“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” – 1 Peter 1:3 (NASB)
Even if we do not know them, there still is one father and one mother for every person created. Though God was known as Creator and Redeemer in the OT, He was rarely called Father except He is in Isaiah and Jeremiah. Jesus Christ, always addressed God as His Father in the gospels except in the separation on the cross (Matthew 27:46). In doing so, Christ claimed to be of the same nature and being, as the Father. Jesus does not forbid the showing of respect when He said “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” Christ says no to the use of such names as spiritual titles, or in a sense that accords undue spiritual authority to a human being, as if he were the source of truth rather than God. By speaking of “our” Lord, Peter personalized the Christian’s intimate relationship with the God through His Son. For God provided a glorious salvation for mankind. He is merciful because sinners need God’s mercy. We were in a pitiful, desperate, wretched condition as sinners. Only by God’s mercy are we forgiven and born again.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)
So, how are you doing with the task of humbling yourself? Not easy is it. Sort of like we pray for patience and immediately we encounter a circumstance where patience is needed. It doesn’t take long to fall like that. Pride is the same. If we want to give up pride, we must accept being humbled by circumstances and people. It can be a pretty bitter pill to swallow. Successful at humility comes from God and submitting to His leading. As we allow ourselves to accept opportunities for humility, we do so under the might of God’s hand. He is able to give us all that we need to swallow pride and give up all our self-needed sufficiency. At the proper time (which is God’s time, not ours) God will exalt us by manifesting Himself through us. People will see His work in our lives, not our own efforts. When they comment on such times, we give credit and glory to God. Our other promise is: God cares for us so much that he is willing to take on all things we worry about. We do not have to worry because He cares and takes care of us.
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NASB)
Peter, the disciple of Jesus, became one of the foremost apostles who helped spread the news of the early Christian Church. He also was used by the Holy Spirit to write some of the books in the New Testament. Peter walked with Jesus and heard him teach and watched him do miracles and heal all who came to Him with physical or spiritual need. Many times Peter ate meals with Jesus and talked with him face to face while breaking bread together. Peter wrote these words in his first letter to believers in the new Church. In the same way we have never seen Jesus as Peter did but we love him and we believe in him. These words are also given to us and can be applied to us personally. We can experience the “inexpressible joy and be filled with glory” because we have believed in Jesus the Christ – even though we have never seen him. Our faith has opened the eyes of our hearts and minds to believe in Him as our Savior and Lord. It is hard to express sometimes but in our hearts we know He is true. It’s a joy to have that assurance.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)
It is during this time of the years that we increase our focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ because it is Easter. After the Passion Week (Palm Sunday-Easter), How much do we think about Christ’s resurrection? Doesn’t it diminish for the rest of the year?* We know, however, that the Resurrection Day, falling on the first day of the week is the reason the disciples and apostles began the practice of meeting for worship, teaching and fellowship. In the first century, every first day of the week was like our Easter Sunday’s. Christ’s death and then resurrection was the why of following Jesus in His Way. Our promise today from Peter is that we have been given by Jesus, eternal life and saved from death because Christ paid our penalty and defeated death for us. Why not follow the early example of the believers and make that the center of our weekly worship? Worship happens in a community of believers as often and as regular as is possible. We need each other to remind all that we meet on Sundays mostly because the disciples set the pattern for us the first Sundays after Christ ascended into heaven.
*The Easter date floats on our calendar. Each year it is marked on the First Day of the week between March 22 (very infrequent) and April 25 (also infrequent).
Easter is always on Sunday, but it moves around more than other holidays.
Easter as early as March 22 is very rare. The last time it happened was 1818, and the next time will be 2285. Easter last fell on the latest date in 1943, and will again in 2038. Next year it’s April 20.
How the date is determined sounds simple but is pretty complex. Generally, Easter is observed on the Sunday following the first full moon in the Northern Hemisphere, or the first full moon after the vernal equinox March 20.
In depth explanation on how the Easter Date is set each year. http://assa.org.au/edm
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11 (ESV)
Perhaps it seems out of place to begin the New Year with a benediction. The New Year may not always be as “Happy” as we would wish, but as Christians we are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3) and can look forward to a “Blessed New Year” throughout the problems that may come. Suffering is a common experience for all humans. None seek it out but we know that it is part of our walk with Jesus Christ for He promises that we will suffer for His sake as we proclaim our faith in Him. So, Peter confirms for us that suffering is going to be ours for a “little while.” But, afterward, God promises that He Himself will be the one who will restore us, and confirm us, and strengthen us, and then establish us. What a promise that is! We are members of God’s family and we live in His dominion. This is what will be ours for eternity. So, the suffering of last year and the suffering we will encounter this year is all but for “a little while” when the rest will be ours for eternity.
“ Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)
In the first chapter of 1 Peter we learn that as believers we are call to be Holy. We know the word Holy. Some of us sing songs about God being Holy. The various churches label places and artifacts as Holy. God in the Old Testament has the People of Israel build a Tabernacle for worshiping Him. In it was the Holy Place and deeper in was the Holy of Holies. Holiness is important in God’s way and revelation in the Bible tells us He expects us to live holy lives. In our verse today Peter gives us three of five ways to approach being holy. We are to prepare our minds for action. Get our thoughts in the proper order so we are to be sober-minded. This means to be in control of what goes in and what comes out. This means not to mess around with things that intoxicate our thinking and crowd out or blue the things God wants us to think about. The third is to set our hope on the promise of the grace we have and will receive when Jesus Christ is revealed. That’s an end time event we’re to be prepared for.
“…having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NASB)
What is before the ellipsis in our verse? It is the instruction to take on humility under God’s mighty hand. He promises He will exalt us in time. This is after we have turned over to God all that we are anxious about. That is the requirement. Everything that upsets us.
Everything that is not working out the way we believe it should.
Every apprehension about the evil, hateful, ungodly, despicable cheating, lying, and underhanded manipulations, affecting our future.
Every fear of losing our freedom and liberty and our major dismay with who will be leading our country.
Wrap all these up and cast them on Jesus. He does not want us to lug these cares around. They get in the way. He can do something about it and we can only give them to him. God cares and that’s our promise you, He cares about me, about us –all who He has chosen and called and redeemed from permanent spiritual death. He does not want us to be stirred up or to stir up others with things we really can’t change. He cares about us enough to take these anxieties away for us.