Years ago, as his son was about to graduate from college, Joe asked him what he wanted for a graduation gift.
“Get me a job,” his son replied.
So, Joe went straight to work. He called up dozens of prospective employers and gushed about his son’s abilities. Soon his son began getting phone calls and ultimately offers for employment.
Joe turned his idea into a book entitled How to Get the Job You Really Want–And Get Employers to Call You.
Wouldn’t you like to get a job that easily?
Would you be surprised that you already have a job? Your job offer has been waiting for you.
Please join us for our daily Bible conversation and discover your true calling.
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
1 Peter 1:13-2:10. It’s the dreaded “O” word: Obedience. So out of fashion, so fifty years ago, yet so important. Addressing the importance of obedience, Peter writes,
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14–16
Obedience doesn’t come naturally, rebellion does. None of us wants to be told what to do, even if it means we make choices that lead to death.
All too often, we make bad choices, forcing us to live with the consequences of those decisions. An illegitimate child. Divorce. Broken relationships. Broken hearts. Attachments to death-inducing lifestyles. A distant relationship with God.
Deeper still, our choices leave us feeling dirty and unwanted. We confess our sins to God, but we still feel sullied by our past. How can we move forward?
Fortunately, Peter offers a remedy. In 1 Peter 1:22 he writes that “you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth.”
When we confess our sins to Jesus, we’re forgiven (see 1 John 1:9). We can’t do anything to purify ourselves from sin. Yet Peter tells his readers that they have purified themselves by obeying the truth. What does he mean by this? Translators explain that this passage is saying that obedience breaks the power of sin over our everyday lives.
Without the Holy Spirit’s help, no one can break sin’s death grip. Yet the Holy Spirit will not make us obey. The power to overcome ourselves doesn’t happen on it’s own. Our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, however, breaks that power. It seems so simple and yet it’s also profound.
Psalm 119:33-48. “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart” (Psalm 119:34). God’s laws were never intended to be followed with mindless obedience. Mindless obedience results in legalism—applying God’s laws in ways that he never intended. When we understand the law—when we know God and his intentions behind his commands—we comprehend God’s all-consuming love for us and obey him as a worshipful response. References to God’s love for us appear seven times in Psalm 119. God’s laws are always couched in love.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
Right from the beginning of their formation, God told Israel that his desire for them was that they would become a kingdom of priests:
Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Exodus 19:5–6 (italics added)
Notice that God used the word “if.” If they kept the covenant fully, they would be a kingdom of priests. However, Israel never lived up to God’s standard. Actually, none of us can live up to God’s standard, hence the need for a new covenant.
Peter, however, says this:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9–10 (italics added)
Peter didn’t say, “if you obey God,” he said “you are.” The covenant, put into effect through Jesus’ death and resurrection, includes all of us in his kingdom of priests. If you’re a follower of Jesus, any and every form of ministry is open to you. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are thus commissioned to equip YOU to do the work of the ministry. You are ordained in the ministry!
God has called you into full-time ministry. And what about your day job? You may be moonlighting as a plumber, teacher, homemaker, or lawyer, but you’re in full-time ministry.
- What spoke to you in today’s reading?
- Spend a moment to meditate on Peters words: “You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). What is this saying about you? What does this speak to your heart?
- How does knowing you’re called into full-time ministry change the way you see your vocation? How does it change it?
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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.