1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) 3 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.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is exactly where our heart should constantly be. This is how Peter opens this letter, but it also should be the way we start each day. Our God is so good. Our God is worthy of our praise. Our God promises to never fail. The question is do we really appreciate all that He has done? His Great Mercy Mercy is defined as… Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. God promises us great mercy. If you take an honest look at the life you have lived, would it right for God to punish you? If you are anything like me, the answer is absolutely, without a doubt. If the requirement is perfection, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. We all deserve punishment. Looking at the definition a little further, is it within God’s power to punish us? Once again the answer is a resounding yes. So if It would be right to punish us and He has the power to do so, how thankful should we be for His great mercy? Given New Birth 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) reminds us... (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new… The old things have passed away, we can walk as a brand new man. What passed away with the old man? Has alcohol addiction passed away? Has the foul mouth passed away? Has anger passed away? Has fear passed away? We are promised that we are a new creation but how many of us drag along that old man? We have been given a new birth, a new life, something completely different than the old man. Is that what the world sees, have you allowed yourself to become the new man. Whatever part of the old many you may be holding onto today, let it go! Embrace the new birth with a new hope. Living Hope Because Jesus defeated death and has been resurrected, we have hope through His sacrifice that we will do the same at the end of this life. Is there any better hope than that? The value of the dollar fluctuates on a minute to minute basis. Beauty will eventually fade. Athletic ability will diminish over time. The things of this world are guaranteed to pass away. Our living hope is not in the earthly but the heavenly. No matter how good or bad this life can be, the hope we have in Jesus’ resurrection is absolutely glorious. Remember From Where We Came Ephesians 2:1 (NKJV) reminds us exactly who we were before Christ… (1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins… Dead in our trespasses, deserving the death that was about to consume us, that is where each of us were before the Lord paid the price on the cross for all of those trespasses. When we truly remember where we were before Christ, when we really admit to where our trespasses had led us, how can we be anything but thankful for the great mercy the Lord has shown? Closing Thoughts: The old man has died and we now walk in new hope. Begin each day giving praise for the mercy the Lord shows us each and every day! Lamentations 3:22–23 (NKJV) 22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.