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. (1 Peter 1:3)
We all need grace. Grace that calls us by our name when we have lost all hope. God’s grace gives us new birth into a living hope. God’s grace cares for us, provides for us and restores us when we have denied Christ. God in his grace offers forgiveness for all our sins and redemption for our souls.
What Christ, in grace, has done for you alters every dimension of how you live. You now live in hope because Christ’s death and resurrection has given you hope. This hope you have is a precious gift of God. Your living hope rests securely on God’s grace. Hope is a reality to be recognized, not an attitude to be cultivated.
After denying Jesus three times, Peter found himself in the pit of despair. Grace did not allow Peter’s story to end there. In that bottomless pit of despair, Peter heard a voice call his name … “Peter, I am risen” … It was the voice of his resurrected friend, Jesus. In that moment he knew he had been given new birth into a living hope. As Peter set his hope on God’s mercy, he personally experienced God’s grace. With the call to “feed his sheep”, Jesus graciously restored and commissioned the one who had denied him. Although he suffered many trials throughout his life, Peter’s face radiated with inexpressible and glorious joy.
God’s grace calls you by name, piercing your conscience, addressing all your relationships, realigning your priorities, redistributing your values and expanding your imagination1. The same grace that called out to Peter – “Do you love me more than these?” is calling out to you right now to come home. The grace that restored Peter with the words “go and feed my sheep” is the same grace that calls to you to go and use the talents and skills God has blessed you with in reverent fear today, right here, right now, right where you live and work.
Just as he who calls you is holy, so be holy in all you do. Be holy in how you live. Be holy in how you do your work. Be holy in your relationships. For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16). When you stumble and fall, as we all do, know that God’s grace is there every moment to redeem all your sinful actions. God’s grace will carry you safely to the last day, to an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
1 Labberton, Mark – Our Daunting Hope, Leadership Summer 2005 http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2005/summer/10.30.html