Encouraging Real Christian Growth


“….Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”   (2 Peter 3:18a).


Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-11 These opening verses of 2 Peter are the focus for our message, but the theme is summarized in the closing verse of this Epistle, 2 Peter 3:18a.



INTRODUCTION:  “Real men ……” Real women……” “Real Christians ……. grow!” To be more precise (according to the Apostle Peter) a real knowledge of Christ and a real experience of His grace will lead to growth in Christian character. This is the Apostle’s “thesis” as he exhorts his readers in 2 Peter and confronts false teachers and teaching.

Let’s consider how Peter addresses this matter of Christian growth in the first part of his Epistle. We will consider three fundamental truths related to Christian growth. There is much more to this subject than we can cover at this...

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Still Faithful After All These Years

                                     Read Joshua 14:6-15, 15:13-19 (ESV)


Few would question that faithfulness a very important attribute or quality. We know that our Lord is forever faithful, and we praise Him for that. One of my favorite hymns is “Great is The Faithfulness.” Starting with His daily mercies towards us, continuing with His faithfulness throughout the seasons of life, and concluding with the many blessings He has and will provide, this hymn helps us celebrate our God’s faithfulness.

At the same time, we are called to be faithful, and especially faithful to the Lord Himself. Faithfulness can be described as a PERSONAL CONSISTENT CONTINUOUS COMMITMENT to a person or community in relationship. Faithfulness can be spoken of in relation to a responsibility received, in relation to a pledge made, in relation to a practice or lifestyle undertaken, or...

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Are you living in the Light?

The Light of the World is Jesus

Just for a few minutes, I want us to think about one statement, one claim that the Lord Jesus Christ made about Himself. It is found in one of the four gospels, John’s gospel, John 8:12 (NKJV):

Then, Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Let’s remember that the writer, the Apostle John, clearly states the purpose of his gospel, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). The Apostle has selected his material carefully, which includes the various powerful claims that Jesus made about Himself. We have just read one of those claims.

Let’s think about this claim, especially in the broader context of John’s gospel. Jesus is speaking in the immediate context to people including religious leaders who were constantly...

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Singing A New Song

What Kind of Song are You Singing?

Read Revelation 5:1-14

To get a better handle on our situation on earth, it helps to get a fresh vision of what’s happening in heaven. We don’t do this to escape our responsibilities, we do this to gain a better perspective, a better picture of God, and greater courage to face the present challenges of our world. Having only an earth-bound perspective can lead to pessimism and even despair. Ultimately an “earthbound” perspective is limited and inadequate. Biblical truth helps us to gain the right perspective and to gain strength in the Lord to be “overcomers,” to be victorious Christians as we face the very real challenges of our day.

So, come with me as we let the exiled Apostle John, himself a victim of persecution, give us a vision beyond the limits of our world. We will not only see things beyond our limited understanding, but we will enter into the worship and wonder of heaven. Indeed, we will join in the...

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July 1 Note from Dr. David Olford

dr. david olford Jul 01, 2020

Dear Friend of Olford Ministries International,

Greetings in Jesus’ Name! 

I am happy to announce that we are scheduling two Institute events for the last quarter of this year, 2020.

The first is our “Essentials of Expository Preaching and Teaching” Institute. This is scheduled for Tuesday through Friday, October 20-23. This will be a time for practical training and spiritual encouragement.

The personal, practical and spiritual aspects of the preparation and delivery of Biblical Expository messages will be our focus.  This event will be held at GMF’s Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, Tennessee. The facilities here will be ready for those who come. We will follow whatever guidelines are recommended at the time. Our numbers will be limited to provide adequate social distancing.

This event will provide instruction, interaction, fellowship, and spiritual enrichment. There will be a workshop session where participants will discuss two passages of...

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24 June Note from Dr. David Olford

dr. david olford Jun 25, 2020

Dear Friend of Olford Ministries International,

Greetings in Jesus’ Name!

