Good job! As we continue this pilgrimage through 1 Peter and work to “get it into our bones”, remember that each day is a step in a journey; or as Pastor and Theologian Eugene Peterson says, is “a long obedience in the same direction.” As we make observations while we read, there are a few questions we are looking to answer:
- Does this passage teach me anything new about myself?
- Does this passage teach me anything new about God?
Among other observations, these two questions illuminate direct teaching from Peter today. For me, I know many truths about who I am. I am a Bowlby. I inherited a huge love of baseball. I was born with a rare heart condition called “Wolff-Parkinson-White” syndrome. I have five wonderful daughters. All of these descriptions are true, however this list is not all that is true about me. Scripture says that I am a “New Creation”:
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
In light of this new life, there are many new facts about me. I have been adopted into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5). I am both Salt and Light to an anxious world (Matthew 5). I am victorious through Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57). My new nature has afforded me a new identity. However, we have spent most of our lives living out our genetic inheritance, while oblivious to the truth about ourselves revealed through Scripture. Our passage today lists several truths about those of us who choose to Apprentice to Jesus
- You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth . . .
- You have been born again. . .
If you have chosen to follow Jesus, these truths are just as real, if not more so, than anything else. Just as I know that I have a wife and children, Peter invites us into KNOWING that we have been cleansed from our sins as we obey the truth. For some, these truths can feel very foreign. But Scripture invites us into truth that is beyond our own comprehension that is revealed through walking it out. We have media, friends and family, and entertainment all speaking “truth” into our mind every moment of every day.
Even our present circumstances can speak untruth to us. If we believe that the Jesus Follower, if faithful, will never have to go through suffering in this world, this current COVID-19 Pandemic would be confusing. We would see the suffering in this present time and future suffering as delegitimizing our apprenticeship to Jesus. But Scripture says otherwise! We can flourish even through trial, suffering, or persecution. That is why the regular rhythm of engaging with Scripture to reveal WHAT IS ACTUALLY TRUE is such a valuable source of realignment for the Apprentice of Jesus.
Today, as we read our 1 Peter passage, is there a new truth about yourself or God that is revealed through the Scriptures? Remember, this process takes time. As you read today, move through the passage s-l-o-w-l-y, allowing it to marinate into your soul. Start with the assumption that God wants to speak truth into your life today!
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P.:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it outloud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
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.
23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,
“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:21–2:3 (NLT)
So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.