To God’s elect, exile scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1 – 2
Gracious father, we praise you for the gift of community. It’s a tremendous joy to begin this new year together as brothers and sisters in Christ — adopted by your grace, shaped by the gospel, and in built by the Spirit. Bring much glory to yourself as you’re transform us and liberate us for your redeeming purposes.
May this be a year in which we reengage with our corporate calling as your beloved people. We are your family, not just your individual sons and daughters. Our selfishness and the busyness and the driveness of our culture conspired to make it easy for us to think only of ourselves. But the gospel contradicts all such isolated an independent living.
You chose us by your foreknowledge, Reading this by your son, and set us apart by your spirit to demonstrate the reconciling and redeeming power of the gospel in cities among the nations of the world. Indeed, you have called us to live as strangers in this world, not as strange people. If there is to be a anything offensive about us, may it only be the gospel of your grace.
Renew our churches and help us plant new churches that make the gospel beautiful and believable. May we live as good citizens of heaven and the cities where you have placed us. May our neighbors be glad we are among them. Help us to offer a meaningful glimpse of the future we share because the gospel is true.
Lord Jesus it’s only because you were obedient to death — even death upon the cross — we can offer back and an obedience of grateful faith. Live and love, Ben Austin through us, all year long to your glory. Be magnified in our hearts, revealed in our cities, and revered among the nations of the world.
~ Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel–centered Faith