I just returned home late last night from a ministry trip.  As I write this email, I am reflecting on my time away and the devotional on Job 28 being sent out this week.  I think almost everyone wants “wisdom” to handle the difficulties, the trials and the sufferings of this life.

There are many lessons from the Book of Job but certainly a primary lesson is - you gain a better perspective on suffering if you have a better personal knowledge of God Himself. That’s how the Book of Job ends. Unanswered questions remain but Biblical wisdom begins with God’s revelation of Himself. That revelation may not “take the pain away” for us, even though Job experienced a reversal of circumstances. So, what help do we have as we suffer or experience the pains and weaknesses of this life?

One of the messages I delivered while away was based on Romans 8:26-27, the...

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Wisdom is Out of this World

TEXT: “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12 ESV) “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:20 ESV)

INTRODUCTION: Those who suffer personally can struggle to understand why they are suffering and they may feel that they have no access to God to plead their case. This was the experience of Job revealed in the Biblical book by his name, Job. We certainly have gained a fuller understanding of suffering through our Suffering Savior and His Cross and Resurrection.  But, there is still the need for wisdom as we live in this world filled with suffering. Indeed, it is after addressing the issue of trials that James instructs and encourages his readers with these words: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God…….” (James 1:5). Ultimately, as we will see, Job 28 will point us in the same direction.

The 28th chapter of Job contains a poem on...

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Five Foundational Convictions

dr. david olford Jun 18, 2020

Greetings in Jesus’ Name!

I hope you are staying well. Thank you for your interest in O.M.I. It means a lot to us. We appreciate your fellowship, and we hope that our ministry is a blessing to you.

We are in serious danger as the people of God if we think that the passing on of Biblical truth from one generation to the next is an automatic process. 

Generations can come up “who [do] not know the Lord, nor …. the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10), and now for us in Christ!! God has ordained that His great plan of redemption and salvation is to be communicated (passed on) so that His truth can be embraced with faith and obedience (2 Timothy 2:1-2). Matthew 28:18-20, and Acts 1:8 are still mandates to follow along with 2 Timothy 4:2. So, the truth of God’s Word must be proclaimed and taught. 

We (as a ministry) seek to be a small part of the great “passing on” project which spreads the Word of God not only...

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The Jesus Mission Today

TEXT: “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,…….. “ (Matthew 9:35-36a, Read Matthew 9:35-10:5a)

INTRODUCTION: The mission of Jesus continues today. The Book of Acts records the start of the mission to the nations as it spread outward from Jerusalem to Rome, but in this text, the mission is restricted to Israel. So, we are seeing Jesus in action and on mission in Israel. But, this text gives us a pattern to follow and principles to apply as we are on mission with Jesus today by the power of the Holy Spirit. To be fully involved in Jesus’ Mission today:

 1. We Must Grasp the Nature of Jesus’ Ministry (verse 35)

 a) Jesus’ ministry was incarnational - “And Jesus went throughout the cities and villages…”

Verse 35 is a summary...

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10 June Note from Dr. David Olford

dr. david olford Jun 10, 2020

Greetings to you!

We are finishing our study of Luke 17:11-19 this week. We saw our Lord’s mercy and cleansing last week, and now we will focus on the worthiness of our Lord to receive sincere worship and genuine faith. Praise His Name!

The Lord is also worthy of His gospel being preached faithfully with integrity, clarity, and boldness. We need to be aware of subtle ways that we can compromise the gospel.

I have been looking back through an incredibly insightful book that I read years ago. The book is called, The Gravedigger File*, written by Os Guinness. It was first published in 1983. Os Guinness is exposing subtle challenges (and some less than subtle) to genuine Christian discipleship and especially the Western Church as a whole. The book is written as if it contains secret papers presenting “a sinister design to sabotage Western Christianity,” a plot titled, “Operation Gravedigger.” What Os Guinness presented in 1983 still has relevance today.


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