(13) So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
You must discipline your mind as we are not only commanded to love God with all our hearts, but also our minds. Don’t dwell on negative and untrue worries. Cast off hateful thoughts about people who have hurt you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Make a choice to rejoice in the Lord. Don’t invest your happiness in getting what you want on this earth or the praise of others. Look forward to the return of Christ.
(14) So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. (15) But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. (16) For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
Every true follower of Jesus has two natures which are at war with each other. You have the old nature with all its desires and habits and the new nature which is driving you ever closer to being like Jesus. You do not have to follow the old nature anymore. Make holiness your constant goal. Jesus is your in-flesh example. Avoid doing what is wrong and replace those thoughts and actions with pleasing God. Much of pleasing God can be wrapped up in one command. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Prayer: Thank God for giving you the ability to pursue holiness and helping you in the effort. Ask Him for wisdom to know His plan and desire for you each day.
3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
We should be quick to praise God for His mercy in giving us a second chance. In the same way and by the same power that Jesus came back to life, so we have a new life.
Now we live with great expectation, 4and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Also, we have great hope or expectation of a wonderful future inheritance that is as sure as Jesus’ resurrection. When things have gotten as bad as they can in this life, remember you have eternal bliss waiting for you.
5And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
Because you have trusted in Jesus, your future is as secure as the power of God. Your final salvation or ultimate rescue is certain but still future. You will be rescued from pain, death, crying, temptation and loneliness. Meanwhile, knowing your future should reassure you about the present.
Thank God for your inheritance waiting in heaven. Ask Him for help to keep your mind focused on the hope He has given you as you are tempted to despair throughout the day.
1This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
As one of the 12 apostles, Peter had special authority from Jesus to instruct the early church. God used the apostles to write the New Testament.
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
Obviously, this letter got passed around. If you are a Christian, you are also one of God’s chosen people and a foreigner in the sense that you live in a world that does not know God. It is good for us strangers to group up and help each other in this foreign culture.
2God 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.
All three persons of the Trinity were involved in you becoming a Christian. Your Father knew and loved you before you were born. He chose you and the Holy Spirit sanctified you. He would never abandon His plan for you. Your first act of obedience was to place your trust in Jesus for forgiveness of sins. The cleansing you received was possible because Jesus willingly placed Himself under the Father’s punishment for your crimes against God. Continuing obedience to our Rescuer is a way of life for us Christians.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.
God wants you to experience even more of His kindness and peace of mind. As you take steps of obedience toward becoming more and more like Jesus (our example), you do experience more grace and peace. Share it with others!
Ask God to help you and those Christians around you gain more confidence in the great love of your Father and grow in your desire to obey Him.