Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:18-25 (day two) …and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously…vs. 23

For most of us our sense of justice has a ring of the old covenant to it. We feel that if someone wrongs us, there should be some retribution. Mentally, we feel there needs to be accountability, and often payback. That rings of ‘an eye for an eye’, doesn’t it? Let’s be clear there are offenses that require that kind of justice, but how often do those things occur? What is more likely to happen is that our pride is hurt and rather than deal with it we demand justice. Sometimes the offense is intentional, and we think the only way forward is that they get what’s coming to them. We operate like there is a cosmic scale of justice. We know Christ’s words on this subject, and they rarely call us to that kind of equality. Jesus’ words and example were that of extreme forbearance. Our prayer should be to take our eyes off the offender and focus them on Jesus.

Good Choices

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day two)

For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. vs. 15

It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. Have you ever heard that? Peter is giving incredible common sense advice for us to live by, and when wedded to a faith-filled life it becomes invaluable. When sin enters our life we constantly battle hiding it, running from it, and making excuses for it. It is exhausting. Living a life of holiness will perplex the world, but it will be your armor against their foolishness. When you have nothing to hide from because of your good choices and righteous living, you gain a measure of protection. It doesn’t mean that you won’t face opposition, but you will have the assurance that you have been faithful. You are free to love, serve, and help those who don’t yet understand how you got there.

Living Stones

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:1-10 (day two)…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation…vs. 2.                                                                             …you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood…vs.5a

As I re-read our text today, I was struck by this image of the church as a living structure that grows as we mature in our faith. Living implies the ability to grow, and stones gives the image of permanence, structure, and stability. Imagine the church as a dynamic organism. Peter’s imagery is predicated on two important concepts. As living stones we must be built upon something. That is Jesus. As our cornerstone he has shaped the design and foundation of the church. We must also hunger for the word in a way that feeds us unlike any other nourishment will. If our dynamic faith is to grow, how much are you willing to devote to these foundational principles?

The Word

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:18-25 (day two)

But the word of the Lord endures forever. vs. 25

Peter walked with Jesus. His experience was unique to only a few, and we can marvel at the stories told to us through these who sat at Jesus’ feet. This is noteworthy, to be sure, but I am struck by Peter’s knowledge of scripture and the insight he shares as he combines who he knew Jesus to be with what was prophesied. Peter was grounded in the word, and he uses this as a starting place for his defense of the gospel of Jesus. Isn’t that an incredible testimony. Peter assures us that although we will not have the same experience as the apostles, we have God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We are well equipped. Peter’s foundation in scripture only strengthens his message. The same can be said of us!

Stay Sharp

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:10-17 (day two) Therefore, prepare your minds for action…vs. 13a

The opening statement in verse 13 stood out to me as I re-read this passage today. It doesn’t say be prepared for action, but rather prepare you mind. There is so much that confronts us every day and we must react, avoid, challenge, or correct at any given moment. It can be staggering, really, but Peter reminds us that there is a mental component to our faith journey. We must remain agile so as to be prepared in season or out to give an accounting of our faith. This kind of spiritual exercise is accompanied by the assurance of the grace that comes from following Jesus. Stay agile, stay sharp, stay with Jesus.

Knowing the End

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:1-9 (day two) In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials…vs. 6

You may be one of those people who read the last chapter of the book first, or perhaps you read on IMDB the whole plot of the movie or show before you watch it. I think you are monsters, but that is not the point of this blog.  In literature and cinema you will miss the twists and turns and not be fooled by the red herrings if you know the outcome first. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing the ending at the beginning. It’s just not why I love to read.

Our faith journey is different. Knowing the outcome helps us navigate the interim setbacks, the catastrophes, and all the heartache. Not only can we endure, but we can have peace and, as Peter tells us, we can have joy. So, I will concede, in this instance I am so grateful that I know that the Lord will not let a trial be in vain. Keep reading!


Re:Verse passage – Hebrews 10:19-25 (day two) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, vs. 24

We spend a good deal of time thinking how we can motivate others to success. We do this with our children, students, and those who work with/for us. We want people to succeed, right? It is good for the family, school, business, etc. No one would likely dispute that statement, and success is a worthy goal. This, however, is not what the writer of Hebrews is asking us to consider. We are to think about how to motivate people to love, and make good choices. Beyond your children when was the last time you considered that for your fellow believers? Imagine also the tangential impact of such an action. If others love and do good, it is likely their idea of success will alter considerably. It will often be less self-motivated and more kingdom-minded. The idea of love and right thinking should be our new concept of success.

In Our Midst

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 18:15-35 (day two)  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” vs. 20

What an incredible testimony for togetherness. When we gather together in the name of the Lord, the Lord is present. Not a passing acknowledgment of the gathering, present, in their midst. I would hasten to add the the passage doesn’t add the disclaimer “wherever two or more are gathered in a sanctuary…” Jesus simply says “wherever.” What an encouragement and challenge this should be to each of us. We are to be on mission at all times, claiming the name and presence of Jesus and expecting him to lead, guide, challenge, and correct. This constant companion, in the form of the Holy Spirit, is the promise and a hallmark of our faith. Are we actively invoking his presence outside the church? Are we behaving like the Lord is in our midst?

Steeple Chase

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 18:5-14 (day two) “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! vs 7

Have you ever watched a hurdle or steeple chase race? It’s one thing to train to run as fast as you can to get from point a to point b, but to actually put obstacles in the way is next level. Steeple chasers in particular seem to be gluttons for punishment because of the height of the obstacles and the water hazard that awaits them on the other side. It stands to reason, then, that sprinters who run 100 meters without hurdles run it faster than those with them.

Obstacles are inevitable. Whether they be self-imposed, as they often are, or appear by circumstance they are a fact of life. It is our hope, as believers, that we are able to navigate around them without a setback to our faith journey. Often they can even help teach us lessons as we move forward to help avoid them the next time. Jesus’ words however speak specifically to those who would cause others to stumble, especially children or young believers. He doesn’t mince words; we are not to do this. It makes every interaction with them so important. We must guard our words and actions to make every effort to encourage their faith, not hinder it. Likely, this will only help our own journey as well. I don’t want to run a steeple chase race of faith, let’s not make our children run one either.


Re:Verse passage – Matthew 18:1-4 (day two) Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Vs. 4

This is such a perfect illustration. The Lord uses the word humble in his description of children. Humility seems to be something that we unlearn as we age. I wonder if we can consider that children are not cynical when it comes to authority. That is something that they will often learn to be, but in general, they don’t wince and moan when in the presence of a better. Cynicism is a cloud that distorts our ability to see clearly, to obey without bitterness, and love unconditionally. Children demonstrate this better than us. This is what Jesus is asking us to learn.