By Randy Keene
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Minor Hill
In this week’s lesson the writer really brings home the point that our hope in Jesus Christ should change our view on how we look at the world and on how we live in it.
Hope is that precious commodity that is in the bank for believers. I’ve often been told that faith is the medium of exchange in heaven. If we want or need God to act in our lives it is our faith that purchases that act.
Hope on the other hand has already been bought and paid for by the sacrificial shed blood of Jesus at Calvary. Let me change my tune. It’s not in the bank, it is the bank. That’s encouraging.
Our lesson covers the times we may have been encouraged by others in our walk with God, perhaps by a letter or card, maybe a phone call or face to face, iron sharpens iron type conversations.
Recently in the midst of this pandemic pastors were forced to think outside the box to reach and to hold together our congregations. I personally did a lot of reaching out to members by phone or by letter.
One of my members, Steve Thompson, encouraged me during a call that just seemed to boost my spirit and add fuel to what was becoming an empty tank. He complimented my preaching and then remarked on what a good pastor I was. Like hope, that was contagious and filled me with enthusiasm to speak to others.
Similarly, we should always be mindful to show the same enthusiasm when it comes to sharing the hope of God to others. Peter urges us not only to show enthusiasm but to live it by letting our lives be a holy example to others.
This passage is anchored in living the holy life. We are to live our lives differently than the world lives. It’s my opinion that this may very well be the problem with empty pews. The world looks at the church and doesn’t see much difference in us from them. We must stand out as people of light in a world full of darkness. D.L. Moody once said “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge as much as to change our lives.”
Peter adds in the latter part of our text that God expects us to live holy because He Himself is holy. The knowledge of sure judgment should be plenty of motivation for us to set the example of holy living. We have been redeemed by the Lamb of God.
Before the foundation of the world, the plan was set in place. What a price to be paid for our redemption. And because of this wonderful plan God has blessed us with, we now have hope by placing our trust in Him.
In conclusion, as we have purified ourselves by obeying the Word, we now show brotherly love for each other from our heart.
The MacArthur Study Bible put it like this: “Only those whose ‘souls’ have been ‘purified,’ i.e., saved, have the capacity to love like this. Such love exhibits itself by meeting others at the point of their need.” That need is HOPE!