Peter is the rugged fisherman who gives us hope. As he matured in faith, we marveled at his courage to walk out to Jesus on water, then shortly afterwards we heard him deny Jesus three times. Peter is the same man who confessed boldly; “You are the Messiah, the Christ”. By God’s immeasurable grace, Peter is transformed before our very eyes. Peter’s commanding and forceful personality eventually influenced the early church enormously. The Holy Spirit gave Peter’s salty heart new compassion and zeal for the things of God. Vast wisdom was supernaturally bestowed upon this unpolished soul as God used Peter to write these words to all the strangers in the world.
Chew on this: Even if our outward appearance does not change, even if our countenance remains the same, it seems impossible that when a person encounters the Spirit of Jesus in their gut, that they are not changed as they listen to Him. Jesus Christ is holy, and we are not. Jesus is God, and we are not. We engage with His Holy Spirit, by our total surrender to Who Jesus is. His Spirit gently evokes transformation in our minds and our perceptions are miraculously changed. Consider all those folks who have sat in church for years and listened to thousands of sermons; how can they possibly walk and talk the same? Our Father simply spoke a word, and the dead came to life! If we hear a single word in our spirit from His, we are changed by His Presence and for His glory. Our earthly, impure minds cannot understand the things of heaven, unless it has been touched by the Holy Spirit and given Godly comprehension. The POWER in the spoken and written words of Jesus is what changes us. His Word grows us as we intentionally silence our reasoning. “Be Still and know that I am God” That is His invitation to personally interact with His Holiness, in the midst of your heart. WOW!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance than can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9)
That inexpressible, glorious joy comes when a person accepts Jesus as Lord. AMEN!!! Peter preaches; “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 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.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:17-21)
In the first letter Peter wrote he reminds us to be: clear minded and self-controlled so that we can pray. Above all, we are to love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. We are to offer hospitality without grumbling and use whatever gift we have received from the Holy Spirit to serve others. Peter proclaims that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
In Peter’s second letter we are told that everything we need for life has been given us through the divine power of God. God has delivered unto us His promised Holy Spirit who will continue to enable us to walk worthy for God’s glory. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; knowledge; self-control; perseverance; godliness; kindness; and brotherly love. As we strive to keep these qualities increasing, those qualities will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive. (2 Peter 1)
Peter preaches that God did not spare the angels when they sinned, and as an example of what happens to ungodly people, God did condemn the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and He burned them to ashes. God rescued Lot, a righteous man who lived among lawless men, so our Father is capable of rescuing godly people from earthly trials. Bold and arrogant men speak to slander the things of God, but they are like brute beasts, born only to be caught and destroyed. “They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done.” (2 Peter 2:13)
“Be self-controlled and alert.” Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your fear and anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
“Behind the Curtain” is a 100 page Summary of the New Testament and parts of the Old Testament
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March 10, 2019 – April 20, 2019 “It was Finished”