Thursday, December 23, 2010

1 Peter 1:10-12 - Why Read the Old Testament?

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:10-12

Summary: The salvation given to you is the same that was revealed to the prophets.

Thoughts: The writer of this letter thought that the entire Old Testament was simply anticipation and preparation for the coming of Christ and the salvation that we gained from his death and resurrection. Although I don't agree that the Hebrew scriptures can be read only as preparation for Christ, I do think that they are important. They give us great insight into God and help us see how the story of God's people progressed throughout the Scriptures. For me, this text is a reminder that God has been at work for thousands of years. Even the prophets of the Old Testament spoke about the grace that can be ours; grace that God freely gives us, if we are willing to take it.

Prayer: God, thank you for all of the Scripture that you have given us. Help us to study it so that we might know how You are active in the world: past, present and future. Amen.

Friday, December 17, 2010

1 Peter 1:6-9 - Do I Have to Suffer?

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:6-9

Summary: You rejoice even though you have suffered trials, so that your faith may result in praise of Christ. That faith will save your soul.

Thoughts: It seems like there are alot of Christians these days that think that God is just around to make them happy. For them their religion is something that they pull out when it is convenient. But this Scripture reminds us that knowing God does not keep us from suffering. In fact, the gospel may be the cause of our suffering! But we can get through those hard times by focusing on the relationship that we have with God, through Jesus Christ. For as this writer says, "Although you hve not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy." In this Advent season, let us remember how we love Christ and rejoice in the memory of his birth!

Prayer: Lord thank you for the gift of your Son, who brought us into this amazing relationship with you! Be with us in our suffering and in our joy. Share it all with us. Amen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

1 Peter 1:3-5 - What is your inheritance?

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-5

Summary: God has given us new birth through Christ, an inheritance that is never lost. We are protected by God's power.

Thoughts: With the economy the way it is, I often find myself worrying about how I'm going to have enough money to live on until I die. This means I'm also worrying about what sort of inheritance I will be able to leave to my children. So when Peter talks here about an inheritance we have from God that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, that sounds really good to me! I don't have to worry about my stock investments losing value or the baseball cards geting wet and molding. God is keeping my inheritance safe for me.  Because when I really look at what valuable things I am leaving my kids, what it comes down to is faith. The most important thing that we share with our children is our faith. Young people learn their faith from their parents. They see how you live out your faith each day. They see if you read the Bible, if you pray, and how you treat people around you. I'm not saying that it's not important for us to do what we can fior our children financially. It is. But it is more iimportant that we share our faith with them. If they can see that we have a strong relationship with God and how that changes our lives, they will begin to yearn for that relationship also.

Prayer: God I yearn for a better relationship with you. I want to focus on those things that will orient me in your direction and help me to follow Christ's path. Amen.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1 Peter 1:3 - the Son of God

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3

Summary: God has given us new birth through Jesus Christ.

Thoughts: I think that verse 3 summarizes the New Testament when it says "By his (God's) mercy he has gien us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Let's unpack this a little. Everything that we have is available to us because of God's mercy. Like God's grace, God's mercy is unending.  We have been given a "new birth" or another chance by God.  But we were given that chance through what Jesus Christ did for us. By being obedient to death, Christ gave us new life. Just as he was resurrected from the dead, so we will be. Jesus came to earth in human form so that we would be able to see God in him. His entire life was about showing us who God is, through his words and his actions. And when he died on the cross and God raised him up again, we saw that nothing was greater than God, including death.  I think in this Advent season it is timely to think, not just about the birth of Jesus, but also about his life and death and resurrection. The birth of Jesus, the son of God, is important, but the rest of his life is an important part of the story, as well.

Prayer: Have mercy on us, living God. During this Advent season help us to remember Your Son, who came to earth so that we might know You better. Amen.

Monday, December 6, 2010

1 Peter 1:1-2 - Are You Chosen?

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-2
Summary: Peter lists several church to whom he is writing this letter.  He says they were chosen and destined by God and sanctified by the Holy Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ.

Thoughts: I think it might be easy to read this Scripture and think that the author is saying that only certain people are chosen by God.  There are several groups who believe themselves the chosen few. If you are not one of them, you are definitely not chosen by God and are not going to be wih God after you die. I always wonder how they bring new people in to their group. How do they know who is chosen?!  These beliefs don't line up, however, with my image of God. I believe in a God who loves all of us, who loves creation, who weeps with us and rejoices with us. This God that I believe in has chosen each of us and is waiting for us to choose back.  This God came to earth in human form to show us the love of God in person. This God is best captured by the last line of this text: "May grace and peace be yours in abundance." God wants us to be in relationship with God and wants us to have grace and peace in abundance!

Prayer: God, you have chosen each of us. Let us also choose to be in relationship with you, so that we might have grace and peace in abundance! Amen.