Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 20

1 Peter 2:21-25 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Yesterday, Peter had some very difficult advice for how we are to endure hardships: We are to patiently suffer through it! Who does that? Who patiently suffers? Shouldn’t we get lawyers involved? Shouldn’t we hit back? Eye for an eye is the only way to deal with those who hurt us, isn’t it?

Praise God for our sakes that it is not the way God has dealt with us! In fact, when Jesus came down to earth, you and I and every sinner committed the greatest act of treason in the history of the world, we treated our kind and loving Lord like an unjust slave-driver and nailed Him to a tree. Now, He had every right and ability to take that sin and deal with it according to His justice. He could crush us in our sin. Instead, He graciously took those sins into himself, bore them on the tree, and died for them. He didn’t fight back. He did something far more powerful, He forgave you. His mercy triumphed over justice for you (James 2:13).

As sheep of this Shepherd, we learn how to endure injustice in this world. We may suffer, but we do so praying for our enemies and forgiving their sins. After all, we know that no matter how harshly they treat us, we have received and will receive far greater glory from our Father in Heaven. For, we belong to Jesus, and He has overcome this world for us.

Father, I thank you that you have shown me mercy despite my sins against you. Grant me the strength to do the same for those who sin against me. I confess that I cannot do it alone. Grant me your Spirit to be gracious. 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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