Saturday, September 17, 2016

Being an Exile

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of 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, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1:1-2

Just who are these exiles here that Peter is writing to? It says they have been chosen basically ahead of time by God. And then it says that through the Holy Spirit they are to do the work of God. 

Well these exiles were new Christians who were being persecuted for their beliefs, yet Peter is urging them on, letting them know that God has pre-selected them to do his works.  And that they have the Holy Spirit helping.

Now, I want you to think about them for just a moment. In their society they were looked down upon. Perhaps it was just because they were new Christians, but also perhaps because of their backgrounds. Perhaps they were sinners - those who society didn't want. And yet, they each came to realize that Jesus came for each of them and renounced their old ways to follow the promise of salvation.

Fast forward 2000 years, who could these exiles be now? Yup - they are us. What does society think of those who are addicted to porn, drugs, alcohol, controlling others, and .....    It's not like the local alcoholic is being welcomed into homes for food or shelter, or being given a job to earn money.  Those with addictions live on the outside of society.

But then there is that same greeting to us. Let me rewrite it
To God’s elect, those with addictions, hurts, hang-ups, habits scattered throughout the states Maine, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York (and keep it going), who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1:1-2

Yes, the greeting is to you and me. In the next few days we will explore a little more about the next few verses of Chapter 1 in 1 Peter,  and where Peter was going with his message to these exiles. But today, just ponder on this verse - when you read the Bible and you see something that was written with such a greeting - it really does mean you and me as we are all sinners and need that Salvation that God has offered through Jesus Christ.  NOTE: we were selected ahead of time AND he has GOOD works for us.

And because of being exiles, it's why I think having a group to attend meetings with such as a 12 Step Program, Accountability group or a Celebrate Meeting helps all the "exiles" come together and have that peace.  If you don't already have a support group as such, I highly urge you to find one in your area.