Peter tells us how to gain peace and joy.

1peter1How are you guys doing this week? I hope that your weekends went well  and you all got plenty of rest! Today we start 1 Peter! I was trying to decide whether to go back to the old testament for a book but I really want to finish up this New Testament survey I have been doing. Expect the Old Testament come summer. Today we will be looking at 1 Peter 1 if you haven’t had time to read it yet you can access it here. This chapter is a great reminder to me and I am sure that there is a lot for any christian to glean from these couple of verses.

The chapter starts out with Peter thanking God. He is thanking him for the salvation through his son Jesus Christ and that because of this there is an inheritance stored for us in heaven. Most likely people were questioning Peter about the persecution and why they had to endure it. All the people should rejoice this! Even if they have been persecuted because it was the test of their true faith.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1:8-9

Then Peter goes on into details of this salvation that they are receiving. But the main part that I want to focus on today comes from the second half of this chapter in 1:13-25.

He tells us plainly to be holy.

Why be holy? 

  1. Because we now have “minds that are alert and fully sober”
  2. In order to “set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”
  3. Because “you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially”
  4. and “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”

How?

  1. As obedient children “do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance”.
  2. By “obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart”.

Peter then leaves us with a little rhyme or saying of the people

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

So what are we to gather from this first chapter of 1 Peter? I know for me that it is certainly sobering to remember that we are called to not conform to the evil desires we had when we lived in ignorance. Often someone will pray and pray that they would not sin and continue to live in sin thinking that there will be some sort of divine “stopping” of our sin. We have to put the effort in! Like a child obeys their parent we are to obey God. And the one rule that Peter brings up by name is to love one another truly from the heart. Today was a Monday and a great deal of us were grumpy but did you take time today did you put out the effort to love your neighbor? Regardless of what you think “loving you neighbor” is not just the product of you leaving everyone alone. It is not the product of you simply not being mean to one another. It is an action that you must choose to take up. And where else do you need the extra faith to step out and stop sinning in? Take a minute to pray and ponder that.

This week I challenge you to be more open-eyed with yourself: Where are the areas where you struggle most and where are you in the most need of God’s help, also where are you just waiting for God to show up and fix everything so that you will no longer sin? Remember the praise that Peter says at the beginning: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him” Live this week in that love and in that belief of God and you will experience that inexpressible peace and joy!

May God Bless You This Week,

A

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