August 24, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 1:8-12

Our passage in 1 Peter today is very powerful. Peter speaks of how the prophets have served these people who he is writing to, and honestly, the prophets can be seen as serving us today. They prophesied about the coming of Christ (v. 11-12), but what sticks out is that the Spirit of Christ was revealing these things to them. They prophesied through the Spirit, which is why their prophecies came true. The prophets have served these people and us because they spoke of the Messiah who was to come. And we know that the Messiah has come and His name is Jesus. 

This leads into verses 8-9. Even though we have not seen Jesus or will see Him physically, we can love and believe in Him because of the prophets and the testimony that comes from someone like Peter. If we believe and love Jesus, then we obtain, “the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” And if we obtain that, Peter says that we should, “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible”. 

How zealous are you for Jesus and the salvation that you have received from Him? I will often tell students, “If you have become numb to Jesus and what He did for you then you might want to check your heart and figure out what is wrong.” As Christians, we should rejoice daily for the fact that Jesus saved us from our sins, yet we often don’t do that. So what is holding you back from having a joy in Christ that is inexpressible? 

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice

August 23, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 1:3-7

Great Expectation

What an encouraging five verses for us today!   Peter is reminding us of what keeps us going – a Great Expectation of a priceless inheritance (v.4).

…kept in heaven for you (v.4)

…pure and undefiled (v.4)

…beyond the reach of change or decay (v.4)

…protected by God (v.5

This priceless inheritance is because of Jesus’ resurrection (v.3). This should cause us to give all of our praise to God – the Father of Jesus Christ.

So what can we look forward to because of our priceless inheritance ?

…wonderful joy (v.6)

…being truly glad (v.6)

What are our lives like now?

…you may experience trials (v.7)

…they prove that your faith is real (genuine) (v.7)

…they bring praise and glory and honor to Jesus (v.7)

How does it make you feel to realize your Great Expectation?  Have you been living in light of your priceless inheritance?  How will understanding this change how you live today?

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

August 22, 2019

Today you should read: 1 Peter 1:1-2

As we get started in 1st Peter, check out the Bible Project video for an excellent overview of the book:

Peter is writing to Gentile Christians spread throughout the Roman Empire. Although we are often tempted to browse over the first verses of New Testament books as the ol’ apostolic introduction, they are usually very helpful in understanding the book. Peter, in verses 1 & 2, is no different. 

Peter is using Old Testament covenant language here in reference to Gentile believers. These verses refer to God’s power and their status before Him. This is very important for the book of 1st Peter. This book is about hope for suffering Christians. Hope is found, not in our ability, but in God’s ability to fulfill his promises. 

I had a professor in seminary that would often say, “What God has done in the past is a pattern and a promise for what he will do in the future, but He’s too creative to do the same thing the same way twice.” The Exodus and Babylonian Exile show a microcosm of the lengths to which God will go that people will come to know Him. Exile means suffering for God’s people, but the possibility of redemption for those who do not yet know Him. 

We as Gentile believers fit squarely in what Peter is saying. We are in a time of Exile. This world is not our home. We have been grafted into God’s family (Romans 11) and have the future hope that has been promised. But we also have the obligation of the family business and the family reputation. The business is to see people brought into the family. However, our reputation brings resentment and hostility from a lost and dying world.

Nobody has more authority to write such a letter of hope than Peter. As an apostle, Peter is famous for sticking his foot in his mouth, and denying Christ three times during Jesus’ mock trials. After Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus redeems Peter on a beach through three confessions of love. Jesus then tells Peter the haunting news that he would be martyred for the faith (John 21:18–19). 

Peter knew that one day he would die for Jesus. It would be violent and torturous. And yet, Peter did ministry seemingly haunted by his denials of Christ. He knew his end, and nothing would prevent his faithful obedience ever again. 

Church, we may not know how we’re going to die. We just know we will. We may have the family reputation, but we must be about the family business. Like Peter, we must content ourselves with the inevitability of suffering. God is still good, even in suffering. He NEVER wastes our suffering. We may not understand it, but we can trust that it is used. Even still, our job is to suffer well through obedience, worship, and witness as we will continue to see in the rest of 1st Peter. 

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

May 3, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Peter 5:1-14

If you were at CPC Richmond a few weeks ago, you know what lens I see this passage through. You may accuse me of being theologically informed by Pixar, but this Finding Nemo clip made the idea of Satan as “roaring lion seeking to devour” come to life. The angler fish = Satan. Us = Marlin and Dory. The little light: temptation and sin. Check it out:

In this final chapter of 1 Peter, we receive great instruction from an apostle who had to learn the hard way. Peter spoke from experience; he knew the danger that the church was going to face. After all, this Satan who was attacking the church is the same one of whom Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat”. This may be the driving force behind the preliminary admonition to pastors to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock” (v.2-3).

Before getting to the famous “roaring lion” section, Peter gives us a few more tidbits on fending him off:

• Submit to our spiritual authorities in the church (v.5)
• Live with humility and let God be the one to lift you up (v.5-6)
• Leave your burdens at the foot of the cross (v.7)
• Remember that Jesus cares for you (v.7)
• Keep your eyes open and be alert to the spiritual realities that surround you (v.8)

With all this in mind, he then writes these serious words:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9, ESV)

My encouragement to us today is simple: don’t allow sin to reign in your life. Resist temptation and choose what is good and holy. Every sinful enticement you face HAS A STRING ATTACHED. At the end of that string is a roaring lion seeking to kill you. Praise be to God that we have a Lion on our side, too. When you read the whole story, you’ll find that the lion mentioned in 1 Peter 5 meets his doom at the hand of the Lion in Revelation 5.

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered…” Revelation 5:5a

Posted by: Todd Thomas