Psalm 17 and 1Peter 2:
Peter said we are “living stones.” Even “living stones” experience insomnia; such as when the roar of the heavens and flashes of lightning blow across the landscape. What do you do in those hours as you wonder what the new morning will provide? Although the psalmist most likely was not lying awake in a thunderstorm, he was using his precious nighttime to listen to God and do some self-reflection. How about us? Do we spend time in the night hours reflecting and allowing the Illuminating Holy Spirit to do his work? If we listen we might hear well done OR we may hear him whisper you grieved me and quenched my work within you. It is at that time that we are to apply Peter’s wise counsel: “abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” These are our natural appetites that appeal to our sinful nature and proving we are double-minded as James says.
Thus, we see why the psalmist said: “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.” Yes, we purpose and we did that yesterday and the day before and will do it again tomorrow. We are a fickle people who often need this time of self-reflection to see our conformity to this world and why we need the transforming power of the Word to renew our minds. And it must be a daily, moment by moment struggle but we can begin with that purpose as we submit to the Lord.
Beloved, like this living stone, let’s make conscious decisions to do some self-correction much like a sailor does out on the water.
This year Queen Elizabeth will turn 90. She has boldly claimed that she is a believer in God and His Son Jesus Christ. One of these days her earthly crown will be changed to an eternal crown for she is not just of earthly aristocracy but is of the heavenly aristocracy. Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for their inheritance was and is imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people
Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for their inheritance was and is imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people
Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for they too have theirs in heaven. Their inheritance was imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people
Peter reminded the believers who were undergoing persecution to not lose heart for their inheritance was imperishable for they were the chosen; the true aristocracy. Like Ruth they had made a claim looking towards their inheritance in eternity: “your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” They chose to take refuge in the Lord under His everlasting arms where they find solace, peace and quietness—even in times of persecution.
It is because of those facts we too can boldly come before the Father and say: “Preserve me…for I take refuge in you.” It is the chosen who are the ones in whom God takes great delight. As the psalmist looked about he saw the choice of those who had rejected God. Their life was full of sorrow and it was because they were choosing to serve other gods as Daniel reminded Belshazzar: “You have chosen to praise the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see, hear or understand.” [Dan 5]
We who are of the aristocracy, the majestic ones, the chosen can claim that the Lord will counsel us, instruct us, and make known to us the path of life. God will do that because His ways are higher than ours, His plan is infinitely wiser and more detailed than ours for he can see from the beginning to the end. In his presence there is fullness of joy!
Which crown do you wear now and which crown will you wear in eternity?
The angels of God were busy last night as they came to escort some of the chosen to their eternal bliss. We sorrow as Mary and Martha did. We cry tears as Jesus did for his beloved friend Lazarus. But, there is a marvelous promise awaiting the chosen as they leave this earthly abode and it is this: They were born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They had the promise of an imperishable, incorruptible inheritance which was waiting for them when they reached heaven’s gate. While here in their earthly body they were protected not by armies but by the power of God through faith. But now they have come face to face with the risen Lord and seen him sitting upon his throne at the right hand of the Father. They were given their robes of righteousness and joined the cloud of witnesses. What a joy awaits the saints of God!
BUT…Peter reminds us that until we too are ushered by the angels of heaven to our heavenly bliss, we rejoice for we are counted worthy to suffer for his name. We may face fiery trials but it will be that power of God that will carry us through. These will prove our faith which is more precious than gold. And even though we have not yet seen him, we love him and we believe in him, and that is why we can greatly rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and full of glory.
Are you one of the sanctified saints?
We all love the warm and fuzzy’s but in Mark 10 Jesus strips away those to reveal who we really are. We either have hard hearts, receptive hearts or blind hearts and it all begins with one question: Are we good? The rich young ruler called Jesus “Good Teacher.” Jesus asks him pointedly, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.” If you believe me to be good and only God is good, then I am God. Are you really wanting me as God to show who you really are?
Our measure of “goodness” is faulty for the Law was given to reveal to us who God is and who we are. The rich young man felt he had “done” all good things but knew he was lacking in one area. He was truly asking, what am I missing but when the scales are removed from his eyes, he sees but is unwilling to give up that one thing—his riches. He was blind to his breaking of the first and last commandment: have no other gods before me and do not covet. When that was revealed he was unwilling to surrender those and follow God.
God wants us to see that to have eternal life we must see ourselves as God sees us. We have missed the mark of God’s standard. “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But, the promise for eternal life is there when we are willing to surrender our “wages of sin” and receive the “gift of eternal life.” [Rom 6:23]
Are you good?
Are you willing to surrender all to Jesus?
What would be your answer to that question? There more “shamers” amongst us than we want to readily admit. Let’s look at the evidence. The disciples failed to trust Jesus to provide sustenance for the crowd. Is this us too? Do we like the Pharisees look for a sign rather than trust Him? Are we often ungrateful when we see Him work like the healed blind man but fail to stop and say thank you? Are we silent before others when we set our interests on men’s ways rather than on God’s ways?
Jesus asked the disciples “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered “you are the Christ,” yet in the next breath he began to rebuke Christ when He spoke of his suffering to come. Jesus reminded him that his agenda was man’s not God’s. Perhaps that is why right after that Jesus asked: You want to be my follower? Then you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. If you ashamed of me now in this life, I will be ashamed of you in the life to come.
Let’s get personal: When we quench the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit to trust Him; when we fail to give Him the glory it might be because we are ashamed. Today, be quiet before the Holy Spirit and see if any of these are true. If so, seek His forgiveness so that at his appearing you may stand with confidence! [1Jn2]
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