Because He Lives

April 19-23


Because He Lives You Can Have Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, – 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

Dr. Emil Brunner said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” Take oxygen away and death occurs through suffocation, take hope away and humanity is constricted through lack of breath; despair and hopelessness set it.”

At the writing of 1 Peter, the church was experiencing intense persecution and in desperate need of hope. Charles Swindoll writes, “Why is First Peter so important? First Peter focuses on the importance of believers bearing up under unjust suffering yet continuing to live well (1 Peter 2:20). In this way, 1 Peter might be called the Job of the New Testament, providing encouragement for the true believer to continue on in the way that Jesus has laid out for all His followers.”

One of Peter’s first words of encouragement was the promise of a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus.” Peter was called the Apostle of hope by some. One writer commented, “Biblical hope is not ‘finger crossing’, but is alive and certain because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Life without Christ is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope. Biblical hope is confident expectancy.” Our hope is living because our hope is not in a principle but in a Person and that Person is living because He has been resurrected from the dead. And because He lives eternally, we also live eternally.


Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” List a few ways God has been faithful. Let that list give you confident hope today.


Praise God for His faithfulness. Praise Him for providing a remedy for the despair and discouragement so prevalent in the world.


You Can Have Hope Because of His Great Mercy

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, – 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

Malcolm Muggeridge was a very famous and highly respected British journalist who for many years was an ardent atheist. His opinions and thoughts were coveted by American publishers and he occasionally wrote the editorial page for Time magazine. Toward the end of his illustrious career as the Dean of British broadcasters, he became a Christian.

Years ago, he was a guest at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. where he shared his life story. When he finished his testimony, he made a number of comments about world affairs, all of which were very pessimistic. One of those present asked, “Dr. Muggeridge, you have been very pessimistic. Don’t you have any reason for optimism?” He replied, “I could not be more optimistic than I am, because my hope is in Jesus Christ alone.” He allowed that remark to settle in for a few seconds, and then he added, “Just think if the apostolic church had pinned its hopes on the Roman Empire!”(Halverson/ The Living Body)

The Apostle Peter made it clear that the hope of the church rested purely on the mercy made available to us through the resurrection of Christ. If Jesus is not resurrected we have no hope. In fact, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”


What are some of the things people in our society are putting their hope in? What makes hope in Christ different?


Thank God for His great mercy in your life. Ask God to help you recognize any area where you have misplaced hopes.


You Have the Hope of an Imperishable Inheritance in Heaven

to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you – 1 Peter 1:4 (ESV)

J Vernon McGee told the following story – I heard of a man who was willed a beautiful southern home in Louisiana, but the very night the original owner died, the house caught on fire and burned down—and there was no insurance. The wonderful home that he was to inherit went up in smoke. (Thru the Bible Commentary)

1 Peter teaches that what we inherit from God will never go up in smoke. Tony Evans says,   “Imperishable applies to something that is not subject to decay and cannot be spoiled. There is nothing else in life you can say that about. Having a hope in heaven that cannot perish suggests security to me. So does Peter’s description of our inheritance as “undefiled.” This means it cannot be affected by contamination or stain or pollution. This is the other side of the coin because defilement has to do with what enters from outside, while perishable refers to decay that arises from within. Nothing from the inside or the outside can destroy our salvation—and since those are the only two sides that matter, that pretty well settles the matter.” (Totally Saved)


Can you think of a possession you acquired that you also loved but was eventually destroyed or useless? How should that affect your perspective on God’s promise of an imperishable heavenly inheritance?


Thank God for the lasting value of your heavenly inheritance. Praise Him for His consistency in your life.


You Can Have the Hope of an Undefiled Inheritance in Heaven

to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you – 1 Peter 1:4 (ESV)

A father came home from his job and saw his little daughter who had been playing in the mud. He said to her, “Honey, you’re pretty dirty.” In her childish way, she replied, “Yes, I know daddy, but I’m prettier clean.”

We all are prettier when we are clean. Unfortunately, life has a way of getting us all a little dirty. When Peter described our heavenly inheritance, he used the word “undefiled.” “Undefiled” means our inheritance is in perfect condition, free from any spot of dirt or pollution. Our inheritance is pure as the driven snow and free from any influence that would deform and debase it or cause it to lose its value. It cannot be cheapened in any way. It cannot disappoint us in any way.


Revelation 21:9 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” What are some of the old things in your past that made you feel dirty? What do you most look forward to in heaven?


Thank God for giving you the righteousness of Christ. Thank God for the promise of heaven without blemish.


You Can Have the Hope of an Unfading Inheritance in Heaven

to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you – 1 Peter 1:4 (ESV)

Tennis star Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world—yet he was on the brink of suicide. He said, “I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed… It’s the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.” (Daily Bread)

The accomplishments of Becker were temporary, unfulfilling and fading. As members of God’s family, we are already heirs of God’s riches, yet our full possession of the inheritance awaits the future. Peter teaches that inheritance is “unfading.” The inheritance is kept for the believer, not on earth but in heaven where it endures for eternity. Time destroys most hopes; they fade and then die. But the passing of time only makes a Christian’s living hope that much more imminent and glorious.


“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” (1Cor 9:25) What awards are you proud of that you have received? What’s the difference between those awards and your rewards in heaven?


God’s love for you will never be less than it is right now. Praise God for His unfading love for you and His unfading promises.