Monday, December 13, 2010

Today's Bible Reading: 1 Peter 1

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Lord Jesus, thank you for choosing me. Thank you that you are sanctifying me through and through. Thank you that this sanctification process makes me a 'work in progress', that I can look back over these years of knowing you and see you working out your purposes, that I can see you working in your holiness and working out my sinful nature. Thank you that Jesus perfects me--while I'll never be totally free of my sinfulness on this side of heaven, Jesus' work on the cross allows you to see me as holy. Lord I want to be obedient to you and Your Word today. Please give me the strength and ability to do that which I am incapable to do on my own.

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Oh, thank you for your mercy! For giving me a hope beyond hope through the resurrection of Jesus! While the things of this world will pass away, spoil or fade, my inheritance in you WILL NOT! My home will pass away, my latest decor will pass away, the latest clothing trends will pass away, my youth will pass away, but my estate in the heavenlies WILL NOT! Thank you for shielding me with your power, thank you that I can't understand all there is to know regarding my salvation--that you keep so much of it a mystery to me so that I must rely on You through trust alone.

I praise you and thank you for the current trials we are undergoing. First, the many deaths our family has experienced this year. We can't fathom or understand the timing, we can only walk forward and trust you and ask for your help to move through it. Allow this to strengthen our faith, as it reminds us that this life on earth is fleeting and temporary, but our life beyond here is not. That we can hope in a life eternally with you if we have an intimate knowledge of Jesus as our Savior.

Secondly, our current trial we are experiencing through Eric's job loss. Lord, we thank you, thank you, thank you, that this current trial is showing us more than ever before that our trust is NOT in the riches of this world. It is NOT in the silver, the gold and all of the 'things', we, in our materialistic society, put our hope in. Oh, we thank you that this current trial is strenghthening our faith! That it is being refined and tested! We beg you that our faith will be proved genuine and result in praise and glory in You and You alone!

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Thank you that your peace runneth through our souls in a way that we cannot describe but can only rejoice and treasure. Thank you that you are showing us what it means to truly rely on You and You alone. Thank you for the inexpressible joy you fill us with as we spend time with you. Oh, we love you so!

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

Lord, forgive me for the many areas in my life that lack self control. Oh, for the many ways I waste time, the many ways I spend my time on selfish, fleeting things. Forgive me and help me see my time as a resource You have given me to spend for You and You alone. Forgive me for making my children's education too important. When I do that, convict me and help me make Your Word the core through which all else flows. Help me to put aside the many voices and thoughts from our society and be still and listen to You, through whom all real knowledge flows. May I focus on you so intently that others may even find me weird and that I wouldn't care what they thought. Forgive me for caring too much about what others think! Make my faith so strong that such thoughts don't even enter my mind.

Oh, Lord, forgive me for my disobedience! Oh, that I would not fall victim to the ignorance I once lived my life in before knowing You. When I do choose such behavior, I pray that I would quickly turn and repent immediately, align myself with You, and get back on the path of Holiness. Lord, thank you that while I will often struggle with sin and fall to it on this side of eternity, You see me as holy through the work of your son, Jesus.

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Lord your Word tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Give me a reverent fear of you so that I will live wisely and within the boundaries that you have lovingly put in my life. I pray I would not for a moment put my trust today in silver or gold or perishable things that are empty and worthless.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]

And this is the word that was preached to you.

Now, Lord that you have preached your Word to me, you have convicted my soul and allowed for confession and repentation. Next, Lord, let me walk forward today in obedience to whatever you are calling me to SO THAT I may have sincere, deep love for those around me! Let that love be so evident and overflowing today! May this love invest in those around me and plant seeds that flourish into beautiful, flowering petals that do not wither or blow away. Petals that shout: 'This is the LORD!' Petals that are rooted in and grow up out of your Word! For such petals endure forever. Lord, that I may capture your vision today and fulfill it!

In the Precious Name of your Loving Son, Jesus,


Cathy said...

Oh sweet Maria. I have no words just assurances of prayer on our part. What does Eric do?

Maria said...

He is medical sales... thank you, Cathy, for your prayers!