This is the Lord’s day (not the Sabbath). Let us rejoice and be glad in it – let us rejoice and be glad in HIM. I am so grateful for my quiet little corner that the Lord has given me, where I can experience the closeness of my relationship with Him. As I become quiet I see a picture of a giant wave rising up to engulf me and those I love. Is it COVID? God’s word to me – “My grace is like that, like a flood, I have lavished My grace on you – I have not only chosen you and taken you on a specific path – despite yourself- I have done this – every step of the way in love – and the sign of my love is this abundance of grace for you. It is by grace that your sins have been forgiven – that you have been given the New Birth and have received all the benefits of being “In Christ Jesus”. It is by grace that you have experienced rejection [here I will break because this is highly personal] – this has enabled you to experience a tiny part of the rejection I have suffered as a result of my people’s unfaithfulness – yes and even yours. My grace means you are not only accepted, you are loved out of your socks, like the lost son to whom the Father ran to meet and clothed with a robe (of salvation), I run to meet you when you recognize my presence”.
Yesterday i started reading 1 Peter. Wow! What a rich passage, so dense – As I noted down what it was saying I made out 10 points between vs 1 – 9 of the first chapter and behind the input of what Christ has done for us, 4 exclamations of joy it brings him as he writes and should arouse in us in vss,3,6,7,8. I am not going to unpack this passage that is not the purpose of this blog. If you want to share this with me why don’t you go through these vss slowly and ask Jesus what He is saying to you.
Today I continued up to vs 12 and something really struck me. Verse 9 tells us what is the purpose, the goal as it were for these abundant gifts – “the salvation of our souls.” In vs 10 he picks up that “package” as it were the package of salvation and fetches it from the Old Testament, where it was first revealed although not understood yet. What struck me especially was something a commentator said about this passage and about salvation. We tend to think of Salvation as our final destination with God in heaven. However we need to remember there are three stages to our salvation. We were saved the moment we first believed. we are being saved now throughout the rest of our lives and we will be saved ultimately when we go to be with Jesus. The fact of salvation permeates every part of our lives from then on into heaven. It changes everything. The joy, the power from above, the purpose – to glorify God. Every aspect of our new lives is influenced by this amazing fact and process.
OK I can hear you say, but that’s old hat I have heard that often. But to me it was as if Jesus was showing me afresh how rich this “package” is, if we can use that imagery. As I contemplated the thought of it being a package, I thought: “Heh this is my Christmas present”. In my minds eye I could see this salvation package – gift being opened on Christmas morning and out of it poured all the wonderful truths which have been and are being given to me from it like a stream of jewels. Election, forgiveness through the sprinkling of Jesus blood, reconciliation with God, a relationship with Jesus, the hope of an eternal inheritance, shielded by the power of God through faith, all the tests He puts us through. And the wrapping of the package is His grace and the colour which glows over all is His love for us.
the package is hugely appropriate for me, for us, because all these things are necessary for this process of being saved. Wow! In Peter’s own words the thought of all this fills me with an inexpressible and glorious joy, a real Christmas joy.