We no longer stand outside the Holy of Holies, but we are invited behind the veil, right into Your presence and there You call us friends. Picturing that moment is both difficult and sublime. Such truth is too great for us to fully comprehend.
Father, when we read of Peter’s life, prior to the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, he was quite a problem, not in things of faith, but in things of temperament. We too are ill-tempered at times but here we read the words of a Spirit filled Peter, a perfect example of a changed heart and an example of what You can do in the life of a person.
It is not a wonder to us Jesus that You would be extremely disappointed if we intentionally sin. It would be like asking You to return to the cross, repeating the sacrifice, for each of us who consciously choose to sin. We need to walk with You, fully aware of Your presence in all matters.
Father, these verses capture feelings we all have at times. Our “lower nature” is a reality. Temptation is real and persistent. We are born with a “default setting” wherein we can easily be a slave to sin, as described by Paul.
Father, You have called us saints and yet our hearts convict us. Here You tell us to sanctify our hearts, an active process of cleansing and renewal by You, that in good conscience we might provide others with a good defense of our love for You in meekness and fear, avoiding arrogance or the suggestion of appearing judgmental.
Father, we all have the same problem. We dwell in the flesh; we are subjected to temptation on all sides, every day. We know as we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, afresh, constantly, that we draw nearer and nearer to You. Yet, perfection awaits; sanctification is a process, not a done deal but a process, one that we seek but do not fully apprehend this side of heaven.
We want, Father, to fully understand and commit ourselves to the view that two persons, fully committed to serving You, and each other, become as one flesh. That bond, we declare faithfully, will help us be more forgiving and more tolerant of each other’s mistakes and weaknesses than is typical in our times. We see that is Your perfect will for us.
Jesus, we acknowledge You as the Son of God, our personal Savior and our Advocate at the time of judgment. We have confidence that our love for You, by the grace given to us by God to be His chosen children, will result in our being with all believers in heaven, rejoicing forever.
Even though childhood and youth may be “vanity”, during these wonderful years when their smiles melt our hearts and their innocence charms us, prepare their hearts to serve You and to trust You in all things.