Taking a closer look at first Peter chapter 1 verses one and two, we see a greeting to the pilgrims of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and the Bithynia. Who are these people? Why is Peter writing to them? With persecution comes dispersion. Throughout the Old Testament we see Israel being taken into captivity or fleeing persecution. They would then become strangers in the land; Foreigners, sojourners. To live in the promised land was to be home. It was a place of blessing and fullness. As these new Christians, new believers in Christ begin their new life, born-again into the spiritual life given to them through the blood of Christ they became persecuted. They had to leave their homes in order to save their lives. They were being killed,imprisoned, cut off from the community that they had once been part of. Today we see a great dispersion going on especially in the Middle East where new believers in Christ are having to flee or face horrible torture or loss of life. Hundreds of thousands of Christians are being murdered for their faith in Jesus.
How does that effect me I ask? I don’t live where I’m afraid of getting myself imprisoned or my head cut off for my faith? Or do I? When we take that step of faith and put our trust in Christ we immediately become foreigners in the land. We have a new citizenship in heaven given to us by the blood of Christ. With this should come boldness knowing that the things of this world no longer hold us captive but we are living in the land of promise. With promise comes blessings with blessings comes fruit with fruit comes growth. Are you living in captivity or have you chosen to live in the promised land of blessings as a new creature in Christ, knowing your citizenship is in heaven for eternity? Do you understand the things here on earth are temporary?
When the pilgrims that we read about in first Peter were caused to leave their homes or become “the dispersion”, the good news of Christ spread throughout the region. This was huge in the growth of Christianity in the Middle East. Are we seeing that same thing today? What will it take for each of us to boldly share our faith? To love one another enough to let people know they are perishing without salvation in Christ? I myself pray for boldness. Sometimes I’m afraid to step forward and share who I am in Christ. I don’t want to be persecuted. I don’t want confrontation. I don’t want to argue with people about why they believe what they believe and I believe what I believe. I am so thankful that Paul and Peter and John and all the other disciples and apostles of Jesus were bold. Without their boldness would I know Christ?
This morning I am praying for Franklin Graham and the Crusades heading into Spain. How exciting that many souls will be saved and the gospel will be preached in an area much in need of peace and salvation. Would you join me today in praying for boldness to share your faith in Christ? Would you also pray for those who are putting their lives on the line to get the good news of salvation to those in areas of the world where just believing in Christ is a death sentence?
Today I’m thinking on how my daily activities would change if I were to wake up each morning thinking of myself as a stranger in the land and the things of eternity are where I should be investing. Think of yourself as a foreign aid worker. Your job to go to a city or country that needs help. I think our thoughts and actions would be much different. We are told in the Bible that we are Ambassadors or messengers of Christ. We are also commanded to go into ALL the world and tell every living creature the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes the the Father, except through Him. We live in a dying world and hold the cure to death. Do we really understand the great treasure that has been entrusted to us? Are we hiding our light? Have we buried our treasure? What is it that holds us back?
Lord, that we would live with the mind of Christ. Our eyes focused on the things of heaven for Your glory. Amen!