1 Peter 2:18-21

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Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:18-21

Dear Jesus,
I am not a slave, but I have a job.  I have not been beaten, but I have suffered injustices in my life.  I love how your words from Peter push me back to you and make me think about how you lived your perfect life as you suffered at the hands of selfish men.  You loved those who hurt you just like you loved those who helped you.  You showed no distinction. I need you to fill me with yourself so I can serve people indiscriminately, too.  Help me to understand my role when I suffer so I redeem the moments and make them a testimony of grace and love.  Make me a person who overcomes evil with good by loving those who hurt me as much as I do anyone else.  

AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson


Christ wants us to rise above celebrating his life to living it again in our own. 
 

1 Peter 2:13-17

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. – 1 Peter 2:13-17

Dear Jesus,

I love this list of godly ways I can live out my faith in you.  My culture believes it has the right and obligation to castigate rulers and point out their foibles.  In my sinful nature I love to join their choir.  Teach me the rudiments of respect that make me hold my tongue and honor the people who hold offices of high trust. Help me to deeply love every member of your flock and make me a champion of humanitarian missions.   I want to be the kind of Christian that loves all people so much that I will stay ready to meet their spiritual and physical needs at every moment.  Give me friends and associates that have the same godly insight that you are giving me so we can multiply our efforts to bless people with your saving works. 

AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

Freedom is the power to serve others without being enslaved by discontent with the price it brings.

1 Peter 2:11-12

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. – 1 Peter 2:11-12

Dear Jesus,

I know you want my life to sing the music of grace.  Give me strong discernment to see the evil desires that rage against my soul. Help me fight them so I do not succumb to the selfish life the rest of the world is in. I am not at home here on this planet.  But I am where you want me to be, sojourning as a pilgrim of grace and truth. I see criticism in the news of your people and I want to do what I can to tell them how wrong they are.  Help me to live a morally pure life with selfless love that is void of judgment.  I want to clearly display what it means to live a God pleasing life that also blesses humanity.  I want pagans to be challenged by what they see in my life when they are prone to judge you, me, and your people. I want them to see you when they see me.  Oh Jesus, come and live your life through your church. 

AMEN  

Pastor Don Patterson

When we consciously live out our faith, we cannot hide the difference it makes.

1 Peter 2:9-10

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Dear Jesus,

I have belonged to lots of groups in my life but none is so important to me as the family of believers among whom you have placed me. It’s there that I have received mercy. There forgiveness has restored my life to hope. It’s there that I have understood the meaning of my disappointments and successes. It’s there that I found you and the meaning of life. I am so thankful for being included in your church. Help me to warmly reflect to the world around me how loving and faithful you are to all creation. Help me to teach them who you are and what you want to be for them. Help me reach those who otherwise live dejected and rejected lives, in order to give them the rescue of redeeming grace and a place in your family.

AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

As a child of God we always have a home group.

1 Peter 2:4-8

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”  They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. – 1 Peter 2:4-8

Dear Jesus,

I recognize that I have been called out of the world to become part of your church and to join the saints who live in thanksgiving and praise of you. To be an active part of your flock means that I am in a counter culture to the world.  I don’t love the evil they love and I have different passions and purposes.  I sense that it makes us both uncomfortable.  I’m okay with that.  I want them to know you and the peace of your grace and the meaning of life that you have given all of us.  I want them to realize that the confrontation they feel when they hear your word, is the confrontation love and truth brings to every heart.  Oh Lord, use me to encourage your royal flock and to be an ambassador of grace and peace to a confused and lost world.  

AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

Who I am in Christ is who I truly am in every situation. 

1 Peter 2:1-3

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. – 1 Peter 2:1-3

Dear Jesus,

Your promise to continue blessing my life by grace until no end in eternity, gives me the freedom to forgive the ways that others have hurt me and to cast out fear that others will hurt me in the future.  I can live in the moment with love and freedom.  Like a baby who has no history with anyone to process, I can just enjoy being alive.  I love being free from resolving my problems all by myself.  I have tasted that you are the good God who makes my life happy and free.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

The happiness that the world pursues is truly found in a love that pursues us.

