Rejoicing in Suffering – Mediation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Rejoicing in Suffering – Mediation of the Studies in 1 Peter

This confidence is captured in the beautiful last verse of our quoted passage: “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.” William Barclay tells us that the word we translate “entrust” is a technical term for depositing money with a trusted friend: “In the ancient days there were no banks and few really safe places in which to deposit money. So, before a man went on a journey, he often left his money in the safe keeping of a friend. Such a trust was regarded as one of the most sacred things in life. The friend was absolutely bound by all honour and all religion to return the money intact.” (Barclay, James and Peter, p.261) Then he adds this truth: “If a man entrusts himself to God, God will not fail him. If such a trust is sacred to men, how much more is it sacred to God.”

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Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what he wants for all of his disciples, to draw us into complete reliance on and trust in him. He wants for us to put out into the deep, to leave everything behind and surrender our whole lives to him—our hopes, our dreams, our wounds and weariness, all of it—in order that give all of himself to us. And in order to do that, he very often has to poke and prod at precisely those areas where we are most wounded, most weary. But he does not do so out of callousness; he does so out of love, so that he might pour his unfailing love into those areas of our lives and we might experience his abundant life.

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Living For Christ’s Return – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Living For Christ’s Return – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

…our Lord’s promise to come again is our great hope, the hope of the return of the king and the establishment of his kingdom right here on earth as it is in heaven. It is the promise that right and goodness, justice, love and mercy will prevail and that evil will be held to account. It is the promise that a life well lived is not in vain and that one lived for evil will not escape a verdict. That is, it is the promise that this life and how we live it really matters.

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A Ministry of Healing and Redemption – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

A Ministry of Healing and Redemption – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…the same ministry of healing, liberation and redemption to which Our Lord was called as Messiah and Son of God, is the same ministry to which we all are called as sons and daughters of God, a ministry that cares deeply and works endlessly not just for the spiritual well-being of the world around us, but also for its physical and emotional, because this is the heart of God and, as Joel Green reminds us progeny are meant to exhibit the qualities of their parents.

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Forgiven and Empowered – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Forgiven and Empowered – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

In other words, when we come to faith and are baptized something really happens to us. We are not just forgiven and sent on our way to try to do better. Rather, we are truly freed from the grip of sin and empowered to live the life to which we are called. This, of course, is not to say that in the face of long habit within and allure or coercion without that it will be easy. It is not to say that we will not on many occasions fail. Rather, it is to say that failure is not final and success is sure if we but persevere and continually surrender ourselves to God’s grace.

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Testing or Trusting? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Testing or Trusting? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…it is important to note that this type of testing is not at all the same thing as struggling to trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness in the midst of darkness or difficulty. The Bible (particularly the psalms) is full of examples of faithful people crying out to the Lord as they try to reconcile their pain or suffering with what they’ve been told about God’s character…The difference is that, in doing so, they do not judge him a liar or unfaithful, though they may struggle with fears that this is true at times; rather they struggle to hold on, reminding themselves of his promises and calling to mind his past acts of faithfulness in their lives so that these might be a buoy of hope in the midst of the storm. Far from a lack of faith or testing to God, they ultimately witness to a depth of faith that is both exemplary and beautiful.

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A Driving Passion – A Meditation on John 7:16-18

A Driving Passion – A Meditation on John 7:16-18

Jesus is the man I was meant to be, and am not yet; but by God’s grace, I can be…

So, how can we become what we are meant to be but are not yet?

We must lean into it and ask God’’s help… We must begin consciously seeking God’’s glory and doing his will in every situation and not give up until it is the very thing we most want to do in life. We will fail, but we must repent, be forgiven, and try again in the firm assurance that, by God’’s unfailing grace, we shall become who we were always intended to be: – those who from the heart say, “”My food is to do the will of him who sent me and accomplish His work”.”

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Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what is at stake for Jesus in the wilderness, and indeed for all of us in our lives. Worship is not fundamentally about the postures we strike, the songs we sing, or the words we pronounce (though all of these are vitally important to worship); it is about answering with the whole of our lives the question, “Whom do you serve?”; and our answer to that question will ultimately be evident in the way we treat others, the way we treat our bodies, the way we perform our duties and responsibilities, indeed in every detail great and small that makes up our lives, for in the words of Ravi Zacharias, “Worship is coextensive with all of life”.

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“That He Might Lead You To God…” – Meditation of the Studies in 1Peter

“That He Might Lead You To God…” – Meditation of the Studies in 1Peter

Clearly this is what is asked of us in baptism, a wholehearted “Yes” to the question, “Will you live for him who died for you?” It is a pledge we can renew each time we enter church, dip our fingers in the baptismal waters, and make the sign of the Cross. It is a pledge we can renew every morning as we rise from bed and every night when we retire. Isn’t today is the perfect time to make the intentional renewal of your commitment to follow and obey Jesus, the renewal of your baptismal pledge, a regular practice of your daily life? Be assured that as you draw close to Him, He will draw close to you.

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Unwavering Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Unwavering Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

One of the most fundamental steps of living into our sonship and daughtership in Christ is to demonstrate the same unwavering trust we see in Jesus in the wilderness by, likewise, determining not to fulfill our own desires (however right or needful) in our own way or in our own time (however easily we might be able to do so), but rather to surrender our lives to his Kingdom, trusting in his provision and timing, and above all His unfailing love.

For He that promised is faithful (Heb 10:23).

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