Seems Clear to Me

Published on Feb 12th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Seems Clear to Me

Seems Clear to Me

I Peter 1:3 says this:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to our abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (KJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”  (NASB)

It seems pretty clear to me that Peter is saying that God the Father has caused us to be born again.  Rather than rejoice in that truth, we argue too much with it.  I have chosen today, everyday, to rejoice in that great truth.  God caused me to be born again.

In I Peter 1:4 & 5, Peter continues with these amazing truths, “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  This journey of my salvation that was caused by God is also being kept by God’s power.  I know that because I have faith.  My faith is proof that God’s power is keeping me.  There have been many times in my life that I wanted to walk away from God but I am still walking with him.  That is not a testament to my strength but the keeping power of God.

When we see Peter’s heart so overwhelmed in verse one that he must cry out in praise to God, it not so much about the inheritance but about the truth that this inheritance that he will receive is completely a work of God.  If God does not intervene in our lives…we would be lost forever.  As Peter even begins to think about writing these truths he can’t help but shout out… “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

When was the last time you just could not help but shout out praise to God?  As we look back over those times, do we find that most of those times were about something physical that God had done?  He unexpectedly supplied? Or he healed in an amazing way?  When was the last time our hearts were overwhelmed by the truths of his great gift of new life?  Can I try to explain why that joy often fades?

When I receive a Christmas gift, birthday gift, valentine’s gift, or even a thank you gift, my heart is grateful and I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift.  After a brief time, often too brief a time, I move on. It is not that I am ungrateful.  It is not that I don’t sometimes see that gift and feel grateful.  It is just that those gifts are expected.  They are not earned necessarily, but Christmas motivates the giver to give at that time.  My birthday becomes one of the reasons why people give me gifts on August 28th (hint, hint).  But when someone who is my enemy, whom I have no interest in having a relationship with, comes into my life and gives me a gift that totally transforms my life and insures that my future is not only bright but good beyond comprehension and then he continually empowers me to live in that gift…that is something that brings daily shouts of praise and gratitude.

We sometimes get so focused on our response of faith that we can begin to think of our salvation as a holiday gift.  Yes, we believe, it is all by God’s grace…but we DID believe.  We did confess our sins and therefore he had to keep his promise.  That kind of thinking not only robs God of his glory but begins to subtly cause us to think that this gift was really a two sided transaction.  Peter does not think that way.  He says that God caused us to be born again.  He says that it by God’s power that we are guarded.  Our faith is simply a result of those actions.

What is super strange about those truths is that when we begin to fully realize what they mean, it does not “demotivate” us as some people would say.  Those truths light a fire inside of us that burns to worship him and burns to share this gift with others.  These truths give us great confidence as we realize that all that we do and all that we are is because of him.  My faith, my perseverance, my obedience, my service, my decisions to follow him are all necessary but they are not the cause of my walk with him…they are the result of that walk. They are accomplished because of the work he is doing in my life.  When I meditate on those truths I can’t help but shout words of praise with Peter.

Too often our words of praise are reserved for those physical times of gifts from God.  It is why Sunday morning often lacks joy and passion in worship.  Our worship times are too dependent on the weather, or if our bills were paid this week, or if we received good news from the doctor, or if…All of those things can and do make life difficult but none of them should be the sole reason for our joyful, or not so joyful, worship of our Lord.  He invaded your life and caused you to be born again.  No matter what the weather or what your week looked like…your heart should be full of praise.

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