Living as Exiles

Today's devotion from 1 Peter 1 & 2. Several years ago I preached a sermon series through 1 Peter that has been on my mind recently, and may warrant revisiting in the near future. The thing that struck me about this letter was the tone and context of it. Peter was writing to those "living in exile" for their faith. The concept is still relevant as we see Christianity increasingly pushed to the fringes of culture through ridicule and derision. How does one survive this exile?

Peter knows it begins with knowing who you are. I read a story one time about a man who was diagnosed with cancer and given very few months to live. He and wife decided to make the most of it. They borrowed money, gave away possessions, and used credit cards to travel the world. Their plan was that he would live until he died, then the life insurance would pay for it. The strategy seemed sound, there was only one problem...he didn't die. There was an error in reading his results. Further tests would reveal that he had never had the terminal disease. Now they had a problem, he was alive. In living recklessly, they had not only squandered and lost everything, they were now trapped in oppressive debt. In thinking they had nothing to lose, they lost everything.

I bring this story up because it is important to remember who we are. We cannot live recklessly and selfish believing we will somehow be bailed out at the last minute. Many Christians place too high a value on this life and what it holds. They feel that they must make the most of “life” before eternity. So they spend their days selfishly. Why attend church? Why share the Gospel? Why help those in need? You have to get the most out of this life. Your view of this life and eternity will impact how you spend your days on this earth. This is why Peter writes this letter.

We survive the actual and cultural exile of this life by remembering that there is more than just this life. Christ has not done a mediocre work in your salvation. Neither has He offered you a temporary solution to an eternal problem. Christ offers the supreme, highest, and best for those whose lives He has salvaged from despair. Peter writes this so that believers know how to live today mindful of tomorrow.