We are all prone to spiritual amnesia. We forget the truth that is meant to transform us. Listen to Timothy “TA” Ateek share from 1 Peter 1 three crucial reminders we need daily.
What Christ Accomplished Through His Death, Burial, and Resurrection | 1 Peter 3:18-22
Hope in Jesus on Display | 1 Peter 3:8-17
The Key to a Better Marriage | 1 Peter 3:1-7
God’s Identity, Calling, and Example for You | 1 Peter 2:13-25
How To Find The Right Church | 1 Peter 2:4-12
3 Indicators of Spiritual Growth | 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Battling Spiritual Amnesia | 1 Peter 1:13-21
Praise in Present Suffering | 1 Peter 1:3-12
Remember Who You Are | 1 Peter 1:1-2
We have a tendency to forget what God has done in our lives. We often rationalize and embrace our sin more than actively fight against it, or we find life in other things outside of Jesus. To reorder our lives around truth, we must first reorder our lives around the Word of God. We must daily read God’s Word to remember the following truths:
Good morning, Watermark. How are we doing today? Hey, it's good to see you. If this is your first time here, welcome. My name is Timothy Ateek. I'm one of the teaching pastors here. I'm so excited about where we are headed today. I'm just going to warn you. During this message, I'm going to reference… This is just kind of the message of movie references, multiple mediocre movies. We're going to be touching on them today.
The first one I'm going to talk about… I'm not even necessarily recommending you watch it, because, honestly, I don't really remember the movie. I had to go and look up a recap of the movie to remember the movie. It's the movie 50 First Dates. I don't know if anyone saw that. Apparently you've seen it. That's great. That's helpful that you've already seen it.
If you haven't seen the movie, here's what it's about. There's a woman who's in an accident, and after the accident, she has amnesia. She can never remember what happened the day before. The problem with that is there's a guy who falls for her, but because she can't remember what happened the day before, he has to keep reintroducing himself to her, and he has to keep going on a first date with her. That's the movie.
The reason I bring it up is because of the one scene in the movie that I do remember. It's the very end of the movie. Look, people. If you haven't seen it by this point, you're probably not going to see it, so I don't want emails that I ruined the movie for you. It's not that great anyway. You'll be fine without it. The one scene I do remember in the movie is, at the very end, this woman wakes up, and she's disoriented because she doesn't remember anything.
She looks around, and there's a TV sitting right beside her bed, and there's a VHS tape (which tells you something), and it says, "Good morning, Lucy." So she takes the tape, she puts it into the player, and what that video does is it brings her up to speed. It informs her of reality. She learns in that video that she was in a wreck, she was in an accident, and because of that she cannot remember things, but she has amazing friends, and she has fallen in love; therefore, she has a husband.
Then on the tape her husband invites her to get dressed and come and join the family. What you see her do is she puts on her jacket, and she goes out, and she sees the husband whom she doesn't remember, but she's able to kiss her husband, and she's able to hug her daughter. Why? Because this tape informed her of reality. She was able to step in and live in light of reality.
I think about that. The realization I had is that is the Christian life. That is the Christian experience so often. We can battle spiritual amnesia. We have such a tendency to forget who God is, who we are, and all that God has done for us. The reality is that if you know Jesus, if you consider yourself a Christian, then at some point, Jesus wrecked your life in the most beautiful of ways, and he has put you back together. He has made you his own. Yet so often, we live in a way that looks no different than how we looked prior to Jesus wrecking our lives.
We can still have seasons where we are too busy for Jesus, or we rationalize sin or embrace sin more than we actually fight sin, or we look for life and set our affections upon other people or things other than Jesus, or we make the Christian life out to be earning something from God instead of enjoying our salvation from God.
It's almost like we need a videotape. It's like we need the ability to wake up every morning and see a tape that says, "Good morning, TA," or whatever your name is, and you can put it in the VCR. (I'm using language we haven't used in a long time.) You're able to push "Play," and you can roll the tape and be reminded of reality…who God is, who you are, and all he has done for you…so when you go out every day and live life, your life is congruent with what is real. It's true to reality.
The good news is that this book, the Bible, is our videotape. We have access to it every day that we wake up. That is why I commend this book to you. That's why there is nothing more important than waking up every day and stepping into the Word of God. It is a videotape in the midst of your spiritual amnesia that will remind you of what is true so you can live according to reality.
