The Spirit of the Messiah

Even the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours, carefully researched and investigated this salvation. They tried to find out what era or specific time the Spirit of the Messiah in them kept referring to when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. -1 Peter 1:10-11 ISV

The role of the Holy Spirit in history is a fascinating study. These verses speak of the Spirit in the prophets moving them to speak of events that were many years in their future. It makes sense when we remember that God exists eternally in the past, present and future. As such the prophets could hear the Spirit speak of the future in their present day.

These verses remind me of what Jesus said to Nicodemus. He was amazed that a Jewish teacher did not understand the idea of being spiritually born. In saying this, he was indicating that people before that time had experienced a spiritual birth. A reading of the Old Testament bears this idea out when we read about prophets who were born again.

Fill me again sweet Spirit of the Messiah. That I might speak your words and do your will.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

The Salvation of Your Souls

The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. -1 Peter 1:9 NLT

Salvation is an interesting concept. In truth we have been saved. We are being saved. We will be saved. Salvation is not an end unto itself. It is a continuing process of of sanctifying spiritual maturity in the life of one who trusts God. It is a difficult process because it involves change. Albeit change from the inside out. And inner change can be most difficult.

I think of the word soul as one that defines the very essence of who we are. It is sometimes alluded to in metaphors such as the heart or the inner self. It is what makes me 'me'. When a believer dies their soul, the very essence of who they are, is saved. They will be recognizable in the afterlife. They will know, and be known by, those who knew them on earth.

Thank you Lord for the free gift of salvation. Help us to walk as saved people who trust you with all of our hearts.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

You have not seen Christ, but still you love him.

You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. -1 Peter 1:8 NCV

These words are so hard to explain to someone who has not been born from above. How can one love someone who they have never seen? The concept seems a bit delusional. Yet the past two millennia have been filled with millions of people who have expressed a love for God that had led them to either martyrdom or acts of great service to mankind.

I reminds me of how the prophet Daniel once wrote about the people who know God being strong and acting in faith. The key word is know. While it is true that we have not seen Christ with our physical eyes, it is also true that we who know God have seen him with our spiritual eyes. It is why we love him and are filled a glorious and unexplainable joy.

We love you Lord. Teach us lord to trust the invisible One who we know. The Spirit who lives in our hearts.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

Spiritual Gold

These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. -1 Peter 1:7 NCV

Do you not love the comparison of faith to gold? Like the shiny stuff, faith is beautiful. It is useful. It has varying levels of purity. It is purified by fire. And in the case of faith, the fire takes the form of trials that test our ability to believe when every part of us wants to doubt. There is something purifying about overcoming great trials and adversities.

Yet unlike many metaphors the comparison breaks down a bit. Pure 24 karat gold is not strong. Spiritual gold however becomes stronger with purification. In the end. Over many years of this of testing. Refined faith possesses such a depth of beauty and strength. We see this strong beauty in those who endure much hardship and persevere in believing.

Our desire Lord is to bring praise, honor and glory to you. Give us strength to persevere to a purer faith.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

Wonderful Joy Ahead

There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. -1 Peter 1:6 NLT

Today is Saturday. The day between Good Friday and Easter. A day of shock, heartbreak, insecurity and unsurety for those who watched Jesus die on the cross. A fitting day to talk about enduring trials while we wait for that future joy. A day to remember what Paul wrote in Hebrews when he spoke of Christ enduring the cross because of future joy.

The hope of future joy gets me through a lot of dark days. Knowing I will one day be in the presence of God is a deeply joyous thought. Like Peter, I look at these "many trials" as something to be endured "for a little while". And while we wait for that day it is good to remember that we endure with joy. Joy is something to be experienced today.

Help us Lord, as we wait for that wonderful joy ahead, to experience the joy of your blessed presence today.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

Revealed in the Last Time

His great mercy has caused us to be born again ... to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved 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. -1Peter 1:3-4 NASB

Our inheritance, like our born again hearts, are imperishable and undefiled. Peter speaks of this salvific inheritance as one that will be revealed in the last time. It so reminds me of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
I so look forward to that day when our salvation will come into full bloom. A time when the glory of God and the fullness of his love will be revealed to us in ways that we cannot imagine. Until that day comes, at either his coming or our going, it is comforting to know that we are, through faith, protected by his power and have a place reserved in heaven.

Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

Born Again to a Living Hope

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, -1Peter 1:3 NASB

Do you ever struggle with hope? I sometimes do. Things can be dark and seemingly hopeless. We remember such times in a week like this that falls between between Palm Sunday (a day filled with hope) and Good Friday (a day in which earthly hope seemed to die). Hope can seem to be circumstantial. One day we hope and the next hope is gone.

In times like these it is good to remind ourselves that we have been born from above to a living hope. A hope that cannot die because Easter came just a few days after Good Friday. That glorious day the earthly hopes of Palm Sunday gave way to a heavenly hope. Jesus would not reign merely over Israel but over the whole world. Now that is real hope.

Cause us to remember that hope is living in us Lord because you live in us. We have been born to such a hope.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

According to the Foreknowledge of God

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied. -1Peter 1:2 WBT

When combined, foreknowledge and elect are words that sometimes divide religious people. Pretty much all of us agree that God foreknows the future. Most of us agree that He chooses, or elects, us before we choose him. Yet there seems to be such disagreement about what Peter is writing here. Perhaps there is another way to look at these words?

I think that the key to understanding this might involve what Peter calls the sanctification of the Spirit. Most of us agree that this work of the Spirit is one that requires our cooperation. The Spirit speaks to us and leads us in obedience to God. God foreknows our obedience. Both before and after our spiritual birth. He elects based on this knowledge.

It is all you Lord. You do it all. We are just those who say yes to the work of your Spirit in our lives. Praise you Lord.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

Living as Foreigners

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. -1 Peter 1:1 NLT

I love the way that Peter begins this letter to believers in Jesus who have been scattered all over the world. These who once, like Peter, may have known the secure familiarity of growing up in Israel are now dispersed and living in alien lands. He calls them chosen people. People who belong to God. Sons and daughters living in relationship to their Father.

In truth, we are all living as foreigners. We who pray for God's kingdom to come live as ambassadors of that realm and reign. It is sometimes difficult because the lure of the earthly kingdom is so strong. And faith often calls us to renounce that kingdom to proclaim the heavenly one by the words that we speak and the example that we set.

Once again Lord. We ask for forgiveness. We ask for strength. Let your kingdom come and your will be done in us.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the writings of Peter.


We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God. -Romans 8:28a HCSB

I have never been a fan of the cliché: "All things happen for a reason". I have always found it to be a simplistic understanding of how God acts and intervenes in the world. That said, I do think that "some things" happen for a reason. It is a truth evidenced in many parts of the bible as God's children cooperate in faith with the Holy Spirit.

Synergei is the Greek word that is translated "work together". It communicates an idea of synergy. The word reminds us that God is not a sovereign micromanager manipulating our lives but One who calls us into a synergistic relationship where we rule with him at his side. And in the end, all things are synergized for the good of those who love God.

Help us Lord to resist all forms of religious fatalism. Help us to work together with you in doing good.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.

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