Imperishable, Undefiled, Unfading

It’s Wednesday morning, November 23, 2011. The day before Thanksgiving. Christi is taking the day off today. But she will spend a good part of the day cleaning, in preparation for tomorrow’s big family Thanksgiving. Then she will get up early tomorrow and start cooking. Christi doesn’t cook a whole lot…I do most of the cooking for us. But she loves to cook the Thanksgiving meal. And she does a fantastic job of it, too.

Stephanie got a little freaked out yesterday and started having doubts about the homebound schooling. I think she recovered, though. Personally, I think she got intimidated by the amount of work she needed to do this week. But once she got over it, she completed three of the six tasks that she needed to do this week. I told her later that she could space it out a little more. There was no need to feel that she had to do it all at once!

Yesterday…one of those rough days at work. Today will be better. I believe it.

Today’s Bible readings:
1 Peter 1:1-12; Ezekiel 37-39; Proverbs 29:19-27

Just as James wastes no time getting down to the admonitions and warnings, Peter wastes no time getting to the encouragement. After a brief greeting, he praises God for our salvation. Note the words that he chooses. God “caused us to be born again…” (v. 3) It’s important to see this. God caused it. We did not. I can’t stress enough that God is responsible for every inch, every ounce, every minute detail of our salvation! We have nothing to do with it! Even if you say, “But I had to believe” (which is true), God is the one who gave the faith that enabled you to believe. What have we been “born again” to? Living hope; an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading!” (v. 4) I don’t know about you, but when I read this, I get goosebumps! It gives me shivers. We have an inheritance waiting for us that is amazingly awesome! It is being kept in heaven for us, and we are guarded by God’s power! (v. 5) However, while we are waiting for this “salvation” to be revealed (by this, he is referring to our final, ultimate “salvation,” in which we receive our inheritance), we are “grieved by various trials.” (v. 6) But this tests the genuineness of our faith. And the result is “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (v. 7) I love verses 8 and 9. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Yes!! This is what faith is all about! We don’t see Jesus, but we love him! We believe and we rejoice! The resulting challenge comes tomorrow.

Ezekiel 37 is the infamous “dry bones” chapter. God tells Ezekiel to prophecy to a grave full of bones. They come to life, grow flesh, and after further prophecy gain breath. The purpose for this? God’s revelation in verses 11-14. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”
Instead of the traditional “Dry Bones” song, I thought I would share this beautiful worship song by a very talented group called “Gungor.”

By the way, thanks to Emerging Mummy for turning me on to this group.

Father, I praise you for causing me to be born again. I thank you for the living hope that I have; for the inheritance that waits for me that in imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. I cannot wait for the day when this inheritance becomes reality for us. Nevertheless, we live on this earth, we suffer various trials, and we live by faith, rejoicing in that which waits for us some day. The joy that we have in Jesus is truly indescribable. At times, we forget. This is true. I struggled yesterday to remember my joy, when faced with difficulties at the workplace that just wouldn’t go away. However, at various points during the day, I believe the Holy Spirit reminded me that these are just things that have no lasting impact on my life, as a whole. I thank you for reminding me of these things, and I confess that there were points during yesterday’s trials that I did forget; I did worry; I became discouraged. But I see, looking backward, that none of this has affected my inheritance. There is NOTHING that can affect my inheritance. That’s why Peter used words like “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” to describe it! I praise you for this, Lord, and I pray that you will continuously remind me of these truths!
I thank you for giving me faith to love Jesus and believe in him, even though we cannot, at this point in our lives, see him. This is truly remarkable.

I pray for this day. Let this day be a good day for Christi as she works and rests at home (I pray that she will get some rest). I pray for Stephanie, that she will help out some, during the cleaning.

I pray for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal, that you would not allow us to go through it without remembering what it is that we are celebrating. May we truly be thankful for all that you have given us. I also pray for Friday’s meal at my parents’ house. Give us safe travel as we go to their house.

I lift up a special prayer for my friend Andy, in California. Lord, please give him shelter, and, if it is your will, I ask that you give him the means to return to the city to which he wants to return. Give you grace and mercy today, Father, as well as courage.

I pray for the place that our leadership team from The Exchange is looking at. Again, we pray for your will in regards to a permanent place for The Exchange to meet.

Imperishable. Undefiled. Unfading. That’s what we have to look forward to!

Grace and peace, friends.