Good morning, church. It’s good to see you again this morning, and to those of you who are joining us online, good morning. If you’re trapped at home because you’re sick, we want you to know we love you, and we’re praying for you. I don’t know if Jerry and Cheryl are watching this morning, but if you are, we want you to know that we love you and our hearts are with you and we pray for you as you go through the trial that God has you in right now.
We are continuing our study in 1 Peter this morning, 1 Peter 1. And I’m going to do today what I did last Sunday and that is encourage you to open your Bibles or open a Bible app in front of you and stay on it. We’re not going to put the I Peter texts on the screen again today. We’re going to try to encourage you to use your Bible. If you don’t have a Bible, there are Bibles in front of you in the seat back, and we’re on page 1014, 1014 in 1 Peter 1. And as I read verses from this text, I just want to encourage you to use your Bibles, and then as I read verses from other texts, they will be on the screen. So, let me pray one more time, and then we’ll jump in.
For a second time this morning, Lord Jesus, I pray that you would dwell with us as we worship you and open your Word and seek to learn from it. And Holy Spirit, again I ask that you would fill me and fill this place. I pray that the things that I say would reflect your heart and your will for your people in Christ’s name. Amen.
In the year A.D. 8, single digit 8, Roman Emperor Augustus banished the Latin poet Ovid from Rome. Ovid was fifty years old when he was exiled. Now, you know who Augustus is, or at least you should know who Augustus is, if you’ve ever seen the Charlie Brown Christmas special or if you’ve read Luke 2 in the Bible. Augustus was the one that demanded that all the world be “census-ed” or taxed if you read the King James like I did growing up, and that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem for Jesus’s birth. That was Caesar Augustus, and this same Augustus is the one who exiled the poet Ovid. Jesus would have been about eleven years old when Ovid was exiled.
Ovid was banished from Rome to a little tiny outpost called Tomis, which was remote and barbaric on the Black Sea in what is modern-day-now Romania, and the reasons he was banished are complicated as I imagine they mostly are. He wrote after he was banished that it was because of a poem and an error. He doesn’t say what that is, but he said that it’s nothing illegal, but it’s worse than murder. Likely it was because, historians believe, that Ovid had some dirt on the emperor, and he politically opposed him publicly. And so, he didn’t kill him; he just exiled him to the worst place he could possibly live. And that’s where Ovid lived the rest of his life.
His best works were completed before his exile, though he continued to write after his exile. He often wrote to his family to try to encourage them to petition the emperor for his release. He wrote things like, “Where’s the joy in stabbing your steel into my dead flesh? There’s no place left where I can be dealt fresh wounds.”
But Ovid never left exile. He was never allowed back into Rome. In fact, his exile stood for a long time. And this is funny — it wasn’t until the City Council of Rome voted to have his exile removed and did so in December of 2017 — a little late, but good job, City Council of Rome.
So, when Peter in 1 Peter writes to his recipients and writes about exiles, they had an idea of what an exile was — somebody who was not home, living in a place that didn’t feel like home and wasn’t home. People knew about that experience, about living in a place where you don’t belong. And to those exiles, as we looked at last week and as Jim already mentioned, he begins his letter by extolling their and, by extension, our great salvation, and these four points — that it is rooted in the godhead, that it is guarded by God’s power, it’s bona fide by faith, and it’s craved by heaven and earth. So, we looked at that last week. If you weren’t able to be here, I’d encourage you to go online and see that.
From that “saved exiles,” which we talked about last week, Peter turns to begin to write about “wholly exiles.” That is wholly with a “w.” They are wholly exiles, not partially exiles. It’s totally, entirely, or as we like to say, “wholistically.” They are wholistic exiles. In other words, they’re not EINOs — Exiles In Name Only. They are wholistically exiles. Being an elected exile is more than what we believe. It’s more than just about being saved, but actually affects our lives.
I really like how one writer described Peter’s call to whole discipleship when she wrote this. She said, “The call is to live differently, not just practice religion differently. The sweeping nature of the transformation is commensurate with the sweeping nature of the new birth and the consequential new identity of the people to whom Peter writes.” Exiled living is what Peter now turns to.
