Text: 1 Peter 3:18-23
Theme: Only Christ can truly bring us home.
Key verses: “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit” (v. 18). “…baptism, which now saves you…as a response to God from a clean conscience…is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now Christ has gone into heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God…” (v. 21b-22a).
What God said to me: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’m not talking to you because you’re not listening. You’re just going through the motions this morning. You think this is some kind of routine you can just mark off your list? Would you rather watch Facebook videos than read my Word and pray to me? What do I need to do to demonstrate I’m worthy of your attention? I suffered and bled and died. Was that not enough? I rose again to life over death. I ascended into heaven, am seated with Father God, and all the authorities in heaven accept me as King. Yet, you can’t seem to focus for 10 minutes to stop and listen to what I have to say? Perhaps you take for granted our relationship? Maybe you’ve forgotten you aren’t going to hell because of me. Maybe our relationship has grown stale to you and things around you look better than what’s above you? Dwayne, I already know the answers to these questions. There’s no guesswork with me. The question is do you know? You need to examine your heart and mind this morning. You’re of the faith; you’re still my child and forever will be. But are you in the faith today. Are you abiding in me and allowing my Word to abide in you? I will bring you safely home to heaven and to our Father one day. Of that you can be sure. You will see me face to face. But whether you hear me say, “Well done,” is entirely up to you. Sadly, I had more to show you in this passage, but you didn’t come today expecting and longing to hear. If you want wisdom you must search for it as for hidden treasure. Don’t get lazy on me in your older years, Dwayne. Guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of your whole life.
What I said to God: Holy King and God, I confess I am busted. I did not approach Your throne with humility and anticipation this morning. I was way too casual in my attitude, much too ungrateful. Thank You for Your mercy that’s new every morning–including this Saturday morning in June. I’m 55 years into this thing called life. I’ve been given some extra time on this earth. Help me invest it more wisely than Hezekiah did with his extra years. I want to finish well, but I want my flesh to rule some too. Can’t have both. I decide (by Your grace) to live only for You. Help me turn my sights toward home and live like a pilgrim and foreigner here.