Pondering the Passages: 1 Peter 1: 3 (again)

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.

Last week we dealt with the first part of verse 3. This week we’ll deal with the last part of the verse.

“He has given us new birth” – Do you remember the day that you were born? Neither do I. Do you remember all the things that you did so that you could be born? There wasn’t anything to remember. My birth was a result of something that my parents did about 9 months prior to my birthday. It had absolutely nothing to do with anything that I did. It is the same way spiritually. There is nothing that you or did to cause us to be born again. It had everything to do with God. My spiritual birth was the result of a process that He orchestrated long before I “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved.” Here is a snapshot of that process that I can clearly see as I look at it in retrospect.

  • My folks divorce when I was six.
  • A move from Columbia SC to Aiken SC
  • A move across town in Aiken when I was 10.
  • An invitation from my next door neighbor to a church youth group in 9th grade.
  • Becoming best friends with the pastor’s son.
  • A youth pastor coming to the church named Kenny Crosswhite

All of these things were a part of the process that God used to prepare me for responding to the gospel. You will note that at least one of them was not a “good” thing and yet God used it for good purposes. It was because of His great mercy that I was given new birth.

And it was because of His great mercy that I have a “living hope!” – My hope is not some THING that I am looking forward to. It is not even some PLACE that I am looking forward to. My hope is some ONE that I am looking forward to. Jesus is the “living hope” that believers anticipate with excitement and joy. It is this living hope that drives me to live the way that do in this life. If I did not unreservedly believe that one day I will be with Jesus then I would live my life completely differently. But because I do believe and because He IS my hope then I experience a deep satisfaction as I live according to the magnificent purposes of God.

And my prayer is that you are also.

I’m just sayin’!

Next Week’s Passage: 1 Peter 1:4-9
Next Week’s Memory Verse: 1 Peter 1:3

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