“I was reading in the apostle Peter’s first letter this morning,” Stan began, “and I was struck by his exact description of me at one point in my life.”
“Peter described you in a letter that was written a long time ago?” I responded. “Long before you were born?”
“Sure did,” Stan replied.
Continuing, he said, “Peter was pointing out to the readers of the letter, including me, what he described as their ‘futile’ way of life they had inherited from their forefathers.”
“Before I became a Christian,” Stan said, “I was certainly living a ‘futile’ type of life because I did not have a heritage of faith.”
“Futile in what way?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “I went to the dictionary to see the precise meaning of ‘futile’, and I was struck by its apt description of my pre-Christian life. ‘Useless, vain, hopeless, incapable of succeeding,’ that sort of thing.”
“Wow,” I responded, “that’s pretty harsh!”
“Truth often is,” Stan replied.
“Peter’s use of that word,” Stan continued, “was perfect in describing me before I came to the truth of redemption, conversion, and transformation that was and is available through Christ’s finished work on the cross.”
“Without the acceptance of God’s free gifts of all He has for me in eternity with Him, as well as on this side of eternity in being able to know Him ever more deeply in a personal relationship, all that I sought to accomplish apart from Him was certainly futile.”
“Did you know it was futile?” I asked.
“Not at the time,” Stan replied. “Only in retrospect, only as I was faced with the truth of God’s provision through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, could I see the futility of my life. Only then could I see that all of the efforts on my own served no purpose that aligned with what God had for me.”
“I was blind, but I was given sight to see the utter futility, along with the only solution for overcoming it.”
“You mentioned a second thing,” I replied, “something about a lack of a heritage of faith. What was that about?”
“That, my friend,” Stan said, “is another subject for another day.”
. . . knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers . . . . 1 Peter 1:18.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for bringing me out of the futility of life without you. Thank you for drawing me near to you and opening me to the truth of life eternally with you when it is time, along with the eternal life that is available on this side of eternity, the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus. I confess that too often I tend to pursue things that are futile, rather than pursuing only what you have for me. Please forgive me and please help me in following your lead into the fullness of life, away from futility that results from a life without you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.