June 17. I Peter 1:1-12

GRACE LESSONS: Right at the beginning of his letter, Peter mentions grace. Did you notice? “May God give you more and more grace and peace,” says Peter in the last part of verse two. What a beautiful prayer for these persecuted believers. He’s asking God to give them more and more of that wondrous grace. I wonder, is it undeserved pardon for them or is He asking God to fill them more and more with grace for others? And then, of course, he also wants them filled with His peace. As Jesus reminded His disciples in John 14:27: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” The peace Peter wants for these suffering Christians is peace of mind and heart right in the midst of troubles. I love this beginning. Peter talks of grace again in verse ten. He refers to our “gracious salvation.” Peter understood and was overwhelmed by grace. We’ll see that word pop up again and again as we read.

OUR PASSAGE: Talking to Christians far from home, living in little enclaves where they’re viewed as strange, Peter still talks of JOY. I love that. He knows they are living in a pivotal moment in history and have been entrusted with the greatest message ever to be given to mankind: rescue from sin and shame and the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. He may be only months away from his martyr’s death, but our Peter is filled with a deep and abiding joy that he was chosen for such a time as that. Wow. That’s a joy that only comes from living closely with God, filled with His Spirit and knowing His presence. I want more of that!

My verse: I Peter 1:8 “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.”

My response: Father! Inexpressible joy in the midst of dire circumstances because they loved and trusted You. We’ve never been tested like this: homes, property, societal respect all stripped away until all that remains is this great, incredible JOY of knowing You. This is why Peter can celebrate in the midst of trouble. Help me know You more and more, Lord God, the older I get.

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