Friday, October 31, 2014

By His Great Mercy

Today is the day the Lord has made.  Oh....let us truly rejoice and be glad for He is awesome and wonderful.  God is in control of all that happens to us today and all that happens around the world.  He is truly what is holding it all together. 

As I sit here this morning I have turned to 1 Peter.  Just looking at the headings for the different sections of scriptures excites me.  I read the NLT version.

Salvation and the call to holiness.

Verses 3-9....The Hope of Eternal Life.

Verses 10-12....The Greatness of Salvation.

Verses 13-21....A Call to Holy Living.

As I read through the verses I felt just an unexplainable surge of excitement running through me!
Read this first section of verses. 

The Hope of Eternal Life

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. awesome is this?!  It is by His great mercy....God is protecting you by His power....
there is wonderful joy ahead....the reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls!....just these few words alone can speak peace to your soul if you really stop and think about what they mean!   

The Greatness of  Salvation

10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.
12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

And what about how Christ suffered for you?  What greater thing could anyone have done?  There is nothing....nothing can compare to His love for you!

A Call to Holy Living

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

This whole section speaks volumes to me.  I read it all the time....and I still fail....all the time.  But I will not be discouraged by my failures because I know that the ransom was paid for me! Paid for me by....the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.  And since accepting this free gift I have placed my faith and hope in God because He did raise Christ from the dead and gave Him great glory!!  

To back up in this a bit Peter tells us....Don't slip back into your old ways. He will judge you or reward you according to what you do.  We are just...."temporary residents" here.  I am excited that even though I fail in this earthly life it's all only temporary.  Why?  Because....
Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.  If our faith and hope is truly where we say it Christ....we have a lot to look forward to and we don't need to fear today or tomorrow. 

I absolutely love this  whole section of 1 Peter.  I could probably say something about every verse and how I feel about it....there is just so much in these verses!  My challenge to you today is to read them for yourself.  How do they make you feel and what do they mean to you?  What is the Lord revealing to you....making known to you....through these verses?

"until we see JESUS....face to face"

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