A Daily Dose of Good News
Thursday, April 23, 2020
A video of Pastor Steve’s devotional is available online at https://youtu.be/EsyjwjrTRK8
A printer-friendly version of the devotional is available at DDGB 20200423
Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look! (1 Peter 1:8-12)
Legacy of Witness Across All Time
1 Peter gives us a rich opportunity
To remember and give thanks
For the work of the Holy Spirit
That leads us to love someone
And believe in someone
Whom we’ve never seen.
Sure we can be grateful
To the first witnesses of Jesus and his resurrection,
Whom the Spirit emboldened to share that news with others
Even at great danger to themselves:
Dangers at the hands of the Temple
Whose authority by law and condemnation
Were threatened by Jesus justice, mercy and love …
As well as dangers of the Empire
Who consider it treason
To pledge allegiance to anyone other than Caesar.
Those first witnesses couldn’t not tell
What they had seen and heard and experience in Jesus.
A Spirit of courage and witness that continues to this day.
But the text today also reminds us
There are others worthy for our gratitude as well.
Others whose evidence of Christ Jesus as Messiah
Is even shakier than our own.
I have often had the notion
That it would have been easier
To love and believe in Jesus
If we’d been among those who
Actually saw Jesus firsthand.
That we haven’t had that experience
Seems to leave our faith more speculative than theirs.
This passage from 1 Peter reminds us though,
That there’s another group of believers
Whose faith would be even more speculative than ours:
The Jews and God’s prophets among them.
We at least have the word of people who have seen Jesus.
The Jews and Prophets were espousing the arrival of Messiah
By faith according God’s Word alone
Without any other firsthand living witness.
Believing God’s promise to bless all nations through them
And God’s promise to send a Messiah
Who will reign with justice, mercy and love for all people
Just because God said God was going to do it.
Thanks be to God for the Spirit
Working within those Jews and Prophets
To keep the world on alert for the time
when God would keep God’s promises.
Ours is a great inheritance drawn on their faithfulness.
And thanks be to God for the Spirit
Blowing through the lives and faith of you,
Carrying us through yet another plague
Like all other times throughout the course of human history
When the Spirit has compelled faithful witness
During times plague, economic depression, war, natural disaster.
The promise of Messiah is kept for you today
And by your witness, God will hand it down
For generations to come. Amen