1 Peter 4:12-19 – Doom and Bloom

Read 1 Peter 4:12-19

I assume Peter is talking about Jesus’ glorious return and our everlasting life with him when he describes, “seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” But I got a little glimpse of that “glory” this week. Anytime we see God move in our midst or help us in our struggles, we get a peek into the glory of God.

We know the joy that bubbles up inside us when we see God’s hand at work in our lives or community. Peter encourages us to persevere despite the unpleasant situations we face in life. It really resonated with me in a fresh way when I read Peter’s words, “for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering.” Take a moment to let that truth sink in. Partners with Christ. Partners.

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1 Peter 4:1-6 – When Suffering is Better

Read 1 Peter 4:1-6

None of us looks forward to suffering. However, when we suffer on account of our faith in Christ, it is so much better than the alternative of being lost in our sin. Our suffering will not last forever, but our future with Christ never ends. If we chose to stay stuck in our sin, carousing with our friends like we used to, we would miss out on the great inheritance Jesus is preparing for us.

When we live for God, Peter tells us we’ll need to expect suffering, just like Jesus did. This isn’t the only passage in the Bible that warns us about suffering and staying strong. I appreciate that we are told up front what to expect. Nobody can claim to be surprised when we encounter suffering.

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1 Peter 1:1-9 – Greeting & Blessing

Read 1 Peter 1:1-9

Let there be no doubt, we are reading a letter from Peter, the apostle of Jesus Christ! We get a glimpse at what Peter wants us to know about our Christian walk. As you read Peter’s words, don’t forget he spent time in Jesus’ presence! The extreme authority this letter carries is for us and other Christians struggling with their faith. Are you ready to dig into the wisdom Peter is about to share?

Peter likely wrote this letter from Rome. Throughout the Roman Empire, Christians were being tortured and killed for their faith, and the church was being scattered. These new Christians were in an “exile” of sorts from all that they knew, as aliens living in foreign lands. I know what it feels like to be living in a different culture; and we’ve known people who are never able to adjust. Peter’s greeting is very encouraging when he says, “May God give you more and more grace and peace.”

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Luke 21:5-38 – What the Future Holds

Read Luke 21:5-38

Our journey to the cross with Jesus continues, and today we see Jesus teaching in the Temple. The topic in this reading seems to be very timely for us today, too. But we miss the point if we think that Jesus was talking about a specific set of calamities. In every age, there have been false prophets and plenty of natural disasters. Yet Jesus wanted to include this lesson so his followers would know what to expect. Even more, he didn’t want them to be afraid.

Jesus wanted to prepare us so that we would not be led astray. Over the centuries, there have been plenty of examples of people claiming to be the Messiah or making predictions about Jesus’ return. Jesus warns us about that. “Don’t panic,” he says. All of these things will take place as Jesus said, but his words are meant to calm us not elicit fear.

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Obadiah 10-14 – You Should Not Have…

Read Obadiah 10-14

Obadiah speaks to the reasons Edom is facing their judgment. They sinned for their evil behavior against their own relatives. This passage leaves no doubt “why” calamity would fall on Edom. The Edomites brought it on themselves for more than one reason.

There is so much emphasis on “you should not have” in this reading. We often kick ourselves after doing something we realize later was a mistake. Don’t we say, “I should have known better.” The Edomites won’t get a chance to say that since they will all be destroyed. All they have is the advance warning which sets the expectation for what is coming in motion.

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