Archive for the ‘My Story’ Category

“Getting To Know God Better”

As you may or may not know, I grew up in Japan for 14 years straight as a missionary kid right after World War II.  My maternal grandparents went to Japan in 1906 and our family had a presence there for over 100 years with the exception of the war years.  My younger brother and I attended the Japanese Peer School for a couple years with the current emperor’s younger sister.  Then we went to a missionary kids’ school where the buildings used to be part of the emperor’s dairy barns (That’s what we were told. It was quite an experience for us.)

Outreach. My father, Timothy Pietsch wanted us to learn Japanese and English so we could be more effective in reaching Japanese people for Christ.  So at our meal times we began by holding hands, singing a hymn in English or Japanese and then we prayed and gave thanks for our food.  During the meal time we learned Bible verses in English and Japanese.  We also had a map of Asia on the wall and had to learn some geography too.  I’ll never forget the capital of Afghanistan.  Do you know what it is?

Memorize. One of the verses our dad taught us is found in Jeremiah 9:23, 24.  It says, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight,’ says the LORD.”

Bragging. We all have a tendency to brag a little about ourselves, don’t we?  We think we’re pretty smart, at least “street smart” in some areas.  Others think that they are pretty strong.  It’s interesting how little children can manipulate their parents and get what they want by threatening them or putting on a scene in the store.  And then there are some rich people who think that they can practically get anyone to do what they want them to do if they are paid the right price.  You’ve heard the saying, “Every man has his price.”

Understanding. But rather than our boasting about ourselves, God wants us to understand and know Him and that He exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. God’s adversary, the devil want’s us to believe otherwise and constantly slanders God and His children.

Study. For us to discover more about Him, we need to study His Word (the Scriptures) to show ourselves approved to God, so we can be His workers who need not be ashamed and who handle His Word correctly (2 Timothy 2:15).  He wants His children to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask us about our faith.  This needs to be done with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

Discovery. Would you like to find our more about the true and living God?  If you’re going to brag, brag about God.  We glorify Him when we make Him known to others (See 1 Corinthians 10:31).  The god of the unbelievers is the devil (the slanderer) who wants to discredit God and make Him out to be that which He is not (2 Corinthians 4:4; See Job 1:6; Revelation 12:10; Zechariah 3:1).  He loves to slander God’s children too.

Worship. By our knowing Him for who He really is, we will be able to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24) rather than worshiping ourselves or some other human being.  He alone is worthy (Revelation 4:9-11; 5:12).  One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (admit) that Jesus is Lord (i. e. the God-man) to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).  This is not teaching the heresy of universal salvation.

Deliverance. To be delivered from the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels/demons, and to enter heaven, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? Do you have assurance of your salvation? Do you believe that there is anything that a true believer can do or fail to do that would cause him to lose his salvation? If so, what would it be?

Help. If you need additional spiritual help, please contact us. If this article has helped you, please let us know and share it with others (2 Timothy 2:2). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook live and on Youtube for audio/video studies of the Word.

Outline:  http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Godhead.pdf

Attributes of God: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/a-caricature-of-god/

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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1 Peter 1:1

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” – D. L. Moody. If you’re a true Christian who appreciates your salvation, have you presented to your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Are you afraid that if you did this He might send you to some place you didn’t want to go or do something you didn’t feel qualified to do?

When I was much younger, my life revolved around playing sports until God changed the direction of my life by allowing me to have a back injury. Eventually this led to my doing what I’m doing today and loving it. I didn’t go to college and seminary to become a Pastor. I just wanted to learn how to live a meaningful life. You and I may not ever be significant in the eyes of the world, but the only One whom we really need to please is God (2 Corinthians 5:9). Jesus laid down His sinless life so we could be saved (John 10:15; Hebrews 4:15). Have you placed your faith in Him alone to save you? If so, are you continuing to live with an attitude of faith (Romans 1:17)?

