Breaking Bread For 12.17.21

Scripture

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 

1 Peter 1:13-14 HCSB

Reflection

Peter and Silas drafted this and other letters to the churches that were in Roman provinces located in modern-day Turkey. Peter was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and he was now ministering in Rome. Silas had also helped Paul (Acts 15) and so with his help, Peter was able to address concerns that they had because the congregants were being persecuted for their faith.

The members of these other churches weren’t early followers of Jesus, so their conversion to this faith is new and not having that direct interaction with Jesus, makes it harder for them to endure the verbal and physical attacks, and isolation by others. Being gentiles they are learning both the Jewish law, history, and culture as well as the system upgrade that Jesus taught and led decades earlier. They are learning why Jesus came and disrupted the status quo of Jewish life, bringing in a new covenant with new expectations, understanding that there would be backlash and lives would be sacrificed.

But they’re also growing restless, waiting for Jesus’s second coming. It’s been decades and they’re being tempted to falling back to their old ways and patterns. Doubt is creeping in because the man they call their Messiah has not made his spiritual return to redeem them. They didn’t sign up for persecution, they signed up for salvation. They signed up for luxury not hard times.

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to have second thoughts about a decision when you’re not fully rooted and committed, when you didn’t have a deepened indoctrination, and when you don’t feel that your decision is supported. When doubt creeps in it’s easy to give in to the doubt because you don’t have a firm grasp on the truth. Just like now, there’s a desire for instant gratification; give us the miracle now, deliver our King now, we want what we want, when we want it.

The people then, just like people now, struggle with a desire to have a human leader to guide, counsel, redirect, teach, nurture them, hold our hand, and do the heavy lifting. Theres a bad habit of seeing our religious teachers and leaders as figures that do all of the studying, analysis, and thinking for us, and then we merely take in and recite the message that they deliver. We can just retweet the post. It’s easier to take part in passive membership. You can just pay your dues, show up when you want, and expect all of the benefits of membership.

This isn’t an AAA or AARP membership; you can’t pay for it and expect service when you call on God. There’s no monetary instrument that we can pay for our membership in God’s Kingdom and for the guarantee of numerous perks. Our dues are our daily commitments and actions, it’s the work that we do for God’s glory. We give our lives through daily servitude and we release and reject our old way of living. The perks of membership are immeasurable and incomparable, yet they don’t come from passive living. They come from actively rolling up our sleeves and getting dirty in the trenches.

If you call yourself a follower of Christ or any other title, then every day we’re to wear the armor of God, study and carry the knowledge of His Word, and be moved to act by the calling on our hearts. Our days must unfold through His will and not ours, through His wisdom and not our ignorance.

Yes, it’s difficult but definitely not impossible. It’s what is expected of us. This isn’t a book club, so stop treating it that way. Be hot or be cold, but stop being lukewarm. Jesus didn’t tolerate fence straddlers. He had greater respect for those who didn’t believe or those who chose not to follow, than folks who claimed allegiance yet flip-flopped whenever the wind blowed.

Let’s support each other through our walk as God’s servants; provide encouragement and pray for each other. Let’s be the light and change we want to see in the world, not be the thing that turns people away from God.

Prayer

Father, thank You for blessing me with this day. I cling to my hope that You will always care for and protect me, and that everything You have planned for me will come to fruition. I pray for more light than darkness, more moments of joy than pain, and more opportunities to share Your love with the world.

I want to be the person that You have called me to be, and to represent You to the fullest as one of Your ambassadors.

I pray for the hearts of those I know and for complete strangers, for those who believe and worship You, and for those who struggle with their belief. Lift us up Father. Help us to see, feel, and know You, and in all ways seek opportunities to glorify You. I love you with all of my heart. Amen.

Love always,
Natasha 

Copyright 2012-2021. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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