Are there verses in the Bible you skip over when you read? For instance, I suppose every one of us have jumped past a list of “begats” to move on to the “interesting” parts. And what about the opening lines of a New Testament epistle? You know, that part that says, “Hey, it’s me Peter. I’m sitting down to write this letter to Christians in some place in the world I can’t even pronounce. Just wanted to say ‘hi’ before I get to what I want to say.”
I admit it. I’ve rushed through the opening verses of a letter before. But I’ve discovered those opening lines can hold rich treasure, just waiting for us to discover it. Consider the opening of Peter’s first letter:
This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.
1 Peter 1:1-2, NLT
Have you ever felt unwanted, unloved, or rejected? Honestly, probably all of us have felt like this at one time or another. The Bible tells us over and over that God loves you and wants you. In fact, right here in the opening lines of Peter’s letter to the believers in all those places with funny sounding names, we read it again.
God wants you
You belong to God. God knows you. God chose you for Himself. No matter where you go, God’s grace and peace go with you. Wow! Wonderful truth in the opening lines of a letter from the apostle Peter – a man who’d spent three years walking with Jesus.
I wanted to share this passage with you today because I am working to commit it to memory. In fact, I have just recently accepted a challenge to memorize the entire first chapter of First Peter. I’ve been regularly memorizing Scripture, but this is definitely a new level for me.
You’re invited to memorize Scripture
I’ll be memorizing 1 Peter 1 with several hundreds of my closest friends and you’re invited to join in. Here’s the “Hiding His Word in My Heart” invite at Do Not Depart. DND team member Lisa Burgess also hosts a Facebook group called “Hide His Word” that offers helps, hints, and encouragement in our Scripture memory efforts. Whether you choose to memorize 1 Peter 1 or work on a single verse you can ask to join the group and enjoy its support!
For more on the benefits of Scripture memory and a few helpful tips watch for Thursday’s post right here!
Do you ever tend to skip over sections in the Bible when you’re reading or studying? If so, what parts?