May 29 | I Peter 1:3-21
I Peter 1:3-21
by Elaine Pierce
As we've gone through the book of John the past few months, we've gotten to know Peter: the most impulsive, enthusiastic, and at times, misguided - of the twelve disciples. Last Sunday we looked at John 21 where Jesus gently, lovingly confronted Peter about his sin. And now today we're looking at some of Peter's own writing. What an amazing transformation Peter has undergone! From a humble fisherman to a leader of the church, indeed God has changed him.
I Peter 1 contains some very practical advice for "God's elect, strangers in the world." That's us, dear friends! Verse 17 jumps out as I read these verses:
"Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear."
What does it mean to live as a stranger in "reverent fear"? We know that this world is not our final destination. Romans 12:2 says it well:
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
We are bombarded with messages "from this world" every day. If we just buy X, or read X book, or go on X trip, or listen to X podcast, our lives will be better. So we fill our lives with X, Y, or even Z, and still we have no peace. We are destined for eternity, and the things of this world won't satisfy us. Blaise Pascal said this a long time ago, and this was way before social media/computers/24-hour news cycle:
There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ. (Pascal lived from 1623-1662 - he was only 39 years old when he died.)
So how can we be "strangers who live in reverent fear"? We can surround ourselves with godly men and women who hold us accountable to living a life that pleases God. We can read scripture daily and ask the Holy Spirit to guide our study. We can pray daily, bringing our fears and burdens to the Lord. And we can worship him in spirit and in truth through music, prayer, and preaching. And when we fail - when we look to the world to fill us up - we can come again to the throne and confess our sinful desires. He will welcome us with open arms.
This is a lifelong journey, and it starts today. Thanks be to God for his grace and his goodness.
Lord, I know that I'm made to live forever - the things of this world will never bring me peace and fulfillment. Thank you for sending your son, and I ask you today to help me to live out my life in reverent fear and hope. Amen.