Perspectives from First Peter One

I Peter 1:3                                   img_1793

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

And let’s stop right there.  

This isn’t that leisurely and relaxing meal, complete with hors d’oeuvres, soup, salad, entree, dessert and coffee.  You are a sleep deprived mommy.  You are suffering the brain fog of jet lag.  Or you are exhausted from crying tears that won’t stop.  You don’t have the quiet, the energy, the focus to take in a whole chapter or to closet yourself for concentrated prayer.  But your soul must be fed, nonetheless.  And you must worship.  Even a “lick of the spoon”, when the morsel is God’s word served to you by the Holy Spirit, is satisfying to the soul.  This may be that lick!

Scripture was written that we might know God.  Peter wrote this letter so that the reader, then and in the present day, would know God better and believe Him.  Does that seem a little irrelevant to your life right now?  What about application?  There has to be some tidy “take-away” from each devotion or Bible study, right?  This time, our “take-away” is a deeper understanding of our God.  It is only as the Holy Spirit enlightens our heart and mind to know God, through Jesus Christ, that we truly know ourselves.   The Spirit reveals our true self to us as a result of knowing God.  Only then can we rightly apply “what we have learned”.  Let’s move on to better understand God!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Ours.  Yours and mine.  But is he?  Is he yours?  Or more to the point – are you his?  Do you identify yourself as a person whom God has chosen from before the beginning of time to receive the gift of salvation offered only through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ?  The apostle Peter wrote these words, addressing them to a group of people who put their faith in Jesus.  If you are included in this group, the letter (I Peter) and this meditation, are for you.  [More meat:  Read and ponder the first two verses of the letter, if you have a bit more time down the road.]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Lord.  He is the universal king – Lord.  He is the sovereign.  No circumstance, situation, or person is outside the realm of his rule and authority.  And that means you.  The opportunities, the material blessings and the sunshine of your day are not happy coincidences.  They are directly ordered by your King. Your present trials and the grief that engulfs you all passed through his hand first.  Does that disturb you, even anger you?  Practice seeing yourself and your day through this lens. Where do you need to correct your definition of “Lord”?  [More meat:  John 20:26-28]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Jesus means Savior.  He is the Savior, your own Savior. His is the only name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  Saved from what?  Specifically, he saves us from God’s wrath, which we justly deserve, by taking all our sin upon himself.  God directed the full force of his righteous anger on Jesus as he hung on the cross to die in our place.  Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way for God to forgive us, and remove our guilt and shame, to make us free indeed!  If that were the only good thing that ever happened to you in your whole life, it would be more than enough.  [More meat: Acts 4:12, John 3:36 and Romans 5:9]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Christ.  The Messiah or the Promised One.  The One that God would send to save his people from their sins.  God kept his promise!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

To bless God is to praise him.  And this is the application Peter intends for us.  Acknowledge the excellency of God who orchestrated your salvation and makes life possible.  This very God is Father of our Lord.  Who can consider this without marveling at the excellent mystery of the God-head:  one God in three persons?  [Matthew 3:16-17 is just one instance in Scripture where we get a glimpse of each of the Persons revealing himself simultaneously.]

I got down on my knees, eye level with my son.  Cupping his chin in my hands I gently turned his face to mine.  “Look right at me, son.  Give me your full attention.”  This is what God does to you and I.  Today, right now, he instructs each of us to stop, even for just a minute, and look at him – our Sovereign Ruler, our Savior, the One the world has waited for – and bless him.

May I suggest a way for you, a busy, stretched or burdened friend, to do that?  Take a 3×5 card and fold it in half.  Write out I Peter 1:3* and put it where you keep your phone.  At the stop light, while waiting for the microwave to ding, before bed, when you get up … anytime when you would normally grab your phone, grab this card first and read it.  Pick one of the words to chew (not literally, of course!), just like I’ve demonstrated above.  Let your mind dwell for 60 seconds, often during the day, on a different word in the verse.  Chew.  Savor.  Praise.  Rest your soul.

God’s Holy Spirit will use a verse that doesn’t even seem to speak directly to your present trial or circumstance to teach you, comfort, and counsel you.  Taste and see!

*I normally use the New King James or English Standard Version.  These translations are more literal, using language that is usually specific and precise, encouraging my mind to dig for the truth treasure that is presented.
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