So, this section that we look at today applies the section from last week. He talked about our salvation. Now he talks about our life and how we live as exiles. He’s talking about action. Look at I Peter 1:13. The first word is “therefore.” It’s a conjunction point which links the previous material that we’ve already looked at into action. This is typical in the New Testament. The New Testament writers often begin with “this is the reality and now this is how you live.”
For example, Paul in the book of Romans spent eleven chapters in Romans describing our salvation and its depth and its beauty. And then in Romans 12:1, he says,
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers,”
And from those glories of salvation, he turns to apply it to our lives. He does the same thing in Ephesians 4:1, when he spends three chapters in the book of Ephesians talking about our salvation, and then in 4:1, he says,
“I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord,”
and then turns and begins to apply all those things that he talked about with regard to salvation.
That’s what Peter does here. First Peter 1:13,
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober minded.”
So, here goes Peter, time to get on it, time to talk about action now. He’s doing what those other New Testament writers do, which is he started with the indicative and goes to the imperative.
How’s your seventh-grade grammar? Remember that? The indicative is the objective statements (“This is what is. This is your salvation”) and goes to the imperative, which is … what’s an imperative? It’s a command. That’s right. An imperative is a command. So, he starts with the indicative and then goes to the imperative, and very conveniently, there are three imperatives in these verses, three. Now, some of your translations might look like there’s more. For example, some of them, your translations say, “Prepare your minds for action and be sober minded.” It’s actually not the best translation because they are actually participles, not imperatives. I won’t go into participles, but they are participles, not imperatives. It is rightly translated “preparing your minds for action and being sober minded,” and then comes the command.
Ok, so let’s take a look at the three commands in this passage, which very conveniently are going to be my three points of my sermon. It’s almost like Peter meant for that to happen. So, here we go, three commands, three imperatives in these verses.
The first one is to live hopefully. Because of your great salvation, live hopefully. Verse 13,
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober minded [here’s the command], set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
That’s the command. That’s the verse.
A couple of things I want to point out that jumped out to me. First of all, hope is a choice. As Peter describes it here, hope is a choice. Now, I don’t mean to imply that you just flip a switch and it’s like you go from despair to hope. Come on, man, flip a switch, and it’s ok. I don’t mean it’s that easy, but I do mean that Peter talks about hope like it’s a choice. Listen, he says, “preparing your minds for action,” which means literally “girding up the loins of your mind.” Gird up the loins of your mind. Jesus used this phrase when he told his followers to be ready for his return. In Luke 12, he said, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning.” Stay dressed for action is “keep your loins girded up.” And that’s what Peter’s saying. He’s saying take your mind’s loins, that’s kind of rough, but take them and gird them up and set your hope.
And he says, “being sober minded.” Now, “sober minded” is not a contrast with drunkenness. He’s not saying, “don’t be drunk, be sober.” He’s saying being sober minded is like “keep your wits about you.” Keep your wits about you. Gird up the loins of your mind, and keep your wits about you. He says the same thing in I Peter 5 when he writes,
“Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
That “sober minded” is the same thing. Keep your wits about you. Know that there is a lion, the devil, who’s prowling around seeking to kill you. So, keep your mind with you. In the same way he’s saying here, “Gird up the loins of your mind. Keep your wits about you, and set your hope. You make the choice.”
When Peter begins to talk about hope, he talks about it like we have a choice. It sounds … I thought of this this morning … It sounds kind of like Paul in Philippians 4:8 … This is not going to be on the screens … Philippians 4:8, where Paul writes,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise [what does he say?] think about these things.”
He’s saying, “set your mind on these things.” Peter is saying “set your hope.” We have a choice to set our hope. That’s the first observation.
The second observation about hope is that hope is future focused. It’s a choice, and it’s future focused. He says, “set your hope on the grace that you’ll receive at Jesus’s return,” which is the revelation of Jesus Christ. He used that same phrase in I Peter 1:7 that we talked about last week when he says,
“So that the tested genuineness of your faith … may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
He’s still on that theme.
