1 Peter 2:4-5 A Living Building

“As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him–you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5

Jesus is the living Stone. He is the foundation of salvation for all mankind. Men rejected Him when He walked on the earth, ultimately killing Him on the cross. Although men rejected Him, God chose Him. Jesus is precious to God.

Now Peter tells you that you also are precious to God. You also are a living stone. You are no longer dead in your sins. Your sins have been washed away and you have been given a new life in Jesus. You are a new creation.

With being a living stone, you are now being built into a spiritual house. When you started following Jesus it did not mean that all work was done and you are to sit back and wait for His return. In a building every nail, screw, and board has a purpose. If any part does not fulfill its purpose, the integrity of the building is broken.

You are called to be a holy priesthood. This means you are responsible for the guilt offerings and the praise offerings to God. Although you cannot forgive anyone of their sins, you can pray for them and lift them up before God. Not only can you offer sacrifices of praise to God for what He is doing in your own life, you can also do so for what He is doing in the lives of others.

All of these sacrifices are to be done in and through Jesus Christ. As a priest, you now have the ability to stand directly before God for yourself and for everyone else.

Seek God today on how to best offer spiritual sacrifices to Him. Be willing to stand in the gap for the lost. Be willing to praise God for the good things He is doing in the lives of others. Build each other up in Jesus. Only God can show you what your purpose is in His building.

I pray that today God will guide you in your offerings to Him; that God will reveal His purpose for you in His building; that God will give you His strength to do your part; that God will keep you living and alive for Him as He builds His spiritual building; and that God will find your offerings acceptable through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:1 What to Get Rid Of

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1

The chapter before Peter writes that you are to be holy and to love others. Now he gives you a list of things to get rid of in your life. First is malice. Malice is wickedness, evil, trouble, or the underlying principle of evil which is present–even when not outwardly expressed. Every person has an inclination to evil because of the fall of Adam. How many times have you wished a person would die because of something bad he did to you? This is the malice you are to get rid of.

Next is deceit. This is the deceiving of other people. Most people in the church will state that they are not deceiving people. How often do you make statements that make you appear “good” and “righteous” when you are not really following those statements? Many people will state that they are doing good when in reality their day is horrible. This is deceit. Get rid of deceit.

Next is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is stating to do one thing while in reality doing something different. Often a person will state he is following Jesus, but in the very next breath curse someone or a situation. Some will speak against gossip while spreading gossip under the guise of prayer. Get rid of hypocrisy.

Next is envy. Envy is the displeasure a person has at another person’s gain. It is wanting what someone else has for your own glory. It can also be glorying in someone else’s misfortune. Remember you are to love everyone with the love God has for you–a self-sacrificing love. Do not be envious of what someone else has or what has happened to him. Get rid of envy.

Last is slander of every kind. Simply put, this is talking bad about someone else in order to hurt him. Slander is seen all the time in the news, all types of media, and entertainment. It is cutting someone else down to make you look better. Again where is love in slandering someone? When the leaders brought the prostitute to Jesus, He did not slander her by speaking of what she had done. Jesus lifted her up and told her to change and forgave her. You can find good to speak of every person, find that good and speak it. Get rid of all slander.

Today seek God in help to reveal these sins in your life. Some of these may be more prevalent than others in your life. Seek God for strength to get rid of those He reveals. Be filled with the Holy Spirit to change your heart, desires and actions.

I pray that today God will reveal sin in your life; that God will give you the strength to change your thoughts and actions to follow His; that you will act and speak in true love to every person you come in contact with; and that God will help you to have His loving heart towards all other people.

1 Peter 1:17 Live in Reverant Fear

“Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.” 1 Peter 1:17

Most every place you look you will see judging happening. Most often it is judging one person or thing against another. All over the television you see various talent shows with people competing against each other. In the end there is only one winner. That one person is judged up against all the others as being the best.

God, however, does not judge you up against someone else. He judges you according to Himself and what you know and can do. Every person is an individual with unique capabilities that only he has. Those capabilities are what God is judging. Everyone can be a winner with God. There is no “one winner” only.

Peter tells you here to live out your life in reverent fear. Are you living according to the standard you have learned from God? In 1 Peter 1:16, Peter writes that God said to be holy…are you being holy? This reverent fear is not the type of fear you get watching a scary movie. It is living with a realization that God is the judge and will judge you according to what you do or do not do and how and why you do it.

God did something He did not have to do…He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for you. He provided salvation for you. The least you can do for Him is live for Him. When you work are you doing your best? Why are you working hard to be the best: to look good or to bring honor to God? Are you working hard to get ahead in life or to build God’s kingdom more?

Every action you do is looked at by God. He determines the motive behind the action. You are a foreigner in this world when you are living for God. Heaven is ultimately your home. God made this world, it is His. Live with respect for God, His ways and rules. Live your life knowing that God is in control of everything and knows what is best for your life. Do not live your life for yourself. You can gain the whole world but lose your soul living that way.

I pray that today God will strengthen you to live for Him; that God will guide you in all you should say and do; that you will have a reverent fear of God; that you will trust God in everything; and that God will help you be holy as He is holy.

1 Peter 1:14-16 Be Holy

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

Everyone likes children to be obedient. No one really likes a disobedient child. Many parents tell their children to do as they are told to do, while at the same implying not to do as the parent is doing. In this passage, Peter is telling you to be like an obedient child–do what God is telling you to do. God tells you to do as He would do, not just as He says to do.

Peter tells you to not to conform to the evil desires you once did prior to coming to God through Jesus Christ. These desires are your old sinful habits. Do not give in to those desires. Flee from those desires.

