Peter is one of the Bible characters whose spiritual growth impresses me time after time. He was passionate for Jesus from early on yet he didn’t first really understand what it meant to live for Jesus. But Peter was willing to learn, first from Jesus and later on from the Holy Spirit. Peter’s story is an encouraging example of heavenly spiritual formation, what it really means to grow in grace. Just think…Peter was the one who cut off the ear of the high priest arresting Jesus…and after lot of growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ he wrote this way:
Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves. Don’t pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give blessing in return. You were called to do this so that you might inherit a blessing. For
those who want to love life
and see good days
should keep their tongue from evil speaking
and their lips from speaking lies.
They should shun evil and do good;
seek peace and chase after it.
The Lord’s eyes are on the righteous
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord cannot tolerate those who do evil.
(1 Peter 3: 8-12, CEB)
We are called to live in grace and peace.
We are called to bless others, not hate.
We are called to see people with the eyes of Christ.
We are called to give blessing in return.
Are we really doing all that?
Are we of one mind, sympathetic, compassionate?
Are we filled with Agape and passing it on to others?
Do we pay back evil for evil or insult for insult?
Do we gossip, pass on rumors?
Do we act out of fear or out of love?
It’s time to make a clean sweep in our hearts and minds.
It’s time to turn back to God.
It’s time to repent and mean it.
Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with all your hearts,
with fasting, with weeping,
and with sorrow;
tear your hearts
and not your clothing.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
very patient, full of faithful love,
and ready to forgive.
(Joel 2:12-13, CEB)
God is far more than we can ever imagine.
God is full of faithful love and eager to bless us.
God is calling us to live in his grace and peace.
But then God also wants us to share all our blessings with others.
Blessings are not just meant for us for personal use.
The good news of new life in Jesus is not meant to be kept as a secret.
We are called to love people like Jesus.
Therefore, get rid of all ill will and all deceit, pretense, envy, and slander. Instead, like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the word. Nourished by it, you will grow into salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2: 1-3, CEB)
It really is time to get rid of all ill will and negative thoughts.
It is time to bask in God’s grace and share the bountiful blessings we receive.
It is time to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is time to give blessing in return.
Come and make a clean sweep in our hearts!
Expose and burn all ill will and hatred!
Get rid of everything that is not from you!
Then fill us with your peace, grace, love, hope, and joy!
And enable us to share all the good things with people we meet.
Empower us to live in your grace all the days of our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Have you grown in grace? What’s the biggest challenge for you in Christian living?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live and move in God’s love and grace!
Giving thanks today for
#211 the example of spiritual formation process in Peter
#212 the Holy Spirit’s work in us
#213 time to turn back to God
#214 God full of faithful love
#215 spiritual growth is possible
#216 invitation to live in grace
#217 the sunshine and spring
#218 God being alive and awesome
#219 being called to bless others
#220 empowerment to live in love
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