Hope combats cynicism because the exiles in the first century look around at the mess that sin has created around them and, in that moment, they have the opportunity to choose cynicism and despair or hope. In the same way, we can look at the mess around us and choose to either go down into the abyss of 24-hour news cycles and social media upheavals and doomsday predictions, or we have the choice to hope that God is doing things that maybe we can’t imagine and that he has never in the history of the world lost control and he is our Savior and he is our Father, and so we hope! Our confidence is in him! And there is a choice to this. We can choose to have a future focus — God’s got this — or to go down a spiral of cynicism and despair.
This struck me recently when I was watching a documentary on Hulu, a documentary on Hulu called The Jesus Music. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, I want to encourage you to see it. I saw it flash across my screen, and I thought, “I know what this is going to be. This is going to be some non-Christian perspective about how bad Christian music is. It’s going to be, you know, just making fun of it.” And so, I thought, “I don’t think I want to watch this.”
Well, Katie watched it and then said, “You need to watch us. You’re going to like it.” And so, she watched it again with me; we watched it together; and sure enough, it was such a good story about the history of modern Christian music rooted back in the seventies. And that’s where the story begins — in the seventies.
Now, think about fifty years ago. Fifty years ago, there was a lot of junk going on culturally, socially, right? Think about it. There was a war going on in Vietnam. There was the sexual revolution going on. There was the … Roe v. Wade was passed in the seventies. There was the end of prayer in public schools. From a Christian perspective, there were a lot of things to be in despair about in the seventies, and yet there was a group of hippies in California where the Spirit of God, true revival, I don’t mean revival services, I mean true revival, where the Holy Spirit was moving through people, calling them to faith. They were walking away from sinful lifestyles and putting their faith in Jesus. It just didn’t look like the Christian establishment wanted it to look.
But there was a pastor in California named Chuck Smith, who said, “This doesn’t look like I thought it would look, but the Spirit seems to be working. Let’s draw them into our church.” And they began to go and to produce music and to worship the Lord.
Now, here’s what struck me as I was watching that. I thought, “What if that’s happening today? What if we look around our society today and there are a lot of reasons to despair. There are a lot of reasons to go ‘Yikes! That’s not good. I don’t like that. That’s not good if you’re a Christian. Oh, no!’” There’s a lot of social and moral upheaval. As believers, what if we went “huh, you know, this happened before and the Spirit was doing something”? What if we started looking for it now? What if you and I actually lived with hope and believed that when everything looks bad, he has not lost his throne? But he still sits on the throne. And so, we, rather than living in fear and despair and deciding what must happen, what if we looked to see where the Spirit of God was working and sought to be a part of that? I think that that’s one tiny little example or illustration of what it could mean to live with hope in the middle of despairing times.
You don’t think it was despairing times in the first century when Peter was writing? The emperors of Rome make our presidents look like Sunday School. Nero was on the throne when Peter was writing. The next year would have been the Roman fires and when Nero started lighting up Christians. And that was just the beginning. You don’t think it was bad? It was bad. And yet, Peter says live with hope. Hope is future focused. It’s not focused on everything that’s bad going on now. It looks to the future. Ok, so, that’s the first command. Live with hope no matter the circumstances.
Here’s the second one. At the beginning of verse 14, he says live holy. Live hopefully. Live holy. Look at verse 14.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also [here’s the command] be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
That’s a quote from Leviticus 11, among other places. So, let me just point out three things in these verses. They all start with the letter C. Here they are.
The first thing to point out is that Peter is talking about conduct, that is “way of life.” He says, “Be holy in all your conduct.” In the next few verses, in verse 17, he’s going to say, “Conduct yourself with fear.” Same thing. He’s talking about our life, how we live. He is not talking about positional holiness before God, justification, which cannot be touched. He’s talking about how we live, that we live holy in our conduct, how we act, or how we behave as God’s children, verse 14, “as obedient children.” Ok, that’s what he’s talking about, how we behave.