God is a holy God, who has never done anything wrong in any way. He is perfect. Here Peter quotes from Leviticus 11 in that you are to be holy as He (God) is holy. This is a very tall order from God. The standard is set very high…actually to the level of perfection. God does not want anything less of you, because that is what is best for you.

Many people try to state that their way of living is just the person they are and what they are like and cannot change. That is true in and of yourself. Alone you cannot change and will never be perfect. But with the Holy Spirit of God’s power in your life you are to be a changed person. Be willing to change into the new creation God has created you to be. This change is a lifelong committment. From this day till the day you step into heaven there will always be something to change to be more perfect like God. Work at it in His power.

Each day you get up ask God what you need to change to be more like Him that day. Turn to the Bible to give you wisdom in how to think and act like God. Seek His guidance in every situation, both good and bad, in your life. Strive to be perfect–not to be saved or to earn your salvation–but to be more like Jesus in all that you say and do. Be an obedient child today with God.

I pray that today God will reveal to you things that need to change in your life; that God will give you His Spirit to help and guide you; that you will run to God for guidance in everything you do; and that God will help you to be the new creation He has created you to be.

1 Peter 1:6 Rejoice

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1 Peter 1:6

What is all this that Peter is saying you greatly rejoice? It the salvation that God has provided through Jesus Christ. Just previous to this verse he talks about how God has given us new birth into a living hope with an inheritance that can never be destroyed.

Think a little about what you have now. A new birth is a new life. In the old life there was troubles with no hope. There was no meaning to life. Now you have meaning in life.

Now you also have an inheritance that cannot perish, spoil or fade. Many people have set millions of dollars aside in retirement accounts thinking they will have money for themselves and their children. Suddenly the economy crashes and millions of dollars are lost in a matter of minutes.

The inheritance that God gives you cannot be lost or destroyed. The only way it can be lost is if you give it up and turn away from it. God will never take it from you. The devil cannot steal it from you. Only you can give it up by refusing to accept what God has given you through Jesus. All you have to do is have faith in Jesus. Believe that God will do what He said He would do for you.

Every time you are going through a trial in life you must remember this bit of information: this inheritance that you have been given; the eternal life that you will have some day; the perfect life in heaven you will have some day. The inheritance of this world always depends on what you or others do or do not do. It is temporary and can be lost quickly.

Today when things in life are going against you remember what you have coming. The problems in this life are only temporary, your inheritance is eternal. Do not be discouraged. Remember that God is in control. God will win in the end. If you stay with God till the end you also will win with Him.

I pray that today God will give you His encouragement; that you will see the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know the inheritance God has for you; that you will see the life He has given you; and that you will stay strong in the Lord through every trial of life.

James 5:16 Effective Prayer

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Two important things are stated in this verse. First is confession. There are some that believe in confession to another person and that person will bring about forgiveness. This passage does not show this is the case. Only Jesus can forgive sins. Here the confession is to be able to go before God with a clean heart in order to receive healing.

Praying together with another person will strengthen your heart and keep you close to God. The confession will also help you stay on focus for God. Being alone can allow you to be easily distracted. Working together can help prevent that. It can help you to confess the sins you have done to God and receive His forgiveness.

The second point in this verse is about the prayer of a righteous man. No man is righteous in and of himself. No matter how good you are or what you have done you will never be righteous in yourself. Once a person has sinned once, he is a sinner forever unless God has forgiven and cleansed Him through Jesus.

Each person is only righteous only when He takes on the righteousness of Jesus. You are to cloth yourself with His righteousness. The righteousness of Jesus is the holiness and perfection of God. He will impart all of this to you. His blood will get rid of all the sin in your life.

When you are in the righteousness of Jesus your prayers will be very powerful and effective. Look at the prayers of Jesus, every one was answered and they were all very powerful. This was because He was in God perfectly and only did His will and only sought the will of God. The prayers of Jesus is always the will of God, thus always answered.

Today confess all of yours sins. Pray with one another. Put on the righteousness of Jesus. Pray all the time the will of God. Be careful not to pray in selfishness. Your prayers done in this manner will be powerful and effective because you will be praying as Jesus is praying.

I pray that today God will help you to confess all your sins; that God will help you to put on the righteousness of Jesus; that you will walk in the righteousness of Jesus; that you will pray in the will of God in all of your prayers; and that your prayers will be powerful and effective.

James 5:7-8 Be Patient

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” James 5:7-8

In today’s society everything seems to be done as fast as possible. No matter how fast something is, people want it a little bit faster. Computers used to take 10 minutes to boot up, now they only take about one minute, yet it is still not fast enough for some people. Everyone complains about waiting in line at Walmart or at McDonalds because they are in a hurry. Everyone wants everything right now, not later.

James uses the excellent example of a farmer. Most people have never been a farmer, but many have tried to grow a garden. You plant the seeds and then have to wait for a week just to maybe see a little sprout. Then you must wait a few more weeks to start to see some vegetable growth. Then you must wait some more for the vegetable to be fully grown to pick. This takes patience.

If you go to that garden and start digging around to find the plant you will lose everything. If you pick the vegetable before it is ripe you, again, lose everything. Life is just like that also. Jesus said that some day He would return. He did not say when, but that it would be soon.

It is easy to start complaining to God or others about the condition of the world; or about the persecution increasing; or about the troubles occurring in your life, but James tells us not to complain and be patient. You need to look to God and remember His Word that Jesus would return for you soon. Be patient and trust God in His timing. This is not only in the return of Jesus, but also in His care for you day-to-day. Be patient, waiting for God in every area of your life. It will save a lot of worrying. Be patient with people–remember they are made in the image of God and God is being patient with you.

I pray that today God will help you to be patient; that God will give you the strength to be patient; that God will give you the peace to be patient; and that you will trust God in all of His timing in your life.