Time to end my writing hiatus. I know you have missed me. lol
Just as I was immersed into Colossians in 2016, I am taking the next step in 2017. Peggy and I together are immersed into 1 Peter in 2017. The theme for this year is “Proper Perspective.” Seems to be the perfect follow up from my study in Colossians where the theme of “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ” fueled my year last year.
So, as the New Year is well under way, let me share a thought or two regarding how I am attempting to properly align my perspective so that I am drawing more near to Christ each day.
Peter doesn’t waste any time in setting things in their proper perspective. Three verses into this letter, he declares that it is by God’s great mercy that we have been born again. We cannot earn this, we cannot be “good enough” to receive this gift, it is simply by God’s mercy that salvation is made available. I know we give lip service to this notion of “Mercy” and “Grace” and other churchy words, but think about this for a moment.
Salvation is an act of God. Period.
Living a “good life” is not what gets us into heaven. Obedience to the Gospel is what does that. Living a “good life” is the natural response to our salvation. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-10 –
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God does the saving, we can’t take credit for it, nor can we earn it…it is a gift. Living a life doing the “good things” is why we were created. My “job” as a follower of Christ is to live so that Jesus is glorified, so that God is honor always, and so that everyone with whom I come in contact is drawn to Christ.
That being said, what are some practical ways I can live that out?
Colossians 4:2 – 2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Colossians 4:5 – 5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.
Colossians 4:6 – 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
1 Peter 1:13-14a – 13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.
1 Peter 1:17b – 17 So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”
Bottom line for me is that I must live so others cannot have an excuse for staying away from Jesus. This guides me in my social media posts, in my interactions with people in the “real world,” in how I treat my family and my church family and my neighbors.
As I try to properly align my perspective, my desire is to live so that Jesus would declare, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
How about you? What are some practical ways you are living out your faith? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comment section below.