Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-12 (NKJV)
1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
The Triune God has begotten us to a living hope, which is the certainty of the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. That is the inheritance “incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away.” How has He begotten you? Through faith in the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ.
No one is reborn through their own merits and works, just as no one worked or merited his first birth from his mother’s womb. As you did not contribute to that birth, so you have not contributed to your spiritual rebirth. It is not your work, but the work of God that gives you the heavenly inheritance.
In this knowledge rejoice, especially in suffering. You are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26), even in the midst of various trials and temptations. The crosses which God lays upon you are sent to prove the genuineness of your faith. St. Augustine wrote that preaching molds you like the potter’s vase while the temptation hardens you. The Word of God begets you as sons of God by creating faith in you. Temptation, trial, and cross are the fire in which your faith is proved, exercised, and solidified. In temptation and suffering faith clings to Christ all the more, knowing that His strength is made perfect in our weakness and that with every temptation He will provide a way of escape so that you may bear up under it. May God grant this to us all.
We pray: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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