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Remember God’s Grace

It has been nearly 30 years since Jesus’ death and resurrection, when Peter writes the letter we know as 1 Peter.  Peter, who had once denied knowing Jesus, had become a faithful witness and knew his time on earth was nearly over.  He wrote to people scattered through Asia Minor who were suffering various trials, possibly from ungodly authority, unreasonable masters, unbelieving husbands or from those who intimidate, insult and slander.

Read the opening of the letter below. Notice what he writes about God’s action toward them (believers).

 1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who reside as aliens… who are chosen  2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

    3   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  5  who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Peter is reminding these believers, who are suffering that God has chosen them, caused them to be born again and protects them.

What does verse 2 tell us about those who are chosen?

    2   according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…

Do you believe this applies to you?  Can you believe that God the Father had foreknowledge of you and still chose you?  That He chose His Spirit to work in you sanctifying you (setting you apart as special to God)?  Have you considered God’s choose of you includes the expectation that you would obey Jesus, as well as, the offer of forgiveness of sin?

What do we learn in verses 3 and 4 about being born again?

 …God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4   to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…

Have you accepted God’s mercy?  Do you have hope…a living hope?  As a member of the family of God you have an inheritance reserved just for you.  Is that enough?

Next, what does verse 5 tell us about God’s protection?

who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 God’s power to protect us is at work through our faith?!  Wow!!  Do you really believe God is watching over you protecting you so that you will obtain salvation in the end?

Peter is reminding them of who they are in Christ, God’s great mercy toward them and the promise of eternal reward.  He does not promise them that their difficult circumstances will change immediately or really at all.  He instead is pointing them to God’s eternal love and care.

Take some time to read through these verses, meditate on them, personalize them…  So when difficult times come, you will remember God’s grace and not become discouraged.

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