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Great Mercy – 1 Peter 1:3

Jun 28, 2020

God provides us a great mercy in a sure salvation.
– 1 Peter 1:3-4
John 3:16-17
Peter writes to believers who were suffering persecution for their faith. Our experiences today are not the same and yet the message here is relevant. Some of us are suffering in different ways. We live in a city where there are a lot of people suffering trauma.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Salvation – delivered from a direct threat, difficult situation
1 Peter 1:21-23
Peter helps us understand that Jesus suffered and that there was purpose in His pain. Peter writes to the believers that God will reveal purpose from their pain. The same is true for us today. In our current events and the challenges we face, I am asking, “What are the opportunities that God is preparing us for?”

If we are going to change our nation, for the good of all people in general and for the good of people who have not received justice in particular, “We need conviction in our hearts.”

“When your family is hurting, you are hurting.” People who call themselves Christians have been directed by Jesus to, “love your neighbor in the same way you care for yourself.”

I don’t yet know what we can do about the problems in our streets, our systems, our laws, the extreme poverty of our city, the heroin addiction and revenge killing seen by our neighbors.

But I do know that we have already been active in the opportunities God has given us:

We are loving our neighbors by listening to them and learning about their lives. Most of whom are poor African Americans.

We are caring for our neighbors by providing boxes of healthy food two times a month.

We have teachers who are helping address the inequality in our education system.

We have medical workers on the frontlines of coronavirus.

We have a recovery ministry that has helped people find their longest stretches of freedom from addiction.

We provide recovery ministry in prisons and support for people who are incarcerated that would not otherwise receive it.

We have provided clothing to people who needed it.

I do know that we are already responding to the call of Jesus to humbly serve people in need.

I do know that every moment our church members give to someone who is hurting is meaningful.

I do know that God has given us an opportunity to work together as a church alongside other churches, agencies, businesses, and organizations to make significant positive change for our neighbors in need.

The Good News of Jesus offers us grace and calls us to love God and care for our neighbors in the same way we take care of ourselves. God is alive, aware, able, and active. So we should be aware of the contrast between our broken world and the implications of God’s truth, willing to acknowledge where we are today, accountable for it, and active in solutions.

“When Christians spend time arguing about what’s going on in the public square and not engaging it, we miss redemptive opportunities.” – Woke Church by Rev Dr Eric Mason

The Good News of Jesus includes a living God who is at work, “making right what is wrong in the world”. “More than half of the books in the Old Testament speak of (‘righteous’) justice as an attribute of God and a responsibility of His people.” This is linked to God’s desire that all people experience His peace as a “universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight”.

Through this unbelievable season of the past 3 months we have learned more:

Life is valuable. God has given every human a valuable life.

We should love the people in our lives. God’s value system includes us caring for others.

The ability to spend time with people is valuable.

We should be considerate of people, listening, in effort to learn about them. Then we may have an opportunity to be helpful.

How should we respond to this great mercy God has given us, in sure salvation?

1.      Think clearly and exercise self-control.  13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. – 1 Peter 1:13-14

2.      Follow God’s guidance.

Show love to others. 22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. – 1 Peter 1:22