“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”               (1 Peter1:3-5)

In today’s Bible reading, we begin reading from 1 Peter. The apostle Peter wrote this letter to exiled believers in Asia Minor who were experiencing increasing persecution under the Roman government.

Peter begins his message to these believers by praising God for what He had done for us.  The first thing is, he reminds them of their current position before God: They have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. As children of God, we have a LIVING HOPE! Our hope is not simply wishful thinking, as the world views hope, but a confident expectation, based on the resurrected Son, Jesus Christ! This sure expectation of eternal life with God the Father and His Son should produce in us joy and perseverance as we undergo trials and suffering in this world.

The second thing Peter mentions here is the promise of the inheritance that is waiting for each of us. Peter described this inheritance as being imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It cannot die, cannot be corrupted and cannot lose its strength. Why?  It is kept in heaven for us by God Himself! What can we say about this inheritance? John MacArthur describes this inheritance as “life, righteousness, joy, peace, perfection, God’s presence, Christ’s glorious companionship, rewards, and all else God has planned.” Our inheritance is far greater than all we can ask or imagine!

As these words from Peter were meant to encourage the “chosen exiles of the Dispersion”, so they should also encourage us. This week, as we celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, our response should also be one of thanksgiving to God, who according to His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a LIVING HOPE and to an INHERITANCE kept secure for us in heaven by our heavenly Father Himself! Praise the Name of the Lord!

by Paul Schmidt, Elder

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