Glory. Throughout history God has used and will continue to use people for His honor and glory. Even the wrath of man shall praise Him (Psalm 76:10). Joseph’s brothers meant evil against him, but God meant if for good (Genesis 50:20). God raised up Pharaoh so that His power might be demonstrated to this idolatrous, rebellious monarch and to the proud Egyptians (Exodus 9:16; Romans 9:17). No one can overthrow God and thwart His decree (Ephesians 1:11). Don’t try. You will lose. In the end, “every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord [God-man] to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). We will all face Jesus as the Judge someday (John 5:22; Hebrews 9:27).

Peter. This Apostle was, in many ways, like a lot of us. He was introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew (John 1:41). He was a successful fisherman (Mark 4:18) and he was a married man (Matthew 8:14). But when he met Jesus, his life was transformed. Let’s take a look at this man who had a great impact on the world. He was –

Impulsive/Presumptuous. It seems like he often spoke without thinking first. Once, while he and the other disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee at night, Jesus came walking to them on the water. They thought He was a ghost. When Jesus told them to be of good cheer and that it was He, Peter wanted the Lord to command him to come to Him by walking on the water. Peter did. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and began to sink. So he called out to the Lord and Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him (Matthew 14:28). On another occasion Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus up the Mount of Transfiguration. They were given a preview of things to come when Christ would come back to earth to rule as the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16; See Isaiah 9:6, 7). Jesus was transfigured before them and Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. Without much thought, Peter blurted out and said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17:4ff). Why did Jesus tell them not to tell others about the vision they had just seen until He had risen from the dead? Why did Jesus postpone the setting up of His kingdom on earth (Matthew 23:37-39; John 1:11; 19:6)?

Tenderhearted/Affectionate. Before going to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again from the dead, Jesus told His disciples that all of them would forsake Him. Peter claimed that he would never do that (Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:33, 34). But then he did deny Jesus and went out and wept bitterly (Mathew 26:75). Thinking that he was totally useless, Peter went back to fishing until Jesus made an appearance to him and offered him another chance. When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, Peter could only say “Yes, Lord, You know that I [have a fond affection] for You” (John 21:3, 15-17). Peter didn’t use the same Greek word for love (agape) that Jesus did. But Jesus instructed him to feed His lambs and sheep. Do you feel washed up and useless at times? Do you have un-confessed sins in your life? If need be, confess your known sins to God (1 John 1:9) and to others if necessary (James 5:16). Then claim His promise to forgive you and move on in life. Make yourself available to God to use you as He chooses (2 Timothy 2:19-26; Isaiah 6:8). He knows where we are and may choose to use us for His glory, not ours.

Contradictory/Agreeable. Peter was loyal to the Lord and wanted Him to set up His kingdom on earth quickly (See Daniel 2:44, 45; Matthew 6:10; Acts 1:6, 7). When Jesus told the disciples that He would need to go to the cross first, Peter rebuked Jesus for talking that way. Then the Lord rebuked the devil who was using Peter to try to thwart God’s plan of salvation for all mankind (Matthew 16:21-23). On another occasion when Jesus wanted to wash Peter’s feet, he said, “You shall never wash my feet.” But Jesus responded, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (John 13:8). When Jesus said this, Peter wanted Jesus to give him a complete bath. Jesus said that wasn’t necessary. The point He was trying to make was that we only need a full cleansing from sin at the point of salvation. We can only be saved once. But when we sin as Christians, we need to confess them to God so our family fellowship can be restored when we walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:3-10). Don’t confuse judicial forgiveness (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:7) with family forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

Insightful/Dull. When Jesus asked His disciples what others were saying about Him, they told Him that some people thought He was John the Baptist, or Elijah, or Jeremiah. When Jesus asked them what they (His disciples) thought of Him, Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). This is what a person had to believe before Christ’s death and bodily resurrection if he/she wanted to be saved (See John 20:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). On another occasion Peter acknowledged the difficulty of some of the things Jesus said (John 6:60-69). He also said this about some of the Apostle Paul’s writings (2 Peter 3:15, 16).

