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Devotional: Living as Beacons of Hope


By Brandon Lemons

 

In the New Testament’s letter called 1 Peter, the apostle Peter addressed Christians who were experiencing persecution and suffering.  Peter called those Christians “exiles” (1:1), meaning they were living in a land that was not their own. In a literal sense, they were scattered geographically due to persecution.  But there’s also a sense in which all Christians live in this world as exiles, because this world isn’t our ultimate home. The apostle Paul further clarifies this in Philippians 3:20 when he says, “our citizenship is in heaven.”

 

Maybe you wouldn't use a label as extreme as "exile" to describe how you move through life as a Christian, but chances are that there are times when you feel the discomfort of living in a culture that seems to oppose biblical values at every turn. Despite the opposition, Peter calls Christians to live as beacons of hope in a world that is struggling. With this in mind,  please read 1 Peter 3:13-17 and consider the following questions.

 

  • While we might not face the same types of persecution as Christians in Peter's day, speaking about Christ can still be intimidating. How can revering Christ as Lord help counteract the fear that you may experience? 

  • As you reflect on verse 15, does it grab your attention that Peter expects Christians to live in such a distinctive and attractive way that non-Christians would specifically ask where our hope comes from?  Spend a few moments thinking about what would cause a non-Christian to ask questions about the hope they see in Christians.

  • Why are “gentleness and respect” so important in how we interact with people?

 

A prayer to pray (based on 1 Peter 3): Lord Jesus, I praise you that you endured suffering so graciously.  Not only does your sacrifice on the cross open the door for redemption, but you provide a model for living with love and hope in a difficult world.  Please fill me with deep hope that comes from trusting you.  May this hope be an anchor for my soul amid life’s storms.  Please shine the light of your hope through me, so that others will see the difference you can make and that they, too, will want to experience the life that is available through you.  I pray these things in your name, Amen.

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