Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Conversations With Peter - Part FIVE - Reverent Wonder

Thursday, July 3, 2014
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.  With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.  Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.   2 Peter 1:5 - 9 (TMSG)
By now you may have memorized this text; if not, don’t fret – it’s better to internalize the message than be able to repeat some words without understanding.  Memorizing passages may impress people, but living the passage pleases God.
Which is the point of reverent wonder, or godliness. 
The word “godliness” (the most common translation) is a compound word meaning “good worship”.  A similar, nearly identical word in Scripture is “piety”.  Unfortunately the only time you hear this word is in a derogatory sense, when it’s used to describe someone full of himself, acting religious while everyone knows it’s false.  But, in the best sense, godliness…
…describes an awareness of God in all of life—a lifestyle that exemplifies Christ and is empowered by him…[1]
Praise is the word I associate most with “reverent wonder” – and the most precious form of praise is that which comes as a sacrifice, out of the darkness of life’s tough times.
Joni Eareckson Tada lives a praise-filled life in a wheelchair.  She is a well-known Christian speaker and singer who suffered a broken neck through a tragic diving accident in her teens which made her a paraplegic.
She wrote:
A sacrifice of praise will always cost you something. It will be a difficult thing to do. It requires trading in our pride, our anger, and most valued of all, our human logic. We will be compelled to voice our words of praise firmly and precisely, even as our logic screams that God has no idea what he’s doing. Most of the verses written about praise in God’s Word were penned by men and women who faced crushing heartaches, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other intolerable situations.[2]
For You, Today
What is it in your life that seems most unfair?  Can you praise?
What has crushed you worse than anything else?  Can you praise?
What is depressing you now?  Can you praise?
Let me finish today with reverent wonder offered by the Apostle Paul:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.                               Philippians 4:8-9 (KJV)

[1] Life Application Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Peter & Jude© 1995 by The Livingstone Corporation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois.
[2] Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World © 1992 by Edythe Draper

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