So, first is conduct. Second is contrast. Look at the contrast. How we behave is different from our, what he calls, “former ignorance.” It’s different from our sinful past. There is a marked difference between the conduct of the elect exiles, the saved, and the conduct of those who are not. I’m talking about sins. I’m not talking about what color vehicle we decide to drive. I’m talking about sins. There’s a difference between former darkness and elect exiles.
Conduct, contrast, and the “comparison” is like God’s character. The comparison is that we live like God’s character, to be holy as he is holy. God’s holiness is one of his most distinct, if not THE most, one of his most distinct attributes. When Isaiah saw the Holy One, in Isaiah 6, a very familiar passage, when he saw the Holy One and wrote it down and recorded it, he describes what was going on at the throne and those that were moving around the throne.
“And they were saying this: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’”
And Isaiah says in verse 4,
“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am lost; I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!’”
When Isaiah was touched or got to just peek at the holiness of God, he was struck by God’s holiness, and what Peter is doing here is he’s saying, just like the Old Testament, in the New Testament, what is distinct about these exiles is that they and we seek to conduct our lives with moral living that reflects the character of our Creator. That we seek to conduct — that word is in there — our lives in such a way that reflects the character of our Creator.
Peter is consistent with the other New Testament writers like James, who talks about faith and connects faith and works. If you have faith and not works, your faith is dead. You must have works if you have faith. Paul does the same thing when he gives a clear exhortation to holiness throughout his letters, such as Romans 6, when he says,
“Let not sin reign in your mortal body” [verse 12]
and Ephesians 4, where he says,
“you must no longer walk as Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.” [verse 17]
All these writers in the Bible say there is a difference in the conduct of those who do not know Christ and those who do. We are no longer “former ignorance in the futility of our minds,” but we’re seeking to walk, live holy.
So, I’m going to tell you something from my heart. I have pastoral concerns for two groups of people that may be listening. I just want to share this with you. I’m concerned for people like me, who have a strict religious past and who tend to think that any talk of holy living is legalism. Now, legalism reverses faith and works. The legalist works to make God happy and adds rules to the clear teaching of Scripture. “Here’s what Scripture says, but we can do better than that. Let’s move the fence out over here.” That is exactly what the Pharisees did. “This is what God says, but let’s add extra rules, because this would be really holy.” And so, we end up being more holy than Jesus. Think about that. That’s what the legalist does. That is not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about what the Bible actually says. I’m talking about actual holiness. I’m talking about fighting sin. I’m talking about a person who stands justified before God and strives to live with the character of God. That’s what I’m talking about. A person who believes that faith fuels holiness. That’s what Peter’s calling us to. Have some of us, church, in an effort not to be a Pharisee and an effort not to be a legalist, actually forsaken God’s call to be holy?
The second concern I have is for those who have taken the approach that my morality is my business, and nobody else, including God, has a right to say anything about it. It’s kind of the other end of the spectrum. They divorce activity from identity. Yes, I’m a Christian, and I live however I want. That’s like somebody who gets a job and refuses to wear the uniform. Imagine that for a second.
Let’s talk about Chick-fil-A, the Christian chicken. Let’s say somebody gets a job at Chick-fil-A. And you know, they’re given the uniform. They show up their first day, and they’re not wearing the uniform. The boss says, “Hey, where’s your uniform?”
“Well, I mean, I’m an employee. I just don’t want to look like an employee. I just don’t want to, you know … It’s not exactly stylish. It’s not in. I’ll look out of place.”
Hopefully everybody can go, “Yeah, that’s dumb. The boss would say, ‘You’re fired’” because if you identify with Chick-fil-A, then you look like Chick-fil-A.
That is a minuscule comparison to what Peter’s saying — if you have been called from darkness into light, then you walk holy. There’s no option to say, “Yes, I have been called from darkness to light, and I’m all about the darkness.” It doesn’t make sense. It’s not what God has called us to do. God has saved us from darkness, and that is one of the consistencies from Old Testament to New Testament is that God desires to create a people who morally conform to his character.
|And he gives us these commands, church, not for our torture, but for our joy. He gives them to us for our joy. Sometimes, as I’m parenting, my kids think I’m trying to torture them with rules. I’m not. I actually love them. They’re sitting right there. I want the best for them. There are one or two things that I’ve gone through in my life, and I learned it the hard way, and I’m trying to save them from also having to learn it the hard way. But I want them to … I’m going to say, “Hey, you know, you can avoid this.” In the same way God, who created us and loves us, is saying, “I’m going for your joy, not your torture.” He’s not trying to keep us from living our best life now. He’s calling us to something that is so much better than the fake substitutes the world offers.
