1 Peter 3:13-16

Read 1 Peter 3:13-16
You are blessed.
 
When we hear this, many of us start to take an inventory of our lives. Well, I do have a nice home. My family is a little messed up, but they love me. I have a steady job. I haven’t had to quarantine in a couple months now. My kids are pretty well behaved. I don’t have to worry about my next meal. As much talk that goes around about this country, I like it here. It’s safe, it’s beautiful, it’s home. I’ve got an amazing group of friends. Yeah, I’d say I’m pretty blessed.
 
God does and has blessed many of us in all sorts of ways, yet here’s the challenge. Instead of anchoring ourselves in the blessings here on earth, God wants us to plant ourselves in the blessings of heaven.
 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
 
You are blessed. God has made a way for you and me to get in on the greatest blessing ever. This is where God wants us to be rooted. He knows that no matter what we face on this earth, this blessing will always be true. It will forever be something we can cling to so let’s rest here.
 
It’s not always natural for us to do this, though. When the people around us value earthly blessings far more, it can feel fine to slip into this mindset. Not that it is bad to pursue excellence at work or to have a successful career, but if these desires start to take up too much real estate in our hearts, we are in a dangerous place.
 
            But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. (1 Peter 3:15)
 
Jesus alone belongs on the throne of our hearts, and when we start to drift from this, remember the heavenly blessings he showers upon us. It’s not a ‘have to,’ it’s a ‘get to.’ What an amazing gift it is that we can have Jesus be the one we desire most. The one who we can go to in any circumstance. Our everlasting hope.
 
As we work towards resting in Jesus, we will come into contact with co-workers, family, and neighbors who may not have this focus. There may be a temptation to be blunt and rude to those who are chasing after earthly blessings. But God calls us to lead with grace, to lead with love. May we not have an attitude of thinking we are ‘better than’ because of where our hearts are focused. That’s just pride, and the enemy is trying once again to move our focus away from Jesus.
 
As you lead with love, gentleness, and respect, be ready to share. Be ready to be a spokesperson for the heavenly blessings that Jesus offers. Jesus wants to use you. His entire plan for spreading his love is through you and me. So, let’s embrace this role. Jesus can’t wait to work in your life, to remind you of his heavenly blessings, and to use you to spread this with others too.

Questions for reflection:

  1. How is your heart doing? Do you find yourself more focused on the earthly blessings, or the heavenly ones?
  2. Think back to a time when you were able to share about the everlasting hope of Jesus with someone. Or, think back to a time when someone shared with you.
  3. Take some time and pray – pray for God to give you an opportunity to share this hope and be ready for when it happens.
Garrett Crown | Student Ministries Associate

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