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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 23


1 Peter 3:8-12 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For "Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
We live our lives in constant pursuit. We pursue victory and success at all costs! And, if my perfect life comes at the expense of others suffering, so be it. The game of life is one we intend to win! So what if I step on the losers as I cross the finish line, they should have trained harder. Anyone who gets in our way must be removed.

This is how the world teaches us to pursue success: win at all costs. Honestly, we such a pursuit just might help us win in life. Living like this just may help us achieve our goals. The problem is, we’ll miss Jesus, because He is spending all His time with the losers.

Jesus is not worried about pursuing glory and success. He is interested in pursuing sinners, forgiving their sins, uniting them in faith, and putting His word of mercy in their ears and mouths. All other pursuits are selfish and lead towards evil and reviling. But Christ calls us, not to overpower the competition, but to bless. We are to repent of our selfish pursuits and pursue peace. You may not win in the world, in fact, such pursuits will lead to losing. But take heart, Jesus seeks, pursues, and saves losers. He pursues the cross for you. His cross puts your pursuits to an end, but there gives you real victory.

+PRAYER+
Father, forgive me for idolizing success. Teach me to love my brothers and sisters and to pursue peace instead of vain glory. I thank you for sending your Son to pursue me and give me His salvation. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob

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