LIFT THE BAR

2 Kings 3 

continues the saga of territorial fighting and questionable leadership that we have been reading for several weeks.  This time the kings of Israel and Judah are joined by the king of Edom and being unsure of suitable tactics, turn to God through the prophet Elisha.

God is more willing to hear than we to pray , though in the chapters we have been reading from Kings recently, we vividly see how easy it is to call on God for help in time of trouble, but how hard it is to be obedient to His rule.

May we be like those kings who followed The Lord and may we pray for the leaders of our nation – actually all national leaders, to do the same for the good of their people.

 

1 Peter 1: 10-16

Our reading from Peter’s letter to the Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor (Turkey) who, like us, ‘ have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through  the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ.’ Ch 1:1 is a challenge to us all.

The salvation which we now enjoy was spoken about by the ancient prophets, though they may have struggled with the WHEN and HOW, instead of focussing on ‘the grace of God’ v10.  However they were clear of the certainty that what God promised He would do.  That was fixed and we are privileged to know that all has been fulfilled in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and in the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Does this though make a difference to our daily living?

This salvation grace according to Peter, requires us to:

engage our minds v 13 on Christ’s return and to THINK about our daily actions, and to be obedient v14 to God’s ways.

We have been ‘ransomed’ v18, ie bought back, at enormous cost, not with perishable things like gold, but by Christ’s blood ‘and that is why Peter can call his readers to a life that is radically different from the way people normally behave’ according to Bishop Tom Wright.


While generosity, forgiveness, kindness and selflessness……. are not something for which Christians hold a monopoly, they are a requisite and it is sad that often we are a pale shadow of God’s ideal.  

The bar for Peter’s readers has been lifted high – 

‘Be holy as I am holy’ v16 – holy meaning different, special, separate  SO we have no excuse.  We are to be like God in our homes, our work places and in our community.  Let’s make it our prayer for ‘without me you can do nothing’ John 15:5

 

Peter and Elizabeth Smart.

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