Thursday, June 22, 2017
A Dog and a Bone
Like a dog thrown a bone, I have been gnawing on a Word from the scripture all day. Now, it may not be an orthodox or traditional way to describe the activity of the Holy Spirit and it may seem a bit too irreverent for some, but all day long it has seemed like the Spirit threw me a bone this morning during those quiet moments when I was seeking His presence. What I do know is that I have quietly been chewing on it all day. Each time my mind went to neutral, there it was. I felt like my old dog who takes a bone, holds it with his front feet as if they are hands, and then pulls at it one way and then another with his teeth. So has it been with me.
The Word was in the form of I Peter 1:13. "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when He is revealed." I remembered an early teaching about the word "Therefore..." so I recognized it as an important word of transition and looked to see what came in the early verses. I was also struck by those three words directing personal action: "prepare...discipline...set..." But, what really captivated my attention was the image created by the Words, "set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring to you when He is revealed." Not "set your hope," but "set all your hope."
The difference between those two phrases is the thing on which I have chewed all day. Like a dog with a bone. It would seem that Peter is saying it is not enough to just hope which might be something done in a sporadic way, but that we should cast all our hope on the grace of Jesus Christ in such a manner that it speaks of being abandoned totally to it. Maybe the word "all" is calling me to put all my eggs in one basket without any fear or reservation. Maybe there is only one thing worthy of all my hope and that is the unexplainable, unmatchable, unexpected favor and mercy offered without any divine accounting to see if I am a worthy recipient. Such is surely where the Word is calling you and me to put all our hope.