November 26, 2020
A “ONE ANOTHER” FOR THANKSGIVING The apostle Peter reminded believers of the importance of loving and serving “one another.” This instruction included being “hospitable.” In other words, be friendly and welcoming to one another, giving of yourself and your substance as others have need. Open up both your homes and your hearts to one another.
November 25, 2020
ARE YOU ALWAYS READY TO TALK ABOUT JESUS? The apostle Peter wrote to encourage those who were being persecuted not to fear nor worry about those who threatened them. Instead of giving into fear and worry, they were to “sanctify” and “be ready.” The word “sanctify” has as its first meaning, “to make holy.”
November 22, 2020
WHAT IS THIS LIVING HOPE? The apostle Peter wrote of the “living hope” that we have by faith in the Resurrected One, Jesus Christ. But what is it? The word “hope” we understand. It is the expectation and desire for a certain thing to come to pass. Yet why call it “living?” The first
November 24, 2019
SET FREE TO SERVE NOT TO SIN As exiles in this world, citizens of the kingdom of heaven, we have been set free from slavery to sin and the world’s system. We live in this world, but we are not of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. Yet, this freedom is not a license
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
November 22, 2019
HOW TO BE TRULY GLAD Dear brother and sister in Christ, have you learned the art of being truly glad? The apostle Peter knew this gladness. In this one verse, he shared his secret. First, focus on the “wonderful joy ahead.” For we have a priceless inheritance being kept for us in heaven, and not
November 26, 2018
LOVE COVERS ALL WITHOUT A COVER-UP
The apostle Peter emphasized the importance of staying together as a Christian community in the face of increasing persecution. The “most important” feature of such a unified community is love. For love doesn’t look for offense or imperfection. Indeed, it overlooks such things, keeping “no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5).
In Genesis 9, Noah’s son, Ham, saw his father’s drunken nakedness and told his brothers about it. However, Shem and Japheth backed into Noah’s tent, covering him with a robe, not wishing to see their father in such a state. Which of the sons acted in love? Wasn’t it the ones who covered their father’s sin?
Peter’s instruction is a reference to the Proverb, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Prov. 10:12). This is not an encouragement to cover-up, compounding one’s sin by lying about it or failing to confront it privately. No, it is a covering of love that patiently seeks to maintain relationship through thick and thin. It looks for the best in others, rather than fault-finding. Love helps the sinner make things right.
It was God’s great love that moved Him to send Christ to be the covering for our sins. For Christ is our covering. His blood has covered our sins. And we are hidden in Him, having “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27), we are now all one in Him. And since our sins are covered, there is no need to cover-up. We can be ourselves in Christ, knowing that we are deeply loved.
November 25, 2018
CHRIST’S POSITION GIVES MEANING TO OUR EXPERIENCE
In the context of encouraging the suffering recipients of his letter, Peter reminded them of Christ’s sufferings, His resurrection and current position of honor. This reminds us that suffering is temporary and that one day we shall be raised to eternal life with Christ. It also strengthens us in our suffering, for Christ is already in authority over all things, so that He is able to help us when we call on Him.
Yet, one other truth is implied, which Paul named in his letter to the Colossians. Speaking of our position in Christ, Paul wrote, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3). So, even though we may suffer experientially in this world, our “real life” is already positionally at the right of the Father in Christ. One day, our experience and our position will be one. For we “shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn. 3:2).
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.
November 22, 2018
A BENEDICTION FOR THANKSGIVING DAY
On this Thanksgiving Day 2018, may this benediction be yours. For God has already given so much and more to us. He loved us so much that He gave us His Son, Jesus. This is grace, which is God’s unmerited favor, freely given to those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Peace is the result of this grace received, peace with God and with one another. For Christ is our reconciliation with God and following Him, we have received the ministry of reconciliation, declaring to everyone that God is no longer counting our sins against those who trust Christ.
Yet, the benediction goes further, asking God to give “more and more,” so that our cups runneth over with grace and peace!
Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving Day!