Friday, 13 December 2013

"THAT BY IT YOU MAY GROW UP" Bible Reading Thoughts for Dec. 12th

“THAT BY IT YOU MAY GROW UP”  

     We all have either grown up or we are growing up – but in reading Peter’s first letter today we meditate on what he says about the growing up process.
     Peter went through a very challenging growing up process from the time he first met Christ.- what a journey in life he had to look back on in his ‘old’ age – a focus of thought made even more challenging because Jesus had told him that his death would not be a natural one. (see John 21 v.18,19)
      His 2nd chapter which we read today starts by telling his readers the things they must “put away” before they can “grow up.”   These include “all deceit and hypocrisy.”  The cleansing should be so thorough that they become “like new born infants (who) long for the pure spiritual milkthat by it you may grow up to salvation” [2 v.2]
     The growing up process can and should be wonderful - but tragically, such is the ‘pull’ of human nature, some grow up to become “tares” (weeds) or goats.  How is your growing up progressing?
     After penning the word “salvation” Peter uses the powerful little word “IF”; he writes, “IF indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good?.”  Think about that question – yes, it is a question!
     Does growing up to have a relationship with Christ seem “good” to you?  It is most interesting to check out the word “good” in Scripture.  Jesus said, “There is only one who is good” [Matt.19 v.17] using the Gk word ‘Agathos’ and referring to God.  When he told the parable of the Wedding Feast and described the final ingathering of guests so that “the wedding hall was filled with guests” and “both good and bad” were there.  [Matt 22 v.10], but only the “good” remained. (see Matt. 13 v.48)  The lives of the “good” become more and more like their Master – read Gal. 4 v.19
     Our growing up should be such that it leads us, writes Peter, to “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 ….” [v.4.5]   Wonderful – but utterly challenging!  Are you making real progress?
      “Over such.” Jesus was to reveal in giving his ‘REVELATION’ to John, “the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years.”
     Let us concentrate our minds on the present – noticing – finally - Peter’s words in v.9 “you are … a royal priesthood …, a people for his own possession  … Are you growing up so that this is happening?