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November 23

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“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart” (1 Peter 1:22 NLT).

From: November 23, 2019

THE DISTINGUISHING MARK OF TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS LOVE

The apostle Peter taught that the foundation of being a Christ-follower is obedience to the truth, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the one who has believed that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and raised on the third day, has been cleansed of their sins, justified by faith apart from works. Yet, the distinguishing mark of this justification is love. For the believer has a sincere and familial love for other believers. Sincere, meaning without any hypocrisy or hidden motive. And familial, in that their love for fellow believers is like that for brothers and sisters. Since this mark of love for one another is evidence of the new purified soul, Peter instructs us to love deeply and whole-heartedly.
 
Peter had learned this teaching from Jesus, who said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
 
Peter no doubt must have remembered Christ’s thrice repeated question to him, “Peter, do you love Me?”, as he wrote this epistle. For faith may be the foundation, but love is the mark of true Christianity.
 
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You first loved us. Fill us afresh with Your Spirit, so that we carry the mark of love, which is the first and greatest aspect of the Spirit’s fruit. Help us to love as You love, so that the world will know that we are Your disciples. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Peter 2:5 NLT).

From: November 23, 2018

WHO BUILDS THE CHURCH?
The Church is not a place, but a people. We have not built it, we are being built into it. While God builds the Church, we are to be the Church. For we are all “holy priests,” offering worship to God through meditation of Christ, the Cornerstone and Great High Priest.
 
Christ told Peter, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). So, Christ is Cornerstone, Capstone and Builder. And we are the bricks. Our role is not to BUILD the church. Our role is to BE the church. If we will BE the church, Christ will BUILD the church.

“as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2 NKJV).

From: November 23, 2017

How much does a newborn desire mother’s milk? With that level of desire for nourishment and intimacy, the believer is to desire the Word of God. It contains all that the believer needs for spiritual health and growth to maturity. The newborn longs for mother’s breast not only for food, but for comfort. In this too, the Word offers solace and care for the believer as the Spirit applies the “Theopneustos” (“God-breathed” – 2 Tim. 3:16) comfort to their troubled soul.
 
Do you desire the pure milk of God’s Word today? It’s study is necessary for your spiritual growth. Your desire for it is evidence of your spiritual birth. Do you love God’s Word?

“On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a young bull for a sin offering.” (Ezekiel 45:22 ESV)

From: November 23, 2016

Who is this “prince?” And where is this temple wherein such offerings are to be made? Ezekiel’s prophecy of a temple, and a “prince” that brings offerings while standing at the eastern gate, has yet to be fulfilled. The temple that was rebuilt by Zerubbabel after the Babylonian exile, and later enlarged by King Herod, did not approach the immensity and grandeur described by Ezekiel. There has been no temple worship since 70 AD when the Romans destroyed it. If Ezekiel’s prophecy is to be taken literally, then it must be considered yet unfulfilled. It appears to point to the time of the Millennium, the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth, when Ezekiel’s temple, a Millennial Temple, will stand again in a new Jerusalem. However, the identity of the “prince” remains elusive. Many see him as the Messiah, the Christ, because of his special mediatorial role, however, there is a major difficulty with this–– Christ has no need to “provide for himself” a sin offering (see Heb. 7:27). So, the identity of the “prince” remains a mystery to those of us who seek to understand such things with a high view of Scripture. Who is this “prince?” Only God knows.

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way” (Psalm 119:37 NKJV)

From: November 23, 2015

A prayer for godly perspective and vision. “Lord, turn my eyes from ‘worthless’ (vain, empty, deceitful) things, and put them on Your eternal things.” Our eyes are continually bombarded with worldly advertising, especially (and ironically) during the Christmas season. We are tempted to spend our worship on worthless things that will not fulfill and will not last. And having spent our worship in the wrong place, we have nothing left for God. As Jesus said, “Do not store up your treasure on earth” but instead “store them up in heaven” (Matt. 6:19-20). And as Paul said, “Set you eyes and affections on things above, not on earthly things” (Col.3:1-2). Stop seeking worthless things and start seeking eternal things.

“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Peter 2:5 NLT)

From: November 23, 2014

The Church is not a place, but a people. We have not built it, we are being built into it. While God builds the Church, we are to be the Church. For we are all “holy priests,” offering worship to God through meditation of Christ, the Cornerstone and Great High Priest.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9)

From: November 23, 2013

This beautiful verse describes our place in the Father’s heart as His people. Take special note that we are “his own possession.” In other words, He made us for Himself. We are His. And we belong to HIm in order to “proclaim the excellencies” of Christ, the One who brought us out of “darkness into marvelous light.” Augustine reflected on this saying, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee.”

“So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world” (1 Peter 1:13)

From: November 23, 2012

“Think clearly and exercise self-control” – A good word on Black Friday. “Look forward to salvation in Jesus” – A good goal on any and every day!

“You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23)

From: November 23, 2011

Since the Word was planted in you, endeavor to be good soil so that it grows and multiplies producing a spiritual harvest. Crave the Word so that you may grow thereby. Sow the Word so that others may know rebirth.