So, as we step back into the book of 1 Peter today, we're going to look at verses 13-21 in chapter 1. What Peter is going to do is he's going to kind of push "Play" on the tape. He's just going to show us three things we need to remember every single day if we are going to live true to reality. If you have a Bible, join me there in 1 Peter, chapter 1. If this is your first time here, we are journeying verse by verse through the book of 1 Peter. I encourage you to bring a Bible every week. I assure you we will wear it out by the time we are done with 1 Peter. Let me just read you verses 13-21.
"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that 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. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."
There are three things we need to remember if we're going to live according to reality. Here they are. We're going to see them in this text. We need to remember what is waiting for us; we need to remember who we are; and we need to remember who God is and what he has done. These are the three things we need to remember every single day of our lives.
So, when Peter starts out and says, "Therefore…" he is assuming we have all read verses 1-12 and are well acquainted with what it says. In verses 1-12, Peter basically pushed "Play" and rolled the tape of all that has happened to us. Here's the deal. If you call yourself a Christian, if I call myself a Christian… You just need to know when you say, "I am a Christian," according to 1 Peter, chapter 1… Let me just tell you everything that is packed into those few words, "I am a Christian."
When you say, "I am a Christian" or I say, "I am a Christian," I am saying that before the foundations of the earth were laid, God chose me. He set his affection upon me. He poured out his love for me. He came for me. He sent his Spirit to begin to work in me and convict me and reveal to me that I was living in active rebellion against God. He allowed me to see that I was living life apart from God.
What the Spirit did was he awakened me to truth. The way I responded was I put my faith in Jesus Christ. I said "Yes" to Jesus because of his death for my sins, his burial, and his resurrection. All of that was a payment for my sins, and by placing my faith in Jesus Christ, the result is it has brought about complete forgiveness of my sins. I have been made right with a perfect God.
Now I have been qualified because of Jesus to a life abounding with grace and peace and hope. I can live confidently that life in this world is the closest I will ever get to hell, because there is an inheritance that is waiting for me in heaven, and that inheritance is unending pleasures. It is joy to the fullest. It is supernatural peace for all of eternity, living in the presence of Jesus Christ. When I say I'm a Christian, that's what I'm saying.
If you're not a Christian, if you don't know Jesus, and you want what I just said to be true of you, that is available to you today through faith in Jesus Christ. If I just said a bunch of things that don't make sense to you, but you want to understand them, come down and talk to us afterward. But that's where Peter starts. He says, "Therefore…" He has pushed "Play" on the tape. He's saying, "In light of all of the things that are true of you…" What do we do?
He says, "…preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." He's saying, "Remember what is waiting for you." Because you know Jesus, there is an inheritance, unending pleasure, fullness of joy, supernatural peace, in the presence of Jesus Christ. That is what is waiting for every person who knows Jesus. Heaven is waiting. Don't forget that. He tells us how to practically set our hope on that reality.
He says, "Therefore, preparing your minds for action…" In the Greek, the wording is literally "Gird up the loins of your mind." In the first century, men would wear flowing garments that were not as versatile as lululemon, so if they needed to move or snap into action, they would pull up their garments and tuck them into their belts so they could be agile and move. What Peter is saying is, "You need to do that with your mind. You need to wake up every day like it's game day, like you are ready to move, you are ready for action."
He says, "Be sober-minded." He pictures someone intoxicated. What happens to your mind when you're intoxicated? It impacts the way you think. It impacts the way you see life. He's saying, "Look. The mind is really powerful. What you think determines what you feel. What you feel determines what you do, so you need to take great care with your mind. You don't want to allow your mind to become intoxicated by all of the comforts and cares and pleasures of this life. You want to set your mind on the life that is to come, which is eternity with God in heaven." Heaven is waiting, so he says, "Set your hope on what is to come." Let your future define your present.
In a former life, I was a runner. The reality is when I would run races, it didn't matter how tired I was. It didn't matter how much pain I felt like I was in. It didn't matter how many times I had contemplated just stopping running in the moment. When I turned the final corner, and I could see the finish line, it changed the way I ran. It unlocked new reserve tanks of energy. I began to lift my knees to lengthen my stride. I began to pump my arms to use upper body strength to propel me forward.
It changed the way I ran. Why? Because I knew what was waiting for me. I knew what was ahead. I knew what the prize was. The prize was the opportunity to not run, and there was all-you-can-eat Mr. Gatti's Pizza buffet. Those things were great. What Peter is saying is, "You need to think about what is waiting." It's really interesting, because if you think about it, what Peter is saying is every day of your life until the day you die, you should devote mental space to contemplating heaven.
