Living Properly Amongst Neighbors

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

One way to live properly amongst neighbors is to submit to all authority for the Lord’s sake. And Peter is talking about the Roman government no less. I suppose it was true back then too, but our political culture is full of the kind of rancor that honor’s no one, always resulting in fear and separation. What’s worse, is that it would seem “Christians” are just as prone to participate as anyone else. Peter says, this should not be.

The result of willful submission is that God is honored by your neighbors, maybe even by those with whom you vehemently disagree. When we live by a different standard than the rest of the world (like submitting to all authority), it would seem our honorable words and behavior give away our truer citizenship.

To put it more bluntly, people are more likely to see Jesus in us, and maybe, just maybe turn to him and away from the false hopes and promises of the world.

Peter’s Better Together Moment

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:1-10 (day six)

And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple…1 Peter 2:5

This is Peter’s better together moment. Bringing together the verses from the end of chapter one, he makes two hugely significant claims. First claim, if you are born again by his eternal living Word you can only grow up in your salvation through his eternal living Word. Or saying it another way, to be born of the Word is to also live and thrive by the Word.

Second claim, you cannot fulfill your born again purpose, nor experience salvation’s fullness, without being deeply bound and connected to one another. That’s his better together moment. Peter wants these churches to know that a part of their core DNA is only ever expressed when individual believers, like living bricks are welded together by the mortar of their faith in and love for Jesus.

Simply, to be a Christian is to grow up through God’s Word and His church.

When You Obey the Truth

22 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. 1 Peter 1:22 

When Peter writes, “…when you obeyed the truth,” he is referring to the Gospel. The Gospel calls us to repentance and belief; we either obey the Gospel, the truth, or we reject it. Now, it’s notable that for Peter, the most important next step in obedience to the Gospel is to love each other, to be family.

I kinda like that; to obey the truth means becoming a family. How can you love your church like family today?

Born Again

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:10-17 (day six) 

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

There is nothing quite so dramatic as new birth. For nine months we wait, all the while a little human being mysteriously and miraculously is being formed in its mother’s womb, AND then at just the right time a new life arrives in dramatic fashion.  New life’s presentation is followed by great joy, adoration, blessing and praise!

Borrowing the words of Jesus, this is how Peter describes the reality of this new life we have been given. And what a great way to summarize our present condition as chosen foreigners (v. 1), a stark contrast between now and our former life.

There is only one thing more dramatic than our new birth (which our new birth in fact points to), our bodily resurrection. Both realities are inseparable; in fact Paul writes

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn (speaking of his resurrection) among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29

We are and will be a dramatically different people! So, let’s be glad! AND let’s take action and really live BORN AGAIN!


From Faith to Faith

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 1:1-9 (day 6)

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

Have you ever considered that your faith in Jesus comes by way of the testimony of others? From faith to faith, we have been the recipients of the greatest story in all history, of a savior we have never seen with our own eyes. The Apostles, like Peter, were the first of us, although he saw Jesus with his own eyes, and the prophets before him. Even now, their testimony leads us, all the more, to love and trust so great a Savior.

And so it is with us, our most powerful and compelling testimony, is not our colonnade of theological truths, but the story of knowing and loving Jesus, the Son of God who became a man, and then a servant, furthering humbling himself by dying on a cross for the sins of the whole world.

Do you love him? Do you trust him? And does his story pass from your lips into the hearts of others? If not, remember, from the very beginning his story was to travel from faith to faith, even yours.

Take the Risk

Re:Verse passage – Hebrews 10:19-25 (day six)

The main reason we are better together, it would seem, is because we are more likely to finish the race when we are together. That is the main thrust of this text. Afforded by the blood of Christ, we discover new life (forgiven and cleansed), not independent, but dependent on others.

When we are together we are better at holding tight to the hope we have in Jesus, we are better at encouraging each other to obey Jesus even when life is hard, and we are better at finishing strong.

Don’t let the world convince you, you are better on your own. It’s a lie.

Take the risk, be very intentional, invite others into your life, step into the lives of others-be better together!


Re:Verse passage – Matthew 18:15-35 (day six)

Jesus is introducing a new kind of community to the disciples. He is answering the question, “How should we relate to one another?” No longer are they to pursue personal greatness through jockeying for position, but through mutual care for one another; the kind of care that goes to great lengths to preserve the other through accountability, forgiveness, and restoration.

Peter was intrigued. “How many times should we forgive each other? Surely, there is a limit?”

Jesus responds with a question of his own, “Is there any limit to God’s mercy?” There is no limit, save for the person without mercy.

Our merciful care for one another is fueled by God’s limitless mercy towards us. Our mercy should have no end, because his doesn’t.

Like an Angel

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 18:5-14 (day six)

Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my Heavenly Father.“-Jesus, Matthew 18:10

Keeping in mind Jesus is no longer talking about children here, but disciples who are like a child, there is a lot we don’t understand about this verse.  Is Jesus saying we all have guardian angels? We really can’t be certain as to the meaning of “their angels,” which is beside the point.

Jesus’ purpose is not to divulge some mystery about guardian angels, but to motivate his disciples to take up the same cause as the hosts of heaven. When the world is enamored by the next rung in the ladder, Jesus reveals the concern of the hosts of heaven is the preservation of these little ones-those with child-like humility.

Simply, if the angels in heaven are gravely preoccupied with the spiritual well being of our brothers and sisters (church family), we should be too.

Your True Self

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 18:1-4 (day six)  

Jesus wasn’t using children as a mere object lesson. No, I think he really enjoyed being with them; listening to them, playing with them, answering their often whimsical but sincere questions. There is an authenticity to children that is rare among the aged, beginning as early as the tween years. Younger kids, most often, are what you see is what you get. They have no pretense or guile; they embody a true freedom to be themselves.

This was a significant contrast with the whitewashed tombs of many of the religious leaders of the day. All pretty on the outside, but full of dried up bones. Not so sure if Jesus enjoyed spending too much time with the likes of them.

At the end of the day, humility is the ability to be authentic; a keen self-awareness that doesn’t mind being fully seen and known…and redeemed.


Re:Verse passage – Luke 19:1-10 (day six) 

There is a child-likeness to Zacchaeus’ faith. With little concern about those around him, he hustles himself up into a tree to get the best view of Jesus. He didn’t want to miss this; he had heard the stories after all. One of his disciples was a tax collector.

It is this kind of faith that Jesus praises in the children who came to seek his blessing in chapter 18 (a foreshadowing of Zacchaeus). Child-like faith is persistently eager, rambunctious even or single-minded in its efforts to have the best view. 

It is willing to climb if it has to. Today ask the Lord to renew a childlike faith in you.