There is great joy in witnessing another person's new birth and early years. A genuinely converted person will gradually or immediately have a desire to read the Word of God, a hunger which begins to consume them. I love all the conversations I have with each of you, but perhaps especially when you suddenly begin to talk about a Bible passage which has spoken to you or you want to ask me questions about spiritual matters. I am a firm believer that everything is spiritual and all conversation is good, no matter what its theme, but the Bible and the Christian faith is my 'speciality' if you like, so it is great to be challenged in this way! At the same time as craving the Word of God and the presence of the Spirit of Jesus, we must also be seeking to get rid of all signs of our past behaviour. ''You must be holy, as I am holy'', the Lord God declared and if we continue to entertain the at best morally dubious stuff we may have done before then we are causing a separation with the holy God. Now, we may all be thinking that we have not killed anyone, been imprisoned justly for anything or run off with someone other than our spouse-God's salvation envelopes and addresses all-but Peter talks here about things we may well be doing: deceit, jealousy, hypocrisy (put your hand up if you don't think you are ever a hypocrite! Sunk by your own petard!) and all unkind speech. Remind yourself that the Christian believers in Peter's day did not have the luxury of attending busy, active churches with lively music and sound Biblical teaching for years before they faced anything which threatened their spiritual growth. They would have needed to grow up fast, because persecution lurked around every corner.
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