When was the last time you just spent time thinking about heaven and what awaits you? Peter is saying, "Set your sights on that: unending pleasures with Jesus." That will change things. Here's the reality for the Ateek family: 2022 was a tough year. We have loved being in Dallas. We have loved that God has called us to be here at Watermark. At the same time, our family has navigated all sorts of obstacles and challenges over the last year.
There have been some weeks or even some months where it felt like punch after punch. When I got to the end of 2022, I realized I had allowed my joy to be stolen over the past year. Here's why: I allowed my joy to be tethered to my circumstances. Do you ever do that? Do you ever allow your joy to be dependent upon your circumstances, so your joy rises and falls with how the day went? Well, that was me.
I didn't realize it until there were people who would look at me and be like, "Man, are you okay? You don't seem yourself." I was like, "Oh. I am taking note that my joy has been stolen." So I began to read Psalm 34. I began to memorize Psalm 34. There's this one verse that became like a pebble in my shoe. David writes these words: "Those who look to him are radiant…" That changed everything.
If you look around you to your circumstances to determine how you should feel, then no telling how you're going to feel today, but those who look to God, it doesn't matter what is going on around you. You're radiant. It changes your disposition. It changes your countenance. You have a joy that is unexplainable. You look to him.
Now, you pair that with what Peter is saying, and what he's saying is, "Hey, look to the finish line. Look ahead at what is coming. Heaven is waiting." We just sang the words, "We will be home soon." That should change us, no matter what is going on, no matter how hard the race of life is. Peter is saying, "Wake up every single day. Push 'Play' on the tape. Remember what is waiting for you."
Maybe you need to put a note on your mirror or on your dash or on the home screen of your phone that just says, "I will be home soon." Peter is saying, "Look. God has already done so much." That's verses 1-12. "And he's not done. He's going to come back. He's going to get you, and he's going to take you to where he is." There's joy.
Before he calls us to action, he reminds us who we are. He says, "As obedient children…" He's saying the operating system needs to be one where your identity is child. See, we don't realize it, but sometimes we operate out of the wrong identity. We begin to believe that what we do for a job is the truest thing about us. The truest thing about you is not that you're a CEO. The truest thing about you is not that you're a teacher or a doctor.
The truest thing about you, if you know Jesus, is that you are a child of God. The reason it's important for us to unpack this right now is because that hasn't always been the case. You haven't always been a child of God. Hopefully, this is going to correct some misdirected theology that's out there. There is a belief in this world that everyone in the world is, in some way, a child of God. That isn't true. It's not true.
Why do I say that? I say that because of what Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-3. Listen to what he says. "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…" He's talking about life before Jesus. Before Jesus, our reality was that we were dead…physically alive, spiritually dead.
"…among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature…" This is who we were when we were born. "…children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." Do you want to know what you were before Christ? You were a child of wrath. Then John 1:12 says, "But to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…"
You became a child of God when you surrendered your life to Jesus, when you trusted him for salvation. That's when you became a part of the family of God. So, let's just be clear. There are only truly two families in this world. There's God's family and wrath's family. You are either a child of God or a child of wrath.
All Peter is saying in verse 14 is, "Look. If you are a child of God, don't wake up each day and live like you're still a child of wrath." That would make no sense. That would be like Lucy in the movie 50 First Dates waking up and living like she's not married or living like she's not a mom. It would not be true to reality. For you to wake up and live like you're still a child of wrath when you're actually a child of God would make no sense. It would not be true to reality.
So, Peter says, "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance…" He's just saying when you were a child of wrath, before you knew Jesus… He's saying there was a way of life. You conformed to patterns that were consistent with an ignorance you had. What is the ignorance we all lived with prior to Jesus? The ignorance was concerning life with God. We were ignorant to the satisfying and need-meeting beauty, love, goodness, and grace of Jesus. Because we didn't know God…
It's possible that you drove past churches every Sunday that were proclaiming Jesus, or maybe you had friends who were trying to tell you about Jesus, but it didn't click at the time. You didn't get it. You were living in ignorance of life with God. Because of that, because you didn't know God, you tried to be your own god. I tried to be my own god.
We allowed our appetites and desires to be shaped by the wrong family, so our lives were marked by sin, such as pride, lust, insecurity, selfishness, gossip, manipulation, lying, cheating, an insatiable need for others' approval, and on and on, because that's what children of wrath do. Now we belong to God's family. We are now children of God, and as children of God who belong to God's family, what we do, now that we have God's DNA inside of us, is we become awakened to the virtues and values of God's family.
