Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

1 Peter 1:1-2
John 10:7-15
John 15:18-19

Exiles
We have heard the term, but what does it mean?
For the Christians in the first-century church in Jerusalem, it meant they were hated and persecuted to the point of being driven from their homes and communities into the wild areas of modern-day Turkey.
This persecution took our Lord Jesus to the cross, where He willingly laid down His life for us. The same religious leaders who led the charge against Jesus then focused on His followers (Acts 8:1-4).
It is to these exiles Peter wrote.
He began his letter by reminding them that they were….

Chosen
To those chosen, living as exiles, dispersed abroad….
Chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through the sanctifying work of the Spirit,
to be obedient,
and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
1 Peter 1:1-2

Let that sink in, sisters.

The same God who created the stars and made the earth conducive to sustaining human life chose you to be in relationship with Him.

What blessed grace!
What an honor!

When you’re in a relationship with God, you become more like Him.
Not because He forces you.
Not because He guilts you.
It’s because you come to realize that His ways are better for life…for the abundant life that Christ affords us.

As you become more like Jesus, you become less like the world. Maybe you’ll feel your friends distancing themselves from you. Maybe you’ll experience more conflict.Then maybe the enemy whispers to you (like he does to me) that you don’t deserve to be a Christian – or that you aren’t really a Christian – because of…blah, blah, blah.

Of course, we don’t deserve it!
That’s why it’s called grace.
Left to ourselves, Jesus says, “you did not choose me!”
Sweet friend, if you find yourself listening to those whispers, focus on grace.

By His grace, we are set free.  (Colossians 1:14)
By His grace, He will never let us go. (1 John 4:13)
By His grace, He has chosen us and not rejected us. (1 Peter 2:4)

Obedient

To those chosen, living as exiles, dispersed abroad….
Chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through the sanctifying work of the Spirit,
to be obedient,
and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
1 Peter 1:1-2

Why were we chosen?
Chosen for what?

Peter says we were chosen for obedience. (1 Peter 1:1)
Paul says we were chosen to be conformed to the image of the Son. (Romans 8:29)
These are summed up when Jesus says we were chosen to produce fruit. (John 15:16)

We, as children of God, are chosen, called, and set-apart to be obedient to Him as we are conformed through the work of the Holy Spirit, into becoming like Jesus, producing His fruit in our everyday lives. (Galatians 5:21-22)

Fruit that loves. (Luke 10:27)
Fruit that shares the hope of Jesus precisely because we are exiles. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Fruit that accepts and values one another as equals. (Romans 15:7)
Fruit that serves. (Galatians 5:13)
Fruit that is patient (Ephesians 4:2) and kind (Ephesians 4:32).

Exiles.

We are to be in this world, but not of it. (Romans 12:1-2)
Just like our brothers and sisters in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, we are exiles in our countries, cultures, cities, and neighborhoods.
Our citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 1:27a)

We are exiles.

Chosen for relationship with the Almighty through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
Called out for obedience through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
Yes, we are exiles, sisters.
This world is not our home.

Hallelujah!

May His grace and peace be multiplied to you as you live here as exiles, changing the world around you for the Kingdom of God!

Lord, help entrench ourselves in Your grace as we live in this foreign land as temporary residents, just passing through on our way to Forever with our Wonderful Father!

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