February 27, 2023

1 Peter 1:1-12 (HCSB)
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.  3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. 11 They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things.

Jason Ricciardi
As a kid, I took my name for granted. My name meant I had a family. That I had parents who loved me. That I looked (and acted!) like them. That I had an extended family that loved me. That I was protected. First Peter 1:1-12 is sort of like that. It has several elements that are just exceptionally hopeful! Because of mercy, we are born into God’s family through Jesus. Because someone preached good news to us, we believed. Because we believed, we know that we will one day be fully saved. That good news is something that angels long to understand yet we often take it for granted. Being in God’s family isn’t a list of rules to follow but a relationship with our Father. It means, at times, that we take that relationship for granted. Yet, over time, we begin to look and act more like our Father. Your salvation wasn’t your own work. Your Father, who has all-power, all-wisdom, and is ever-present is your greatest protector.As you are reading this, know that God gave you an extended family at Temple that loves you. Your name is now, as before–regardless of your mistakes–Beloved Child of God!

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