Daily Devotion for May 9, 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 before-my-time tv clip of Ernie Ford singing Rock of Ages is appropriate to today's Scripture. In the hurried modern world, it is good to see someone who isn't afraid to take his time to reflect on the meaning as he sings.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
1 Peter 2:4-6 (ESV)
A Living Stone and a Holy People
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." [Isa. 28:16]
Notes on the Scripture
Peter here makes an unmistakeable reference to himself and to his special mission, given to him by Christ in Matthew 16:13-20, specifically verse 18, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The native tongue of both Peter and Jesus was Aramaic, and Peter's name in Aramaic — Cephas — literally means "rock". And if this is not enough, the epistle (like the Gospels) was written in Greek, and the Greek word for rock is petras; so Peter's name means rock in both languages!
So when Peter tells us that we are "living stones rejected by men", he is telling us that we may identify with him. We are like Peter. We are the rocks of which the church of Christ is built. Our commission to be the bearers of Christ's legacy stems from Christ himself.
We do not simply believe. Peter received his special commission immediately after he first confessed that he believed Jesus to be the Savior (see the quote from Matthew, above); and in just the same way, Peter is telling us that, by confessing our belief in Jesus as the Savior, the Christ, we become the living stones in the church. Once we believe, then, we are to think of ourselves as chosen by God.
Peter's first epistle was written largely to bolster the faith and hope of people who were suffering greatly for their Christian beliefs. This is evident both by the historical context of the people to whom it is addressed, who we know were being persecuted, and by the content of the epistle. So this is a good book to read if you ever feel persecuted or humiliated by scoffers.