March 12th, 2021

ephod, high priest, breastplate, remember, hoshen

Brothers

Yesterday I was studying some verses about trial and temptation. I was reading about Peter's trial and how the enemy wanted to test his faith and destroy him. "Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-21)

As I was reading, I noticed something. I don't remember Jesus referring to the disciples as "brothers" before this. But after his resurrection, Jesus tells Mary to, "go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:17)

"See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God" (1 John 3:1). This love of God...it's beyond understanding... Praise the Lord for His great mercy and love, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

It's encouraging, too, that the Lord gives us brothers and sisters here on earth - our fellow Christians to support one another. He told Peter to strengthen his brothers. In Acts, Peter does address the fellow apostles and elders as his 'brothers' (Acts 15:7). The language of brotherly love is rich throughout the letters of the New Testament. I know I've been strengthened by my brothers and sisters in the faith. And even today, Peter still encourages us as a brother through the words of his letters (2 Peter 1:15). He reminds me that Jesus cares for me (1 Peter 5:7) and of the glorious salvation that God is working in us through Christ (1 Peter 1:1-9). He encourages me to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit together with a courage that stands unafraid of any terror (1 Peter 3:3-6).

I want to keep growing in the grace of God :) I pray that the Lord will give me victory and strengthen me (1 Peter 5:10) so I can be a blessing to my brothers and sisters who are also suffering (1 Peter 5:9) on their journey to the eternal kingdom of God. Even in our weakness, God is strong and His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Let us trust Him and keep seeking His face :) And along the way, let us strengthen our brothers and allow ourselves to be strengthened by them.

"My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

All praise be to God - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.