Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Word that Calls Us...

            Peter was a man who learned to rely on the word of God. Growing up in a Jewish family, he was, of course, instructed in the value of God’s word. He most likely was faithful in attending the synagogue where the word of God was read and explained each week. That being true, his mind was filled with the curious mixture of God’s pure word and human ideas about that word. That is true, not just for Peter, but for everyone who seeks to hear God’s voice.

Once Peter reached adulthood, he learned to fish for a living. The word of God was still rumbling around in his mind, but often his mind was simply occupied by the pressing needs of life – to make a living and keep his home running smoothly. While seeking to do this, his little brother Andrew introduced him to a rabbi named Jesus. Everything changed for Peter on that day. It was from Jesus that Peter learned to value God’s word more highly than he ever had before and to rely on it for his very life!

Peter was accustomed to hearing the word of God discussed and its meaning debated. When Jesus entered his life, he finally saw the word of God lived in all of its demanding gracefulness! It changed Peter’s life forever. He stopped fishing and began a life long obsession with telling (and showing!) God’s word to everyone who would listen.

In his old age, Peter wrote to the churches in Asia Minor about this powerful word of God. He reminded them that the word of God has changed their lives! They were pure because they had obeyed the truth. In a world that did not value moral purity, these Christians were like a light in a dark world. Obedience always leads to purity of heart, and the truth of God’s word always leads to obedience.

The word of God also called these Christians to greater love. Peter described their love with these words: “you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart!” They knew that love was the thing they most needed as they attempted to walk with Jesus. If we are not becoming more loving over time, then we are not obeying God’s word, whatever scriptures we may quote!

The word of God called these Christians to continued growth. Peter calls them newborn babes. God’s word was to be their milk to lead them to growth. Peter tells them to grow up in their salvation. This is a difficult task, for we often get satisfied at certain maturity levels and slip out of growth mode into maintenance mode. God’s word, gently at times, forcefully at times, pushes God’s people to grow.

The word of God changed Peter eternally, because Peter paid attention. Are you living attentively, hearing and obeying the word of God?   


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