 

1 Peter 1:23-25

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”  And this is the word that was preached to you. – 1 Peter 1:23-25

Dear Jesus,

I love the good news that I have a spiritual life that with far outlast and out shine my earthly days.  I see the signs of decay in the mirror. I feel the gradual slide into infamy in my bones.  I know I have several hundred thousand miles on my body already and the junk yard awaits.  But couched in this mortal frame is an eternal life that rises to live with hope and peace that comes from knowing the best is yet to come.  I will live and not die because you lived beyond death for my rescue.  It is the most liberating thought I will ever think.  I am eternal because of the grace of the one who invented me.  I will live in hope today even if I walk through the valley of death, because I carry with me the light of life.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Christian faith is the optimism that does not deceive or wear out.

1 Peter 1:22

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.- 1 Peter 1:22

Dear Jesus,

I do love people more than ever since I have met you and your love.  But I do not always act on that love.  Sometimes I act out of the old sinful nature that crouches like a squatter in my soul.  Help me to think through what it really means to love others deeply from the heart. Give me ideas on how to show them love so that through me they will learn how deeply you love them. Help me to search my heart and find ways to eliminate the hate and selfishness that reside there. Give me the purity that grace brings when it reaches a soul once puny in selfishness.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Love makes one live large for others.

1 Peter 1:20-21

He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. – 1 Peter 1:20-21

Dear Jesus,

I have lost all hope of being the perfect person of faith a long time ago. My hope is not in myself.  It’s in you.  So, unlike quitters who lose hope in succeeding so they walk away.  I have joy in staying in the fight of faith because you have already declared me a winner.  With you on my team, I will always win.  My hope is in you. I marvel that you were chosen before creation to be the solution to the failure I have caused.  It’s such good news.  Help me to get the word out to many more people so they can live in the freedom of God granted success!

AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

The best news we could ever hear is that God has restored the meaning of life for every human being.

1 Peter 1:17-19

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.           – 1 Peter 1:17-19


Dear heavenly Father,

I know what great sacrifice you made in order to redeem my soul.  You gave up your only Son!  That’s the reason I want to live in order to please you.  You have changed my motivation for everything. It’s only when I forget the extreme gift you have given that I start to lag in my attitude and get sloppy in my obedience. I don’t always have every reason to live a godly life but I have the greatest reason; I have been rescued from a dead end life by the dead end life of Christ who had every reason to avoid suffering. Now, everything in my life has meaning, including suffering, pain, sorrow and disappointment.  They are all opportunities to serve you and my fellow humans.  Of God, make me a servant deep in my heart so what I do on the surface is the true display of why I do it in my soul.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Faith filled gratitude to God, for his blessing, is the beginning of every good work.

1 Peter 1:13-16

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:13-16

Dear Jesus,

I look forward to the day that I see your face and you do not mention one of my sins or weaknesses.  I long for the day when I see your face and you only have glad and happy thoughts to share.  I long for that day when every problem is resolved, every story is complete and everything that perplexes me now will make sense.  Because I am an heir of eternal life I want to live a life worthy of the gift.  Give me discernment to sift out worldly ideas and passions from my thinking.  I want to make you and your love look good by being fair and loving to everyone I meet.  Make me a lovingly, holy person who blesses and encourages others to find you and your salvation by the way I live.   

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Being a Christian is living by faith in grace and by grace in life.

1 Peter 1:10-12

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. – 1 Peter 1:10-12

Dear Jesus,

I often think of how great it would have been to be one of the prophets to whom you gave your very words to share with humanity.  But then Peter reminds me that blessed as they were, none of the prophets got to see your entire story in their lifetime.  Instead, they painted their part of the story and then passed into glory without seeing it unfold on earth.  You chose me to live in the times when the gospel is easy to understand and to teach to others.  You me and my generation to know the finished story and to experience the life changing power of grace proclaimed.  Thank you for making me live now and not then.  I know how fortunate I am to the be the beneficiary of your choice.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

It is much more special to be the heir of all the prophets and apostles than to have been only one of them.

1 Peter 1:8-9

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:8-9

Dear Jesus,

There really is a joy in my heart that comes from the simple truth shared in words about your love that made you die for me in the past and still makes you guide my life now.  I cannot see you but I have joy as if you are here.  I feel loved, saved and understood.  I feel destined for great relief and peace to come when you bring me to heaven.  I love you for sending your Holy Spirit to inspire men to write your story on paper so it could be written in my heart.  Thank you for creating a message that works in every era on this planet to change lives from doom to salvation. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

We don’t see Jesus with our eyes.  We see him with our heart once we hear about his life of love for us.

