God of All Grace

In bringing our exposition of First Peter to a close this past Lord’s Day, I reflected on how Peter’s mind was so saturated and informed by Old Testament truth in all he wrote.  There are countless direct and indirect OT references throughout the letter.  He clearly understands Jesus Christ and His salvation as the fulfillment of God’s OT revelation.  Among other things, Peter sets a powerful and enticing example for valuing and growing in our knowledge of all 66 books of God’s Word.  It is all part of the “…pure spiritual milk…” that we should be craving ( 1 Pet. 2:1-3)!  God nourishes our faith and delight in Jesus Christ through His Word!  It is in and through all of God’s Word that we come to know more fully the unsearchable riches of His grace in Christ, and are enabled to stand all the more firmly in this grace (1 Pet. 5:12).  Amazing!


Here’s just one sweet  OT nugget for the strengthening of your soul.  This expresses the central theme of First Peter (standing firm in God’s grace, amid present sufferings and in hope of future glory):


Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens.  You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?  You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.  You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.  (Psalm 71:19-21)


Beloved, the “God of all grace” (1 Pet. 5:10) is always sufficient for all that He so lovingly ordains in all of our individual and corporate circumstances!  Always!  In faith, may you know and rejoice in the fullness of His grace in Jesus Christ, even as you long for the day when that faith will become sight.


Because He lives and loves,


Concluding 1 Peter

This coming Lord’s Day morning, I’m planning to finish out our focused study through First Peter.  What a glorious portion of God’s word, revealing the breathtaking excellencies of our Savior and Shepherd Jesus Christ!  How timely and relevant for us as God’s people, whom He’s called to live as aliens and strangers in this sinful world.  Within the various fiery trials He lovingly ordains, learning to walk together in humble submission to His sovereign will and care, standing firm by faith in the eternal hope of His grace.


I pray the truths God has been pleased to plant in us from First Peter would take deep root in our souls.  I pray we would hunger more for Christ like newborn babies, tasting more of God’s kindness, and turning away from all the deceptive fleshly lusts and worldly enticements that would dull and choke our appetite for Him.  I pray we would know more of “joy inexpressible” in the riches of Christ’s salvation, and that our living hope in Him would overflow in zeal to proclaim His excellencies.  I pray we’d be all the more clothed with humility toward one another, as we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand.  And I pray, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, that we would be strengthened, comforted, and emboldened in God’s eternal grace, resolved to suffer as He wills in the pathway of obedience to Him.


Perhaps between now and Sunday, you might carve out some undistracted time to read First Peter in its entirety, thinking and praying about these truths.  You might also find encouragement from the song Jesus I My Cross Have Taken, which expresses Christ-delighting resolve to follow Him in suffering (see the lyrics here).

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  (1 Pet. 2:9-10)


Amen!  I can’t wait to be with you this Lord’s Day!


Humble Trust in God

In many ways, the process of growing as a Christian can be described as the process of learning to be humble under God’s mighty hand.  As we saw this last Lord’s Day from 1 Pet. 5:6-7, such humble submission takes place as we cast all our anxiety on God by faith, confident of His glorious care for us.  Peter says much throughout his letter about the full nature of God’s care, preeminently demonstrated through the saving work of Jesus Christ at the cross (see 1 Pet. 1:3-12; 1:17-21; 2:24-25; and 3:18-21).  Learning to humbly trust and submit to God, in view of His merciful care for us in Christ – this is what it means to grow as a Christian.
To encourage our growth, God has graciously given some helpful examples to follow.  One such example is Job.  Following his sufferings, perplexities, and the gracious, comprehensive exhortations he received from God (see Job 38-41), Job expresses his deeper humility and submission in Job 42:1-6:

1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

King David is another wonderful example, as he testifies in Ps. 131 of his humble trust in God’s wise care:

1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

Beloved, our God is infinitely holy, good, wise, and sovereign.  And how patiently, lovingly He cares for us, even as we grow in learning to trust and submit to Him.  May we all keep loving, praying for, and encouraging one another so to trust Him, and to “…fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 1:13)

Because He lives and loves,

Because He Cares for You

This coming Lord’s Day, I’m planning to move into 1 Pet. 5:6-7 in our exposition Peter’s great letter:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what a glorious and comforting truth to be strengthened by:  in the great sufficiency of Jesus’ saving work, God cares for you!  The assurance of such a truth enables us to humble ourselves under His mighty hand, confidently casting all our anxieties on Him.  Oh, how infinitely great is the love of God for His own!


A.W. Tozer, in his classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy, dwells upon the impact of God’s sovereign love:


“The world is full of enemies, and as long as we are subject to the possibility of harm from these enemies, fear is inevitable.  The effort to conquer fear without removing the causes is altogether futile.  The heart is wiser than the apostles of tranquility.  As long as we are in the hands of chance, as long as we look for hope to the law of averages, as long as we must trust for survival to our ability to outthink or outmaneuver the enemy, we have every reason to be afraid.  And fear hath torment.


“To know that love is of God and to enter into the secret place leaning upon the arm of the Beloved – this and only this can cast out fear.  Let a man become convinced that nothing can harm him and instantly for him all fear goes out of the universe.  The nervous reflex, the natural revulsion to physical pain may be felt sometimes, but the deep torment of fear is gone forever.  God is love and God is sovereign.  His love disposes Him to desire our everlasting welfare and His sovereignty enables Him to secure it.” (pg. 99)


Beloved, may your knowledge of, and faith in His infinite, immeasurable love continue to increase –   Eph. 3:14-21!


Because He lives and loves,