That's why Peter goes on in verses 15 and 16 and says, "…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" Here's what Peter is doing. He is identifying the key virtue and value of people in the family of God. What is it? It is holiness.
The funny thing is Peter is quoting Leviticus here. You know that book that tanks your reading plan every year? Leviticus. Anyone have their life verse from Leviticus? Anyone been reading Leviticus and been like, "It has just been like an oasis to my soul"? No. It's like a desert. But if I were to summarize the book of Leviticus for you, here it is. If you want to know what the book of Leviticus is about, the message is this: God is holy; therefore, the nation of Israel is to be holy.
What does it mean for God to be holy? That word holy comes from a word that means to be cut off or separate from. It's the idea that God is completely cut off from or separated from everyone and everything in regard to majesty and beauty and splendor. Sam Storms describes the holiness of God, or God being holy, as being transcendently different. I like to think of God being holy as it's the otherness of God, that God is so other than anyone or anything we could ever contemplate. He's just so different.
God's desire was for the nation of Israel to be different as he was different, that the surrounding nations that worshiped other gods would look at Israel and see that they worshiped a completely different God, and because they worshiped a different God, their lifestyles were completely different from the surrounding nations that did not know Yahweh.
Now what Peter does is he picks up that language and applies it to the family of God. His point is this: "God your Father is holy, and because your Father is holy and you have your Father's DNA in you, then what is normal for children in the family of God is holiness." That's the goal. This is really helpful, and the reason it's helpful for us to read Peter's words where he says, "God is holy; therefore, we are to be holy…"
The reason it's helpful is Peter's call to holiness isn't a suggestion; it's a standard. Do you realize that? When Peter says, "Be holy," it's not a suggestion. He's establishing a standard. When he says, "We are to be holy as God is holy…" God isn't an example for us; he is the example for us, which means we don't have the freedom to look around us at other people and be like, "You know what? I like where they land on the Christian life and what that entails and what we should feel convicted about or not convicted about, so I'll just kind of do what they're doing." No. God is our example.
I think the best way for me to explain this is like this. There are not different subscription levels to the Christian life. Recently, without telling the rest of my family, I canceled Netflix. There was a mutiny on my hands. My family lost their ever-loving minds. "How could you?" Clearly, we're getting Netflix back. I went to Netflix very quickly and began to research their plans. I had canceled it because the prices seem to keep going up.
I was pleased to find out they have introduced different levels of plans. They now have a $7 plan. Now, the resolution… You won't be able to make out the characters in the show and the ads will be as long as the show itself, but it's only $7. You get what you pay for. Then there are other packages, and the more you pay, the better your experience is.
That is not how the Christian life works. There's no base package of Christianity. Like, if you're just looking for entrance into heaven, it's just going to cost you praying a prayer, where you're like, "You know what? All I need from God is entrance into heaven. As long as I can secure that, I'm good. That's really all I need from you, God."
Then you have the silver package. The silver package will give you some good feels. You'll feel better about your life occasionally, but it's going to cost you praying the prayer, but also going to church every once in a while, at least maybe…what do you say…twice a month. You'll feel better about yourself. That's the silver package.
Then there's the platinum package. The platinum package is daily life with God, and God is going to show up and do amazing things in your life. You're going to have all sorts of God stories to tell, but the cost is pretty steep. It's going to require full surrender and the pursuit of holiness. There are not different subscription levels. The platinum package is the package. The platinum package is the normal. Did you see the word I used there? It's the normal Christian life…full surrender, pursuit of holiness.
I'll just say this. One of the lingering traces of being a former child of wrath is we still try to play God when it comes to figuring out what to major in and minor in when it comes to holiness. Here's what I want to ask you to do really quickly. I want to ask you to close your eyes just for a moment. I want to ask you to think about this. Because you are a child of God, what in your life right now is out of sync with God's family value of holiness? Is there anything that's out of sync right now?
If anything comes to mind, let me encourage you right now to take a moment and repent. Ask God for forgiveness. Thank him for reminding you of your true identity and ask him to renew a desire in you for the family value of holiness. Then, with your eyes closed, if you're sitting there and you feel like you're going to have to leave here and try really hard to be better, let me give you some relief. Let me tell you the key to living a holy life.
