This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 NLT
Peter, one of the original 12 disciples, writes this letter to the "foreigners" in the land of Asia Minor (today called Turkey). He calls them "foreigners" because they were being treated with hostility among their own countrymen because of their faith in Jesus. In the Roman Empire there was growing disdain for the Christian faith. Persecution was setting in and great suffering was about to take place by those who were bold enough to proclaim the gospel in the pagan, polytheistic (many gods) culture. Nero, one of Rome's most infamous emperors is in power. The time is around A.D. 64. Peter begins his remarks by stating his call of God. He was a chosen vessel of the Lord to preach and teach the gospel. In this address he specifically deals with the response of the believer to hostile persecution. He reminds the believers that they are God's chosen vessels. He compliments their obedience to Christ and prays for the grace and peace of God upon them more and more, especially when things are getting more difficult. In our lives today we, too, are beginning to feel the pains of persecution in our own land. We are "foreigners" among our own people. We are being singled out and intentionally attacked by a culture that doesn't ascribe itself to the principles of Holy Scripture. We are being told, by our government, that it is incorrect to pray at high school graduation commencement exercises, football games, city council meetings, or even at the lunch table at work or school. Our military personnel are being told that their faith isn't allowed to be displayed publicly in any fashion. Prayer has, for years (since 1962), been expelled from the classroom. We no longer do the pledge of Allegiance in public school. The depraved hearts and minds of the culture are trying to drive God right out of the nation. The list goes on and on. The source of all this is Satan himself. The only hope we have is for godly men and women of character to stand, in the midst of the storm, unashamed and undeterred! Are you unashamed and undeterred? If so, live it out. Stand firm and don't compromise. Would you do an exercise with me today? Would you tell someone today "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ!!" One last thing. Would you simply text a fellow believer and encourage them to stand unashamed and undeterred? “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” Romans 1:16 NLT ““Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 NLT I AM UNASHAMED!!
Rev. Curtis Norris