“But you are a chosen people…I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires…” Knowing who we are and who we are not leads to behaviors that are consistent with our identity in Christ. Does my life and behavior cause all who see to glorify God? – May my life conform to your mercy and calling upon my life and your church bring honor to your name. Amen.
“In His great mercy he has given us…” 1 Peter begins with good news as we begin a new year. Many look back at the year past and look ahead to the opportunities ahead. As Christians, this exercise always finds meaning, not in our own efforts, intentions, and desires, but in the great mercy God has given, in the new birth we have in Christ, and the living hope with have through his resurrection. What is your prayer as you begin a new year? – Your mercy O God, your birthing O Christ, your hope O Spirit. Amen.
“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full or mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Some people, even those in the church, may be surprised by these characteristics the reveal wisdom. Who are the people in our world that the masses consider wise? Who do you consider to be wise? Are these qualities evident in their lives? Does your life reflect these characteristics? Lord, let wisdom be real and enacted in and through my life; let it show as pure, peace-loving, considerate…Amen.
“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…”The writers of the New Testament see the resurrection as a central truth of Christian faith. Is the resurrection seen by modern Christians as the center of our faith? Why or why not? Is there a new birth or a living hope without the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How important is resurrection to the faith? May your church give testimony to the risen Christ!
|“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” In Mary’s song we tend to hear only the positive ones of blessing and mercy (1:46-50, 53-55), but there is also the reality that God’s saving actions scatter the proud and bring down those who rule with power. God’s salvation is good news, but it also causes quite a disruption. What disruption does God’s salvation cause in your life? Does our use of power in life and ministry show humility or pride? Disrupt our wrongful use of power with your saving power O God, that we may find your help and mercy.|
|And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Justice, mercy and humility before God are the heart of God for us. What does it mean to act justly in everyday life, to love mercy among people and to walk humbly with God? Is there evidence of these three in my life? So form my life O Lord, so that your requirement becomes my own desire and natural expression. Amen.|
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” There is a down-to-earth, real and practical relevance to our need for a Savior. It’s not just a theological, intellectual ideal. Jesus’ saving work through cross and resurrection mean we can receive mercy and find grace to help us in everyday living and leading. Where do you need mercy and grace today? Lord Jesus, thank you for mercy and grace; help me to find them each day in You.