I would encourage you to read through and study, if you haven’t already, the five faith class blogs on the book of James. James teach practical ways in living out your faith. Today, we are continuing on by studying 1 Peter. Peter, too, teaches practical ways to following Jesus moment-by-moment.
The culture that Peter lived in is very similar to today. It was pagan, meaning people did what they wanted and lived for themselves. The sad reality is that believers blended into the pagan culture. Do you see this amongst believers today?
It is good to remember that God calls forth man to be set apart from this sinful world. In Christ, sinful man is made new. His sins are forgiven, and he lives for God instead of for himself. Let’s take a sneak peek at 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are not like that (disobedient to God’s Word), for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.“
With this reality, Peter pens what God speaks into him and encourages those who have set themselves apart from the ways of the world. True followers find themselves feeling like strangers or aliens. Do you fit in with what is popular or do you walk alone? Are you attracted to what the world deems important?
Let’s study the words of Peter so we can remain focused on living solely for Christ, for we live for an audience of one as believers. Go ahead and read 1 Peter 1:1-12. We will study the second part of chapter 1 next week.
How does Peter describe Christians in verse 1? My friend, bask in the reality that God knew you before you were even conceived and He chose you ahead of time. What does the Spirit do in your life, according to verse 2? Because of this, Peter tells you, “You have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.” May you never lose sight of this.
Peter is well aware that you and I do lose sight of who we are in Christ. This pagan world will suck the life right out of you if you don’t live alert and be sober-minded towards eternal truths. There are so many things to distract you.
Do you realize how easy it is to wander away, to turn your back on God? One thought, one choice, is all it takes, and the enemy knows it.
Peter encourages you of the bright future that lies ahead which is the hope of eternal life, beginning in verse 3. Peter gives all praise and glory to God who is the Father of your Lord Jesus Christ. You are born again, spiritually speaking. How does this happen, according to verse 3? By knowing this, how are you to live?
Your day will take on a whole new look if you choose to live with great expectation! What do you gain, see verse 4? How does Peter describe it? Because of your faith, God protects you by His power until He takes you home to be with Him forever. Read Philippians 3:8-11 for added insight into His amazing power.
May you never lose sight of another truth: God protects you by His power 24/7/365. When you choose to receive your salvation through Christ, and follow Him by His Word, you are never on your own anymore. He walks with you. You are never alone.
From verse 6, Peter tells us we can truly be glad for wonderful joy is ahead for those who follow hard after Christ, those who jump in all the way and follow what the Holy Spirit’s telling them to do. You and I know that life is hard. Just this week, I have a sister-in-law who had to say good bye to her 96-year-old mother, one of my best friend’s lost her 83-year-old mother, and I saw on social media where a family lost their beloved dad and grandpa. In the past few weeks, three innocent children were shot by stray bullets in Minneapolis. One has passed on. A young mama, who can say she is a breast cancer survivor in her 30’s, continues with preventative treatments so cancer won’t come back anywhere else in her body.
Life is hard and unfair, but in Christ we have hope, wonderful, joyous hope. It is good to remember that we are not home yet.
How does Peter comfort the weary from life’s trials in verse 7? What hope do you see?
Peter gives us a description of faith in verse 8. “You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him, and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” Does your life reflect this, despite the circumstances you are facing?
According to verse 9, what is the reward for trusting Him? Do you take everything to God and let the Spirit tell you what to do? Currently, I am trusting God with the vaccine. Many are opposed to it while many are thankful for it. I sit in the middle and I can see both sides. This puts me in a pickle, if I let it. What do I do? Who do I trust? I asked God to show me what to do. He knows what the truth is with the virus. Within 48 hours, He answered me. “Get the shot and trust me.” That’s all I needed. He met me in my doubts and wonderings and is moving me forward.
Are you trusting God above your thoughts, reasonings, wants and desires?
Peter ends this section of passage with taking us back in time to the Old Testament prophets and how they did not experience God living within them like we have it today; see verses 10-12. Because of Christ’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit comes upon each believer and lives within every heart that trusts God! The O.T. prophets prophesied about what was going to happen. God was revealing the future to them, and they were to pass it on so we can learn and know the truth.
God gave you and I the Bible, His very own words, so we can know how to live for Him. “This Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.”12
With knowing this, who can join you and study along with you? You are called to share the Good News that God is revealing to you. Are you needing an easy resource? Check out my book, “God Hears My Heart.” It is available to purchase. Look under the Books tab in the menu for links. Not only will you help someone discover the greatest treasure, you will also support feeding children around the world. A percentage of my royalties will go to Feed My Starving Children.
My friend, you are not made for this world. It’s time to set yourself apart. God wants to prepare you to go home. You can’t get yourself ready if you are filling your time with worldly activities. It’s time to trust the One who has the key to set your heart free.