30 day challenge

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:1-3

 

These verses come right after Peter was telling the people to be holy because God is holy, and that because they are born again they need to love one another. It’s like Peter knew the people were going to ask, “How do we do that?” So he explained how.

First they are supposed to put away ALL malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. He could have just said all once and then put the words. But he chose to repeat all several times therefore drawing emphasis to the seriousness of getting rid of all of it. He is saying there is no place for these things in people who want to be holy as God is holy, and who want to love one another because they are born again.

Second they are to long for the spiritual milk, so that they may grow. He likens this to how newborns long for milk. The only way newborns grow is if they get milk from their mom or formula. But they need the milk to grow. So for us to grow in Christ we have to long for the spiritual milk.

Then Peter basically says if you are truly born again then you will do these things. If you have tasted that the Lord is good, these things will be a desire of yours. If you really believe then this will be something you long for.

After reading these verses and studying them, my question then becomes “What does this look like practically?” For me what it looks like is making time every day to spend with the Lord, in prayer, in bible study, meditating on scripture, etc. The more time I spend with the Lord the more I long for more, the more I know I need time with him to grow. And I also know for myself when I’m daily spending time with him I’m less likely to be envious of others, to slander others, to lie, etc. Because the more time I spend with Him, and the more I learn, the more that I want to share with others. The more time I spend with Him the more He comes out in my words and actions. I’m a better parent, friend, sister, daughter, etc. the more time I spend with Him. The more I taste of the Lord the more I see how good He really is.

I know this is not true for just me. I know it’s true for anyone who spends time with Him. So I have a challenge for us in this tidbit, because it’s easy to hear God’s word and then not put it into practice, I’m guilty of it a lot. Let’s not do that this time, let’s put these verses into practice. Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good. For the next 30 days let’s commit to daily spending time with him, whether it’s 5 minutes, or an hour, doesn’t matter. But will you commit with me to making it a priority to spend some time with the Lord every day for the next 30 days?

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Tidbit # I lost count

So I know I said I would post the tidbit’s I send out at work here.. But I’ve been a little behind the eight ball with it… So I’ll slowly but surely catch up.. Here is this weeks though!

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:19-25

I wish I could just put the entire book of Hebrews in this tidbit, but that would be too long. So for those of you who have not read Hebrews, I challenge you to do it! It is a book all about who Jesus is and then what that means for us. It’s so good!

The above verses are kind of the shifting point in the book. Anytime you see a sentence that starts with the word therefore you should go back and see what it’s there for. This therefore is a big therefore in my opinion. I think it’s the writer taking a big breath after describing Jesus in depth and says because of everything I just said about who Jesus is this is what you should do.

Since I can’t put the whole book of Hebrews in this tidbit I’ll summarize a little of what the writer has said about Jesus. He starts out the book explaining that Jesus is his son, and is fully God. It states that Jesus is higher than everyone, or thing because it was created through Him. It talks about how God chose to speak through the prophets in the old days but in these days he chose to speak through His son. And because He chose to speak through his son, we better listen a little more carefully because Jesus is better than the prophets, better than Moses, and Joshua. Then he goes into how Jesus is a High Priest. And not a high priest from the line of Levi, but a high priest from a better order. It goes into how Jesus’ sacrifice was better than the rams and the bulls because those continually had to be offered for sins and Jesus’ sacrifice of his own body was once for all! The writer basically describes how Jesus is better in every respect than everything that has come before, and that the new covenant he established with his death and resurrection is so much better.

The writer says because of all that let us draw near to God with confidence, let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, and make sure we meet together and keep encouraging others.

So how do we do this? How do we practically live this out? I think we make sure we are spending time with the Lord, and when we pray we pray in confidence that He hears our prayers, and that He answers prayers. We remember that God is still in control, even when things seem like they are out of control, when things are so uncertain.

Instead of focusing on each other’s faults, or weaknesses, or the latest gossip, we focus on how to stir one another up to love and good works. Elsewhere in Hebrews it talks about how we should exhort one another every day, and that doesn’t leave much room for non-edifying talk. When we meet together let’s keep all the negativity out and lets focus on Jesus, and how to be more like him. Instead of tearing each other down let’s encourage each other.

My challenge this week is for us to pick two people a day and intentionally encourage them, or show them love, in some way. Whether you send an email, shoot a text, make a phone call, or say it face to face.

Jesus is better, so let’s strive to be like Him!