Friday, December 8, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Renewal of the Church 
1 Peter 1: 13-25 
Vs. 13 “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled” 
Renewal of the Church begins primarily with the renewal of the individual and Peter, the disciple of Jesus, tells us how this can take place. In order to have a renewal of the Church, we, the members of the Church, have been given three imperatives in this passage:

Being Holy  – “be Holy, because I am holy.”  v 16
Peter admonishes us to prepare our minds as it will require time, effort and initiative to realize holiness. Self- control, obedience and discipline is of primary importance to achieve holiness.  Because of our new birth, we can live new lives, marked by holiness. The Hebrew word here for holiness is “gadosh”, which means to be set apart, sacred, or pure. The Greek word here for holiness is “hagios”, which means to be different. We must prepare and we must dare to be different. To be holy, we need to really learn from Him and spend time with Him in the scriptures. Since we have been chosen by God, we can begin a close relationship with God. This involves a great call and a great responsibility. Our lives are no longer our own. Holiness and obedience go hand in hand. We must obey God if we are to be holy.  “If you love me, you will obey my commandments”. John 14:15. “to obey is better than sacrifice “ I Samuel 15:22.

Fear God - “Live your lives in reverent fear” v 17

Our fear should be because we revere God because of his awesomeness.  The word here for fear is “phobos”, which is actually a healthy kind of fear. This fear is born out of the recognition of His person, holiness, power and love. Since we have been redeemed by Christ, we now belong to Jesus.The Grace of God is amazing as it liberates us and sets us free. It also enables, empowers and teaches us to say boldly “No” to sin.

Love one another – “Love one another deeply from the heart” v22
 Peter says we are to love sincerely and deeply from the heart without hypocrisy. Love must be fervent, deep and intense and involve all those we are in contact with,  irrespective of position, caste or creed. This self less love- agape- is self giving and self offering.

A renewed Church responds to the direction that Peter has envisaged in the above admonitions. Once the members of a Church are holy, loving and have a reverent fear of God, the Church is on its way to renew its vision and mission and service to the world.
PRAYER
O Lord, help us to lead a life that is holy and pleasing in Thy sight. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Evidence of a renewed Church will be radiated on our faces, heard in our voices and reflected by the works of our hand.
 Philip Manuel & Laila Annie  Philip, Carmel MTC Boston.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church