I Peter 1:3-9 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
I am not a writer by profession, but writing this devotional blog has become one of the passions of my life. I go to bed at night praying and asking God for words, and I wake up each morning asking for words. I feel such an urgency to write. I feel a need to share the gospel. I don’t know how many people are reading my ramblings, but my prayer is that these words could just reach the heart of even one lost soul and plant a seed. I know that my God will send someone else along to water that seed, and the Holy Spirit will make it grow.
I woke up this morning reflecting on my own day of salvation. I was thirteen years old. I had been going to church my whole life, literally. Daddy had us in church the first Sunday after we were born. It was an important part of our lives. At the age of thirteen, I sat in a church pew and heard a sermon and felt the tug of the Holy Spirit. I was lost, and for the first time in my life, I felt the depth of my lostness. I realized at that moment that I was not truly saved, and I recognized my need for salvation. I realized that if I did not ask Christ into my heart at that very moment, the opportunity may never come again. I realized what it meant to be separated from Christ for eternity, and I did not want to be separated for even one second longer. I asked Christ to be the Lord of my life that day. To say I was extremely shy at that time would be a great understatement. I didn’t walk the aisle and make a public profession of faith that day. I knew Christ was in my heart, but I was afraid to walk that aisle. Over the next week, the Holy Spirit gave me the strength and courage. As a matter of fact, I was so excited the very next Sunday morning that I could not wait to run down that aisle to our pastor and let the whole church know that I had been saved by the grace of our Savior. I remember it like it was yesterday. I picked out my prettiest dress. It was white with royal blue flowers and ruffles. I was still scared, but I knew that I had to share my new found faith with my church family.
Now, I could sit here and tell you a bunch of lies and cover everything with sugar and honey, and tell you that life has been super easy since that moment, but I won’t. Life gets hard, and lately it’s been a bit harder than usual. In I Peter, chapter 1, Peter is writing a letter to the people of Asia Minor who are being persecuted. This is the area now known as Turkey. The people were being persecuted for their faith in Christ. There were some women who were married to men who were not believers in Christ, and these people needed encouragement in a big way. He begins this letter encouraging them with praise to God for their salvation. He takes time to remind them of the greatness of salvation and an inheritance that will never fade. He reminds them of the greatness of salvation to encourage them as they are going through the difficult times of persecution. We may not be going through physical persecution, but each day brings troubles of its own, and we have to fight those daily battles remembering our great salvation too.
Jesus Christ took on the sins of you and me that great and dreadful day on the cross. Why would He do such a thing? We weren’t even born, yet He still died for us. It is because He loves us so greatly, and because of that love, He wants us to have the assurance of eternity with Him. Salvation is truly the greatest gift in the world. It doesn’t cost us a dime, but it cost Jesus an agonizing death on the cross in order to fulfill the prophesy and be resurrected to the Father. Many times, we forget what a big deal this gift of salvation is. It’s not merely a “get out of hell free card” that we carry around in our wallet. Our salvation was bought and paid for by Christ, and given to us as the best gift that we could ever receive. Christ died for me. He died for you. He gave us a gift of truly unmerited favor, true grace, true mercy, and it was given from the purest heart of true love.
When things are going good, it’s easy to be joyful, but when the going gets tough, we have a bad day, life throws us great big obstacles, or perhaps we are even feeling the pain of persecution, we can still find joy. We simply have to go back and remember the joy of our salvation. We must remember that no matter what battle life gives us, Christ has already won. He defeated death. He overcame. He is my rock and my salvation, and I am so thankful that He cared enough to save me. Take some time today to reflect on your salvation. Do you know Christ as your Savior? If so, reflect on the wonderful glory of knowing Him today. If you haven’t made Him the Lord of your life, don’t wait any longer. Make today the day of your salvation!