As a former pastor and church leader it’s such an encouragement to meet one of our former church members, and, after a time of conversation with them, to find how they have grown in their faith and in their walk with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When we reflect on what they once were before they came to Christ, knowing the depth of sin and depravity they once experienced, it’s a thrill to see where such a person is in their daily walk and spiritual growth after just a few years.
When Peter wrote the above words, he too could look back and reflect upon what he once was before his encounter and daily walk with Jesus precipitated a major change in him. Yes, we know that there were those experiences of failure during those years, but there was also that major experience of being restored and then filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
The transformation was such that it brought Peter and those other disciples into a dynamism which had far-reaching results, so that in a short space of time it could be said that they had ‘turned the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6).
For us it’s not just a matter of trusting Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, but it’s a matter of growing in that experience and developing a fruitful lifestyle which brings others to Him, and shows how He can change their lives. It’s as God’s Holy Spirit is enabled to be at work within us that such evidence is seen and observed by others.
When the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit are given chance to bear fruit in us, God is glorified, and the work of His saving grace is detected by others. This is what Peter is encouraging - that others are pointed to the One who’s done so much for us and produced such a dramatic change over a period of time. It’s like the words of Paul in Philippians 1:6; ‘He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ’.
There’s a glorious day coming when those of us who’ve trusted in Jesus are going to be presented to His Father God. Father God will welcome us into His Eternal Kingdom just as if we’d never sinned, because we’ve been washed clean by the precious blood Jesus shed at Calvary.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You’ve done so much to save me and transform my life. I pray that, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, my life will be so empowered that it points others to You, and that they’re caused to recognise what You can do in their lives also, and that You get all the glory. Amen.
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