God’s grace, Love and Suffering.

Yesterday I found my conversation with Jesus continuing from the previous day, concerning God’s love for me and His creation. This is what I wrote: “Remember, you are my beloved son – however, just as complex as the body’s functions are (I had been imagining in my mind’s eye some of the most incredible functions of our bodies, far far more complex and ingenious than I could even imagine), so complex is my creation – each individual is unique and I love each one I have made – even Adam and Eve -the firstborn. Have I made some for destruction, like Pharoah? Don’t try and understand, don’t question – just accept my absolute attitude for my whole creation – It hurts me that I have had to judge it with a curse, it hurts me that I have to judge each person – it hurts me when people turn their back on me and deny me – it hurts me even when people suffer – that is why my grace has been poured out, lavished on my creation to be with those who are suffering. Each person is unique and will never be tested more than the grace I give them. (There was more for me, to do with my ministry).

So my reading, starting yesterday in 1 Peter 2:11 and ending today at vs 25. The underlying theme is submission and humility and today moves to the submission and suffering slaves should do and what their attitude should be towards suffering unjustly. There is no witness when you suffer justly and accept it. The witness is when you suffer unjustly and accept it. This is why you need the power of the gospel to carry you through and the example is Christ’s suffering, although He never deserved it.

So before I even had the chance this morning to truly stop and ask what this meant for me, this came to me: “This is for you Ian – you may feel you are suffering unjustly, but you are participating in Christ’s suffering; to this you were called (vs 21) – you are not a slave to humans but you are a slave to Me – doulos – in a hugely good way you belong to me, for I not only made you but I bought you with my blood – and equally your suffering is not brought about by evil intent – it is because I love you – it is drawing you closer and bringing you into greater dependence and humility”.

Then looking further down the passage came this wonderful summary of the gospel in vss 24-25: “He Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you are healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls”. Wow! There you have the gorgeous gospel in a nutshell.

I challenge each of you to try and memorize these two vss, so that when a crisis strikes they will be of the first words that will flood your mind.

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