Summary: Every child of God enjoyed the extraordinary blessing from His Father. So, he could also accomplish at least three extraordinary things.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9, NIV).
It is an ordinary thing for a man to lift weights or for him to climb a mountain. But, to see a man lifted weights and climbed a mountain and stood on top of it with one of his feet that is artificial is an extraordinary thing. Also, in our time, it may be an ordinary thing if someone would invent a new calculator, but during the time of Blaise Pascal of France, when he in-vented the world's first mechanical calculator at the age only of 19, it was extraordinary.
The extraordinary Book, the Bible, records many extraordinary performances of ordinary indi-viduals. A young shepherd armed with a slingshot defeated and killed a giant veteran warrior. A poor widow was able to “put in the temple treasury more than all the others,” who are rich (You can review the account in Luke 21:1-4).
This time, let’s challenge ourselves not only to accomplish something, but to accomplish the extraordinary. Let’s go, then, to our text (1 Peter 1:8-9) and identify experiences or acts that are not ordinary, or cannot be done ordinarily.
So, what are the things that are extraordinary and yet we could accomplish?
The text was written by Peter, a fisherman who became a fisher of men, who once denied Jesus but He prayed for Peter that his faith may not fail. And that when he turned back, he should strengthen his brothers (Luke 22:32). This was exactly what Peter did in this letter, while he was in Rome in the mid-60’s A.D., as he addressed not only the Jewish, but also Gentile Christians (scattered throughout Asia Minor) who suffered sporadic and local perse-cutions before the reign of Nero.
In the early portion of the first chapter of 1 Peter, he encouraged the believers that they have a solid ground to praise God for the extraordinary thing that God had done for them.
In the opening of verse 3, we read: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth…”
The English Standard Version translated it, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again…”
Peter pointed out to the suffering Christians then that they were recipient of the great mercy of God that He gave them new birth, or caused them to be born again.
And because of that Sovereign act of God, though his readers were facing various trials, they were able to experience or accomplish the extraordinary, that you and I could also duplicate.
I - The first one that we can accomplish extraordinarily: LOVING JESUS (verse 8).
Reading the opening of verse 8, it says:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him…”
Loving “Him” refers to Jesus, as we read in the previous verse. And it was not normal, easy or ordinary thing even during that time to love Jesus. Why? Peter told his readers, they were able to do that – loving Jesus -- “though you have not seen him…”
Perhaps, we could say it’s alright for Peter to confess his love for Jesus even three times, because he was able to see Him in person, he lived with Him, he touched Him, he saw His miracles, and he heard Him.
But, his readers have not seen Jesus. Yet, they love Him. That’s extraordinary!
Today, we need to accomplish such extraordinary thing. It’s a Divine command.
We read in Matthew 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” That’s an extraordinary thing to do. Not on-ly we don’t see God, we are also commanded to love Him not just in an ordinary way. But, to love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with our strength!
However, maybe, we are so familiar with that verse and if we do not obey, we just take it light-ly. But, consider what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:22:
“If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!”
Notice very well that Paul did not just say, “If anyone does not love the Lord, it’s a sin…” but, “let that person be cursed!”
How about us, saints? God forbid that cursed be on us.
Do we really love God? Do we really love Jesus more than the comfort and sufficiency that we want to see to happen in our life? And let’s not be content to love Him in an ordinary way.