Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22, 2011 … Entrusting All to God

Passage of the Day: 1st Peter 4: 19 … So then, those who suffer according to God's will should COMMIT themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

My Journal for Today: This is the closing “tag line” to the passage we’ve been looking at these past few days, writing in historical context to Christians who were witnessing their faith under an extreme cloud of oppression and danger, … many being burned alive because they were unwilling to deny Christ. And the Apostle Peter closes his exhortation to these committed believers by charging them to “keep on keeping on” in their faith – no matter what!

As I consider this charge in my own life, the exhortation of Paul in Romans 12: 1 comes to mind …

SCRIIPTURE: Romans 12: 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers [and sisters], in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.

Both Peter and Paul are encouraging fellow believers to join them (and they certainly were exemplary martyrs for the faith) in being willing to live - or die - for their Creator and Christ.

The term “commit” in all caps above in the NIV version of 1st Pet. 4: 19 is the Greek term, “paratithemi,” which can also be translated “entrust” (as it is, for example, in the NASB version). MacArthur, in his Strength for Today devotional for this date, points out that this is a Greek banking term; and therefore, these Apostles are saying that our acts of faith, what Paul referred to as “living sacrifice,” in Rom. 12: 1 [e.g., doing good in the face of trials], are faith deposits, placed in the safest of all “banks,” … in the Name of none other than God Almighty. Acts of faith, therefore, done in sacrifice in Christ’s Name and for His glory, are deposits which will be banked for eternity by God; and I believe God will honor them with His interest, which will be crowns in heaven.

So, in the face of trials, even ones like those of the Roman Christians being burned, where it becomes very tempting to cut and run, as did Christ’s Disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, we must be willing to ask ourselves whether our faith has matured to the point that we truly believe and are “living sacrifices” to the truth of Romans 8: 28 or 12: 1. And yes, as declared by God through Paul in 2nd Cor. 12: 9, we are weak; but if we believe in Christ and receive His grace, enabling us to prevail, as also promised in 1st Cor. 10: 13, we will be overcomers as was Christ, Himself (see also John 16:33).

My Prayer Today: Lord, may this life, mine, be a living sacrifice in Your Name. Amen

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