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1 Peter 1-5


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year

              Peter, original known as Simon or Simeon, was the son of Jonah, was married, and took his wife with him on his travels.  Born in Bethsaida, a largely Greek city, he had a home in Capernaum near Lake Galilee, where he worked as a fisherman.  In this area foreign trade flourished and Peter had significant contact with Gentiles who spoke Greek, although he continued to speak Aramaic with a strong North-country accent.  He kept the Law, though not trained in it, and was affected by John the Baptist, whom his brother Andrew followed, and through whom he first met Jesus.
            One of the first disciples called, Peter always stands first in the lists of disciples, and was  one of the three who formed an inner circle round Jesus.  He is clearly the leader of the Twelve, and his impulsive devotion is frequently portrayed.  He visited Antioch, may have spent a short time in Corinth, is closely associated with Christians in notthern Asia Minor, and it appears he wrote his first letter from Rome.                                                                                   
            Moving almost immediately from a doctrinal section of the Living Hope we have in Christ, Peter moves into exhortation and teaching regarding the Christian life and how it is to be lived.  We are and must live like God’s People – never fully at home in a place through which we are, in the most ultimate terms, just passing through on our way to God’s eternal kingdom..  Therefore we need not fight for our rights or assert them:  we can submit to authorities, get along in our marriages, and accept suffering as a normal experience for those who follow Christ. 
             In the end, it is God who will lift us up and reward our faithfulness; therefore we have no need to promote ourselves – instead we can focus our attention on serving and honoring God.
             Have you ever wished you had the faith of someone like Peter?  Have you ever stopped to think about how he got it?  It was a gift from God (as all true faith is according to Ephesians 2), but that gift was given through some very intense, trying and difficult circumstances. 
             Our faith is no different.  It arises out of our experience of God’s love, forgiveness and protection.  It comes through pain, sorrow, suffering, tragedy and the recognition of our own weakness and inadequacy.  To pray for great faith is to pray for great problems and challenges, as these are the only stepping-stones there are.
             Today, ask God to help you use the experiences you have already had to help you grow closer to Him.  He will!

8 A. Eugene Pearson 2010