Verse: 1 Peter 1:17
Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.  

Series: 1 Peter

In the book 1 Peter, Peter is writing to those that believe in Jesus and he is telling us to “live as strangers here”.  This is an ongoing theme in the New Testament.  Here are a few similar scriptures:

  • Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world”
  • John 15:19, “you are not of the world”
  • 1 John 2:15, “do not love the world or the things in the world.”
  • Phil 3:20, “our citizenship is in heaven”

There are more, but you get it.  Various writers of the Bible want us to know where our allegiance should lie – with God in heaven.  

Why is this so important?  Why do many faith leaders warn us of being “of the world”?  Probably because they saw that many early Christians wanted it both ways.  They wanted what the world could give them: fame, fortune, power, security, enjoyment, ease.  They wanted their current lives and they wanted a ticket into heaven.  

But we can’t have it both ways because, in many ways, living for God and living for what the world can give us are diametrically opposed to each other.  Living for God requires us to walk with him daily and follow his promptings vs striving for more money, power, etc.  Walking with God requires humility, generosity, service without getting something in return.  That doesn’t build fame and could be counter to enjoyment.  And we know that the things of the world are eventually gone and really don’t satisfy.  

Peter and others know that there can only be one top priority.  He is saying that we pray to a just and holy God and so we better live a life that can be examined by God.  It’s like when your child comes to you upset that someone did them wrong and you find out that they were the one that started it!  God sees all that we do.  

But I believe that the whole of the Bible is telling us that living a life “for God” instead of “of the world” is actually so much better for us.  Living for God gives us a life of purpose and meaning.  It uses our God-given skills.  It is always different, never boring and often exciting.  So while we definitely should honor God and revere him at all times, we should also know that he loves us and wants the best for us.  And the best for us is to be his, not belonging to the world.  

Lord God, help us to see that we are just strangers here passing through and that our eternity is with you.  Help us to examine our lives to see where we hold onto the world and what it promises so we can turn and move closer to you.  We love you and want to live every day with you.  

Author: Brad Dunn