1 Peter 1:1-2 [NLT]
1 This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.
Dear God, in my little quest to learn more about Peter and John, now that I’ve gone through all of the references to them in the rest of the New Testament, I am going to look at the letters that each of them wrote. I’ll start with 1 Peter.
The first question I have in mind is, to whom was he writing this letter? While he specifies some regions, I am taking it that he is writing this to all of the Christian church because he says in verse two that he is talking to people who “have obeyed [Jesus] and have been cleansed by [his blood]. With that as my starting point, I think I can say that he is, in essence, talking to me as well.
His first words to me are that he hopes that you will “give [me] more and more grace and peace.” I personally feel like that is what life is all about.
I saw a social media post by a friend today who said that he recently had some realizations that life goes by fast so he wants have a renewed vision for 2019 of living life to the fullest. To him that means spending time with friends and family and treating himself to travel and the occasional extravagance. I’ve known this friend for a while and it seems like he is always in search of everlasting joy and happiness. He had a life-threatening illness a few years ago and I had hoped you would use it to teach him about charity and giving of himself. Instead, he told me that when it was over he was going to focus on having some fun.
I say all of this because what Peter is wishing upon us here is grace and peace. I will not find either if I am indulging my own wants and building a life that is about my experiences. The “pursuit of happiness” as mentioned in the constitution’s preamble is a fallacy. Grace is found by first repenting and receiving grace, and then taking that experience and turning around to extend that grace to others. Peace if found through uniting my soul with you and allowing you to use me however you see fit. If I do that, then I will have no regrets, regardless of how much or little travel I did or toys I bought during my life.
Father, I don’t want to sit here in judgment of this friend, but I want to figure out how to reach out to him without coming across as sanctimonious or holier than thou. At the same time, I want to focus on my own journey in you. I want to use my life to worship you and knock over the dominoes that you need my life to knock over so that my presence in this world will have the impact you need it to have, regardless of whether or not my name or identity is ever tied to it. I want to decrease as you increase through me. I want to do it for you, my God and my King.
I pray all of this through the power of Jesus’ blood and through his name,