Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
This is my favorite book of the Bible! I have no idea how to summarize it…how about I describe it? As a vague sense of what the book has meant to me throughout the years: 1 Peter is a richly deep, intense passage of scripture that, in its scope, encompasses the entire history of creation and unfurls its mystery while choosing to focus very personally on the human heart, motivations, mind and desires – revealing what the people of God should be striving for and how we should be using the time we’ve been granted in the span of our lives, up until God’s glory is revealed.
No two readings will yield the same result. It is always refreshing, challenging and a timely focused message that cuts straight through to the heart. Try it. Read 1 Peter repeatedly for a few years, I bet you’ll be shocked at what you discover!
Here are some verses I would like to highlight this time:
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”
“Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ”
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God”
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you”
“Though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
“since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God”
“And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
There are ten-thousand different messages to be found in 1 Peter, if narrowing the focus down to just a single facet of the text. In the sections of scripture that I highlighted, the gospel is presented with a theme of the perishable vs imperishable. In just a few words, God would have us completely up-end our world-view and perspective by introducing a concept of certain things in our lives being of a perishable nature.
In fact, everything in our lives could be of a perishable nature.
Or, we could live in such a way that all things in our lives would be of the imperishable.
(In simple terms: perishable things are of the world. Imperishable of God)
My ordinary Thursday will by default be perishable. If left to its own devices. I wake up, go to work for my boss because I want to make money. Struggle against the pride of people in my sphere butting heads with my own pride. A mad rush to end the day in a tired blur thinking it was much the same as the previous day, and the one before that, and the one before that…. I mean, is that not the epitome of a day given over to the perishable?
Whereas my day could be given over to God in what I will call a glorious sacrifice, maybe with a simple flip of the thought “I’m not going to work for my boss today, and I’m not doing it for money. I’m going to work at my job for God today, and I’m doing it to please Him.” That set as the motivation and inner longing of my heart — there is no longer anything perishable about what comes next. The time before work is spent preparing my mind for action: quiet time, in prayer or listening to a nourishing sermon and then choosing to be open to being used by God in whatever opportunity might arise, knowing that all opportunities come from Him. An attack on my pride is correctly perceived as just one thing among a host of many trials, to test the genuineness of my faith and God wants to see me come through the fiery trial better and with more purity than gold would go through fire.
And maybe a day lived like this, on the surface, looks no different from my “ordinary Thursday.” From an outside perspective you wouldn’t necessarily perceive a difference, maybe nothing different even happened. And yet, everything about such a day would be different. It would have been living to the imperishable: that all the moments that make up our day matter and all were seized for God.
We aren’t perfect. No one but Jesus could go through life and be able to say that every moment of every day was lived for God. No one but Jesus could claim to have had no perishable moments. But our lives were purchased, for a price so high it transcends monetary values. And it is God’s urging that we give up futile, perishable ways of living that are ultimately meaningless and strive for lives of purpose, that we reclaim every moment for God in a way that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading and ultimately means something. Because in life, it’s the imperishable moments that mean everything.