There is a testing which purifies our faith and this testing lasts too. We are in I Peter Chapter 1 and we read of this at verse 6. The joy outlasts the pain – the trials – the suffering.
Verse 7 – Today our world can tolerate almost anything, except faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the truths of the Bible.
These trials and sufferings are like a refining fire. The Refiner is refining.
Verses 8,9 - There is a deep devotion and a joyful love - which is real - and that lasts as well.
A mother can try to get her son to wash his face and brush his hair and appear reasonably tidy - and almost fail. And one day some 16 or 17 year old girl walks into his life and onto his scene - and she achieves more in a week that mother has managed in this area over a period of months. There is a new devotion - someone new to please.
That is what happens to us when we are born again - in the spiritual realm.
Peter is saying - though you have not seen him you love Him. You believe in Him - you know what HE has done for you - and you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, and even though you have not seen HIM you trust HIM.
Who else can you love whom you have never seen? This is another unique sentence.
Peter is speaking about here - a living hope - a tested faith - a joyful love – and he goes on to speak about the salvation of our souls.
Salvation means the same as salvage - things we were going to throw out and then we salvaged them - and we made them useful. They became useful. We made them serve a purpose. They were needed.
God said - I am going to salvage these people. I am going to rescue them - and save them - and make them not only feel useful – but I am going to use them.
I am going to call these men and women to serve me.
I am going to give them a purpose to their lives as they follow Jesus.
I am going to give them faith - hope - love – and the power they need – and they are going to produce fruit - and they will receive gifts as well.
Verse 10 - These are tremendous privileges which we have received from God, and Peter is thinking about two groups who would have appreciated experiencing what we have received - the prophets - and the angels - human beings and supernatural beings.
This is amazing. What we have received the prophets wrote about. They were like blind lamplighters. They did not know what they were saying - or what they were speaking about and writing.
It was like an enormous jigsaw, and they saw only one part, but we have the whole picture on the box. But they faithfully told and shared that part which God revealed to them.
This is why it can be so important to share what God has revealed to you - to share what Jesus has said to you - no matter how insignificant or unrelated to anything else that is going on around you, in the Church, or in the world.
They caught a fraction of the vision - a fragment - but they shared what they saw.
One prophet knew Jesus would be born of a virgin – in Bethlehem of Judea (not the West Bank) – have to flee to Egypt – another that Jesus the Messiah would be anointed of the Holy Spirit - be betrayed - given vinegar to drink - that His hands and feet would be pierced - buried in a rich man's grave - raised from that grave and this on the third day.
Each knew just a little piece. Who is that - and when is He going to come? The prophets did not know but they shared the little piece they did know, and sometimes it cost them their lives.
We have been reminded of believers who have only a few pages of the Bible - and they share what they have. We have the whole book - in so many translations - and we have freedom to meet to sing and praise and worship and hear The Word of God.
Then Peter mentions the angels - they looked up to Jesus.
They worshipped the Lamb of God and continue to do so.
Angels are superior to us - in strength and intelligence and beauty. Never dismiss them. They saw the Son of God in a manger – at Gethsemane – but they can never know Jesus as Saviour.
Jesus did not die for angels but to save and salvage men and women.
We have such privileges and that is why Peter goes on right away to speak of responsibilities. Privileges always bring responsibilities.
“Gracious and merciful and loving heavenly Father – You have given us so much – You are so generous when You give gifts and graces. Help us to serve responsibly and faithfully all the days of our lives on earth – making good use of the opportunities presented to us – in Jesus Name, we pray. Amen”
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