Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 16

I Peter: 7-9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, 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.
Identity theft is a perennial threat these days. We have to be constantly monitoring our credit cards, bank accounts, and internet activity lest someone steal our information and begin to make purchases (or worse!) in our name. We must always be on our guard to protect our identity.

The devil is an identity thief. At least, he pretends to be. He is constantly in our heads, trying to tell us we are hopeless sinners with no chance of being loved by God. He loves to define us by our sins and failures. He is always seeking to remove our identity in Christ: “Look how sinful you are,” he snarls. “You cannot possibly think that you are part of the people of God! Your sins flow from the darkness, you don’t belong in God’s light. Give up! You’re hopeless!”

But, no matter how convincing his attacks may be, the devil does not give us our identity. That is Christ’s work. To be sure, we are sinners. But Christ dwells only with sinners. In fact, he calls them (us!) friends (John 15:15)! Peter teaches us that, because Jesus shed His blood for you, you are identified as person who is chosen by God, a priest in his kingdom, part of a nation set apart for His blessing, God’s prized possession, one who sings God’s praises, you bask in the light of His glory, for you have received mercy. By virtue of Jesus’ blood and your baptism, that is who you are! And the devil can’t take that away from you!

Father, teach me to find my identity in your Son Jesus. Protect me from the lies and attacks of the devil. Keep my ears full of your Word. Thank you for choosing to send your Son for me. 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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