Some notes I took in my devotional journal when we first got back to Manaus
In my reading through the Bible, I’ve finally come back around to 1st Peter, and 2nd Peter. And it’s such a timely encounter for me, with these letters.
We’ve moved again. And once again, it’s not to anywhere even semi-permanent. We’re back again to a guest room in Manaus. I can no longer remember clearly what it feels like, to not be a wanderer. To be settled in a place. Our sights are set on the unknown road ahead, on a time and place that only God knows, and a ministry full of giants and strongholds.
And in this context, oh how sweet the words of Peter are to my ears. Words breathed by the Holy Spirit, through the pen of someone who clearly loved Jesus and treasured Him above all else, addressed to “strangers in the world, scattered…”
And the language is the language of what John Piper would call “Christian hedonism”.
Over and over, urgently and insistently, Peter underlines and emphasizes the temporary and perishing nature of this world in which we live as estrangeiros (foreigners, strangers), and the permanence and superiority of that which we have in Christ.
- he reminds us by whom and for whom we have been chosen (1 Pet. 1:2)
- he reminds us of our hope and our inheritance (vs. 3-6)
- he reminds us of the worth of our faith (vs. 7)
- and the joy we have in Christ (vs. 8 )
- he reminds us that prophets and angels have longed for what we have (vs. 10-12)
- he reminds us of the precious blood of Christ – the perfect lamb, that redeemed us from empty lives
- and he reminds us of the eternal, imperishable nature of the Word of God.
And he keeps going: In chapter 2 he reminds us
- that we have tasted that the Lord is good (chapter 2, vs. 3)
- our identity (vs. 9-10)
- the example we have in Christ (vs. 21-25)
And listen to the kinds of adjectives he uses (in these two chapters)
- of greater worth
- belonging to God
In opening his second letter, Peter speaks of
- “a faith as precious as ours”, and
- “His very great and precious promises”.
On this basis, with this motivation – consumed by the greatness and preciousness of what we possess in Christ – Peter urges us to be holy, to love, to submit, to suffer, to shepherd the flock, to be godly, to be fruitful, and to hold on to the truth.
I keep reading and savoring these thoughts. As a stranger my heart grabs on to these truths and I am comforted, steadied, and spurred on my them. I NEED to focus my mind and heart on the superior treasures and rewards that we are inheriting. On His very great and precious promises. On the joy of having received, through the righteousness of Christ, a faith as precious as ours.
It’s a faith worth leaving home for. A faith worth missing loved ones for. Even family.
A faith worth sleeping in guest rooms so much for.
A faith worth using somebody else’s old pans for.
A faith worth pulling homeschool out of a packing crate every day for.
A faith worth sweating in the Amazon for.
A faith worth taking joltingly cold showers for.
A faith worth uncertainty and not knowing what tomorrow holds…because we have the word of the prophets and the promises of God for certain.
THANK YOU GOD FOR THESE LETTERS OF 1 and 2 PETER!!!!!!