by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 1:1–2
To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bythinia (1 Pet. 1:1).
This month we read the first epistle of Peter. Originally Peter addressed this letter to Christians living throughout five regions in Asia minor, now called Turkey. Today we read Peter's letter as God's Word to us.
Peter characterized these early Christians as "strangers in the world who were "scattered" throughout the region---or, in the words of another translation, "God's scattered people who lodge for a while in Pontus, Galatia," and so on. They were strangers in the country of their physical residence because their spiritual homeland was heaven.
In order to identify with the people addressed in this letter, we too must consider ourselves "strangers in the world."
Refugees and homeless people who read the first epistle of Peter have no trouble considering themselves strangers and exiles. But we who are well-established must also identify with this group. After all, Peter is addressing a spiritual condition, not a physical situation. We are strangers and exiles not because we live where we live but because we are what we are: the people of God! It's love for God that makes us homesick.
We thank God for such goodness in the present life. Yet we experience enough adversity to remind us that we are pilgrims to a better country.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version