Lord, thank You for the sacrifice of Christ that gives us new birth.
Read 1 Peter 1:1–12
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 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, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what ways would this passage encourage the original recipients of this letter?
Peter is writing to God’s people who are exiles and scattered throughout the area we now call Turkey. He has heard that churches in this area are experiencing persecution. Notice what he focuses on at the start of the letter. He manages to capture the work of the Trinity and the essence of the Gospel in the first two verses! Consider how reassuring it would be for these early Christians to be reminded that they are known and loved (2); that the resurrection of Jesus changes everything for them (3); and that they have a future and a hope (4). Peter does not ignore the difficulties of their situation (6) but urges them to hold on to the great truths that flow from trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord.
As well as making this personal for them, he also reminds them that they are part of something much bigger. The salvation they are experiencing was foretold by the prophets (10), and angels are fascinated by it (12).
When life is tough, how able are you to remind yourself that you are known and chosen by God the Father, rescued by Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit?
Consider the range of emotions you experience when you feel insecure. Give some thought to the plight of fellow Christians who are living in contexts where it is dangerous to be a Christian.
Lord, I lay my insecurities before You and pray for restored hope in my life.