Let’s start something new. I am going to try to post a “Midweek Reminder” on the blog each Wednesday. It will be a short summary of Sunday’s sermon that will hopefully help jog your memory and remind you of some things (if you were there) or help you follow along with the current Sunday morning series (if you weren’t). Here goes:
Life is tough, and sometimes it’s hard for us to see the shore when we are in the middle of the storm. Peter knows this, and that’s why he has devoted the first twelve verses of 1 Peter to reminding us of who we are as believers and the living hope that we have in Jesus. Peter is like the lookout of a ship perched high above the deck calling out to us below, “Get your head up! Your future goal is real! I can see it! Your hope is alive!” But now, in verse 13, Peter comes to a turning point in his letter. In the first twelve verses Peter focuses on what Jesus has accomplished for believers, now, he is going to call believers to live in light of it.
The first word of this new section of Peter’s letter is “Therefore”. Don’t miss this. This is huge. “Therefore” reaches all the way back to the truths of the first twelve verses of this letter and grounds what Peter is about to say in them. To put it simply, Peter’s command for how we should live our lives is firmly based on the news of what God has done for us in Jesus. What we are to “do” is based on what Jesus has “done.” This is huge, because if we miss this order, if we miss this point, the result would be a righteousness based on our own works instead of seeing our holiness as the result of God’s grace and power and a response to His love for us in Jesus.
So what command is Peter giving us? He is telling us “To fix our hope completely on the grace brought to us by Jesus Christ.”
If we miss this command, we miss the whole point of Peter’s letter. When we place our hope, our faith, firmly on the grace Jesus has shown us, the grace He has promised us, it will change us. Peter is calling us to a decisive action of confident expectation that is strong enough to change the way that we live. This is really a call to abandon any false hope that we have in empty idols or delusional self-righteousness. As believers or hope cannot be on our jobs, our kids, our homes, our own goodness, our charity, our relationships, our traditions, our preferences, our bank accounts, or our own prestige. Our hope must be in Christ alone. We must be able to say with the hymn writer that our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and His righteousness. Nothing less will do, nothing else will last, nothing else will satisfy.
Where is your hope? Or maybe I should ask, does your life reflect the hope that you claim to have in Jesus? Does your life reflect a living hope that goes beyond this life? Or does your life say that this world is all there is so we better enjoy it while we can?
Today I would remind you to get your eyes off of this life and start living in light of the life which is to come.