This Week’s Passage and Memory Verse (in red): 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.
So… as I ponder this passage I realize that there is no way that I can get past the first half of verse 3 this week. This half verse alone is so pregnant with truth that I will only focus on it. I’ll try to tackle the rest of the verse next week and then the rest of the passage.
For those of you still pondering with me, I promise there is still meat on the bone for next week. Think! Look! Digest!
As Peter begins his epistle he can’t help but start with praise. He is so overwhelmed by what God has done for him and for us that it overflows from him through his pen to us. This is his starting point.
Question… Is this my starting point when I communicate with others.? Am I so captured by God’s work in me that it has to find release by way of exclamation? Is this your starting point? Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His great mercy…you probably already know the best definition of mercy that I’m aware of – not getting something that we deserve. Most of us have no real understanding of what we really deserve. When Scripture talks about God’s judgment and God’s wrath and damnation and hell we have no clear comprehension of what the consequences of our sin should have earned us – except for God’s mercy. (The other side of the coin is also true, which Peter talks about later in this passage – we have no real clear comprehension of heaven and of our eternal inheritance.)
Some of the phrases that Jesus uses when He talks about hell include: eternal fire, wailing and gnashing of teeth, weeping and gnashing of teeth, torment, condemnation. (If gnashing of teeth is anything like listening to grinding of teeth then hell is a horrible place.) Use your sanctified imagination and try to picture yourself experiencing this … forever. My oldest son got 2nd degree burns on his leg when he was about 6. That was enough for me to have a very real appreciation for the danger of fire. The smell of burning skin, the scream that pierced the air, the pain that went along with all of it – and that is just a VERY small glimpse into the torment of hell that will last forever.
This is what we deserve because of our sin – and yet… in His GREAT mercy! God has not given us what we deserve. Instead He has given us “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
This is what I’ll ponder with you next week. So much to think about.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: 1 Peter 1:3b
Next Week’s Memory Verse: 1 Peter 1:3