1 Peter 1:6-7

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:6-7

Dear Jesus,

When you brought me to faith, what changed me was the grace that covered my sins and the mercy that promised me heaven.  I now look at myself as deeply loved and extremely blessed.  I sometimes wonder if I am supposed to experience fewer trials on earth since I am your child.  But then I remember that you use trials to refine my faith and attitude and to make me long for heaven where all evil will have run its course and will have fallen into the lake of fire.  Help me to hang on to this truth so when I so experience trouble in this life I do not lose heart or faith.  It’s all about the salvation of the inner man now and the outer man later.  Help me live by this faith and not by sight.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Trials have nothing to do with our status as God’s child but everything to do with our purification as his precious spiritual metal.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5

Dear Jesus,

I inherited some wonderful things from my parents, so much so, that I am proud to call myself by their last name.  But you have given me an even greater inheritance when you brought me to spiritual life by revealing your love and truth to me.  I am born again into your family and I have an inheritance waiting for me in heaven.  I can’t wait to experience the lasting blessings of freedom from the problems and struggles I face every day.  I can’t wait to have perfect peace, love beyond all boundaries, good health, perfect attitudes and perfect friends and family.  I can’t wait to hear and see angels and to listen to the souls of saint whom I have only read about.  What great mercy you have that you would give a sinner like me the promise of eternal treasures.  Thank you for graciously including me in your family inheritance. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Every Christian is wealthy through the promise of a piece of heaven’s real estate.

Philippians 4:4-6

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:4-6

Dear Jesus,

I see you working in the lives of so many of my friends and family.  And you have made them partners with me in your kingdom work.  I have more friends than I can count. Sometimes their weaknesses make me concerned for them.  But just as Paul said, I am confident that you will complete what you have started in them until you gather them to yourself as trophies of grace.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share life with them and you.  AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

Friends in the fight of faith are treasured gifts from the God of all grace. 

Hebrews 11:1 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1 

Dear Jesus, I have never looked into your eyes and yet I believe you are with me all the time.  I cannot see you guiding the stars but I believe you are watching over the universe.  I wasn't there in the beginning when you created everything with just the power of your word, but I believe you did.  Give me the same confidence to believe that you are preparing a place for me in heaven with you.  Help me to trust you really are working the rest of my life out for my good. Give me the peace that comes from faith and the strength that comes from hope.  Make me a servant of others with the strength that love brings.  AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

Faith is believing in God who has left his fingerprint on everything we see. 

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15

Dear Jesus,

Please fill my heart with your peace so I have warm gentleness for all those around me.  It's easy to fall victim to conflict and anger and separation.  Give me that grace that I cannot find anywhere on my own.  Make me an instrument of forgiveness, restoration and commitment to relationships with people that you still believe in enough to leave on this planet with me.  Make me a lover of souls. I cannot do this on my own.  So, do your miraculous rescue and make me a blessing instead of a curse.  AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

The creator God loves to recreate us into what we could never produce on our own.  

Matthew 28:20

Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.- Matthew 28:20

Dear Lord Jesus,

I'm so glad that you promise to be with me to the very end of my life, because it seems impossible to shake worry and disappointment.  With you and your word in my life I am able to answer my worries with faith that you will provide. I am able to re frame my disappointments as part of your larger story of triumph and rescue.  The real meaning of my life as your child overshadows the life that seems to betray my inner hopes.  Your presence with saving grace makes all the difference in my world. Thank you for choosing me to have the treasure of faith.  AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

Jesus Christ is the change agent in the life of every single one of his followers.  

Psalm 91:10-12

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  they will lift you up in their hands,  so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. - Psalm 91:10-12


Dear heavenly Father,
You are my refuge and my dwelling place.  Thank you for the invisible sentries that you send to guard me up and down the highway and in every place I go.  If it were not for their constant protection I would have been wiped out long ago.  I know they must work overtime for me.  It gives me peace knowing that you promise to send these 'first responders' from heaven to keep me safe. Help me stop worrying about my welfare or that of my family and friends since I know you have angels watching over us. Tell the angels how much I appreciate their work too.  I look forward to someday meeting the ones that have rescued me from near disaster and hearing about how they pulled off their miraculous recovery for me. 

AMEN


Pastor Don Patterson


If we knew how much the angels did for us each day we would be overwhelmed with gratitude.