Living with Hope: To Those Who Reside as Strangers

To Those Who Reside as Strangers

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

1 Peter 1:1-2 (NASB)

As we begin our study series in the book of 1st Peter, I wanted to include the language from the Complete Jewish Bible as I feel it increases the richness of the text:

“From: Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messia
To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora — in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia — chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood: Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.

1 Peter 1:1-2 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Last week we learned through history during the time that Peter wrote this letter about the intense and horrific persecution the people endured. Knowing this, we can understand why they are scattered, as well as living as strangers and aliens. Many were refugees and many more were in hiding.

The first words in Peter’s letter is . . . “To those who reside as strangers, scattered . . .” This is to let them know they have been both seen and heard. They are not alone. Next, Peter tells them they are a chosen people. They may be displaced, living in a strange land, but God the Father Himself chose them – not just recently, but they were handpicked by the foreknowledge of the Father.

Next, Peter reminds the people, that the Spirit, for Jesus, and by the blood, set them apart. What a word of encouragement.

Finally, when I am sure there should have been anxiety over their present situation, Peter extends grace and peace in the fullest of measure.

I think we can all agree that this last year for us on this earth has been one of trial and anxiety. I am thankful for the reminder through First Peter that we too are chosen by Almighty God, and set apart for Jesus and by the Holy Spirit. Not only are we chosen and set apart but we are also sprinkled with His blood for His blood, which means we are saved for all eternity. It is with the knowledge of our security in Jesus, that we can have grace and peace, in full measure, even in the midst of trials and adversity.

 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14: 26-27

Did you notice where our peace comes from? Jesus Himself left us His peace. Even though we may feel scattered, alone and living in a strange land, we are never alone. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit as well as the gift of Jesus’ peace.

What can we learn from 1st Peter?

· We live as strangers in our land. This world is not our home

· Remember who God says we are. We are chosen, by God and for God

· Even though we may be scattered and strangers, we have grace and peace given to us as a gift from Jesus

· The peace we’ve been given isn’t insignificant. Jesus gave us His peace in full measure

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
  1. How have I made this world my home?
  2. In what way am I acting like I am a chosen child of God?
  3. Where do I look to as my source of peace?
  4. Is there anything to which I am believing that Jesus’ peace is not enough?

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.