I'll read you the words of Ephesians 5:1 in which Paul says, "Therefore be imitators of God…" That fits really well with what Peter says when he says, "Be holy as I am holy." Be imitators of God as… Here's the key: "…as beloved children." What two words make up the one word beloved? Be loved. Do you want to see your life become more and more holy practically? Then allow yourself more and more each day to be loved by your Father. I promise you his love transforms. You guys can look at me again.
So, we've pressed "Play" on a tape, and Peter is reminding us of what we need to know every single day if we're going to live according to reality. You need to remember what is waiting for you. You need to remember who you are.
What Peter says here is every morning you need to remember who God is. He says, "Remember, God is Father and Judge at the exact same time." He's Father, which means he has all the love, all the grace, all the forgiveness, all the delight in you that a perfect heavenly Father should have for his children. At the same time, he is Judge, which means that just because he's Father doesn't mean he will close his eyes as Judge. He is just.
It's good for us to remember that 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil." If you know Jesus Christ, there will come a day where you will stand before God. It is not your salvation that is under the microscope, but the way you have lived will be evaluated, and you will either receive reward for how you've lived or will lose reward for how you've lived, yet you will be saved.
It is good for us to know that God is Father and Judge. Here is why Peter wants you to know that. What is the call to action? What did he say? "…conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…" Did you see the wording? "…throughout the time of your exile…" Exile is a reference to the rest of your life until you die, because for the rest of your life, as a follower of Jesus Christ, you're here on earth, which means you are away from home, which is heaven. You're in exile here on earth.
He says, for the remainder of your days, for the rest of your time in exile, there should be something that marks every single day. What is it? Fear, fear of God. What does it mean to fear God? Does it mean to be scared of God every day? No. When Peter calls us to fear, he is calling us to behold. This is what it means to fear God: to behold all that God has revealed to us about himself and to respond with reverential awe.
Listen to that wording again because it's very important. To fear God is to behold all that God has revealed to us about himself and to respond with reverential awe. The reason I say to behold all God has revealed to us about himself is because our tendency is to just major in one dimension of God. It's kind of like this. Here's the next movie reference.
Do you guys remember that famous and often quoted prayer scene from Talladega Nights? Ricky Robby prays to…who? The tiny infant Jesus. While he is praying to the tiny infant Jesus, his wife interrupts him. She says, "Honey, you do know that Jesus grew up?" What does Ricky Bobby say? He says, "When I say grace, I like to pray to the Christmas Jesus. When you say grace, you can say grace to whatever Jesus you want. You can say grace to the teenage Jesus or the grown-up Jesus or the bearded Jesus. You can say grace to whatever or whoever you want to say grace to."
Unfortunately, that was kind of prophetic for our world today, because what we want is the freedom to make God out to be who we want him to be. Many of us want to believe that God is only love. He's only love, and because he's only love, there's no room for justice. Others of us want to think of God as only Judge. We're good, but this world is full of evil, and we want God to get after it as Judge. To fear God is to take a 360-degree view of God. It is to see God like a prism, that he has many different facets of beauty, and we are to behold all that he has revealed to us.
We don't major in certain characteristics of God and minor in others. No, we absorb all of it, and we allow it to transform us and cultivate reverential awe inside of us. That's Peter's goal: to move us to fear. So, for the remaining four verses, 18-21, it's kind of an exposé on the Father, because Peter is trying to move us. He's trying to remind us of who the Father is that we might fear him.
This is good, because what I've been so impressed by, as I've studied 1 Peter for this series, is just how deeply Peter's theology is trinitarian. Peter is highlighting the work of the Son and the Spirit and the Father. That's good, because our tendency is to sing songs to Jesus. Our tendency is to pray to Jesus. The more charismatics of you are fascinated by the Spirit, or you want to pray to the Spirit, but what Peter is driving us toward right now is fear of the Father.
I just want you to see the Father at work. These next four verses are about the work of the Son, yet we are to find the beauty and the glory of the Father in the midst of some of the work of the Son. Just look. Verse 18: "…knowing that you were ransomed…" So, he says, "Conduct yourself with fear during the remainder of your exile, knowing that…" There's a knowledge of something that's going to lead to fear of God, reverential awe.
"…knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers…" Peter is saying, "Remember who you were. You were a slave." There's a comparison between God the Father and forefathers. One generation of fathers to the next has passed down the tradition of living life apart from God, and the result has been spiritual slavery.
Peter is showing you the compassion of our heavenly Father, that he looked at us in our slavery, and he came and ransomed us. He liberated us. How did he do it? "…not with perishable things such as silver or gold…" Why? Because things that have earthly value, such as silver or gold, cannot deal with eternal realities.
