The First 15

Thursday March 24, 2022

by Sharon Reid

Today is Thursday, March 24 and this week, as we pray through scripture, we are reflecting on our great need for salvation.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still, I slow down my breathing, and I seek to be more fully present with God in these holy moments.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me release my worries and distractions into your capable care as I rest with you in these moments of stillness. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I sense I am in God’s presence here and now, as I join with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 98.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. – Psalm 98:1-3 NIV

Pause and Pray

The Apostle Peter wrote encouragement and teaching to the Gentile Christ-followers who made up several Christian communities scattered throughout Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey. They were experiencing social tensions because of their distinctive Christian lifestyle. This persecution and suffering caused them to question their faith. As I read Peter’s words to them, I recognize that I also have a need for this encouragement and teaching.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

Reflection

Peter reminds those who are suffering of the gospel they have received: the good and beautiful nature of God’s mercy and grace, the enduring gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and the outcome of persevering faith kept alive by God’s Spirit.

Ask: I notice that Peter says, “the proven genuineness” of my faith is “of greater worth than gold.” Have I been treasuring my faith in God as a gift I give of the very highest value?

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me notice a particular word, phrase or thought you want me to carry with me throughout this day as I slowly read the passage once more.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

Ask: What word, phrase or thought from this passage did God’s Spirit guide you to? How will you carry this with you throughout the day?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and pay attention to what you have led me to see and hear. I invite you to transform me in these moments so that I might reflect the thoughts and actions of Jesus Christ throughout this day. Amen.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved… – Mark 16: 15 NIV

Closing Prayer

Lord, as I leave this time of prayer, make me ready to be faithful to you in every way. Jesus, make me ready to serve others with your compassion and grace. Holy Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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