Friday, December 7, 2007

Freiday Devotional

1 Peter 1:22-25
Scripture: You have purified your souls by obeying the truth in order to show sincere mutual love. So love one another earnestly from a pure heart. 23 You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of the grass; the grass withers and the flower falls off, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was proclaimed to you. (NET)

Exposition: Peter starts off by talking about the believer's purification, which occurred at conversion when the convert obeyed "the truth." The "truth" most likely is a reference to the gospel. They were purified when they accepted the truth of the gospel and put their faith/trust in Christ. In so doing this, they exhibit "sincere mutual love." The term "sincere" has the force of being "unhypocritical." Our love is to be like a two way street. There should be none of this "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours." It should flow freely among God's people. Peter urges believers to exhibit this love from a "pure heart" -- a heart that is clean, undefiled, and has the best of intentions for its brothers and sisters in Christ.

Peter affirms the regeneration of the believers: "You have been born anew" (cf. John 3:3). Again, this new birth is due to the person trusting in Jesus. Peter draws on the theme of perishable and imperishable again when he talks about the seed. He uses the seed as a metaphor for the "word of God." We see this metaphor of the seed else where in the NT, as in Matthew 13:20 and Luke 8:11. The word of God is like a seed in that when it is planted it grows. When a person takes hold of God's word, he is changed from the inside out. He grows more and more into the image of Christ. However, unlike a seed that perishes, the word of God will continue to grow.

Peter uses a quote from Isaiah 40:6-8. "All flesh" refers to humanity. So, all humanity is like grass in that we are numerous. And the flower is our "glory," basically what we've accomplished as a race. And like grass, humans are frail and eventually die (whither) and in death humanity's glory fades. However, that is not the case for the word of God. Nope, God's word will "endure forever." It never goes out of fashion and is always relevant. This word of God that never ends is the same that was preached to Peter's audience and to us!

Application: How are you treating your family and neighbors? Are you showing love or being hypocritical in what you say and do? What do you need to do differently to show love to them? Have you responded to God's word? How has His word changed your life? Or has it? If not, what do you think the problem is?

Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for Your word that is able to change lives. Your word is a spring of life giving water if only we would drink from it. Make us thirsty for Your word, so that we may know You more. We thank you that we are able to freely read of Your word without fear of persecution. But we ask that You be with our brothers and sisters throughout the world that are not as privileged as we are. Father, grant peace and strength to those in persecuted countries. May Your word sustain them. May Your Spirit comfort them. And ultimately, may Your Son save them. In Jesus name and by Your Spirit we pray. Amen.