So, when he gives his people a sexual ethic, for example, that makes us really look like exiles, really reminds us with words like “you’re on the wrong side of history,” you really feel like an exile. God says, “I’m giving that to you for your joy, not for your torture, but because I know I created this and it’s for good, and so I’m giving it to you.”
Or when he tells us how we treat money not as a god, but as a steward, and we give it away. He does that for our joy, not to keep us impoverished and miserable, but for our joy.
Or how we love our spouses rather than domineer them, but how we love them and seek to serve them because Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life. And he says, “Follow Jesus’s example when you’re home.” It’s not to keep you pressed down. It is to give you joy.
Or when he tells us not to be scoffers in public places like online forums, but to watch our words. And when your enemy slaps you on one side of the face, turn the other side to him, not seek to destroy him as well. He’s giving us that for our joy, for our good, and for his glory. That’s what God is doing, and he’s calling us, church, to live as holy people, to follow his moral character. It’s a call to holiness and a call to joy. So that’s the second one.
Here’s the third one. The third is to live fearfully. The third command is to live fearfully. Living fearfully is not to live afraid or scared. He’s not trying to get us to live fearfully scared all the time. That’s not the call to live fearfully. Rather, he’s calling us to live in reverent fear as we live with hope. So, I’m about to read verse 17, and as I do, notice that Peter uses the Father/Judge paradox. God is both our Father and the Judge, and Peter squishes them together. Verse 17,
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds,”
Did you get that? He is our Father, elect exiles, and he’s the Judge who “judges impartially according to each one’s deeds.” Here’s the command.
“Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.”
Notice he says not that God is your Father; so, live however you want. That not what he says. He says, “God is your Father; live with reverent fear.” Let that sink in. And then he’s going to say, we’re going to say, “Well, why if God is my Father, do I not just live however I want, but I live in reverent fear? Well, he’s going to give us three reasons why, because you know three things.
Number one, you know the Judge. Because, number one, you know the Judge, you dare not think you’ll escape because you know him. So, it’s not “My dad is the Judge; I can do whatever I want to.” That is typical, political junk, right? “My dad is in charge; so, I can do whatever I want to, and he’ll let me off.”
He’s saying, “Christian, that’s not how we think.” He’s saying, “You know the judge; so, live in reverent fear. You know the judge, and so, you know his unchangeable character that he is impartial, and he will by no means clear the guilty or accuse the innocent.” That’s what you know about him. So, let that sink in.
Do you see what he’s saying? He’s saying you would expect people who don’t know the Judge to think, “I’ll do whatever I want.” But because you and I know the Judge and what we know about him is that he is impartial, he cannot be bought. He doesn’t care. He will be impartial. Because you and I know that, then we live differently. We live with reverent fear because we know the Judge. We expect other people to say, “I’m doing whatever I want to” because they don’t realize who the Judge is. But we do; we know him. “Therefore, conduct yourselves with fear” because you know the Judge.
Because, number two, you know the cost. You dare not blaspheme the blood. Look at verse 18, please. He goes on,
“knowing that you were ransomed.”
By the way, this section 17-21 is one long sentence in Greek.
“knowing [so, this is all connected together] 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.”
Now there are three imperishables in I Peter 1. The first is our imperishable inheritance that we talked about last week. The third is next week. And the second one is here. He talks about the imperishable value of the blood of Christ. He compares it not to perishable things, like silver and gold, but the precious blood of Christ. Your ransom is imperishable, and the ransom from your former life was paid with Christ’s own imperishably valuable, precious blood. That’s what he says.
