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Saturday, January 7, 2017

EVIDENCE OF GOD’S GRACE

1 Peter 1:8-9 New Living Translation
“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”
         The Apostle Peter, the Apostle to the Jews, directed his letter to the Jewish believers who had been driven out of their homes in Jerusalem due to their new faith in Jesus Christ.  They were scattered throughout Asia Minor, with the actually cities in the first verse of the letter. [1] They were being severely persecuted for their faith.  They may not have realized it at the time, but those trials were proving their faith and trust in the Lord.  A Christian can stand and face criticism and abuse or he can shy away from it not wishing to be embarrassed or afraid.  As a Christian we will experience persecution in one form or another at some point in our walk with Christ.  If we remain close to our Lord we will be prepared to face it and deal with it in a godly and effective way.  God is in complete control over all situations so nothing he doesn’t cause or allow can happen to you.
         The longer we serve the Lord the more spiritually mature we will become to the extent that things will start to not bother us. Accepting that God has everything under complete and total control can and should inspire us as we walk with him down our chosen path.
         The people Peter was writing to needed encouragement in the worst way. They had never laid eyes on Jesus themselves and therefore were being taught second hand by those who were his disciples.  Because of their faith and belief in Christ they were ‘blessed’.  We know this because in John’s Gospel Jesus says to ‘Doubting’ Thomas, who said he had to touch Jesus wounds to belief he was alive after his crucifixion, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”[2] We too are a blessed people.  Think of it: we are covered by God’s grace, examples of his infinite mercy, righteous & holy in his sight and blessed beyond measure.  What an incredible package deal and it only gets better once to arrive in heaven.  God always fulfills his promises to those he calls his children.  That is those who were spiritually born again; life forgiven from sin. You know God is gracious, because none of us deserve that, not in the least. And that is exactly what grace is. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.
[1] Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia & Bithynia, which were Roman provinces in the area that is now Turkey.

[2] John 20:29 NLT

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