1 Peter 1:13 – 2:3
“So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the scriptures say “You must be holy because I am holy”. And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favourites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as ‘foreigners in this land’. For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters, Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the scriptures say, ‘People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And that word is the Good News that was preached to you. So get rid of all evil behaviour. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”
There’s so much in this passage that you could pull out and expand upon, but what strikes me as I read it is too often I forget that God has given us a new life – ‘the old has gone, the new has come’. What does it mean to be born again? What does it mean to have a new life? How does that effect how we view ourselves and our past mistakes/failings? Each day do we dwell on the past or rejoice in the fact that each day God’s mercies are like the sun, rising and setting, a new beginning starting every morning?
It may be easy to comprehend that God sees each day as new for us, but we, being in the same situation most days – how do we break out of our old patterns and habits into this new life that God promises? Well the answer in my opinion is simple – but hard. It’s to be before God each day confessing our failings, asking him to transform our thinking and minds so that they are renewed – as we can then see what he’s asking us to do and discern the path for our lives in his plan. It’s so true when the bible talks about keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. There’s truth in the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ – each day we get a new chance to practice Jesus’ perfection in our lives – not by living according to what we think is right but to surrender our lives to him and allow his thoughts to invade our minds – his words to invade our lips and his life to invade our bodies.
I have been struck recently at the constant repetition throughout the bible about God’s call on his children to be blameless and without fault – now we know that we can’t do that in our own strength but Philippians 4:8 reminds us to put into practice what Jesus taught and said – then God will be with you. He will make you Holy – in fact he already did through Jesus’ blood – we just don’t fully grasp that sometimes. There has to be a conscious choice to want to follow God’s call on our lives to be Holy – he’s made us holy through Jesus’ blood, now all we need to do is step into that day by day by spending time with Him in prayer, reading his word, meditating on it – basically putting it into practice. I say this from a person who definitely doesn’t always get it right and sometimes finds it hard to wake up and focus on God in the morning – but what I do know is that when I don’t I find myself stressing over things that don’t need to be stressed over, I miss the opportunities that God makes during to day to stretch out a hand in love and compassion on others and generally I miss what he’s saying to me. This is something I need to address and move forward in.
The bible talks about growing in spiritual milk – in understanding. 1 Peter 2 verse 2 talks about craving spiritual milk – to grow in knowledge and certainty of your salvation and the position we are now in. Babies need milk to grow when they are young but as they grow older they (and we) need different types of nutrition to keep our bodies healthy and active. It’s the same with our relationship with God – we need to be hungry for more of Him – and for things that we don’t yet know or understand. To grow in a greater understanding of who God is, what his heart is and how we fit in that. We won’t be able to find that out and fully step into it if we’re constantly happy with just baby milk. We need to feed ourselves on bigger things – Jesus puts this perfectly in two places. Matthew 5:6 “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” and John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
I know I’m hungry for more because only then will I be satisfied. Please help to keep me accountable to this and ask me what has God been saying to me, what’s God been revealing to me as I humbly want to walk in step with his plan for my life – it’s a call to be Holy for him and to put into practice, to train myself in righteousness for his Glory and namesake.
May God Bless you today as you seek to get to know him better – My prayer is that God speaks to you today and opens your eyes to the things he can do with your life if you let him.