Peter concludes his letter with a few “thank-yous” to those who have contributed to his journey. None of us have arrived where we are on our own. At 18 years old I decided to follow Jesus. Fast forward almost 15 years into the future and I have a healthy marriage, family, and a calling in which I can actually help others follow Jesus. But by no means am I here today through my own efforts.
While my childhood appeared functional from the outside, my father had to work LONG hours supporting two boys as a single dad on a miniscule salesman’s salary. He worked a job he hated to have enough for rent, lights, food, and a pizza once a month.
The night that I met Jesus could have easily been missed without my friend Emily. She had the courage to continue to invite me to youth gatherings at her local church.
Even when I started following Jesus, I had no idea what I was doing. Ken Marshall, a Pastor and local school teacher, took two hours each week to sit with me and teach me how to read scripture and how to apply it to my life.
My wife has been instrumental in me becoming more like Jesus. Alyssa’s faith under pressure and her extreme amounts of patience have allowed me space to work out my understanding of the Kingdom of God and my own participation.
My first ministry calling was as a Children’s Pastor. I had no degree and no professional ministry experience. I did have a heart for kids, a desire to pursue what God was calling me to do, and a Pastor who believed in me. His decision to hire me and train me set me on a course that I am still walking out today.
The list could go on and on. We are not the products of our own efforts, desire, and fortitude. We may have worked hard but MANY people are involved in our own stories of redemption. God Himself has been fueling our journeys with His grace long before we met Him.
19 We love because he first loved us.1 John 4:19 (ESV)
Just as many have poured into us we are likewise invited into participating with the journeys of others.
As you read today, think of those who have played an active role in your journey so far. Take some time to write a thank you note! As you are encouraged by others, whom is God calling you to encourage? Pray about whom you might be able to invest in.
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 out loud!
- 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:
12 I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. 13 Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.1 Peter 5:12–14 (NLT)