Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb

For I know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 1 Peter 1:18-19 HCSB

A slave was “redeemed” when someone paid money to buy his or her freedom. God has “redeemed” all believers from the slavery of sin. This redemption was paid with the blood of Jesus Christ and not with gold or silver.

Peter reminds us that Christ is like the lamb without any defect or blemish that was used as a sacrifice for the Passover Feast to celebrate Israel’s escape from Egyptian bondage (see Exodus 13:1-10; Leviticus 22:19-25). Isaiah mentions the Suffering Servant as the sacrificial lamb in Isaiah 53 and John declares Jesus as the perfect lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus came to this world and lived a perfect life without sinning even though He was tempted as we are. Because He is without sin, He can be our perfect sacrifice to pay the price for our sins.

Challenge: Thank God for sending His Son Jesus Christ into this world to shed His blood on the cross so He could be your perfect sacrifice and make it possible for your sins to be forgiven. Thank God for redeeming you from your sins and giving you abundant life through Jesus Christ (see John 10:10). Listen to the song “Redeemed” on YouTube at

Be Holy, Because I am Holy

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. 1 Peter 1:14-16 HCSB

God has blessed us with four wonderful children of whom we are proud. Each has professed faith in Christ and married Christian spouses. They all are living their lives for the Lord. However like any children growing up, they did not always obey. It is only natural for children to test the limits and exercise their freedoms.

Peter reminds us to be like obedient children and not yield to our human desires. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7). The Holy Spirit who lives within us as believers guides us to strive for holiness. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of how we are to live our lives. At the very beginning of this letter Peter reminded his readers that they are set apart by the “Spirit of Obedience” (1 Peter 1:2).

Challenge: When it comes to your relationship with your Heavenly Father, are you more like an obedient or disobedient child? Follow the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life. Obey your Heavenly Father and be holy as He is holy.

Get Ready for Action

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13 HCSB

The Rio Summer Olympics just finished a few days ago. The track and field athletes wore shorts to free up their legs for action. Imagine if a runner showed up for his race wearing a long robe. That would be unthinkable. He would not be able to compete very well in the race because he would be incumbered by his long robe.

This is the imagery that Peter is using with his readers. The phrase “minds ready for action” is sometimes translated to “gird up the loins of your minds.” When men would go into battle, they would tuck in any long, flowing garments in order to run and fight the battle. Peter’s readers were being persecuted and he wanted them to be prepared for battle and ready to take action. This was not a physical battle; rather it was a mental battle. They needed to focus their attention and hope on the grace that was theirs through Jesus Christ.

Challenge: As one focuses on the end goal and the hope he has for the future, it makes it easier to face trials, problems, and persecution. When difficulties come your way, set your mind on the hope you have in Jesus Christ and it will help you endure whatever you are going through. God is always at work, even through the challenges of life. Listen to the song, “God is on the Move” by 7eventh Time Down on YouTube at

Joy, Joy, Joy

You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 HCSB

The first church I served out of seminary was the Delaney Street Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida as Youth and Outreach Minister. We had a bus ministry with five buses that picked up children every Sunday. We held a children’s worship service each Sunday for all of the children. One of the songs we taught the children was “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy.” The kids loved it when we would do the song with the motions.

In these verses Peter is telling his readers that as believers in Jesus they have inexpressible and glorious joy. This joy is the result of a right relationship with God. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within each believer and helps him to live a Spirit-led life (see Galatians 5:22). It enables believers to rejoice and fellowship with other believers (see Philippians 4:1).

Challenge: Do you have the joy of Jesus in your heart? A self-seeking, pleasure-seeking person will not experience joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Look for ways that you can give of yourself to help others and you will find joy that can only be found in serving and living for Jesus. Listen to the song “I’ve Got Joy, Joy Joy” on YouTube at

Refined by Fire

You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7 HCSB

Up until last year we owned a 1982 pop-up camper. We enjoyed family outings in that little camper without any heat or air conditioning with four kids for many years. It was always an adventure and provided many fond family memories. Last year we purchased a used pull-behind travel trailer with heat, air conditioning, a refrigerator, and even a restroom with a shower. We now have all the comforts of home. One of our favorite camping activities is to sit around the roaring campfire and roasting marshmallows. The sticky marshmallows are so good with a piece of chocolate and graham crackers. The only difficulty is that the sticky marshmallows also leave a mess on the wire roasting stick. It can not be removed with a paper towel. The only good way to get the roasting stick clean is to put it in the fire and allow the fire to burn the sticky mess off.

Peter reminds us that our lives are sort of like the messy roasting stick. Life is filled with trials and messy situations. God allows messy situations in our lives to refine us and make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Just like gold is refined by fire, the trials of life refine us and help to mold us into the type of person God desires.

Challenge: Rejoice and give God thanks for the trials that come your way. Look for ways that you can grow and become more like Jesus through the difficulties of life. Ask God to show you what you can learn through any trials you are experiencing. Listen to the song “Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson on YouTube at

God Will Protect You

You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

God has richly blessed me with five wonderful and healthy grandchildren. Two are three years old and three are one year old. They are all up and walking and getting into things. We have to watch them to make sure they are not playing with something that could harm them. I can remember one time Ella Grace was afraid of a stranger and she came running to me and grabbed onto my legs knowing that I would protect her. There is nothing much more gratifying than to have a grandchild come running to you for protection or to be picked up.

God is our Heavenly Father and is our protector. He cares about us and what we are going through. He loves it when we come running to Him for protection. God may allow heartache in our lives, but it is always to make us more like Him. Life is not easy and we need God to protect us from the evils of this world.

Challenge: Pray that God will protect you from the evil one. Thank Him for His love and protection. The next time you are afraid, run to God for protection and comfort.