Today’s blog, written by Pastor Sam Lee of Catalyst Agape Church in New Jersey, was first posted on July 15, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
“You Aren’t Alone”
1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Peter addresses the “exiles” scattered in different foreign lands: the people of God who have new life in Christ but feel like strangers in a land that does not understand nor embrace them. This land is a place that drains them spiritually; a place that mocks them for their values, priorities, and teachings; a place that tempts them with immorality, materialism, and selfishness.
Peter reminds the exiles that where we dwell is not important, but who dwells in us. We who know Christ are “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” God knows all things, meaning He knew us even before we were born, but that also means He knows what we are going through now. This knowledge should not be treated like facts and statistics to be organized and stored, for God is not a scientist that just observes from a distant: He is a loving God, a loving Heavenly Father. When Adam and Eve sinned, bringing sin into the world and into the hearts of all human being, God did not panic and annihilate Adam and Eve; but He had a plan. God told the devil, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He (Jesus) will crush your head, and you will strike His heel” (Gen. 3:15).
I want to encourage you today with this: you are not alone, and He knows what you are going through. You don’t have to convince Him of all your problems, for He already knows them and has a plan to help you. This plan is the “sanctifying work of the Spirit,” and the trial is there to make you stronger. You are holding on to something which is not helping you, therefore, God is asking you to let that go and trust Him, believing that He has something better for us.
Prayer: Lord, block out all lies, noises, and temptations. In You, we can change the surroundings. In You we can overcome, instead of being overcome. Release Your victory in my life.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 19
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Peter 2:9-12: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Questions to Consider
- As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, how should you respond to trials and to difficult people in your life?
- What is one desire that you would have to let go as God’s people, knowing that our core values should not be influenced by the secular world?
- With more patience, seeing things from an eternal perspective (that this, too, will pass); and kindness toward those who upset us.
- For many, it is an incessant desire for more of anything that the society values as important. But we should strive after contentment, and reject the desire to hoard things.
At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow. Remember, we are citizens of the most powerful kingdom! So let’s change our mindset from defeat to victory, from shame to joy, and from hiding to power and influence.