Saturday, August 27, 2016

Peter abides - part 1

Since Peter walked with Jesus when He was on earth, it's special to hear from him, a personal friend to Jesus. He, too, would be a good mentor in learning how to abide in Jesus. I read 1 Peter 1 with that perspective and put it in my own language:

Part 1

1 Peter is proud to be called a follower; it's his closest association, his highest credential in writing this letter. He addresses his audience with an inclusive tone

2 but especially addresses God's chosen/elect that God knew from the beginning of time. The Holy Trinity was there from the beginning. (What a privilege to be called!) Peter gives a rich greeting and blessing. (How eloquent with words this fisherman has become!)

3 Knowing the Son helps us know the Father. Peter has seen Him and walked with Him. We have new birth and living hope in Him

4 and a protected inheritance, set aside waiting for us.

5 We are protected and preserved, too, until we can one day all be together in Heaven.

6 This is the joyful hope we have even though some days are dark and difficult. The road may seem long now, but ...

7 ... there is purpose in these trials. They refine our faith, make us better and stronger, more like Jesus, bringing all glory and honor and praise to God. (The pain will be worth it all!)

8 Peter gives a good definition of faith here -- we are loving and believing in what we do not see, having great joy while we wait.

9 We practice abiding in Him now; because we'll abide in Him forever -- there is much more to come! be continued.

Lord, thank you for giving us letters from Peter, someone who lived with you, ate with you, traveled with you, had numerous meaningful conversations with you. Through his eye witness, we can learn more about you. Help us to put into practice what we've heard from him. Let us please you by living with joyful hope.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Live Deeply

This morning I enjoyed some precious time soaking in God’s Word while the rain soaked into our thirsty lawn and gardens.

I was reading John’s letters. Here is a disciple who walked with Jesus – God incarnate – while He was on the earth. He proudly proclaims he is “the one Jesus loved.” (Can’t we all proclaim that?) John walked with Him, he knew Him well, now he writes with passion about how we can “live deeply in Christ.” How blessed we are to read the words of a close comrade to Christ. If anyone knew how to abide, it would be John.
“Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way,” John says. “Keep his commandments. If someone claims, ‘I know Him well,’ but doesn’t keep His commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s words is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” (1 John 2 MSG)
John reminds us that our sins are forgiven in Christ, the burden’s been lifted. We need to now walk in the light, as nearly and completely as we can. “Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father,” he says. “The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”

Dear Lord, thank you for preserving the words of John for us. Today I want your words to live deeply in me so that I can live deeply in you. Help me to hold fast to them and follow them. You are light and there is no darkness in you. Light my way so I can walk in your light.