Journey Through The Bible Hero

NOVEMBER 23, 2021 DEVOTION

Ezekiel 45:13 – 46:24, 1 Peter 1:13 – 2:10, Psalm 119:33-48, Proverbs 28:11

“So think clearly and exercise self-control . . . Obey God because you are His children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil . . . Now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God – who chose you to be His children – is holy . . . And remember that the Heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when He judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time as foreigners here on earth.  For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.” (1 Peter 1:13-18 NLT)

Question – “What kind of life did you have before you came to know the Lord?” Peter was writing to first century Jewish Christians and reminding them that before they came to know the Lord, their life was completely empty (1 Peter 1:18). They may have had possessions, popularity, power or property. They may have enjoyed some measure of health and/or success emotionally, financially, physically, relationally or vocationally before they came to know Christ, but compared to the life He had brought to them, their lives had been totally empty.  Remember, these weren’t Christians who had it easy in life. Peter was writing to Christians that were undergoing intense persecution and many trials (1 Peter 1:6-7). However, he believed that their life with the Lord was far better than their life had been without the Lord, and he wasn’t hesitant to tell them so. Can you say that your life since you came to know Jesus is far better than the life that you lived before He became your Lord? If you can, you’re ready for the next question.

 Second Question – “What did God do to bring us this better life?” Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:18 that God paid a ransom to save us from an empty life. To pay a ransom means to pay someone else’s debt. According to the Bible we were once all in great debt to God because of our sin.  Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death,” and because of our sin we had a debt we could not pay. On the cross of Calvary, however, Jesus paid our sin debt for us. He paid the penalty for our sin by becoming a sinless sacrifice on the cross. Hebrews 9:22 reads that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin,” and so Jesus shed His blood for us in order to pay the great indebtedness we had towards God. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His own Son in order to ransom us from the penalty of our sins and an empty life.

 Third Question – “How should we live so that we demonstrate our appreciation to our Lord for the great sacrifice He has made to rescue us from an ‘empty life’?” Peter writes that we should think clearly and exercise self-control. Is that hard for you to do from time to time? Thinking clearly and righteously and exercising self-control is hard for many of us, but we must be willing to do so because of all that God has done for us. Peter also writes that we are to obey God, “not slip back into our old ways of doing evil,” and live a “holy life.” Once again these are difficult attitudes and actions for most of us to take, but we should be willing to make them because of the great sacrifice God made for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

We are to remember that “our Heavenly Father will judge and reward us according to what we do,” and therefore, we must “live in reverent fear of Him” during our time on this earth. This simply means that we must make the decisions of life with the realization that there are good consequences for good decisions, and bad consequences for bad decisions. We must always realize that we will one day stand before the Lord, and therefore we need to fear and reverence the Lord as well as live in continual gratitude because of Who He is to us and what He has done for us.

As you pray today: 1) Thank the Lord for being willing to pay the penalty for your sins and ransom you from destruction; 2) Thank Him for the new life He has brought to you; and 3) Ask the Lord to empower you to live a holy, obedient and reverent life, so that you can honor and thank Him and lay up for yourself great rewards in heaven.