ENCOURAGEMENT FOR SUFFERING CHRISTIANS
1 Peter 1
1From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
To God’s chosen people who are away from their homes and are scattered all
around the countries of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2God
planned long ago to choose you by making you his holy people, which is the
Spirit’s work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood of
the death of Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace be yours more and more.
We Have a Living Hope
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great
mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ
rose from the dead. 4Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children.
These blessings, which cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty, are
kept in heaven for you. 5God’s power protects you through your faith until
salvation is shown to you at the end of time. 6This makes you very happy, even
though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. 7These
troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more
than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of
your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown
to you. 8You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him
now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be
explained, a joy full of glory. 9And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the
salvation of your souls.
10The prophets searched carefully and tried to learn about this salvation. They
prophesied about the grace that was coming to you. 11The Spirit of Christ was in
the prophets, telling in advance about the sufferings of Christ and about the glory
that would follow those sufferings. The prophets tried to learn about what the
Spirit was showing them, when those things would happen, and what the world
would be like at that time. 12It was shown them that their service was not for
themselves but for you, when they told about the truths you have now heard.
Those who preached the Good News to you told you those things with the help of
the Holy Spirit who was sent from heaven—things into which angels desire to
A Call to Holy Living
13So prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope
should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ is shown to
you. 14Now that you are obedient children of God do not live as you did in the
past. You did not understand, so you did the evil things you wanted. 15But be
holy in all you do, just as God, the One who called you, is holy. 16It is written in
the Scriptures: “You must be holy, because I am holy.”
17You pray to God and call him Father, and he judges each person’s work
equally. So while you are here on earth, you should live with respect for God.
18You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed
down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that
useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver,
19but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb.
20Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world
in these last times for your sake. 21Through Christ you believe in God, who raised
Christ from the dead and gave him glory. So your faith and your hope are in God.
22Now that you have made your souls pure by obeying the truth, you can have
true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with
all your heart. 23You have been born again, and this new life did not come from
something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again
through God’s living message that continues forever. 24The Scripture says,
“All people are like the grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
The grass dies and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord will live forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
Peter reminded Christians who were scattered all over the world that they were guaranteed an inheritance. They were to base their confidence on the indestructible truth of God's Word.
God promises us an inheritance that will never pass away.
Hollywood, California-many people come there from around the world frantically seeking success, fame, and fortune. For most, however, the quest is a futile one.
Only a few have actually "made it" to the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard, where embedded bronze symbols bear the names and faces of the famous. It appears that these men and women, in worldly terms, have mastered their destinies. And yet, upon passing this way and looking at these small monuments more carefully, one cannot help but be touched with a sense of irony. The same sidewalk in which the coveted star has been firmly laid is cluttered with debris, splattered with mud, and ground over in places with patches of gum.
In stark contrast, the promise of God to His people says "I lay ... a sure foundation.”.
The reward of walking this "established" path is only found in God's Word. There is no bronze star waiting to be laid in concrete by the hands of man and tarnished by the passage of time. Rather, the redeemed of the Lord-those whose lives are built upon the sure foundation by God shall shine forever. (From Living and Praying in Jesus' Name by Dick Eastman and Jack Hayford)
How many times during the last week have you praised God because of the inheritance he has promised you?
Security - Psalm 9:10; Zephaniah 2:3-7; Romans 6:6-11; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 John 5:13.