Posted by: bshelley | June 3, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Audio Version: seeking-gods-heart-1-peter-2_21

Today’s Verse: 1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His footsteps. NASB

God has two overarching eternal purposes. First that all might be saved (1 Tim 2:3-4) and , second that once saved, we would become the likeness of Jesus (Eph 5:1-2). On Sunday morning, that pronouncement would likely get a few “Amens” and “Hallelujahs” depending on the congregation’s cultural norms concerning vocalizing such things. At any rate, most would agree with such as being right and righteous. On weekday mornings, the stark message of this calling may be a bit harder to swallow. In today’s verse the apostle Peter says that to follow in Jesus’ footsteps means suffering. Stop the devotional right there! Why is it that obedience sounds better on our “day off” rather than on a day when we might be called on to actually suffer if we follow Jesus? Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have no overwhelming desire to be martyred, but Jesus did. I have no driving force within which pushes me to lay down my life, my schedule, for someone else, but Jesus did. I can walk right by people with outstretched hands and needs and be okay about it because I can’t help everyone, but Jesus could not just look the other way. By His suffering He did make healing and salvation available for all. It does not seem that comfortable Christianity is what we are called to if we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Maybe we have to step outside our four walls as the church, outside of our personal comfort zones and walk as He walked. He sought to seek and save the lost and beckons us as His to do the same. Yes, there will no doubt be some suffering and discomfort in the process of fulfilling our mission, but the rewards are substantial and eternal. When we can learn to look beyond the horizon to heaven, maybe we can then see the needs around us more clearly. Let’s submit to the possibility of suffering today. So then, whether we suffer or not doing His will, we will always be blessed.

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