— 1 Peter 1:13b (NIV)
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)
Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. (1 Kings 3:3 NIV)
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. (Psalm 3:3 NIV)
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3 NIV)
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” (Zechariah 3:3, 4 NIV)
This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ” (Matthew 3:3 NIV)
He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Luke 3:3 NIV)
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ” (John 3:3 NIV)
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV)
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? (Galatians 3:3 NIV)
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— (Philippians 3:3 NIV)
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 NIV)
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV)
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7 NIV)
All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3 NIV)
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:3 NIV)
— Aaron Stone
THE OUTWARD, UPWARD LOOK
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else” Isaiah 45:22
This is a promise of promises. It lies at the foundation of our spiritual life. Salvation comes through a look at Him who is “a just God and a Saviour.” How simple is the direction! “Look unto me. How reasonable is the requirement! Surely the creature should look to the Creator. We have looked elsewhere long enough, it is time that we look alone to Him who invites our expectation, and promises to give us His salvation.
Only a look! Will we not look at once? We are to bring nothing in ourselves, but to look outward and upward to our Lord on His throne, whither He has gone up from the cross. A look requires no preparation, no violent effort: it needs neither wit nor wisdom, wealth nor strength. All that we need is in the Lord our God, and if we look to Him for everything, that everything shall be ours, and we shall be saved.
Come, far-off ones, look hither! Ye ends of the earth, turn your eyes this way! As from the furthest regions men may see the sun and enjoy his light, so you who lie in death’s borders at the very gates of hell may by a look receive the light of God, the life of Heaven, the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God, and therefore able to save."
— Charles Spurgeon from Faith’s Checkbook
— Galatians 3:10-14 NIV
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:20-21
While I’m sitting in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley area east of the Twin Cities at a scenic Caribou Coffee, across from my stunning wife, with a refreshing sparkling tea, and my Bible open to 1 Peter 5, I am pleasantly reminded of our occupational role in the Kingdom.
I’ve seemed to always wrestle with the balance of resting in Jesus’ finished works and doing work for the Kingdom. Both seem important, but it can be hard to find a decent heart posture in regards to this balance. In reading through 1 Peter 5 today, I stumbled across a verse that, I think, provides a great mindset for believers to have whilst doing Kingdom work.
"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve…" 1 Peter 5:2
'not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…’
In this specific scriptural excerpt, the matter at hand is particularly shepherding or overseeing, but I think this same idea can be applied to many, if not all, works.
The difference lies in this: are we willing? Are we ‘eager to serve’ as the latter part of 1 Peter 5:2 states?
If you deal with feelings of obligation, burdened responsibility, or encumbering dutiful action, I encourage you to rest in the fact that Jesus paid it all and we can’t do anything to add to His sacrifice or to our own salvation. We are no longer under a law that demands our effort to be enough. We live under God’s grace and anything good, beautiful, or profitable that will shine through our good deeds is from the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
But, there is work to be done ("In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16), and as long as the Bride has an eager and willing heart to do good works, we will see fruit. After all, if this approach is taken, we will enjoy serving God and God’s desire for us to be willing and eager to serve will be fulfilled (‘as God wants you to be…’).
Grace & peace.
Scripture presents two aspects of being complete before God:
First, we are instantly made complete in Christ in our legal position (justification).
Second, we progressively become “complete in obedience” in our living condition before God (sanctification).
You are complete in Him (Col. 2:10)!