Book of 1 Peter, part one

I’ve been waiting to write about this for a while because I wanted to further study who Peter was.  Now that I’ve done that, I wanted to dive in with my first impressions of 1 Peter and share some of the verses that really spoke to me.

For listening today, I’m linking up You’re Beautiful.  The first time I heard this song I cried like a baby.  Something about it’s simple cry out to the Lord really gets me.  Listen to it by CLICKING HERE.

HISTORY OF 1 PETER

Written around 64 or 65 ad by Peter, this book of the bible has a strong theme of dealing with suffering in the Christian life.  Peter speaks a lot here about getting slandered and ridiculed for being a Christian.  With the growth of the Christian faith it was beginning to look like a threat to the Roman empire.  Therefore Christians were starting to feel a wave of persecution for their faith.

VERSES THAT JUMPED

The first thing that jumped out at me comes early in the book.

1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

Verse 4 is the part that I love here.  The major part of our inheritance as believers in Christ is eternal life.  It’s getting to be welcomed into the Kingdom of heaven, to get to live forever in the presence of our Lord.  I felt like verse 4 was just such a comfort to true believers.  This isn’t an inheritance that he might take back, or one that might change or expire.  It is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.  What a beautiful promise and a beautiful affirmation!

Holiness is something that’s been on my mind a lot since I started working to make God the number one priority in my life.  It’s funny because even though I didn’t have a real definition for holiness, it’s like I naturally understood it on a deep level.  It’s cleanliness and Godliness and goodness and purity.  It’s being dedicated to God and his ways.  One great part of 1 Peter is his encouragement to remain holy in all of our conduct.

1 Peter 1:14-16  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Some people struggle with the idea of being childlike, but I find it comforting these days.  We are God’s children.  He is my heavenly Father.  I think struggling with the biblical call to be childlike believers comes from ego, from an inflated sense of self.  The thought of humbling myself before God as if I’m nothing but a child conflicts with our earthly need to make something of ourselves.  Pride is so dangerous.  I’ve really been having to make this an active part of my prayer and thought life, the idea that I am in a lot of ways unimportant.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I matter.  God loves me, and Jesus died for me, and those two facts mean that I matter greatly.  But my place on this world, my status in society, my prestige at my job, these shouldn’t be major concerns of my daily life.  There’s only one true opinion of me that matters, and that’s God.  I want him to be pleased with me, I want my words and actions to be pleasing to him.  If I’m living in a manner that’s pleasing to God, guess what?  I’m living right.  I’m living holy.  I’m fulfilling my duty as a child of the most high God.

I admit, the childlike thing used to offend me.  I didn’t want to humble myself before God.  Not only that, but it felt wrong that he’d want me to.  I see now that it was a source of great rebellion in me.  I’m intelligent, I’m talented, why should I have to come crawling to God like some sort of a baby?  It really was a problem for me, and I’d just skip over any mentions or teachings about childlike faith or childlike obedience.  What’s funny is that now that I’ve been working on it, I feel totally opposite.  I find this all encompassing comfort in the idea of being childlike before God.  I picture myself as a small child crawling into his lap.  He wraps his arms around me and pulls me near and I can feel this warmth, I can almost hear him whisper into my ear “I love you.”  Just writing that brought tears to my eyes, that’s how strongly I feel this.  Who am I to balk at being childlike before God?  Too intelligent and talented?  Where did that intelligence and talent come from?  We have a Father who happens to be the CREATOR OF ALL THINGS.  And he’s so many things, he’s our Lord and King and Savior, but he’s also dad.  He’s there to wrap his arms around us and love us and comfort us.  I see now that being childlike isn’t some punishment, it’s not a way to push us down, it’s a way to show how he loves us.  It’s a source of comfort, and a position we can put ourselves into so we can always remember to live a life of reliance on God and focus on God in all things.

Before I close this out I want to share one more verse because it sort of goes along with what I was saying above.

1 Peter 1:24-25 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”  And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Verses like these used to scare me, but as I learn more and more to make God the priority and focus of my life, verses like these stop scaring me and start encouraging me.  My house, my blu-ray collection, my awesome gaming computer (it’s really awesome), it’s all just temporary.  This life on earth is temporary.  But the word of the Lord remains forever.  When I get to doing my first impressions of 2 Peter next week I’ll talk about this more, but it’s a sentiment that really speaks to me now.  Godly things last forever, and all other things fall away.  So where should my focus be?  On the things that will drop off soon, or the things that are everlasting?  Love and goodness and holiness and the glory of God almighty and godly relationships and fellowship with others who love Jesus as I love Jesus.  This is what I want the focus of my life to be.  Because these things will persist into eternity.

I’ll continue my first impressions of 1 Peter soon.  For prayers this time around, I want to lift up children.  Kids these days are growing up in a dangerous world, it’s an absolute moral minefield.  As hard as it is to walk a Godly path, I think it’s going to be so much harder for the next generation.  So I’d just ask that you’d join with me in lifting them up and asking that God will guide their steps, that he’ll guard their minds and hearts and make them a generation that pursues His will in their lives.

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Published by: Aaron Hall

A lifelong writer, I now spend my days working in communications for city government. I love Jesus with all my heart, and I love sharing my thoughts on the Bible here on this blog.

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