"…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." This shows the holiness of the Father. The wrath of a holy God toward sin could only be satisfied by God himself. So, a holy God, the Son, left heaven and came to earth, and his blood was shed to make an unholy people right with a holy God.
Verse 20: "He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times…" Who foreknew Jesus? Well, God the Father. This is showing the sovereignty of the Father. God the Father foreordained that Jesus Christ would come to deal with your sin and mine. God the Father appointed the exact time that he would show up on earth.
"He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you…" This is showing the love of the Father, that it would be for our sake, that God would look at us and take thought of us, and then he would set his affection on us before the foundation of the earth. He loved us even in our rebellion against him, and he made a way when there was no way.
"…for the sake of you who through him [Jesus] are believers in God…" That shows that God the Father is just. He is Judge, and justice must be satisfied. God the Father as Judge can't just ignore our sin. No. God himself had to come and make payment for our sin so we could be made right with God. Verse 21: "…who raised him from the dead and gave him glory…" That shows the power of the Father, that he raised Christ from the dead.
It shows the authority of the Father, that he gave glory to Jesus Christ. He exalted Christ. He gave him the name that is above every name. So, you take all of this. You take the compassion of the Father, the holiness, the generosity, the love, the justice, the power, the authority… You take it all and wrap it together. Why did God the Father do all of these things? Why did he send his Son to make payment? Why has he given us his Spirit to appropriate the work of the Son?
It says at the end of verse 21. "…so that your faith and hope are in God." That's why. Because in his infinite, unfathomable love, he has taken thought of you and me, he has set his affection upon us, and he has made a way to cultivate faith in him so we can live and enjoy him now and we can have hope that one day we will experience unending pleasure, fullness of joy, and supernatural peace in his presence forevermore. This is who God is. This is what he has done.
There's only one proper response to this God. To hear this, to hear that this is our God… It makes no sense to hear all this and be like, "Yeah, but I don't care. I'm good." The right response to this God… Even as I was preparing this talk and was trying to find the right words to express… What are the words that express the response to all that God the Father is? There are no words.
There are no words that are adequate, just this deep sense of unworthiness and insufficiency, yet it is overwhelming to think of the delight and the love and the grace God the Father has extended to us in his Son, Jesus, by the power of his Spirit. When you feel the weight of that unworthiness coupled with the delight and the unconditional love of the Father, do you know what that is coming out of you? Fear. Reverential awe from beholding all that God has revealed to us about himself.
I'll end with one more movie reference. Let's go with The Karate Kid this time. I love The Karate Kid. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. Do you remember that moment in The Karate Kid where Mr. Miyagi brought it all together for Daniel LaRusso? Do you remember that time where Daniel is so frustrated because Mr. Miyagi has been having him paint the fence and sand the floor and wax on and wax off? He has been having him do all of these things, and Daniel is like, "I thought you were going to teach me karate."
What does Mr. Miyagi do? He says, "Show me wax on, wax off." So, Mr. Miyagi is like, "Aye!" and Daniel-san is like, "Uh!" He's like, "Show me paint the fence." Daniel is like, "What is happening?" Then Mr. Miyagi just goes off. He's like, "Aye! Aye! Aye!" and Daniel-san is like, "Mm! Mm! Mm!" You just see in his eyes, like, "I'm really… I'm really…" (I don't know what the movements were.) You just see it clicking. It's coming together. He has been transformed, and he didn't even realize it.
I tell you that because remembering what is waiting for you…that's sand the floor. Remembering who you are…that's paint the fence. Remembering who God is and what he has done…that's wax on, wax off. When you put all of those things together, do you know what the result is? It is a life of hope, a life of holiness, and a life of fear. That's the Christian life. Let's pray together.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for what you've done. I thank you, Father, that in your deep love for us you sent the Son. I thank you, Jesus, that you accomplished salvation, and thank you, Spirit, that you have come and have appropriated all that Christ has done. Father, I thank you that you are good, that you love us, yet we remember that you're Judge. You are just. So, God, may we be a people who remember who you are, who remember who we are, who remember what you've done, who remember what is waiting for us.
We thank you that you've given us your Word, which is our videotape that we can push "Play" on every morning. God, may we not be people who live contrary to our reality. May we wake up every day and be reminded of what is true of us because you, Jesus, have wrecked our lives in the most beautiful of ways. May we be people who live according to the truth. We need you and love you. In Jesus' name, amen.