One Another From the Heart (I Peter 1:22-25)

Peter's letter to the persecuted church in Asia Minor continues with an important note on love and the power that goes with it. Love (genuine, authentic, self-sacrificial) will be a distinctive mark between you and other people. When Christ came, love became so much more than was perviously known or acted on. It became a revolutionary power that drew people to Him. Because of Christ, we have the ability to love people in a profound new way that hasn't been and cannot be done without Him. When you have Christ and love people, they will notice that there is something different about you. It is also profound to consider that the architect of love will also be your judge.

Fear & Faith (Psalm 27:1-6)

King Solomon once observed "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). And in a world that is immersed in fear towards many other things besides God, it creates an uneasiness and instability in the minds of so many people. In this message, Living Faith's own Thom Espinos teaches us how God, whom we need to have a reverent fear of, can help us take on and overcome the kind of fear that so often takes away our peace of mind and causes anxiety and instability. Join us as Thom teaches us why it is important to depend on God the next time you catch yourself in a situation involving the fear that so ails the rest of this world.

How Will You Live Out Your Time? (I Peter 1:17-21)

How will we spend our days? How will we spend our time? God is always focused on where we will spend eternity. By his grace and mercy, Christ redeemed us through His blood. And so, we respond to these things by how seriously or unseriously we act towards God and how we treat Him. As angels and demons fear Him by his very name, we are called to be set apart from the rest of the world (living as "foreigners") and in reverent fear (respecting who He is and knowing that what He says is relevant, important, and critical for you) as you belong to Him. How does He shape the lives of those who spend their time with Him? What can we learn about God by what is revealed to us in times where He reveals grace and mercy to us in hopes to change us for the better when we take Him and His Word seriously? Find out in this powerful & convicting message.

The Good Fight (I Timothy 4:1-8)

Ephesus was a city in Ancient Greece that was pagan, rough, and heavy in demonic activity. Today you could say that Ephesus was like a rough area in the city of Chicago. However there was a church planted right at the heart of this culture in the first century. Paul preached there for years, and people wanted to kill him because he "disrupted business" by casting out demons that assisted in one particular person's livelihood. Paul even wrote to Timothy, giving him the apostolic authority to preach the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this area. As the power of God's Word changed people during Paul's ministry, some people in Ephesus were so affected that they burned their occult scrolls. By the end of the century, years after Paul's death, Jesus has a beef with the church in Ephesus, appears to John, and has him write a letter to that church. What can we learn about the Church of Ephesus today, and how is God calling us to "fight the good fight" in the last days? Pastor John Billow brings the message.

Set Your Hope On Grace (I Peter 1:14-16)

When Peter addresses the persecuted church in Asia Minor, He emphasizes setting one's hope on the second coming of Christ. In this, Peter quotes a command that occurs five times in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, where it says "Be Holy because I am holy." What does holiness mean, especially in today's world? Only with Christ can you stop conforming to evil desires that you constantly gave into when you were disobedient. Only with Christ can you be different from this world, and subdue your selfish nature. It is when you trust Christ to help you live holy, you can be most sober-minded (i.e. alert) and set your hope on Him. It is only with this His help one can live holy (and in a peaceable state of mind) in an immoral society that is consistently breaking down and causing panic, unease, instability, and anxiety.

The Suffering of Christ (I Peter 1:10-12)

In this message, Pastor Troy Billow explains the reason behind animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, which became a means to restore righteousness to sinners temporarily, and why Jesus came to be that sacrifice for those who receive Him permanently. Why did Christ go through what He went through and suffer like He did for us? Since God does not tolerate sin in His presence, He picked His most precious "lamb", the one He wouldn't want to give up, to provide a way out of the punishment we deserve due to our unrighteousness. This act of love would also open the lines of communication between sinners saved through Christ's blood and God Himself, restoring a relationship that was cut off when we chose to go our own way.

The Salvation Of Your Souls (I Peter 1:8-9)

Peter once had trouble grasping his faith. He denied Christ, was uncertain of the resurrection, and went back to fishing. Jesus Himself had to come and find Peter and talk to Him. So He met Peter where he was. Now, Peter is an old man, and he traveled from Jerusalem to Rome because he wanted to take the Gospel there. One of the things Peter was awestruck about, was that when He encountered many believers, He saw the love that they had for Jesus, even though they never physically encountered Him. When you realize how much God loves you, it changes you. "What?" you may say. "He loves me like that????" Love is engaging, investing, making time, spending time, and is proven by showing up. Since God loves us, He asks us to do the same with each other.

"Should Elections & Govt. Matter to Christians?"

Special Guest Michael Imhof (U.S. Navy Seal Commander RET.) answers the question, "should elections and government matter to Christians". All too often people are way too ignorant and passive towards political matters, go with the party that their parents and grandparents belonged to, or believe that God is going to just make everything happen the way it's supposed to go with no involvement. Michael Imhof PROVES in this message that change can only begin with action and involvement. Michael backs his message up with mounds of historical examples from the Bible where men of God confronted their Kings, spoke truth to power with stern conviction, warned them even if they hated what was said and had them thrown into shackles because of it. In other words, when this question comes up again, it will serve as the end of all arguments on that question.