So, what does this mean? This means that, given the inestimable value of your ransom, conduct yourselves appropriately. Given that you and I were purchased with something that has infinite value, consider that in your life. Or Peter might ask, what are we doing when we willingly participate in the futile works of darkness, when we know the value of what it took to free us from those futile works? What are we doing? Why would we live with no fear? Why would we jump into sin as if it’s nothing and not be fearful when we know the Judge and we know what it took? It took the Son of God, Christ’s blood, to free us from it. Nothing else would do it. That’s what it took, and it has infinite value. Peter says you are ransomed with the precious blood of Christ; so, conduct yourself with fear.
And the third thing, and I’ll end with this, you know the story. You know the Judge, you know the cost, and you know the story. You know the past and future. Look at verse 20.
“He was foreknown.”
That’s the same word as in [I Peter] 1:2 that we talked about last week.
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in these 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 [purpose statement] so that your faith and hope are in God.”
This kind of feels like a BTW at the end, like a “by the way” this was always God’s plan, just in case you thought that God created the earth, and things went bad, and he thought, “Oh no, what do we do now?” and came up with a plan. Peter says, “By the way, God always intended that this is how things would go, that before he ever created the earth, he says in 1:2, he knew and chose you, and before he ever created the earth, he knew that he would send Christ when the fullness of time was come. He knew that it would take the precious blood of his Son to cleanse sin. He knew it. Before, in all eternity past, before any of this started, he says, “just want to let you know.” His plan was to choose you, elect exiles according to the foreknowledge of God, and to send Christ, who was foreknown, and that it would require his precious blood.
Listen. That’s the kind of purposefulness that God acts with in past, through the present, and into the future. And it’s the kind of power he has to make it happen. He acts with purpose and power. He has the purpose to make things happen according to his goodwill, and he has the power to make it happen.
And so, what does that mean? That means that you, Peter says at the end, can live with faith and hope. Because you know who God is, you and I can live with faith in him and hope for the future. We know the past, and we know what’s going to happen in the future, and so we can live with hope.
Look at what Peter’s done. He’s come full circle with hope. Back in verse 3, if you just glance back up, he said that we are born again to a what? A living hope. And in verse 13, he said, “set your hope,” and at the end, here in verse 21, he says, “live with faith and hope.” He’s encapsulated the whole thing with hope. Your salvation and the call to live in the way that God has called us to live is all bound up together with hope, not cynicism and despair. What a word for the first century! And what a word for the 21st century Christian! What a word!
In the first century, they had every reason to be cynical and to live in despair. And we have some reasons today, too, if you get caught in that spiral to not live with hope. But Peter, to those people there and to us today, he’s calling us away from that vortex that draws us in and says, “No, no, no, no. Look at the purposefulness with which God acts and the power that He has to make it happen, and live with faith and hope.”
That’s what he offers us. We can live as wholly exiles. We can live hopefully and holy and fearfully and do it with joy and with hope. Those things go together. And that’s what he’s calling us to, church. He’s calling us to live that way. I hope that we can live that we can hear these things from Peter and that God will do that work in our hearts. So, let’s pray and ask him to do that.
God, I thank you that you use broken people like me that have so many times acted in my own strength and without hope, who have at times been cynical and had my focus, not on you and the things that you’re doing and the fact that you work with purpose and power. You take somebody like me and allow me to listen to I Peter and to hear those words, too. I need this for my own heart, my own soul. I like reading the news. I like seeing what’s going on in the world. I like being connected to those things. And it just wants to draw my heart and mind in into a bottomless pit. But I pray that you would apply this Word to my own heart, that I would live with hope and with faith.
I think as I get older, it’s harder because you see more and more brokenness, and yet you’re still calling me to live with faith and hope, and I pray the same thing for everyone that hears now that you would draw us, that you would draw all of our hearts into that story of faith and hope that that’s what you’re doing, that we would be able to see the places where the Holy Spirit is working, the great things that he’s doing, and that we would be a part of it and see your purposes and your power moved into the next generation so that they may carry it forth as well. We ask these things as you continue to move in our hearts and apply your Word to it. We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, who gave his blood for us. Amen.