Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings:
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea;
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
Who among us are God’s elect? Am I? Are you? Peter refers to the elect as strangers in the world scattered throughout various regions. God’s elect are those chosen according to God’s foreknowledge; your life and mine too in God’s merciful plan. The Holy Spirit indwells the elect and sets us apart to live in holy obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. You, me, if we are among God’s elect, his great mercy has awakened our spiritually dead hearts! Born again! Yes! Pursuing by God’s power, rejoicing with blessed assurance, proclaiming and overflowing the joy of being given new birth into a living hope. Indeed, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Beloved, to be chosen by God guarantees an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. You, me, and all those who truly believe are family in Christ—we, the elect of God, are the redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus, who inherit the gift of eternal life with our triune God in glory. Moreover, through faith, (belief that supernaturally changes the elect’s whole disposition: perspectives, desires, goals, etc.) the elect are shielded by God’s power until our precious salvation is fully realized when Jesus returns.
Meeting with brothers today talking about and encouraging one another with gospel truth. Week after week, we talk about genuine faith, our battles against sinful ways, the world, the Devil’s schemes. Oh, the pursuit toward maturity certainly involves many trials, heartache, slips, conviction, confession, forgiveness, and repentance. Yes, we rejoice in our new birth, and the power of God manifest, especially as we fight the good fight of faith. A brother asked, why suffering? Peter answers, “…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
My greatest desire is that the brothers, and all God’s elect, grow, develop, mature, in love for Jesus—nurture, cry out for, pursue that supernatural longing, genuine faith/belief that is accompanied by a disciplined, obedient new life in Christ accompanied by inexpressible joy! “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…” Let’s get this biblically right. A proven genuine faith! By God’s grace, the elect, many times, do experience supernatural joy through the struggles, trials, even in pain inherent in this life because we (God’s elect) are receiving the goal of genuine faith, the inexpressible joy, through God’s empowering presence. Yes! The anticipated glorious future salvation in the present day to day journey.
I need Thy presence every passing hour:
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness:
Where is death’s sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
First Baptist Church 1912 Arnold Way, Alpine.
Brothers are meeting Friday morning to pray! Join us if your schedule allows. 0730
Sisters are meeting too! Joy! Pray and encourage continually… 0900.
 1 Peter 1:22-23
 1 Peter 1:3-5
 Ibid v. 6-7
 Ibid v. 8