If I’m going to meditate on scriptures I read everyday, I’m going to write my reflections through this venue. The regularity of reading scripture prompts me to listen to what’s been said and trains me to grow familiar with how the Lord speaks.
Some verses this morning convey the serious nature of growing as a follower. Its not merely about living in the afterglow of experiencing grace upon grace. Its about living a life in relationship with a God who speaks and directs.
In living the life, there is doing good. In doing good, in doing what the Lord has instructed, there is suffering. I read from Peter’s first epistle this morning.
. . . if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2: 20b, 21
I also read from John’s gospel.
If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. – John 15: 18
But, three verses earlier, Jesus shared his passion for his disciples.
I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. – John 15: 15
There is the contrast of us being servants of the Lord in obeying what he’s commands us, how we should live to honor the Lord who suffered for the sake of the world to reconcile us to God, and Jesus calling us his friends. He’s disclosed everything he’s heard from his Father to us. This is not done for slaves but for friends. He’s not kept secrets from us.
The sobering thought this morning is we’re bound to suffer in this world. When we act on what he’s told us we do so as those entrusted as servants with treasure, treasure to honor and respect. When we value his word and trust he’s given us everything the Father has given him, we know he’s embraced us as friends from whom no secrets are hid.
There’s suffering in living out what he’s revealed to us. Loving God above all other authorities and loving neighbors regardless of reputations and how they treated us in the past puts us at odds with what is acceptable behavior.
Do we act on what he’s told us to merely be contrary to the world that’s so bad, or because we love what the Lord loves?
We live the life as keepers and agents of grace and truth. We are not alone nor powerless. We bow before the God who acted on our behalf to secure for us what we couldn’t obtain for ourselves. We sit beside our Lord at his table because he regularly invites us to share in his life as valued friends and colleagues. So, we live the life.