January 6, 2015
“Strangers scattered . . .”
1 PETER 1:1
The title of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress has been shortened. The full title is The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come, and that title is a fine summary of what we can expect to learn from our new preaching series in 1 Peter.
Scripture is clear that this world isn’t our true home; it’s a way-station. And the book of Hebrews commended the early people of faith who came to understand this.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” HEBREWS 11:13-16
The book of 1 Peter will be God’s tool to remind us that we’re not permanent residents here; we’re just passing through. Be praying for Eric Twisselmann as he prepares to launch our new sermon series this Sunday with the first verses of chapter one.
The following hymn is from Pilgrim’s Progress (from This World to That Which Is to Come!). The title of our new preaching series is “Standing Firm in the Grace of God,” and Bunyan’s three stanzas seem to encapsulate the key to standing firm.
He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master;
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round with dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound; his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end shall life inherit;
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.