Duration: 365 days
IN TWO WORLDS AT ONCE
Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Peter 1
Most of us inhabit at least two worlds. For example, we live in one world of home and family and another of work. We have other “worlds” too, like the burger joint where we grab a quick lunch before we move on to our next world.
Even in the first century the apostle Peter understood this concept. He makes frequent references to “this world” and “the eternal,” explaining that the way we respond to events in this life produces lasting effects in the eternal world, so that what happens here influences us there.
This shouldn’t be surprising. We know, for example, that a nutritious breakfast in the morning affects the way we approach the rest of our day. And we understand that despite our efforts to keep the worries of work from following us home, our family members can usually sense when we are preoccupied with our jobs. So it shouldn’t seem strange that the way we live in the physical world affects our experience of the spiritual world.
Notice how effortlessly the apostle connects these two worlds for us. He commends those who love Christ without ever having seen him, for such faith leads to a life filled with “inexpressible and glorious joy” (verse 8). He assures believers who successfully sustain fiery trials that they’ll enjoy invaluable faith as an outcome of this painful process (verse 7). To Christians suffering persecution and other troubles, Peter promises a magnificent eternal inheritance (verse 4).
Does that eternal, spiritual world seem distant to you? Or does Scripture’s portrayal of this profound reality motivate you to endure what otherwise might be too difficult for you to bear?
If you’ve been discouraged lately by opposition or setbacks in this life, give thought to the inheritance waiting for you.
To Take Away
- What physical worlds (home and work, Sundays and weekdays) do you struggle to connect?
- Does it seem unnatural for you to think of the spiritual world when you live in this one? Why or why not?
- What steps can you take to experience a love for Christ that is full of “inexpressible and glorious joy” (verse 8)?
In Other Words
“In the understanding of the moment, never has anyone accomplished so little by the sacrifice of a consecrated life as did Jesus Christ. And yet in this same instant, eternally understood, He had accomplished all, and on that account said, with eternity’s wisdom, ‘It is finished.’” —SØren Kierkegaard
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.