Yesterday, we concentrated on Peter’s calls to action. This makes sense, as Peter is writing what is referred to as an “Epistle” – a letter that was designed for personal use, as well as for public reading with the intention of instruction. There are those outside of faith that read epistles like 1 Peter as merely a glimpse into history, but as Jesus Followers, we know that Scripture is divinely inspired and used by the Holy Spirit to speak to His Church across time and space! It’s amazing how many times God has used a passage that is fairly familiar to speak directly to my heart. Today, we will talk about how the Holy Spirit can use our emotions to prompt our hearts towards new thoughts, new ideas, and most importantly towards new actions.
As I read through today’s passage, I had to stop. With tears in my eyes, God spoke something profound to my very soul in the following passage:
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. .1 Peter 1:17a (NLT)
As a child, I regularly felt as if I were trying to live while starting a bit behind. Growing up with a speech impediment made simple tasks like saying “Here” to mark my attendance, asking questions during class, or even calling a girl on the phone (not texting, yes I’m that old) prove to be petrifying. I played sports, but was never naturally gifted. My coaches could see my drive to gain ground on my classmates. I vividly remember one coach’s prompt during a frustrating pitching session to inspire me to work harder. “Aaron can throw that pitch . . .” There were thousands of ground balls, thousands of swings, and thousands of repetitions to somehow make up for my perceived lack.
It is no wonder that I would carry much of this, “I have to earn it” mentality into my relationship with God. Thoughts of comparison either fueling or decimating my ego have been an invitation from the Lord to trust that all my worth comes from my “Heavenly Father to whom you pray” who “has no favorites”. A single sentence that I’ve read dozens and dozens of times came to life through the Holy Spirit to speak hope and truth into my heart.
As you read today, pay attention to your emotions. Is the Holy Spirit speaking something of Hope, of Love, of Faith to you 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:
“17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake1 Peter 1:17–20 (NLT)