During the past years, our governments and the people of our lands have shown more rejection of God and His Word. We see ungodly lifestyles promoted. We see what Paul explained in Romans 1. Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking has become futile and their foolish hearts are darkened. Although they claim to be wise, they have become fools, exchanging the glory of God for images and heroes of their making. We see that God is giving them over to their sinful desires.
When we see the foundations of our culture being destroyed, we wonder what the righteous can do. Peter wrote his letter in a time of great persecution, immorality and confusion. We are not sure what lies ahead for us, but Peter tells us where to find our hope and comfort, and how we are to live as saints set apart in the midst of a rebellious world, being ready to give a reason for the hope we have as beloved children of God.
We will be going through the first letter of Peter this month. Peter tells us to praise God in the midst of a fallen, rebellious world for the great blessings we have because of Christ our Saviour. He also tells us how we are to live for Him as His beloved children, fighting sin and encouraging each other as fellow citizens of the Kingdom of heaven, looking forward to a glorious future that will never perish, spoil or fade.
May Peter’s words encourage us to be faithful, so that we will not give up following Jesus, continuing in the mission He has given us: to tell others about Jesus and show that Jesus is a true and loving Saviour.
Having our identity in Christ
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion . . . according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” – 1 Peter 1:1-2a
Scripture reading: John 21:15-19
Peter starts this letter by emphasizing the identity of those who believe in Jesus Christ. Earlier, Peter had struggles in this area. On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter was asked if he knew Jesus. He denied it three times. But Peter repented and now calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ; one who represented and witnessed for Jesus Christ. And he gives special designations to those to whom he is writing.
First, he calls us God’s elect, chosen to be God’s beloved children according to His eternal, unconditional love. God sent His Son to die for His people. He also sent the Holy Spirit to enable His children to believe and live in joyful obedience because of Christ’s sprinkled blood. Peter encourages us to trust in Jesus Christ, find our identity as His beloved, chosen people and confess our faith in Him.
In the second designation, Peter calls us strangers. Peter was writing to those who were scattered throughout the world. Although they were scattered among various places they were citizens of a new Kingdom, the kingdom of God.
Peter is encouraging us to see that this world is not our real home. We should seek to be a blessing to any country we live in, yet in believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. May we see that we are strangers to this world and part of God’s chosen people, the Kingdom of God.
Suggestions for prayer
That we would more and more see our identity in Jesus Christ as members of God’s elect people, strangers in this world living in obedience to our Lord.
Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.