“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away, kept in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” I Peter 1:3-5 How awesome is His Word! How great is this news! According to His abundant mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope! We don’t have an empty hope. We have a hope that is full of promise, life a water balloon so full it’s about to burst. An incorruptible, undefiled inheritance that does not fade away. When your windshield is all fogged over in the morning, you don’t say, “oh my, where has the world gone?” Yet for some reason when life clouds our vision, we think His promises have changed. What we have in Him is incorruptible, undefiled, incapable of fading away. We couldn’t erase it if we wanted to. Read it again. Let it water your spirit like fresh rain. Now read it out loud, let your ears hear it. This is a living word and according to I Peter 2:5, we are living stones! When you swing back and forth through these first 2 chapters you’ll find we are living stones refined by fire, being built up into a spiritual house to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus! Our spiritual sacrifices don’t have to meet the approval of any man because they are accepted through Him. My spirit is lit up like a neon sign this morning. We have this foundation that cannot be shaken. “Therefore, to you who believe , He is precious.” (I Peter 2:7) Isn’t He precious to us!
With all the natural disasters look at the thousands of foundations that have been torn apart. Earthquakes cause foundations to be disrupted from underneath. No matter how solidly they are constructed the shifting of the ground causes them to come apart and everything built on them topples. A torrent of water from a hurricane or tsunami washes them away in an instance. A tornado tears through them. We have the One foundation that no force of nature can move. Having been through life we’ve all experienced those disasters that rocked our foundations or demolished them. For us, we come to this foundation with great joy, jumping up and down on it, rejoicing to build on it, knowing that our lives are built on the One that will never be shaken. Like how you feel when you’ve been on a trip and you walk through the door and breathe a sigh of relief that you’re home. That’s how our spirit sighed when we surrendered to Jesus, ahhhh, home. As I was reading this, of us “being living stones built up into a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” I had this glorious image come in my head of us gathering to worship, each of us glowing in our own stoneship (that may not be a real word J). Some of us being rubies, topaz, opals, pearls, with this beautiful glowing foundation underneath us, (Jesus), as we the body made this living temple resounding with praise that was reaching up to heaven. Can you see it!
Then you come to the part that says to the unbelieving it is a stumbling block and a rock of offense. The world builds on shifting sand and even though they know cities are built on fault lines, they keep thinking they can outwit natural consequences and build earthquake proof structures. What we see as unshakeable, they see as too hard. What we see as safe, they see as bland. What we see as freedom, they see as bondage. We see a foundation that is unyielding. They’re looking for ground where they can dig a pit in case they want to fall into it. We have to help them! It’s so beautiful when you get to where we are! As much as you look at some people and want to give up on them and say it’s not worth the argument, they’re worth it. And forget the argument, James tells us, “the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” (Did that sting a little? It did me too.) In James 5, he also tells us to be patient as the farmer who “waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until he receives the early and late rain.” The unsaved are precious fruit. They can be transformed
from hearts of stone to precious living stones like us. Mom told me she heard it said, “2019 will be the year of the prodigal returning”. Let’s claim it. If we look at any single person and think there is no hope for them, then we are doubting the bigness of God. Do we believe that He is able? Do we believe that He is Who He says He is? Do we truly believe that He is the God of the impossible? Was the blood of Jesus enough to cleanse you but not enough to cleanse them? Has the power of His blood diminished? “For you know that you were not redeemed from your vain way of life inherited from your fathers with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot.” (I Peter 1:18-19) His blood cannot perish, has not perished, will not perish. Everything about Jesus is eternal, “for you have been born again, not from perishable seed, but imperishable, through the word of God, which lives and abides forever.” (I Peter 1:23) This is our foundation, “but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (I Peter 1:25) This is why we have this hope! This is how we can stand steadfast and sure that He is the One who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! This why we walk above our circumstances and not beneath! This is why we walk as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that we may declare the goodness of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light! Because we HAVE received mercy, the old IS passed away, we ARE new creations, because HE Is Who He Says He Is!!! Whew! We Love You Jesus!!! Why shouldn’t this flow out of us like living water? Hallelujah!
Dad always especially loved doing something with the homeless at Christmas. Mom and I were talking about the different things we’ve done over the years, meals, gift cards, candy, donuts, pies, one year we even had hats, gloves and blankets. So Patty, mom and I took gift bags with socks, honey buns, and candy, (plus mom ordered 12 dozen donuts, they were sooo delicious!) and took it all down to the Rescue Mission. Another couple had brought subway gift cards. It was a good morning but honestly this letter was as much for me as it was for you. I often look at the homeless and even going into the prison and wonder if their lives will ever change. We’ve been doing this for years and although we know some success stories there are some of the same hopeless faces, even though they’ve heard the word and have been prayed over multiple times. We pray for them in season and out. Sometimes you can’t help but feel discouraged. Which is exactly why we need to keep reading the word. As I started reading I Peter this morning, just an ordinary morning, all of a sudden my spirit grabbed something that I hadn’t seen before, about the living stones. You know what I mean, you’ve read it, but all of a sudden it comes to life. On the inside there was this disco-tech going on as I visualized those stones coming to life and this desire stirred up to pull others onto that foundation so that life could flow into them and they could feel the joy of the transformation.
We have this hope! We are not without a remedy and therefore neither are they. It worked for us, it’ll work for them. They are precious to Him. His desire is to draw them unto Himself, to welcome them home, to bring out the best robe, to put His signet on their finger, to bring them to the banquet. Let’s go fishing!
As you go, follow the wisdom of the Word; “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you. Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him firmly in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”(1 Peter 5:6-11)
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these things, be diligent that you may be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless. Keep in mind that the patience of our Lord means salvation…” (2 Peter 3:14-15)
Don’t grow weary, be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, remember He IS the God of the impossible! Be blessed in the Name of our glorious Savior, Jesus!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!