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Fully Understood and Full of Peace

1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (NIV)

However much Christians may feel they are 'strangers in the world', each believer is very well known to God. He not only knows where and how they are; but he also knew, ages ago, that He had chosen them to belong to Him. We may not be able to get our minds around the twin Scriptural truths that God chooses us and that we choose Him - but it is wonderfully reassuring to know that He longs foras to receive His grace, and be filled with His peace. And He has provided all that is necessary tomake it happen.

The way that we come to God is to let Him clean us from our sins, because Jesus shed his blood as a sacrifice for us. In verse 2, 'sprinkling' does not refer to baptism but to Exodus 24:3-8; where Moses sprinkled the blood of the sacrificed animals onto the people, to seal their promise to obey the Lord. Of course, our promise to obey the Lord is never strong enough by itself. We need the blood of Jesus Christ to make us right with God - and then the work of the Holy Spirit to help us to live rightly with God.

The prospect of submitting to God's grace may be daunting for some. But there is no other way to be at peace with Him except to welcome His call to be a part of His family, by believing in Jesus. God's grace to cover our sins, and His peace to sooth our troubled consciences, are unlimited. He wants us to receive both with thanksgiving. As we do, so a new confidence will form in our lives ... and our colleagues at work will notice. As they notice, they may ask why we are different. That is the time to explain that cooperating with Jesus has made all the difference to you, and that can be true for them too!

Dear Lord God. Thank you that I have never been out of Your sight, and that You have waited for me to respond to You. I am glad that You do not expect me to be better by myself, but that you have paid for my sins and given your Holy Spirit to all who welcome Jesus. May I keep on receiving your grace and peace; and have the courage to explain Your kindness - to my friends and colleagues. For Christ's sake, Amen
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© Dr Paul Adams