1 Peter 1:1-9 / Read
Today we begin to read one of two letters found in the New Testament written by the Apostle Peter. “Apostle” in this sense references an eyewitness of the resurrected Jesus and one sent to further the mission of sharing the Gospel and teaching people the way of Jesus.
There is so much to learn about God and people in this short passage, so take time to take in the words and understand them as best you can.
What was Peter so excited about in vv. 3-9?
What is the hope that Peter wrote about (see vv. 3)? Based on the rest of the passage, why would this hope have been so helpful and encouraging to Peter’s audience? What gives a person access to this hope?
In vv. 2, we read that Peter was writing to “God’s elect” who were living as “exiles”. Peter was likely writing from Rome to Jewish Christians in Asia Minor (mostly present-day Turkey) who had been forced from their homes in Jerusalem because they professed faith in Jesus. Christian persecution across the ancient world was rampant and growing at the time.
Go back to the last time you suffered. It could have been a time of intense physical pain or one of deep heartache, loss or loneliness. What were your thoughts and emotions like during that time? What did you feel like physically?
Hope is belief in a bigger, better reality than your current reality. Hope shifts the focus toward future relief and victory and away from present pain and defeat.
Jesus declared that eternal life was knowing God and being with him forever (John 17:3). Knowing God - that is, Father, Son and Spirit - means knowing our true identity and purpose. We are fully known and fully loved. We are free from sin and death, fear and condemnation, guilt and shame. There is no end to mercy, grace and love in God.
All of this and more is what it means to live fully alive - and it’s all available to those who believe in Jesus and have inherited his identity.
To what degree do you believe in the hope of heaven found in Jesus? In other words, to what degree are your thoughts, emotions, words and actions informed by your future hope than your present circumstances?
How do you sense God grabbing your attention with today’s reading and reflection questions? How is he inviting you to respond? How will you life differently today in light of his Word?