22 July 2013

Be Truly Glad!

Scripture: 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to 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. 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. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. 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. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:6-9, 13, 15, 16, 18-20, 22-25 NLT)

Observation:

When we're living in Christ the way we should, we WILL run afoul of those who aren't.  Not always, but it's just gonna happen.

Application:

It happened again, yesterday.

Once again, for whatever reasons, Vern and I were treated (very) poorly by someone in whom we should be able to trust completely.  (Well, as much as you can ever completely trust another human being.  Only God merits truly complete trust.)  It made for a difficult afternoon, and I praise God for His love that flows from and around those of His people we spent time with that evening.  The feeling of compressive stress, the knots in my stomach that plagued me from 2:20 on completely disappeared as we approached the building, and not a single thought of the trouble bothered me for the rest of the evening.  My whole family was blessed, and Vern and I were comforted by being there. And the trauma hasn't returned.  Praise be to God.

Prayer:

Lord, show us further to do.  Paul's letter this morning was sweet balm to my soul, and strengthened me so much--showing me what I need in this moment.  I praise You for the glorious freedom and peace and rejoicing I have in Christ Jesus, for the injunction to be holy, for the ransom Jesus paid so I could.  Free from the drama and turmoil of those I see floundering without You.  Free from the fear that motivates them.  Lord, strengthen me in Your Spirit.  Pour it out upon me and mine, and continue to show us Your will.  That's all I want to live. All Vern and I want to live.  Thank you for a companion who loves You as much as I do.  Who listens and obeys Your voice.  I cherish him.  And Lord, today I choose to be glad!  Though some things in life might tempt me otherwise, they are as ants under my feet! :o) In Jesus' name, amen!

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!