Monday, January 24, 2011

1 Peter 2:1-3 - tasting God?

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:1-3

Summary: Get rid of all malice, guile, insincerity, envy, and slander. Long for the pure, spiritual milk.

Thoughts: Get rid of all the bad stuff in your life, this scripture says. Rid yourself of it. Throw it away. Then, like babies, we should long for the "pure, spiritual milk." Clean your life and then feed yourself on the purest of foods, the spiritual milk from God, so that you can grow in salvation. We must work every day at our salvation, changing our lives, making different choices, so that we can slowly change ourselves into the likeness of Christ.  And this scripture ends on an interesting note. All of this we should do "if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good."  We have heard all of our lives that "God is good.'  And we have seen many instances where the Lord provided good things for us. But have we tasted that the Lord is good? Has God become such an integral part of us that we have tasted the God is good? I know that I have tasted that God is good during communion. As I ingested the body and blood of Christ, given for me, I have known with my entire being that God is good. All the time. And so, in response, I will try to clean my life and feed myself on pure, spiritual milk so that I may grow in God. Thanks be to God.

Prayer: Help me to work this day on cleaning out my life so that I can feed on your pure, spiritual milk. Amen.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1 Peter 1:22-25 - born anew into love

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:22-25

Summary: You have purified your souls and have genuine mutuual love, so love one another. You have been born anew through the word of God. Our flesh withers but the word of God endures forever.

Thoughts: I have just finished a week at Perkins School of Youth Ministry.  If you have never been, PSYM is a place were youth ministers gather from across the country to learn and fellowship together. I always leave PSYM feeling renewed.and challenged to continue God's work of bringing young people into relationship with God through Christ. Although it is easy to get disillusioned and disheartened by the state of the world, the state of the economy, or the state of youth today, I gain new hope from the stories of these people who work daily with youth. I find comfort in learning that I am not the only one dealing with the problems that I face and I always come away from PSYM with new ideas for my ministry. This scripture today reminds me of PSYM in 2 aspects. First, it tells us to "love one another deeply from the heart." I heard over and over again this week that relationships are the key to youth ministry. So I am returning my focus this year to loving each youth that I encounter, hoping that a glimpse of God's love for that person may be seen in my love.  Second, the scripture says that "You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God." We have been born again. We all have the chance to remake ourselves in the image of God, as shown us by Jesus Christ. Let's take that chance, each day, to be like God as we love one another deeply!

Prayer: Loving and passionate God, create in me a new desire to be like You, to love all of those around me. Remind me each day that I have the chance, in that day, to start afresh, living my life following Christ. Amen.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1 Peter 1:17-21 - Christ leads us, will you follow?

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:17-21

Summary: You were ransomed from the futile ways of the world by Christ. Through him you come to know God.

Thoughts: Some folks get all caught up in the 'blood of Christ.' It becomes so important that Christ died for their sins that they forget what else Christ did. He lived a life that showed us how awesome God is. He told us stories and parables that explain how much God loves us, just as we are. Yes, he did die and that is important to the story. But it's important because after he died he was resurrected by God, proving that even death had no power over him. So my favorite part of this scripture is at the end. "Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God." Jesus Christ points us to God and leads us to the pathway of God. The entire story is important from birth to death to resurrection. Christ did die for us but he also beat death for us so we no longer have to fear death!  Let us set our faith and hope on God so that we too might follow in the footsteps of Christ.

Prayer: God help me to trust in you and learn to set my faith and hope on you, in all things. Just as Jesus Christ taught us to. Amen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

1 Peter 1:13-16 - Living the Christian life

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-16

Summary: We need to discipline ourselves and be holy as God is holy.

Thoughts: Living a Christian life really has two parts. (It might have more, but today I'm focusing on 2!) First we have to learn about God, through Christ. We learn about God and God's people in the Old Testament and we learn about Jesus Christ and what he showed us about God in the New Testament. Learning about God helps us to build up our faith. But what happens as we develop our faith? A strong faith begins to show on the outside. We begin to be more like Jesus. We begin to show concern for others. We begin to strive to be holy. And we continue to move in God's direction all of our lives. We continue learning more about God and it continues to show in who we are and what we do. We should never stop growing and seeking God. And it should never stop showing up in our lives.

Prayer: God, may I become so focused on you that it just automatically spills out of me and into the lives of everyone around me. Amen.