Sorry it took so long to get back...I hope that gave you plenty of time to check out 1 Peter for yourselves! So, what did we learn about the recipients in the rest of the book? Here's what I learned.
vs 3 - they have tasted the kindness of the Lord
vs 5 - they are living stones being built as a spiritual house
vs 7 - they believe
vs 8 - they are a chosen race, a holy people, a royal priesthood, people for God's possession, all to proclaim His forgiveness
vs 11 - They are alive
vs 15 - they can silence ignorance by doing right
vs 20 - they patiently endure when suffering for what is right
vs 21 - they are called for God's purpose
vs 25 - they strayed like sheep and have now returned to God
vs 14 - they suffer for righteousness and are blessed
vs 15 - they have hope inside of them
vs 16 - they are slandered
vs 17 - they suffer for right rather than for doing wrong
vs 21 - they are saved by baptism of resurrection THROUGH CHRIST
vs 3 - their time for doing what pleased the Gentiles is past
vs 10 - ALL have received a spiritual gift (and should use it!)
vs 12 - go through ordeals for testing of faith
vs 14 - they are reviled for Christ's name and are blessed because the spirit of God rests in them
vs 7 - God cares for them
vs 10 - are called for eternal glory; are being perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established by God
These are all exciting things to me because, in a sense, we are the recipients of this letter as well! This teaches me about myself. I am CALLED by God, He is continuing to work in me and make me useful to His glory. Yes, I may sometimes suffer or be slandered because I choose to do what is right but it is for His glory and I will be blessed later for it.
However, one thing to notice...if I am truly living through His Spirit, I will abandon those things that please and "satisfy" the Gentiles (non-believers); my time for those things is up! Oh my...I struggle with temptation to do (and sometimes give in) the things that please the Gentiles; Praise God that He is merciful and gracious, giving me opportunity for forgiveness. One thing I've learned through experience is that I cannot resist without His strength, I am SO weak on my own.
(Part of the following is from guidance from the book I'm using...it is the "thought of the week"). So, just as the recipients of 1 Peter, we do not live in an ideal situation or perfect circumstances. We may go through trials that lead to suffereing. Yet, we are to live "in" the world and not "of" it...we are aliens, in conflict with the world we live in and the experience with God's grace we have had. Yet, we must stand firm in our faith despite an circumstance or suffering. We have everything we need to do this through God's grace and provision!
Up next: how to respond to others and stand firm in grace.