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PGA Chaplain Bible Studies

Weekly Bible Study - Series In 1 Peter
Study 3 -
1 Peter Ch 1: verses 6 to 9

“In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith- being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  (1 Peter Ch 1: verses 6 to 9 New Revised Standard Version).

Are you willing to tell your friends you love Jesus?

Suffering is painful, no matter what form it may come to us. On the golf course there is great suffering if you expect that every time you hit the golf ball it will go where you want it to. I and many others get very frustrated sometimes and we wonder why we play the game! We can say that golf has suffering inbuilt into the game by virtue of our high expectations and unrealistic hopes.

Following Jesus also has an inbuilt suffering component to it by virtue of Jesus who we love and follow. After the initial praise and rejoicing in Jesus who has won an eternal inheritance for us, we are introduced in our reading this week to the reality of suffering when we choose to follow Jesus. Why is this so? The answer is simple; the ways of Jesus are different to the world in which we live and we can expect ridicule in communities where we have a freedom to practice our faith and more physical and social restrictions in communities that are not free as in Communist and Islamic societies for example.

We are blessed to live in a country where we are free to practice our faith, but along with this comes a greater temptation to compromise the things that Jesus values for sake of acceptance.

I refer to the things that Jesus values like loving God and our neighbour and our enemies. I refer to things like giving generously both to the church and to those in need. I refer to sharing our faith in Jesus with others at every opportunity. I refer to giving our time to help the cause of Jesus in our world. I refer to standing up for the oppressed and the poor. I refer to caring for the world God gave us and looking for ways to look after it. I refer to making our homes a place of welcome and community. I refer to saying no to the things we know that are wrong and will weaken our love for Jesus.
When I live in the world it is the issue of power, money, success, sport, golf, sex, alcohol and partying that are promoted and esteemed above all else, at least in the circles I mix.

These things of the world will test the genuineness of our faith. However when we let go of their hold on our lives, we bring glory to Jesus who has won for us a better life.
Our suffering or saying no to the things we know are wrong will one day give way to the receiving of an eternal inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading. The battle for our hearts is real; I only hope we can see that Jesus offers us so much more. The challenge for me living in the world is that while I have money, play golf, enjoy sex with my wife, enjoy a glass of wine and have some success in life, I love Jesus more than all of them. I hope I can share this with my friends, no matter what the cost.

Gracious God, Thank you for new life in Jesus and help me to see the folly of following the world’s values. Amen.

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