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Grace leads to Hope which then leads to Holy living.
Peter today is going to help us make sure we understand that God’s amazing grace when we receive it, gives us hope, and hope is such a powerful thing and if we grab hold of it and allow it, it renews our leaky life and leads to holy living which is like a little bit of heaven on earth.
Some of you know the name of Peter in the Jesus story. He experienced grace as he walked with Jesus in many different ways. The grace that Jesus shared with Peter over and over led him to have hope, and out of that grace and hope, he learned the blessings of a holy life.
Peter shares a great word for us out of his first letter he wrote.
Lets look at it and what it calls us to today. 1 Peter 1. Starting in verse 3
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
As Peter considers what he is about to share with us, he first says…
He can’t help it. It’s too exciting to start with anything else.
Do you ever feel that way? We should. When we consider God. When we ponder God. When we notice God. What we learn about God.
That’s why we start with singing when we first start Worship on Sunday mornings. As we all enter the room together after experiencing God during the week…for many of us…We just want to say or sing…Praise Him.
That’s what Peter is doing here.
Praise Him! WHY??? What is Peter wanting us to know? First…he wants us to know about…
Grace – An undeserved merit or blessing.
God’s love is undeserved. We don’t deserve a relationship with God. We don’t deserve any of the blessings that God has available.
We could talk for days about God’s grace but two weeks ago on January 14th, Pastor Mike shared a great understanding of this grace that God has for us. If you haven’t watched it yet, I strongly suggest checking it out! Flex Seal – Week 2 Message.
We praise God as we realize that it starts with grace. But Peter shows us that Grace leads to hope.
Peter says it this way.
1 Peter 1:3-4
…Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
We live with great expectation. That’s hope. It’s knowing that something is coming. There is no question about it. it’s gonna happen. So what is the hope expecting?
Have you ever received an inheritance before? It’s exciting when you know that you will be receiving something. But…when A person’s will and last testament is read, and your name is listed as a person who will inherit something from that person who has passed. Most times…it’s a bittersweet moment.
Someone has to die for you to receive the inheritance. That’s how it is in our eternal walk with God.
Jesus died to provide the inheritance.
Jesus was raised to life and is the inheritance.
To know about the gift from God that Jesus died for you…again…go watch Mike’s sermon.
You get to spend forever with Jesus. The most righteous, loving, caring, strong and powerful, wisest, etc, etc…man/God you could ever hang with. Forever you will be with Jesus.
You get Jesus forever! Can I hear you say Praise HIM!!
For today…that presence of God happens through the presence of God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit, because of God’s grace, sets up a campsite in your heart and does life with you.
Grace leads to Hope…So…we move forward into Holy Living.
Some of you might be saying…that sounds boring. That sounds stuffy. No fun. But…Jesus lived a holy life. Jesus is living a holy life. It’s what our heavenly lives will be like. As we have more faith in Jesus and as we follow Jesus more and more.
Jesus makes our lives better and he makes us better at life as the Holy Spirit makes us holy.
Holy living is Godly living. It looks different from those who don’t know Jesus. Holy living looks like Jesus as we follow Jesus more and more.
Grace leads to hope and that leads to holy living.
Peter continues with our first SO…verse 6
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
Be glad. Joy ahead. Sounds good, right? But…Trials?
Why Trials? Because we aren’t in heaven yet. This is a fallen world. There is sin. We hurt each other because of it. Life happens and sometimes we lose jobs. Sometimes accidents happen. Sometimes things catch on fire. There is weather that can get messy. There is sickness and disease that hurts our bodies. And ultimately…these bodies die.
Trials will come our way…but did you notice…JUST FOR A LITTLE WHILE. Why? Because we are on the eternal plan if we know about the grace and the hope. Our lives here on earth where we face those trials are very short in comparison to our eternal lives.
Now…you might be wondering…what does going through trials have to do with holy living?
Well, everyone on earth goes through trials. No matter if you know Jesus or not, you will face trials. But those who know Jesus go through those trials differently because of our faith in Jesus. That’s holy living.
And, we go through those trials with Jesus. We find ourselves surrounded by others who also walk with Jesus. Our Life Groups pray for us and love on us as we go through those trials.
That is part of what the joy that Peter mentions here is all about, walking through life with Jesus and with other people who love Jesus…its heaven on earth, even during trials.
And Peter says there is more good that comes out of these trials.
7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold.
Others will be watching us as we go through these trials. And they will get to see what our faith in God looks like. And how God carries us through those trials.
Maybe you have heard it said…
Life is hard, but God is Good!
Did you like Flex Seal – Week 4? If so, check out more of our Sunday teachings here.