Daily Devotion for May 2, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
This extraordinary little girl, Jackie Evancho, was discovered on a U.S. television show. Here she sings Pie Jesu. (The lyrics mean: "Merciful Jesus, who takes away the sins of the world, bring us peace.")
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.
Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving us family and friends to be with us in times of joy and sorrow, to help us in days of need, and to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
Born Again to a Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Notes on the Scripture
Peter wrote long sentences! He was neither the great theologian nor the master of words that Paul was; but he was a practical man, as well as a true holy man, someone whose very person was important. For he had walked with Jesus since the early days of His ministry, had witnessed the great events of Jesus' life and resurrection, and had been treated as a special man anointed to continue Christ's teaching after the Ascension.
If these long sentences are slightly hard to untangle, the concepts they contain are simpler to understand than some of the dense theological material we see in Paul's epistles. Peter was more practical; Paul was Christ's army and Peter was Christ's home.
The passage today states the basics of Christian belief. If it is not clearly written, it is easy to understand. Let us look at the first long sentence in the first paragraph, breaking it down into question and answer form:
We have been born again to a new hope. How did this happen? Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. What did this resurrection do for us? Our rebirth gave us new identities: children of God. And like all children, we are natural recipients of an inheritance from our Father. What is this inheritance like? It will not perish or fade or be defiled; it is eternal. Where is it? God is keeping it safe for us in heaven. How can we safeguard it? By faith. What does our inheritance consist of? Salvation. When will we receive it? In the "last time".
If you read through the entire passage slowly, once concept at a time, it is not so overwhelming. The last paragraph is especially comforting, for these Roman Christians scattered all over Turkey were being asked to believe in a man they could not see and had never seen. But Peter, who had seen Christ teaching, working miracles, crucified, and resurrected — Peter can testify that all of this actually did happen.
The recipients of this epistle were going through some very tough times, having been evicted from their homes in Rome, the great city of the world, and exiled into the hinterlands. So Peter, first off, gives them a pep talk. He reminds him of the miracle of their salvation, to boost their faith during their troubles. And simply because he is who he is, his credibility and effectiveness are unique.