Rise Daily: April 29
THIS WEEK’S THEME & PASSAGE
A Movement – 1 Peter 2:4-12
This week’s sermon from the series “Where We are Going: The City and the Mission“
THIS WEEK’S MEMORY VERSE
Memorizing scripture is a way to keep God’s word close to our hearts. Each week we will select one verse of scripture to remember as a community.
1 Peter 2:9
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.
Each day’s devotion will focus on one part of the week’s passage.
1 Peter 2:9-12
9 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. 10 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.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
MEDITATION ON THE WORD
In our busyness and distraction, it is easy to skim through our reading rather than taking it in. Yet we believe this is the inspired word of God. Take a moment to pause, thank God for the scriptures and ask him to speak to you through them today.
Throughout the Rise Campaign we have been looking at what it means to be the people of God and how we bring renewal to the world through the gospel of God’s gracious love for his creation. In this final meditation during our current series, we fortify our hearts with a sublime thought that can propel us into loving service to the world. For reasons known only to him, God has chosen to set his infinitely valuable love upon a people who otherwise would have absolutely no claim to it.
We have been seeing this week that Peter emphasizes the continuity of the Church with God’s people in the Old Testament. In today’s segment, “[you are] a people for his own possession,” the connection is with the Book of Hosea.
Hosea was called to bear witness for God against his people. Though a covenantal marriage existed between them, the people had committed “adultery” with other gods (Hosea 1:2, Jeremiah 3:6). In response to this, God tells Hosea to marry a whore with whom he would have three children, each being named for an aspect of his judgment. Of the third child, the Lord said, “Call his name ‘Not My People,’ for you are not my people, and I am not your God” (Hosea 1:9).
God was speaking as a rejected spouse. But had he ultimately severed his marriage? Had he abandoned the covenant he made with his people? Not so. Though Hosea’s wife had run off with other lovers and had eventually fallen into slavery, God commands him to buy her back (Hosea 3:1–3).
Just as Hosea was told to redeem his adulterous bride, so God redeemed his. Peter tells Christians, “[You] were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18–19)
The marriage of God to his people is solely the result of divine grace. To be a child of God is to realize on the one hand, one’s own unfaithfulness, and on the other, the unfailing faithfulness of God. When Christians rightly say, “We are his people,” they acknowledge no right to that relationship except the costly grace and unshakable love of God.
THIS WEEK’S RISE REFLECTION
Far more than a campaign about money, this season is an invitation to be part of what we believe God longs to do in bringing flourishing to all–starting with you and stretching across the city. How will you answer this call? Will you take this opportunity to invest yourself more meaningfully in this vision for gospel renewal for New York City?
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8
For your Heart: Take a moment to reflect on what it means to be a child of a faithful God who will never abandon you or reject you. Praise him that because of Jesus, you can say, “we are his people!”
For your Church: Pray that God would continue to unify us collectively with others who stand up to say, “we are his people!” Pray that God would lead us as a body of followers and seekers of Jesus to serve the city together.
For our City: Praise God for all that he has been doing for decades to build a gospel movement in New York through the churches in our city.
Our vision is a city renewed by the gospel. This vision needs all of us.
We are calling on everyone at Redeemer to rise and say “I’m in” to pray, engage, and give as part of a gospel movement for the good of the city. Are you in?