1 Peter: Confidence in a Complex World

Devotional

Introduction


Welcome to 1 Peter: Confidence in a Complex World – a journey through the mind-renewing letter of 1 Peter. In 22 days’ time, you will have read the whole letter, gained insight into the lives and world of the people Peter wrote to, and drawn connections from the Bible to your own life. We live in a complex world, just like those Christians Peter wrote to nearly 2000 years ago. And just like them, we can grow as confident followers of Jesus in the day-to-day places we spend our time. 


At LICC, we use the metaphor frontline. A frontline is any place or activity that regularly brings you into contact with people who are not Christians. This could be your workplace, your family, your street, the shops, your local pub or restaurant, a group you belong to, or an activity you take part in – we all have a frontline. What’s yours?


We hope you enjoy this journey, that you meet with God through it and that it helps you to live with more purpose and confidence on your frontline.  








1: Living by a New Story


Tortoise believed life rewards the dedicated, and ended up crossing the finish line before the arrogant Hare. Chicken Licken believed the sky was falling down, and ended up in a fox’s belly. Nothing will shape your life more than the story you believe yourself to be part of. Our view of life’s ultimate story will shape what we think is good and bad, how we spend our time and money, how we view ourselves and others – it influences everything.


Peter is writing to Gentiles across an area we today call Turkey. He locates them within a story, a story very different to the story they had once lived by.


They were living under the Roman Empire. In the Empire, the story people lived by went something like this. Each city had an ensemble of gods, who required honour and worship from the local inhabitants. Do this and the gods will bless you, don’t and they will smite you. Alongside this, everyone in the Empire should worship the Emperor, because this would ultimately bring unity, peace, and prosperity to the whole world.


But now, they were living in the light of a new reality, a story new to them, yet which had been unfolding for centuries. You see, the Old Testament tells the story of God calling a people to be his ‘elect’. These chosen people were to live with God under his blessing, and, in turn, extend God’s blessing to the entire world. 


Peter says something staggering to these Gentile Christians: you are now a part this story. You are God’s ‘elect’! You’ve been chosen by the Father. You’re set apart by the Holy Spirit in order that you might live your lives in obedience to Jesus Christ. It was some calling.


But where were they to live out this calling? Answer: right where they were! Scattered. Exiles. The places they had always lived and worked and played and shopped and eaten. Places where most other people were still living by the story of the Roman Empire… and that wouldn’t be easy.


Throughout this series, we’ll see what it meant for them to be the people of God in challenging places, living as exiles. We’ll see too what it means for us, God’s people, scattered throughout Porthmadog, Gloucester, Cumbria, Ayrshire, and Billericay. We’ll see the story we’re part of, how it shapes us, and how God works through us to bring blessing to others, right where we are. 




Reflect:


How does recognising that you are part of God’s chosen people affect how you view yourself, and how you view God?


Think about someone you have/will come into contact with today. What do you suspect they think life is all about?


Pray:


Thank God that he views you and your life as significant. Pray that as you go through this series, you will grasp this more fully, and that you’ll see who he is and how he will work through you to bring blessing to others, including the person you were just thinking about.