Timid/Bold. While Jesus was being unjustly tried by the religious leaders, Peter was asked if he was Jesus’ disciple. He vehemently denied three times that he knew Jesus (Mark 14:67-71). But after he was restored to the Lord, he preached a powerful sermon to thousands of Jewish people on the Day of Pentecost and many believed on Christ and were saved (Acts 2:14ff; 4:19, 20; 5:29). Truly his life was transformed. Our lives, as Christians, can be changed too if we yield our bodies to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15). These are not preconditions for salvation as some “Lordship for salvation” teachers proclaim. We’re save by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone. Our salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Healer/Miracle Worker. As an Apostle, Peter had the ability to perform miracles (Mark 16:15-17). He healed a man who had been lame since he was born (Acts 3:7). He rebuked Ananias and Sapphira for lying to the Holy Spirit about the sale of their property which led to their premature death (Acts 5:5, 10). Many sick people were brought to Peter for healing. If his shadow passed over them, they were healed (Acts 5:15). He healed a man that had been bed ridden for eight years and who was paralyzed (Acts 9:34). He also resuscitated Dorcas back to life (Acts 9:40). We believe that these temporary spiritual gifts are not being given out to believers today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). Do you know which ones are still extant? (See “Bible Basics” on our website for more information.)

Useful. The Lord used an ignorant fisherman like Peter to bring glory to God and for others to come to learn about the true and living God (Acts 4:12). He loves to use those of us whom the world considers to be foolish, weak, base, and despised to confound those who think of themselves as being wise, mighty, and noble (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). If you’re a true Christian, would you like to be useful to God? You can be. If you’re not a Christian, why not “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ right now as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? By one act of faith you can/will be saved.

Help. We’re here to assist those who aren’t sure of their salvation and to help believers grow in the Lord, serve Him and other productively, and reproduce themselves in this world. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We also invite you to listen to our messages on the Internet.

Can you identify yourself with my story?

Perhaps you have longed to go to heaven when you die and avoid hell. But maybe you’ve thought that you couldn’t be saved because you honestly don’t believe that you could meet all the impossible conditions you’ve heard from religious leaders such as: Follow Christ,” “Surrender to Him,” Be willing to obey Him,” “Commit yourself fully to Him,” “Turn from your sin,” “Be willing to sacrifice everything,” “Give everything up for the Kingdom,” “Deny yourself,” “Fulfill all the demands of discipleship,” or something else. 

Honestly, how could anyone know for sure if he/she had met all these conditions for salvation?  Is it any wonder that so few people are saved and have assurance of salvationMany people who call themselves “Christians” are trying to maintain their salvation by their good works?  My friend, from start to finish, Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9; Philippians 1:6).

I didn’t have assurance of my salvation until I was in my second year of college. At that time I came across a verse in the Scriptures that said, These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in the name [person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13). The word believe” stuck out in my mind. It is used about 100 times in John’s Gospel as the only condition for our salvation.

My friend, you can be saved the Scriptural way as I was many years ago. We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone who died for your sins…and who rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  We’re not saved by our good works lest any of us should boast. Good works should/will follow salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10).  Without them we won’t be able to convince other people that we are true Christians (James 2:18-20). The good works that God want us to do are associated with the spiritual gifts that He has given to each Christian.  Would you like to learn more about them?  If so, ask.

Please don’t try to make the conditions for spiritual growth and maturity the conditions for your salvation.  If you do, you won’t have assurance of your salvation and you will confuse others who need and want to be saved. 

If you aren’t absolutely sure of your salvation, we’re here to help you if you’re willing to believe the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:15-17).  It is the final authority.

For additional articles to help you know, grow, serve, and share, we invite you to read some of our other articles at this site. If this one has helped you, please let us know how it has.  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.