Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Midweek Grace - 1 Peter 2:1-3

You are what you eat or so the saying goes. Though usually applied to one’s physical diet this saying also has meaning for the ‘food’ that nourishes your mind and spirit. If you feast on a steady diet of ungodliness, you’ll begin to think in ungodly ways. Such thinking will lead to ungodly actions. These actions will pave the way for an ungodly lifestyle. Eventually, an ungodly lifestyle will result in unwanted and unwelcome consequences.
Conversely, a diet rich in the milk and meat of God’s word will fill your mind and spirit with the thoughts of our good, wise and loving Lord. A mind controlled by the Spirit and operating under the guidance of God’s word will lead to godly choices, choices that enhance our worship, witness and walk before the Lord. Living in light of God’s word yields a lifestyle of godliness, contentment, purpose and delight. The end of such a life is satisfaction now, and eternal joy in the life to come.

God presented this unchanging reality to His people through Moses as they were about to enter the land He promised to them. His message to them regarding the importance of growing in His word is recorded in the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy. Our gracious Lord recognized that in their humanity His people were prone to ignore His word, thus ignoring Him to their own destruction. The land of promise would be of little use to them if they determined to disregard the word of God and live according to their own rules, philosophies and ideologies. In a similar way, the new life we have in Christ will produce its benefits as we apply ourselves to the reading, study and practice of His word. We will grow to be more godly and spiritually healthy once we put ourselves on a steady diet of His word. Moreover, our commitment to God’s word will demonstrate His wisdom and understanding to those we have contact with and can influence on a regular basis. There is no telling what our Lord can do with a life that is based on and directed by His word.

On the contrary feeding our souls with the junk food of this culture will certainly produce malnourished spirits, unwise and ungodly choices and in the end destructive and perhaps disastrous consequences. Let’s beware of the temptation to want God to perform the miraculous and impressive in order to buttress our faith in Him. When exhorting His people to follow the scriptures God pointed to an unrepeatable event in redemptive history, namely the giving of the Ten Commandments. God never intended to make special, spectacular appearances every time things got difficult and their faith waned. They were given His word and in God’s mind, that was enough.

In a like manner, the apostle Peter encourages the saints he addressed to pay attention to the word of God. He also points them to an unrepeatable event in redemptive history: the cross of Jesus Christ. Just as God confirmed His covenant at the foot of Mt. Horeb (also called Mt. Sinai), He did so at the mountain of Calvary with the death of His Son to pay for the sins of His people.
Now that we’re His treasured and precious people, we have the privilege of enjoying the great salvation Christ has secured for us. Having tasted and seen that the Lord is indeed good, we reject the cultural idols of our time. Though these idols promise a life of contentment, purpose, dignity and security they cannot and will not deliver. As God’s people, we won’t be deceived by the pseudo-delicacies of a broken culture. Rather, we’ll grow strong in holistic godliness nourished by His truthful, clear, gracious and relevant word.

To Him Who Loves Us...
Pastor Lance

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