1 Peter 2:11-12

Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners
to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very soul. Be careful
to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse
you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior,
and they will give hone to God when he judges the world.
I Peter 2:11-12
‘This world is not my home, I’m just passing through,
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue,
The angels beckon me, from heaven’s open door,
And I just don’t feel at home anymore.’
Written by Albert Brumley in 1947, this sing-song melody’s words echo Peter’s continual reminders to his friends that this earth is not home. Already displaced from their native land, Peter desired these readers to focus now on their future and forever residence, heaven. He also knew that living anywhere but in heaven, presented constant temptations that could destroy their newfound faith and even their souls. Peter was no stranger to desires that wage war against the soul, as he had experienced numerous failures and losses even as he was in the presence of his savior. He personally knew the intensity of the battle that we face.
He then reminds the believers to live well in front of their neighbors. We can imagine that interactions with ‘neighbors’ would be much more common in Peter’s culture than in ours. There were no cars with single drivers, no garage doors to shut quickly when arriving home, and no technology to learn the latest news or gossip. Instead, there would be conversations at the market, at the well, and on the streets. Everything was ‘in-person’. Consequentially, nonbelievers had a front row seat to observe their Jesus following friends.
Peter keeps calling us to look forward. Way forward. To look heavenward. This focus can give us both hope and strength as we experience temptations, doubt, and frustrations. Maybe for some us, we are only focusing on the end of Covid, which is a good thing. But Peter reminds us that as we long as we live on the earth, there will always be something uncomfortable, something disagreeable, something out of our control, and idols that tempt us to sin. Always.
Let’s allow the continual frustrations, disappointments, and temptations serve as reminders of Albert Humley’s words: This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
Better days are ahead!

Questions for reflection:
  1.  How often do you think about heaven as your true home?
  2.  What is currently waging war against your soul?
  3.  Spend a moment thanking God for your forever home.
Linda Miller | Ministry Development

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