God’s Elect are God’s Obedient

12/16/2004 6:30 AM

S: “…To God’s elect.who have been chosen.for obedient to Jesus Christ
and sprinkling by his blood…prepare your minds for action; be
self-controlled.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…Now that you have purified yourselves
by obeying the truth…you have been born again…through the living and
enduring word of God…the word of the Lord stands forever.”
1 Peter 1 (verses 1, 2, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 25)

O: The theme of this chapter appears to be obedience. The way we become
God’s elect is to be obedient. The way we survive as God’s elect is
through obedience. We are called to a higher level of living to be holy
as the Father is holy. And we are born again (i.e. brought into
holiness and God’s election through obedience) through the WORD OF GOD.

In other words, we have the ability to strengthen ourselves in the walk
and work of grace. We are not saved by what we do, but we can build on
what God starts with. In fact, we are CALLED to do this. We are
motivated to do this. We are built up to do this.

Peter says: Be self-controlled – it’s within our power. (v. 13)
Peter calls us to be holy, not to somehow, miraculously become holy (v.
Peter says that we can be purified by obedience. (v. 22)
Peter says that we are born again through the word of God (v. 23)

In other words, we are changed by the word of God. We are called to be
different, we are called to be obedient, holy, self-controlled, and like
God and we are told that this HAPPENS when we are in the word of God.

A: What better reason can I find to be doing LIFE journals? What better
reason can I find to be washed clean with my SOAP journal each day?
What better reason can I find, except that I am called to obedience,
called to holiness, called to self-control, called to be born again.

17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans
10:17 (NKJV)

Nowhere else can I learn from God how to live like God wants me to live.
It only makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, if I want to learn how to be
the best hitter, I go to the best hitter and learn from him. If I want
to learn how to be the best in business, I go to the best schools and
learn from the best of the best and take the TIME to do it. If I want
to learn to be the best in farming, I take the TIME to learn from the
best and listen to others who are farther down the journey than I am.
If I want to be the best in Karate, I take the time to learn from the
masters and take the time to practice it. If I want to be the best in
delivering babies, I learn about it BEFORE I do it!

Why do we think that somehow spirituality will somehow fall out of
heaven and land on us. God hasn’t created us that way. He’s created us
with the attitude that “GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE THAT WAIT.” In other
words, if I want to grow to be like God, if I want to get rid of sin in
my life, if I want to become holy, like God is holy, why wouldn’t I take
the TIME to do that? Why wouldn’t I know that I must sit at the
MASTER’S feet and discover how to do that from him.

Why would I spend all my time listening to people who say they’ve met
the master, instead of going straight to the master?

When I studied Tae Kwon Do, I was able to achieve the rank of black
belt. And then I moved away. I wanted to continue to study the art,
the sport, but I never found a way to study from someone I respected as
much as I respected my former teacher.

Although, I was unable to stay in Michigan and continue to study from
that Master, the Master of the universe isn’t that far away. He’s only
as far away as your Bible.

A course of consistency becomes doubly difficult when it is made to
contradict not only natural inclination but also acquired habits of a
lifetime. {19MR 96.2}

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of
a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the
result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ.
Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by
feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort,
sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not
one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan
reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so
long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which
we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the
result of lifelong obedience. {AA 560.3}

Finally, the words of 1 Peter 1 close with these words: “…the word of
the Lord stands forever.” Peter is trying to remind me that even if I
don’t choose self-control all the time, even if I don’t choose obedience
always, even if I don’t choose holiness each moment of the day, the path
back is ALWAYS there – the Bible – the word of the Lord stands forever.
In other words, if I fail, God is ALWAYS there.

You never fail, unless you fail to get back on the path again. You
never fail unless you fail to get up and get on the pathway again.
God’s path is always there. It never fails. It stands forever.

P: Lord, I pray you will guide me. Sometimes I forget how to live for
you, with you and like you. But today I am sure that you are leading me
to walk with you. I am sure that your pathway is clear. Get into the
Bible. Get into the word.

What I’m doing each day, Lord, is the long. slow, but correct path that
will get me where I want to be. It’s true that the pursuit of
discipline will get me where I want to go. It’s true that the we are
truly in the pathway you want for us – as a family – the kids and Gail
and I are all in our Bibles all the time. I pray you will continue to
lead us down the path of obedience, self-control, holiness and continue
to allow us to be born again by your word each day.

I love you, Lord. Thank you.