Today’s Scripture is: 1 Peter 1:17-21 (NIV)
17 You call on a Father who judges each person’s work without favoring one over another. So live your lives as strangers here. Have the highest respect for God.
18 The blood of Christ set you free from an empty way of life. That way of life was handed down to you by your own people long ago. You know that you were not bought with things that can pass away, like silver or gold. 19 Instead, you were bought by the priceless blood of Christ. He is a perfect lamb. He doesn’t have any flaws at all. 20 He was chosen before God created the world. But he came into the world in these last days for you.
21 Because of what Christ has done, you believe in God. It was God who raised him from the dead. And it was God who gave him glory. So your faith and hope are in God.
There are two verses that really grabbed my attention here. “Live your lives as strangers here.” and “…But he came into the world in these last days for you.”
On Sunday, Pastor was teaching on what it means to set Christ apart as Lord in our hearts. I think I felt that if I could get up every day and say Jesus is Lord of my life that that would be enough. There’s so much more to the meaning of that verse though. If I really lived as a stranger here on earth every day and recognized that Heaven is my true home, I would view life differently and I would literally LONG for Jesus…. and LONG to be with Him every moment. And if I truly absorbed the fact that He came into the world for ME (as in personally… not just one of many), then how differently would I feel about myself and my worth…and how humbly would I live my life knowing He came for me.
To daily recognize how empty my life would be without Jesus, how hopeless my life would be without His promises, and how this life is only a snippet of the life to come – gives my life perspective…and as a result, hope….no matter what I’m facing. To me, that’s what it means to set apart Christ as Lord in my heart. To do this, would result in a change of attitude in everything I do:
Being humble in situations where pride would normally set in. Seeing challenges as temporary and not putting so much emphasis on them. Not needing to prove myself to others because God has given me my value. Moving into difficult situations that need attention, rather than running or avoiding them. Authentically giving an answer for the hope I have in Jesus, even if I feel judged. Loving people that think differently than me…..
Having the knowledge that Jesus is Lord, is great… but how much greater when I’ve set Him apart from all other things in my heart and recognize what He’s done for me. And how great it is when my attitude reflects that, because that is what gets the attention of the people around me, that’s what gives me hope for my present and future, and that’s what generates interest from those far from God. It’s to my benefit to set Him apart daily because I live life differently and with more peace… but it’s also to the world’s benefit, because they see Jesus in my daily living!
What do you think about this passage? How did it speak to you today?